Meta Rate My Team PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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Disclaimer: this is most likely going to be a LONG post, so if you have more important things to do like homeworks, walking the dog, girlfriend(s?), you should probably go now till you have the chance, cause (hopefully) this will be pretty captivating and worth a read.

Pokéballs, how do they work?

I've been accompanied growing up by Pokémon for almost all my live,
I've been there, watching the anime and playing the games, since what shortly is going to be two decades ago.
I remember fondly the early merchandises they would push on us kids, besides the TCG, the albums full of stickers, the backpacks and all the school related things, the shoes and the socks, there used to be (as I supposed there still is, but undoubtedly done WAY better) the Pokéballs.
Nothing fancy mind you, but as I kid I couldn't have asked for anything more.
The first one I got, after the pilot episode of the first series came to a close and I had ran to the toy store across the street, was nothing more than a "twist to open" sphere of plastic, red on top and white on the bottom, not even colored on the inside, with the black line in the middle and the typical white dot in the center.
It even had a yellow text on the upper half of the ball that spelled Pokémon just like in the show.
Inside I found candies, because why not, it's for kids anyway, and a small Vulpix.
This marked me for the rest of my youth.
I could've been just like Ash!
I remember running around in the parks with my friends, tossing those spherical pieces of plastic to the ground and imagining to have the most amazing Pokémon battles and then, when the sun was high enough for us to see, we would wip out our GameBoy and play against each other. (Because boy couldn't you see ** on those bricks unless you had the right lights!)
The movie then came out and I went to see it in my city theater with my mother and brother, and I was blown away.
The story was engrossing and the art was somewhat nicer than the cartoon, plus those sweet, sweet animations!
enter image description here
As times went by, innovations were adopted.
New Pokémons, new companions (stupid Tracey stealing Brock's spot) and more importantly
new Pokéballs.
This fact, regardless, didn't pass unnoticed.
I always wondered how the balls were different from one another, I knew that they were supposed to be better the the previous model, but what I wondered was
how the Pokémon would perceive the ball from the inside.**

Thus here are my questions.
As far as I remember it was never explained how the pokéballs works, neither in the anime, nor in the games or, for all I know, in the manga.
The Manga, however, somehow shrugs it off with just the depiction of a miniaturized Pokémon living in the inside, just waiting in empty space.
enter image description here
This frankly contradicts what is told to us in the game, which is that the Pokémon are turned into electronics files so to be stored away in a pc.
(How in the world would you be able to turn a living creature into something that could be fit in a USB is beyond me, but anyway...)
In the anime, as far as I recall, nothing is stated.
It just happens. And the Pokémons somehow still have consciousness of what is going on around them while in their balls.

So,concluding, what I would like to know is:
• Was it ever truly explained what happens to our friends once they are in their pokéball?
• Was it ever shown what the inside of a pokéball (in any of the 3 media) looks like?
• Is there a canonical explanations as to how a miniaturized ball containing a crab can just start levitating out of a ten years old kid's hand so it can go towards an old man that is probably "drinking tea" with his mother???

I mean, I wouldn't want THIS to happen…
enter image description here

Thanks for the attention,
and let me know what you guys think!

Torym

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To the best of my knowledge, it hasn't been explained in the games, anime or manga exactly how the pokeball works, and we have only had a few clues so far as to what the inside of a pokeball is actually like. There is of course, the manga depiction of an empty space inside where the Pokemon sits, like you have shown in your question. There is also these designs for a pokeball, showing it's size, storage and mechanics: enter image description here

In the anime there is this screenshot that shows the inside of a pokeball: enter image description here

As you can see, the pokeballs appear to be quite plain inside, but with a device in the top and bottom of the pokeball, which we can deduce is used to capture and store the Pokemon.

There is also this screenshot from the anime which shows Iris's Dragonite just sitting inside the pokeball, yet it seems to be conscious of what's happening outide the pokeball: enter image description here

Furthermore, according to Bulbapedia,

the device is said to replicate a "Pokémon-friendly" environment that
is "designed for comfort".

Bulbapedia page on pokeballs

I personally like to think that the inside of a pokeball adapts itself according to the Pokemon that's in the ball, so that the Pokemon is living in the environment that's best for it, like a lake or a forest. :)

Hope I helped!

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Okay, I had been wondering about this myself lately, and all though I hadn't been looking for an answer per say, I was, however going through my trophies after having beat the campaigny thing on Super Smash Bros. Melee on my Gamecube, (which my dad recently told me was a limited edition) and came across my pokeball trophy. This was the description.

These balls are used to capture and contain wild Pokémon. Most Pokémon
must be weakened in some way before they can be captured, but once
they're inside a Poké Ball, they enjoy their new home, since Poké
Balls contain an environment specially designed for Pokémon comfort.
Master Balls are the strongest type.

Now a little bit earlier in the year I had been playing SSBB with my cousin, and just for this answer, I looked up the description for that because I remember it being a little different.

An item used for capturing Pokémon and calling them out to battle.
Pokémon live in these items which, despite appearances, actually
contain a wide, comfortable, Pokémon-friendly world inside them. In
Super Smash Bros., Pokémon give temporary support to whoever calls
them out. You never know which Pokémon you'll get, but some of them
are devastatingly powerful.

So personally, because these are really the only descriptions of what exactly goes on in a Pokeball, I follow this. Also because I like the idea of it creating an ideal living space for my creatures. I bet Giratina's is like, full of flowers and butterflies after being trapped in the distortion world for so long.

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