NinjaFrog184 asks:

This is probably a frequently asked question, but how do you think will the anime develop? So far, Ash and Go have just been flying around, catching pokémon and meeting lots of pokémon, but there hasn’t really been a goal, or even a real plot. Also, what about Ash? So far, there haven’t really been any mention of his past except for his encounter with Ho-oh, and he just seems…… less important. The focus seems to be on Go and his quest for Lugia. Then there’s the question of his pokémon. As of writing this question, Ash has Pikachu, a Dragonite he caught, and a Mr.Mime, which appears to be his ‘guardian’? I’m not even sure at this point whether he actually caught it or he simply used it for the battle. Will he have older pokémon returning (greninja) or will he still use only the pokemon he caught? He hasn’t caught any Galarian pokémon; in fact, he’s hardly been to Galar. How will it turn out? (I’m sorry if this is too long or if it spoiled anything for you)

So, I prefer watching the Pokémon anime in the English dub, in which the first episode of the new series has not yet been aired or even announced, so I have no opinions whatsoever.  I think if you want to be taken seriously as someone talking about the Pokémon anime you’re supposed to watch the episodes as they come out in Japan, with subtitles if you don’t speak Japanese, and… I should probably be better about this, because in theory I’m supposed to be a serious commentator person rather than “just” a fan, and I should practise my Japanese more anyway, but… ehhhhhh?  I’m an archaeologist; I’m used to turning up two thousand years late and still demanding that people care what I have to say.  If it’s worth talking about, it’ll still be worth talking about in six months.

I hate Twitter

so you should all follow me on Twitter @pokemaniacal, to make it feel slightly less awful and pointless

that way you can all enjoy important and topical discussions like this:

as well as dumb random brainfarts like this:

and receive ongoing status updates on how bad my Japanese is:

Also I guess I usually tweet when I make a blog post, so if you want to be notified when that happens, this is one way to go about it.

seriously though Twitter is an awful place and you should all stay the fµ¢£ away from it if you can, but if you’re on that nightmare of a website anyway you should follow me so I can at least pretend that having an account is a net positive in my life

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.”