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Is That A Pikachu In Your Pocket...
By His Lordship Chaos
I'll state now that I'm seriously hoping it is a Pokemon in your pocket. And the first otaku out there to make some sort of "Wanna see my Diglett/Pokeballs?" crack gets stomped on by the run amok Boomer o' the rant.
Well, since Pokemon: The First Movie (which naturally if not chillingly implies that there are sequels lurking out there) is coming out this Wednesday, one would think I'd do another rant in tribute to those adorable Beanie Battle Babies...but since I've signed a non-disclosure agreement with the City of Tokyo over that "Nagamon" incident (which, by the way, never happened! I swear it was just your minds playing tricks on my rant!), I'm not going to say anything about the Pokemon universe.
Jigglychest: [Gainax bounce!] "WOH HO HOH HOH OHO HO HO HOH!!!!"
Hapless Bystanders: o.O "KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!"
--;; And so much for that idea.
Yes, today's ranting shall take an in-depth post-mortem look at the wide world o' cute, small and furry creatures whose sole existence in life is to kick the living stuffing out of each other. Not that I'm really objecting to that. I can do without the uber-kawaii factor here, but the Y chromosome in me really wants to see some gratuitous thrashing.
Today we see a near unparalleled event on North American television in that we have not one, but THREE Animes on the air in primetime for kids. And sadly enough for us older (yet not quite as mature as we'd like to claim) otaku out there, these shows in question are Pokemon, Digimon and the new Monster Rancher.
I must add on a slight tangent here that I have some newfound respect for Saban with Monster Rancher--though I stress *some* respect, since the Power Rangers just refuse to die vicious and horrible deaths that sees their body parts thrown across the screen like in a Shonen Anime. Anyhoo, with Monster Rancher they've actually kept two visibly Japanese names of the characters. There's the hero, Genki (which means health or energy) and Mochi (named after a riceball, which pretty much seems to sum up this guy's IQ).
But I'm ranting!
These Pocket Monster breeds, and their subsequent mimics, are very much like Furbies. They're cute, mostly furry, and before you know what hit you, they've infested every part of your life whether you like it or not.
Granted I'd like to see a Furby get torn apart by the psychic blasts of the evil MewTwo, but that's beside the point right now. Actually, it's beside the point and a little to the left. Right near my credenza if we want to be exact.
Now while the Pokemon craze has come to an end in Japan--and there was much rejoicing:
--this hemisphere has yet to see that happening. So how do we cope with
this infestation? We otaku have braved scarier things: Tamagotchi, DIVX, Saban Moon and the Fushigi Yugi dubs just to name a few. So something as small and lovingly squashable as a Pokemon creature should not inspire us to become paranoid fruitcakes. It's all a matter of putting a positive spin on things.
Much akin to the "101 Things To Do With A Dead Totoro" list out there on the Net--my favorite entry being making fuzzy slippers out of Studio Ghibli's said deceased, monster cat--you can indulge yourself in redefining the Pokemon premise.
Incidentally: if a Pokemon was walking through the forest, and got run over by the Nekobus, would anyone care?
Anyhoo, to ensure that Nene didn't go Charmander-happy, the other Knight Sabres allowed Genom to create the Boomermon. Now what could be more huggable than a cute little Squirtle creature that suddenly expands to a massively robotic, killer endoskeleton?
To make sure Devil Hunter Yohko stopped chasing around boys, her grandmother created the Youmamon, a cute yet demonic puppy dog-thingy that tries to open a portal to the devil realm every other day. Naturally who has time to hunt for potential boyfriends when you're new pet is drinking out from the toilet and then mutating into some bug-eyed, multi- horned freak bent on wiping out the human race? Not to mention disciplining your Youmamon would double nicely as Devil Hunter training.
And how about NERV's new idea to stop the Angel invasion: EVAmon!!
Instead of armour-clad, demonic-looking creatures (which really are in need of Energizer batteries since their extension cords keep on getting severed during battle), you get a bunch of cute furry li'l critters that even Rei Ayanami will smile at. Of course, if the guys at Gainax who wrote the End of Eva were playing with these things instead of paying attention to the coherence of the movies, that really explains a lot.
So as I've demonstrated, this Pokemon obsession is not really something we should be worried about...unless we have kids. In that case, the world takes a more interesting if not shadowy "melee at the mall" turn. Yes, crank out your gold cards and sell your firstborn child to Bandai! How fitting it would be to see the final Christmas craze of the millennium belong to Anime. I can just see the merchandizing ploys right now:
Tickle Me Pikachu. They can also double as portable generators to power up your toaster! Although we might want to slap a warning on the boxes since these guys put out an electrical discharge equivalent to a high-voltage generator.
Children can bathe and play in the tubs with Rubber Psyduckies! Togepi inflatable water wings! Sing Along With Jigglypuff story tapes for insomniacs! See the all-new Jurassic Pokemon movie, featuring the Bulbasaurus Rex!
Capcom's got a secret new game in development for the Christmas season too: SD Biohazard, soon to be released here in North America as Resident Evilmon. Yes, now you get the chance to load your shotgun, dress up as a piece of tofu, and start wasting all those cute li'l Zombiemon. You'll see undead versions of Mr. Mimes, Charmanders, Meowths and whatever else you've wanted to destroy by ripping out their vital organs in alphabetical order.
So when all is said and done about the Pokemon invasion in television, now jumping onto the big screen, I just have one thing to say in conclusion:
Pikachu: ^-^ "Pika...Pikachu!"
[Cue the Deathscythe Hell Custom Gundam!]
^-^ Tee hee! Did I forget to mention that the Cartoon Network is supposed to be bringing Gundam Wing onto the airwaves in the near future? Hey, could we get a putty knife over here to scrape this Pokemon off my rant?