|Gray text =
Original content (this page; 2000)
(+ related ep. updates, notes)
Blue text =
Additional content (2003-12)
There are no Bad Pokémon...
ikachu, Marill, Skitty, Buneary, and Deerling are among the cutest and sweetest Pokémon, but where does that leave monstrous-looking pocket monsters like Gyarados, Houndoom, Absol, Darkrai, or Zoroark? That's up to their human trainers and others who take the time to understand them. Pokémon stories are essentially human stories with conflicts between good and bad people, not Pokémon. But because Pokémon are trainable, like the animals in our world, a Pokémon's behavior can vary, depending on the person who's doing the training. Just as easily as a Pokémon can become a faithful friend, protector, or battle partner, a Pokémon can also be taught to harm other Pokémon as well as people, and it has nothing to do with a Pokémon's type, species, or appearance. Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (also ignored by PETA2 in their game picks¹...ironically, years later, having ripped off Colosseum's official story mantra "Gotta Save 'em All"² in an attempt to use it against Pokémon trainers, likely unbeknownst to [or more likely ignored by] PETA that its hero is, as always, a Pokémon trainer) are both role-playing stories that center around (you playing as the hero) freeing enslaved Pokémon from an evil organization that use them as vicious, unfeeling fighting machines. And when good people and Pokémon work together, you'll see stories about loyalty, empathy, friendship, trust, cooperation, perseverance, family, and respect for all creatures.
(Page DOES NOT contain any of PETA's graphic images and is safe for all viewers)
n fact, it was said that "Pokémon only do bad things because master (is) bad," quoting Ekans, a stereotypically 'bad' Pokémon, belonging to Jessie of Team Rocket in one of the earliest animé episodes ("Island of the Giant Pokémon"). And despite their often-ill intentions toward others, Jessie and James aren't too different from other trainers in the sense that they love their Pokémon, too (see Related episodes on various pages), including their dear Meowth, who may have chosen Team Rocket as a way of life, but always knows who his real friends are.
| Related episode(s):
"Island of the Giant Pokémon" (Pokémon [first season])
-Ash's Pokémon and Team Rocket's Pokémon learn about each other when separated from their trainers
| Related movie(s):
"Celebi: Voice of the Forest" (Movie 4; Japanese ["Celebi: A Timeless Encounter"] preferred)
-A Team Rocket operative turns stolen Pokémon evil and destructive by capturing them in Dark Balls, including the legendary Celebi, and only the friendship of Ash and a time-displaced boy (Sammy [Yukinari]) can restore Celebi to normal and save its life
"Mastermind of the Mirage Pokémon" (10th Anniversary Special)
-A disgruntled scientist uses data, exploiting the powers of real Pokémon, to create soulless illusionary Pokémon, but his ultimate creation Mewtwo is compromised due to it containing data from Mew, which he dismissed as flawed, as Mew, despite also being a mirage, possessed a soul
"Zoroark: Master of Illusions" (Movie 13)
-Using the identities of legendary Pokémon Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, a powerful and influential man forces a Zoroark to terrorize Crown City, threatening to harm a baby Zorua she raised; meanwhile, Ash and his friends help reunite Zorua and Zoroark, and prove Zoroark is innocent
| Related game(s):
Pokémon Colosseum (Gamecube)
-In the dark Orre region, our hero battles beside artificially-created shadow Pokémon, opening their hearts to life with a devoted trainer
Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (Gamecube)
-The Cipher Syndicate returns to Orre with the capability to mass produce shadow Pokémon, but new technology also gives our hero the chance to rescue and purify them all
he title of this section was adapted from the Lassie episode "No Bad Animals", in which old Mr. Cully explains to Timmy that all animal life is worth protecting, even the often-feared skunk, who Timmy and Lassie later rescued from a trap, buy it from the trapper and set it free. The same universal respect is illustrated on Pokémon, from May's rescue of a helpless Swablu (a tiny bird Pokémon) after a storm to Brock nursing a potentially dangerous Sharpedo (a shark Pokémon) back to health after a Team Rocket attack. For years, animal experts have been trying to end stereotypes that label certain animals as vicious predators that should be destroyed, and to teach us that they need our help just as much as their cuter counterparts. Censor alert! "¡Al rescate, amigos! To the rescue, my friends!" Due to the usual parental paranoia, the aforementioned Go, Diego, Go! came very close to facing a banned episode, as this ultra-adorable 'Pokémon-for-preschoolers' has been targeted for our hero helping out a vilified animal victim³. Just proof that no good deed ever goes unpunished!
