When we were growing we all had something that we cared about greatly and for me, this was Pokémon. I don’t actually remember the first episode that I ever watched but I’m very confident that I watched it before any other anime. It would have probably been Diamond and Pearl but I’m not 100% sure, the original series might very well have been re-airing first as I distinctly remember knowing who Misty was. This very well could have been because of the Pokémon movie but I really don’t know.
A problem that I had when I was young, and watching Pokémon, was that I felt bad about watching it. I liked to imagine myself as older and more mature, so after a while I felt bad about watching it. I was under the impression that Pokémon was actually that good so that didn’t help the idea. As I watched more I started to notice the repetitiveness of the episodes, the slow pacing, and the inadequacies of Ash as a trainer. So I started to question, will this ever go anywhere? No, unfortunately it won’t. Pokémon will never end because Ash will never win.
Due to this idea, watching Pokémon started to become pointless and boring. I’d record episodes but forget about them leaving many to build up over the course of weeks. When I had a lot, I’d binge watch them all in a day, find them ok but not amazing and then feel sad that I spent so long watching Pokémon – the show that never ends.
Luckily I didn’t feel this way about the games, they were great and I still have the new ones (though I’ve not got round to moon yet) but I had no real idea how popular it was. Everyone in school had heard of Pokémon but nobody was claiming that they watched it – it was probably embarrassing to admit. Even in my group of friends who were obviously nerds (you’re reading a blog post about Pokémon written by a 17 year old so yeah…) it was never mentioned.
Pokémon always felt weird to like and it felt bad that I had nobody to share my interest with. As I slowly met new people who knew Pokémon, it was the best thing ever (at the time) and it was cool. When I had friends to talk about Pokémon with it was fun to complain about the show, we could rag on it together and it was fun! I’m pretty sure we all still watched it anyway, up until a point until we slowly forgot about the anime without even realising.
I only had a small amount of conversations about Pokémon X and Y and to this day I have never talked about the sun or moon anime (never watched it either) yet the few times that I have come back to Pokémon for an episode or two, I’ve come to terms with the whole reason why I liked it so much. It’s a cool, relaxing time where you can expect an episodic adventure of some kind. It will be repetitive and childish yet it will be a cool time.
Unfortunately now that I can’t get back into Pokémon again because I care about many other things I can look back on it as a series with highs and lows. Yet I can confidently say that at the time, I really cared about it…
But Pokémon never cared about us. We grew but Pokémon never grew with us. Ash never became stronger, Pikachu stayed a Pikachu and we never did see Ash get together with Misty/May/Dawn/whoever comes later. I think it came from being in the right place at the right time, so that they could use us to spend our parent’s money.
And when I reached this conclusion after many days of questioning I saw the length of time that Pokémon has been out for and I realised that I wasn’t even the first one. Pokémon has been doing this to people who are adults now… wait; I’m nearly an adult now? (If you count 18 as adult). The genwunners who were there at the time have grown and Pokémon let them go, so that they could deceive a whole new group of children.
The people who were there when Pokémon was coming out for the first time had hope for Pokémon, they believed that Ash would become the very best, like no one ever was. These people look down on us negatively as if we’re inferior for not being there when Pokémon first came out, for growing up with a different series of Pokémon, A series where Ash was doomed to never become a Pokémon master, a series filled with filler and characters that they don’t like.
Just remember that we believed Ash would become the very best as well, we had hope too. And it died.
So as we neglect Pokémon and time goes on, as they introduce more and more Pokémon, more and more gimmicks we become more and more separated from something that we once thought was ours. We don’t know the Pokémon’s names; we don’t understand the new forms or systems. We’ve become the dull people that our child self never wanted us to be. We are now the people who we used to laugh at for not knowing Pokémon.
We used to know Pokémon. But now we don’t know what Pokémon is. And what Pokémon is, looks unlike what it was. So Pokémon is now the mysterious thing that we don’t get anymore, the thing that we can’t connect with.
You might be reading this, criticising these thoughts and ideas with hope, coming in with evidence to prove me wrong and ideas that Pokémon cares about you instead of the age group that you happen to be in. Just remember, when you turn your back, when you think you have it under control and leave. When you finally come back and remember Pokémon, It will have long forgotten you.