Re-reading your old Genesect review, I noticed “this doesn’t look like a Pokémon” was a complaint you had with it. Which got me wondering; are there any other cases of Pokémon that might have been better suited to being part of other IPs, free from the expectations and restrictions The Pokémon Company imposes on the franchise?
Uggggggggggghhhhhhh I knew I would have to deal with that one someday
even as I was writing it, all the way back in the Year of Our Magic Space-Deer two thousand and eleven, I knew I would eventually have to say something about it
So, just to cover my own butt for a minute, I’m going to point out that I prefaced that complaint with the words “I know this is a cheap shot and even thinking something so blatantly subjective makes me feel dirty inside.” It’s a fairly drastic thing to say, and it’s not a comment I was willing to make about any other Pokémon in my reviews of generations V, VI or VII. Anything older than that has had over 10 years to burrow into my conception of what a Pokémon is, so it’s difficult for me to separate them off anymore – even the ones I don’t like. The only exceptions are some of the Ultra Beasts, and… well, in their case, not looking like Pokémon is kind of the point.
Having said that… well, when you mention being “free from expectations and restrictions,” there are a bunch of Pokémon, particularly in the Ghost-Dark-Psychic sort of area, which, while not exactly un-Pokémon-like, do feel a bit stifled by the kid-friendly ratings that Pokémon has to maintain. You know what I mean, I suppose – Pokémon like Spiritomb, and Hypno, and Yamask, and Cacturne, and Shedinja, and so on, whose Pokédex entries hint at incredibly sinister abilities and behaviours that can’t be fully explored in official Pokémon media, because Pokémon has so much trouble with serious long-term consequences. And of course there’s fan-fiction for that, but 98% of fan-fiction is either unfinished or terrible (or both, in the case of my dramatized Nuzlocke of X version). Still, that isn’t even really “these would be better if they were part of something other than Pokémon” as “I would like Pokémon to be something different.”