How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?
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Thread: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

  1. #1
    Future Frontier Brain
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    Default How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    It's this question, plus logic, that made me leave from the site & Pokemon in general for atleast 2 years. I never hated Pokemon, I still like it even to this day. But this bit of realism just makes it so easy to like other Mon series like Digimon because of their established rules & logic. I really wanna get back into Pokemon again but so many things get in the way.

    Pokemon live on the same planet as humans, have crazy powerful attacks, some have nothing but animal instincts while some have super-computer-level intelligence, come in incredible sizes, yet they're not the dominant species of the world, humans are. The bond between Pokemon & human is like pet & human in the real world, but why? The most a human can do for a Pokemon is give it orders, bring it to a Pokemon Center if it gets hurt or heal it themselves (if the Pokemon lets them) & keep them stored in a Pokeball which keeps them in a space that doesn't let the Pokemon communicate w/ the human unless it forces itself out. Communication itself is so lacking that a Pokemon's speech is more often than not incomprehensible & the only reason the anime & games make humans understand it a bit is because they have to move the story along.

    Digimon live in a separate world (the Digital World, made entirely of data as they are that can only be accessed to a few humans obtaining special bits of technology), are 70% of the time alive due to humans creating the network in the first place (usually w/ out humans knowing of it), have crazy powerful attacks, some have nothing but animal instincts while some have super-computer-level intelligence, come in incredible sizes, are able to speak human languages, & are the dominant species of their own world. The bond between Digimon & human is like that of friends or family. The human & Digimon need each other for support against whatever evil is in the world, human or digital. Human emotions affect Digimon greatly (for better or worse) & can strengthen their specific Partner Digimon to incredible levels while the Digimon fights for the sake of its human friend. They can have long conversations & have a better understanding of each other as people & as equals since their own separate abilities are needed by the other; humans can't fight Digimon alone so they need a Digimon Partner, while not all Digimon are able to live long enough to reach their full potential & highest levels so they gain strength through the humans emotions. They're also able to keep them stored in devices (Digivices) for keeping them safe & are able to communicate w/ them through the device. And once whatever drama they've all been through the humans & Digimon (85% of the time) have to go back to their own world since living together is ATM impossible & too complicated (the few times it wasn't were completely forced & wrong due to bad writing).

    This isn't some rant on how Digimon is better than Pokemon, IMO. This is meant to discuss how humans & Pokemon are able to live in a world together & have all these crazy events go on like we've seen in the anime & games while making sense. Digimon has it's fair share of unrealistic things as well, but it pales in comparison to the amount Pokemon has shown us. I just used Digimon as an example of a Mon series done right & done w/ the intention of making it realistic & fantasy like & fun at the same time. Pokemon, I think, doesn't offer that in any sort of way due to it's issues that I've stated already.

    I wanna watch the anime like I used to, I wanna play the games like I used to, I wanna write fanfics, I wanna do all that stuff w/ Pokemon but I can't since the universe they've made & the way they've established it makes little to no sense at all & the majority of it comes from the question in the thread title: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    I feel as though if this question's answered I can see if I can re-enter the world of Pokemon & see it like never before. But this is a difficult question to answer & I really need help. How are humans able to live long enough to get to where they are today in the Pokemon World? How did they manage to survive long enough to make & use technology that gives them an advantage over Pokemon in terms of being the dominant species? How do the Pokemon of today not just disregard such technological advances as we've seen them do before w/ Pokeballs? How do their attacks & abilities not allow them to overcome such technology?

    I said it before & I'll say it again; I really wanna get back into Pokemon again but so many things get in the way. Things that should be no-brainers but Pokemon fans everywhere have pretty much no idea of how they came to be. Please, please, help me.

  2. #2
    Registered User reynard's Avatar
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    Default Re: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    That's a good question, one of many about the underlying structure of the Pokemon universe. Honestly, I never gave it much thought before this. But I've been going over it, so let me take a shot at answering.

