I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it has been mine since its beginnings when I was seven years old. One jungle booster pack (had a Wigglytuff on the front!) with a holographic Scyther and a copy of Pokemon Blue and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love the games and have at least one from each generation, I have all the DVD’s and am positively overwhelmed with excitement for Pokemon; Origins, I collect the cards mostly because I like the pictures and the thrill of a holo card, not because I play, I have many plushies lining my shelves and credit the fantastic Pokemon patterns of Wolfdreamer as the main reason I started crocheting. Point is, hear I am, 16 years later, and I’m just as in love with it as I was when I was little.
Honestly, it took me a very long time to be OK with liking Pokemon so much. In primary school it didn’t matter; everyone loved it (and one sick sonofabitch had a holo Charizard and the audacity to cover in a plastic case and bring it to school to brandish at the other kids) and it was cool if you liked it. No one judged anyone for it because at the time it was brand new and my God, it was awesome!
Now, when I was thirteen and about to start high school for the first time, I remember I was playing through Pokemon Ruby the night before and for some reason the idea that I loved it so much sort of got to me. I never stopped playing, but it became almost a guilty pleasure. Throughout my time at high school, I never once mentioned that I liked the games so much or that I loved the anime or ever really revealed that I had any nerdy or geeky tendencies because, well, it was high school! I wanted to be liked but in the end, it didn’t really matter as I came out the other end with hardly any friends, but that’s another story for another day…
Anyway, it’s only a very recent development that I can freely admit that I love Pokemon. I have taken my various Gameboys, DS’s and 3DS in public and played the games without any fear of being attacked because it seems like almost the entire fanbase is my age now anyway, I have worn Pokemon tees in public and sometimes they garner comments about how cool they are, I happily buy the plushies and all round, I simply don’t care anymore and I think it took pretending to be something completely different to what I am in school to make me realise that you shouldn’t give a fuck what others think, and I certainly don’t know why I did. At the end of year 8 I sat with a group of girls at lunch, none of whom I liked very much and I don’t think they liked me either. Nothing should have stopped me then from standing up and saying ‘fuck you all, I’m playing some Pokemon Ruby’ and walking away. I certainly think now I would have been happier that way but whatever, I can’t change that now.
I got Pokemon X the other day and I was just as excited then as I was when I first got Blue. It has been such a big part of my childhood that I just cannot shake now, not that I want to. But I stood in line on launch day with some people my age, and some little kids with their parents and it was really cool. There’s a new breed of Pokemon fans and there might even be a resurgence like what I saw when I was a kid which I absolutely love. I even talked to the kids in line about what starters they were getting and the best part was they all thought I was the absolute bomb for my frightening wealth of Pokemon knowledge (though I still can’t get the hang of EV’s and IV’s…).
I guess the point of this post is, if you’re like me and 23, still loving Pokemon, who gives a shit what others think? Be yourself, be a nerd, be a geek, be the very best like no one ever was, just don’t pretend you’re something your not 🙂 End post.