When I was growing up a misunderstood little nerd in a small town, I had lavish daydreams in which I obtained joyous revenge on those kids (and teachers) who tormented me. I fantasized that, when they picked on me, I could summon a swarm of killer bees to terrify them.
Yes, that's right. Killer bees. Can you imagine anything so lame? So faceless and uninteresting? It makes me wish I could travel back in time to beat up my younger self and take my lunch money.
Happily, 21st century children are spared such indignity. When they feel put upon and need an imaginary friend to fight for them, they are provided with an assortment of AWESOME creatures. Whether you want your spirit animal to be a dragon, a yellow rat that can shoot lightning out of its ass, or a pink, orb-shaped pop singer, it's there for you. And you can get a card with a picture of it. And a stuffed version. And watch TV shows about it.
Do you think anyone would watch a half hour series about a swarm of killer bees that wandered around and learned valuable life lessons and made honey and occasionally totally stung some farmer? No. I don't either.
Remember, we live in the 21st century now. We don't grind our own wheat or make our own clothes or lance our own boils. Why should we make our own imaginary monsters? Especially when the Japanese will do it for us for entirely reasonable prices.
Pokemon provides both the awesomeness of loyal monster slaves and plenty of food for the child mind's odd desire to memorize long, meaningless strings of information. (Pokemon are the baseball statistics of the new millennium.) This odd world is the best thing we have provided for children since vaccination. If you don't understand the appeal of Pokemon, you don't understand childhood.