On Pokémon Black and White, Truth and Ideals

This post is so messy, but hey.

Pokémon Black and Pokémon White mainly focuses around the villainous group Team Plasma and the two legendary Pokémon Reshiram and Zekrom. Reshiram is associated with Truth while Zekrom is associated with Ideals. Ever since the third generation, Pokémon has started to introduce Pokémon that represent certain ideas. Generally, the opposition of these ideas is quite clear cut. Groudon represents land, and Kyogre represents the ocean. Dialga for time, Palkia for space. Xerneas for life, Yveltal for death. And most recently, Solgaleo for the Sun and Lunala for the Moon. The juxtaposition of opposing ideas are clear cut. But in generation five, we have truth and ideals. Wait, what? The opposite of truth is definitely not ideals, and this means that, at first glance, it seems weird to be discussing truth and ideals as opposing ideas. But in a way, this is exactly what makes Pokémon Black and White the most intriguing and meaningful pokemon game out there.

Ideals are what we all strive to achieve. And the truth is that most ideals are unachievable. As we live through each day, we push ourselves to achieve the ideals that we want to achieve, and it becomes difficult to admit the truth: that the path is not only difficult, but in some cases, impossible. Truth and Ideals aren’t at opposition. Rather, there are both interconnected, as both together give us a representation of what life truly is. By having an ideal to strive for, and by recognizing the truths that come with this pursuit, we are able to progress and better understand what it means to be human.

In Pokémon Black and White, Team Plasma tries to liberate all Pokémon from their trainers, trying to incite a revolution to give all Pokémon the rights they deserve. They are striving for an ideal that’s impossible to achieve, not just because of just how inherently difficult it is to change the system, but also because their leader, Ghetsis, doesn’t want to liberate his pokemon, and instead wants to be the only one that can use them. Behind the social activist image of Team Plasma is a corrupted leader that is only using Team Plasma’s mission to further his own ambitions. Here, we can see the conflict between Truth and Ideals, with the ideal of achieving perfect co-existence made impossible due to the truth of human nature and corruption.

So if Ghetsis it the “Truth”, is N the “Ideal”? Considering the entirety of N’s childhood was engineered to help achieve Team Plasma’s goals, and considering he became the ‘King’ of Team Plasma, he does seem to the the human representation of the ideal that Team Plasma is apparently striving for. His devotion to the cause is sincere and serious, and only in the end does he realize the nature of his ideal, that the ideal he has been striving for is not possible.

So, I guess Pokémon Black and White is a game about the interconnected nature of truth and ideals, and how one must learn to accept the impossibility of achieving the things we deem as perfect.

(And then we have Black 2 White 2, which is basically Dr. Freeze’s Pokémon Adventure.)

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