Recently I got some information that really grabbed me by the Pokeballs. It was explained to me that I've been looking at the Pokemon franchise entirely incorrectly. You see, there are those of us who play the games and watch the anime and believe that Pokemon is so wholesome and light that you could spread it on pancakes. It's the story of a boy on a journey of friendship and wonder as he interacts with magical creatures. Yes, while it has been pointed out by many that those creatures essentially live in servitude, that's only one aspect of the point I'm going to be making today. There's a second part to the horrid reality of the pokemon universe, and that reality is the Great Pokemon War theory.
The theory is a simple one. A great war took place within Kanto, or perhaps the greater Pokemon realm, and though little is known as to why or for how long, our viewing of Pokemon starts in the aftermath of that war. It explains so many of the questions that have long been hard to capture much like a piece of shit Starmie using double team for the 18th time. For example, where is Ash/Red's father or Gary/Blue's father? In fact, why does it seem as if almost an entire generation of adults is missing from the story? It's because they all died in the Great Pokemon war.
In fact, we know there's a war because the third Kantonian Gym leader, Lt. Surge, tells us about it. Surge says, "I tell you kid, electric Pokemon saved me during the war! They zapped my enemies into paralysis!" Red shrugs it off because not even tales of paraplegic soldiers should stop you on your quest to be the very best, but ooof, is that grisly stuff for a ten-year-old kid.
It also makes you reexamine Team Rocket, who seem awfully militaristic in their practices for what is supposed to just be a crime syndicate. They wear matching uniforms and have a quest for world domination. Giovanni, their leader, even speaks of "restoring Team Rocket to its former glory." What sort of former glory could an already massive network of criminals in charge of major corporations like Silph Co. hope to attain? My guess? This is a former military unit and, much like how the Stormtroopers stayed around after the fall of the Empire in Star Wars, so too did Team Rocket stay around after their defeat in the Great Pokemon war.
Or, who knows, this is just a dumb game for kids with enough random plot points to tell any story you damn well please. But I believe there's something deeper going on here. The world we're presented is a tale through Ash/Red's eyes. The Pokemon world is The Hunger Games. It's a post-war-world-order where humans rule over Pokemon and force them to battle to keep the citizenry entertained. The reason we see it as a happy-go-lucky utopia is that Ash/Red is one of the bootlickers who has been bought aboard. He's content to go about playing the games of his imperialist overlords so long as he can make friends along the way.
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Top Image: 4Kids Entertainment/ Pokemon