I played one of the Pokemon games a few years ago during my commutes. And the text is . . . problematic. I mean, you're kids who love animals and prove your love by forcing them to battle to the death or, failing death, by enslaving hundreds of them and forcing them to live in a static pocket dimension.
There's some messed up morality there.
The Real Problem With Pokemon And Animal Rights | ThinkProgress
In the first Pokemon: Black And White (the new game is a sequel), one of the villains is a kid who, raised among abused pok�mon, launches a campaign to end the captivity of the creatures and the practice of forcing them to participate in glorified dogfights. The mantra of his organization is “Pok�mon liberation,” a pretty clear reference to the most famous modern text on animal rights. The player character, by contrast, spends the game convincing this character that “slavery is OK if we’re not bad masters.” Moreover, the movement gets hijacked by a self-interested subordinate, who reveals the idea of Pok�mon liberation was a stalking horse for a plot to take over the world from the get-go.
In short, the animal rights movement is a sham; anyone who legitimately believes the way we treat animals is immoral is a dupe for powerful, nefarious interests. You can see why that might be troubling.
There’s a danger in taking this too seriously; Pok�mon is a sorta brainless kids game (that I unconditionally loved at age 12). But at the same time, it’s part and parcel of a broader culture that makes the use and abuse of animals normative at a very young age. Thoroughgoing animal welfare supporters are a distinct minority in the United States; using veganism/vegetarianism rates as a proxy for a more broadly animal-friendly lifestyle, only about seven percent of the American population qualify. As a consequence, concern about animal welfare isn’t exactly well represented in American public life; quite the opposite. Politicians sneer at concern for animals; spectacles like dogfighting and cockfighting are sadly common despite being criminalized. Even some things that may seem like advancements, like the cancellation of horseracing drama Luck after the death of three stunt-horses, remind us of the underlying brutality in the extant, legal horseracing industry.