Today’s weird kids’ YouTube channels have nothing on the first season of Pokémon

Yesterday, apropos of seemingly nothing, a tiny voice deep in the folds of my brain squeaked at me: “Pika-pi,” it said. “Pika, pika-chu.” Well-conditioned late-’90s child that I am, I was compelled to answer the call: I had to consume some Pokémon.

It was only after I was eight episodes into the original series that I realized (no, really, I am not making this up for dramatic effect): the next day — today — was the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon pilot airing in the US That “Pika-pi” has been drilling into my skull for two decades, years after I’d stopped giving a damn about new Pokémon games (sorry, friends, 250 is my limit), and now here it was again, to passive-aggressively remind me of my encroaching mortality.

The question of…

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