God these two creep me out - Aipom was bad enough with that weird face, staring eyes boring into you and it’s balloony alien tail hand (and it’s so common ‘round here in Pokémon Go!, it already looks like it masturbates watching you sleep, now it can actually do that, yeesh). Them Ambipom came along, certainly Aipom needed an evolution to make it viable in any way and so it was a fairly good choice to be one 40 million ‘mons who got another evolutionary stage in Gen 4 but it’s even creepier! Now it has a skeletal variant of the same horrifying face and TWO big balloony tail hands that now look either like udders or like it’s wearing nail polish and neither of those things make me feel settled around it.
And it was going to look so cute!
The Space World proto-Aipom looks like it came straight out of an Osmau Tezuka manga, look at how cute that little bugger is, that could pal around with Kimba the White Lion. I will concede that Aipom is a far more original execution of the idea of ‘thing with hand on it’s tail’ but it’s also a lot damn creepier with it.
Honesty even if I wasn’t irrationally grossed out by them – and it bugs me that they don’t have fingers, I guess you don’t need them if you’ve got a huge hand on your tail to do all the hand work but I imagine them as having hand-like tentacles (like Shuckle) and that creeps me out too – Ambipom is one of Gen 4’s least attractive and least imaginative evolutions, they just picked bits on the original to make bigger and went with that plus a funny nose and some unnecessary bits, very Gen 4 one might say.
So Sunkern is supposed to be a seed that’s juuuust sprouting but you know what I see? What I’ve always seen? A little paper bag, like the kind you get weigh-out sweets in from the sweet shop or that you used to get peanuts in at the circus in the America of yore. Hopefully this is now all you can see, I like to make sure everyone is suffering.
And cute Sunken becomes FUCKING DELIGHTED Sunflora, who’s a dancing sunflower toy brought to life and is just so damn pleased about it all, fitting that a sunflower should be so permanently sunny but I don’t think I’d want it around first thing in the morning. Anyway Sunflora is pretty useless battle-wise in the main series of games, but thanks to the changes between the RPGS and Pokémon Go! when it comes to what is used to judge the combat effectiveness of a Pokémon, this isn’t true for the mobile game. My Sunflora is a beast on Go, I’ve done Legendary raids with it and taken down gyms with it and felt like my life was slightly more complete because Sunflora and Sunkern are really hard to dislike, unless you’ve just woken up and are NOT a morning person like myself obviously, also Sunflora had a proto-version in the Space World demo but it’s mostly unremarkable:
The big change is a switch from a very plant-like body to a more anthropomorphised, pre-war cartoon body which I personally prefer, I like that feeling that Sunflora has just danced its way out of Toontown from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
I fucking loathed Yanmega when Diamond & Pearl came out. I got quite attached to Yanma back when Generation 2 was the current gen and the new evolution seemed like blasphemy. I guess even 1t 14 I was still just young enough to do that thing kids do where they randomly get attached to a thing in a show or game or franchise regardless of their importance to it. You know what I’m talking about right? It’s ok, no one ever does
Or I simply just really like cute things, because Yanma is fucking adorbs. Funnily enough, one of the things that Bogleech doesn’t like about Yanma, I actually do, he said “I suppose it's also a little odd that Yanma's eyes are so tiny, when a dragonfly's massive wrap-around eyes are such an immediately noticeable feature” I however say ‘Yanma’s head is a nice little design, because it’s clearly the shape of a dragonfly, with it’s green parts being the big round eyes, but in fact is it’s a unique head design - just giving it a cartoon dragonfly head would have been far less creative and far less adorable’. Weird how people are innit? I also really like it’s ‘arms’, they cold have just gone with simple noodle limbs (like Sonic) or simple ‘tubes’ (like Shuckle) but instead they created these very pleasingly shaped limbs that taper out into little hands, not a common way of abstracting bug limbs that.
So Yanma was cute and felt unique, then Yanmega came out and was neither of these. In fact I’d say that Yanmega was one of the least-Pokémon feeling Pokémon up to that point, hell it barely feels Japanese. Instead it’s always reminded me of something from a cheaper toyline, something from Remco or Lanard rather than Mattel or Hasbro, of course today that’s exactly why I like it but back then I hadn’t embraced my love of cheap, shitty playthings and just thought it looked completely out of place, both evolving from Yanma and in the Pokémon world as a whole. Nowadays my attachment to Yanma has faded and we have things like Golissopod, Xerneas and Yveltal so Yanmega is less of a sore thumb and I can get on with just enjoying it being a big scary bug. I would still like a branched evolution though where we got a cute Yanma evolution, a Bug/Fairy type or something, to satiate the 14-year old me you understand.
