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Personality & Development: Ash's Squirtle

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{{CategorizeIn|Columns|5|11}}
 
{{bp|Ash’sAsh'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’sSquirtle'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 seeking 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?]]
While Squirtle has expressed no rejection of evolution, he has been shown to resent other turtle Pokémon and be keen to prove his strength against them. When he met {{bp|Team Wartortle}}, a group of fire-fighting Pokémon who were considered heroes, Squirtle immediately proved himself as a hero. This eventually led to the peak of Squirtle’s development where it rejoined the Squirtle Squad and left Ash to become a full-time fire-fighter like it originally would have if it did not tag along with Ash.
[[File:PK03.png|left|thumb|Who is that riding on Squirtle?]]
One more important relationship Squirtle had and perhaps the sweetest, was his friendship with {{bp|Ash’sAsh's Bulbasaur|Bulbasaur}}. Their friendship was put into the anime very discreetly, having not been too notable until the goodbye between the two of them was focused on before Squirtle left and when he returned for the Silver Conference, the two instantly began playing with each other, while {{bp|Misty (anime)|Misty}} commented that it was great to see them together again since they are such good friends. However, Squirtle and Bulbasaur were often together in the early anime, sitting next to each other as they eat or standing together while Ash spoke to them. While this cannot be explained by some weird psychological theory, it proves Squirtle has feelings as a character and that the writers always intended for him to be a character, rather than a plot device.
 
So like Pikachu, Squirtle is a complex character that nobody quite understood in full. Still don’t believe the Pokémon get personality and development? My upcoming columns will change your mind for I intend on showing these characters off to the fullest because if anything the writer need to have their hard work shown to all viewers including those that don’t think about it enough to come to the conclusions I do.
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