You know those icebreaker activities they make you do to get to know one another? I ended up at one with a bunch of nerds where we’d get into pairs and we’d both have to answer the same question. One question was “what pokemon would you most want to bring with you on a first date”, and I decided on Torterra. Not only is Torterra big enough to ride, they’re so big there’s a tree on their backs to lie under while looking up at the night sky with your date. I’d love to have a Torterra. I could plant stuff on them and birds could nest in their tree and I could take it to the beach and lie in the sun while they walk along the shore. Torterra represents the idyllic life alongside pokemon their world offers.
Yeah, I’m putting two starters on here, what of it? Empoleon is still awesome, don’t get me wrong, but look at this thing. It’s adorable. The first time I saw one, I wasn’t even playing pokemon, I was playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl at a friend’s house and I was so distracted by how cute the Piplup was that they knocked me off the stage. Such an adorable pokemon evolving into a hard and sharp steel type is pretty awesome, don’t get me wrong, but Piplup should be cherished.
Oh man, Shinx and their evolutions are all puns and I love them. Shinx is “shock” and “shine” combined with “sphinx”, Luxio is “lux” and “Leo”, and Luxray is “lux”, “lynx”, and “x-ray”. Speaking of, Luxray can see through walls what? Luxray is an apex predator capable of seeing in the dark, looking through walls, shocking their prey, and ripping them apart with fangs and claws. I realize that this is a very big escalation from “look at the cute Piplup”, but Luxray is awesome, using it in game is awesome, and that’s really all there is to say on the matter.
YouTuber Terrible Writing Advice (recommended channel btw) complains fairly often about personifications of nature in literature. He says they often focus on the beauty and harmony of nature, forgetting about the hundreds of millions of years of predator vs prey relationships that drove natural selection, plagues and parasites, and the various ways one can die of exposure. Pokemon, fortunately, has the diversity to subvert that completely. While there are adorable grass types walking around, there’s also plenty of grass types that can and will kill you if they deem necessary. Roserade walks the line between these, evolving from the cute and harmless Budew into a masked assassin that shoots razor leaves from their hands.
I may be breaking form here, seeing as how every list so far has had a spooky ghost type listed, but I feel like people focus too much on Drifloon and Drifblim’s spooky qualities. Yes, Drifblim apparently dragged a kid to hell, and yes, Drifblim carried someone off somewhere and they disappeared forever, but if you take the right precautions (a GPS and a more reliable flying type, for example), a Drifblim ride could be magical. You leave at dusk, and as Drifblim rises, it prolongs the sunset. As stars fill the sky, you float placidly over the landscape, as even cities become peaceful below you. If you leave at the right time of year, you could get front row seats for a meteor shower. There’s so many ways this could go wrong, but imagine how beautiful it would be if it went right.
#108 in the Sinnoh pokedex, found off route 108 in ORAS, 108 kilograms, 108 defense, 108 special defense. This number, as you all know, comes from Buddhism, as there are 108 temptations one must overcome to achieve Nirvana. Why was this chosen for Spiritomb, you ask? Because Spiritomb consists of 108 evil spirits bound to a keystone for misdeeds committed 500 years ago. What misdeeds? Who bound them? Do they get along in there or do they fight amongst themselves? The games don’t specify, unfortunately, but that only means we’re free to speculate. Also, if mystery dungeon makes a return, a plot in which the keystone is destroyed and the spirits have to be gathered up and bound to another could be cool as hell.
It’s been awhile since I’ve geeked out over mythology, hasn’t it? That drought is over now, because Lucario is based on Anubis who, much like Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus of Greek myth, judges one’s actions after death. This goes with Lucario’s ability to read auras, able to sense the thoughts and feelings of those around them. This is mythological reference at its best, lift elements and combine them with something new. I also really like the idea of auras, they’re a fun fantasy concept to explore and I love seeing different ways of interpreting them.
Realistically, there was no way Glaceon wasn’t gonna be here. Look at them. They’re so adorable. You’d put Glaceon here too.
Yes, this list has mostly been me gushing about cute pokemon, and no, it’s not going to stop. When you hug Shaymin they get so happy it makes flowers bloom all over them! I didn’t really understand Shaymin at first, they’re a cute hedgehog who can transform into a cute deer that’s also a flying type, which I enjoyed but pretty much only accepted as fact without being able to make much sense of it. When I started researching it, though, I found the Gracidea flower that makes it transform represents gratitude. When Shaymin receives gratitude, it stands taller and gains the ability to fly. When good is done unto you, you strive to do good unto others.
While I spent the Hoenn article praising Gardevoir, I love the entire Ralts line. Ralts (Raltses?) approach trainers with good vibes, seeking friendship. They’re empathic pokemon, able to sense the mood of their trainer. When the trainer is happy, Kirlia can sense it and they become so happy it makes them dance. All Pokemon can bond to their trainers, but it feels like the Ralts line go a step further, able to develop a friendship between their trainers. Then when Kirlia evolves into Gallade, he seeks to protect his trainer much like Gardevoir. The tiny little pokemon you had to protect is now able to fight on his own and look after you.
Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.