Discover More Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO Card Illustration Stories
These short stories bring you into the world of the latest Pokémon TCG expansion with tales of Trainers and the Pokémon they encounter.
If you’ve played the Pokémon GO video game, you likely have all sorts of stories that connect to the Pokémon you’ve befriended in that game. Likewise, the recent Pokémon Trading Card Game: Pokémon GO expansion has also inspired stories based on some of the Pokémon that appear within it. We’ve already shared a few of these Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO Card Illustration Stories, and now we present another trio of tales that explore Trainers’ encounters with a mischievous Aipom, a Spinarak with a secret, and a hungry Larvitar. Enjoy these slice-of-life stories from the world of Pokémon GO and the Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO expansion, then go make some of your own!
“Grip firmly and throw. Just aim and throw,” the young boy muttered to himself over and over again as he held the Poké Ball he had just been given. His hand holding the Poké Ball was awfully clammy. Maybe it was because it was cold for the season, maybe it was because of his nerves—he couldn’t tell which. Even sights that should have been mundane and familiar felt completely different now that he was on his first Field Research assignment. What would he be able to catch? Would the Professor be surprised if he caught a rare Pokémon on his first day? He wanted the Professor to say “I’ve never seen such an excellent newcomer!” when the boy gave his report. He wasn’t a child anymore—he’d grown taller, too, and was eager to prove that he had grown up.
Unfortunately, the world is not so kind a place that it would indulge the dreams of a young Trainer. Even if he spotted a Pokémon while wandering, it would run away while he was getting his Poké Ball ready. Oh no, it happened again—he had lost count how many chances he had let slip at this point. As the boy sulked, he heard a Pokémon cry from behind him: a jaunty cry that sounded like it was laughing at him.
“Ugh, I wish I were a Diglett so I could just disappear into a hole,” he thought. He forced himself out of his imaginings to turn around.
Behind him was a Pokémon, looking up at him with a huge smile on its face. This Pokémon had round eyes and big ears along with a big swaying tail that looked like a hand. After a little bit of research, he found out that this Pokémon was called Aipom. Aipom just kept grinning at the boy. Maybe friendly Pokémon like this had easy-to-read attitudes. All the thoughts he had about catching a rare Pokémon for the Professor’s approval went out the window. This was the moment. The boy readied his Poké Ball. All that was left to do was to aim and throw it.
The Poké Ball traveled in a perfect arc, and the Aipom…dodged to the side.
“Huh?” he said before thinking about it. But it wasn’t the time to be recoiling. He prepared another Poké Ball and threw it again. This time, Aipom slapped the ball out of the air with its long tail. The sound of the ball rolling away reverberated at a good rhythm, but the Aipom didn’t run away—just stuck around with its face plastered with that huge grin.
That was when the boy finally realized he was being toyed with. It seemed that a Pokémon’s primal instinct allowed it to identify new Trainers that didn’t pose a threat to it.
“Why you… I’ll show you. I’ll catch you if it’s the last thing I do,” he thought. From there, he got tunnel vision. He threw every Poké Ball he had, and Aipom kept dodging them with amusement. As he chased the slippery Aipom around, his surroundings became unfamiliar. How much time had gone by? His new sneakers were all scuffed and muddy, and the Aipom was out of breath, too.
“Come on, why don’t we stop messing around? You have to get back to your group, too, don’t you?” the boy said. He tried to act like an adult, but after having failed so many times, he just sounded like a child being a sore loser. But for the first time, Aipom stopped grinning and looked at the boy with a solemn expression. It was finally listening to him seriously.
“Oh, come on. Why couldn’t you be like that earlier?” he asked, remembering his now-empty bag. “Fine. I’ll come back tomorrow, too.” He didn’t say, “If I do, will you let me catch you?” It was the first bit of pride to sprout in him. He needed to catch the Aipom on his own, or else it wouldn’t mean anything. Although the boy had started out thinking he would catch the Aipom no matter what it took, he now wanted to become a Trainer who was deserving of a such a quick, nimble, kindhearted Aipom.
Aipom, on the other hand, seemed to understand that it would have a playmate tomorrow as well and happily ran off. The condescension that the boy had sensed earlier was all a misunderstanding—maybe the Aipom just wanted to play. The boy was in a cheerful mood as he watched the Aipom leave.
That was the summary of his first day as a Trainer. Looking back, he hadn’t even accomplished one task. He didn’t have a single thing he could report to the Professor. Regardless, though, the boy would probably never forget the day he became a Pokémon Trainer. It’s such helplessly commonplace days, filled with memories that wouldn’t have a place in his reports, that make people into Pokémon Trainers. The boy wouldn’t realize for a long time that although he couldn’t catch the Pokémon that day, he had gained something much more important.
I had made it to the entrance of the forest to complete the task I had gotten from Professor Willow when I saw a shadow at my feet move. This was the first time I had seen a Spinarak actually crawl on the ground. This Spinarak was latching itself onto a tree near the roots and looked like it was trying to climb the tree. Perhaps it was trying to spin a web in this tree. Spinarak are usually seen sitting in their webs waiting for prey, and curious about how Spinarak spin their webs, I crouched down to observe how this little one went about it.
But it looked like this Spinarak was bad at climbing trees. It had somehow hooked its legs onto the protrusions on the tree’s trunk to climb up halfway, but ultimately rolled down to the ground, unable to support its own weight. I couldn’t help but want to cheer on the Pokémon’s refusal to give up, but at this rate, the sun would go down before Spinarak was able to make it up the tree.
