In the Pokémon series, it is understood in the games (and maybe the anime; I'm not sure since I don't watch it much anymore) that Pokémon species' names are capitalized in all grammatical instances.
"I caught a Charizard today."
"Her Charizard learned Fire Blast."
"Have you seen my Charizard?"
"I choose you, Charizard!"
But why is that? In English, it is commonly understood that simple animal species are not capitalized.
"I caught a fly today."
"Her dog learned to roll over."
"Have you seen my cat?"
"I choose you, fish!" (Not sure why you'd say that. Work with me.)
Some have suggested that specific real-world species are capitalized while the general reference to the animal is not (i.e. German Shepherd vs dog).
However, I believe this to be because there is a nationality included in the name. Specific species such as fruitbat or canary are types of bat and bird respectively, but are not capitalized.
Another argument I've heard in terms of pro-capitalization is that you should at least capitalize the names if they are, in fact, the nicknames.
If you caught a Pikachu and named it Sparky, cool. You would capitalize "Sparky."
But if you caught a Pikachu and decided not to nickname it, its name would be "Pikachu." "Pikachu" in this case would be a proper noun.
So, this brings me back to the question at hand: Why do we capitalize Pokémon species and not real-world species?
Do you always capitalize the Pokémon species names as a rule or not?
Do you think the species names even should be capitalized?
Let me know what you think, provide arguments for or against, bring up new points on the subject, but please guys, be civil.
(thread approval given by bobandbill