The Wax Conspiracy

Reinventing Ato: The Pokémon Signature

Rose Byrne and Keira Knightley. Julie Dreyfus and Monica Bellucci. Mary Stuart Masterson and John Lithgow. These people look strikingly similar and work in the same field of exhibitionism. If they were running look-a-like competitions they would be close to clinching first place for their respective doppelgangers.

But this is not about them. This is about Ash Ketchum and Tyson Granger, the protagonists of PokéMon and Beyblades respectively.

Both of these properties have been denounced as crazes and fads with dangers of getting the kids hooked on poorly made plastic choking hazards, toys and blunt cards in packets of chips, crisps and standalone purchases. It's the addiction they need until they can save up enough money for the harder drugs like first edition novels, opiates, video games and straight up crack cocaine.

From deductions resulting from too much salt and onion powder, the two people are one and the same. Ash is Tyson. Tyson is Ash. Or to be clearer, Tyson is the later applied shell of Ash who is on the run from authorities of charges relating to cruelty to animals and near-animal like beasts.

powerslam with Ketchum and Granger +2 dual identity
The same difference: Ash Ketchum and Tyson Granger

Created by Satoshi Tajiri, the world of PokéMon centres around a young kid known as Ash Ketchum. A dejected upstart in the world of cock-fighting, Ash finds a smooth transfer of his meagre skills to these grotesquely cute beasts known as PokéMon, or pocket monsters.

In his quest to become a PokéMon master, Ash must initially pick a fight with 150 different owners across the globe. Along the way he travels with friends to shoulder the charges, pass the time away with and to provide amoral support to each other. His travelling companions are not without the rampant bloodlust to send animals and beasts into a ring with one coming out the proclaimed winner. For years, Ash would endeavour on this eternal quest to become a master of the game with no end in sight.

Too many fights in front of too many spectators raised an awareness not welcomed and the heat was on. An escape was needed.

In an episode wherein he hides behind the name of Tom Ato, it is theorised that Ash replaces himself with a clone and makes the switch leaving behind the duplicate replacement in his stead. With the original now mirrored with a clone it's quite possible for simultaneous sightings in distant locations and places. Authorities would be thrown for a loop in figuring out which sighting was the more accurate.

Bestial brawls were on his shoulder and the cause for his initial run. So in an effort to keep from the less than astute charges of the law, Ash ventured underground to study the mystic arts to emerge later as Tyson. With a flagrant offhand to the authorities, Ash's "new" appearance and guise as Tyson consisted of nothing more than hair dye, a thicker mane, a reversed cap and differently coloured garments. Like a phoenix, Ash was reborn as Tyson.

Teaming up with Takao Aoki, Bakuten Shoot Beyblade was created. A tournament serving as an outlet for his still ever apparent urge to challenge people from around the world. So brazen was his lust this too was staged in arenas with many spectators and fellows who joined in his journey. Later shortened to Beyblades, the program guides would always note the aggressive style of Tyson of the Bladebreakers of Japan.

Applying his knowledge of soul capture, Ash, now using the identity of Tyson, trapped the spirits of dragons and animals within spinning tops known as beyblades. An act similar to his days as a PokéMon combatant but the device used in those circumstances was referred to as a PokéBall. With the noted aggression in his game was the matched hardness of the capturing devices. Once what was a ball that delivered measured bruises was now an object with sharp edges capable of taking out an eye.

The games were the same and so too was the player.

Following the modus operandi of PokéMon to the Beyblades draws out a natural progression for usual coming of age awareness, a hardened outlook on life attached with forced maturity and a tendency to repeat one's actions if not learnt from. Years on the lam are enough to harden any man and what that would do to a boy is anybody's guess.

Published on Sunday, 29 February 2004

By Ethan Switch Ethan Switch

Well doesn't that just look tasty.

The Wax Conspiracy



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