Category Archives: Pokemon

Japanese Police Arrest Man Over Illegal Pokémon

A shiny Sobble, image from Serebii.net

They say that it’s legal until you get caught. For an Aichi prefecture man in Japan, it just got more legal than he was counting on.

A 23-year-old man from Nagoya was arrested for running afoul of Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act after using external software to change the ability of a Pokémon (a shiny variant of Messon, called Sobble in English), and sold the Pokémon to a man in Kyoto for 4400 yen (about $42).

Wow, you can get that much money for shiny Pokémon? I’m sitting on some bank, and didn’t even cheat to get it!

The same man reportedly made 1,125,000 yen (about $10,000) in about a year’s time. Assuming the same rate, that comes to about 238 Pokémon sold.

Is anyone else considering selling some Pokémon to supplement their income? Imagine how much it would rock to buy a house with money made by selling Pokémon! Working to pull it off is taking way too long.

Of course, there are some I’d like to hold on to, like Kona, my shiny Alolan Raichu.

Nintendo has previously announced their intention on banning those using hacked data in Pokémon Sword/Shield, as well as Pokémon Home. Because the Pokémon franchise has taken on paid subscription-based elements (features in Pokémon Home, Sword/Shield’s use of Nintendo’s online service), Nintendo now has a more financial incentive to ensure that the Pokémon characters exchanged using their online services maintain their integrity. Otherwise, players wanting legitimate Pokémon may feel cheated, and may possibly discontinue their use of subscription-based services.

There’s also the point that if Nintendo wants the competitive aspects of Pokémon to be taken seriously, they cannot allow cheating. Considering that they live-stream their competitions to an international audience, there’s a lot at stake.

My shiny Lugia is kinda making me feel like a jet-setter.

The Right Way to Play Pokemon Sword and Shield

This was not an easy guide to write. It’s obvious why; it’s because shortly after the outset of the game, you’re placed into the Wild Area, where you get so many team choices, it’s easy to be sunk by indecision.

This guide takes on the difficult task of determining the best team to use to play through the game out of the many, many different pokemon available. It’s not about building a competitive team, it’s about picking among the most practical choices for a fast, efficient playthrough so you can quickly get to the meaty, delicious postgame.

This guide makes the assumption that the DLC bonuses found due to the purchase of the Expansion Pass aren’t being considered. If they were, the matter of smashing your in-game opponents would be largely trivial. If you have access to the Crown Tundra, you’d have access to randomized over-leveled legendary pokemon, and much of the game wouldn’t pose any challenge.

If you’re in a hurry to win, but wanted someone else to do the nerding-out for you, then this guide is for you.

The first pokemon on this team is Sobble, and it’s easy to find, as it’s a starter pokemon, and the starter for this particular run. If you pick one of the other two, you might be getting a pokemon you prefer, but then this team might not work.

As much as I’d like to recommend Scorbunny for you, the starter for this run would be Sobble. It’s great on it’s own, especially thanks to the fact that its final form, Intelleon, is fast and hits hard. But Intelleon works well with the rest of the pokemon on this team, so the nod goes to Sobble.

Shortly after starting out, you’re going to be heading to the Wild Area. The place is huge, but it’s possible to get to the next destination quickly. But before you do, there’s a couple items you’ll want to seek out before leaving.

One of which is the Thunder Stone. The Thunder Stone is located on an elevated area on the northeast of the Lake Miloch area. It’s in a red item ball near a cliff.

The other is the Fire Stone. The Fire Stone is located in the Motostoke Riverbank area, north of the bridge, on the west side of the area by a group of three pipes. It’s also in an easy-to-find red item ball.

Both these items will come in handy for other pokemon on this list, and when you have them, you’d be glad you had these items on hand.

The next pokemon on this team depends on which version you are playing: Vulpix (the Fire-type Kantonian variant) if you are playing Pokemon Sword, or Growlithe if you are playing Pokemon Shield. Either one can be found on Route 3.

These two pokemon may have been overlooked when GameFreak was balancing the game, and both break the game in the same way. Either one can be evolved immediately after you capture it using the Fire Stone, giving you a pokemon with end-game base-stats before the first gym, albeit at early-game levels.

As if that weren’t sweet enough for you, you can teach these pokemon any move in their level-up learnsets, for free, at any Pokemon Center. Both can learn Flamethrower, but Arcanine can learn Crunch and Flare Blitz, and Ninetales can learn Nasty Plot and Extrasensory.

Also, they have a type advantage against the first gym.

The next pokemon for this team is Tyrogue, which you can also find on Route 3. The idea is to evolve the guy into Hitmonchan. However, Tyrogue is one of those pokemon with an abstract evolutionary method, and it might end up becoming something you weren’t planning on if you weren’t paying attention.

Tyrogue starts evolving at level 20. If its Defense stat is higher than its Attack when it starts evolving, it’ll become a Hitmonchan. There are a couple methods you can use to help this to happen. One is to catch a small handful of Tyrogue, and go with one which has a Defense that is significantly higher than its Attack. Also, you can send your Tyrogue to a Defense Seminar Poke Job to give its defense stat a boost.

Hitmonlee is a great pokemon for its high Attack and Speed, but the reason Hitmonchan works better for this playthrough is because it learns punching moves of different types which can help Hitmonchan against a variety of opponents. Ice Punch is super-valuable, and if it also has Thunder Punch, Hitmonchan will have coverage that most opponents won’t be able to resist. Hitmonchan learns these moves at level 24.

Drilbur is located in Galar Mine. No ridiculous evolution method required, Drilbur evolves to Excadrill at level 31. But when that happens, Excadrill picks up the super-useful Steel typing, and its attacks come harder from its high Attack stat. At level 40, Excadrill learns Swords Dance, giving an already-mighty pokemon the ability to sweep entire teams with ease.

