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Go deeper with Pokémon - stories and inspiration from our collections

By Administrator | 15 July 2016

As the Pokémon Go phenomenon gets players to catch Pokémon in the real world, long-time fan and SLQ Creative-in-Residence Matt Finch reminisces about his favourite Pokémon episodes and their connection to myths and stories in our collections.

Pokemon Go characters stopped by the John Oxley Library. Image: SLQ staff

Pokemon Go characters stopped by the John Oxley Library. Image: SLQ staff

"Pokémon is a twenty-year-old franchise with its own cartoons and backstory. Get to know the characters, know their world, and check out some fantastic anime resources our collections. Here's a few memorable stories from the Pokémon archives:

The Pokémon Who Learned To Talk...For Love

Meowth might just be the most famous Pokémon after Pikachu, and the only Pokémon to speak human language. Meowth was captured by humans but made his escape to Hollywood where he joined a gang of alleycats, scavenging to stay alive. Meowth learned to talk to impress Meowzie, a high-class Pokémon who lived in her owner's diamond-encrusted Pokeball.

He joined Team Rocket because "R is For Rocket" was the first page he saw in a picture book. Although he rescued Meowzie when she was abandoned on the streets, his love was not reciprocated. Luckily he still had his friends in Team Rocket. A classic story of unrequited love and friendship gained.

Meowth is not the only animal who found his way onto the silver screen. Queensland filmmaker Littleton Bullock showed movies in 1930s Toowoomba, including this short film of “Barney the Performing Dog”.

The Cave of Mirrors

While exploring Reflection Cave, Ash's own reflection pulled Pikachu through into the Mirror World.  In this world, the villainous Team Rocket were heroes. The Cave of Mirrors let Pokémon trainers visit an alternate world.

The first novel published in Queensland was The Curse and its Cure by Dr Thomas Pennington Lucas. It was set in a twisted vision of Brisbane in the year 2000, overrun by rampant vines and wild tigers. Lucas was a medical practitioner and scientist who devised a special ointment using the pawpaw fruit, which is still made today. Read more about Queensland’s mirror worlds on our John Oxley Library blog.

Defeat Team Rocket At All Costs!

Team Rocket are a criminal organisation led by Giovanni, the Gym Leader of Viridian Gym. Giovanni's goal is world domination but his agents Jesse, James, and Meowth never seem to get things right.

Giovanni's most fiendish plan was Operation Tempest. He tried to capture the Pokémon Meloetta by using special goggles to detect her invisible form. Meloetta's song let Team Rocket summon and control the three Legendary Pokémon Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus - but as the power drove Giovanni crazy, it was up to Ash and his friends to save the world and Team Rocket to save their boss!

Team Rocket summoned ancient and legendary Pokémon. To discover more about the real ancient stories of the land you’re walking on, visit kuril dhagun’s “Our Dreaming” project, with digital re-tellings of traditional stories."

Pokemon Go characters in John Oxley Library. Image: SLQ staff

Pokemon Go characters in John Oxley Library. Image: SLQ staff

Come and play Pokémon Go at SLQ with our free wi-fi and power stations. While you are visiting, learn more about Japanese anime and traditional yōkai legends with resources from our Information Collection.


Join SLQ: /services/membership

Barney the performing dog:

The first novel to feature Brisbane as its setting: /blog/jol/2009/02/09/first-novel-to-feature-brisbane-as-the-setting/

The curse and its cure by by T.P. Lucas available to read online :

Our Dreaming: /showcase/our-dreaming/our-dreaming-in-kuril-dhagun



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