Villain groups have been an essential component of the Pokémon franchise ever since the series first debuted. However, it seems like Game Freak’s latest bad guys bear a lot more social relevance. The newest Pokémon Sword and Shield trailer has revealed the female character Marnie, slated to be the player’s main rival. In addition to being a goth archetype, she is an influencer – one big enough to have a fanbase willing to fight for her, dubbed Team Yell.
Team Yell as a reflection of fandoms and stan culture
It is quite uncanny that Game Freak has decided to pull this move. Considering how obsessive the Pokémon fanbase themselves can be, they seem like a parody of their own loyal followers.
That being said, Team Yell does take it a tad bit further. The fans don punk-rock inspired clothing and carry around Marnie posters- an ode to today’s world of stan culture. In any other era, much fandom activity would be considered creepy. But because of the surge of connectivity perpetuated by the media, this is no longer the case.
Not much else is known about Pokémon Sword and Shield thus far. However, it seems as though Sword and Shield aim to tackle the experiences and struggles of the rich and famous. Of course, in the Pokémon franchise, influencers would consist of the trainer elite. Think of Steven Stone, the steel-loving business magnate of Generation III. Or maybe even Diana, the actress champion of Generation VI.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s case, Leon would take on this role. A rather eccentric regional champion, he literally has sponsor logos embedded onto his cape. With previous trailers emphasizing fan cheers and packed stadiums, the player may very well need to achieve “influencer” status to become a champion.
Becoming the very best has never been this flashy.
Pokémon Sword and Shield releases on November 15 for Nintendo Switch and takes place in the UK-inspired Galar region. Stay tuned to PixelBay for future updates.