Anonymous asks:

Legends Arceus finally retconned the Indian elephant from Raichu’s dex entries into Copperajah, so I guess real world animals are now completely removed from canon

well, that’s true, but they are also now insisting that Pokémon takes place in an extremely convoluted multiverse, possibly to the extent of every player’s individual save file representing a branched reality… so maybe there are some Pokémon universes where real animals exist and some where they don’t. Maybe Indian elephants are in a quantum state of existing and not existing, and the only way to collapse the wave function is to hit one with a Thunderbolt.

I have thought for a long time that Game Freak, the Pokémon Company and other creators of official Pokémon media have been gradually erasing real-world non-Pokémon animals from their “canon” as they stopped thinking of the Pokémon world as being a version of the real one and began conceiving of it as a more independent fantasy world, this change to Raichu’s ‘dex entry being the latest step in that campaign. But I do also think that they have written themselves into a position where it will never actually be possible to truly erase or retcon anything that has ever appeared in official media out of “Pokémon canon” even if they want to, which is extremely funny to me.

8 thoughts on “Anonymous asks:

  1. Multiverses are fun like that. Especially when the writers have our own universe as explicitly part of it and then have to hope nobody notices the conspicuous lack of antimatter wave killing us all (except those of us like me who weren’t even born yet when Crisis on Infinite Earths happened).

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  2. I’m still sticking with my theory that Pokemon are an inter-dimensional invasive alien species that slowly alter the genetic history of the planets they happen upon (thanks to the Pokemon Celebi leaving eggs throughout different points in time, likely from Mew) until everything on it, both past and future, is among their kind (except maybe a few useful species, like humans). The farther we get into Pokemon, the more timelines we get where normal organisms have been utterly replaced.

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  3. To be fair according to the headwriter of the early anime, where most the real animals show up, those happened because the animation department didn’t pay attention, according to him real animals didn’t exist in the Pokémon universe.
    http://www.style.fm/as/05_column/shudo209.shtml
    He talks about it here which the lack of real animals inspired him to ask why Pokémon were the only animals in the Pokémon universe. According to him they went extinct and the 3rd movie he wrote a script on would have explored that but that was scrapped. One of the leaked guidebooks from The Pokémon Company simply states that they never existed in the first place and that Pokémon take their place as replacements.

    What’s curious is that a recently translated guide from 1996 talks about Pokémon coexisting with real animals but if Shudo is right it appears the idea of real animals ever existing was scrubbed away fairly early in the franchise’s life.

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    1. It’s not just the anime, though – like, the example this question gave is from the in-game Pokédex. Indian elephants, bizarrely and in apparent contradiction of almost every other portrayal of the Pokémon world, remain “canon” as late as generation 7. The so-called “lost Pokédex” from the gen I era (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McB4lCnAips) also claims that the first Pokémon evolved as recently as 2 million years ago, which to me suggests they were originally thinking of a world where there were relatively few Pokémon species existing amongst “normal” life. I think the important thing is that a lot of different people have worked on official Pokémon media, and especially early on they didn’t all have the same vision of what the world was like. And *personally* I’m not really interested in which version is “real” – because it’s fiction. None of them are real. But all of them are interpretations that someone had of what this fantasy world *could* have looked like.

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      1. Yes, that video is based off the guide I mentioned in my post. The Pokedex from 1996 which was pretty early in the franchise’s life. I’m aware the pokedex uses those terms but that can simply be explained as people in the Pokémon universe use those terms and the concept of said creatures exist in some ways as *pokemon*.

        Take for example Yamper and Boltund, they’re both called *dog* Pokémon by the pokedex. The fennekin line are called the *fox* Pokémon and there’s many other examples of these. That doesn’t have to mean real foxes and dogs exist as we know them but exist as Pokémon. That’s how I interpret the Indian elephant line and similar cases, they’re just Pokémon they haven’t gotten to making and the Copperjah example, I think, illustrates that.

        And yeah the 1996 guide is interesting because it gives a window into the really early Pokémon lore but nothing ever stays concrete. I think being the headwriter of the anime Shudo would’ve been aware if real animals were ever a thing and I find it interesting that he says they weren’t so I could mean that the concept was briefly there in the beginning but was done away pretty early.

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          1. I agree with you there. I’d like to throw in an even more recent example in Arceus. In the first area you visit there is an area called “horseshoe plains” which has wild Ponytas roaming around. Ponyta is called the “fire horse Pokémon” by the pokedex. I think examples like these show that any instance of words like “dogs”, or “cats” or “horses” are just Pokémon and those are valid terms in the Pokémon universe. People get confused because the series doesn’t make it a habit, it prefers to group Pokémon as a collective, but the few examples there, imo, show that.

            On the broader subject of real animals in the pokeverse, I find it interesting, I don’t think they were ever a thing if only briefly but discarded pretty early. There’s some behind the scenes material that mention their status such as the gen 5 guide for 3rd parties from The Pokémon Company

            The 1996 Pokedex guide which does mention they exist.

            Shudo who mentions that they don’t exist and any apperance of them in the original anime were animation errors from the art staff. The last one is interesting because the vast majority of visual references occur in the early anime, they pretty much dissappear after.
            https://m.bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Animals_in_the_Pok%C3%A9mon_world
            If Shudo is right than you really cut down a lot of evidence about them and any passing references to cats or dogs are most likely referring to Pokémon.

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            1. And then somebody decided to invoke the multiverse as a minor fourth wall break, and now the question is moot.

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