Ty asks:

What are your thoughts on Mr. Mime? He was always an odd Pokemon that most kids thought were weird back when Gen I was the only Gen, at least as much as I remember. Do you think that persists? Is there a reason why Mr. Mimes can be both male and female when Jynxes are only female? Would you say the addition of Fairy-type helped or hurt Mr. Mime thematically? Is there anything you would do, if you could, to empower Mr. Mime competitively?

…hmm?

What?

A- a question!?

A question!  A real proper question that isn’t from an obnoxious cartoon squid!  Get our whole research team on it, right this-

What do you mean that’s just me!?  Well, get the front-of-house staff on it, stoke the forge, advance our king’s bishop to C4, set up snipers on the roof, and someone take this guest’s coat!

1) I actually liked Mr. Mime quite a lot as a kid.  I think for me… he had a strange kind of mystique in the first generation games, because he was a fairly difficult Pokémon to get, by the standards of the time – you had to trade with an NPC for him, and in exchange you had to offer an Abra, which was in itself fairly tricky to catch (on account of the whole, y’know, Teleport thing).  And then when you actually did get him, well, he wasn’t the strongest Psychic-type in the game, but Psychic-types in general are pretty broken in generation I, so he could more than pull his weight.  He’s definitely, if you stop and think about him, a bit of a weird and unsettling Pokémon, but not that much more than the rest of the humanshape crowd.  So I don’t know – I think this is something where you’d need a bigger sample size than just me.

2) Mr. Mime’s name actually only includes a male honorific in two of the languages that have their own Pokémon names – English and French (M. Mime, short for Monsieur Mime).  He’s not called “Mr.” or anything similar in Japanese, or in Korean, Chinese or German (although many languages, including Spanish, use English Pokémon names).  There’s also not really anything about Mr. Mime’s design that says he’s specifically meant to be a male mime or clown (whereas Jynx is clearly meant to look overtly female).  Also, Pokémon didn’t have gender mechanics in generation I, and whoever came up with the English name “Mr. Mime” probably didn’t realise that Pokémon would have gender mechanics in the future.  On top of that, the closest equivalent honorific to “Mr.” in Japanese is “-san,” which is gender-neutral.  Really, “Mr. Mime” is kind of a bad English name for this Pokémon, but it’s unfortunately too late to change it.

3) That is to say, does it make sense for Mr. Mime to be a Fairy Pokémon?  Well, Mr. Mime conspicuously isn’t a fairytale creature, and is actually one of only two pre-gen-VI retconned-to-Fairy Pokémon who weren’t already in the Fairy egg group (the other is Gardevoir)… so he’s definitely something of an odd one out.  His most notable powers are also ones that fit fairly comfortably within Psychic.  He has the sort of roundness, pinkness, and… I suppose what is arguably meant to be cuteness… that you’d associate with a Fairy Pokémon, so I guess there are at least some superficial aesthetic reasons for putting him in there.  The image of the silent, pale-faced mime that he seems to be largely based on, though, is very much a modern French thing, not a Mediaeval/fairytale thing.  I suppose if you think of Fairy-types as closely associated with the Kalos region, and French things as particularly Kalosian, there’s a tenuous argument for him there.  I don’t think Mr. Mime is so wildly out of place within Fairy that giving him the new type was clearly a mistake, and it definitely makes him stronger because Fairy is bonkers, but I think he makes less sense than several other Pokémon who weren’t retconned to Fairy-types would have (like Milotic, Rapidash, or Blissey).

4) I suspect it wouldn’t take all that much for Mr. Mime to be quite good.  He’s got a decent type combination, a really solid support movepool, and some good attacks.  He didn’t get any buffs to his stats in generations VI or VII, which a lot of underperforming older Pokémon did, and I think you could probably justify increasing his base HP stat by as much as 20 points, and perhaps even defence by 10 as well – both would still be low enough to count as major weaknesses of his, but would no longer be comically bad.  Mr. Mime is notionally supposed to have good special defence, plus moves that will cover his poor physical defence, but he needs more HP for either of those things to be worth a damn.  Adding Moonblast to his movelist would probably help a lot too, but I suspect Game Freak has good thematic reasons for not doing that.  Buffing Filter, Mr. Mime’s signature ability, so that it reduces super effective damage by 50% rather than just 25%, might be an interesting idea, but it’s annoying that we can no longer do that without giving the same benefit to Mega Aggron (who for some reason has Filter instead of the mechanically equivalent and thematically more appropriate Solid Rock).

4 thoughts on “Ty asks:

  1. i saw someone assert the belief once that fairy-types could also be associated with entertainment and such, which would explain why mr. mime is a fairy (they gave sylveon and primarina as other examples). it also has that general, outwardly friendly but mildly unsettling feel that a lot of classic fey tend to have, and it’s described in a few of its dex entries as good at conning people…

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  2. After a quick online search, the reasons I found that are most plausible for the fairy typing are:

    -Mr. Mime’s Pokédex entries paint it as a trickster, which is very feylike. (Granted, many non-fairies are tricksters, especially a number of dark types.)
    -Mime Jr. is at least partially based on a gnome, which is like… sort of a fairy? I don’t know enough gnome lore to know how much of a stretch that is but not all fairy types are literal fairies so maybe a gnome is as close to a fairy as… Dedenne or something (I don’t remember specifically what makes Dedenne a fairy). Still, personally I didn’t even know Mike Jr. was at all based on a gnome.

    Granted, it all feels like a stretch to me, I never really questioned it before because back when fairy was added I was too busy trying to remember what was now a fairy and what wasn’t (took me awhile to stop thinking Blissey was). I wish The Pokémon Company would give us reasons for type changes (some make sense like Clefairy literally has fairy in the name, but there are a few that seem less intuitive).

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