N asks:

I don’t get why the Pokémaniac Npc’s are called that way in the game. They seem to be as obsessed with Pokémon as anyone else in the games. What do you think is the reason they get this moniker? Pokemaniacs rise up!

This is kind of an interesting one, because in Japanese they’re not called Pokémaniacs.  They’re actually called かいじゅう(kaijū, or “monster”)マニア(mania, a transliteration of the English “maniac”).  Kaijū is also the name of the Monster egg group – the group that includes most ground-dwelling reptilian Pokémon that are not Dragons, a definition presumably influenced by the Japanese kaijū movie genre and its most famous star, Godzilla.  So they’re actually not obsessed with Pokémon per se; they’re obsessed with a particular group of Pokémon, almost always use Pokémon from that group and, starting in generation III, regularly cosplay as Pokémon from that group (they also tend to hang out in very out-of-the-way places, often in caves).  Of course, when the first Pokémon games were translated into English back in 1998, we didn’t have egg groups yet because the breeding mechanics were only introduced in generation II (released in Japan in 1999).  So some poor translator, who’d been told that “Pokémon” derives from the English “Pocket Monster,” probably read kaijū mania literally as “monster maniac,” thought “oh, this means someone obsessed with Pocket Monsters” and decided that “Pokémaniac” sounded better in English.  It wouldn’t have helped that the first two generations’ Pokémaniac sprites (see my avatar at the top of the page) look more like mad scientists than cosplayers.  Of course, I’ve only been learning Japanese for about six weeks, and I’ve been writing under the name “Pokémaniac Chris” on a blog called “Pokémaniacal” with a generation II Pokémaniac as my avatar for eight years, so there’s an argument I might have missed the window to back out on that one.  And anyway, to me, my Pokémaniac avatar represents the heart and soul of what this blog ought to be: pointing boldly forward into the unknown, with a wild-eyed grin, Pokéball at the ready, and a billowing cape just to add that subtle touch of “escaped cultist.”

Shauna asks:

Do you think Hau could be the “official” (non-player) champion of Alola? Would that even be a good direction for his characterization? And what the heck even happened to his dad, anyway…?

If you’re asking for, like, a prediction or something… what would that even mean?  Does Alola need an “official” Champion?  What for?  The idea of making the player the Champion was pretty cool and made Alola’s endgame unique, and I think that for Game Freak to canonically designate an NPC as the “real” Champion instead would undermine that.  But purely in terms of how being Champion might affect Hau’s characterisation… well, funnily enough this is kind of the direction I tried to explore in the epilogue to my narrative playthrough journal of Moon version, where I imagined my character trying to prepare Hau for exactly that future.  So, read that and see what you think, I guess?

Continue reading “Shauna asks:”

Quriosity asks:

Can you say something about disabilities in the pokemon world?

Well, the Pokémon world certainly seems to have more advanced medical technology than ours; I’m sure a variety of sophisticated prosthetics are well within their capabilities to produce, and probably all manner of other wizardry designed to make life more convenient for people with sensory impairments, mental illnesses, atypical neurological development, and so on.  We don’t see much of this in the games or anime, probably because the creative leads prefer to quietly believe that all such difficulties have been either solved or obviated by technology, like most social, medical and environmental problems in the Pokémon universe. But I suspect that’s not what you’re getting at.

Continue reading “Quriosity asks:”

Colress asks:

Your reaction when Ghetsis tried to hurt Lillie

I don’t know that I remember having any particular reaction at all, really.  Partly I was just never all that attached to Lillie – I mean, I wrote my playthrough journal of Moon version in-character as a protagonist who suspected her of being the villain for most of the game.  But also, to be perfectly honest I was never terribly immersed in the whole Team Rainbow Rocket thing, and I’ll probably talk about that at more length once I’ve finally finished reviewing all the Pokémon.

hugh_donnetono asks:

There are only two male Grass-type gym leaders, did you know that? Is that weird or is it just me? Anyway, FMK: Cilan, Ramos, and Gardenia’s mirror universe double who is exactly the same except a guy.

Well… there’s… also only two female ones, Gardenia and Erika, unless you count Mallow who isn’t really a Gym Leader, and frankly Flying and Poison have even less representation than Grass, so-

oh for fµ¢&’s sake it’s one of these things

um

well like

clearly Cilan is the one I’d have the best foundation for a relationship with, because we’d bake stuff together, so I’ve gotta marry him

but then it’s between fuck and kill for Ramos, and… like…

…I mean, I know this is gonna sound shallow but he’s SO OLD, guys

like, if there were ever an option where “fuck” and “kill” could wind up accidentally being synonymous, he’s it

…on the other hand Gardenia is super athletic, and I guess I can imagine her being pretty hot as a trans guy, so… maybe this works out after all…

[prayer circle for no more fire/fighting starters] asks:

i can’t remember (or find) if you’ve covered it before, but how do you think police and the criminal justice system works in the pokemon world works? we know there are police officers, but what do they do/what are they for when most of the populace seems to police themselves?

I’m not sure it necessarily needs to work any differently? Saying that the populace “police themselves” is something I would take with a grain of salt – the games probably give us a distorted view here, because the whole point of an adventure RPG is to let the player be the hero, even when that’s a little bit unrealistic or stretches what are supposed to be the normal rules of the setting. Just because we see preteen trainers stopping crimes and saving the world doesn’t mean that’s how they normally expect criminal justice to work! In the anime the Officers Jenny are pretty numerous and never seem to be hard-pressed to find something to do. I don’t think we ever see lawyers, and criminals tend to just get thrown in prison without a trial, but would an episode of the Pokémon anime really be improved by a five-minute scene where Jenny explains due process to Ash and his friends? Continue reading “[prayer circle for no more fire/fighting starters] asks:”