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Old January 26th, 2014 (3:54 PM).
Wooggle Wooggle is offline
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In the Pokemon Universe, how old do you have to be to own a pokemon?

I know that this age is generally thought to be 10 years old, as it has been mentioned many times throughout the anime, but this is constantly condraticted during the games. There are many trainer classes that look younger than 10. Even if you think that the class "youngster" could be excused as 10 years old (even though they look younger than that), the class "twins" (which has exsisted since generation 2) looks to be about 4 or 5 years old, which is undeniably short of the "official" age of 10. There is also a class called "preschoolers" which has existed since Black and White. There is no way a preschooler can be 10 years old. This is what the twins look like in black and white:

(Unfortunately, I am not allowed to post links, so you just have to copy and paste the link)

How could you ever say that those people look 10 years old?

Does anyone know if there is any offical word about this matter?
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Old January 26th, 2014 (4:33 PM).
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To own a Pokemon... well, I think there's a few ways to look at it.

Kids younger than 10 have their own pets in the real world, for example. However, in terms of actual ownership it belongs to the parent/guardian for official records or whatnot. Maybe it's not too far a jump to say the same applies in the Pokémon world? Even if they can breathe fire or whatnot in Pokémon's case, some pets can be dangerous too.

Certainly in the games you see pre-schoolers with Pokémon, but I think there may be a difference between having a Pokémon, and having them while being a Trainer (that is, going on your adventure to beat up gym leaders across the region/s).

Also depends on the canon. The anime I think promoted the 10 year old thing, while in the games age is not often mentioned, nor was a trip planned by the protagonist in the first place (e.g. in GSC, you get a Pokémon for an errand, in DPPt you get to keep it after you stumble on a bag and get attacked by starly/the professor decides you give you one, in RSE it's because you save Rowan who's being attacked by a rapid Zigzagoon/Poochyena...)
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Old January 26th, 2014 (7:39 PM).
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It seems to me like you can have one when you're younger than 10, but the minimum age to leave for a journey without another human with you is 10.

Granted, there could also be cases of orphans running around at a younger age than that and without proper licensing, since they might be homeless anyway. In Japan, kids as young as 6 or 7 are often allowed to use public transport by themselves, so people might not think it's weird for a kid to wander around alone in the Pokemon setting; they might make the assumption that the kid is off to school or doing an errand if a town is nearby.
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Old January 26th, 2014 (7:47 PM).
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I personally think that the parents the of child or children under 10 are the owners of the Pokémon. The Pokémon will probably only follow the parent's commands, and little or none of the child. Or maybe you are allowed to have a Pokémon under 10 but you can't receive a Pokedex and start a journey alone until you are 10. Also I think that schooling is either done at home or they have a shorter education, since they don't really need to know as much if they are going on an adventure in the future.
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Old January 26th, 2014 (7:49 PM).
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It's just like the real world. You can own a pet, but you have a parent that helps you raise it. Well you can own a Pokemon, but you have other people sharing the responsibility. Also, a kid can't just pull out a dog and bring it everywhere for protection like Pokemon. It's really hard to say as they are two completely different situations really. However, I know I got lost in my neighborhood til I was like 14, so I definitely couldn't start a journey lol.

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Old January 26th, 2014 (8:21 PM).
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If Pokemon was like the real world, it would have to be 18 or 21: imagine giving a teenager control of a creature with crazy supernatural powers!
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Old January 26th, 2014 (11:58 PM).
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I've always just assumed that you're allowed to raise, train and battle with Pokemon from any age, but you couldn't get a Pokedex and challenge gyms and the Pokemon League until after your 10th birthday. This would kind of explain why you see children that are clearly below the age of 10 battling with Pokemon, but why it always seems to be older trainers that you face in gyms, etc.

In real life, though, I would expect that age to be much higher, with an absolute minimum being 13 years old.
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Old January 27th, 2014 (12:55 AM).
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Originally Posted by King Koop View Post
If Pokemon was like the real world, it would have to be 18 or 21: imagine giving a teenager control of a creature with crazy supernatural powers!
Probably something along these lines.
- First of all, if you ditch school to become a Pokémon trainer for a few years and then decide that "oops, it was not for me" (for whatever reason), it's pretty hard to go back and start with like 4th grade when you're in your 20s or older...
- Second, speaking mostly for myself, I wouldn't feel comfortable traveling around all alone on a journey with no foreseeable end, always having to worry about where to sleep, find food or how to get money. Apart from the money aspect, none of these other topics are touched upon in the game (and shouldn't be because it's a game aimed at kids) but since this discussion is not game related but mare akin to a real world (even if it is the Pokémon Universe), those would be serious issues for a 10 year old to solve.
- Third, as many people in this thread have already pointed out, being the keeper of a pet does come with responsibilities, and we're talking about pretty intelligent creatures with feelings that seem to be able to understand human language. To really take care of them and not simply use them as "cannon fodder" would be hard for a 10 years old, which is probably why the constantly emphasize the importance of good treatment of the Pokémon in the games and anime.
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Old January 27th, 2014 (1:15 AM).
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See, I think there's been a misunderstanding about the 10-year-old thing. In the anime, Ash (Satoshi) says that now that he's 10, he can finally become a Pokémon trainer.

