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Reflections of the Pokemon Anime: A History and Analysis

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One thing I have to nitpick or ask for clarification: Isn't the 'Dark' type actually called the 'Evil/Mischevious' type in Japan? Also, why/how would dark be weak to fighting? Is the same mental/chemical properties that make it resistant to psychic weak to fighting? If so, is it an alternate chemical found in bug pokemon that allow them to be effective against psychic AND resistant to fighting? (perhaps another article).

As for Deoxys, I would assume that Mew and some other legendaries/pokemon aren't limited to Earthian evolution. Therefore Deoxys could indeed still be decendant from Mew, perhaps as stray-DNA which combined with an extraterrestrial virus which changes under certain conditions. If we take a look at the manga, we could suggest that under certain radiations, like evolutionary stones, Deoxys can change form but isn't limited to an evolution, per say. (This could also coincide with pokemon that evolve with the moon/sun stones. Those may be filled with a cosmic radiation or dust which triggers evolution and could support the theories of [some] pokemon coming from space).
 
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Well, I was trying to avoid using the 'evil' name, since part of the reason for the articles is to prove that pokemon can be logical and not evil like some believe...

I think the fighting weakness is just metaphorical, since the only way to stop evil is to fight it... I also think insect pokemon's tough exoskeleton and basic primitive neurology supply the resistances you mention.

I concede I know little about the manga .... that's why the title says we're going to focus more on the anime, 'cause at least we've watched that. However, you do have a point. In the first season's opening (at least here in the states) Mew and Mewtwo are seen flying against a space background, so it is possible legendaries are not native to Earth. Also, if Deoxys is the DNA pokemon, it is also possible that it, not Mew is the true origin of pokemon (perhaps Mew is just the Origin of Earth Pokemon).
 
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Good hypotheses. I didn't think of that for the dark/fighting connection. I forgot to mention, but someone else pointed out that a bug's hive-mind in some cases could be so alien of a mind from what psychics can percieve, that they don't even bother/can't adapt to it properly.

Though a lot of legendaries have been shown to be flying against a starry background. If not indicative of space its self, it implies some sort of heavenly connection/freedom of travel (unless the Japanese animators/culture have different cliched meanings). I thought about Deoxys perhaps being the origin, but to me it just makes sense to still have mew as the origin and Deoxys as secondary.
 
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Pokemon

Pokemon Ecology​

Author’s Note: I apologize again for the delay. I was stuck. The next essay would have regarded electric and steel pokemon, but since we already covered what we would have said (namely, that some are just more elaborate versions of “real” animals … hence a rat having the same power as an electric eel, and that ground pokemon might be able to absorb minerals into their outer covering or just paste minerals onto themselves … which would also work for steel-types), we are going to move on to the next major section so we can get out of writer’s block.

Pokemon ecology, for the most part, seems to have usurped the niches found among “real” animals in our world. We have birds eating worms and rats, mongoose chasing snakes, big fish eating little fish, etc. However, the elaborate abilities of pokemon have caused an enormous change in global ecology. This essay will attempt to show the scope of the change.

There are real animals in the anime. However, they are very rare, except in watery scenes like oceans or seas. We only recall seeing the mongoose (an illusion cast by a gastly) and some random tropical fish. This would make a great deal of sense, since the vastness of the oceans could enable some animals to stay away from their powered-up intruders (or relatives, whichever term you prefer). Surely, whichever “real” animals still exist only do so in pocket areas of the globe (unless pokemon only exist in certain regions, but given the nature of their, especially the legendaries, abilities, that seems unlikely). After all, an electric eel can give you a nice shock that hurts, but a pikachu or Zapdos can light up an entire city with continous arcs of electricity. “Real” animals would not be able to compete.

All is not lost, however. We suspect that pokemon such as rattata, tailows, sentrets … indeed, most “normal” pokemon … are actually altered versions of “real” animals, by Mew or some other means. So, like dinosaurs changing into birds, these animals were somehow updated yet managed to keep their general identities. It beats extinction.

