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Happy National Pokémon Day

Pokémon Sword and Shield

So, I just realized that today was Pokémon Day, and I had no idea about it. And since scheduling a last minute livestream of Pokémon Sword/Shield seems like a bad idea, I want to do something else. So, I decided to do a little retrospective on what Pokemon’s meant to me over the years. In addition, I’m going to be answering some questions about my favorite things from the franchise.

That Fateful Day

I don’t remember how old I was, but when I was a kid, my Mom took me to the library one day. Then, while I was browsing through the VHS tapes, I saw it: a copy of something called Pokemon. I didn’t know what it was, but it looked interesting, so Mom checked it out for me.

Once I got home and started watching it, I fell head over heels in love with the show. The creatures, the powers, the funny faces the characters made. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. After that, I became obsessed with Pokémon. I bought the magazines, the little figurines, the cards, and I got my hands on every tape the library had of Pokémon. I even had my Mom make me an Ash Ketchum costume.

Ironically, the one area of the franchise that I didn’t get neck deep in was where it started: the games themselves. I wasn’t a big fan of the Game Boy, so I couldn’t get into the video games. That, and when I did play them, I could never get past the second gym. I couldn’t figure out how to get past the physical obstacles in the wild; go figure. In addition, we never had any Nintendo consoles in my house growing up, so that was a no go.

Moving On

Pokémon became my door to the world of anime, and I’ve never looked back. I don’t even know what I’d be like without anime, and I will be forever grateful to Pokémon for that. That said, at some point, I started to move on from the series.

I don’t know when I first realized it, but I think it was sometime around Pokémon: Johto was in full swing. I began to realize that there was never going to be an ending to Pokémon, so I started watching it less and less. After finally watching Ash beat Gary, I lost any motivation to continue watching, and moved on. After that, I got into Yu-Gi-Oh!, which carried me into the future of anime. However, I never forgot about Pokémon, and as time went on, I kept coming back to the franchise. Still, I never played any of the games beyond Gen III, until a few years ago.

Return for XY

I don’t remember what compelled me to try Pokémon X/Y. Maybe it was the simple feeling of nostalgia. I’m glad I did, though. Playing Pokémon X reignited my love for Pokémon , and for the first time in years, I began to follow it again. Not as much as in my childhood, but enough to stay interested. The number of new Pokémon was a big enough draw, but things like Mega-Evolution sealed the deal for me. The ease of which I could now transfer my Pokémon between games encouraged me to build and bond with my team beyond a single game.

Then, there was the anime adaptation of those games. In my honest opinion, the three seasons of Pokémon XY were some of the best the franchise ever put out. The introduction of Ash-Greninja in Pokémon XYZ brought the show to new heights, with the battles approaching the best of Shonen anime. In a word, Pokémon became as awesome as I remembered it being.

Ash should have won the Kalos League.

With Pokémon more popular than ever right now, I’m glad I returned to the series when I did. It may still be a while, but one day, I hope that we can reach the pinnacle of Pokémon gaming: using holographic technology to bring it into the real world!

With my reminiscing out of the way, I want to talk some more about this franchise that means so much to me.

My Favorite Pokémon Game

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire

Of all the games in the franchise, I think that my favorites were Gen III, Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire. They were the first games that I was able to successfully complete, and that left me with a huge sense of satisfaction. Beating the games aside, there were several other reasons why they’re my favorite games.

Firstly, I enjoyed the Pokémon found in the Hoenn region, especially the Legendaries, Groudon and Kyogre. More importantly, though, were the new gameplay mechanics in place. I enjoyed the berry blender machine, the Pokémon pageants, and once I learned how to do it, making a Secret Base. Being able to build my own secret clubhouse and decorate it with all sorts of things was one of the coolest things I could do as a kid. I’m actually surprised none of these things appear in the rest of the games.

Pokémon I’d Want Most

Ash-Greninja Pokémon

If you had the chance to bring one Pokémon from any of the games into the real world, who would you want? A lot of people may say Pikachu, and while I’d love having one for myself, that’s not who I’d want as a partner. The one I’d want would be Greninja.

Years of reading Naruto has left me with a deep love for ninjas, and when I first saw it in the game, I knew that I wanted a Greninja. Not only are they as fast and agile as their namesake, but that water shuriken move is amazing! If I could get one that could mega-evolve like Ash’s Greninja, then that would be even cooler!

Gotta Catch’em All

Now, I want to ask all of you about your experience with Pokémon. In the comments, I want you to answer the following questions as best as you can.

  • What was the first Pokemon game you ever played?
  • What was your first Starter Pokemon? No one will judge!
  • What’s your favorite game in the franchise?
  • Favorite Villain Team?
  • What’s your favorite legendary?
  • What was your favorite moment in the anime?
  • What’s your favorite movie in the franchise?
  • Favorite Theme Song?

Have fun, and rise for the National Anthem of Pokémon

Click here to see more animanga stuff.

Click here to read Jasonbleau from Cinemablend’s review of Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution.

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