Welcome to the Pokemon Cafe! The Pokemon cafe is for those who, like me, know next to nothing about the world of Pokemon that our kids are so excited about. I myself am a mother of an 11-year-old boy who spends a great deal of his day thinking of Pokemon. These days he’s especially crazy about Pokemon Black and White, including the Pokemon card game and also the new Pokemon Black and White Plushies (Pokemon stuffed toys that look like stuffed animals). Since Pokemon Black and White came out, I admit to caving in and buying him a large plush toy and two small plushies. No more!
Today’s topic is training- how it is done and the attitudes of the trainers. Practically speaking, there are the attitudes of trainers in the animated Pokemon storyline and the attitudes of gamers. It is the former I want to focus on; it’s more interesting!
Like any other animal/human relationship, the core of the Pokemon/trainer relationship is based on trust. Beyond that, there may be a great deal of affection in the feelings of a trainer toward his Pokemon, or the trainer may be of a more Spartan type, interested in moving his Pokemon farther and excelling at battle.
If this sounds familiar, it is. Because this is nearly exactly the way humans have dealt with horses over these thousands of years. While cows and sheep graze in the pasture, horses have been a daily part of human life and interaction, just until recently. On the battle side, the last time that horses were used to a significant extent in battle was in World War I. We have all but forgotten the term “Warhorse,” but think about- horses in battle have to be unnaturally courageous and faithful. When knights did battle on their steeds, the master’s enemy became the horse’s enemy as well.
And yet even in the field of battle, which is the essential core of the Pokemon story, trainers commonly develop great affection and love for their horses. Like horses, Pokemon too are intelligent and faithful creatures that seem to have a natural sense of what their trainers want from them.
Unlike horses, Pokemon are born with fighting capabilities and develop new ones as they evolve. Their trainers capitalize on these natural fighting instincts and abilities as much as they can. Horses, aside from male rivalry over females, are not born with such aggressive instincts. But they can be taught them, and they can be taught to be fearless. Pokemon, on their own, would probably not use their defenses much. But with training, in the arena they amaze and excel. Pokemon, as it turns out, are much like gladiators.