Regular Bidoof asks:

What are some of your favorite underrated/overlooked pokemon?

Well, I suppose it depends on what we mean by underrated or overlooked… some Pokémon are “overlooked” in that they’ve never been competitively viable, but nonetheless have a sort of cult following, like Dunsparce, whom your mega-evolved counterpart asked about recently, and if allowed, Dunsparce would definitely go on my list.  Pokémon that are genuinely overlooked in that they have no fans whatsoever, I mostly kind of think deserve it, like Qwilfish.  For some reason I’m very fond of Delibird, who is legitimately terrible, but I don’t know whether there’s a fan following for Delibird.  Carbink may not qualify as overlooked because of its link to Diancie, but I do have a weird soft spot for Carbink because I have a pet theory that it’s the oldest of all Pokémon (I reject Mew’s claim on the position, in what I realise is a conflict with established lore).  Druddigon is, frankly, my spirit Pokémon, because I too aspire to live in a dark cave and hate everybody, and Druddigon has definitely never had the competitive spotlight and I don’t think has ever been especially popular, so I think “overlooked” is justifiable here.  And lastly, my favourite Pokémon is Vileplume, who… isn’t really overlooked or underrated, I don’t think, but has never been, like, top-tier super popular either.

Aliens ask:

If you have Facebook, (although I’m sure you can find it elsewhere). I highly recommend you looking up Nathan Pyle alien comics, they’re really funny and I thought maybe you’d like them. If not, oh well! Have a good day.

I do have Facebook, because I am definitely not an alien myself and have been living on earth for a number of years my whole life. I only have a personal page though, not a page for this blog. Maybe I should start one? Uggh, but that’s one more thing to manage. Maybe once I get used to having a Twitter (which I predict will be some time around 2024).

But anyway, yeah, I know these!  A friend of mine shared a bunch of them to her Facebook wall recently.  They’re fun!  I… don’t think I have anything to add to that, but yes!

Pheromosa

Pheromosa

Last time on Pokémaniacal, we met Buzzwole, a horrendously jacked space mosquito who can drink an entire Snorlax in under a minute, and one of two Bug/Fighting-type Ultra Beasts.  The second is our subject for today: Pheromosa, who almost couldn’t be more different, and seems like it might be meant as a high-feminine counterpart to the arch-masculine Buzzwole (which would make sense given their status as version-exclusive Pokémon for Moon and Sun, respectively).  Let’s take a look.

Continue reading “Pheromosa”

Team Hufflepuff asks:

What are your thoughts on the Harry Potter books/films?

Well, I grew up with the books (I remember Deathly Hallows being released in my last year of high school, and trolling everyone in my Latin class by yelling out “Voldemort is Harry’s father!”), but I haven’t read them in a while.  I think I only saw the first three movies in cinemas, but I’ve watched the rest on my somewhat regular 15-hour trans-Pacific flights to visit my family in New Zealand (I watch a lot of movies on planes).  They’re not super-important to me as, like, formative inspirational building blocks of my developing psyche, but I always enjoyed the books, and they’re part of the general late 90s/early 00s cultural milieu that shaped a lot of people in my age group, same as Pokémon was.

I have taken the Pottermore sorting hat quiz – the definitive quiz, which bears the imprimatur of the Sainted Rowling – a number of times, and have historically been borderline Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw, but my year in Greece may have made me more adventurous and strengthened my convictions, and my most recent result was actually Gryffindor, which was something of a surprise to me.

Intersections with this blog’s normal schtick are of course rare, but you might be interested in an article I wrote shortly after the advent of Pokémon Go, in which I discussed the philosophies of the three competing teams and attempted to link them to (among other things) the values of the Hogwarts houses.

Also, I think that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the first one; I haven’t seen the second) is a really solid live-action Pokémon movie, and is the standard against which Detective Pikachu should be judged.

pokemaniacal maniac asks:

fwiw i really really love the first half of the pokemon reviews. I would read entire books about what you had to say lore and inspiration-wise on pretty much every pokemon. i dont play competitively, so the second half is always Just Info to me, but even that has helped me understand the meta as it is, which is also interesting! personally, i would rank the reviews as my favorite thing (and like you said, the sheer scope and the worldbuilding analysis you extrapolate from the pokemon themselves should make you proud) and your If I Ran The Zoo type stuff my second favorite. this is long and rambling but i just have been a long time fan and youre a bright spot on a dark internet and thanks!

[This submission is a response to this]

That’s actually really helpful feedback; thanks!  After frankly kind of flubbing generation VII (due in part to unavoidable real-life circumstances, but also due to mismanagement on my part) I want to revise my approach to generation VIII.  The first thing is that I don’t think I should write a full narrative-based playthrough journal the way I did for White 2, X and Moon – because that’s fun, and I know a lot of people did enjoy them, but it takes so long, and I think the Pokémon reviews ought to be the highest priority.  It would be better, I think, to start those within a month or two of release.  And then the reviews themselves I think have become too expansive, and don’t play to my strengths.  If I could cut down the competitive stuff (there are better places to go on the internet for that kind of advice; no one needs me for that), and limit that side to just discussion of signature moves and abilities, or moves that cast a particularly interesting light on a Pokémon’s character design, then that, I think, would be a worthwhile economy to pursue.  I really want to commit to making sure that this blog’s future includes more of the theoretically dense worldbuilding and games-as-storytelling stuff that inspired “If I Were In Charge,” so trying to slim down the Pokémon reviews and “get them out of the way” is probably a good idea, as long as I can keep the parts of them that my readers value.

VikingBoyBilly asks:

Something’s been on my mind for a long time since I stopped lurking, but I need to say how I feel.

In our long argument about Odysseus, you ended it with “i know what I’m talking about; so there.”

No, you didn’t, because if you did, you wouldn’t have been a misanthrope. Reading mythology is what made me fall in love with humans, and it’s unsettling that you never acknowledged the irony of being a misanthropic archaeologist. The lessons the Oddessey taught me is that life is a journey full challenges and misery, but by keeping your wits and the strength to continue, you can reach your goals. Oddysseus’s goal was to reunite with the wife an son that he loved, and it’s so cynical to think he enjoyed having sex with women that kept him stranded on those islands, and it doesn’t mesh thematically when these are supposed to be a series of hardships. The optimist in me believes this was something to be overcome, either as a temptation like the lotus fruits and sirens, or a situation to get out of like the cyclops. His devotion and loyalty to his crew, his homeland, and family are values I live by, and I don’t like that being tarnished by accusations that he’s a scummy womanizer. I could just be satisfied with my own opinions and not be bothered by what anyone else thinks, but you know what the internet does to us.

I also was put off by your use of the vague buzz-word “western civilization.” It’s nonsensical to anyone with an understanding of geography, and condescending, as if any other civilization doesn’t count (and because I think an archaeologist/anthropologist would only use such a simplification of jargon when talking to a layman). Funny how people angry with the state of the world will defend “western civilization” as the best thing that ever happened.

I hope your outlook of your own species has changed since then, and if you want to reply non-publicly, my email is [REDACTED]

[This is what Billy is referring to – linking to the Tumblr version of the original question-and-answer post rather than the WordPress version because that’s where the relevant comment thread is, but I might actually move it over here for posterity’s sake]

Continue reading “VikingBoyBilly asks:”