By Greg Dibs
When I was your age, there were only 150 Pokémon.”
Such is the line that many of the adolescents of my generation will be able to say to our children, or really to any seven or eight-year-old boy or girl of the future who decides that the concept of a Pokémon is lame, useless, or simply stupid. These children of the future will have no idea what they are talking about, because their Pokémon education will be severely limited. There are a few basics that they will need to understand.
First: Pokémon are fictional creatures: species of animals with superhero-like qualities. (For future reference, the word Pokémon is both singular and plural.) The idea was originated by a Japanese man named Satoshi Tajiri-Oniwa; his childhood hobby of insect collection manifested itself as a brilliant video game design in his own professional career. Genetic modification might make the creation of animals with Pokémon-like attributes possible, but ultimately, a fire-breathing lizard (Charizard) will only be able to incite earthquakes with impunity in virtual reality or in someone’s imagination.
Second: There are now 649 Pokémon, the result of five generations’ worth of questionably similar ideas and interestingly intuitive brainstorms by Game Freak, the developers.
Third: Pokémon continues to showcase popular TV shows, video games, playing cards, etc., and has contributed greatly to pop culture with a plethora of commercialized items; whether the contribution has been and is positive or negative is highly debatable by some.
In light of all this, however, my focus, my attention, and my lethargic frustration remain focused on one fact: there could have just been one generation of Pokémon. Back in the day (the late 1990s), the original 150 were gloriously simple and ingeniously awesome to the typical mind of a small child like I once was.
Why did there have to be another generation? Was it simply to continue the trend of commercial success, to make more money? It’s highly possible.
However, I didn’t mind until the third generation. At that point, the Pokemon were beginning to lose their originality. More importantly, I was beginning to lose interest; I was growing out of that early phase of my life.
Regardless, I never stopped liking the fictional animals. The remakes of the second generation games – Heart Gold and Soul Silver – released during my sophomore year were excellently done. But when the Pokemon franchise decided to invent ridiculous creatures in an attempt to match the originals, I shook my head. Today, only 150 of the 649 Pokemon retain their original authenticity.
Pokemon isn’t all. Little kid movies like Ice Age 2 and 3, Shrek 2 and 3, and Madagascar 2 and 3 discredit the first ones; they may still be entertaining for some, but they have no swag – none at all.
Let’s keep the great ideas genuine; let just the TV shows feature new episodes every week, of every year.
No Originality, No Swag
By Greg Dibs