Pokemon – A Reflection of Reality?
Buzzfeed posted a splendid article in which they compared the Pokemon franchise to real life entomology. I was skeptical at first until I really began to look at the evidence.
A Basis in Reality
Allegedly, insects inspired the Pokemon’s original creator. It is true that insects go through a metamorphosis and PokemonTM captures this brilliantly. Thus, it’s not evolution that we are witnessing in the Pokemon franchise, but a metamorphosis. The franchise actually seems to make more sense this way rather than saying they are evolving; in some ways however, the process of metamorphosis is like witnessing a rapid form of evolution.
As Buzzfeed Points out there are many parallels to real-life entomology and some are terribly funny. Just as Pokemon trainers go out and capture rare and amazing species, so do entomologists. However, there are some darker aspects of the show that should be illuminated.
A Darker View
Pokemon appear to be sentient beings. They can be afraid, feel, think, and love. In the Pokemon series, these organisms are captured against their will and made to battle in ways that actually harm them.
Though Ash Ketchum likes to call himself a Pokemon trainer, he’s more like a Pokemon enslaver. Many of the Pokemon organisms eventually begin to love and respect their capturers (Stockholm Syndrome much?), but we cannot forget how these organisms were obtained in the first place.
It could also be argued that the entire franchise is reflective of the animal fighting industry.
However, it’s all in good fun
Luckily, it’s not real. There have been action figures, board games, card games, and tons of other fun toys for kids to play with. The new Pokemon Go smart phone game allows players to catch their own Pokemon through a blend of real and virtual engagements. Sadly, like any new addition to our world, it can be used for good and bad. People are getting shot, robbed, and beaten while engaged in the game.
Be safe out there catching your Pokemon and keep the violence in the game.