    I think that Pokemon are like us, in that most of us don't really go looking for trouble for no reason. If a Pokemon saw an ancient human, the would be curious, or cautious, naturally, but wouldn't attack unless there was a perceived threat. Of course, there is probably an exception in Gyarados, but Gyarados as a whole have...issues, basically because they get laughed at by Pokemon and humans alike as Magikarp.

    Humans for their part would be fearful at first, but most might run rather than fight. And one thing that would make a large difference between the early interactions of humans and Pokemon vs humans and real animals is that Pokemon are sentient. As you said, they understand our language, even if we can't understand theirs. They think on the same level as us. So if a Pokemon had a conflict with a human, they is a greater chance that a human might be able to reason with the Pokemon. That wouldn't work all the time, but you see what I mean?

    Pokemon and humans clearly have a strong bond, which is probably why the society in Pokemon seems closer to nature. And if Pokemon and humans worked together, it was out of friendship and survival, because there are still times that Pokemon need help from people, even with their various powers. In turn, Pokemon that were befriended could have helped humans adapt and grow. And in the anime, you had civilizations like Poke-mopolis that worshiped Pokemon, so they would have treated them with respect.

    As for Poke balls, I am sure trainers let their Pokemon out more frequently than is displayed in the games or anime. I am sure the league recommends that sort of thing for relaxation, exercise, and, you know, eating and drinking, which they would still need to do. And I would also think that perhaps Pokemon can hear through the ball. Muk's smell came through Ash's Poke ball, so it's not totally air tight.

    And despite how it may limit communication, Poke balls have their practical purposes, as you probably know. The ability to keep a Pokemon in there allows for both Pokemon and human to travel quicker and to area that would normally be inaccessible. For example, a fish-Pokemon like Goldeen wouldn't be able to travel to or through a dry mountainous area with her trainer. Yeah, Pokeballs can be abused and used as prisons, but I'd say the practical applications were more responsible for their creation.

    Pokemon might obey their trainers because it's a social norm. Since Pokemon are so intelligent, they have their own social and cultural values too. Like in the episode where Ash caught a Chikorita, the Chikorita in the area were known for being very prideful and tough as nails. Maybe it's like an honor thing, that if they lose to a trainer they are expected to be honor bound to obey them out of respect or something. Of course that is not the case with all Pokemon, since if I remember right, Ash's Primeape attacked him when it first came out of its ball.

    So, in general, humans and Pokemon could have established a trusting relationship (for the most part) in the early days, which helped humans grow as a civilization. This is the old culture of Poke-Earth. Someone once talking about Japanese culture summarized it as saying that there are two sides. On the one hand, there's years of long standing ancient tradition, and on the other there is modern western influence. That sort of thing seems to have carried over in Pokemon. There's ancient traditional culture, and elements of modern society. The ancient culture is the one that began with trying to respect Pokemon. Modern technological advances caused a cultural change. With powerful enough tech, humans could equal the playing field to a degree, so you see perhaps a bit less respect among some trainers. But organizations like the league try to encourage attitudes of trust, respect, and care among humans and Pokemon.

    Does that help at all? I was trying to make it as coherent as possible, but I'm not totally sure I succeeded.

  3. #3
    ポケモン Tsutarja's Avatar
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    Default Re: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    All the things you have listed work for Pokémon too. Humans and Pokémon work together like humans and Digimon. Humans and Pokémon can develop strong bonds where the fact that their strong bond would lead to evolution makes way more sense than emotions somehow causing a Digimon to evolve. Just like it's a case in Digimon, humans need Pokémon partners, they travel and live together, get closer and share their experiences together. Why would Pokémon attack humans when they, as a peaceful species, can see that humans (well most of them) mean no harm?

    They co-exist together and the trust they have and the bond they share is the core of Pokémon; it's something magical, their friendship and partnership is what this franchise is all about; adventure, fun, friendship.

