Servile with a Smile

Servile with a Smile

Servile with a Smile

by Steve Napierski to Comics

Today’s guest strip was created by Jamie Noguchi who is also responsible for the office romance webcomic Yellow Peril and for unleashing the adorable abomination called Puppy Cow upon the masses. He was also the first person to ever create a multi-page guest strip story arc for Dueling Analogs and which ran last year. Thanks, Jamie.

As far as today’s comic goes, it does bring up an interesting point about the relationship between a Pokémon and its “trainer.” Does it really make sense that a free wild Pokémon is never stronger than a captured caught one? How can the humiliation of being someone else’ property, living in a ball and being forced to fight because your master trainer says so, make you more powerful? And why aren’t there any kinds of activists protesting this inhumane treatment of Pokémon? I say #OccupyPalletTown

On an unrelated note, are there any creatures in the Pokémon universe, besides people, that aren’t considered Pokémon?

Discussion (20)¬

  1. Bill
    Bill says:
    November 14, 2011 at 2:26 am #

    Living only to fight and following commands from someone who knows fighting strategy would make you a better fighter. It’s like saying “Bob moved to a dojo and only fights now…why is he stronger than when he used to lie around watching TV?”

    Yes, there are plenty of animals that aren’t Pokemon.

    • Kaci
      Kaci says:
      November 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm #


      I had no clue. I thought that, after you find a Sunflora, and even the friggin’ plants are pokemon, that’s it.

      Thanks for opening my eyes…. I think.

  2. Kelsey
    Kelsey says:
    November 14, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    Isn’t that exactly what Team Plasma was protesting in Black and White?

    • NickNackGus
      NickNackGus says:
      November 14, 2011 at 7:47 am #

      That’s what I was thinking!

    • sheppy
      sheppy says:
      November 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      Yeah, when the point has been made and joked about to the point that the source material even takes it as a central plot, this becomes a tired joke. By about 10+ years. But I guess as Ann Coulter would say, “Our Pokemon are better than their Pokemon.”

  3. 06th
    06th says:
    November 14, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    The above points, with the addition that doing as your Master says isn’t a bad life.

  4. TsukiraLuna
    TsukiraLuna says:
    November 14, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Well, if I’m correct. Pokémon were originally magical and mythological monsters/beings. They only become known as Pokémon when the first Pokéball was created from Apricorns and it them became popular as people would train and battle with their caught monsters. Hence the name Pocket Monsters. Real animals do exist in the Pokémon world but are rarely shown or spoken of within the games or anime. Probably since the audience has no interest in seeing a creature they can not capture within their game.

  5. AndrewFoose
    AndrewFoose says:
    November 14, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    I assume that pokemon must be getting something out of the deal. Wit their power, they could have easily wiped out humanity before the pokeball was invented (which was fairly recently). There is also the constant message that people and pokemon are working together. The fact is we don’t know much about pokemon culture, so we don’t see how they view training. Get on it Game Freak.

  6. mepstein
    mepstein says:
    November 14, 2011 at 10:31 am #


    Second, trainers’ Pokemon aren’t left in the dirt to be eaten by other Pokemon when they faint. They get brought to a free health clinic where they are revitalized and restored to health. Pokemon battle in the wild; they fight and eat each other; it just isn’t talked about as much, since the games are from a human’s perspective. Someday I’d like to see a Pokemon game that follows the model of Space Station Silicon Valley (N64): You take control of Pokemon and walk a mile in their shoes.

  7. Retired Pokemanac
    Retired Pokemanac says:
    November 14, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Actually, depending on the media it’s been said that Pokemon were species that are from diffrent realms, that they are the evolution of natural creatures and what not.

    Frankly, its more that Retcon is turning every animal and creature and THING in the Pokemon world into pokemon. For instance, theres mention of regular dogs and cats and mice in the original games. Now everything is mentioned as a pokemon.

  8. The Anarchyz
    The Anarchyz says:
    November 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    More than Uncle Tom and black slaves, i see Pokemon as Roman Gladiators, slaves trained to win the battles and entertain the audience…

  9. Nuckel
    Nuckel says:
    November 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    I recommend not seriously trying to find a sense in those mediums. That whole world is designed to work mechanicly with people playing a form of Rock-paper-scissors and this is all just created to sell a franchise with a whole line-up of games and merchandise. Productions that give realisim and naturalism only a slightly bigger value, look totally different and can actually be considered as art.

