Image by Jake Lawrence
Alois Wittwer of Nightmare Mode has written a fascinating opinion piece about the ways in which Pokemon Red and Blue Versions depict “a world on the cutting-edge, free from religious and moralistic concerns”, where science is essentially allowed to run riot. It presents an alternative view of the early days of Pokemon and one that may make you rethink all those nostalgic adventures around Kanto.
The Kanto region mirrors the rapid industrialization of our world and the rise of corporate power. The Silph Company holds a monopoly on all things technological in Kanto and its sister region Johto… Accompanying The Silph Companyâ€™s technological ambitions is a land and culture that looks and feels modern. Viridian Forest borders Viridian City and Pewter City as the only woodland of the region and the countless roads that intersect and cross land and sea indicate a region thatâ€™s constantly on the move. Kantoâ€™s constant technological achievements has even left modern constructs abandoned like the Power Plant to the north of Cerulean City and the PokĂ©mon Mansion on Cinnabar Island where numerous experiments were carried out. And, a retcon though it may be, PokĂ©mon Gold and Silverâ€™s introduction of Berries and subsequent explanation that Kantoâ€™s volcanic soil is unable to yield crops, closely aligns the region with Japan itself: a country that practically lives off importation and exuberant technological success.