Three to go, and no time to spare; the day is almost out and the shadows are getting longer, and… unusually animated. Let’s meet generation VII’s mythical Pokémon #2: the elusive Marshadow.Continue reading “Marshadow”
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”
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.Continue reading “Buzzwole”
The recent question about flying types got me thinking. What about fighting type? How does fighting type make any sense really? Isn’t fighting something that all Pokemon do anyway? And fighting types do not seem to be any better at it than other types…?
I have a long-standing claim that I make about Fighting-types, which is that they are not just Pokémon who fight – which, as you point out, is all of them – but Pokémon who take fighting particularly seriously, and more specifically, approach fighting with similar attitudes to humans, including a preoccupation with recognition and glory. Fighting Pokémon, even in the wild, spend their time training to become better at fighting. Many of them have codes of honour, which often extend to refusing to fight weaker opponents. They desire competition with powerful rivals, whether of their own species or of another. Aesthetically, almost all Fighting Pokémon (and most of their attacks) reference human warriors or martial artists, or more rarely athletes. They are, essentially, Pokémon who fight like humans, both in style and in ethos. I won’t go through all of them (or even claim to be able to), but for some illustrative examples, we have Pokémon based on specific martial arts (e.g. capoeira for Hitmontop, sumo for Hariyama, lucha libre for Hawlucha, karate for Sawk), Pokémon based on historical classes of human warriors (e.g. European knights for Gallade, French musketeers for Cobalion and co., Asian monks for Medicham), and Pokémon based on athletes (e.g. swimmers for Poliwrath, American footballers for Passimian). In the Pokédex, explicit comparisons to the skills of human fighters are common, as are references to the Pokémon’s dedication to training. Fighting-type attacks are regularly based on martial arts moves – Karate Chop, Submission, Reversal, Sky Uppercut, Force Palm, Circle Throw – while the only common special Fighting attack, Focus Blast, references the mastery of 気, ki (spiritual power or life force) supposedly attained by great martial artists (see also: Dragonball). Fighting for them is more than a necessity; it’s a way of life.
I guess 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 Scaly Pokémon.Continue reading “Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o”
Today we’ll be following up Oranguru by looking at his opposite number. Oranguru is only available on the Moon and Ultra Moon versions of the game; in the same part of Alola, the Lush Jungle of Akala Island, the Sun and Ultra Sun versions instead get Passimian. They’re opposites in some fairly obvious and superficial ways – both are based on primates, but Oranguru is an intelligent Psychic-type while Passimian is a physically powerful Fighting-type, a classic brains-and-brawn pair, and in battle, Oranguru amplifies his partner’s powers while Passimian uses his partner’s powers to make himself stronger. There’s more going on here, though – a lot more, to be honest, than I realised when I first met either of them. Continue reading “Passimian”
House Passimian: Go Long
Let’s start with some simple, direct Pokédex quotes about Bewear.
“Many trainers,” Moon version tells us, “have left this world after their spines were squashed by its hug.”
Just in case we hadn’t gotten the message, Ultra Sun clarifies that after you’ve been faced with a Bewear intimidation display “life is over for anyone who doesn’t run away as fast as possible.”
So… yeah. Continue reading “Stufful and Bewear”
Today I would like to talk to you about crabs: specifically, Crabrawler and the delightfully named Crabominable (seriously, can we just take a minute to appreciate the wonderful tumbling rhythm of that name?). In the process of writing this piece, I have learned (because learning obscure and not particularly useful zoological trivia is just part of what I do here) that evolution just really likes crabs for some reason, and consequently keeps trying to turn other random animals into crabs with mixed results, a process known as carcinisation. Crabs have apparently evolved at least five separate times, from a variety of starting points (giving rise, surprisingly, to only two Pokémon before now: Kingler and Crustle, Crawdaunt being a lobster). On the basis of this vague half-substantiated piece of pseudo-knowledge, I have decided that crabs are the ultimate form of life, to which all other species aspire. Of course, Crabrawler and Crabominable have the advantage of already being there – so let’s see what the apex of all biological life has to offer the Alola region. Continue reading “Crabrawler and Crabominable”
The Gen I Fighting-types are all martial artists or athletes, but.. what the heck makes Primeape a Fighting-type? Can’t be its temper because hey, Gyarados ain’t a Fighting-type. If anything its temper should make it a Dark-type, along the lines of Tyranitar, Sharpedo, or Hydreigon.
Well, there was no Dark-type in generation I, and to be honest I think that’s probably the main reason Primeape isn’t Dark/Fighting or something (that’s probably what I would do with him). Given that Primeape is humanoid in shape and has no particularly spectacular magical abilities, it makes sense that his fighting style would wind up having some resemblance to martial arts techniques, even though Primeape doesn’t appear to be influenced by an specific martial art like many other Fighting Pokémon are.