5 Ways The Pokémon Series Celebrates and Promotes Christianity.
For many years, Pokémon has become the symbol of the human child. Since its American release in 1996, the country fell into what was called Poké-Mania (we even saw a revival of Poké-Mania in 2016 with the release of Pokémon Go!) but with such a big phenomena comes different reactions. Parents couldn’t stand Pokémon and Pikachu, an 8th grade boy couldn’t bully a 5th grade boy without them pretending to be an official Pokémon trainer, but most importantly, the Christian community gave tons of backlash for many reasons. As I’ve watched Pokémon grow as a community and company over the years, I can’t help to wonder why Christian Mothers wouldn’t let their children play a Pro-Jesus/Christianity game such as Pokémon?? Well, here I give 5 reasons ways we might have missed the Christian references and agenda in the world famous game series.
5. The Evolution controversy.
I think this is the biggest reason why Christian parents refuse to support the Pokémon company. In the game, you “level” your Pokémon to become stronger and when reaching a certain “level” they transform into new pokémon which is referred to the game as “evolution.” To those who are reading that may not follow the Christian faith, Evolution is a sin equivalent to Pre-marital Copulation and Sodomy. We look down on Evolution believers, so it’s no question why Brendens catholic Mother wouldn’t let Brenden get Pokémon when we were children.
What we tend to forget is Pokémon was a Japanese game with Japanese words translating over to English, and some of these translations are infamously bad. The word “Evolution” is one of these words! In the japanese version, the word used to refer to the act of transformation done by a Pokémon is 確認 (Kakunin) which literally means “to complete confirmation.” The Pokémon are actually completing their confirmation, taking on their new forms as their Confirmation forms and using Confirmation names. Though some do this twice, it is common in Japan for Christian Japanese children to have two confirmations. Mistakes happen!
4. Only one Poké-God.
With over 800 Pokémon currently in the game, all of them are different in power, looks, and rarity. A class of Pokémon called “Legendary Pokémon” refer to Pokémon that are top in all three criteria. Many refer to these as God Pokémon but this affiliation would be wrong. If anything they are ressemblent Saints, and their true god is named Arceus. The Poké community refer to the Pokémon Pidgeot as the equivalent to Jesus (Bird Jesus). This is very fitting because Pidgeot is based off of the mythical bird “The Barbaloo” which is said to “have a beautiful crimson mane, glorious talons” and said to be the bird that flew Jesus’ excrement into the sun. Neat easter egg!
3. Political stance.
With politics steaming in 2018, most game companies avoid putting their opinion into their work. But not Pokémon! With the release of Pokémon Go in 2016, Gamefreak made sure to not stray their Christian beliefs into their game! To be clear, this was something I didn’t know at first and was brought up from my Pokémon lover and Christian friend Jonathan Poll! In a conversation about Jesus and Pokémon, Jonathan brought up Pokémon Go and eggs! In the game, you can acquire eggs that hatch into baby Pokémon, and you can hold 10 at a time but can’t delete any. This is the company’s attempt to promote Pro-Life to the rest of the world.
“Pokémon Go” says Jonathan, “subtly puts their beliefs into the game, putting it in just enough so that those who practise Catholicism is aware how friendly the Pokémon game is to Catholics.”
2. Pokémon Go…to Church!
It’s no coincidence that Pokémon Go is taking this list and the world by storm. Being Gamefreaks most updated Pokémon game, the game encourages youth to not only explore, adventure, and make friends, but to go to Mass on Sunday morning/night. How so? A mechanic of the game is to walk around and spin Poké-Stops, that are tethered to real life locations, to get more Poké Balls and other goodies. A majority of these locations are actually churches and cathedrals! Not only that, but Gamefreak has future plans to roll out an update that relays information on Church Poké-Stops with the service hours and speakers! If you spin the Poké-Stop between service hours, players will receive a special item called the Pokéucharist. Feeding this special item to a Pokémon heals all HP and resolves all of their sins for 7 days. When the time is up, just go back to Church and spin it again! Long Live God!
1. Humble Origins.
Many know the tale of Pokémon’s beginnings, but solemn do most know that Satoshi Tajiri, wasn’t born a Catholic. His parents forced him to NOT believe in any God or religion. Even Atheism was out of the question. Growing up, he became fond of collecting bugs and eventually created his own religion around them, though when he was older he realized how similar his bug religion was to Catholicism so he just converted the next day. That week, he was so inspired by Jesus’ teachings that he started to develop the Pokémon game we all know and love! He wanted a game that everyone can enjoy, especially Christian children! Throughout the years, Gamefreak has added more Christian elements to the game, becoming braver with spreading Jesus’ message in each game.
Do you agree with this list? Are there any Christian references we’re missing/didn’t add? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!