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Personality & Development: Ash's Squirtle

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discusslink= |
sourcetype=column-bn |
sourcename=Thomas Smithurst |
sourcelink=User:05308 |
tagline=Reviewing the characterization of anime Pokémon |
blurb=This column has been written by Thomas Smithurst. It expresses the views of the columnist, not necessarily those of Bulbagarden networks. }}
{{CategorizeIn|Columns|5|11}}
 
{{bp|Ash’s Squirtle}}, boring, emotionless, Kanto plot device Pokémon... NO that’s not how this column works, all Pokémon that have been on the main cast have showed personality and undergone development. Squirtle being caught in only the {{bp|EP012|twelfth episode}} had a great amount of time to establish itself as a character, and has just as complex of a characterization as {{bp|Ash’s Pikachu|Pikachu}}.
[[File:Squirtle Squad.png|right|thumb|200px|Squirtle’s gang]]
The first time we saw Squirtle was looking up from a pitfall trap that {{bp|Ash}} and the gang had fell into. He stood there with his gang wearing sharp and cool sunglasses, indicating he was the leader. {{bp|Officer Jenny}} later explained that the five Squirtle had all been abandoned by their trainers and had since been causing trouble for everyone they could. As best as I can describe it, the Squirtle, who had all lost their attachment figures (trainers) were all fixated at the first stage of detachment; protest. Of cause my talk of attachment refers to young beings. Although I already pulled this with Pikachu, I’d suggest Squirtle was in fact quite young at the time of its capture and was in desperate need of attention, which was exactly what he and his gang were doingseeking as they rebelled against humans. When faced with human contact, he flat-out told {{bp|Meowth (Team Rocket)|Meowth}} that he trusts no humans. This is understandable when you consider {{wp|John Bowlby}}’s evolutionary explanations theory of attachment. The theory states that a child will make its own internal working model of attachment based of its primary attachment, so if Squirtle had a poor relationship with its original trainer, it will always expect to have a poor relationship with any other trainer, so it is truly the fault of the trainers that these Squirtle behaved like such common criminals and resented any human contact or affection.
[[File:EP012.png|left|thumb|What makes the one in the middle the leader?]]
Almost forty years from now, a man named Leonard Bickman investigated how uniform can affect obedience, he took to the streets and asked random people to perform simple tasks e.g. “Pick up that litter and put it in the bin”. He recorded how many people obeyed him while he was wearing an official looking uniform and how many people obeyed him without the uniform. Naturally, many more people obeyed him while he was wearing the uniform, despite not knowing who he was or what the uniform symbolised. Since Pokémon do not often have clothes of their own, it is understandable that a Pokémon wearing anything at all would receive the same respect a human wearing a uniform would. So the Squirtle Squad command respect from other Pokémon through their sunglasses and Squirtle leads the squad by wearing his extra cool sunglasses. Squirtle has often put his sunglasses back on throughout the series and seems to get a boost in confidence while he is wearing them, similar to another sunglasses wearing {{bp|Sunglasses Krokorok|reptilian Pokémon}}, appearing in the recent Best Wishes series.
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