As everyone should know, Pokémon Black and White 2 have just come out in America. I didn’t get the English release since I already own a Japanese copy of the game when it got several months ago, but that is beside the point. Just this week, PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have released a parody game called “Pokémon Black and Blue” to promote their agenda by using everything that made Pokémon great and take it out of context. When I watched a person play the game with commentary, I felt disgusted. However, it brings up some ethical issues that were present in Pokémon Black and White that released last year. (Image Source)
Warning: If you haven’t played the game, there are some spoilers.
If you recall, Team Plasma is very similar to an Animal Rights organization. They do not want humans to use Pokémon because they were getting abused. Just like animals in real life, there are some people out there that mistreat Pokémon. However, it’s not fair to generalize that everyone abuses them. Pokémon has always been about teamwork and friendship. In fact, there are Pokémon that only evolves when the friendship level is high (examples: Espeon, Lucario, etc). Furthermore, there are moves such as Return, which gets full power when the friendship level is at its maximum. Not only that, Pokémon want to fight and they aren’t forced to. This is apparent in the games and more so in the Anime since we can actually see the interaction between them and the trainers. Even if the Pokémon gets injured, it’s not life threatening and can recover by resting or getting healed at a Pokémon Center. This pales in comparison to real life animal fighting where animals actually get injured or even die.
On the other hand, Team Plasma like PeTA is not necessarily an ethical organization for the actions they take. Besides Ghetsis showing his true intensions of taking over the region in the first game, he does it again in the second game by capturing Kyurem and using it’s power to freeze Unova. Not only that, he uses the Gene Wedge to merge it with N’s Legendary against it’s will. Obviously, the stuff he did is not moral and shows that he is only doing it for power. Still, the former Team Plasma did nasty things too such as stealing Pokémon and even used violence. As revealed in the second game, Hugh tells the player that they stole the Pokémon he caught for his younger sister and he wants revenge because of it. However, it’s noted that the old Team Plasma has repented their actions since then and decide not to take the extreme approach compared to the New Team Plasma, which is controlled by Ghetsis for his own agenda.
Lastly, the controversy behind storing Pokémon in Pokéballs is a questionable one. Team Plasma feels that it’s cruel to keep Pokémon in Pokéballs because they are being confined. Let me assure you that Pokéballs does not equal to keeping animals confined in cages. As described in Bulbapedia, a Pokéball is a device to replicate an environment designed for comfort. From this description, it’s obviously a pleasant place to keep a Pokémon and it feels more like a comfortable mansion. Furthermore, Pokémon can leave their Pokémon on their own will and not stuck there until the trainer calls it out. This has been shown several times in the Anime like Misty’s Psyduck.
In conclusion, while PeTA’s parody accurately captures some aspects battling, they completely missed the point about Pokémon for their political gains. They deliberately changed the character’s personalities to promote their agenda. While I don’t approve people cruelly treating animals or using Pokémon for evil intentions, these organizations are hypocritical. In contrast to Team Plasma stealing Pokémon from trainers, PeTA actually kills perfectly healthy dogs and cats that they find off the streets. Despite their insincere actions, it doesn’t stop them from creating a disgusting parody of video games that we enjoy. They already done it to Mario and Cooking Mama, so it won’t stop them from doing it to games like Harvest Moon or to other Anime like Digimon.