Anthropomorphic Pokémon

By on 13 November 2006

Now with Pokémon Mystery Dungeon now available in the UK, this brings a major paradigm shift in the way we view Pokémon.

Currently, in the Pokémon games, you play the part of a trainer, capturing the creatures we call Pokémon, to battle. They are just creatures, like pets, that you keep with you. They don’t act on their own without action from their human trainers.

In the anime, there is a slight difference. In an effort to enable us to communicate with Pokémon in “Poké-speak”, as it were, we have Meowth, who possesses some human characteristics, such as the ability to talk and stand upright (see the episode Go West, Young Meowth/Nyaasu No AIUEO for more details), but more importantly, the ability to act independently of Jessie and James. That is, Meowth possesses a high degree of anthropomorphism (a display of human characteristics). In the TV series, he is more or less the only one, though in the episode Pikachu’s Goodbye, we see the Annoying Yellow Rat exhibiting some human traits, compared to the wild ones.

Further, in the movies, the main Pokémon featured in the movie usually also possesses varying degrees of human characteristics. Notably, Celebi and Jirachi (and Mew!) seem to fall largely outside of this remit:
Movie 1: Mewtwo
Movie 2: Lugia
Movie 3: Entei
Movie 5: Latias and Latios (though they don’t talk)
Movie 7: Deoxys (and to a lesser extent Rayquaza)
Movie 8: Rukario

Interestingly, with the exception of Rukario (and the ubiquitous Meowth), all of the other anthropomorphic Pokémon are legendary.

However, this is all about to change. Mystery Dungeon has the main protagonists being Pokémon, acting on their own, with no trainer, in their own human-free Poké-land.

My copy is on order and should be here by the end of the week. Guess what I’ll be spending my weekend doing…

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