We assume that the Legendaries came first (although perhaps they appeared the same time as the “fossil“ pokemon), although it could be possible that some pokemon later evolved into these highly powerful forms. However, human memories of pokemon deem the Legends as the most ancient, so we shall continue to hold the first view. These pokemon, taken primarily from exotic human mythologies, also have the most power. All pokemon myths seem to agree that the creation of the Legends was a frightening time for both humans and non-humans. Despite all human efforts to control nature, to these beings warping reality was breathtakingly easy. Hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, lava flows -- all these “natural” disasters soon became Caused. Nature became the puppet to sentient beings, who like most deities, were given to smashing and creating based solely upon their whims. However, Mew was not finished with creating, so animals were either replaced with more powerful pokemon, or were transformed into pokemon, creatures that, according to Mewtwo Returns, can more easily survive dramatic weather and climate changes.

Nature is a very single-minded thing; it does not require a multitude of solutions to various problems. It merely hones particular skills and anatomies, determining the best fit as measured by increased species population, and sticks to a rather limited movepool or body type. Thus, a robin eating an earthworm is replaced with a pidgey eating a caterpie or weedle; an crocodile snatching a wildebeest is replaced with a totodile catching a tauros; a kangaroo is replaced with a kangaskhan, etc.
 
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Pokemon

Regions​

Author’s Note: This essay will attempt to analyze the progress of the three major regions at the time of this writing: Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn (although perhaps not in that order and not organized by region).

Early human-pokemon relationships.
Deep in the mists of the Pokemon World’s history, the creation of these new creatures amplified humanity’s already-negligent and fearful relationship with nature. Harkening back to humanity’s earliest myths, if one now polluted a stream or trespassed a certain territory, powerful non-human beings could threaten the livelihoods -- nay, the very lives -- of the responsible parties and perhaps of scores of innocents. Most humans clearly saw pokemon as a threat and attempted to salvage their “ecological superiority”, using conventional weapons and strategies. However, the pokemon were not to be outdone, and in the end humanity’s technological advances were sent back to the Stone Age, in a powerful testament and warning regarding foolish human pride.

However, some people realized that the key to defeating powerful creatures would be to use powerful creatures. Massive global wars and smaller local ones raged across the planet from time to time, with conventional weaponry replaced by hordes of militaristic pokemon, controlled either through conditioning and taming or more cruel methods of behavioral control. Even though the appearance of humanoid pokemon, such as Machop, Mr. Mime, Jynx, and others (who may have been altered from a previous humanity by Mew in an attempt to relate to humans better, to avoid the kind of conflicts the world was beginning to see) did not stem the fighting (in fact, it encouraged more battling), the Legendaries were beginning to accept greater responsibility for humanity’s reactions to them. Some fled while others took on a god-like role for those humans willing to submit for the sake of harmony. People began to ally themselves with particular pokemon in a religious sense, even moving to distant islands where they could develop better communication with their patron pokemon and attempt to regain some sense of security.

In the Orange Islands, south of Kanto, for example, many tribes situated themselves there from the mainland and remained in a primitive state for centuries, worshipping the Legendary Birds, even a meowth. In Kanto’s Pokemopolis, citizens tried to ease the warring of a gigantic psychic and ghost pokemon by using mystical capturing devices. In Johto, Ecruteak City boasted a tower for each of its two major Legendary Birds, Lugia and Ho-oh, staffed by Buddhist monks, and in Ilex Forest a shrine was built to Celebii, to aid in reforestation from centuries of human and pokemon destruction. In Hoenn, shrines to Kyrogue and Groudon were hidden in deep caves, while a gigantic Sky Pillar, which was rumored to reach to the upper atmosphere, was said to be the preferred home of the Sky Dragon Rayquaza, who could watch the Lords of the Land and Sea from the comfort of the Sky.

