Trainers of Kanto: Antonin
Good day to all you PUCL peeps out there! It’s me again, Capt. Gravy. The weather has been so nice lately as I coast the seas aboard the S.S. Gravy on my mission to unite all of PUCL. I’m in high spirits, and I hope you are too.
Unlike many of us PUCLonians, Antonin’s first experience with Pokémon was a bootlegged game. Pokémon didn’t officially release in the Czech Republic until 1999 which meant that for almost two years, Antonin was playing a half-English translation, half-Japanese copy of Pokémon Green. When the games finally came out, Antonin was able to borrow his friends’ copies of the game to play because they had used his Game Boy to trade with themselves—sounds like a fair trade. Much of Antonin’s Pokémon experience during this time was geared toward the TCG. “I knew a bit of English and became the de facto card translator in my class. We had a little ‘league’ of our own and played constantly between every class period.” Antonin particularly remembers trying to be friends with a rich kid at school who often dropped money on card packs at the local game store. This friend also had an elusive GameShark, which you had to import into the country.
Near this same time, Antonin’s parents were going through a divorce. Antonin spent a lot of time with his mother and attempted to educate her on the finer points of the Trading Card Game. When this didn’t work, his mother encouraged Antonin to create his own Fakemon: Funani (fake animals). Antonin would sit on the floor of his living room while he drew and searched for inspiration for his creatures. His mother was always attentive as he talked through a concept and would help him color the Fakemon while she helped Antonin’s little brother with homework. These are special memories for Antonin, and he still has many notebooks with these drawings—and has even re-drawn some of them in his adulthood.
Antonin tries to use Gyarados in each of his playthroughs. He likes Gyarados because a Magikarp is usually easy to obtain early on, but becomes a powerful, huge monster. In the anime, Gyarados was an ever-frightening, rampaging, well of power, and because of this, Antonin had always assumed it was a pseudo-legendary, like Arcanine.
Antonin has aspirations of getting into competitive VGC, but thinks it’s more likely that he will return fully into the TCG. He has been playing the Online Card Game but wants to play more. His dream is to one day challenge Lord Jushiro—the ultimate PUCL TCG Champion. His other goal is to watch every episode of the Pokémon anime, from beginning to end. “I started a few years back and now I’m on season 8, episode 23. It’s really difficult because Gen III just drags on and on and on. I stopped watching the anime when I was younger right around the time season 8 came out so I’m finally getting to episodes I haven’t seen yet.”
Antonin writes “Pokémon Catch-up” for the PUCL website, synopses of the stream-lined Pokémon anime. You can read his latest article on the Vermillion City Gym Showdown here.
Alright, folks! I’m off to sail these mighty, blue waters. Don’t forget, if you liked Antonin’s story, let him know in the comments! You can also sign-up to share your story with the PUCL community by filling out this form.