... Okay, so maybe not the Who part, but I can sure talk about the What, How, When, and Why in regards to me and Pokemon and Pokemon-related collecting.
If you take a look at my Profile (which, yes, I know is very empty), there is a single sentence which reads, "Because some things are simply never forgotten."
"Because some things are simply never forgotten," is the Why I got into Pokemon and into Pokemon collecting and it is also why I have kept up with Pokemon on some level despite how old the franchise is and how old I was when Pokemon first came out.
I was a teenager when Pokemon first made headway into the United States and as Pokemon attracted the attention of mostly children and people younger than me at the time, me being older than most of those people felt slightly dissuaded from poking into Pokemon. My younger sibling, however, did get into Pokemon and I guess you could say that I rode along their coattails into the fandom - not really interested but not entirely disinterested, either.
I guess it's a bit strange, then, to say that where I have become more engrossed with Pokemon over time, said sibling has long since more or less lost interest. So how did I - someone who was initially not-very-interested - manage to retain my interest while someone who had a lot of interest completely lost theirs?
To answer that, it's time to backtrack to that sentence that I wrote in my Profile and answer the question of what, exactly, IS that thing that I can't forget.
What I can never forget is the first Pokemon movie and the related Pokemon whom I can never forget is Mewtwo.
I had a difficult time growing up and at the time the first movie was released, I was very much a loner who was feeling bitter, resentful, and resigned, and who had trouble trusting people - especially authority figures. Considering the character of Mewtwo, it's no wonder, then, that I experienced a feeling of a sort of kinship with him when I encountered him through the movie.
To be honest, experiencing the movie for the first time was something of a surreal thing.
I hadn't expected to be moved by the storyline - a storyline that a lot of people said could never be deep or make you think, but I was. I hadn't expected to find anything worth my extended attention - I mean, it's Pokemon, but I did. I hadn't expected to experience empathy and then sympathy - Pokemon can be a very two dimensional thing, but I did.
All in all, the effect on me was startlingly and unexpectedly profound and where I can't say it drastically changed or altered my life, I would like to say that it breathed into me some of the resilience, drive, can-do attitude, and independence that I have now and that it also gave me a measure of peace as well to know that I wasn't the only one who felt the way I did.
I guess you could say that after that movie, Mewtwo sort of became my friend in a way and when my younger sibling gifted me with a Mewtwo and Mew keychain set shortly after for a birthday present, I kept them clipped close to my person - as a reminder of how the movie had made me feel - and that - along with my Pocket Pikachu and Pocket Pikachu II that I acquired not too long later - was my first inadvertent step into collecting Pokemon-related things.
Fast forward ten plus years and... well.
Hot damn, but I guess some things just never change do they?
I still feel the same way I did when I first saw the movie and my current and growing collection of Mewtwo-centric items is a testament of my fondness for the Psychic Pokemon who, despite his upbringing and the odds against him, could.
That's my story.
Here's to ten plus years of Pokemon and here's to you, Mewtwo.
Even though you're not real, I wish I could say thank you to you because you really are just THAT awesome.
- The Who, What, How, When, and Why