Friday 19 April 2019

Quick Crappy Pokemon Reviews: Generation 3 Part 5 - Makuhita Line to Mawille

Is Makuhita racist? Can you be racist against yourself? I’m sure Tumblr has a term for it. It’s nice to see that Game Freak really did learn from the Jynx debacle, they covered up their racial stereotyping with lunacy for Ludicolo and then racially caricatured the Japanese for Makuhita, which looks a bit like a Pikachu and a Hitmontop made sparks fly, if you get my drift.
It’s a cute enough, abstracted enough, stubby little humanoid Fighting Type that feels like it took two generations too long to get here, you’ve thought that Hitmonsumo would have arrived before Hitmoncapoeria in a game series made in Japan wouldn’t you? I also find it far more visually pleasing than Hitmontop the dopey dog thing, not enough to CARE about Makuhita but enough to not rank it at the bottom of the shit pile the way I do Hitmontop.
I should dislike Hariyama more than I do, design wise it’s a mess of things all thrown together in the vague attempt at creating a humanoid sumo thing and its way less cohesive and pleasant than Makuhita, but I don’t mind it, I like it’s head design with those 50’s car looking stylized blue eyebrows that make it look like it always wants to beat you to death. I don’t know what exactly makes it ok here and yet I’ll grouch about Pelliper’s head stripe (mind you it could stand to lose that orange ‘belly button’). It just doesn’t irritate me, again it’s not enough to make me in anyway enthusiastic about it but I don’t dislike as much as it’s mess of a design should make me. Weird.
Also yes, I do name all my Makuhita ‘Yokozuna’, yes I am sad, yes you can clearly tell what age I was in the 1990s, I don’t know why I brought this up, leave me alone.

for Azurill go here

Allow me to be serious for a second, perhaps too serious for Pokémon and definitely too serious for Probopass but just indulge me ok? Because Generation III is going to introduce a bunch of Pokémon based on inanimate objects and there is a very loud section of the fanbase (and a good number of people who aren’t in the fanbase who just turn up to roll their eyes and say Pokémon has run out of ideas and should just stop) who don’t want them in their Pokémon and use them as stick to beat later generations with. I find this thinking to be exceptionally faulty – and not just because I like a lot of the inanimate object ‘mons, like these two. Why? Well because these aren’t animals, they’re a race of tameable elemental monsters from another reality, anything is a viable source of inspiration for them, plus the animal-based Pokémon are no more guaranteed to be creative – you’ve met Ursaring right? It’s as simple as that. As for being a sign that Pokémon as a franchisee and Game Freak as a developer is getting worse and running low on ideas, we know from early documentation and sites like Helixchamber that these sort of ‘mons have literally been there from the start, the start of development, the start of the idea: Pokémon has always had inanimate object ‘mons like Voltorb and Exeggcute and has always had abstractities like Clefairy and Venusaur and indeed has always has animal-based critters like the Nidorans and Spearow/Pidgeotto. The mix has always been there.
I feel better now, let’s talk noses.
Nosepass is a lovely little creature, all chunky and cute but what I REALLY like about it is how it’s jointed and it’s movement sticks to these joints, Nosepass can’t bend it little eararms in the middle because it has no joint there and because it’s made of rock (or something equally hard), it just makes the whole thing feel so much more believable and so mch more rocky to me. Oh, Nosepass really isn’t just ‘a Moai statue with legs’ by the way, it lacks the Easter Island Statues trademark square jaw – in fact it doesn’t have a mouth period – and curved back and its compass point red nose moves the Moai’s schnozz up it’s face. So, what we actually have is a rock creature that looks a bit like an Easter Island Statue, which is way more creative and far more preferable if you ask me and also a nice middle finger (middle nose?) to the haters.
Then Generation 4 happens and RUINED POKEMON FOREVER with Probopass! See Moai statues aren’t supposed to look the way we think of them looking, they’re supposed to look like, well, like a Probopass who’s had a shave:
Nosepass evolves into it’s true form, it’s perfect, it’s wonderful. It also grows a moustache, of course it does, it’s got older and it’s magnetic abilities have gotten stronger, that ‘stache is made entirely out of metal it’s attracted, so Nosepass also evolves into Woolly Willie; AND it gets little tiny protonosepass orbiting it, playing up it’s now increased magnetic abilities and the weirdness of the Easter Island statues. Of course for all of this to happen Nosepass has to become something that approaches Ludicolo levels of madness but that’s just a bonus as far as I’m concerned! Probopass is fun, weird and makes total logical sense, Probopass is great!

