<geek>So we're riding down the San Tomas & one of Y's kids asks: "Are Pokemon aliens?" a question which I knew had merit but I think I've figured out a better explanation to questions raised by the collision of several data points:
- Throughout the series, all non-human animals are Pokemon, or at least are called Pokemon (even creatures that may have come from space, such as Clefairy and/or Unown).
- Despite the lack of typical animals such as dogs, cats, and bears, many Pokemon are identified with reference to normal animals, such as "Ursaring: the bear Pokemon."
- While the cities and countries in Pokemon do not correspond to any known locations, the characters have repeatedly made references to France, to French food, and even to images of the Eiffel Tower.
- The phenomenon of Pokemon evolution does not carry over to the non-Pokemon animals (i.e., humans), indicating a radically different sort of underlying structure to the biology of both groups.
- Pokemon are native to their environment, as witness by the repeated discoveries and prominence of Pokemon fossils.
My hypothesis, then: Pokemon are not aliens. Humans are aliens. The human characters in Pokemon are the descendants of human space travellers who have settled on the World of Pokemon, who have some memories or education about their original home but who now spend their energies exploring and taming this new world of unusual animals. In fact they may be only indirect descendants, perhaps the original humans of that world (if not everyone?) are clones, which would also then help explain the ongoing presence of identical Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny characters.
(Next, I'll have to explain my more-elaborate theories about how the Flintstones and the Jetsons are not similar shows set in fanciful renditions of the past and future, but that they are both different parts of the same future that the Jetsons are the rich sky dwellers and the Flintstones live a terrestrially-bound third-world existence that apes the lifestyle of the people up above the clouds..... or maybe my crypto-technical theory of why one can hear the sounds of movie ray guns and spaceship engines in a vacuum)</geek>