Childhood Pokemon Addictions? Nastalgic…

After seeing reading about live pikachus and pikachu’s voice actors that Zen posted last week Along time ago… and my baby sister trying to eat my cute voice activated Togepi toy I decided to make a post about my child hood addiction, and see how pokemon influenced the rest of the world.

Pokemon1-1

What was your first encounter with pokemon? Long before the games came out in the US, long before the anime started airing, long before a kid’s life was incomplete without Pikachu plushy and shiny ultra rare Charizard Pokemon card; the first time I saw anything about pokemon was in school of all places. Many of you may have heard about the pokemon seizure incident in which 685 children were admitted into hospitals for having light sensitive seizures as a result of a scene with Porygon and flashing red lights. This pokemon episode was banned world wide. In school every month we got these “Kids news” booklets to help us learn to read, and in 1997 when this happened it was in our kids news. When I actually started watching pokemon in 1998 I didn’t make the connection though, I have the memory of less than 24 hours, there’s no way I would have remembered. It wasn’t until I was 16 and going through all my childhood projects and old homeworks that I found the article and looked at the date, and remembered my teacher trying to scare the crap out of us that we’ll all get seizures if we watch too much cartoons and don’t do enough homework. (that last part may or may not be made upXD).

Pokemon1-2
The scene that caused seizure…

In 2008 though Pokemon finally aired in America though. And interestingly enough I saw it before it ever got on main stream television. I first saw pokemon on a local TV station at 5AM in morning…. who they thought was watching pokemon that early was beyond me… but me and my brother watched it. The first episode we ever saw was the episode on the “Titanic” where Jame’s Magicarp transforms into garydose… and me and my brother were addicted from then on. We harassed my grandma to tape every single episode for a year. I started keeping a “Pokemon” book (Which I coincidentally lost or I would have uploaded the embarassing pictures). In this book I wrote all the lyrics to the pokemon theme song so me and my brother could sing along every time. I drew pictures of all my favorite pokemon. And I even wrote pokemon fanfiction (Oh god… something I wish I would have forgotXD). And I used to show this book off in school; Oh yeah! I was definitely the cool kid.

The pokemon was pretty cool then too… because how much anime did you really have on TV? We had Dragon ball Z…. but really that was the only other one you could really rely on always being there…. I watched that from when I was like 4-13 pretty much every day. But The pokemon anime was special. Unlike big muscle bound half naked men yelling at each other for episode after episode pokemon had a cute factor. It also had Misty who was my role model for the longest time. There was episodes that made me cry… like When ash let butterfree go free D= And there was team rocket… who teach you that no matter how much you fail at life you should never give up XD They’re the best role models in the entire show in my oppinion. And then there was James who wasn’t afraid to break cultural boundaries and dress like a girl every few episodes. Story wise it was pretty episodic which I didn’t like… and compared to other anime at the time Like Digimon… its story was inferior… But… Its Pokemon… nothing will ever be as big as that ever again.

Team Rocket James
Lol… James… This episode was banned in the US btwxD

The anime was airing during the summer, but fall Pokemon Red and blue were released in North America. The first time I played was my older brother’s Pokemon Red and my dads house (we didn’t live together). The first pokemon I ever got was a charmander. I loved my Charmander; infact I loved it so much I refused to catch any other pokemonXD I felt like it would be cheating on her or something. After about 12 hours of playing straight… I don’t even think I ate… I had a charizard to beat the crap out of Misty who I must say… is very hard to beat with just a fire pokemon. Unfortunately my older brother refused to let save my file over his… and the batteries were running dead… so by the time I got to the Darkness Cave the game died and my poor Charizard was lost forever D= I cried….

Pokemon Vaporion
Vaporeon is my favorite=3

Of course that Christmas my mommy bought me and my brother game boy colors and pokemon red and blue… and we just lived, breathed and ate pokemon for the rest of the year. If we were awake we were doing something related to pokemon. The few times my mom yelled at us to stop being couch potatoes and play outside we were pretending to be pokemon masters and capture the birds with rocks.

Pokemon Mew catch
Mew was 2nd fav… Bought Game shark just to get her since I never did figure out how to catchXD

Pokemon was even my first introduction to manga… although I didn’t know it was called manga at the time at all. We were in a local book store and I saw a Pokemon book… and I got down on the ground and begged my mommy to buy it. I read this one volume about 300 times. Me, my brother, and my cousin memorized all the dialogue in it and actually acted it out in a play for our grandparents… Thank god we didn’t have a video camera back then.

Pokemon manga
The one Volume I haveXD

The next addition to the addiction was the pokemon card game… I had so many pokemon cards its ridiculous. Though I lost and traded alot of them over the years. They now are in a big red book at the bottom of my closet. But me and my brother would play the card game pretty much every single day (and of course I’d always loose because I have no luck.) For those of you who never played the game is just like Magic: the gathering, except with less strategy. But really… most kids didn’t play the game; we just collected the cards so we could look at our favorite pokemon all day. God forbid you actually bent one… of course there was though uber collectors that would have special laminated protectors for every individual card to guarantee they would last forever. Since I couldn’t find my pokemon book I did take pictures of my favorite cards^.^”

Pokemon cards one
Most of my favorite ones are japanese haha…

Because my family is poor we never actually bought our cards from the store though… We got them at flee markets… And some of them were actually Japanese cardsO.o It makes me wonder if pokemon was such a valuable thing that they were being traded on the black market or something haha. We have a few fake ones as well… but we couldn’t tell the difference when we were little.