However, as time progressed and humans witnessed just how powerful pokemon could be, an all-out war began for the capture and militaristic exploitation of powerful pokemon. For example, in Hoenn, Kyrogue and Groudon, the Lords of Sea and Land, were manipulated by humans in an attempt to alter the environment drastically. In Johto, the powers of Ho-oh and Lugia brought humanity to such depths that they burned down Lugia’s Tower in Ecruteak, trapping and killing the pokemon inside, although not the birds themselves, who had fled the scene. Many years later, in modern times, a Mew was captured and brought to Kanto for genetic exploitation.

Although it is not clear when or how this occurred, humans and pokemon began to stop fighting and human exploitation of pokemon diminished, but did not disappear. Presumably, the Legends, the most powerful, god-like pokemon, hid so that humans could not find them. With the lack of unbelievable power, humans apparently decided to end their quest to manipulate them, with the exceptions of a few terrorist and military groups.

Technological advances
In the beginning, it seemed, people and pokemon lived side by side, whether peacefully or not. However, the large size and threatening abilities posed a problem for all of the ecosystem, humans included, so humans decided that there should be a means of capturing and storing these powerful creatures. Initially, people settled on a mystical approach, as their technology had suffered under the wars with pokemon. Spells, unnatural objects, etc. were used to somehow store the biological information of the pokemon indefinitely. Examples would include the Pokemopolis artifacts and the staff of Aaron, which held his friend Lucario during dangerous times.

After humanity’s technology began to reassert itself, more scientific and technological means were used. Pokeballs originated, it would seem, in Johto. There, scientists (including Kurt) many decades from the current timeline learned how to encapsulate pokemon inside hollowed-out apricorn fruit, which were inlaid with techno-organic circuitry. As the spread of apricorn poke balls flourished, scientists in Kanto developed a purely technological poke ball made of metal, presumably to stand up better against the elements and other scenarios. The first primitive non-apricorn poke balls had a dial on the front which had to be turned in order to access the pokemon inside. After a couple of decades, however, companies such as the newly-founded Silph used much of their research grants to develop more user-friendly items, such as poke balls with push-buttons and more advanced computerized life support systems inside the ball itself, lessening a trainer’s need to rush to the nearest Pokemon Center.

Technology in the Post-War Age flourished, as people rapidly expanded an entire economy based upon pokemon tech, heading precariously to the same stage of civilization that existed before the war. However, humanity was finally starting to accept the pokemon presence, so a tighter ethic was formed to keep the peace. Tracking devices, Samuel Oak’s Pokedex (an electronic encyclopedia with the ability to use a web cam to visually identify and classify pokemon), training machines, and GPS/Communications devices for trainers became a booming business.

The Leagues
With the increasing contact between humans and pokemon and the natural desire of humans for sporting events, groups of top trainers organized region-specific Leagues, which are designed to help would-be trainers use ethical training techniques and provide strict battling guidelines. The revenue from their tournaments are used to help fund various researchers and veterinary services. Initially, or so it is assumed, the original Indigo Plateau League, founded on the western border of Kanto, serviced pokemon trainers and researchers. However, as the phenomenon grew, it became necessary to split the responsibilities so that each region could have its own league and set of support personnel. These separate Leagues are independent of each other. In other words, a trainer does not have to excel at any one League before attending another. Neither, however, can one Champion of one League automatically battle the Elite Four of another. Even Champions must start at the beginning and gain another region’s badges (which track the trainer’s and pokemon’s abilities and bonds). In this way, humans can be made to realize that there is always something else to learn. Yet, it would still be awesome to see each region’s Elite Four have a special tournament against each other.
 
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Wow!

You did a really great job on these, ImJessieTR! ^_^


I can't wait to see more of them. :)



And I'm especially interested in the different kinds of magic in the Pokemon world.

So, will an article on magic be covered soon? You know, such as certain special orbs that can be very powerful. Such as the Fire, Lightining, and Ice Spheres used in the 2nd Movie to save the whole world , and the Soul Dew from the 5th movie.

Oh, and I think another kind of magic could be the Aura (or wave) from the 8th movie.


