One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
[First of all: apologies for this one being late. I lost quite a bit of writing time last week flying back from Athens and recovering from jet lag (which, for me, tends to involve sleeping for 15 hours straight), but I think everything is just about back on track now!]
Ever had a paper cut?
Hurts, doesn’t it?
Well, today’s Pokémon, the Ultra Beast
Kartana, would like you to know that it lives to cause you that pain. Every time you turn a page in a book too
quickly and feel a sudden, sharp sting, or every time you lick an envelope and
your tongue or lip screams at you to abort the mission because something has
gone horribly wrong, Kartana is there, watching. And laughing.
Pokémon is a bamboo alien, a moon rocket, and
an ancient Japanese princess.
promise it makes sense.
rocket-booster arms, long flowing hair, steel gown and tiny head make it one of
the most bizarre of all the Ultra Beasts, but once you dig through its lore and
inspiration… well, you can see where they were coming from. Let’s take a look at the Launch Pokémon.
One of the
perennial hazards of modern life is having to keep all of our different wires
straight. Everything you own has a
different charging cable, and all of them, if they are ever moved or placed in
a bag or, gods forbid, allowed to come into contact with each other, will
instantaneously morph into eldritch spaghetti as soon as your back is
turned. Xurkitree is, as far as I can
tell, the result of letting too many of your different charging cables get
tangled up until they achieve a collective malevolent sentience, then steal
your Christmas decorations and elope with a bunch of zip ties. But now, just when you thought the lunatic
nightmare was over… Xurkitree has returned from outer space. For revenge.
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
Today’s Pokémon is our second Ultra Beast, the abomination of hulking
muscle and red life-juice that is Buzzwole.
While clearly just as weird and arguably un-Pokémon-like as Nihilego, Buzzwole
is weird and un-Pokémon-like in very different ways, the main commonality being
that Buzzwole also lacks well-defined facial features (I mean, it kind of has eyes, but they look more
like real insectoid compound eyes than the heavily anthropomorphised eyes that
Bug Pokémon often have, and are very small and indistinct). However, unlike the unrelentingly alien
Nihilego, Buzzwole is if anything weirdly and unsettlingly human while
simultaneously being obviously insectoid – fitting for the Bug/Fighting type
combination, but a striking contrast to the one previous Bug/Fighting Pokémon,
Heracross. Let’s take a closer look.
The Alolan archipelago has at last surrendered all (or, well, most) of its secrets – so now the time has finally come for us to leave behind the world we know. The stars have aligned, the ritual is complete, the Dark Forces from Parts Unknown have imparted their mystic secrets, the Ultra Wormhole beckons, and the void opens before us, promising nothing at the price of everything. Yep – we’re figuring out the Ultra Beasts. There’s ten of these freaky bastards (not counting Lunala, Solgaleo and Necrozma), and they’re each getting their own entry. My aim over the course of those ten articles will be not just to review the Ultra Beasts individually, but also to, hopefully, figure out… well, something about them as a group. What are they? What exactly is Ultra Space? Why are they such a threat to Alola? Are they really a group at all, or just a random sample of the variety of life that exists in an infinite multiverse? All these questions, and more, will… honestly, let’s face it, probably not be answered here on Pokémaniacal, but we’ll bloody well give it a go – starting with probably the best-known Ultra Beast of all, Nihilego.
we’re almost at the end now, technically – today’s Pokémon are the last
“ordinary” Pokémon of Alola. On the
other hand, we’re sort of not near the end at all, because we’ve got not only
legendary Pokémon to do after this, but also Ultra Beasts, and I think I
promised to write something about the
Alolan forms as well, and… oh, let’s just get on with it. Here’s Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o: the