Pokémon are creatures that come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some live in oceans, others in caves, old towers, rivers, or tall grass...There are [at least] 150 different species of Pokémon. Within each species are tons of individual Pokémon. Some Pokémon are very common... Other Pokémon...are so rare there's only one of them in the whole world... Pokémon live untamed and untrained in the wild...your mission is to go on a Pokémon journey collecting individuals from each of the 150 species of Pokémon. Then you can teach them how to grow into the best Pokémon they can be. You will train them for battle, trade them with other trainers, and most importantly, become their friend.
–Maria S. Barbo, The Official Pokémon Handbook
Such is the tale of Pokémon™ (Henceforth: Pokémon™=Pokémon the game/story/merchandise, Pokémon=the creatures themselves.), a tale of fantasy and adventure, of lessons learned and loyalties earned. The main characters in the story: Ash Ketchum, a 10 year-old who wants to be the best Pokémon trainer in the world; Pikachu, Ash's first Pokémon and special friend; Misty, a 12-year-old gym leader and water Pokémon expert; Brock, gym leader and rock Pokémon expert; Team Rocket are the villains Jesse, James, and their Pokémon accomplice Meowth.
The drive of the story line, and Ash Ketchum, is the ubiquitous slogan "Gotta catch 'em all!", which readily lends itself to the gluttonous capitalist consumption which Pokémon™ inspires. The creatures themselves are chimeras, hybrids of various organisms or machinery. The subtext of Pokémon™ is one of immersion and consumption, but does not manifest itself in the standard pyramid of power which most structures adopt.
The world of Pokémon™ contains concurrent simplicities and complexities, microcosmic in its rules and narratives. It is this author's intent to outline such multiplicities in order to illustrate the progressive nature of Pokémon™, the...