Reflections of the Pokémon Anime, Part 11

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Teams Rocket, Magma and Aqua: World Domination
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  • Monday, December 4, 2006
  • Column by ImJessieTR and Serge165

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This column has been written by ImJessieTR and Serge165. It expresses the views of the columnist, not necessarily those of Bulbagarden networks.
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The anime does not make it clear exactly how large the Pokémon world is. Naturally, people might assume that it is the same in terms of land-to-sea-ratio that characterizes our own world, but (and this is also the case in other anime) it is often drawn as though the area currently plotted out is the only landmass there is on a substantively smaller world. Thus, it is difficult to tell just how grandiose the goal of world domination is for the likes of the known (so far) criminal teams: Teams Rocket, Magma and Aqua.

Teams Aqua and Magma share their chief ideology, albeit they express it with different goals. Both desire to terraform the planet for the sake of their idealized future, but Team Aqua desires a watery planet while Team Magma desires gigantic landmasses. Both see the other as fundamentally wrong and themselves as fundamentally correct. They may be similar to Wikipedia's theocratic dominators, in the sense that they desire global domination with the help of their respective "deities," Kyogre for Aqua and Groudon for Magma. It is also possible that they share certain characteristics of "secret society" dominators, since the anime cannot provide reasonable evidence that these two teams are as well known or feared as Kanto and Johto's Team Rocket. Unlike Team Rocket, (at least in the anime) Teams Aqua and Magma seem to have few business fronts and typically carry out their missions in caves or under the sea or in other remote locales. They do not seem to have as much economic presence, either. In fact, it appears that both teams are simply trying to accomplish the misguided wishes of their leaders, who use their loyalty and devotion to their respective "deities" to the point that they cannot conceive the problems that their goals engender.

Team Rocket, on the other hand, is the most secular of the teams. Its leader desires global domination in the militaristic and economic sense. Indeed, one could argue that he is the most successful of the leaders, despite chronic failures of his staff, since Team Rocket managed to spread its influence from Kanto to Johto and many islands to the south of both, while Teams Aqua and Magma have such a relatively minor jurisdiction in the Hoenn region. Team Rocket only desires profit and domination, and even its attempts to catch legendaries differ from the other teams' efforts by focusing on making the powerful Pokémon work for humans, not create a new world. Team Rocket's success is also determined by the immeasurable amount of funding that its seem to have for all of its vehicles, clothing, weaponry and laboratories. As such, it can be stated with some certainty that Team Rocket progresses much more than the other teams, and perhaps that is a statement (conscious or not) by the writers to denote the futility of religious-like endeavors and the (perhaps unwanted) success of purely secular goals.