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.
seriously though Meltan is coming on Wednesday and then we’ll be DONE! Done with generation VII! Except not really because I still want to write articles on all the major characters and the Alolan forms and some other stuff and frankly I don’t know if there’s time for all of it before Sword and Shield come out but DONE!
This month, we’ve had reviews of Magearna, Marshadow and Zeraora, as well as a retrospective on my generation V reviews. I’ve also answered readers’ questions on, among other things, the logic of creating a slimmed-down type chart and the problem of why all Pokémon dads are terrible. For the month to come, I’ll be working on articles on… hmm. I suppose I need to make up my mind about that. Well, unless something truly outrageous happens, for the moment let’s say I’ll be doing my now-traditional character profiles of the villains: first Guzma and Team Skull, then Lusamine and the Aether Foundation (I don’t know if there’s going to be time for Team Rainbow Rocket, so we’ll leave them until the end). After that I’ll aim to have something on Hau for the first week of October. Jim the Editor and I are also working on another of those dialogue-form retrospective things, which will materialise at some point in the next week or so. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while and there’s something in particular you’d like us to revisit next, let us know in the comments. In addition, I currently have no reader questions awaiting an answer, so if you’ve been sitting on something you want to ask me about, now’s the moment to check out the question box!
I am also going to be starting a Thing, which I hope will become a weekly thing, this Friday. I don’t want to talk much about the nature of this Thing, because I think it will work better if I let it speak for itself. For now, let’s just call it an experiment in interactive storytelling – something I haven’t done before that I hope will be fun, and involve my readers in its creation.
I think that’s all for the moment. Special thanks are due as always to my patrons on Patreon – Bradley, James Crooks, Esserise, hugh_donnetono and Hamish Fyfe – whose generous donations pay for the cost of maintaining this site on WordPress. If you enjoy my work and want to support me in my “deranged libertine writer” lifestyle, consider signing up to toss me a buck or two every month. And of course, slightly less special but still deep and heartfelt thanks go to everyone who reads this blog – you are the proverbial wind beneath my metaphorical (FOR NOW) wings!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pokémon is Blacephalon, whose special skill is to blow up its own head.
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.
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…
[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.]
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.