Author: Brent Gourley
Date Submitted: 11/2/2015 @ 4:50 PM EST

What is a Pokemon Master?

You hear people say they want to be a Pokemon Master all the time in the anime, online, and in various Pokemon songs. However, what is a Pokemon Master and how do you become one? Does someone special award you this title or do you call yourself a Pokemon Master when you think you are one? After almost 20 years, someone has to know the answer to this question, but is the answer simple. Has anyone actually achieved the rank of Pokemon Master or is it even possible to be one? If we are to discover the answer, we must look at what others have discovered.

If we are to discover what a Pokemon Master is, we must evaluate what makes someone a master of anything. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Master is “A skilled practitioner of a particular art or activity.”1 Using that definition, we can conclude that a Pokemon Master is someone who is very skilled at Pokemon, but then the question is how skilled must you be in order to call yourself a Pokemon Master? If all it takes to become a Pokemon Master is to practice the art of Pokemon and become skilled, then anybody should be a Pokemon Master in no time. However, to avoid taking all meaning out of what a Pokemon Master is, a more specific definition should be used.

If you played the original Pokemon games, you might remember Lance saying you are a Pokemon Master after you beat the Elite Four, but is that it? In the game, your knowledge isn't really taken into consideration and you only had 151 Pokemon to know about. Depending on how you wish to define Pokemon Master, you may not even need to have all 720 current Pokemon or even half that amount. Perhaps being a Pokemon Master is like being a Master of anything else and that you can achieve this in a few years.

So if anyone can become a Pokemon Master in only a few years, why has Ash still failed to become one. Well, like any animated TV show, time progression rarely exists. Especially if you want to maintain a certain targeted age group. As such, Ash really has only gained a few months of experience in nearly 18 years of traveling around with Pikachu. Let's be honest, the show would be boring if Ash became a Pokemon Master by season 3. As for the original games, it might have taken you 24 hours to become a Pokemon Master according to your time, but I think it would be best if we assume that the game was in fast forward and that you actually took several months to travel around Kanto.

Perhaps there isn't a black and white definition of a Pokemon Master and perhaps you have already become a Pokemon Master. As of now, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have not released an official definition of what a Pokemon Master is. Never-the-less, I think a proper definition for Pokemon Master would be any individual who knows all of the traits and characteristics of each and every Pokemon including its type, weaknesses, strengths, habitat, and behaviors and who can demonstrate great skill in battle. Based on my definition and the fact that there are more than 700 Pokemon now, memorizing each and every Pokemon's type, weakness, strength, normal habitat, and behavior could prove a long and difficult task. Never-the-less, anyone should be able to achieve this within a few years if they are truly dedicated. One problem now would be the fact that there are still new Pokemon and the second these Pokemon are released, you are technically no longer a Pokemon Master until you learn everything about the new Pokemon.

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