There are some pieces of pop culture that are so ubiquitous to the 90s kid experience that even if you weren’t into it, you were by default. Nicktoons is one thing, which we talked about a couple of months ago. Disney Villains is another, which we also talked about a couple months ago. Cartoons in general seem to take up a lot of my young millennial brain space, and the Pokémon anime was no exception.
I never played the “blue” or “red” games for Gameboy (or whatever they were for…). But I did have Pokémon pinball. And Pokémon Snap for the N64. And I got up every Saturday morning to watch Pokémon, a fearless anime led by Ash and the cutest creature I’d ever seen when I was four, Pikachu. And then, in 2016, right before everything went to hell in a handbasket, PokémonGo was released as an app, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since its inception in 1996, Pokémon has expanded into one of the biggest intellectual property franchises in the world of children’s entertainment. From the original video games to the popular card games to plushies at a park fair, Pokémon are as part of the zeitgeist as Tommy Pickles and Yzma. And the rules of any Pokémon story are pretty easy to follow: catch a Pokémon in a Pokeball, train them, and then battle them with each other. And if you catch them all, well, then, you just might be the very best.
But what of the Pokémon themselves? Which of them is the very best? That’s what we’re asking this week. Now, let us be clear. According to the experts, there are currently 905 Pokémon across years and generations. The tournament is truly for the gods. But the first generation, the one that the hosts of this podcast and their guest Matt Roarty grew up with, there are only 151 of those. And to whittle that down to a bracket size that could be completed in under a week seemed much more manageable to us than diving into the entire Pokémon franchise.
So we ranked the 64 best First Generation Pokémon and threw them into a bracket. The rest, as you know, is up to you. Do you wanna be the very best? Then tell us which Pokémon you’d catch first. Or most of. To be honest, the “quality or quantity” question in this world is not clear to me. Whichever it is, let us know.
Link to vote is right here.
Opening round: Monday 10/10 (open until 10 pm PST)
Second round: Tuesday 10/11 (open until 10 pm PST)
Third round: Wednesday 10/12 (open until 10 pm PST)
Quarterfinal round: Thursday 10/13 (open until 10 pm PST)
Semifinal round: Friday 10/14 (open until 10 pm PST)
Championship round: Saturday 10/15 (open until 10 pm PST)
Winner reveal: Monday 10/17