Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More beloved Pocket Monsters

They didn't make my top tens, but there are plenty more pogeymonz I have something to say about:


TENTACOOL & TENTACRUEL (water/poison) - the jellyfish came very, very close to being in my first-gen top ten; both have amazingly threatening and distinctly original designs for jellyfish creatures, and I love every bit of them. Tentacool is really iconic with its simple bulb-like shape and two tentacle arms (which even seem to split into "fingers" in some depictions) while Tentacruel is probably the meanest-looking Cnidarian you'll ever see. Especially fascinating are Tentacruel's two gigantic mandible-like blades, a completely invented feature as no Jellyfish has any hardened parts.

EXEGGCUTE & EXEGGUTOR (grass/psychic) - one of the weirdest grass types, Exeggcute is a collection of egg-like seeds sharing a single mind, and evolve into a walking tree with multiple egg-heads growing off it. The heads can even drop off, supposedly, and become new Exeggcute when they gather together.

LICKITUNG - this normal-type has always been a bit of an enigma. It seems like they wanted a giant tongue monster, but weren't sure what to do for the body, so they just designed a simple, minimal dinosaur-like critter and called it a day. I'm glad, because Lickitung's fat, slimy-looking pink body, beady doll-eyes and toothless grimace are truly lovable.

DROWZEE & HYPNO (psychic) - in Japanese mythology, a "Baku" is a tigerlike monster that feeds on the dreams of sleepers. Tapirs, though more piglike than tigerlike, are also called "Baku," so the two have fused together in modern pop culture. These dream-eating psychic tapir Pokemon couldn't be spookier with their beady little eyes and floppy noses, especially Hypno. I always liked his lack of any visible mouth...and why should he have one if he only eats dreams?

JYNX (ice/psychic) - notoriously freaky, this bizarrely woman-shaped monster has always been one of my favorite pokemon, though I thought it looked much cooler when its face was pitch black. It was changed to purple because the black face was considered racially "insensitive," though I never even thought its skin was actually black; I always got the impression that the black area was just darkness, and all we could see were its facial features peering out. Whatever. It's still a weird lady-monster with crazy buggy eyes, and that's awesome.

SHELLDER & CLOYSTER (water/ice) - I enjoy mollusca in all of their forms, and while Shellder is way more adorable than Cloyster, I appreciate how nasty the latter is. It's a huge, spiky bivalve with ice beams, and it salso kinda looks like female genitalia. Just saying.

DIGLETT & DUGTRIO (ground) - honestly, who doesn't love these little guys? A cold-hearted bastard, that's who. Based on the old Wack-a-mole arcade games, only their heads have ever been shown in any form of media, leaving fans to speculate on whether the rest is a cute, fuzzy little mole, an eldritch abomination or a giant mutant wang, depending on the fan-artist.

Still one of the series most unique concepts, Porygon is comprised entirely of computer data, somehow manifesting as a real, functional man-made pocket monster. The fact that it looks like a crude polygonal bird just makes it even more interesting, I always loved its eyes.


SPINARAK & ARIADOS (bug/poison) - forgot about these completely when I wrote up my Gen 2 list. As one of the most fundamental and famous of all animals, I always felt spiders deserved more than just these little guys to represent them, but they still have very cool (if not very Arachnoid) designs, with false faces on their abdomens like many real-world spiders.

Porygon2 evolves when Porygon is given an official upgrade from the same corporation that created it, resulting in a porygon that is not only faster and stronger, but get smooth, updated graphics! I find Porygon's rough appearance and sad polygonal eyes more endearing, but I still love Porygon2. In 3-d games, it bobs up and down like one of those desktop "drinking" birds!


BANETTE (Ghost) - counterpart to Dusclops, this haunted doll was always one of the most sinister ghost types; its eye-slits and zipper teeth made it look like a gimp mask, and it supposedly injures itself like a voodoo doll to torture other creatures.

BRELOOM (grass and grass/fighting) - though it stole thunder away from Parasect (who was once the only monster with the awesome move "Spore"), I still appreciate the creativity of a fighting chicken-like mushroom creature.

SNORUNT & GLALIE (ice) - these devilish ice monsters both have fairly cool designs. Snorunt is a lot more interesting to me designwise, but Glalie is fairly neat with its giant demon ski-mask look.

