One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
This is a slightly odd question (or set of questions), but I’ve been thinking lately about how Pokemon perceive or relate to their own type, and whether type distinctions induce some kind of cultural difference among Pokemon. Are Pokemon aware of their own type? Do type distinctions arise “naturally,” or are they simply human-created terms used to organize and taxonomize Pokemon by their salient features? Do Pokemon feel culturally closer to Pokemon who share their type? What about Pokemon from “allied” types, like Water and Ice, or Rock and Ground? Is a Pokemon like Abomasnow who has two types that are fairly “far apart” from each other able to “code switch” to an extent– to “lean in” to his Grass-type features when he’s hanging out with other Grass pokemon, and to his Ice-type aspects when he’s up on the mountain with the other Ice-types?
What do you think about this?
I tend to think that the world makes more sense if
Pokémon type is a construct created by humans in order to understand how
Pokémon fight and predict which Pokémon will have advantages against certain
others. If Pokémon type is a natural
thing that exists independently of humans, then you need to do a lot of work
explaining what it is and how it arises (especially considering that Pokémon of
the same type do not usually seem to be related species), and this is work that
Game Freak has not done. I think it
would probably imply that each type corresponds to some metaphysical source of
magical power that Pokémon can tap into – and honestly I think that might
be true anyway for some of the more mystical types like Dragon and Fairy, but for
most of them there simply isn’t anything that hints at it in official sources. Of course, because this is something that Pokémon’s
creators probably haven’t thought about, there are a few stray things that do
strongly suggest Pokémon types are in some way natural and absolute, like
Arceus having forms for every type, and Hidden Powers existing for every type
(except Fairy), and there being no exceptions to the type chart. So… basically, I know what the answer would
be if I were in charge, but I’m not confident in anything given the
world as we actually see it.
In light of the reveal of Alcremie, who looks like an Eton Mess(?) what’s a dessert/series of desserts that you think could be adapted into a new Pokemon?
There’s kind of a… maybe theme that Game Freak might be trying to start, of having Pokémon that are based on desserts associated with the real world cultures that their regions are based on. Slurpuff is a meringue Pokémon for France and Alcremie is a strawberries and cream (or perhaps Eton mess, as you suggest) Pokémon for England. Vanilluxe… well, you can debate how fair it is to call ice cream cones American, but they were first popularised in the United States, and for Pokémon’s first non-Japanese region something generically “Western” is probably enough anyway, and Castelia City has a Vanillite-themed dessert that you can buy. Alola doesn’t really have one, but I think arguably Hau counts as an honorary dessert Pokémon for his obsession with malasadas (a characteristic Hawaiian dessert) and his diabetes-inducing personality. That being the case… we could look at some iconic desserts of other regions.
did you notice that in gen 7 mega evolution was quietly retconned from an emotional bond-based transformation to being more of an energy-fueled mutation and generally a cruel thing to do to a pokemon? the SM and USUM pokedex entries for mega evos are pretty much all about how much pain the pokemon is in, how it’s been mutated into a grotesque form that distresses it, how it hates being in that form, etc. and none of them are positive or mention the pokemon’s bond with the trainer
Well… I’m looking through the Pokédex entries and I think
it’s a bit more ambiguous than that.
There are several Pokémon for whom this seems like a fair description of
the Pokédex text on their Mega Evolved forms, but they’re certainly not a
majority, and there are also two Mega Evolved Pokémon who explicitlylike
their new forms: Mega Slowbro is said to be “pretty comfortable” ensconced
inside Shellder, while Mega Pinsir supposedly never touches the ground because
it’s overcome with happiness at being able to fly. There are two more that explicitly cite the
importance of the Pokémon’s bond with its trainer (Mega Charizard Y and Mega
Gyarados). I think that pretty well
rules out any general statement about what Mega Evolution is like for all
Pokémon; it affects each of them differently (which, well, makes sense). But there are also those more
disturbing entries referencing things like “sharp pain and suffering” or body
parts becoming “misshapen.” I think in most
of these cases it’s relevant that the Pokémon involved are… well, let’s just
say they’re not necessarily Pokémon you’d want at a child’s birthday
party. Mega Evolution is – in my opinion
– an exaggeration of everything distinctive about a Pokémon. Whatever a Pokémon already does, Mega
Evolution turns it up to eleven. I don’t
think they were designed with the intention that they should be proper viable
organisms in their own right; they’re ridiculous overpowered battle modes that
are supposed to be assumed for minutes at a time, at the very most. It sort of makes sense that they should often
be quite stressful. Furthermore, if you
have a Pokémon already known for viciousness or destructiveness… well, let’s
see what happens, starting from the ones that aren’t particularly objectionable.
On Thursday I went to the Eretz-Israel museum in Tel Aviv, and because I am a huge glass nerd (and, y’know, I’m doing tourist things as well butI am technically in this country to study ancient glass) I spent basically the entire time in their glass gallery ogling pretty Phoenician core-formed alabastra and Roman mould-blown bottles. So my reduced posting schedule this month doesn’t sting too much, here’s my definitive expert review of all the things there that most stuck out to me:
This is the first of what will, in principle, be a monthly
“series” of investigations into topics chosen by the unfathomable whims of my
shadowy advisors, the Dark Council. The
Council is made up of everyone donating at least $12/month to me on Patreon – at
the moment that’s one person, the newly appointed Lord President of the
Council, Verb, who therefore gets THE SUPREME POWER to dictate the direction of
these studies. However, if you value
what I do, think I deserve something in return for my work, and would like me
to maybe someday be able to do more of it, YOU TOO could be inducted into the
Council’s hallowed ranks, nominate topics for future months, and vote on them
(listen, bribing your way to power and prestige is totally on theme with the
whole “cult” thing I’m going for here).
Here is the prompt I was given this month:
“I’ve often thought about the episode of Indigo League in
which Ash’s Butterfree is released in order to join the migration, and it’s
caused me to wonder the effects that similar migrations might have on Trainer
culture, with their inherent desire to remain with their chosen partner Pokemon
potentially conflicting with the Pokemon’s own desires.”
So let’s talk about Pokémon migration and what happens when
Pokémon leave their trainers!
In celebration of Pride what’s your ideal queer-themed team? Include nature’s, movesets, abilities and held items?
It’s still June in the US; I’m not too late!
I feel like… movesets and abilities and held items would mostly have to be really specific jokes that I just don’t think I can do well, being only the G of LGBT and not having all that much insight into the other letters. We can pick six Pokémon, though, and I think we should probably start with Pokémon who have gender properties that are in some way interesting…