  4. #4
    Future Frontier Brain
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    Default Re: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    @Reynard @Tsutarja I think you guys make great sense. Thanks for the input, helped out alot.

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    Default Re: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    I always imagined that with ancient pokemon humans would either run from them or try and hunt them like people did with Wooly Mammoths, Lions and other ferocious creatures that exist in our world. Humans would stay away from them until they found a means of dealing with them without dying. As for the tamer pokemon they aren't much different than other animals. I would be no more scared of miltank than I would a cow. Both could easily kill me if they wanted to but they both seem pretty docile as well unless provoked. Allowing a form of co-existence like ancient humans had while learning animal husbandry in the ancient days.

    As for commands and pokeballs, from what I remember pokeballs were mostly used while traveling and when Ash would visit places the pokemon would be out and running around the house like his Mother's Mr Mime. I don't see that much different than my dog. He understands commands, pokemon understand key words, attacks, food stuff like that. However with my cat I get more along the lines of the "You don't have enough badges to train me" when he completly ignores me talking to him until he decides he wants to be petted and then is in my face purring. But when we need to go somewhere like the vet I shove my cat in his cat carrier. Kinda like a pokeball but without the laser effect.

    Trainers at the zoo and sea world deal with "wild" animals which they can train to do tricks but are still wild and can kill you. Pokemon just gets rid of the wild aspect and simplifies the whole process of domesticating and training animals. You can catch a feral cat and with time and the proper tricks you can get them to become docileish. It is a lot more difficult than in pokemon where you can just chuck a friendship ball at it.

    I went to vegas a few years ago and I believe it was the MGM has a lion/tiger exhibit and the trainer was in there playing with the mother and her kittens. They acted like my house cat, except when they swipe at you or bite you like a house cat they will do a lot more damage because they are a lot bigger. I'm sure I have seen a machop hug and comically injure a character in the anime before.

    This is just how I always thought of things in the pokemon verse. You should check out some of the more mature fanfiction where they make the pokemon more realistic that if you go out in the grass alone you can be eaten by an Arbok... (I loved that one) Go onto a trail where I live and you got to watch for rattlesnakes and mountain lions.

    But then you might line up more with me, I loved the digimon anime but couldn't really like the pokemon anime. Now I look for darker more realistic pokemon fics where the pokemon can you know, kill you, which I think is much more realistic. But instead of having elixers for humans you just black out and wake up in a pokemon center. Plus if you think about it, in the games if you leave the pokemon alone they leave you alone. Like real animals, don't hassle them and unless they are hungry or defending territory you don't get bothered much.

  6. #6
    Registered User reynard's Avatar
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    Default Re: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    @Plush: Actually, Pokemon are far more intelligent than regular animals, and don't just understand key words. I know the anime was rather inconsistent at first, but I am of the opinion that they can fully understand us. For example, in Ash's battle with Gary in...Johto I believe, he had his Heracross against Gary's Blastoise. Blastoise fired it's Hydro Pump, and Ash told Heracross to "protect itself behind those rocks", which it did.

    That's far too complex a command for Heracross to be as smart as the regular animal. An animal only hears us as gibberish, but we train them to associate certain patterns of gibberish with specific actions, in exchange for reward. "Shield yourself behind those rocks" is far too complicated for that kind of learning, so it must be able to fully comprehend what he was saying.
    Last edited by reynard; 19th May 2013 at 10:13 AM.

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    Default Re: How are humans the dominant species in the Pokemon World?

    In my eyes the games over write the anime in what is cannon and since a pokemon can't learn more that four moves I don't think they would understand human language too much. But I may just be biased in that because not only did the anime come second I also don't care for it because the characters are incredibly irratating.

    Still apes can learn sign language and just because a pokemon is more obediant doesn't mean they are more intelligent. I found my cat across the street in a neighbors yard one day and said "Get back in our yard!" and he came trotting back across the street and walked through the gate and sat in the grass in our yard. *shrugs* That was a pretty complicated sentence that I had never told him before but he still followed.

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