Arts & Entertainment, Games

Pokémon dreams

I remember waking up on Mondays at 7:00 a.m. when I was younger just to watch my recording of a new “Pokémon” episode from the Saturday before. I’d get through half of the episode before my dad would enter the house after a Rotary Club meeting at a local restaurant. He’d bring a tin of bacon and melon from the buffet, and I’d eat it while I watched the rest of the episode before he took me to K.E.E.P., a morning program that would later take me to my elementary school.

It was a years-long ritual where I watched through many seasons of “Pokémon.” At this point, I’ve watched every episode of “Pokémon” through the “Pokémon: Black & White” season.

person holding a poke ball
Person holding a Poké Ball. Though it is hard to pretend, as an adult, that Pokémon could be real, thinking about the game can bring back positive childhood memories. COURTESY OF VINCENT M.A. JANSSEN VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Through it all, I desperately wanted Pokémon to exist. I’d get the training cards and just stare at them. On my Nintendo DS Lite, I’d play the couple of Pokémon games I owned over and over — beating gyms, capturing Pokémon and immersing myself in the wondrous virtual world.

It was a fantasy, a dream that I could have a little buddy and go around evolving every Pokémon I had.

To this day, my childhood dreams and obsessions with the show still live in my mind. I can name almost all of the Pokémon and their species type, evolutions and weaknesses through the Unova region of “Pokémon: Black & White.”

The nerd in me can even identify them through their silhouettes on “Pokémon GO” for my sibling and friends. I was also that person who named all the Pokémon in “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” before they were mentioned by name — which my friend didn’t find as fun as I did.

Pokémon will be stuck in my mind until I die. I’m sure of it. I don’t know if that’s sad, weird or funny — or some bad combination of the three — especially since I can remember Pokémon from more than nine years ago but not information from my class yesterday or even what I ate for dinner.

I’m just going to accept the inevitable and continue planning a farm filled with my favorite Pokémon, as I have since childhood.

To start, the farm will have at least six Swinubs. These little guys are the cutest Ice/Ground Pokémon. Swinub is known as a Pig Pokémon, but I see it as a mix between a pig and a large hedgehog, with its striped markings and very circular dollop of a body. It’s amazingly cute and can eventually evolve into the huge Mamoswine, the mammoth Pokémon.

Next, I’d want all the Dragon-type Pokémon. All of them, from Dratini to Reshiram. They are objectively amazing. You get the flying, with most of them, along with having actual dragons on your team. It’s straight out of a fantasy bestiary for nerds and wishful thinkers. Interacting with dragons would be chapter one — at least in my copy.

Then, I’d need to go back to the basics and have all of the starter Pokémon from Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle from the first season to Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott from the 14th season. I’d need at least three of each to evolve them.

Finally, I’d sprinkle in some must-haves such as Lucario, Lapras, Snorlax, Eevee, Togepi, Growlithe, Shinx and a handful of Legendary Pokémon and finalize the first step of the farm. There’s more Pokémon to come once I think harder, but I’ll already need a few hundred acres of land to keep all the Pokémon happy.

Overall, it’s a Japanese animation pipe dream. I desperately wish Pokémon was real, but sadly we live in the real world that doesn’t have fantastical creatures walking around in the grass and waiting to be picked up into a little Poké Ball.

I wish I could go back to a time when I could immerse myself in the Pokémon world and simply enjoy it without reality clouding my imagination. Despite my extensive dream of a farm of fictional Pokémon, I can’t get back to the pure sense of imagination and wonder I had as a child while watching Ash Ketchum and his friends.

It’s not the same, but I can still dream.

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