I Wanna Be The Very Best.

Pokémon. You gotta catch’em all. Little did I know back in the mid to late 90s that a cartoon would somehow pretty much stick with me all the way up until my 30th birthday (and beyond). Could it be because of the number of toys, games, movies, and TV shows that got me so hooked? Was it the inner collector in me wanting to achieve a 100% Pokédex? or was It just something nice that never failed to brighten my day? I think it’s a mixture of all three. I also think this wouldn’t be the case if it wasn’t for ALOT of people my age (and older) also still following, playing, and loving Pokémon, so shout out to my fellow Pokémon trainers.

When it came to writing my bucket list, I had a think about the things I liked. Wrestling, dinosaurs, dogs, traveling and food all made it to the front of my mind, but first in the queue was Pokémon. So I did some research and here’s a list of all the Pokémon-inspired things I hope to do someday. (Spoiler, most of them are in Japan).

1. Catch’em all.

That's right, I’ve never achieved and therefore I want to get that 100% complete Pokédex. To clarify I have caught all of most of the generations but there are still a few that elude me. I reckon I could’ve had this if I didn’t have a few year's hiatus from Pokémon (school exams, first job, and all that), but alas, I’ve never managed to get them all. It’s only going to get harder as well because new games come out with new Pokémon roughly every two years. At the time of writing, there are 898 different Pokémon in the Pokédex and at the time of writing, I have caught 895 of them. That’s all legit, no hacking or exploder cartridges. It’s through a combination of all the Pokémon games, from Pokémon Red on Gameboy, to the latest Pokémon shield on Nintendo switch And Pokémon Go the mobile game. I keep track of my Pokémon on the Pokémon Home App and it annoys me that's there are still three missing. So, before I die, this will happen!

(The three I am missing are Shaymin, Arceus, and Manaphy) If you have any of these, give them to me! 2. Go to the Pokémon center in Japan

Sadly it’s not a place you take your Pokémon for medical treatment like in the games, but I like to think the shop assistants do say ’we hope to see you again when you leave. No, the reality is, it’s just a big Pokémon shop. There was a popup shop in London not too long ago, but there was a queue round the block just to get in! So I decided to save the experience for a trip to Japan. It sells one-of-a-kind merchandise, from T-shirts to treats. I’ll need some extra spending money just for this place.

3. Eat at the Pokémon Cafe (Japan but pop-ups can appear around the world)

Oh Japan, how I cannot wait to visit you. Yes, as well as a Pokémon center, there’s also a Pokémon cafe. Serving Pokémon-themed food. There’s the Pikachu sweet treat box, Pokémon go themed drinks and for Halloween, Gengar gets his own menu! It’s not just for show either, the reviews suggest all the food tastes amazing. As the title says, there are rumors of a London pop-up-style cafe making an appearance, but again I may just wait for the full Japanese experience.

Side note, Pokémon (shockingly) is incredibly popular in Japan. So much so, that local food places go as far as making Magikarp-shaped sweet treats and all sorts of other great things. So don’t just settle for the cafe.

4. Learn how to draw Pokémon

I am not an artist, but I do like to know how to draw some famous cartoons. Homer Simpson is a good example of one I’ve done before. However, as Pokémon is my favorite thing, I thought it would be nice to draw a few of my favorites. I looked into this before and there’s actually a guide (for kids) on how to draw them, so perhaps on the long journey to Japan, I’ll do this on the plane.

Side note - I commissioned a drawing of me and my Pokémon team from a friend of mine at work. Not bad if I say so myself, see what you think:

5. See the Pikachu festival in Japan

Ok, so this one isn’t actually on my bucket list. Mainly because it’s only on at a certain time of year in Japan and I don’t think the stars will align for me to see it, but if it does, I will certainly check it out. The Pikachu festival mainly involves giant Pikachu marching through the streets and dancing a few times a day. The whole neighborhood is kitted out with pika power and even the train turnstiles say ‘pika’ instead of just beeping you through. Amazing! (I’m easily pleased). If you’re lucky enough to be in Japan around this time, grab yourself some pika ears, some pika ice cream, and just have an amazing time. It’s about a week-long from 6th-12th August but check in advance for dates as it may change.

I appreciate Pokémon is not everyone’s cup of tea, and a lot of adults will think I’m being childish, but it’s like I said, this brightens my day, so what’s wrong with that? Also, remember my rules? Rule 6 - it’s your list! Put on there whatever you want 😊