However, the magic I'm most interested in is Pokemon Magic, which is what Lily studied using Pokemon ingredients and her ancient spellbook passed down from her family. And I like the fact that this magic, in particular, is considered to be both an art and a science, which can be very powerful as we saw what it did to Ash (a human to Pokemon transformation, that's truly amazing).

I'm very interested in all of that stuff, especially Pokemon Magic. I always wished they had covered that subject in more detail, you know (but that episode left many questions unanswered, unfortunately). It was such a great idea, and I wanna know more about it. XD
 
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Oye, I am so terrible about checking this forum. ^^;;
 
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Pokemon

Ash & May: Heroes​

One of many of Carl Jung’s archetypes, the Hero, is a vital part of the plot of the pokemon anime, as it focuses on heroes and heroic acts to keep the plot going. Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town started as the original Hero, and at the time of this writing as gone on to include May as well. However, they may or may not fulfill the same qualities of a hero, but we shall determine their heroism as the essay progresses.

Wikipedia notes that a hero “usually fulfills the definitions of what is considered good and noble in the originating culture. Some scholars place the willingness to sacrifice the self for the greater good as the most important defining characteristic of a hero.” Indeed, both Ash and May represent goodness and nobility. They are only rarely unwilling to help others (Misty seemed to be the most compassionate, replaced by Max, who is now the one team member who helps out even the most arrogant and selfish and misunderstood character), doing everything from running simple errands to saving threatened individuals, human and pokemon alike. A willingness to self-sacrifice, however, rests mostly on Ash’s shoulders. May just has not been required to give her life for anything, the eighth movie notwithstanding (she was absorbed not by her own choice). Ash, on the other hand, has risked his life at least twice, in the first movie, to stop the catastrophic fight between Mewtwo and Mew, and in the eighth movie, where he understands that his aura will help Mew save the world and willingly transfers that energy to Mew until the process is dramatically interrupted.

One point made on the website is that heroes were not always positive, at least with regards to other people or environments. The ancient Heroes of ancient Greece could just as well defeat random monsters as destroy the landscape, injure or kill innocent people or non-humans, bring about disease and financial ruin, etc. Again, May does not fit this aspect with nearly the exactness that Ash has. Ash has created a lot of the situations he has to fix by the end of the episodes. He is almost always guilty of trespassing or stealing (events of which he is of course unaware, but the fact is that he never asks if someone might own the property he just uses). When he takes his friends to a carnival, it is only Max’s presence that awakens Jirachi … which thereby permit’s the villainous Butler to siphon its energy to recreate a monster. Latias probably would not have stuck around Altomare in plain sight for so long, which allowed thieves to learn of her whereabouts, if she had not been so smitten with Ash. Whenever Team Rocket’s Jesse, James, and Meowth are in trouble, Ash must be persuaded to help them by the most compassionate member of his team. True, they do wish to steal his pokemon, but their chronic ineffectiveness in this regard should humanize them more to Ash than it does.

And searching Wikipedia for “women + hero” is rather upsetting. Many describe sports athletes or the random feminist, of which May can not really be classified authoritatively either way. May is a Pokemon Co-ordinator, a person who in this world might attend dog shows and the like. Except for learning some basic strategies and theatrical poses, she doesn’t have to train her body as much as her pokemon do. Nor is she a feminist hero, since that would probably be more attributable to Misty than her, who struck out on her own to run her gym after her sisters left for more personal pursuits. If friendship is a trait of heroes, May definitely qualifies, sticking with Ash through thick and thin, but not once in my memory can I describe a scene like in the second movie where Misty dives into chaotic waters to rescue an exhausted Ash from drowning.

It may be that May just simply was left out of the hero business by the writers, who apparently never really enjoyed the independent Misty anyways. Although she could be considered a co-star, she never really had to face heroic situations with the same frequency or intensity as Ash has, making her, fair or otherwise, less of a hero than Ash Ketchum.
 
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Did you try using "Heroine" on Wiki? That should bring up more female heroes.
 