That could really be my whole review for this twosome, but if you want more: Skitty’s ok, it’s a very simplified, very abstracted and a little alien feeling kitty cat with a likeable cute little face and can, apparently, take a Wailord’s cock so I guess it must be made out of rubber. For that is the thing that defines Skitty in the fandom: it shows up the logistics problems in having Pokémon separated into ‘egg groups’ to say who can bread with what, because Skitty – the lil’ cat – and Wailord – the largest Pokémon – are in the same group, so you can get some hot Skitty on Wailord action without Skitty breaking, bursting or being crushed – somehow. This has lead to much adorabelness and much horribleness when it comes to fan art. It does look like it might be made of rubber, it’s one of those examples of Generation III Pokémon looked artificial when they’re organic, which is kind of amusing when you think that Meowth is an inorganic thing made to look organic. Delcatty becomes bigger and blander but again I like its overall design in a casual sort of way, it looks like weird retro-futuristic fashion, the sort of woman you might find in the background of The Jetsons or Galaxy High.
*Shrugs* I’ve already said that no cat line will equal Meowth and Persian a few dozen times so I don’t’ got much else. Oh, yeah I do! I’m so glad I’m not alone! Bogleech noticed this too! Skitty and Delcatty’s… balls on sticks, whatever they are:

Those, those are the first time a Pokémon had a single line as part of their design. This really bothered me back when the games came out because it seemed to be completely lazy and I’m still in agreement with myself to a degree, would drawing another line and blocking the gap have killed Suigmori from overwork?

I should be FAR more enthusiastic about Sableye than I am, it’s a Ghost Type based on the Hopkinsville Goblins, a group of possibly alien cyrtids from the 1955 ‘Kelly–Hopkinsville Encounter’ that I’ve been fascinated with for many years now and it’s a damn good little Pokémonization of them:

And it’s purple. I should love it, I should be typing ‘squee’ in all caps to indicate that you can skip this section because it’ll be nothing but a fairly short set of enthusiastic shouting and pointing at a thing I like. And yet, I’m not. Design wise I’ve always been bothered by it’s diamond eyes, they’re actually a completely sensible design element, turning the Hopkinsville Goblin’s big skinning eyes into gems to tie it into various other goblin and myths and Sableye’s own gem loving little ways but it creates a clash of arts styles for me, you have this very strange Gen 3 Pokémon design with this very Disney-esque pair of gems on its face, I think that’s what it is that bugs me about them anyway. But even that’s not enough to combat the Hopkinsvilley nature of these, so fuck knows.
I really bugs me to give the little bugger the completely ambivalent 3 balls, Mega Sableye is getting the exact same score as it’s regular form though and that doesn’t bug me because it’s basically just the same thing, but grinning and with a big rock. I  bet it can’t wait to tell its friends, they don’t have a rock this big. Actually, while that Buffy quote is funny, it’s Sableye, it probably has told all of its friends it’s got a rock that big and done so in excited, adorable little screechy noises.

Mawille (Mah-While) however I think I like just about as much as I should. Mawille’s a classy little critter, it’s based on a youkai called Futakuchi-onna, the woman with a second mouth on her head that is often a very bad mouth indeed and usually always very hungry. Game Freak interpreted this as a huge monstrous crocodilian jaw attached to a little bipedal lizard-bug-humanoid and damn it’s delightful. It’s the animalistic quality of the jaw - which actually isn’t a mouth but a mouth-like thing, sort of pike pincers – I really like how twisted but how natural it looks. AND THEN IT GROWS TWO OF THESE MOUTHS!
Meet Mega Mawille, the Mega that turned a nobody into a ‘mon with such a high attack stat that it’s banned from competitive play for being too strong, and again it’s the shape of the jaws that really appeal to me: their curving shape mixed their spikes on top and Mega Mawille’s ‘streamers’ make it look like the jaws are always bursting out at you. The rest of Mawille just got some purple on it, that’s nice, I suppose it’s fitting that a Mega Generation III Pokémon got MORE unnecessary random markings in an ill-fitting colour?
It is weird though, I’m far more into crytpids than youkai, and yet I prefer Mawille to Sableye – execution is everything I guess? And I’d rather big gnarly alligator jaws to Disney gemstones?


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