You remember I said we used to pick on Weedle? Well one day a mate of mine comes up to me in school and tells me we’ve found the new Weedle, a Pokémon as common and pathetic – who could this new creature be, thought I, I knew Gen 2’s ‘dex well by this point from magazines and books, maybe Hoppip? – his reply? Wooper! I was genuinely shocked! Wooper’s adorable! Wooper’s a Water Type that can go up against Electric Types! Wooper has no arms for absolutely no reason and that just makes it more precious! Preposterous! I did not go along with his plan to turn a sweet little armless axolotl baby into the new Weedle! I have never nicknamed a Wooper ‘GAY’.
I think what I like about Wooper and Quagsire the most though is how HAPPY they always look, you know how some people have resting bitch face? Well these two have resting super delighted face. Mind you axolotls and giant salamanders have very similar permanently gleeful mugs so either its less of a plus point for these two because they’re less original or a big plus point for their accuracy, depending on how much you care about one or the other really. I personally am just happy that they are this happy.
Wooper’s another of those Gen 2 Pokémon I still have a habit of calling by it’s Japanese name (Uppa or ‘Upah’ according to Bulbapedia).
for Espeon and Umbreon go here
Get that motherfucker a cane and a pair of Gardevoir! I have this delightfully happy memory of being at Centre Parcs with my friends and all discussing that Honchkrow – or Pimpkrow as we shall know call it – was such a pimp, it's nice to know you and your mates think alike. It’s actually based more on wizards and mafia dons but look at that bastard, it’s the pimpest pimp to ever pimp, it’s the Huggy Bear of the Pokémon world and was, at the time, one of the few of Geneation 4’s MANY cross-generational evolutions I liked at first site (the others were Electivire, Mismagius and Mamoswine I think, I'm not good with change) not specifically because it was either a boss pimp, a boss wizard or the capo dei capi but because it just looked so cool and really felt like it was a boon to Murkrow rather than a big, ugly downgrade.
Because Murkrow’s a cool little creature but it’s also a scrappy little urchin, it’s ugly and has this beaten-up scrufy look to it as well as it’s obvious ‘lil’ wizard’ thing so it just feels nice that it gets to evolve into this suave Snoop Dogg wizard that put a Rapidash head in your bed if you disrespect it’s favourite Jigglypuff. It feels like Murkrow achieved the greatness is could never have by evolving and that’s damn satisfying to me. Pimpkrow is a damn good evolution in my opinion, damn good.
Oh and one time, back in ’97, Murkrow was gonna have a really obvious wizard hat:
I like the witches’ hat better, it’s less obvious (given that most people don’t notice it) and looks more like feathers, I find (and I’m saying this about a Pokémon remember) more believable.
for Slowking go here
Given that Gen II was supposed to be balancing out the broken Psychic Type, it’s kind of weird that they only introduced 1 new Ghost ‘mon, I mean yeah they didn’t fuck it up and give it, say, a Fighting typing this time so Misdreavus was (finally) the first Ghost Type to be able to go up against Psychic Types without being hastily murdered (like Ghost Types were supposed to) but it was still just one lone, non-evolving Pokémon with average stats.
Luckily it was adorable, and it filled another gap in the ‘ghost archetype’ range – this time the female ghost, the banshee, the woman in white, etc which are very common in fiction and non-fiction alike (Misdreavus is specifically based on a banshee I believe) and I liked them at first sight, which would have been in “In” Power Magazine issue 1 I guess. I generally tend to gravitate towards female characters and even though Misdreavaus can be both sexes, well, it looks like an adorable little ghost girl.
And then Gen 4 came along and made things sexy. The cute little girl becomes a long, curvatons woman – Mismagius! Which you’ll notice grows tits but does not grow arms and legs, which says a lot about the average adult heterosexual male I think (wait until we get to Castform, at least Mismagius’ tits are abstracted). I have heard at least one
idiot person say that giving Mismagius a witch’s hat is a
little redundant as Murkrow already did that gimmick and did it well, using
Delphox as an example of another type of witch or mage that doesn’t incorporate
stereotypical western witch’s hats. My answer is: yeah but Witch’s hats are
both cool and sexy, don’t make me post a bunch of sexy witches now.
Also given how many sodding monkeys and cats we have at this point, repeating the concept of ‘an abstracted witches’ hat that’s not a hat but really their head’ a grand total of once doesn’t seem like such a capital crime. It also fits as an ‘upgrade’ (or ‘evolution’ one might say) of Misdreavus having hair that isn’t really hair but part of its head, Misdraevus grew up and it's not hair grew up into a not hat. Makes sense to me.
Yes I did just dedicate all that space and all those words to rebuffing a person I never met who I overheard talking in a queue for a convention god knows how many years ago.
TL;DR? both of these ghost are cool as.