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.
Do you have any feminine and masculine Pokémon designs that you’re fond of? Or not so fond of? For example, for feminine designs I really like Roselia, Froslass, and Primarina, but I’m not a fan of Jynx or Lopunny. For masculine designs, I’m very fond of all of the Gen IV Fighting-types (minus Toxicroak), but not Machamp or Diggersby. Hm. Maybe I just don’t like rabbits… What about you?
Eh, I think to some extent what counts as “masculine” or “feminine” is probably pretty subjective, and I don’t think the designers consciously intended for all of those to be strongly one or the other. Like, Lopunny or Jynx, sure, but I never thought of Toxicroak as unusually “masculine,” and Toxicroak, Diggersby and Roselia in the games actually have a 50/50 gender split (then again, so does Lopunny). Also my brain sometimes parses the masculinity/femininity of Pokémon designs in weird ways (Hawlucha and Typhlosion are definitely feminine to me) that I wouldn’t necessarily expect other people to share. So I just don’t think it’s all that useful a category for thinking about Pokémon designs unless the in-game gender ratios suggest that it’s consciously being invoked.
What do you think of Pokemon obviously designed to be sexualized like Lopunny? I think it’s really creepy myself, and can’t stand playing with them in Pokemon amie because they keep giving me giggles, hip shakes, hair/ear flips, and generally acting like they’re trying to flirt with me. Not to mention in their first sprites, their elbows were deliberatly placed to make it look like they have breasts. It’s really screwed up, and feels like a desperate attempt to pander to “adult” demographics.
To be honest it’s not something that’s ever bothered me a great deal. I mean, I think it’s silly, and doesn’t make for interesting designs, but I’ve never had the kind of visceral discomfort with it that you seem to. Nor do I quite see what you mean about Lopunny’s fourth-generation sprites, although I suppose they could be taken that way. I will say it seems like a very odd choice to me, given the ‘family-friendly’ image that Nintendo has always tried to cultivate, and Game Freak’s obvious discomfort with saying anything explicit about how ‘breeding’ works. The disconnect leads me to suspect that there’s some level of cultural nuance here that that the Western audience just isn’t quite getting, and I don’t really know enough about the Japanese to probe the matter any further.