Pokemon Card 2
My baby sister’s hand trying to steal my rare mew cardDx

Nintendo in an effort to extort even more money from kids had tons of spin off games of the pokemon franchise you could buy. Pokemon snap was probably the best spin off I remember playing. It had a bunch of stages where you were on a track, and there was pokemon everywhere you could take pictures of. From your cart on a track you could throw things at the pokemon (which always seemed a bit abusive but so much funXD), and they would change facial features and stuff. Some pokemon would only come out if you did certain things. You'd eventually give all your pictures to professor oak and he would give you grades on your performance.

On the other side of the spectrum was the worst pokemon game… Hey You! Pikachu. While it very origenally used a microphone system that let you actually talk to pikachu it was very unresponsiveXD You were supposed to give Pikachu commands to complete each stage… but I found that Pikachu is an idiot that would do what ever he wants no matter what you yelled at him. There really was no objective to the game other than to have fun with pikachu… so it got old really fast and made you regret that extra money you had to spend because it required a microphone.

Another game that made you buy an add on was the pokemon standium for the N64. You had to have a plugin for your controller so it could read your game boy pokemon games. The game itself was pretty cool though. You could see and play all your pokemon in 3-d. You could fight the elite four with as well. The fighting remained the same… but the Minigames was where it was at… (Bluesnow is a sucker for addictive minigames) If you did not have the game they let you make your own teams of pretty much any pokemon you wanted.While probably not a very popular game there was a pokemon Card tournament game for the game boy color. It was ok… but If you’ve played games like “Yugioh” you’d have alot more fun.

Another pokemon game I really loved for the N64 was Pokemon Puzzle tournament. It was an exact replica of Tetris attack, a yoshi themed tetris game that had been released on the super nintedo a few years earlier. For those of you who have played neither I can tell you that this is probably the most addictive Tetris game you will ever play… period. To make the pokemon version even cooler, It had the origenal voices of all the anime characters, It played music from the frst pokemon movie (I had the ost anyways so not that it matteredXD)~ And you could choose from so many characters and pokemon to play it was amazing. I almost lost my mind trying to beat the main mode in the hardest level though… You had to beet Gary twice… and then battle Mewtwo… but If you lost against Gary twice… you got a game over… and no matter what… if you lost again Mewtwo once you had to start over at the first Gary battle again. You game over counter only goes to 99… It got that far after only maybe 1/10 of my tries… so I have no idea how long it took me to beat.

Talking about the pokemon movies… when the first one came to theaters in the US it was like christmas in July. There was so much pokemon merchaindise everywhere to buy after that. I got a special Mew pokemon card for seeing the movie. I collected every single Burger king toy. (there was tons). I got a Pikachu Neo pet, which gained points for shaking it around for some reason… and if you forgot to feed it~ it would try and shock you. As I already said I got the pokeom movie ost that I listened to till it was just destroyed. Every toy store was full of pokemon stuffed animals and pokemon figurines. I even got a version of Pokemon monopoly.

Pokemon Monopoly

Pokemon yellow came out… and despite being pretty much the same game as Red/Blue other than the fact that you started with a pikachu, I bought it… A friend of a friend of a friend sent us a Japanese version of Pokemon gold/silver before it was ever released in america as well=D I was under the impression that systems were zone protected… but the japanese characters came up on mine. I couldn’t read japanese at the time… so I just had to remember items based on testing them all and giving them a permanent place in the bag. I have to say the game was very hard to beat when you can’t read ANYTHING XD Of course I bought gold and silver when it came out in English as well… unfortunatly I got a glitch trying to trade my japanese pokemon to my english version… and they got lost in the wire between two game boys haha.I got this magazine called “Nintendo Power,” and they where always showing pictures of the Pikachu beetle… and I decided that I would own that car when I grew up. I also bought a game shark for the Game boy for the sole purpose of getting mew… which ended up being the only pokemon I ever named after myself. After the pokemon movie I loved mew so much=3

Pikachu beatle
Want TT____TT

After all that time spent worshiping pokemon it makes me wonder when it stopped being “cool” for me. I’m not really sure… But I think it had something to do with it being so mainstream. Its kind of like how Naruto was cool to watch till you see some kid dressed up as naruto at your doorstep on halloween screaming “GIVE ME CANDY BELIEVE IT!!!!” I don’t like how they made so many pokemon. The original 151 are all I needed to be happy with. The anime just repeated the same things over and over… and they kicked Misty from the series D=

My feelings about pokemon are kind of like this comic from VG Cats…

I hear that the games that they still come out with are pretty awesome… but I really have no desire to play them. Even today I still “like” pokemon, but it will kind of remain a golden memory rather than something I’ll continue to obsess about. It does make me laugh that even my 4 year old little brother is starting to become interested in pokemon though, apparently thats all the boys talk about in his preschoolXD Its kind of like a weird connection… Maybe I’ll let him play my old games one day and see if he appreciates it…

Wow… writing this post made me feel oldXD

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