Many of us remember watching Pokémon as children and being utterly sucked into the fantastical, empowering world presented within the anime. As we followed Ash and his friends while they traveled the world and went on all sorts of adventures, we were able to live through the characters and experience what they were experiencing. Watching Pokémon, especially as a child, allows for an escape into a fantasy like no other.
One of the most notable aspects of Pokémon is the freedom that the protagonist has, even at such a young age. In some ways, the protagonists in this show are treated as though they are adults. For example, Ash, the main character, is ten years old when he leaves home for the first time in order to travel on his own. As a child watching Pokémon, it’s breathtaking to be able to escape into a television show where a child protagonist has the freedom that you wish you could have for yourself. On top of that, this unusual amount of freedom doesn’t result in the types of consequences that there would be in real life. The show neglects to include the negative aspects of traveling without an adult, since the protagonists are given many tools to compensate for this. For example, they always seem to have money to purchase food, despite us never seeing where they are getting this money from on screen. Therefore, the series allows for escapism from a harsh reality because it features a young main character who is allowed to travel without adults and experiences no drawbacks to having such independence.
Another escapist element of this animated series is that children are able to defend themselves against their adult enemies and come out victorious in the end. In this television series, the characters are not kept from danger by the adults around them. On the contrary, the child protagonists are all equipped with their own loyal Pokémon who will defend them to the end whenever Team Rocket has malicious intentions. Whenever Pikachu is about to be kidnapped by Team Rocket, for example, Ash and his friends simply have their Pokémon fight for them. They always win against their opponents and prevent Team Rocket from stealing Pikachu at the end of each episode. In this way, Pokémon represents a world where children, instead of being sheltered from peril, have the ability to stand up to those who wish to cause them harm. This aspect of Pokémon is very important for children because it represents a reality where they are not helpless the way they are in real life. Rather, Pokémon shows a world where children are able to defend themselves against evil and stand up to adults. In the world of Pokémon, children are more than just children – they are a force to be reckoned with.
Another aspect of Pokémon that we all love is the worldbuilding. Pokémon are the ultimate pets and companions, with their magical powers and ability to form true bonds with their owners. Who hasn’t wished that they could have their own Pikachu? When I was younger, I definitely wished that Pokémon existed in the real world. There are so many Pokémon to discover in this world, with each one having a unique character design and interesting powers. For example, there are Pokémon that resemble creatures we have in real life, such as butterflies, and there are Pokémon with psychic abilities or the power to induce electric shocks. Another worldbuilding element that I enjoyed was the advanced technology. For instance, by simply flipping his Pokédex open, Ash is able to have his device identify and describe any Pokémon that he comes across. Overall, Pokémon has unique worldbuilding that allows the audience to escape into another reality where everything is more fantastical and futuristic.
Overall, Pokémon is an animated series that allows viewers to experience empowerment and an escape into a fantasy world. Pokémon allows children to vicariously live through the characters and see what it’s like to have limitless freedom, immense power, and a truly magical world at their fingertips. These are just a few reasons why we all cherished Pokémon so much as children watching the anime for the first time all those years ago.
Featured image via Amino Apps