TV

"I’ve lost my son to those monsters" – Sam Delaney cares not for Pokémon

Like millions of kids, Sam's son is hopelessly addicted to the multi-tentacled Pokémon franchise – but what exactly is the point of it all?

When I was a kid I was obsessed with Robin Hood. What a guy. Living in the woods with a big gang of violent, tax-dodging pissheads who worshipped the ground he walked on. Fighting with sticks by day; making love to his kidnapped princess by night. Robin Hood was a hero kids everywhere could relate to. No-one can relate to Pokémon. What even is Pokémon? Not even the kids who claim to love them know. Kids like my son, himself seven and slavishly, manically, disturbingly in thrall to these brightly coloured, nonsensical animations.

The stupid imaginings of some demented, presumably alcoholic, Japanese loon who – like Forrest Gump accidentally becoming a shrimp billionaire – unwittingly stumbled upon the jackpot: something which presumably started out as a fever dream and turned into a commercial franchise that would hypnotise generations of idiot youngsters in a manner that the creator of Robin Hood (I believe it was Walt Disney) could have only dreamed of.

I would express my enthusiasm for Robin Hood by dressing up in an outfit fashioned by my mother in green felt and galloping around the house using a broom as my makeshift horse. It was innocent fun. It was healthy. And the vaguely socialist values that seemed to guide Robin Hood’s activities helped mould my nascent political consciousness. All in all, mine was a wholesome obsession.

Please don’t bother writing in if you’re one of those next-level weirdos who have sustained an interest in this sort of thing into adulthood

There is nothing wholesome about my son’s relationship with Pokémon. Quite the opposite: he wakes up in the morning behaving like a cocaine addict, pacing around the living room in circles, still dressed in his absurd Pikachu jim-jams, loudly rabbiting indecipherable claptrap about how Jigglytits evolves into Fabreez evolves into Fuckazoid.

And, by the way, I know none of those are proper Pokémon names so please don’t bother writing in if you’re one of those next-level weirdos who have sustained an interest in this sort of thing into adulthood.

“What’s actually happening?” I ask my son. He has no idea. All he knows is that he can’t take his eyes off it. The plots are a meandering, disjointed, almost willfully irritating mess. The Pokémon and their human accomplices set about ‘adventures’ that have no point or endgame. What is their agenda? What is their motivation? Such concepts do not exist in the minds of the cruel monsters who devised the Pokémon.

I’ve lost my son to those monsters. Just like Dot Cotton lost her Nick to the skag dealers of Albert Square. Will anyone ever really catch them all? No. Because there is no end to this hell.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Rebus star Richard Rankin on TV reboots, defying his late dad's advice and getting his arse out
TV

Rebus star Richard Rankin on TV reboots, defying his late dad's advice and getting his arse out

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith on friendship, TV and saying goodbye to Inside No 9
TV

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith on friendship, TV and saying goodbye to Inside No 9

Doctor Who star Millie Gibson on hope for Ruby Sunday and lessons learned from 'magical' Ncuti Gatwa
TV

Doctor Who star Millie Gibson on hope for Ruby Sunday and lessons learned from 'magical' Ncuti Gatwa

Marge starts a union and fights for workers' rights in powerful new episode of The Simpsons
TV

Marge starts a union and fights for workers' rights in powerful new episode of The Simpsons

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know