I’ve finished listening to the latest episode of The Book Was Better Podcast, after finishing the backlog literally yesterday (remember that whole consuming content thing), and the latest episode was about Pokemon: The First Movie, a movie which has a incredibly strong memory associated with it and I possibly enjoy recounting it more then I enjoyed watching the movie... which we’ll get to along the way.
Cast your memory back to magical far way land called the
nineties, where there was a lot of disgruntled teenagers wearing flannel shirts
and jeans trying to rebel by being dark and moody; kind of like today just only
without the emo haircuts and hipster attitude, because we did that before it
cool. Anyway little did we know that a bright and colour pop culture craze from
Japan would take the world by storm and brighten up the darkest of our lives...
well for everyone else that is, because unlike most of the people I knew at the
time, I just didn’t like the show.
Admittedly at that time I was a young ignorant imbecile...
just leaving in the pause to supply your own joke there... who decided that I
didn’t like Pokemon for no real apparent reason. I think I thought it was just
very cheesy and I admit it I just saw it as a cheap marketing ploy, which of
course it was, but at that stage I hadn’t watched the cartoon or played the
games so it really was just a stupid way of forming an opinion and I’ve changed
my attitude since. My first real exposure to Pokemon came in the form of the
cartoon and it really didn’t strike a chord with me, if anything I’m surprised
I allowed what happened next to occur.
My best friend Evan was big into the Pokemon cartoon and
wanted someone to go along to watch the brand new movie on the big screen at
the cinemas, and I of course knowing my duty to him as my closest friend
steadfastly refused to accompany him. Essentially I think my argument was along
the lines of, “I can’t afford to go watch it, and even if I could I don’t want
to watch a movie about a giant yellow mouse”, he countered by paying for my
ticket, at which point I readily agreed to it.
Now at this time the ‘Senstadium’ was the new(ish) and
biggest cinema to go see any film in, because why see it in a crappy small
screen when you can just lounge back and watch some a movie that takes up your
entire peripheral vision and never have to truly focus on the screen. So of
course naturally we always wanted to go see any more in that cinema, and this
being the brand new release for the school holidays we of course would watch it
in there. Now I’ve mentioned the two single worst words for any movie goer
dreads to hear, no not ‘small screen’ but ‘school holidays’.
Unless you are deliberately watching movies kids are not
allowed to be in, any sane people would avoid the cinemas during a school
holiday, especially watching any ‘kids’ movies, and double especially a movie
that was that year's cultural craze, and yet here we were two “grown” “men”
going along to see this film, one excited to see it, the other just glad to be
out of the house and in air con. So after the usual buying tickets (remember
when you used to be able to buy them at an actual dedicated stand and not at
the candy bar where you have to wait for all the imbeciles to decide if they
want popcorn and a drink with the movie that they still can’t decide to see???)
we head into the cinemas and there is no line, and we think this is ace because
obviously there wouldn’t be anyHOLY SHIT THE PLACE IS FUCKING PACKED FULL OF
THE LITTLE FUCKERS!!!
It was filled to the point where there was literally only
one row left that wasn’t crawling (literally in some cases) with the ghastly
little bastards... the front row. Now remember what I was saying about this
being in the big-big-big cinema? It’s the one where the best seats in the house
about middle mid way up, which is by rough approximation about half a mile
away. The front seats by comparison can be measured in feet distance away from
the screen and you wouldn’t get into double digits. Well even though I knew
there was going to give me neck and possibly eye strain, we decided to sit there.
Now I’m not sure how many of you have seen the aforementioned
movie, let alone saw it in the cinemas, but before the ‘movie’ started there
was a short movie that gets shown before starring Pikachu, who had by now
become the symbol of everything I hated about Pokemon; namely an overly cute
annoying thing that just seemed to be the most banal thing in history... so you
can imagine my literal shock when all of a sudden I’m confronted with a 30 foot
tall extreme close-up of Pikachu’s fucking face from less the 10 foot away from
me. I actually screamed and jumped out of my chair, and after the shock worn
off I think I started laughing my ass off at how dumb I was for being shocked
by such an unexpected image. I managed to sit through the short and started to
warm up to the furry yellow freak, and in some perverse way I think I preferred
the short to the movie; at least it didn’t end in a sappy way (which now would
send me bawling).
After that I was introduced to the original Pokemon games
for the Gameboy, which I ended up playing on my N64 via Pokemon Colosseum because
it was cheaper and I get to play it on my TV late at night, and slowly my
hatred for Pokemon turned into a love for the game; although I never got into
the franchise really beyond that, Super Smash Bros excluded.