wtf is the “Main Series” of Pokémon Games, Anyway?

I read an interesting Twitter conversation this morning between two major figures of the Pokémon community: Joe Merrick, who runs serebii.net, one of the most important (if not the most important) English-language Pokémon fan reference sites, and Pokémon YouTuber Tama Hero.  The topic at issue: what exactly is a “main series” Pokémon game?  Because I firmly believe that no human of Earth should use Twitter, I reproduce the conversation here in full:

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okay let’s talk about the- fµ¢£- what are we talking about

apparently there’s a thing we should talk about

I am of course infuriated at being awoken from my deathless slumber to talk about whatever the hell this is, and moreover I am, as always, personally offended that this broadcast was not scheduled with my specific time zone in mind (it was at 2 am NZT). Naturally, I will be seeking spiritual retribution against Nintendo, the Pokémon Company and Game Freak by The Usual Channels in due course. In the meantime… let’s see what secret intelligence has just landed on our doorsteps.

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Pokémon Studies in 18th Century France

I think we should start 2021 with a weird curiosity, don’t you?

I’ve been reading the excellent book Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination by Anne Allison (2006), which has two chapters on Pokémon (and one on tamagotchi, arguably Pokémon’s immediate spiritual predecessor). In discussing Pokémon’s place within modern Japanese history and culture, Allison cites a very early Pokémon strategy guide, published in Japanese in 1996 (and never in English, as far as I know) and titled simply ポケットモンスター図鑑 (poketto monsutā zukan, or “Pocket Monster Illustrated Guide”). This book has all the things you’d normally expect of a strategy guide, like game maps and encounter tables, but also has some developer interviews and a short section on the history of the Pokémon world. I haven’t laid hands on a copy of this book myself, nor would I be confident enough in my Japanese to translate it myself, but Allison’s summary certainly includes some points that Pokémon fans today might find… eyebrow-raising.

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Systema Pokémonum: Assessing Pokémon’s Place in the History of Science

well, it was only a matter of time before I found an excuse to talk about Pokémon for an academic conference

Trinity History Con is an annual conference on intersections of science and pop culture, run out of Trinity College Dublin. It’s been in-person previously, but is all online this year, for… obvious reasons… so the presentations are all on YouTube. And I submitted one! My co-writer and presenter here is Elena Romero Passerin, who’s doing a PhD at St. Andrews (where Jim the Editor did his PhD) on the history of biology in early modern Europe, specifically botanical gardens in the 17th and 18th centuries. We talk in this video about the “collector” mindset of enlightenment naturalists, the involvement of non-professionals in scientific research, the utopian ideals of western science, and Pokémon’s place as a cheerleader for environmentalism and life sciences. We put a lot of work into it, so I hope you enjoy it!

also, if you’ve watched any of Jim’s Final Fantasy streams you will have heard my voice by now, but for most readers this will be the first time you’ve seen my face (albeit in a tiny corner thumbnail), so get ready to be blown away by my sheer on-screen charisma

Pokémon I have cooked and eaten

If you have ever made the dreadful mistake of paying attention to my Twitter feed, which you should be able to see in the sidebar on the right side of my main page, you may have seen instructions for cooking and eating several Pokémon. These are my submissions to a podcast I listen to, I Chews You, where the hosts compete each week to come up with the most appetising and creative recipes for cooking a predetermined species of Pokémon (because I think we all know deep down that, just as Pokémon are smarter and more powerful than real animals, they also taste better). I’m normally not really a podcast person at all – it’s just not a format I particularly enjoy – but Pokémon and food represent a… very specific combination of my interests that don’t normally intersect. I Chews You is nothing intense or super-analytical, just good relaxing fun and generally pretty zany: four friends chatting about Pokémon and food, $#!t-talking each other and, for some reason that I honestly think even they have forgotten, discussing the pros and cons of La Croix sparkling water.

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to have all my recipes in one place, where they might provide some passing amusement to any of my readers who haven’t come across them before. If you enjoy these, maybe give I Chews You a listen, and if your own creative juices are stimulated, you can always send in your own recipes (on Twitter to @ichewspod or by e-mail to ichewspod@gmail.com) for their Wailord’s Mail Hoard segment. I usually submit something each week, and it’d be nice to hear someone from my own audience join in now and again.

So, let’s get cooking:

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Detective Pikachu top 5 scenes

Hello Pokémaniacs, Jim the Editor here.

Now, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for Chris’ thoughts on Detective Pikachu; well, I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that Chris has a very long post – so long that it might turn out to be 2 posts – with all the thoughts he can muster about the long-awaited live-action Pokémon adaptation. 

The bad news is that there were some minor structural issues I had with the draft and Chris has begrudgingly agreed to make a few changes here and there to ensure that we put out only the best content for all of you.   

In the meantime, because we promised Detective Pikachu content today, we decided to give you all a special Jim the Editor post containing my 5 favourite scenes from the movie!

There will be spoilers – you have been warned!

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Detective Pikachu things

ugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh

FINE

I’m going to be hashtag-relevant and talk about the new Detective Pikachu trailer from the other day

Look, the raw, unvarnished truth is that I think all hype is dumb and everyone should just sit down, shut up, and wait for the movie in an unfurnished stone cell in perfect, motionless silence without eating, drinking or breathing. But I guess that’s the kind of attitude that people around me are always calling “not normal” or “disturbingly aloof” or “please put down that Necronomicon,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’ll just have to say something and get on the record as being just as wrong and dumb as everyone else.

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Map of Galar

I’m really coming around to the suggestion that Galar is Great Britain upside down. Observe:

Which wouldn’t even be unprecedented; after all, they rotated Maui ninety degrees counterclockwise to create Akala Island in Alola.

The real question is, if Galar is upside down, where the hell is Kalos?