It’s sort of nothing we haven’t talked about before. Honestly, this kind of piece annoys me a little bit – pointing out that Pokémon can be read as apologetic of animal abuse isn’t at all original or even particularly clever, and I honestly don’t think it deserves a great deal of attention. It only becomes interesting if you use it to tell a story, and in that respect the way this article is written really confuses me – it seems pretty clear when he talks about Pikachu in Yellow that he’s discussing Pokémon from an out-of-universe perspective, but much of the rest of it, particularly that very last paragraph, is more in the style of a political pamphlet written from the perspective of a character in the Pokémon world. I’m left wondering what the point is.
I think what really jumps out at me is that he gives the FBI estimate for the number of hostages who develop Stockholm Syndrome, which is 8%, then doesn’t really explain the fact that, by all accounts, the figure for Pokémon seems more like 90%, if not higher. I think there’s sort of a vague allusion in that paragraph to the idea that humans in the Pokémon world are just very good at it, but I feel like 8% is just not a high enough success rate to allow the phenomenon to explain what we actually see (and, in fact, since Stockholm Syndrome seems to have something to do with developing empathy for one’s captor, I’d expect it to have, if anything, an even lower rate of incidence for cross-species interactions). Reliance on Stockholm Syndrome as we understand it should make training completely unviable for the majority of Pokémon. I’m pretty sure that’s not all that’s going on.