Sunday, September 19, 2010

Favorite Pokemon by Generation : Red & Blue

So in honor of the 156 brand new Pocket Monsters, I wrote up my own personal "top ten" for each generation some time ago. I originally intended to paste one a day into the old blogger until the official Japanese release of Black & White, but I constantly forget about my blog and am posting them a bit late. Evolution stages that are similar enough were counted together, and I wrote these in descending order (favorite first) Without further ado, here are my stupid opinions on my ten favorites of Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow - the original 151!

GLOOM (grass/poison) - evolving from the adorably weird little "Oddish," Gloom subverts all those unfair expectations society has of a flower monster; its colors aren't pretty, its odor is supposedly the foulest in the known world, and it constantly slobbers (my favorite detail). Every aspect of this nasty little weed appeals to me, including the simplistic but creepy name, and made it my #1 favorite from day one. Unfortunately, Gloom is an un-evolved Pokémon, making it nearly useless in battle against any "serious" player, and neither of its possible evolutions are anywhere near as cool to me.

PARAS & PARASECT (bug/grass) - Paras is based upon the nymph of a Cicada, but never evolves into a winged Cicada-like Pokémon. Instead, it gets completely overtaken by the parasitic mushrooms sprouting from its back, which were inspired by the real world cordyceps. This makes Parasect more or less "undead," and a parasitized zombie insect has no business ever not being on my team. Over time, Parasect even became a bigger favorite of mine than Gloom, and also became my first-ever geek convention costume. I just wish the poor little guy didn't light up like a Roman candle at the slightest touch of those damn "fire" types. Screw those guys...except when they're snails.

KOFFING & WEEZING (poison) - nothing but hollow, balloon-like fleshy mutants filled with filthy smog, you gotta love the crossbones design as well as the wart-like pores, giving them the appearance of naval mines. Koffing's obliviously happy demeanor has earned it a big following, but I have to say I also appreciate the raw misery emanating from Weezing. Koffing is already an unnatural abomination, but Weezing is just Koffing melted together into a thing that truly ought not be. The grotesque asymmetry is delightful, especially that third, vestigial sack hanging off the primary pair.

GRIMER & MUK (poison) - while Koffing and Weezing are smog-themed monsters, these two are sludge-based. I've always had a soft spot for amorphous blobs and toxic oozes, so I find these slimeballs perfect in their simplicity. I like Grimer's dopey expression a bit more, but there's something to be said of the subtle hatred in Muk's eyes. Everything he touches is forever tainted...and he loves it. Interesting how both of the "pollution" monsters start out looking stupidly cheerful, but seem embittered and broken by the time they evolve.

VILEPLUME (grass/poison) - Vileplume evolves from Gloom, but I'm counting it separately because I don't like it as much, but like it for different reasons. It's explicitly based on the real-world Rafflesia or "corpse flower," and with "Vile" right in the name, there should be no mistaking this eerie-eyed poison type for one of the "girly" monsters. Unfortunately, that's exactly how it gets treated by the fans, and I just wish it had retained Gloom's icky drooling habits.

VICTREEBEL (grass/poison) - another grass/poison Pokémon and originally considered a counterpart to the Oddish line, this guy is a giant, carnivorous pitcher plant and quite menacing with that upside-down face. The official Pokedex mentions that it swallows prey whole and dissolves it bones and all.

KABUTOPS (water/rock) - easily one of the most sinister and deadly-looking of the original Pokémon, Kabutops has a detailed yet very organic design, and it's that big, flat, alien looking head that ties it all together.

VENONAT (bug/poison) - while its evolved form (Venomoth) is kinda cool, Venonat's design will always far outclass it. I so wish that this roly-poly wingless fly was a fully evolved Pokémon in its own right, or at least evolved into something a little more similar.

PINSIR (bug) - another perfect bug-type pokemon; just a mean, spiny, armor-plated beetle bastard with a terrifying vertical mouth full of needly teeth.

SLOWBRO (water/psychic) - so "slowpoke" is a dopey, long-tailed psychic monster that uses its tail as a lure for fish. Should said tail be bitten by a "Shellder" (a clam Pokémon) instead of a fish, the two of them evolve together into a Slowbro, the symbiotic union of dopey psychic mammal and seashell monster. One of Pokémon's most memorably wacky concepts.


Anonymous Allen said...

Sigh. I too always used Gloom and Parasect in my fighting teams. Unfortunately they always grow quickly obsolete in the game as more powerful pokes show up and kick their asses.

Stupid tanks....

1:30 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

This list transports me back to that summer of love, 1999. *sighs wistfully*

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is Nidorino?? He's a venomous rabbit-rhino-synapsid covered in spikes!!! Cubone is also a wonderful design. But it's your's favourites list, not mine's, so well...

Great list by the way. Our tastes for monsters are similar, except that I prefer reptiles and thorny vertabrates more than pools of goo and sludge.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous AMK said...

Where the FUCK is Scyther?!

4:18 PM  
Blogger Scythemantis said...

While Scyther is reasonably cool, it just doesn't appeal to me as much as so many others from the same generation.

I've had the screenname "Scythemantis" since before Pokemon, incidentally.

I do love Cubone and the Nidorans myself, but I had to narrow it down to ten!

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Erick said...

Weezing, Muk, and Pinsir will always be among my favorites.

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Tarazuma said...

Wow, FINALLY a major difference between us! I was getting a little scared there that I actually WAS your twin sister surgically seperated from you at the brain :P

I absolutely LOVE Venomoth to no end, it's in my top 10 faves of all time, but I don't care for Venonat at all. It's all hairy and dumpy and stuff. It just dosen't have any of the beauty I find in other bug types. Mainly because of the hair and the goofy feet. It's eyes are gorgeous though, it's the only Pokemon with properly drawn compound eyes.

And by "beauty" I don't mean stuff like
Butterfree, because I don't like Butterfree either. I mean smooth, sexy, sleek, glossy eyed and dangerous like Beedrill and Venomoth, huge and powerful like Pinsir and Scyther, or weird and mysterious like Forretress and Parasect. (Though I do love Kricketune for being HILARIOUS)

Like another commenter on here, I was at first surprised that Scyther wasn't on your list, but I suppose it makes sense. He is more of a dinosaur then a bug, thus taking away from the pure "scythe mantis" aesthetic. I'm sure if he was more mantis-like he'd be on your list :P

Here's another irony: When Pokemon first started airing in 1998, and I didn't know all of them, Gloom was my favorite too! But then I saw Haunter, and he became my favorite, and then I saw Hypno and well....thus started one of the sickest fangirl obsessions that's still continuing to this day :P

Anyways, of your list, Paras/Parasect, Victreebel, Kabutops and Pinsir are all favorites of mine too! In fact, Pinsir is tied with Venomoth as my favorite bug type of all time!

Also, an awesome thing about Victreebel: they apparently live in huge colonies deep in the jungle, but no one has ever returned from there!

2:11 PM  

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