  10. Thamios
    Thamios says:
    November 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Okay, time for me to nerd out here a bit. In the original DS pokemon games (I think, might have been the GBA ones), there’s a library you can go to and learn about the “history” of pokemon. Originally, humans and pokemon lived separate existences. Eventually they started helping each other, in what sounded like a relationship between a person and a hunting dog. One day, a boy went out with a sword and started killing pokemon. Any one of them he came across he killed, just because he could. Eventually, pokemon stopped helping humans because of this, and many humans died because they no longer had pokemon to help them find food. One day, the boy apologized to the pokemon, and, after a text wall that I don’t care to recite here, their bond was formed again. Pokemon vowed to do whatever they could to help their human friends. Years later, the first pokeball was made out of apricons, and people found a way to travel with them besides having to be followed around everywhere (like Ash’s pikachu)

    Then you have pokemon like Mewtwo, who just hate everyone because they’re giant dicks like that.

  11. austin128
    austin128 says:
    November 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Why do we have to bring politics into sweet innocent Pokemon? Is nothing sacred? ;)

    • Teldori
      Teldori says:
      November 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm #


  12. Rererak
    Rererak says:
    November 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Actually, there are chickens in the first episode of Pokemon. Real chickens, no torchics

  13. James
    James says:
    November 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Actually, in D/P/Plat, team galactic seems to be an activist group seeking to seperate pokemon from humans. And The bad guys in B/W are trying to get people to release pokemon and are themselves an activist group, although we later see that they are mostly hypocrites. We do see fish and some other animals throughout the series, though we see less and less as new pokemon are made.
    As for the whole “how are wild ones weaker than captured ones” thing, they’ve attempted to explain it. The bond pokemon develope for their trainers forces them to go beyond the power they’d normally have in the wild. This can be seen with friendship evolutions in the game. We see tons of wild golbats but no wild crobats. They also try to show that the more a pokemon likes its trainer, the stronger it’ll be (probably because of the cliche of something to fight for), most commonly see with the move return. It also works at the other end where a pokemon that hates its trainer can be stronger because of how it channels its hate. I think its just playing on humans provide better training than they’ll get in the wild though. Its like trying to teach yourself how to use a sword. You might be good on your own, but if you’re trained by a swordmaster you’ll be great. Also, all the powerful wild ones tend to be capture right away. Trainers that find a powerful wild one will instantly try to catch it. ONly ones that are powerful and good at escaping remain while, such as the legendaries

  14. Chaos
    Chaos says:
    November 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    I think regular animals that aren’t Pokemon simply exist in nature as normal but aren’t under the spotlight like Pokemon are. They’re not the focus.

    After all, what are you going to do with a chicken instead of a yellow mouse that fires lightning from its cheeks? Though, there is the aspect of replacing more and more everyday animals with Pokemon variants. The one that jumps out to me most is Miltank. It’s a cow. Literally.

  15. WR1
    WR1 says:
    November 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    1. Team Plasma is a group for the liberation of Pokemon, Lrn2BlackandWhite
    2. In the wild, Pokemon may spend a large amount of their time gathering, hiding, socializing, etc etc, once caught, they do no more than Train and Fight, mostly. Think about it, who’s going to be stronger? The guy who trains hardcore every day, or the guy who only fights when he’s threatened, and otherwise does normal crap?

  16. Oatmeal
    Oatmeal says:
    November 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    There’s obvious strategy involved in a pokemon battle, maybe wild pokemon are retarded and use the moves they feel comfortable with, like a charmander spamming ember on a wild squirtle coz its easier. The Trainer would probably command the charmander to use slash or some other move that would do damage. And with trainers pokemon would get regular meals, since they have to find their own food in the wild they might go hungry for days inbetween meals, no chance of that happening when you’re hanging with Chef Le Brock. I mean no wonder they befriend pokemon so easily in the anime when all they do is give them food, it must be a no brainer to pokemon.