Who says that's a universal rule? Couldn't it just be that his mother told him he couldn't be a trainer until he turned ten years old? Even the anime clearly shows children younger than Ash being Pokémon trainers (ever within the first few episodes of the anime, for instance).

I don't think there are any real restrictions about Pokémon training; anymore than there are restrictions about the age at which you're allowed to wrestle, or dance, or ride a bike. It's a matter of having the skill and desire to do it, not how old you are (except for those still under their parents' supervision, of course; parents may set restrictions, but they needn't necessarily be enforced by anyone else).

Now, might there be age restrictions, for example, of how old Gym Leaders or Elite Four members must be? Perhaps. So far we haven't seen any Gym Leaders or Elite Four members in any canon source who seems to be any younger than early-to-mid teens. So we could theoretically surmise that there's an age limit of around 13-years-old for qualification to hold any sort of official, ranked office in the Pokémon training world.
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Old January 27th, 2014 (2:05 AM).
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10 is the right year i think to own a pokemon
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Old January 27th, 2014 (8:23 AM).
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I'd say that there is no official 'age requirement', as most kids would seemingly not undertake the Journey on their own. I assume the kids you see are being sent on errands, or just playing, and the pokemon they have are amily pets who are trusted with watching and protecting the child.
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Old January 27th, 2014 (9:03 AM).
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In my opinion, you can only be a "registered" Pokemon trainer if you are at least 10 years old. You can own a Pokemon at any age, but you cannot compete in a Pokemon League with a Pokedex unless you are at least 10. Just my take on it.

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Old January 28th, 2014 (5:03 AM).
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I think there's a huge difference between owning a pokémon and going on a journey, or even calling yourself a trainer.

Pokémon are, in all canon iterations of the pokémon world, depicted as kind, intelligent beings. Not mere animals. While I wouldn't leave my 3 year old alone with a cat, a Skitty likely would understand to be nice and friendly towards the child. So I wouldn't put any age limits on owning or interacting with pokémon.

Training is another question. Since pokémon seem to naturally enjoy battling, it's maybe weird to stop them from training themselves even if they are owned by a kid. But kids might not have the control and sense to stay away from dangerous attacks, so I think wise parents would forbid their children to battle with their pokémon until a certain age. Like GhastlyGastly says, maybe Ash's mother said he could become a trainer when he was 10.

Journeying is an even bigger question. If the pokémon world is as nice as it seems in the anime, maybe it's no big deal if 10 year olds travel the countryside and towns alone together with pokémon. But in the real world, I doubt a 10 year old would make it very far if they had a normal upbringing. So maybe in high school, you'd be allowed to take a leave from school to become a trainer for a while.
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Old January 29th, 2014 (8:00 AM).
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Mayhaps 10's the age that you're allowed to enter the League. Other trainers such as youngsters and twins rarely (I can't recall any having one) have one of the starters, so perhaps their parents caught their Pokemon for them.

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Old January 29th, 2014 (10:58 PM).
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One need to be atleast more than 10 to participate in leagues.
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Old January 29th, 2014 (11:59 PM).
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I think 10 years old is just fine, maybe even dropping it to 7 years old for unevolved Pokemon or "cute" evolved Pokemon (such as Glaceon).
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Old January 30th, 2014 (7:26 AM).
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I agree with the others, 10 seems like the most appropriate age to own a Pokemon since they mention that someone can't become a trainer until they're at least 10 in the anime.
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Old January 30th, 2014 (7:45 AM).
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Don't know about 10 .. seems dangerous for a kid to own a powerful pokemon, eh? How about this. You
can own some pokemon at the age of 10, or lower, and some at the age of 14, 18, and so on. Like lego.
You know how the label on the box says "3+ years"? Like that. But with labels on pokemon.

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Old January 30th, 2014 (8:10 AM).
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The Pokémon world is not like the real world - while the accoutrements of a modern industrial civilization are there, the mindset and practices that comes with it are not, because Pokémon are so heavily dependent and central on their whole system and worldview. Pokémon is literally everything about life, so children are raised with them from practically day one. Ten is a common age because they receive the most basic of basic knowledge - how to read, adding two and two together, and then are sent on their Pokémon journey, which is essentially a rite of manhood everyone should go through. Sometimes, not even that knowledge is necessary. What about everything else learnt in school? "Don't care, have Pokémon!" is what most would say.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (9:52 AM).
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Originally Posted by pokefan648 View Post
you are allowed to have a Pokémon under 10 but you can't receive a Pokedex
Originally Posted by Jamais View Post
but you couldn't get a Pokedex and challenge gyms and the Pokemon League until after your 10th birthday
Originally Posted by Nordk View Post
Other trainers such as youngsters and twins rarely (I can't recall any having one) have one of the starters, so perhaps their parents caught their Pokemon for them.
You people seem to forget that the starters are rare Pokemon that aren't simply given away to anybody that wants it.

