Like most nineties kids, I was certainly an early-morning cartoon junkie. It is in this fashion that I first encountered Pokémon.
For those that don’t know, “Pokémon” is a portmanteau of “Pocket Monsters”. It involved trainers befriending these monsters and pitting them against other people’s Pokémon in battle using a variety of physical and elemental attacks, which was generally pretty awesome.
Every weekday before sunrise, I would stumble into the living room, turn on the television, catch the back-end of the pre-dawn, dead-air-time yoga show*, and settle down to watch another instalment of Ash Ketchum (Pokémon‘s protagonist) in his quest to become “the very best”**.
Episodes usually revolved around Ash and his friends honing their skills at battling, whilst continually thwarting the antagonistic ploys of the dastardly “Team Rocket.”
Sure, it was fun and enjoyable at the time, just another kids’ cartoon. But is it possible for such a show to have lasting effects on its viewers?
If you punch “Pokémon” into Google, odds are you’ll be readily supplied with a fair sum of articles written by various Christian extremists, enlightening us as to the demonic qualities of the cute cartoon creatures. I, however, have a view that is quite the contrary.
If anything, Pokémon has given me the strongest, most profond sense of morality my formative self could comprehend.
Through an enjoyable and engaging medium, I was shown how those with pure aspirations and an unrivalled work ethic can achieve the greatest of feats, how friendship and humility do more than conceited and selfish motives ever will, and it became evident that, no matter how dire the situation, belief in yourself and your peers would get you across the line.
I undoubtedly draw inspiration from these ideals. They have stuck with me, growing more intense with the greater maturity and realisation that comes with each passing year. To this day, I am yet to come across a malevolent soul influenced by Pokémon in their developmental years, before they could make a true conscious decision between right and wrong. Indeed, I also cannot bring to mind a person who shares this interest and is inherently bad in nature.
Although just my humble observation, Pokémon has undoubtedly shaped the person I am for the better, which is hopefully something you can vouch for!
**The original theme song.