LILEEP & CRADILY (grass/rock) - though based on a fusion of Crinoid and Anemone (both animals) these fossil critters were given the grass typing, like plants. I just love glowing eyes in darkness, and to combine that with a sea-lily monster is even better. Once again, though, I like the first stage slightly more.

ANORITH & ARMALDO (bug/rock) - these guys are based on Anomalocaris, one of the very coolest animals ever to stalk the Earth, and like Kabutops, they also seem based on the notion that these ancient invertebrates may have taken to the land had they not died out. Unfortunately, I really dislike the design of Armaldo's head. It would have been ten times cooler if it kept the facial claws of the real animal (like Anorith) or at least had the same buggy round eyes.


Third and final "upgrade" to Porygon is more like a "hack" - it's created when you give Porygon2 an item called "dubious disc," creating a sleeker and faster but physically weaker data-monster with crazed eyes and a detached, floating head! It's even said to act erratically and suffer many glitches. Don't trust third-party software!

GASTRODON (water/ground) - I know I should love a three-eyed, land dwelling nudibranch monster, but Gastrodon's design never seemed as nudibranchey as it could have been, keeping it just out of my very top favorites. It's pretty adorable, though, and comes in a few alternate colors and subtly different shapes.

COMBEE & VESPIQUEN (bug/flying) - these cute, happy-face little honeycomb bees evolve into a badass bee queen with a wasp-nest skirt only if they're female. Males remain only weak little drones, and even fit themselves into Vespiquen's holes to ambush her enemies. Kinky.

SNOVER & ABOMASNOW (grass/ice) - in the pocket monsters universe, the Abominable snowman or Yeti isn't a primate at all, but a walking, humanoid pine tree! The creativity is through the roof, and it's a popular monster in competitive play for the constant hailstorm it generates.

ROTOM "CUT" FORM (ghost/grass) - One of the most unusual pocket monster, Rotom is a cute little electric/ghost that can be transformed into one of several different ghostly appliances, including a fire-type oven, ice-type refrigerator, flying-type fan, water-type washing machine, and my favorite, the grass-type lawnmower, the only one with big, jagged teeth.


THE POKEBALL MUSHROOM (grass/poison) - more powerful than previous mushroom pokes, this is sadly another big blow to the usefulness of Parasect, but at least it looks neat. I really love its grumpy, gloomy eyes and little sucker-mouth.

THE NAZCA BIRD (psychic/flying) - an exceptionally surreal monster with no other evolutionary stages, this thing is described as a "pseudo bird" in the Japanese games. I really like the single eye on top, which looks interestingly like one of the "Unown" from the second generation.

THE DRILL MOLES (ground/steel) - we already has some very iconic moles in Diglett and Dugtrio, I always thought there should also be a more full-body mole as well, taking advantage of a mole's coolest feature; its massive claws. It's too bad they didn't also make them star-nosed moles, but the evolution's ability to BECOME a single, massive drill is pretty special.

THE ANT & ANTEATER (bug/steel and fire) - in a stroke of brilliance, the designers of Generation V created a bug/steel ant - a combination which takes quadruple damage from fire attacks - and gave it the ultimate natural predator, able to melt through that metallic exoskeleton and feast on the goo therein. Both have really neat designs, I'm loving the ant's insectoid face and the anteater's little tailpipe.

THE HERMIT CRABS (bug/rock) - these tunneling, stone-carrying hermits are easily my favorite Crustacean pokemon. Both stages have the perfect little realistic eyestalks, pleasing chunky shapes and neat-looking claws!

THE SAND CROCODILES (ground/dark) - like Hippopotas and Hippowdon, we have another set of aquatic African animals adapted to live in desert sand. These reptiles protect their eyes with special membranes resembling goggles, with the final stage developing a set of sinister shades and a lovably cartoonish (if Freudian) snoot. Black and red is always a winning color combo, too. I definitely prefer these to our older Crocodilian pokes, the Totodile line.

THE...CONSTRUCTION...CLOWN THINGS! (fighting) - very peculiar fighting types, these are just ugly, bruteish, muscular monsters with clown noses who happen to carry around things from construction sites. Cool-looking, but also confusing; I wonder what exactly inspired them.

Up next will be my most difficult and final posts on pocket monsters: my top ten favorites of ALL generations...and my ten least, which is going to be even tougher.