Humans are the dominant species of the Pokémon world. They usually live in harmony with Pokémon, in a world similar to that of the real world. Humans who own and use Pokémon for a number of different purposes are called Pokémon Trainers and are found throughout the regions of the Pokémon world. The very relationship between humans and Pokémon is what the series mainly revolves around, featuring them in the vast majority of games, anime, manga and other media. Throughout the Pokémon series, humans have befriended Pokémon and used their help in tasks like battling, Pokémon Contests, protecting nature, and other vital roles. However, some evil teams have used Pokémon harmfully for their own gain.
Humans in various age groups have been shown in all sources of Pokémon media, while infants have seldom been seen and very rarely appear in the anime. The biological relationship between humans and Pokémon is not explored within the series, but it is known that humans and Pokémon are two different "species", unlike the real-world relationship between humans and animals. There are a few references in Sinnoh myths mentioning that humans and Pokémon once coexisted as a single species. A few individuals appear to possess abilities well beyond those that real-world humans are capable of attaining, such as having Psychic or Aura powers.
For comical purposes, characters in the Pokémon world are often pictured with a greatly exaggerated ability to withstand physical trauma, (e.g. being burned, poisoned, and falling great distances). The most common occurrence of humans being harmed without injury is the constant electrocution of Ash and his nemesis, the Team Rocket trio, consisting of Jessie, James and Meowth, who are blasted off over the horizon countless times in the early seasons of the anime series. However, Pokémon still present a threat to humans, hence why people need a license in order to train Pokémon.
The human culture of the Pokémon world, much like the technology, is depicted as revolving around Pokémon. The care and research of Pokémon is shown to be of primary importance and Pokémon battles are an almost universal pastime. Facilities such as Pokémon Centers, Gyms and even entire arenas and stadiums have been built to this end. So important are Pokémon to humans that they were revered or even outright worshiped in certain parts of the world, especially legendary Pokémon, so named because of their prominent roles in myths and legends. However, this fascination with Pokémon is not always benevolent; various individuals and organizations with motives ranging from greed to grandiosity have repeatedly tried to exploit Pokémon to further their own agendas, often at the expense of the well being of Pokémon, other people or even the very world itself. This is not always the case as humans are equally capable of good as they are of evil, and are able to see the error of their ways; however, only time will tell if they are also able to learn from their mistakes.
Unlike the real world, humans in the Pokémon world live, for the most part, in an extremely environmentally friendly society. Automobiles are apparently used at a minimum, with walking or riding Pokémon being the preferred methods of transportation, as demonstrated by the many traveling Trainers who have not been shown to use public transport. However, bicycles are common. Many vehicles are seen with virtually no visible emissions such as smoke, suggesting that technology has allowed for environmentally friendly transportation. Towns and cities are often deeply integrated with the surrounding environment, and often allow surrounding forests to encroach on the city borders.
The population of humans appears to be much lower than that of the real world, as seen by the immense stretches of forest and fields, untouched by human development.
Humans have achieved a level of technology unparalleled by any other species on the planet. Much of human technology appears to be based around the concept of human-Pokémon relations; this technology includes the ubiquitous Poké Ball as well as teleportation and data transfer systems designed to store and move captured Pokémon at their Trainer's convenience. Humans have also created artificial Pokémon, such as Porygon; a product of artificial intelligence programming and light manipulation, and Mewtwo; a powerful clone of Mew, designed and created specifically for battling. Apparently, this knack for technology dates back to ancient times as there are many examples of lost civilizations that utilized similar technology. It would seem strange that humans remain dominant over Pokémon, as it is mentioned in many occasions that some Psychic-type Pokémon (e.g. Alakazam and Slowking) appear to be far more intelligent and powerful than humans, however, this has not been explored much aside from Pokédex descriptions.
Human organizations in the Pokémon world
- International Police: A law-enforcement organization.
- Pokémon Association: Handles legislation regarding Pokémon.
- Pokémon Breeder: Raises and mates Pokémon for genetic improvements such as moves, individual values, and natures.
- Pokémon Connoisseur: Specializes in identifying the compatibility between Pokémon and their Trainers.
- Pokémon Coordinator: Raises Pokémon to compete in Pokémon Contests, by feeding them Pokéblocks or Poffins compatible with their natures, and teaching them moves designed for particular appeals.
- Gym Leader: Hold some title of prestige and worthy of recognition among Pokémon Trainers, earning them status in a town or city to challenge Trainers aspiring to challenge the Pokémon League of their particular region. They also hand out a Badge to Pokémon Trainers who beat them in battle.
- Pokémon Professor: Researches certain aspects of Pokémon and the Pokémon world, such as evolution, habitat, etc. They also hand out starter Pokémon to aspiring Pokémon Trainers.
- Pokémon Ranger: They belong to the Ranger Union, an organization with the intention of fighting people who mistreat Pokémon and threaten peace. They utilize the power of Pokémon to protect the environment, help other people, and help Pokémon. Rangers use Capture Stylers to bestow feelings of friendship to Pokémon.
- Pokémon Trainer: Raises, travels with, and battles with Pokémon.
- Villainous teams: Always human outside of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, the villainous teams threaten the region, and serve as antagonists to be defeated. They can range from mere crime syndicates, such as Team Rocket in the Kanto or Johto regions, to groups with specific, extreme ideological beliefs, such as Team Galactic in the Sinnoh region or Team Plasma in the Unova region.