Anti-Pokémon began in around 1999-2000, during what many consider the Pokémon fad. Some people said the whole thing was stupid or childish. Anti-Pokémon sites sprung up all over the Internet, just as fast as ordinary Pokémon fan sites. It was very annoying to deal with for those who liked Pokémon. Luckily, many of these anti-Pokémon people dumped their sites and left as the fad started to die out in early 2001.
As many of us know, Pokémon fans started to become more rare. It was no longer mostly children in elementary school. Many of those who still liked it were in junior high school, where many believed that they were "too cool" for Pokémon. The anti-Pokémon people stopped caring. The populace apparently moved on to other fads in their eyes.
Now, it is 2008. If you search the Internet for "pokemon", no longer will you find many anti-Pokémon sites in the first few pages. Although the sites do still exist, many have not been bothered with in the past eight years. However, the anti-Pokémon individuals still express their hatred, sometimes being very annoying on popular forums or posting rather graphic images.
You're probably asking "But what is this Anti-Anti-Pokémon thing?" Good question! The phrase Anti-Anti-Pokémon refers to the people who are against the hatred of Pokémon, whether it be the video games, the animé, or the creatures. It is the defense of Pokémon fans! These people unite to show how they don't want to take it, and show their pride.
Definitely not! Pokémon is a very diverse franchise, with characteristics to entertain both those with developing minds and those who are already in the work force. However, there are many folks out there that just can't see that as correct. To them, Pokémon is nothing more than a baby's game.
Of course, Pokémon fans like myself know that that stereotypical comment is just plain incorrect. The video games are actually some of the most in-depth strategy games to hit the industry, with nearly-infinite team combinations, movesets, and battles. In fact, the games' detailed inner workings almost make them too difficult for the younger audience. It almost makes you wonder why the games are put down when looked at from a strategic aspect. The point is that the games have different aspects so anyone can enjoy them.
First, who is this everyone that I'm talking about? That's a pretty big word! Alright, I'm referring to the Pokémon fanbase. Right now, if you look around, you won't find very many Pokémon fans. In the old days of the whole "fad", you could easily tell who was a fan. People would talk about it wherever they were. Many of the people that played it were--you guessed it--children. Today, these same children are now in high school, and some are even earning their college degree.
In 1999, there were many who jumped on the bandwagon. Just because their friends were into Pokémon, they decided to get into it. Sure, they collected the cards and watched the show, but they didn't know the exact reason why they were doing it. When the fad died out, those people just stopped caring and moved on to something new. The other people that truly liked it also collected the cards and watched the show, but they all had the same reason for doing it: because they liked it. These people are loyal; when the fad died, they didn't care. They were still into the whole phenomenon, even while the rest of the world tried to put it behind and leave it to the history books. The years went on and the short-lived fans started to sell their merchandise. Today, they don't care, or they try to cover up that they ever liked it. Only the true fans are actually still into it. Almost everyone has not forgotten about their past experiences with Pokémon.
There are three groups of people when you talk about Pokémon. For some, it is a very sentimental subject. They are no longer fans, but they enjoyed being with it. These people are very mutable. They can be influenced easily by others, especially those that make fun of them for liking Pokémon. Some wish they could still be into Pokémon without being embarrassed for their "childish pastimes." Too bad you can't tell them that there is nothing to worry about!
To others, it was a boring fad. Some believe that Pokémon was never really a big part of their life and that it was pointless to even get into. Others dedicate their time to quite the opposite. Yeah, these are those Anti-Pokémon people. They waste their time flaming other fans.
There is one last group: the people that still play Pokémon today. You may not know it, but there are at least 50 million Pokémon fans, and at least 30% of them take it seriously. But where are they?! They're in the vast cyber world that is known as the Internet, of course! Back in 2000, many of the fans were too young to participate in Internet social groups, web spaces, or forums. The web was also still quite young, so there weren't as many sites. These same fans can now log on to their favorite sites like YouTube, deviantART, or MySpace and meet many fans just like them. You may have met a Pokémon fan, or even have friends that are Pokémon fans, and neither of you know about the other's interests!
In fact, Pokémon faced a
resurgence in 2007, with the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. (You can read
more in my other article, The Return of Pokémon.)
Sadly, this also made many of those anti-Pokémon sites come back, along with the
many fans that couldn't keep quiet about all the game's new features and the 107
new monsters. (
Don't tell Nintendo we know about Arceus! Scratch that.
They told us anyway.) Early 2009, the fad went back
up, because Pokémon Platinum, even though it was just a remake of Diamond and
Pearl, was enough to send sales figures through the roof.
However, shortly after Platinum's release, another piece of news caught many people's eyes. Only the announement of HeartGold and SoulSilver was enough to make forums literally explode. (A few people who ran a big forum on a cheap host at this time have actually experienced server crashes and database errors.) Every piece of news on the subject was very closely followed, from generation five speculation on the Spiky-Eared Pichu, to even guesses that Kanto wouldn't come back. After its release, fans who had never learned a lick of Japanese imported just so they could see the game in all its non-emulated glory. (As a bonus, Masuda and the others in the music department actually included most of the original 8-bit soundtrack through an item. If that's not fan service, I don't know what is!) It's pertinent to note that the annoying folks probably won't get over the fact that Pokémon is still popular, however.
Let's take an example. Back in the late 1980's and early 1990's, there was another fad about four reptiles. They were none other than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Today, those of use who are old enough can look back and remember how cool it was to see the Turtles in their own cartoon show, video games, action figures, and even a trio of movies (although the third is almost universally considered a failure). Some people can say that Pokémon likened to TMNT. It's not quite the same, but it's close enough. Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello, along with their sensei, Splinter, their friend, April, and their enemy, Shredder, were everywhere, just like Pokémon. Everyone had to have a Ninja Turtles toy or they weren't "in." After the whole TMNT fad started to drop out, it appeared like nobody cared about our favorite Vanilla Ice-sanctioned reptilian creatures anymore. We were proved wrong recently. Another television show aired in early 2003, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a new video game was released, and just last year, TMNT hit theaters. This just proves the "Pokémon Cult" has the ability to come back and mutate, just like the Turtles, a fact that cannot be denied by anyone, fan or not!
This article has been moved to its own page: What Makes a Pokémon Original? If you have an "All-Generation Pokémon Fan" badge on your site, please update its link URL.
For more information, check out these websites:
We All Live In A Pokémon World (archive) – This entire site was created with the purpose of uniting Pokémon fans
The Cave of Dragonflies: AAP – highly recommended!