Dont worry, I wont bombard you with too much text, I'll try
to make it quick... nevermind.
I just felt like sharing with you how lucky I am to have been able to grown up with Pokemon? You'd be surprised. To make this quicker, I will bullet it for you:
- For one, a surprisingly major player in families is... being Christian. NO WAIT! Do not take this out of context! During the the New Age, and probably up to early 2000s, there was a sort of "scare" for Christians. A lot of new things were being blamed by other Christians to be "evil." Rock probably being a pretty big contender. But you what else? Pokemon was a part of this too. Actually, a lot of you probably knew that. Pokemon was seen as a "bad influence" that "lead kids away from Christ." Reasons included were:
- The name in and of itself. As we are all aware, Pokemon stands for "Pocket Monsters." Obviously, monsters aka demons are no good.
- Pokemon are like demons, they need to be captured and are called upon to do various tasks.
- "Talismans" (presumably Gym Badges) are "required to control" these Pokemon.
- Pokemon Evolve, promoting the theory of evolution. Evolution is often seen by some, or perhaps most, religions as contrasting things being divinely inspired.
- Many Pokemon show mystical powers. Often pointing out the Psychic-type, as such gifts are given to man by the Devil. In addition, Poison, Fighting (refereed to as "breaking bones,") Dragon (symbol for the Devil), and Ghost (demons) got the wrap too. Dark did as well, but when the controversy was fresh, there were no Dark-types.
- Many Pokemon are inspired by Japanese culture, not even based on facts, just based on the fact it originated in Japan (at least, during initial release.) Often to outsiders, its seen as "pegan."
FIRST! Let me get this out of the way, too: I am NOT against either religion. This was the nonsense probably created by the extreme and paranoid, possibly as scapegoats for real problems people wanted to pin on something else (which Pokemon being a popular among children.) I KNOW there are PLENTY of Christian and Muslim Pokemon lovers. These are things others of these groups said...Moving on. Obviously, some of these are pretty outlandish claims simply based on things popular at the time, again like rock music. Now, I have a rebuttal to each.
- For Muslim people out there: Some believed Pokemon really meant "I Am Jewish." They saw Pokemon as a whole to be a "Jewish Conspiracy" in an attempt to convert Muslims over to Judaism. I addition, some Christian Pokemon topics, especially "evolution" topics, commonly popped up as well
- Irony: Possibly because of the above, Judaism seems exempt from the Pokemon discrimination its other fellow popular Monotheistic religions thought. In fact, they used it to teach kids MORE about Judaism. (at least according to my findings.)
- For one, this is not a new thing. Sure "Monster" is typically associated with evil, but the same can be said for a ton of other
- As a child, the creator Satoshi Tajiri, had an idea for Pocket Monsters based off of two of his favorite things: Bug collecting, and the "Gashapon" machines, which were toy capsules shaped not unlike a standard Poke Ball, which held toys. The prototype idea for Pokemon was "CapuMon" which stood for "Capsule Monsters." The reason one of the Pokemon goals is the "catch them all" is related to the bug collecting of Satoshi's life. The Poke Balls were reminents of his love for those little capsule toys. The reason why they're "monsters?" Well, a lot of the creatures at the time of creation were very alien or monster-like and hardly relocatable in the traditional sense. Monster is probably used as a catch-all term for all the various creatures in the series. No other word really fit the term ("creature" does, but as a child, would you play a game called "PokeCrea" or something?)
- Shows an example of not doing the research. First off, "talismans" are not needed to tame Pokemon. Only traded Pokemon, and its explained in game as "earning their respect" which makes sense.
- Another example of not doing the research. Pokemon evolution is NOTHING like real life evolution. In fact, its more akin to natural growth and metamorphosis in just about every Pokemon, not actual evolution. So even if it was teaching real evolution, they'd be doing it wrong. REAL evolution, in a nutshell, works like this: A mutation occurs in an organisms' genes, if the mutation is useful (or effectively neutral), it survives and breeds, spreading the mutation. If it is not (e.g. a mammal being born without lungs), it doesn't survive or breed, and the mutation is not spread. And so on. GENETICS, CHANGE OVER TIME! We did not "mutate" or "transform" from apes. Stop saying that! Believe it or not, I still do not like when people get their facts wrong. Pokemon don't "evolve" like real evolution.
- Can not say too much here. WAIT! I CAN! Yeah, animals in real life do this to each other, and if unlucky, us. Animals in real life scratch, steal, bite, poison, squeeze, paralyze, and do other horrible things to each other. At least in Pokemon, the worst-case scenario is the Pokemon simply passes out from exhaustion with no side-effects. IN ADDITION, Pokemon can choose not to battle and are not really forced to battle, as seen with traded Pokemon, who can freely ignore orders. So say "Pokemon is evil because Pokemon do harmful things to each other" is not a valid reason. As for Psychic, Dark, and Dragon I really can not say too much about. Psychics and magic-users are considered evil in teachings, and Dragons and serpents do represent Satan and devils in Christianity, and Dark-types in a literal sense not creatures of shadows, but literally evil, as "Dark type" is "Evil type" in Japanese. Although this IS right as per belief systems, two things to remember is that Pokemon supposed are not literally what their type implies, as Ghost-types often are not ghosts of the undead (usually.) In a sense, its like some animals IRL. The "Jesus Christ Lizard" has nothing to do with Jesus, only named so because of the "theme" of walking on water, like Jesus. Also, a "devilfish" has nothing to do with Satan. So in a way, Pokemon types are the same, especially since many Dark types can be even by nature benevolent. So type really means nothing in a moral sense.
- As true as this is, there are plenty of Pokemon based off of all other cultures as well. Hell, Volcarona, the Fire-type, six-winged Moth Pokemon? Is CHRISTIAN INSPIRED! Volcarona is almost clearly based off a seraph which are often pictured SIX winged, and with wings OF FIRE! Even more obvious, Grumpig is based off the biblical phrase "pearls before swine" which means dont pass you'r knowledge onto unhearing ears, which Psychic in Pokemon is often associated with intelligence. So to say this would imply in general to not be creative and to never base ANYTHING off of another culture EVER, which by the way, we still do.
Now, with those things in mind, you'd see how lucky I was as a Christian Pokemon player: My parents are smart enough to make their own decisions, and they were smart enough to see how it did not effect me in a negative way. Where my cousins Pokemon cards were thrown out into the garbage right in front of him as he cried, I played with Pokemon cards like it was nothing (I don't play the card game anymore.) Pokemon also affected me positively. It was the first video game I played like crazy, which made me a game-head. The show opened my eyes to the possibilities I can do with cartoons, and thus, drawing. It made me draw! It inspired me, and it even taught me some of my most cherished morals of all! Really! So clearly, Pokemon did not make me amoral, Satan worship, I was not a bad child, I do not think of getting psychic powers, Im not interested in cock/dogfights, nor am I a compulsive collector (I NEVER tried to finish the Pokedex), and it did not convince me in the belief of evolution (it actually pushed me away initially!)
- Simply put, A LOAD OF BULL! Pokemon does not mean "I Am Jewish" in any language. HORRIBLE example of a lack of research. In fact
So such fraudulent claims of Pokemon doing such things to a person or child are lies. If anything, Pokemon teaches kids to love one another of all kinds, and teaches the important bonds in friendship, being kind, respectful, promotes creativity, and for many, its just a fun game! Some of these teachings are even shared AMONG the religious!
I am lucky my parents did not raise in a strict, overly smothering religious household. If so, I might have never become the person who I am today. Imagine...