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Actually, I did. All they really said was a heroine was a female hero.
 
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Ooh......

This is very interesting indeed! ^^

I love these essays!


And I can't wait for the next one!!!! :-D
 
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Pokemon

Jesse, James and Meowth: Identity and Naïve Ambition​

Author’s Note: I was going to do Brock’s essay next, but since I’ve (ImJessieTR) just been fired from my dream job, I think an essay about Jesse and James’ frustrations and ambitions is more relevant, don’t you?

One Team Rocket member is the impoverished daughter of a Team Rocket Elite Agent. One is the son of wealthy aristocrats . The last is an outcast, a freak, among both humans and pokemon. All three of these members of Team Rocket, a criminal (though not as terrorist as Teams Aqua and Magma) organization have backgrounds that for one reason or the other have landed them with the task of stealing pokemon and committing large and small-scale scams. However, cognitive dissonance plays a huge role in their seemingly unsuccessful attempts at criminality.

Although Giovanni, their boss, has never really mentioned Ash Ketchum’s pikachu except in one music video on the WB (Double Trouble) and in a live-action play, these Team Rocket members with the uncharacteristic white uniforms (to distinguish them from the agents who wear mostly black) are overly obsessed with the concept, much to the heroes’ chagrin. Their reasoning, that Pikachu is more powerful than others of its species, would seem to impress their boss enough to force him to give them whatever resources necessary to capture such a prize pokemon. Yet, strangely, he never seems to give them necessary resources. Most of their robots and capturing devices are of their own design and suffer from numerous structural or conceptual weaknesses. Giovanni has proven his determination to capture Mewtwo, so why is he not at all moved to help these three accomplish their goals?

That is a question that has been goading the trio since the beginning. After all, their boss has helped other, more proficient agents despite the fact that such skilled criminals surely wouldn’t need as much assistance from the organization. In fact, Jesse, James and Meowth have been dismissed or at least otherwise ignored and marginalized by the organization they hold so dear. Why would these three continue to help those who care so little for them?

Perhaps some of it coincides with their need to belong. Jesse knows that her mother valued Team Rocket immensely, as it gave her the resources necessary to procure care for her daughter. James, as well as Meowth, wanted an alternate family to compensate for the abandonment and negligence by their real ones. They need to feel as though they matter to someone. Rohall, D. (2003) stated in a social psychology article, “This study shows that just spending time with other people produces higher levels of mattering." Note that it doesn’t seem to matter that the organization is filled with cruel and vindictive people (Wikipedia notes that the use of white costumes in contrast to the black worn by other members might symbolize the purer hearts of the most prominent trio.) This author also stated, “Mattering is also negatively related to delinquent behavior: adolescents who feel that they matter more are less likely to engage in delinquent behavior.” However, does that square with what we know of Jesse, James, and Meowth? Well, in some senses it might. For example, when they feel as though someone outside the organization loves them, such as the random villagers they sometimes help out when they are “confused” for heroes, they secretly plan to scam them but they almost always end up actually helping those in need, James and Meowth in particular being most swayed by cries for assistance. Jesse still clings to criminal motivations, perhaps because as an impoverished person who is unloved even in her new family, she feels no pity towards others in her situation (her pity for her friend Chansey/Blissey notwithstanding). Indeed, James and Meowth in particular are known for helping others and interrupting Jesse’s activities if they feel they “owe” someone who was nice to them. So, perhaps the issue for Jesse is that her sense of mattering only pertains to Team Rocket itself. Team Rocket is the only source of support for her, little as it is, and she is loyal to a fault (we don’t recall her ever wanting to take over Team Rocket in the way that James sometimes have). Indeed, Jesse is easily swayed by the dominant group-think in Team Rocket (ironically, agents such as Domino and the Masked Marauder seem more successful and they are greatly more independent-minded than Jesse is). Jones, D. and Ince, E. (2001) discuss some studies relating to this idea: one study discussed showed that if one is not properly compensated for doing something against one's vaules, one simply changes one's beliefs to match the expected behavior and another, involving fake shock treatments, “participants were able to reduce the dissonance of being a harmful person by convincing themselves that an individual deserved to be shocked, and dissonant individuals became more aggressive toward and asserted themselves against the individual perceived to be responsible for their dissonance.” In essence, the fact that Giovanni is not compensating Jesse enough for the tasks he demands of them, unethical as they are, and that Jesse, having a chip on her shoulder due to her poor and neglected background, does feel that others deserve to share her own pains, help drive Jesse to strive to merge her value system with that of Team Rocket just so she can feel as though she belongs. She is frustrated because she does not seem to matter to even her adopted family, whereas James (having lived a life of luxury) and Meowth (whose gift of human speech makes him almost invaluable) have known favor at least at some point in their lives and can think somewhat independently of Giovanni’s demands (and are usually more successful when they are). Yet, somewhat like Jesse, Meowth also wants “to regain Giovanni’s approval and find a measure of acceptance“ (wikipedia.com).

