Just as a head’s up to anyone expecting a thoughtful, poignant reflection on the past year of my life. This isn’t going to be it. North Park’s fall semester went a week longer than last year’s, meaning I have only had one week of recuperation since finals and my brain is still sufficiently mushy and incapable of processing complex thoughts.
I have, however, been thinking extensively about Pokemon. Yes, yes. Pocket Monsters.
For those of you who don’t know about Pokémon, allow me to explain. Geared toward children and including video games, an anime television show and trading cards, the whole idea of the Pokémon franchise stems from the hobby of insect collecting. In both the television show and the video game, one’s ultimate goal is to become a Pokémon Master, the most powerful Trainer. This is achieved by capturing wild Pokémon and training them to fight in non-lethal battles against other Trainers’ Pokémon.
One becomes a Pokémon Master when he/she captures every Pokémon in the region and wins battles against everyone else’s Pokemon.
The television show, which accounted for an embarrassingly significant part of my childhood, follows a group of silly friends as they journey to become Pokémon Masters. The show features an incredibly catchy theme song, cute Pokémon whose only form of communication is saying their names repeatedly, cheesy lines and ridiculous slapstick humor.
Perhaps you can see why I was, and still am, a huge fan.
I guess this brings me to my next point. It’s funny how college brings out the 8-year-old in you. I hadn’t given Pokémon a second thought since probably sixth grade, and then college comes and all of a sudden my room is adorned with multiple Pokémon posters, I’m Pikachu for Halloween, and my friends give me Pokémon -centric presents for my birthday. Not that I’m complaining.
Pokemon seems to have invaded many college students’ vocabularies. Miles, one of my friends at school, came up with an analogy to help me understand how relationally immature another of our friends is.
He said, “Relationship-wise, he is a level-one Pikachu. I am a Blastoise.” (Pikachu is a basic Pokémon, Blastoise is the most-evolved version of another.) I wasn’t sure what was up with this guy before, but thanks to Pokémon, I knew exactly what to expect!
Another of my friends, Rick, is compassionate and optimistic, almost to a fault. He tends to be too trusting, believing that people have good intentions when others might first be suspicious. Because of this, he and I joke about him being “Pichu,” which is the rare, pre-evolved form of Pikachu. It’s all in good fun, though. The world would be a much more beautiful place if we were all Pichu.
Pokémon came to my rescue in Spanish class, too. I had to write a page-long essay, in perfect Spanish, about a potential world disaster. I didn’t know the vocabulary to write about anything except Pokémon, so I wrote about how the Japanese government outlawed the distribution of Pokémon products and discontinued its presence on network television. I got an A, and it’s been added to my Spanish Portfolio for graduation.
Also, thanks to my extensive knowledge of Pokémon, I won free coffee for a month. Few things are more important to a sleep-deprived college student than caffeine, and my Pikachu Halloween costume was good enough for first place! There are pictures. I plan on showing them to my grandchildren someday. They will be so proud.
Unfortunately, Pokémon hasn’t taught me how to end a column in a witty or thoughtful way, so I’m just going to go ahead and suggest that whoever is reading this go to Youtube.com and listen to the Pokémon theme song.