We all have a series that we know and love. It’s not often that those series grow as we grow, on our journey through life. A lot of us will have fond memories of who we chose, on our first time. Fumbling around, not really sure what we were doing. Charmander, Squirtle or reluctantly maybe, even Bulbasaur. Unlike most, I actually started out with the second generation of Pokémon, which comes as a genuine shock to people who know of my love for that world.
Ask anyone, and most can usually rattle off a few Pokémon, whether they be fans or not. We were all there and it was a culture phenomenon when it first came about. It has lasted two decades and most people have a journey to tell surrounding their adventures, through the region of Kanto.
Franchises like these touch us so deeply, they can cause people to react in extreme ways to certain things. When a new generation comes out, it is not uncommon to hear people crying foul; “There were only 151 when I was your age you know.”, “These new ones are stupid, not like the original Pokemon.”, and so on. A great love for something can cloud judgement. Sadly, though, it often gets treated as a competition of fandom. Who is the real fan? Who can prove their allegiance through a true understanding of the ‘real’ spirit of the fiction? This kind of dedication speaks to just how far and wide Pokemon has reached to touch so many peoples lives.
There have been celebrations over this weekend, people declaring how Pokémon has changed their lives over the past twenty years, and how it has been with them for as long as they know. These are the kind of festivities that bring people together, undying love for a fictional world that so many have given hundreds of hours to.
Now with over seven hundred varieties, spanning more than six generations of games, there is no end in sight. With every release of new game, it brings in more and more lovers of this world, as everyone should have the chance to fall in love the way we did when we chose our first Pokémon.
When I talk to others about these games, I say there is much more to it than catching ‘em all, it’s the journey you go through, starting at the bottom and becoming the best (like no one ever was). You face so many challenges along the way, and you find out there is always something new to overcome. Like in life, we all strive to be the best we can, there is always going to be someone who challenges that, and that’s okay.
As your journey unfolds, even if you find yourself at the top, and it seems that there are no more challenges left to face, you should always remember where you began. Remember where home is, what you started with, and how much you have changed.