I was reading through my tiny collection of The Electric Tale of Pikachu single-issues, and as I read through "A Clefairy Tale," I started wondering about something that had darted through my mind years ago: What are the Pokemon ranks and badge/Trainer levels that are talked about in that chapter?
I would scan the thing for you guys, to show you, but, um, my scanner's very tetchy. I'll do the best I can to describe the concept-thing, or whatever the fack it is.
In the beginning, Ash catches a Mankey, afterwards going to a Pokemon Center in an unnamed city. There, at the counter, he asks the woman behind it if "my Trainer Level has gone up at all?". She replies no, that "Mankey and Beedril are both Rank D Pokemon. You can catch them anywhere." As Ash is sitting and enjoying a drink a short time later, he overhears a group of students gushing at a girl named Giselle, who "caught a Rank A Pokemon." It just so happens to be a Clefairy. Ash hypothesizes in a fantasy that by catching a Clefairy, "my level will skyrocket! Right into the League!" On the next page (or the facing one - don't have it in front of me; sorry), there's a little chart that has all 8 Kanto badges, with "Level" added to them. I think it goes like so:
"Boulder Level - 1
Cascade Level - 2
Thunder Level - 3
Marsh Level - 4
Rainbow Level - 5
Soul Level - 6
Volcano Level - 7
Earth Level - 8
(At Earth Level, Trainers can enter the Pokemon League)"
I haven't heard ranks or levels in that configuration in the games, or in other media (anime). Does anyone have any idea what that information actually pans out to meaning? I'd like to use it in a fanfiction, but I don't want to do so unless I actually know what it's supposed to do/represent/how it's accomplished. I've been puzzling over it intermittently for years now, and it still makes no sense to me at all. I have no idea how it would even begin to be applied to the manga setting, let alone a fanfiction.
To those who've also read this manga: Got any ideas? Are there any indications at other points in this series as to what the above means?
Thanks for the help. Theories also welcome.