I’ve had the absolute pleasure of growing up with Pokémon. I’m essentially 6 months older than this franchise going by its release in Japan on February 27th, 1996. Just as many people have grown up in households that contained various passions and cultures, my fascination with Pokémon stemmed from my exposure to video games at a young age. Had I not received a Game Boy Advance one fateful Christmas morning, I would not be writing this today.
I am forever indebted to Pokémon because it has been one of the few constants of my life. As a kid, I changed schools a lot which made it tough to keep and make friends. At times, my love for Pokémon brought me to new friends. At others, it excluded me from friendships. It became one of the first things people knew about me, even though I eventually grew to like other TV shows, sports, or subject areas. The times in which it ostracized me were tough, but I found solace once I discovered websites like Serebii.net and Bulbapedia in 2006.
While my Pokémon fandom started with the Trading Card Game when the first few packs(Base Set, Jungle, and Fossil) launched, it took another step when I started watching the show shortly after. Of the three major mediums of Pokémon being the cards, the anime, and the video games, the games came last chronologically in my life but they were the most impactful. It was the most immersive of the experiences Pokémon could offer. That is where I participated in countless battles, learned about hundreds of Pokémon, and traveled several brilliant regions. These passions resonated in real life with my desire to explore and travel the world and continue to meet and befriend people throughout my life.
Just like everyone in life has their ups and downs, Pokémon certainly did as well. But I will never regret every Pokémon card I collected. Every episode or movie I’ve watched. Every Pokémon I’ve caught in any game. The countless journeys I’ve embarked on. Like the Pokémon so often do and as the end credits song of Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution suggests, I plan to keep evolving. Who knows what that will look like in 10, 25, or 50 years. Maybe I’ll be playing the 15th generation of Pokémon with my kids or grandkids. All I know is that I’m living in the moment and will continue to enjoy the countless moments I’ve dedicated and will dedicate to Pokémon as it has brought me so much joy in life. Whether people I interact with share that passion or not, I plan on using that joy to positively influence the lives of others any way I can.
Follow me on Twitter @IvanOrnelas2 and Instagram on @ivanthewriter95 and let me know what you thought! Happy 25th Anniversary, Pokémon!