Confession: I am a giant Pokémon-lovin nerd and I am 100 percent not ashamed to admit it. Yes, most millennials remember watching the Pokémon TV show over their morning bowl of Count Chocula cereal or watching the first Pokémon movie in theaters in 2000 and crying their eyes out when Pichaku's tears revived a comatose Ash (we all did that, right?) — but for most, their love of Pokémon is in the far past. For me, that simply is not the case. There are many reasons why I still love Pokémon after all this time and most are because Pokémon is freaking amazing.
It would appear that I am not alone in my love of computer generated animals battling it out for ultimate Pokémon supremacy. February 27 marks the 20th anniversary of the original Pokémon game being released in Japan. And as a special gift to amateur Pokémon trainers around the world, Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue , and Pokémon Yellow are all available to download on Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS. As expected, the Internet is kinda freaking out about it. #Pokemon20
Nintendo has also announced the release of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon , the first new hand-held Pokémon game in three years. And to say that I am excited about all this news would be an understatement. For me, I have never stopped playing the games or buying super cute Pokémon themed items from Etsy. It is so easy to forget that outside of my own personal cocoon, people out in the world still love and play Pokémon as much as I do.
So, here are the reasons I still love Pokémon — I have an Abra-type inkling I am not alone in my devotion:
Pikachu Is The Greatest
Look at that adorable face. While Pikachu could sometimes be a total jerkface, we all still loved him — sorta like my ex-boyfriend. This tiny electric cat is what made me first fall in love with Pokémon. Also, the fact he absolutely refuses to live in a pokeball like the other Pokémon is amazing. Fight the power, Pikachu.
That Holographic Charizard Card
I am not joking here — there are few things in life that made me more excited than getting that holographic Charizard card. I clearly remember the moment when I was standing in my local shopping mall and opened a pack of Pokémon cards, only to discover the Holy Grails of Pokémon cards. I don't remember where I was when I found out I was accepted into college or when the new Gilmore Girls revival series was announced, but I do remember getting that Holographic Charizard card.
What's In A Name?
My absolute favorite thing about Pokémon is how creative the game is with naming it's characters. Brock is a boy trainer who specializes in rock Pokémon. Genius. A half-plant, half-dinosaur pokémon named bulbasaur — there's literally nothing better. I am constantly surprised by how witty and charming the names are. That's why I have every intention to name my first female child Evelyn, nicknamed Evee, after my favorite Pokémon. I wasn't kidding when I said my devotion goes deep.
Cutest Couple Alert
Before I knew what 'shipping was, I 'shipped Misty and Ash. I continue to 'ship Ash and Misty. They are perfect soulmates that just haven't realized it yet.
Brock Is A Hottie
Can someone have a crush on an animated character? Yes they can, and I do on Brock Harrison. I can't exactly explain why, but Brock does it for me.
Mad Business Skills
Pokémon cards were banned from school (in addition to gel pens) because older students were constantly making trades that unfairly took advantage of younger students (read: silly Kindergarteners). You know what this experience taught me? First, that some people are just not strong believers in the Invisible Hand theory of economics, and secondly, people will take advantage of you. Thank you, Pokémon, for teaching me the evils of people's self-interest at such a young age.
If I can snap a level 5 photo of Pikachu flying on balloons then I know I can easily find good selfie lighting at bar when it's 4 a.m. Let's be honest here — Pokémon Snap has prepared me for life.
Practice Makes Perfect
As someone who continues to actively play and replay the different Pokémon games, I can say my favorite part of the Pokémon playing experience is how it doesn't matter how skilled or smart you are — if you continue to practice and build up your Pokémon's hitpoints, eventually you will succeed at the game. This is something I've learned for other aspects of my life — so while I'm not always the best at things, I try really hard, practice a lot and usually end up yielding positive results.
Unless you try to use a normal Pokémon against psychic-type Pokémon. Then you are just asking for trouble.
Twenty Years Of Greatness
Lastly, I love how, for 20 years, Pokémon has been a huge part of my life. I have so many memories playing the games with friends, trading cards in the cafeteria (under the table and on the black market, obvi), and the great storytelling that Nintendo has allowed me to be a part of by playing the game. So cheers to 20 years of Pokémon — I enthusiastically hope for 20 more good years.
In case anyone was wondering, I will be one of the first in line to get Pokémon Moon or Pokémon Sun (I haven't decided which yet — or maybe both? The struggle is real). And don't bother looking for me the next couple of days, I'll be too busy brushing up on my Pokémon Yellow skillz.
Images: OLM Inc.; The Pokémon Company International; Giphy (9)