hugh_donnetono asks:

Does the new site have a search function? If so, where is it? If not, are you planning on adding one?

…y’know, it seems to, because in Google Chrome if you type pokemaniacal.com into the search bar, followed by a space, and then a search query, you will be brought to something like this: https://pokemaniacal.com/?s=fish. I don’t actually know how to make an explicit search bar appear on the main page, which seems like it would be useful to have. I’ll look into it. It’d certainly beat the cr@p out of the old Tumblr; that had a search bar but was only capable of searching tags, not the actual text of posts…

Robin asks:

You already did a Top 10 worst/least favourite Pokémon, but is there any chance you’d do a Top 10 best/favourite Pokémon?

Probably not, mostly because I don’t think I would be able to come up with a good rationale for it. When I did that top 10 worst Pokémon list, I chose Pokémon that were both extremely weak and (in my estimation) poorly designed or bland – and there’s really not that many of those. If you set something like Kricketune as your standard for power, you’re eliminating the vast majority of Pokémon right off the bat, and then it’s fairly easy to sort through what’s left and decide which ones are interesting enough to be redeemed on design grounds. That doesn’t really work for picking the best ones. I could start by getting a list of all the most powerful legendary Pokémon – Kyogre, Necrozma, Mewtwo, Reshiram, and so on – and maybe a couple of other top-tiers like Blaziken and Aegislash, then pick ten that I think are well-designed, but… well, for one thing, at that point we’re basically doing a list of the top ten coolest legendary Pokémon, which I don’t think is really what you’re suggesting, and for another, I don’t believe those Pokémon are actually good for the game. Well, obviously then I should start by ruling out all the Pokémon that I think are unreasonably powerful and start picking the best-designed ones from the upper echelons of what’s left. The problem is, I don’t actually know where that point is – and even if I did, I’m not sure how I would convince anyone to agree with me. The “worst Pokémon” list made sense because it was a way of talking about what makes a Pokémon bad, and how to fix the kinds of problems those Pokémon had in common. A “best Pokémon” list… ultimately would probably just be a list of my favourite Pokémon, which I don’t actually think is particularly interesting.

hugh_donnetono asks:

Why do you (and so many other people) tend to refer to pokemon as if each entire species is one, individual being? We had a bit of a conversation about this in the Comfey comment section, but I didn’t phrase my question well and it ended up getting lost.

I think because we tend to imagine Pokémon as designs in the abstract, or as essentially playable characters.  When we play the games, we almost exclusively deal with Pokémon as individuals, and the games are largely devoid of ecological realism, so it’s really only in some episodes of the anime that we encounter them as species in a natural context.  We’re not thinking so much “Mightyena, the doglike pack-hunting Pokémon native to Hoenn” as “Mightyena, the Pokémon with a Dark type and attacks X, Y and Z, that was put into the game as an option for me to have in my party, as an individual.”  When I am talking about Pokémon in the context of communities and ecological relationships and their existence in an environment and so on, I think I am a bit quicker to shift over to a generic plural, whereas when I’m talking about using a Pokémon to battle I almost exclusively use singular, often gendered forms.  Also, this actually isn’t totally without precedent in the real world; like, naturalists commonly do refer to animals in the singular and using singular pronouns – “the giant anteater,” “the reticulated python,” “the Magellanic penguin” – even when they’re clearly talking about the general behaviour of the species, not the actions of individuals.

[Squidward Tentacles, not Squidward Tentacles, might be Squidward Tentacles] asks:

How would you feel if us fans made a donation to help you purchase a switch and a let’s go game?

I’m not speaking for everyone obviously but I love your reviews and would like to help!

I appreciate the offer, but I think it’s better if I just skip Let’s Go and reassess my finances closer to the release of generation VIII. I’ll still be writing about Alola and Sun and Moon when Let’s Go comes out anyway, and there’s probably not a lot for me to say about it. I have the virtual console release of Red version to fuel my nostalgia trips (kinda thinking of writing something about that… but we’ll see what the timetable looks like when I’m done with Alola).

[I’m American but because of my accent and the way I look, people think I’m Australian. I’m honored.] asks:

A year from now, I think you should make a list of your top five favorite names that sends you questions and your least 5 fav! They are entertaining!!!

That’s neat; I’m a New Zealander but because of my accent people think I’m English – even in New Zealand, and sometimes even in England. And, uh… I’m terrified this will encourage people to ludicrous extremes, but sure! I’ll, um… think about it.

Not Squidward Tentacles asks:

I hope I don’t inspire a thought…because I love your writing!!!

But…just as vinyl records will one days produce nothing more than scratching noises, and the tv will one day return to just being a square plastic box…will you one day stop writing on here?

Well, I probably will die eventually, as have the majority of humans in history.  Obviously I have set certain mystical contingencies against that event, whose details I shall not divulge for the sake of readers’ sanity and/or plausible deniability.  But ultimately, the Endless Void claims us all.

I don’t think I’ll stop writing before that though.  I might stop writing for this blog, and I might even (stars forbid) stop writing about Pokémon, but I don’t think I can stop writing altogether.  It’s in my nature.  And after all, someone has to shriek at Game Freak whenever they do something stupid.