Published: August 29, 2016

This article is mainly to add my thoughts to a video made by Gnoggin and Eryizo. Watch that video if you have not yet done so before reading any further. I love how this video was made and am in no way attempting to criticize or belittle the video or anyone who worked on it. On the contrary, I am expressing that this was a well-done video and would like to add to this discussion. Also, while the contents may seem controversial and offensive, this article is not meant to raise unnecessary controversy without good reason. I also do not advise or condone anything illegal or immoral. With that out of the way, here is my contribution to this discussion.

In any case, this article is mainly intended to add my two cents to a few points made about Guzma, the leader of Team Skull in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. In their video, Gnoggin and Eryizo discuss the possible origins and motives of Team Skull. They theorized that Team Skull's main goals were to unite the worlds of the living and the dead, and while I believe this to be a really plausible theory, I have another theory that, in spite of its differences, seems to go hand-in-hand with what was already presented in this mega-theory.

They mention that Team Skull takes inspiration from various "gangstas", and possibly Hispanic "gangstas" in particular, and that Guzma's name may come from the Hispanic name Guzmán. While they did mention a famous botanist by that name and the Guzmania plants named after said botanist, I thought of another and more famous figure, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán. For those not aware, El Chapo is a notorious and revered drug kingpin, as well as the head of an organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel, considered by many to be the most powerful organized crime syndicate in Mexico or even the most powerful drug cartel in the world. This seems to already show similarities with what we know about Team Skull, especially given that they could be Hispanic (as theorized in the video), though the similarities do not stop there. The Sinaloa Cartel is known, among other things, for drug trafficking and money laundering. I should clarify that these are not only strictly illegal in most parts of the world and rightfully so, and I am only choosing to discuss such topics to associate them with an evil organization. I do not condone or promote any illegal or immoral activities, and in fact only wish to encourage people to stay far away from these great evils.

While this may seem difficult to include in a kid-friendly manner, Pokémon has been known to veil some controversial topics in the past with their villainous organizations, from Team Rocket's trafficking and smuggling of Pokémon to Team Ghetsis' manipulation of people's ignorance to warp how people perceive the reality around them and using this absence of truth to align their ideals along with his own to the supposedly Nazi-like attempts and ambitions of Team Flare to beautify and cleanse this world of those whom they felt were not worthy of populating it.

Back to Team Skull, while the topic of drugs does seem difficult to incorporate in a kid-friendly game, it has been done before. The reasons that I feel this to be plausible would go beyond the similarities in name. Their main symbol, a skull, is often associated with drugs and toxins, and is often used to represent harmful or deadly substances. On this note, it should also be noted that, interestingly, Team Skulls uses primarily Poison Pokémon. One would imagine that skulls are associated with the Ghost type in Pokémon, yet the one Ghost Pokémon seen in Team Skull's possession happens to have the Poison type as well. In addition, as of the time of writing this article, the team admin and big sister of the group, Plumeria, is only seen using a Golbat, and the team leader, Guzma, is only seen using an Ariados. While the Poison type does seem to be a bit of a common theme among baddies, this is a detail that I doubt to be a coincidence or an oversight. I could be overthinking it, though I honestly doubt that one.

The examples that come in my mind mainly focus on drugs as a substance that would have short-term benefits, such as a really powerful attack or phase, while having a longer-lasting negative side effect. Thinking of that, a mechanic introduced in Generation 7, Z-Moves, comes to mind. Z-Moves are super-powerful attacks that can be used once per battle, and usually require a strong bond between trainers and Pokémon. With this in mind, I could imagine Team Skull attempting to artificially bypass the limitation that it could only be used once per battle, as this would give them great power. This excessive desire for power, however, could drive Pokémon beyond their limits and harm them. Looking at the fact that Guzma was rejected as a trial member, I could imagine that this is due to his hunger for power.

Another possibility is related to alchemy, a prominent theme in the Reset Theory and franchise. For starters, alchemy is regarded as the precursor to chemistry. Both alchemy and chemistry are mainly about transformation, among other deep meanings. The reason that I bring modern chemistry into this is because of its common association with physical substances, especially the illegal kind. This is significant because most of the evil organizations in the franchise wish to transform the world in some way to another, from changing the physical ecosystems to be better suited for water dwellers or land dwellers, to changing how people perceive this world and their ideals for it, to redesigning the entire universe in a specific image. I could only imagine that Team Skull would bring their own twist to this idea. This twist would mainly be conjoining or uniting this world with a spirit world or possibly even Giratina's distortion world. Skulls, which are the obvious theme of this team, fit this way of thinking perfectly, as they represent death almost universally. Death, however, is rarely seen as a permanent end. In most religions and belief systems, after one's soul leaves this world, it either lingers on in this world as a ghost or moves on to a different world inaccessible to the living. According to many belief systems, death, however, is not the only way to transcend this world and move on to the next. This can be done by destroying attachments to this lowly material world and achieving a connection with the divine spirit world. For example, nirvana is a spiritual state described in many Indian religions that mainly involves escaping the cycle of death and rebirth to ascend to a higher realm of existence. Back to a point that I mentioned earlier, many people believe that consuming certain substances can distance oneself from this world and ascend to a higher world. The main reason that controlled substances are so popular is because they provide the users with relief from reality, and many take the great-feeling effects to be signs that they are in a greater state while under the effects of these substances. I should clarify here that I do not personally hold such beliefs, nor do I condone them. These beliefs contradict the reality around us, though this could, for many people, only serve to steer people further away from this reality. In fact, this could possibly have to do with Guzma's rejection as a trial captain. Admittedly, being denied a great title that took much time and effort to attempt to attain can be really painful. After seeing the reality that went against his expectations, he could have developed a certain hatred for it and became destruction in human form, as he tells Kukui. Out of his disdain for reality, he could seek to destroy it, just as the sheer disappointment supposedly destroyed him, and just as abusing undeserved power or substances can destroy anyone. He could attempt to destroy this world in favor of one in which he has greater control, and could even bring that alternate world to his current world. According to how he would envision it, it all comes together, and not just this world.

This, however, is mainly just a theory. What do you think of it? Please let me know what I did well and where I can improve (since I am relatively new to this, I could imagine many areas of improvement.