It wasn't that long ago that I would have traded both my parents and about 10 years of my life just to have my own, living, breathing Cubone. But I've been thinking about Pokemon a lot recently (I say recently but the truth is that I'm always thinking about Pokemon) and I'm starting to believe that that trade would've been as lopsided as Frank Robinson for Milt Papas.
(Note: These observations mostly concern the first two generations of the Pokemon games (Red-Crystal), because I was too poor to afford a Gameboy Advanced and any of the newer games.)
Ok, so first off we need to talk about wild Pokemon battles. They’re frequent, annoying, and incredibly scary. The very first lesson that Professor Oak teaches you concerns the dangers of a wild pokemon encounter; he wouldn’t even let you walk into the grass without a Pokemon to protect yourself. Now remember that Johto and Kanto have predominately de-centralized populations. Almost all the jobs in the country are in Goldenrod, Saffron, or Celadon. Also, no cars, no roads, and bicycles cost 1,000,000 monies. How does everyone get to work? At some point during their daily commute, they have to walk through grass and encounter a wild pokemon and that shit would be terrifying. Imagine if you had to fight a wild Onix every time you wanted to fill out your times sheets. What happens if your Pokemon faints? Do you have to physically fight off the Pokemon? Everyone living in a small town (or heaven forbid Cinnabar Island. Seriously, this shit and a volcano eruption? What’d they do to piss off Arceus?) must work in another city and they have to fight wild pokemon to get there. Ok, but what about Fly? Even if they had a pokemon that could learn Fly, it’s a hidden move which not everyone has access to. Also, the world does have a Magnet Train, but it only has two stops and both of them are in major cities. Oh, and the tickets are nearly impossible to get. The only piece of infrastructure in the entire world doesn’t help the people who need it most. You could buy a ton of repels, revives, and potions, but at that point it might just be more cost effective to quit your job and stay home. You could fill your days watching TV and the one channel they air which continuously plays a movie about a man riding a train. A subtle fuck you as down Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream by the gallon and wait to die to traumatized and afraid to step a foot outside your door.
Secondly, between the first and second generation of pokemon games (about three years chronologically) 100 species of pokemon were discovered. There are two explanations for this: 1. The new species were introduced to the environment from someplace else or 2. They were literally just discovered. Since the former would have led to massive ecological instability as the food chained re-organized itself to accommodate the new predators and prey, it must be the latter. But take a second to think about that. Some of these “new” pokemon are fairly common; every Joe Schmo would encounter them on their way to work. I ran into so many wild Mareep that I could’ve filled up at least one of my boxes, and I only had to travel on Route 32 once. And it’s not like the world where the new pokemon exist is isolated from the rest of the world. They share the same route numbering system. Professor Oak himself lives and works on opposite sides of the world and he has to get to work just like everyone else. He has to have had a wild encounter with one of these “new” pokemon at least once. And even if he somehow avoid wild battles for all these years, remember that three of these “new” Pokemon are handed out to trainers by Professor Oak’s best friend. So why hasn’t he written any of that down? Why did he assure us that there were only 150 types of pokemon when there are more than those which he has seen first-hand? The only answer is that the World’s Greatest Pokemon Researcher doesn’t have a shred of scientific integrity; Professor Oak is a fraud.
Another big problem is with the world is the hospitals. And I’m not talking about the socialized medicine angle. Every Pokecenter is run by a member of the same family. And they all look like alike. And they’re all named “Joy”. First off, who named these people? George Forman? Also, what happens to all the girls in the family who don’t look like the other Joys? Are they left on cliffs like deformed Spartan babies? Same thing with the police force except they’re all named “Jenny”. Now imagine being told when you’re five that you’re not allowed to be a doctor or a policeman because those jobs are reserved for special children. They’ve turned civil service jobs into virtual monarchies. Speaking of monarchies, the gyms also are inherited. Brock, Falkner, and Janine all received their gyms from their parents. You thought Ivan the Terrible was terrible? Now imagine him with dragons.
Ok so this world is pretty shitty but I still have one last question, why hasn’t the government made any effort to make people’s lives better? There’s no infrastructure, prices are sky high, and crime syndicates like Team Rocket are allowed to go around terrorizing the population. The authorities have the power to fix everything. They have the technology to imprison dragons inside capsules by altering their shape and mass. They must be able to build a car (or at least a cheaper bicycle for fuck’s sake. Seriously how did anyone on the Cycling Road afford one?). As for Team Rocket, the Elite Four have the strongest pokemon in the world, they could easily find where Team Rocket hides out and then straight murder their asses with lightning. Why don’t they? Because the Pokemon League is corrupt. If you need more evidence of that, remember that Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, is also a gym leader. Instead of using taxpayer money to benefit the welfare of the people, they use that cash to build themselves elaborate gyms with unnecessarily complex and expensive puzzles. Really, Sabrina? You need teleportation pads? Your country has two schools. The only reason no one notices all of these problems is because they’re too busy trying to become the next Pokemon Champion. Everyone has a chance to win fortune and fame. It’s like they combined the lottery from 1984 with the World Cup. The only difference is that you have the chance to score the game winning goal for your country. Also, fucking dinosaurs. The Pokemon League is a sham designed to keep you from asking questions about your shitty life and the monarchs that are responsible for it.