For the love of all that is Pokémon

By Glenn Battishill

Unless you grew up under the stairs of your aunt’s house but didn’t go to a school for witches and wizards, you know what Pokémon is.

For those of you, whom I am assuming DID grow up under the stairs of your aunt’s house and missed out on a magical adventure, who don’t know what I’m talking about: Pokémon are fictional creatures that were the main characters of years of anime, dozens of games, and millions of trading cards. Pokémon first reached the United States as a kid’s show, trading card fad and three Gameboy games. Children everywhere begged their parents for them and, for many of us, our wishes were granted, leading to a giant shared experience that everyone born between 1988 and 1998 can take part in.

For example, walk up to a random person and say the phrase “I wanna be the very best” and you will be met with “like no one ever was” because the Pokémon theme song will never leave us and I know that it will stick with me ‘til the day I die.

While the Pokémon phenomenon may have just seemed like a fad to our parents or elders, it meant something deeper to us; it was a common ground that we were all equals on – a world where your worth as a person was measured not by your social standing but by your Pokedéx count and your battling skill.

The films and show brought the world to life, addicting us all and creating playground Pokémon battles and shady bathroom Pokémon card deals.

Pokémon’s impact on modern culture is immeasurable. Pokémon will always be a fond memory from childhood for me and, no matter how many times people tell me that I’m an adult, the title screen of any Pokémon game still sends me back in time. Back to a time where people settled disputes with animal fights, where animal theft is the worst crime in existence, and where children can fight their way through an entire terrorist complex before confronting and defeating their leader, overthrowing the entire operation.

Okay, so maybe Pokémon wasn’t super realistic, but it was fun! Pokémon let us all pretend to take a journey and save the world.

If you didn’t experience Pokémon as a kid, you really missed out on the best adventure and cultural phenomenon that this generation has ever seen.