They also heavily desire real happiness, although James and Meowth have grown in their awareness of deeper meanings of this emotion, while Jesse still feels material wealth is the only true sign of success. In fact, this naïve ambition, to acquire only material benchmarks of worth, may lead to her downfall, both in life and in Team Rocket. After all, Shmuley Boteach says, referring to the biblical Adam (who he says was both a workaholic and a seeker of wisdom), “Take that one day a week to totally divorce yourself from all things electrical, technological, and mechanical. Insulate yourself from all things that beep, ring, hum, flash, swirl, vibrate. Give Rest Adam a chance.” Also, there seems to be a lack of spirituality (other than token superstitions, usually of Japanese origin) in the human members of Team Rocket in particular (Meowth is the most philosophical and perhaps the most emotionally grounded). Perhaps they should begin a search for deeper life significance. “Spirituality, then, is not the attainment of a blissful state, but a sustaining of the divine connection through all states,” says Sheikh Kabir Helminski. In essence, perhaps the root cause of their problems lie not in a particular material or spiritual façade, but in the lack of a coherent and far-reaching life philosophy.
 
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Interesting essay. I may have just come to some insights on my own original TR character through that...

Do you plan on doing essays on the evil teams as a whole?
 
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I do have an essay planned, actually, regarding Giovanni, Maxine, and Archie. It will discuss domination and such.
 
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That was great and very thought-out.
 
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my goodness
all these were good
do you plan to use the 4th Gens?
now we Arseus
do you think you'll rewrite the creation essay?
 
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I have just one thing to bring up about these essays: I realize that the writer(s) of these essays are not that familiar with any of the Pokemon manga series (all of which conflict with each other and with the anime), but the the first few essays (the ones discussing aspects of the Pokemon world in general) refer so heavily to the games and just otherwise seem to generalize beyond what is only presented by the anime. This makes me think that something of the mangaverses deserves mention in some of those essays, particularly where the legendaries are involved, because the PokeSpecial manga at least takes some rather bizarre turns with them.

If nothing else...at least make clear mention of how the rules and generalizations in the essays only apply to the anime interpretation of the games (even if this is already implied in the essay), since anime interpretations are often further from the games than manga interpretations (especially depending on which manga series is being compared).
 
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I don't think I'll be involved with 4th gen because I've been recently fired and I don't know if I can afford dealing with pokemon again ... unless you're talking about the anime.

And I understand your criticism about not including the mangaverses, but here's the thing: I don't have the manga. I don't know what happens in them... at all. I get that Sabrina is in TR and J&J get married, but that's the extent of my knowledge. If you want to write an essay about concepts of the manga, go ahead. Like I said at the beginning, I don't know everything and would like some help. Heck, even the bible had multiple authors.
 
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Well, the English versions of Diamond and Pearl won't be coming out for many months; surely you'll have another job by then?

The manga where Sabrina is in TR and the manga where Jessie and James get married are two different series, fyi.
 
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