Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Pokemon Packs Provide Perfunctory Pleasure

Why, you may ask, are Pokemon cards here? Well, I've mentioned in the past that I have a Pokemon card collection, so they're not entirely random. I've been working on a master Pokedex for a few years now, first getting one card of every Pokemon, and now I'm working on all the variations. A pop-up Pokemon shop opened in the department store near me, so my coworker and I stopped in to check it out. I didn't walk away with any exclusive merchandise (the sleeping Eevees are cute, though!) I did grab eight packs, two of each type they had for sale.


This is from the Sword and Shield (8th Generation) series, and is titled Mugen Zone (Infinity Zone). It's the third series, with 100 cards: 44 common and 34 uncommon, plus 10 rare, 8 ultra-rare, and 4 triple rare (all shiny), along with 19 secret super-rare and hyper-rare cards.

If you've never looked at a Pokemon card before, the Japanese certainly won't help you. The number in the upper-right is a sort of health statistic, and the logo next to it represents the type of Pokemon (ghost, fire, water, and so on).The top left has the Pokemon's name; this one is Skarmory, who in Japanese is (roughly) called Airmode. Sometimes, there is a small image in the upper-left. This means that particular Pokemon is an evolved form; Skarmory is a base form.

The picture in the middle can be really interesting - sometimes there are clay Pokemon, or knitted Pokemon, though usually there is some artwork. The number below the photo (227) is the Pokedex number for that Pokemon. That is the number I'm most concerned with.

The rest of that line has some vital statistics, with the main body of text explaining that Pokemon's moves with this particular card. (Moves can change or be stronger or weaker depending on the particular card.)  The line below that includes some additional card game statistics for its use in battle. The bottom right corner includes information on where the image came from, which series this is from, its card number in that series, and the level of rarity (C stands for common). The rest of the text is a sort of biography about the Pokemon.

Trainer's cards seem valuable, but I don't really need them in my collection. They're useful when playing the game, but I don't play.
If you look closely enough, you'll notice that the color-coding of the card corresponds to the type. There are two water type Pokemon in this row, both with the water symbol in the upper-right corner and a light blue background.
On the left, we have a rare card! Decidueye (Japanese name: Junaipa).

Here, we move over to the Sun and Moon series (7th Generation). This particular series is called GG End (Jiijii End). This expansion pack was released in April 2019 and contains only 54 cards (23 common, 16 uncommon, 7 rare, 4 double rare, 4 triple rare) plus 14 secret (super rare and ultra rare). 
Not much to say here. That's a cool haunted house behind Litwick (on the right).
The Trainer's card here is Grimsley (Japanese name Gima). Character cards help support your battles.
Again, nothing particularly interesting.
This Trainer's card is a Reset Stamp. And doing a quick bit of research, it is a banned card in tournament play! It appears that it is a little valuable, so I suppose this card is the best in this pair of packs.
Another Sun & Moon pair of packs, this series is called Sky Legends. Again, there are 54 regular cards (23 common, 16 uncommon, 7 rare, 4 double rare, 4 triple rare) plus 16 secret (super rare and hyper rare).
I remember hunting down Magnemite (Japanese name "Coil") around Tokyo several years ago to evolve it and also finish off one of the medals. I'm talking about Pokemon Go of course.
Tsareena (Amajio) on the left is a rare shiny card, the second shiny in these packs. I should probably mention that rare, shiny cards aren't necessarily that much more valuable, if at all. 
Yes, I did get a double. Thanks for noticing. I guess when each pack contains 10% of a set, it's pretty likely that you'll get a double out of just two packs from time to time. Oh well. One more pair of packs to go.
Let's finish with Sword and Shield again, since that's the newer of these two series. This is called Bakuen Walker (Explosive Flame Walker). Nice name. 70 regular cards (30 common, 23 uncommon, 8 rare, 6 double rare, 3 triple rare) and 16 secret (super rare and ultra rare).
Mr. Mime in the middle is a Galarian version, which is a sort of regional variant. Again, not really valuable, but it is a variation. 
Golispod (Genkumuja), left, is another rare shiny, and the center card is an uncommon.
Blobs are gross. Ferrets are cute. Avoid both if you're smart.
Two more uncommons to finish this series, including a support trainer and a teapot. I guess Belle won't be too happy at the castle tonight.

And there you have it. Eight Pokemon packs from four different expansion packs from two different series. In addition to the fun of opening, scanning, and writing the post, and gaining some cards for my collection, I actually learned a lot about the actual Pokemon TCG for this post. Who knows, maybe I'll actually learn how to play. Probably not. But until next time...


  1. I am all in for more Pokemon content.

  2. Love the idea of getting one card for every character. Never learned how to play... but I sure wish I would have kept the cards from back in the day. Pokemon became really popular my first year of teaching, so to supplement my income I got a job at the mall card shop across the street from my school. I ended up building complete sets of the Jungle and Fossil and had most of the Blue (is it called Basic?) set. Good times. One of my co-workers kept a bunch of those packs unopened and has been listing them on eBay. They sell for crazy money.

  3. More Pokemon will come eventually, I'm pretty sure.

    I worked at Blockbuster in college and we had packs of this stuff, and it would sell really fast. I've seen that the earlier sets are quite valuable now; too bad I didn't keep any of them from then.