I thought maybe I could give it a little hand. I gave Spinarak a little nudge from underneath to give it a tiny boost up the tree, but was surprised at how much heavier it was than I expected. I quickly applied my other hand as well to support it with both hands. Spinarak turned around and looked at me, seemingly surprised, but quickly returned to making its way up the tree. Every time it lost its grip, it fell into my hands, then latched on to the trunk again, until it was finally able to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
What a relief—it should now be able to spin its web. That’s what I thought when I looked up at Spinarak, but it seemed really happy as well because it was looking at me and waving its legs. Thinking that its movements were kind of cute, I gave it a congratulatory “Great job,” but that was when it jumped toward me!
I scrambled to catch it with both arms, but I couldn’t support its weight along with the impact of the collision, and the two of us ended up tumbling to the ground. I sternly told it that that was dangerous, but I don’t think it understood me, because it just waved its legs in a satisfied way. I was exasperated, yet at the same time, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by its cute movements.
“You’re not gonna be able to spin a web like that,” I warned it. All Spinarak did was tilt its head. I thought of placing it back on the branch, but I know I would worry about it too much if I left it alone. “Do you… Do you want to make a web at my place? That way, if you fall, I can just help you up again.” When I showed the Poké Ball after saying that, the Spinarak jumped up to the ball and must have jumped with too much force, because its belly hit the button on the ball, and it got sucked in.
I hurried home, thinking that this Spinarak was a goofy one, but really happy that it took to me so well.
“There isn’t much wind around the front door, so it should be easier to make your web,” I said as I let Spinarak out of the Poké Ball.
Oh? Something’s strange…
“Wait, you weren’t even a Spinarak?”
Ditto looked at my confused expression and puffed up its chest proudly. No wonder it couldn’t climb that tree. It wasn’t a Spinarak to begin with.
“Well then, you won’t need to stay outside, huh?”
When I opened the door, Ditto happily rushed inside.
Life with a scatterbrained Ditto, huh? I might be in for a rough time.
One morning, the Trainer was hiding in the hedges, waiting for Pokémon to appear. They had been giving it their all, desperately trying to get stronger, but lately, they hadn’t been winning their matches. In other words, they were in a slump, and trying to get out of the slump only made them more anxious. They used an Incense, hoping to encounter a strong Pokémon. It was then that it happened.
All of a sudden, they felt a heavy weight on their back, which made them jump, hitting their head on a branch. “Yowch!” they exclaimed, and when they did, whatever was on their back flinched and withdrew. Frantically turning around, they saw a light green body, a red stomach, and glimmering eyes—a wild Larvitar was standing in front of them.
Larvitar isn’t a Pokémon that shows itself that often. Not to mention that if you train it, it can become very strong. This was the perfect chance—the Trainer just had to catch it. They mustered all the confidence and motivation they had and threw a Poké Ball. The ball made contact, but Larvitar popped right out! Judging from the way it was leering at the Trainer, it was obviously wary and high-strung.
“Then why?” the Trainer wondered as they threw the Poké Ball and failed. “Why did it approach me at all?”
They recalled the sequence of events. Larvitar’s weight was focused on their bag…the bag that was still open because they had pulled out the Incense and hadn’t closed it afterward. Maybe Larvitar didn’t intend to approach the Trainer, but it was attracted to what was inside the bag. In that case, that would mean that this Larvitar…
“You’re hungry, aren’t you?”
The Trainer had heard that Larvitar requires an enormous amount of food in order to grow. When it’s underground, it eats soil, and this Larvitar must have come up from the ground earlier than others. Not to mention, it approached a human even though it was showing such cautiousness. It must be awfully hungry.
The Trainer reached into their bag and pulled out the single Golden Razz Berry within. They had won this Golden Razz Berry after winning a Raid Battle, and this shining trophy was precious to the Trainer. They had kept it in their bag, thinking it would be a waste to use it—even though it wasn’t as if their victory would disappear along with the Berry.
The Trainer hesitated. They felt like they would be getting rid of a good-luck charm. But they decided that this was the time to use it, and handed the Golden Razz Berry to Larvitar.
“I can’t promise you’ll like it, but here. You can eat this.”
The Trainer had to admit that their voice was lacking in confidence. They had become vulnerable, without any tricks or bravado, and Larvitar continued to leer at them. Those several seconds felt like an eternity. Then, one step after another, Larvitar approached the Trainer and locked eyes. The Trainer nodded to reassure Larvitar that it would be OK, and Larvitar finally reached out to take the Berry and took a bite with its small mouth.
Larvitar looked up and narrowed its eyes again. The Trainer’s brain froze for a moment until they realized: Larvitar was smiling. It was such a subtle and modest smile. In the cold morning, the Trainer felt somewhere deep inside them warm up. Before they realized what they were doing, they had brought up their camera to take a picture before Larvitar finished eating. After that, the Trainer felt a weight off their shoulders.
“Hahaha, this is what I should have done from the beginning.”
They now had a picture of the Golden Razz Berry. Everything this Trainer considered precious was all here in this picture, and they felt like they were finally able to stop clinging to a past victory. Now that that weight was off their chest, their stomach growled. That’s right—they hadn’t eaten breakfast. They asked Larvitar if it would like to eat with them, and Larvitar waddled over to latch onto their leg.
“Ow ow ow! You’re heavy!” They had forgotten…their chest may have become lighter, but Larvitar was still heavy! The Trainer’s yelp was heard echoing through the field.