hroughout the 1990s, pet- and wildlife-themed stationary (notebooks, folders, etc.) often featured photos of adorable baby animals with saying balloons superimposed over their heads declaring things like "I only look cute and innocent" - in an attempt to translate survival instinct into attitude, likely much to the dismay of idealistic individuals4, and sending mixed messages to everyone else. Ironically, at the same time, no one seemed to know what to make of Pokémon...or Pokémon battles, with one of the earliest complaints by parents and critics (and I've read numerous counters on older AAP sections online) claiming that a Pokémon's looks were just a cover for what they called violence.
| Related episode(s):
"Hour of the Houndour" (Pokémon: The Johto Journeys [third season])
-A pack of Houndour, believed to be vicious, accept help from Ash & friends, who learn they were guarding an injured Houndour
"Sharpedo Attack!" (Pokémon Advanced [sixth season])
-Brock humanely traps and treats an injured Sharpedo, despite it having attacked earlier
"Absol-ute Disaster!" (Pokémon Advanced Battle [eighth season])
-Absol are blamed for local disasters until proven innocent
"Purrloin: Sweet or Sneaky?" (Pokémon Black & White [fourteenth season])
-Meowth and Oshawott are fooled by a cute Purrloin only interested in stealing food, only to learn that Purrloin was lashing out at people and Pokémon, believing it had been abandoned after its trainer was in an accident
"Iris and the Rogue Dragonite" (Pokémon BW Rival Destinies [fifteenth season])
-When a Dragonite allegedly attacks a power plant, causing a blackout, Officer Jenny feels she must remove Dragonite by force until Iris insists she can communicate with the injured and misunderstood Pokémon
| Related movie(s):
"The Rise of Darkrai" (Movie 10)
-When a rift in time and space forces the legendary Pokémon Dialga and Palkia to collide, the feared and misunderstood Darkrai must stop the enraged deities before a town is destroyed
"There are no Pokémon that dislike humans...only humans that dislike Pokémon..."
-Drifblim5 (as interpreted by Dr. Footstep [Pokémon Platinum])
¹PETA2 (PETA's teen-based animal rights offshoot) publishes an annual list of what they consider animal-friendly video games.
²As stated on the Pokémon Colosseum package back "Story Mode: Gotta Save 'em All!"
³Go, Diego, Go! episode "Cool Water for Ana the Anaconda" (2006); Diego relocates a young anaconda after the river she lives in has dried up. Based on its format which is similar to that of the series' earliest episodes, it is believed that "Ana" was delayed, left out of the original 2005 line-up; the episode still airs as of 2012
4Pokédex (Black) entry: PURRLOIN (Devious Pokémon) "They steal from people for fun, but their victims can't help but forgive them. Their deceptively cute act is perfect."
5Other Pokémon who are often feared and disliked by humans, such as Gyarados, have been given this same analysis
|Text and artwork copyright © 2000-2013 by Kimberly (RageOfInnocence)
Pokémon © Satoshi Tajiri, Nintendo/Creatures, Inc./Game Freak, The Pokémon Company International
The beautiful screenshots of Ash, Pikachu, and their friends and Pokémon are from various themes and episodes from Pokémon
(Kanto/Orange Islands/Johto series), Advanced Generation, Diamond & Pearl, and Best Wishes!/Black & White
Dream Valley | Oak Branch Woods | We All Live in a Pokémon World | Kimberly's Attic