Thursday, 7 March 2013

Pokemon - A Post-War Prophecy?

I Wanna Be...

The very best, like no one ever was. Explaining them is my real test, to blog this is my cause. Okay, enough of that and onto the actual meat of this article.

I had an argument with a friend today over the theoretical origins of Pokemon... Yeah, you heard me, Pokemon. Why did this argument take place? Waaaaaay too much free time on our hands but I think I managed to nail it down and I've brought my theory to the blog for all of you to pick at.

War! HUH!

What is it good for? Creating a fantastical world where kids get to own, raise and fight with superpowered animals for money while travelling around the world by my reasoning. How did I come to this conclusion you ask? Let me lay it out for you.

Check the list
  1. You have no father, and your best friend/rival is an orphan.
  2. Children are on a journey around the world.
  3. You are accepted as the man in the house and you're allowed to make your own life decisions from a very young age.
  4. Most of the people you meet are either children or gym leaders (most of whom are women, young people or seedy characters).
  5. The men you meet are either very old, have military-linked jobs or are involved with organized crime.
  6. There are hospitals and basic markets everywhere but no entertainment centres or services.
  7. "Hey, kid! What do you think you're doing here? You won't live long in combat! That's for sure! I tell you kid, electric pokemon saved me during the war!" - Lietuenant Surge aka "The Lightning American"
So think about this folks, what else could cause these conditions? Lt. Surge being nicknamed "The Lightning American" points to the existence of the Americas, which makes Lt. Surge inhabiting Kanto (the name of an actual region in Japan) a likely instance of immigration.


Before I start this, I need to make one point clear. In the Pokemon universe, pokemon coexisted with animals as we recognize them, meaning not EVERY organism in the Pokemon universe has always been a human or pokemon. My evidence? The Weepingbell Pokemon Card, an official, Pokemon-licensed piece of merchandise featuring Weepinbell and a small blueish-green bird not identified as ANY pokemon ever shown.

See the bird?
That's not a pidgey, spearow or any other pokemon released so what else could it possibly be? This leads me to my next point... Pokemon are simply organisms that evolved rapidly from organisms currently known to man.

Pikachu is known as the "electric mouse pokemon", and with names like Pidgey (Pidgeon) and Spearow (Sparrow) not to mention Squirtle being a hybrid Squirrel-Turtle (note the fluffy squirrel tail) it makes a pretty clear case that these names were given to new species that were so closely related to their evolutionary ancestors. These evolutions still require an explanation though, as such changes in animals even that we've seen don't just happen overnight. To explain that I go back to the war.

In a world with such advanced technology as Pokeballs and a computerized pokemon storage system it is hard to believe that nuclear power would be unavailable. In staying with my theory that Pokemon makes the most sense as an evolution of our current world state, nuclear power would have been available, especially during a war where America is involved. Since radioactivity HAS been proven to cause cell mutation albeit rarely positive mutation, the case could be made to this explanation of why the Pokemon experience is what it is:

The Wrap-Up:

Pokemon takes place in Japan following a devastating world war culminating in nuclear conflict. Japan, as an island nation very difficult to attack and isolate (experienced by the United States during WW2's island-hopping campaign), managed to remain geographically untouched in the war but suffered from the loss of the majority of their prime-aged male population due to the conflict. 

Your father and your friend/rival's father were killed in the war, leaving you the man of your household and your rival in the care of his grandfather. You and your generation are the first generation of people living in an era of piece in a post-war environment that sees the expansion of organized crime, a complete lack of an entertainment industry (would have been necessary to finance a total war),  and a burgeoning expansion of construction projects (Veridian and the grounds to its east).

Of course this is all just the ramblings of a very bored mind. I don't believe that pokemon exist, existed, or will exist. I'm just taking a pass at an analysis of a world provided to me by Game Freak Inc. and Nintendo. What do YOU think reader?

Enjoy your swim, and catch'em all!

Joshua J. Taylor


  1. I disagree with several of your points, as I still recall the show, the manga, the games, and the trading cards (though I never played the card game) Yes, I believe there are other animals in the pokemon world, they've made that clear, but those animals are quite minimal. In the shows, Ash's father was always described as having been a pokemon trainer himself, but that never came home. The same has been stated in a few games where your father (and your rival's father as well) have been described as adventuring pokemon trainers, and you are following in their footsteps. Pokemon were said to have come from outerspace (clefairy episode, remember?)and that pokemon were created by other pokemon, and are infact aliens. Arceus is said to have created the universe, along with 6 other pokemon. That's a little hard to do if you're a genetic mutation of other creatures on earth. And there wasn't a complete lack of entertainment. There were tvs in every house,and you have a game console, as well as a pc in your own home. There was the gaming corner in one of the cities, and in some areas there are cities dedicated to just entertainment. There's a city with an amusement park in Black & White 1&2. These are my views, mostly derived from my views of the shows, and the games.

  2. I have to poke a hole in the use of folklore here. "Is said to" gets used a lot in your comment however I'm working off of what's said. Just because there's Tv's and game systems in homes is a negligible point. The gambling dens are actually a perfect example of how Pokemon's origins as a story fit with a post-war culture. In red/blue you see a gambling house concealing Team Rocket, effectively the Mob. After the first world war we saw a huge jump in crime from prohibition, and gambling was illegal for a long time as well (breeding a style of crime attached to gambling).

    To be fair, with claiming that a 'god' pokemon created all pokemon or at least the ancestors of pokemon as we see them? It's like looking at religion to me in that, you're working off of things that have not been properly recorded or that can be verified... Yeah, it's a fantasy game so nothing can ACTUALLY be verified but working in context I have those problems with it.

  3. It was said twice in my statement actually, and that's following what the humans in the pokemon world believe and have minimal ways of verifying, as they cannot communicate directly with the pokemon because they don't speak the same language (except meowth), but they are trying to prove where pokemon came from.

    Yes, the game corner did conceal team rocket, and was a cover for crime, but that doesn't explain all the amusement related things in later games. I still don't like your views on the pokemon world. It's all stuff that gets explained in the shows and games (I haven't watched much of the show past season 4 or 5. I did watch a few later episodes here and there though.