Robin asks:

What are some of your least favourite Pokémon, and for what reasons?

This is the sort of question that gets me into trouble.

I… try to muster a semblance of objectivity when I write reviews; of course I do, and of course that is impossible, and of course personal aesthetic sensibilities colour everything I’ve ever written, because if they didn’t, then it wouldn’t be me writing, and what would even be the point?  But there’s a couple of Pokémon that I have… issues with.  Issues which, I will hasten to point out, are personal and strange and in general offensive to people who actually like those Pokémon, but that does seem to be what you’re asking for.  So.

I have this historic dislike for Garbodor, which… well, partly it’s because Garbodor is just honestly kind of bad, and partly it’s because of my more general systemic annoyance with generation V Pokémon that feel like one-to-one replacements for generation I Pokémon, and partly it’s because the designers seem to have gone out of their way to give him facial expressions devoid of emotion or even sentience, and partly I suppose somewhere deep down inside I just don’t want a Pokémon made of loose bits of litter, but I think really the root problem may have been that I was prejudiced against the dumb bastard from the beginning.  I always enter a sort of blackout in the months leading up to the release of new Pokémon games (this has been more difficult for the past two generations, because people have wanted to know what I think of pre-release hype material as it comes out).  When I played Black and White for the first time, I was familiar with the designs of almost no generation V Pokémon aside from the starters.  But I was familiar with Garbodor, because I had, quite by accident, encountered him in this cartoon.  And at the time, I didn’t think that was a real Pokémon.  I thought it was someone’s idea of a dumb joke Pokémon design, which they had made up to mock the newer generations, deliberately scribbling something stupid and pointless with a dumb name and lobotomised face, as if to say “look, new Pokémon are so terrible that even this piece of $#!t would fit right in.”  And then Garbodor turned out to be real but it was too late because I can never go back until all the stars are dead.

Then there’s Nosepass, who annoyed me in generation III and then achieved a feat I hadn’t even thought possible, becoming the stupidest Pokémon of the generation for two generations running, by evolving into Probopass, who’s even worse.  And I have some good reasons for this, but let’s be honest: I just think the massive red magnetic nose, the moustache, and the “mini noses” are dumb.  I could pretend I have complicated design reasons for that, but I don’t; I’m a crotchety bastard who thinks “nose Pokémon” wasn’t a necessary or beneficial direction to take that idea and moai could be put to more interesting uses.

And there’s all the ones that are just bland and boring like Swanna, and Unfezant, and Mothim, and Sunflora, and Pansage and co. don’t really do anything, and who the hell even remembers Stantler, and I know it’s heresy to say this about one of the Sacred 150 but what was the point of Goldeen, and I’m just courting disaster with this one but no one needs that many Eeveelutions, and why is there Manectric?  After all these years, why is there still Manectric?

And there’s some legendary Pokémon that are perfectly fine in isolation but do weird things to the story – I used to put Rayquaza here because Rayquaza’s involvement made the denouement of Emerald kind of flat, but Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby sort of fix that.  Dialga and Palkia just raise too many questions about why it’s even possible for a child to train what are effectively gods; Arceus is literally a god and has never had anything like the kind of importance to the games’ plot that its cosmological significance seems to require.  The Four Musketeers’ personal history means they clearly ought to have a stake in the main conflict of generation V, but they never do anything.  I still don’t know what Volcanion was ever supposed to be for.  And Xerneas, Yveltal and Zygarde are great, but they spawned this whole thing where everyone thinks they’re based on Norse mythology and there’s just no good reason for thinking that, and now they sort of annoy me by proxy whenever I notice that Bulbapedia is still telling people that Xerneas is based on fµ¢&ing Eikþyrnir or whatever.




One thought on “Robin asks:

  1. I like Stantler, but that’s a couple biases in there. One is that I just really like hoove and/or antler creatures in general. I just think it’s a really nice aesthetic. Two, I used to think (and still do if only to tell myself Stantler’s more interesting than he is) that Stantler’s antlers were actually meant to be a reference to sleigh bells. This was because the yellow antlers have a bell-like shape, and the dark orbs in the middle look like they could be the thing that rings in ordinary bells, but also looks like a single sleigh bell in each horn.


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