Eighty-four Pokémon down… three to go. Today we’re looking at the Thunderclap Pokémon, Zeraora, the third of generation VII’s mythical Pokémon. As with Magearna and Marshadow, Zeraora doesn’t do anything of note in the games, but unlike them, its TV and movie appearances don’t hint at legendary origins or cosmic powers or forbidden ancient secrets or anything like that. It’s really just a powerful and extremely rare Pokémon that kinda gets caught up in some $#!t, like Heatran, or (to some extent) Latias and Latios, or even Lucario in its movie debut. Today we’ll look at how that happens – but first, a few words on Zeraora’s design and inspiration.Continue reading “Zeraora”
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”
I feel like I’ve said this multiple times already, but I really am finally on the home stretch of generation VII now, with just four Mythical Pokémon remaining: Magearna, Marshadow, Zeraora and Meltan. In stark contrast to the last few Pokémon I’ve had to deal with, who have had critical roles in the plots of the seventh-generation games, as well as the accompanying seasons of the anime, these four mysterious Pokémon are pretty absent from the games and don’t have much impact on our own journeys through Alola (Meltan doesn’t even show up until we return to Kanto for Let’s Go). With the exception of Meltan, they do each get their own keynote appearances in movies, though, so we’re going to be drawing fairly heavily on the events and histories presented in those, and as usual the testimony of the Pokédex. Today we’re looking at Magearna – the aptly-named Artificial Pokémon.Continue reading “Magearna”
Today we’re going to look at… probably the closest thing that Ultra Sun and Moon have to an antagonist: the mysterious, sinister light-devouring Pokémon, Necrozma. With an all-black colour scheme, a name that incorporates the ancient Greek word for corpse, a mysterious extraterrestrial origin, and the ability to blast everything in sight with frikkin’ laser beams, this is clearly a Pokémon to run away from very fast. But what actually is it? Let’s discuss.Continue reading “Necrozma”
Time to tackle the sun and moon Pokémon of Pokémon: Sun and Moon! Today we look at the Nebula Pokémon, Cosmog, the Protostar Pokémon, Cosmoem, and their two final forms, the legendary Solgaleo and Lunala. This is, I warn you now, going to be a long and treacherous journey through complicated blind alleys of astronomy and mythology. My position on the big version-mascot legendary Pokémon is usually that they aren’t supposed to reference any one specific mythological character or tradition (obligatory link to me ranting about the “Norse mythology” interpretation of the XYZ legendaries). Instead, they’re attempting to tap into general mythological archetypes that the designers think will be meaningful across many cultures (hence, the version mascots are some of the very few Pokémon whose names are more or less constant across all translations of the game). This means that interpreting them is… kind of as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, and… well, when have I ever made anything simple? As with the four Tapu, I’m going to forgo any discussion of the competitive merits of these Pokémon, partly because they’re both crazy powerful and it’s just hard to go wrong with them, but mostly because just scroll down and I think you’ll agree that I have more than served my time here already. So let’s get into it – starting with why these Pokémon are the types that they are.Continue reading “Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo and Lunala”
So… I guess it’s time to learn about native Hawaiian mythology, huh?
We’re on the home stretch of seventh-generation Pokémon now, and today we’re talking about the four guardian deities of the Alolan islands: Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini. These four are deeply woven into Alolan culture and identity, and they have a special relationship with the Alolan trial system and its administrators, the four Island Kahunas. They’re also the pièce de résistance of generation VII’s unprecedented level of interest in taking inspiration from the culture, ecology and history of the real-world region its setting is based on.Continue reading “Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini”
Today’s Pokémon is Blacephalon, whose special skill is to blow up its own head.
And… well, you know, call me crazy, but I would have thought that would be the end of it. Nonetheless, here we are. This is the last Ultra Beast, and I just have to deal with it.
Like Stakataka, Blacephalon doesn’t appear in the original Sun and Moon, and its homeworld doesn’t appear in the sequels. It doesn’t even have a very big anime role, since it co-stars in an episode with Xurkitree and doesn’t get the spotlight to itself, although the dynamic between the two is at least somewhat interesting. Blacephalon is just… a bit of a weird non sequitur of a Pokémon. It appears, it blows up its own head…
…profit???Continue reading “Blacephalon”
[Okay this question is really, really long, so I’m going to cut it down to a few salient points. No judgement on the person who submitted this, but I am starting to receive longer and longer questions, and there is a theoretical point at which I’m basically hosting other people’s articles with no filter or editorial process; I would rather say “no” to that before it happens.]
This is mostly just idle curiosity, but since I stumbled back into your piece on the Norse mythology theory for the Kalos mascots, I was curious to know if your opinion on them has changed at all since we saw Zygarde’s alternate forms.
[Basically this question brings up the “children of Loki” interpretation of Zygarde’s forms; 10% = Fenrir, 50% = Jormungandr, 100% = Hel. It’s all on Bulbapedia if you’re not familiar with it. The short answer is that I have indeed revisited the topic since those forms were revealed (though not actually in response to them) and still thought it was abject nonsense.]Continue reading “Re: the XYZ Trio asks:”
We’re down to our last two Ultra Beasts: Stakataka and Blacephalon, who were added to the roster only in Ultra Moon and Ultra Sun (respectively). We don’t know as much about them as we do about all the others, because we never see their homeworlds. All the original Ultra Beasts, whom we first met in Alola in Sun and Moon, are encountered in Ultra Smoon by travelling through Ultra Space to their own worlds (while Poipole is involved in the story of the Ultra Recon Squad, and gets a major supporting role in the anime). These two, we only ever meet in Alola, and we also get no information about them from Wicke, who is otherwise a fount of interesting (if occasionally dubious) intelligence. As a result, there’s more I’d like to know about Stakataka that I just don’t, like what kind of ecosystem produces a creature like this, and how it behaves in its natural habitat – things that, for normal Pokémon, we tend to learn as a matter of course. But we have the Pokédex, we have the design, we have Stakataka’s in-game types, stats and mechanics, and we have the anime episode it stars in, so let’s take a look and see what we can do.Continue reading “Stakataka”
Finally, we’ve dealt with ALL the Ultra Beasts. Nihilego, Buzzwole, Pheromosa, Xurkitree, Celesteela, Kartana, Guzzlord, all seven of them have been reviewed.
…what do you mean, they added more!?
Okay, so… 802 Pokémon was not enough, it’s never enough, it will never be enough until I’m dead, so Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon added another five Pokémon that weren’t in the original Sun and Moon, and can’t be traded back to those games either. Four of those were additional Ultra Beasts, and for the sake of thematic unity I’m going to cover them before returning to the legendary Pokémon of Alola. Our subjects for today are the first two, the only Ultra Beasts to evolve: Poipole and Naganadel, the Poison Pin Pokémon (the same species name as Nidoran!).Continue reading “Poipole and Naganadel”