The World Is One Big Pokéball

I’ve never been a big fan of Pokémon, but I like it all right, and I did play Pokémon Yellow about ten years ago. I remember being somewhat surprised to see Lieutenant Surge being referred to as “the Lightning American” and a reference to “Russian no-man’s land,” because I didn’t think the games were supposed to take place on our own world. Apparently it’s actually set on some sort of alternate Earth, in which some but not all places are the same. This page provides a good overview of the correlations between real-life places and ones in the games and related materials.

The main regions in the first few games are based on parts of Japan, with Kanto even sharing the same name, but they’re apparently larger in the Pokémon world.

Later ones bring in lands inspired by New York and France. I understand that the anime placed the world’s version of Hollywood in Kanto, although the English dub changed this to California. Really, I think the creators and translators were somewhat careless with this, throwing in references to real-world places when it suited them. I guess it can be effective at times. When the scientist at the Silph Company refers to “Russian no-man’s land,” we get a mental picture that we might not get if he instead mentioned some made-up remote place. Similarly, there’s a Pokémon description that mentions Mount Everest, although in that case I don’t see why it couldn’t have just said “the world’s tallest mountain” without being specific. There are also attempts to tie in the Pokémon with real-world mythology. So I can understand why some of these references are present, but I do wonder if it takes away from the world-building somewhat, like how I complained about some modern Oz books making too many contemporary references. Yeah, I know it’s meant for kids, but I’m sure some kids notice these things. It’s sort of like when Dalton from Chrono Trigger mentioned Houston, although that could perhaps be explained by the fact that he’s a bit touched in the head.

This entry was posted in Cartoons, Maps, Pokémon, Television, Video Games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The World Is One Big Pokéball

  1. Pingback: Hello World!The Legend Team | The Legend Team

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