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 are just… weird. And frankly I
kind of have a soft spot for them. Heatmor? Someone jammed a blast furnace through an
anteater and thought it would make a cool Pokémon; I love it. Spoink?
It’s a spring-loaded pig’s head that can’t ever stop moving or its heart
will explode. Perfection. Gligar?
I… I mean, I’m gonna be honest; it’s been eighteen years and I still don’t
know what Gligar is, but clearly he’s great.
Probopass? I… well, …okay, I draw
the line at Probopass because that moustache is clearly just a crime against
all that is natural; I have limits. But
the point is that quirkiness is appealing to me. So, presented with a Pokémon who is
apparently an undead clump of seaweed wrapped around a rusty ship’s wheel and
anchor that it uses to hunt whales… well, colour me confused but intrigued.
There are a lot of Grass Pokémon out there – it’s currently the fourth most common type in Pokémon, with almost one hundred representatives. It’s slightly curious, then, that there are so few Pokémon based on fruit. Tropius sort of counts, with fruit dangling off his neck, and Cherubi shifts into cherry blossom upon evolving, which has its own cultural significance in Japan, so arguably the only Pokémon wholeheartedly based on fruit are Ferroseed and Ferrothorn – assuming you do in fact classify the durian as a fruit and not as a sort of spiteful biological land mine. It’s possible that fruit Pokémon make Game Freak nervous since they draw attention to the old “do we eat Pokémon?” dilemma, but that doesn’t seem to stop them from cranking out mushrooms, or harvesting cast-off Crabrawler claws – or, for that matter, creating Swirlix and Vanillite. In any case, it’s time to break out your recipe books, because our next potentially edible Pokémon is here: Bounsweet, and her evolved forms Steenee and Tsareena. Continue reading “Bounsweet, Steenee and Tsareena”→
So Grass is your favorite type, and Vileplume is your favorite Pokemon, right? Why?
To be honest, some of it is probably buried so deep in things that I decided I liked as a 10-year-old that it’s unrecoverable. In fact, part of it is probably that my first Pokémon game was Blue, and Oddish is exclusive to Red, and kids want what they can’t have. I suppose I like Grass-types because I like plants; I grew up with a big garden, and in New Zealand we’re taught to take pride in our unspoiled, primordial forests (which, no matter what Tourism New Zealand or The Lord of the Rings try to tell you, are in decline). Plants are interesting scientifically and historically too. There’s much more to them than just pieces of scenery; plants have incredibly varied and sophisticated ways of life, chemicals derived from plants inspired many important modern medicines, and the cultivation of plants in ancient times paved the way for stable food incomes and the growth of complex civilisations. And I consider Vileplume the archetypal Grass Pokémon: beautiful, gentle, calm, but you must always look and never, ever touch, because plants are inventive in how they defend themselves, and you might never see it coming.
Today we’re talking about Fomantis and Lurantis, the “Sickle Grass Pokémon” and “Bloom Sickle Pokémon,” a pair of deceptive Grass-types that take on the appearance of insects, their names evoking the words “faux” and “lure.” According to the Pokédex, Lurantis is often called “the most glamorous Grass Pokémon,” which… well, I think Roserade, Lilligant, Virizion and fellow Alolan Grass-type Tsareena are all going to want a word with you about that one, Lurantis, but for now we’ll agree that you’re top 5 material. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading “Fomantis and Lurantis”→
Today we come to the newest iteration of mushroom Pokémon: the tall, slim-stalked, luminous Morelull and Shiinotic. Morelull and Shiinotic have an uphill battle to make themselves unique and interesting, as the fourth set mushroom Pokémon after Paras and Parasect (interesting by reason of soulless parasitism), Shroomish and Breloom (interesting by reason of kick-boxing dinosaurs), and Foonguss and Amoonguss (interesting by reason of… um… stealing Voltorb’s schtick in a way that somehow makes even less sense). These latest versions… well, I mean, they give it a go. Continue reading “Morelull and Shiinotic”→
What would you think of a grass/dragon line that starts as a wisteria, then evolves into a anthropomorphized snapdragon, and its final stage is a titan arum? I even came up with names: Mysteria, Dragunia, and Titatunia. It could be the first non-poison type to have stench as an ability. Grass type seal of approval?
Sounds reasonable to me; probably some good reasons to do over-the-top grotesqueness that might be fun, and lets you do a traditional support-oriented Grass-type with a twist. So sure.