Oak prepared the Kanto starters for the two kids that wanted to journey - and possibly leave the last for his granddaughter when time comes. Elm gives one to do an errand and let the person keep it because of reasons he didn't foresee. Birch gives them as a token of gratitude for being helped, Rowan gives them in a whimsy and perhaps in fear of the Dawn/Lucas and Barry's safety. Juniper for the same reasons as Oak and Sycamore probably gives the Pokemon so he has someone to do his job and can get some alone time with the MC's mother.

Pokedex are also rather rare, as evidenced by Elm saying Oak only gives them to a few select trainer and some people - that are decidedly adults - saying they want a Pokedex.

Honestly, I think the starter thing is more of a whatever Pokemon is available nearby / whatever Pokemon you can get of a family member than a special Pokemon given to those that are starting their journey.

Originally Posted by Stochastic View Post
Don't know about 10 .. seems dangerous for a kid to own a powerful pokemon, eh? How about this. You
can own some pokemon at the age of 10, or lower, and some at the age of 14, 18, and so on. Like lego.
You know how the label on the box says "3+ years"? Like that. But with labels on pokemon.
And then there are 10-years old in control of gods.

Now as for the true part of the topic, I don't think there's really any age restrictions, you can go whenever your legal guardian says you can and someone gives you a Pokemon, and that's it. Not to mention that most of the time when people younger than ten years or whatever are battled, it's generally close to a city, so maybe it's just like playing on the outskirts of town with a Pokemon rather than going in a journey.
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Old February 2nd, 2014 (10:59 AM).
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Its sort of a good idea to say that ten year olds should be able to take care of completely harmless Pokémon like Ratatta and the like. but not extremely powerful and sometimes almighty, legendaries or even Pokémon with extreme supernatural powers or just plain harmful in any way, like how powerful it is. basically, leave all the harmful, legendary, powerful or supernatural Pokémon to once the trainer is 18. that way, they would have more responsibility and think better when it comes to these types of pokemon. because, who knows what could happen if they were given one at age 10?
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (9:14 AM).
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It's hard to say, really.

I've always grown up around pets, be it my own or another family member's, and that's been long since before I could walk. People would leave me alone for a minute and I actually remember my mom having pictures of when they would return and the animal would be laying next to me or cradling me or what have ya.

So, given the theory that Pokemon are much more intelligent than our own animals, I'd say that a very young child actually having a Pokemon of their own wouldn't be something too obscure to imagine. Especially if the Pokemon itself is a decent bit older than the child, then I'm sure it understands the difference between an adult human and a younger human, especially if it were the case of the adult's Pokemon's offspring being given to the child, where the mother of that Pokemon would be there to oversee the young Pokemon's powers and abilities in check around the human child, and the human parents to keep their own child in check as to be gentle and kind to the Pokemon.

As for journeying out on your own with Pokemon, 10 is just way too young. Like, way too young. At nine years old, a child's brain has JUST been able to accept the fact that a hotdog cut into tiny pieces is still the same amount of food as a whole hotdog, where as a child any younger still sees the tinier pieces as being more food, because there is a larger amount of it. A child who has JUST learned that not even a year ago is just way too young to be given a giant fire-breathing dragon and told, "Go out on your own and be a Trainer."

To me, 17 or 18 is about the age I'd let my child venture off with a Pokemon. Much like how many parents do in our world, I feel that 18 is ready to start making decisions of their own about where they should live, what they should do, and where they should travel to.
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Old February 3rd, 2014 (6:26 PM).
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I think that kids should be able to own their own Pokemon at any age. Just like pets, Pokemon and young kids get along well for the most part. I think that trainers should be able to leave home at 16 and start their pokemon journey. I believe that all trainers should have some kind of schooling before going on their journey to learn the basics of Pokemon. :
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Old February 6th, 2014 (11:01 PM).
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I don't think there is an age to own a Pokemon but to go on a journey you have to be 10. Because in the games you see preschoolers with Pokemon and they would be no older than 5.
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Old February 9th, 2014 (7:24 AM).
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I'm not sure if there's an official mention of age to own a Pokemon. The only mention of age at all that I can think of would be the start of the anime with the whole 10 years old thing. I like to think that's just Ash's mother's personal restriction.
I don't think there would be any age restriction for owning Pokemon, though really young children would most likely have help from their parents. I had a dog since I was very very young, but of course I wasn't the only one taking care of her at that age.
It's hard for me to imagine parents letting any of their children younger than their late teens going off on their own with nothing but their pet(s). The age when a person starts their journey is probably down to the preference of the child's parents though.
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