We All Live in a Pokemon World

Watching these Pokemon anime put on YouTube, such as Generations and Twilight Wings, reminds me why I grew up with and love the series.

Twilight Wings is a nice bit of animated goodness. The Wooloo episode really hit a chord, so much I watched it a second time without thinking after watching it the first time…

…except there’s one massive problem: I never played Sword and Shield. (I don’t even own a Switch!) As noted by the AniList status above, the last generation I was up-to-date with was generation 5.

So why do I feel such affection for a Pokemon series I have to do background research on? Certainly, it would be helpful to have an attachment to the characters and the creatures that show up.

For one, it’s nice to see how far the series has managed to come through all these years, from getting up at 6 am just to catch the English-dubbed episodes to being able to stream Pokemon Journeys on Netflix (or sneakily stream the first episode, because it is there on the official YouTube as I type this).

For another, playing the games, watching the anime, reading the manga and getting the merch…it’s just one’s first indoctrination to being a fan of anime, and being part of the media mix, even if the fans may not necessarily have the words “anime” and “manga” in their vocabulary at the age of exposure. This is especially true when the series first began in the late 90s and when it continued to spread in the 2000s – most people born around or after that time (or alternatively, taking care of kids during that time) have at least heard of Pokemon, even if they’ve never played a game from the series or watched an episode of the anime.

For another, the series has influenced many a writer and sparked many an imagination, even well beyond the fan’s years with Pokemon if they ever leave the fandom. Not only has it spawned an active fandom…which, of course, is going to spawn creative and interactive media like wikis, blogs and fanfiction…but you can’t really think about an elemental system without having that elemental rock-paper-scissors Pokemon has hugely popularised. That is not endemic to Pokemon as a series, sure, but it’s one of the most popular ones that can be cited, boasting an extreme amount of versatility in that it encourages both strategy and endless amounts of creativity. (I’m probably not the only one who’s imagined a “What if [so-and-so character who is not from Pokemon] had Pokemon?” AU (alternate universe), or a “What if [so-and-so character who is not from Pokemon and does not have elemental powers] had Pokemon-like elemental powers?” AU.

This last point brings me back to why Twilight Wings, in particular, has had such a profound effect on me – a lot of the main series anime focuses on things like the battles and Contests, rarely straying from that formula to show, for instance, how people live with Pokemon in a Pokemon world outside brief glimpses (like Fighting-type Pokemon doing construction work). Twilight Wings not only has a sense of “everything’s all connected”, as the real world and any good narrative does, but it gets to showcase what people do with their Pokemon in everyday life…outside the Flying Taxi, which seems to be a service available in the Sword and Shield games. The main series keeps telling us that we need to coexist with Pokemon, much like we do animals and other people, and developing the world and the relationships between people and Pokemon within the series is one way of doing just that.

I’ve mentioned Pokemon was one of my first anime, if not the first, and so a topic like this to commemorate September 5th was overdue, in retrospect. I also know while lots of people hold nostalgia for Pokemon, a bunch of people also don’t (there’s Digimon-only fans and people who get into anime so far from the 90s – 2000s Pokemon craze that they just roll their eyes at people who did grow up with the series), so it’s a bit of a risky move.

So what’s your experience with Pokemon? (Please be civil in the comments, though.)


4 thoughts on “We All Live in a Pokemon World

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  1. Ah yes! I love the animated shorts a lot more than the main series! I do keep up with the main series.. a bit.. but more in a way where i read what happens as than actually going trough the series, sometimes picking up an important episode. Journey I will completely watch if it turns out what I think it is! I feel like is passing on the torch to Goh.. and the character possibly being trans I find fascinating. But Ash is getting a great team.. an amazing team.. so I figure he might become some sort of champion or obstacle for Goh to overcome. His team is very early on THAT stacked. Rumors that Pikachu might evolve etc.

    When Ash won Alola for me that was when I kinda closed the Ash chapter that was a fitting end for me though I belief he should have been swapped with Kalos and went to Hoenn with Serena.. that just shows I was still way to invested in this show! Since Kalos the show was actually pretty good story telling.. but it is dragged out a bit, there is to much filler. The format of Journey is a bit different so it doesn’t feel as dragged out. He isn’t just blitzing trough a region so we can’t tell as much if he takes 20 episodes to get trough Vridian forest while we in the games blazed trough I think that helps a lot.

    I adore Twilight Wings and the Wooloo Episode I have passed around like candy! I think I must have watched it 8 times easily by now! It cheers me up in a blue moment! Twilight Wings focusing on bonds between Pokémon and their trainer and just how people feel about their every day life is amazing as a concept. I think a lot of the mythos we get in the main anime is a bit off.. like it’s a seperate world from the ones we play trough and there is always a disconnect. TW for me hits the golden spot where it feels like.. okay so this is the actual real time way this would happen and how my beloved world comes alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I came late to anime (and I did) I came even later to Pokemon. My blogging bestie, Pinkie, blogs extensively and very interestingly about Pokemon subjects. When Pokemon Go was suggested to me and actually astounded me by working on my phone (sort of) I finally got to play a bit. Since then, for some reason, the game has ceased to work. So I am a mere dabbler. In the 90s I was middle aged at the top of my career and working and traveling extensively. I vaguely saw Pokemon cards for sale in the store now and then, but it seemed to be for much younger children (I was playing Magic the Gathering and tabletop D&D when I played anything) so I never gave it a thought. I have to point the finger at Pinkie, and retirement and lots of streaming services, for my now growing interest in Pokemon. I have great ambitions to maybe buy a Switch this year and if so, be sure I’ll also buy Sword and Sheild. Meanwhile, I’m quite enjoying the Indigo and Sun and Moon series animes. The games seem to have a lot of depth and complexity that I did not expect, and the animes are light and fun and not as childish as I expected. So thus far, I have to say I am favorably impressed and well disposed toward further involvement on my part.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Besides of course knowing about Pokemon, I have never watched nor played it (except for Pokemon Pinball back on the old Nintendo Colour system…wow….I really feel old now). So I can’t really say positive or negative things about it😅😅 Well…the good news is that my comment is very civil because of that I guess😂😂 (Not that I believe my comments are ever uncivilised lol😂)>

    Liked by 1 person

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