Are you skeptical that Pokemon’s signature hug-em-squeeze-em, Pikachu, made the team? Remember the Thunder Stone you picked up in the Wild Area? Because we’re about to pull a Lieutenant Surge and use a Thunder Stone on a Pikachu right after catching it!

Now, why would we do that? Because Raichu benefits similarly to Ninetales and Arcanine, that’s why! You’ll have a long list of awesome moves to teach it at a Pokemon Center, including Thunderbolt, Nasty Plot, Nuzzle, the list goes on.

You’d have yet another endgame tier pokemon with an excellent moveset, with the only drawback being that it has early-game levels. And you still haven’t made it to the first gym.

By the way, if you’re playing the Shield version, you might want to settle for an Eevee, instead. It seems GameFreak decided to be cute and made the Sword version into the Pikachu version, and the Shield version into the Eevee version, by giving Pikachu a 5% appearance rate in Sword, but only 1% in Shield. The rates are the reverse for Eevee in the Shield version, so it might not be a bad idea to go with Eevee in the Shield version. Jolteon is still a strong Electric type, but it takes longer to teach it it’s power moves. But hey, you’d save the sanity you might have lost searching for a Pikachu.

This team is rounded out by a Morgrem you can catch much later on in Glimwood Tangle. You can also catch an Impidimp in the same area, but Morgrem is already evolved, and comes at a higher level. Morgrem evolves to Grimmsnarl at level 42.

If you can obtain a Morgrem with the Prankster ability, that would be strongly preferred, because then he can help you turn things around against strong opponents by giving priority to status moves. Aside from that, his typing makes him an excellent choice against this game’s many strong Dragon types, as well as Psychic, Dark, and even Fighting types that appear often in the late game.

That team should get you through the game, with power-leveling at a minimum. But here’s the point in which some of you might be asking, “But what about…” There are a lot of great pokemon that could have made this team.

A. Lot. Of. Them.

The Wild Area gives options, and plenty of them, and much of the difficulty in writing this guide had to do with considering from among the many pokemon that are available there. There are many viable pokemon that could have made the list.

Some players might be wondering why I didn’t include Zacian or Zamazenta. Those two are seriously strong pokemon, but neither of the two are available until the post-game, so they don’t get considered for a playthrough. Eternatus is another strong pokemon, but by the time you catch it, you’re one battle away from the post-game, and it’s comparable to what would already be on your team.

Do you like Scorbunny? So do I. But Ninetales and Arcanine offer amazing power for the point in the game that they become available, and it’s hard for another pokemon of the same type to compete with that. Gyarados packs a wallop, and it boosts its own stats with Dragon Dance. Gengar hits hard and fast, and comes with helpful type immunities.

And there’s more. The list goes on and on.

But hey, now you know what works, so you don’t have to guess around.

The Pokémon Company to Start Banning Cheaters

I’ve repeatedly heard the sentiment that if Nintendo didn’t want us to cheat, they wouldn’t have made certain Pokémon so hard to get.

Cheating has long been an ethical dilemma among gamers, though among game makers, the matter is pretty clear. But if only there were some way that game makers could make their stance clear…

…Oh, hold on. Yet another one is doing just that.

The Pokémon Company has just announced its plans to roll out bans for those who used “altered data”. These bans would impact Pokémon Sword, Pokémon Shield, and Pokémon Home. These bans would be either temporary or permanent, and no refunds would be issued in the instances in which violators were using paid services.

What I can say about this is, it’s about time. Pokémon was already the single highest-grossing intellectual property of all time, and with it, there’s a huge competitive community. There are yearly competitions, some of which live-streamed, to audiences all over the world.

If The Pokémon Company wants their games to be taken seriously as a competitive e-sport (as much as one could take such a thing seriously), they cannot allow cheaters to continue to run about unchecked.

This is an especially serious issue for Pokémon Home, elements of which are renewable paid services. Particularly impacted would be the GTS (Global Trade System), the economy of which is driven by the rarity of certain Pokémon. If players could duplicate rare Pokémon at will, their rarity becomes diminished in a sense comparable to over-inflation, and any incentive to use the paid service for long becomes effectively diminished.

As it has been, Pokémon Home’s GTS feature is like a game of hot potato, where players pass around an obvious hack until they get something they’re willing to settle for, in exchange for the legit Pokémon that they deposited to begin with. Somehow, I doubt that that was the kind of experience Nintendo had in mind when publishing Pokémon Home.

But now they want to do something about it? It’s about time. In fact, they could have done something about it a lot sooner. Because in doing so, they’d be enforcing their own Terms of Service. You know, the rules of the game that people are paying to play and use Nintendo online services for?

But if banning a bunch of kids will make them cry because it turns out that there are consequences to cheating, then maybe Nintendo is going to be the ones teaching them the lessons that their parents aren’t.

And maybe the games will become a lot more fun once the field is thinned out by banning those with no regard for the spirit of the game.

Battle Tower RMT – Pokemon Sword Version

pokekid means business.pngThe Battle Tower: serious business.

The Battle Tower is a feature in Pokemon games that simulates competitive play against an AI, but it’s also a way to farm BP, a currency used to purchase some highly-desirable items.

Here is the team that I used to reach the highest rank:

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Dracovish @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Strong Jaw
6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly nature (+Spe -SpA)
– Fishious Rend
– Crunch
– Ice Fang
– Earthquake

Dracovish looks like nature made a mistake, and hits like GameFreak made a mistake. Fishious Rend is a move that does enormous damage, but the catch is that the user has to go first, and Dracovish has a seemingly-inconvenient Speed stat. This set cranks up the power of Fishious Rend while going full-tilt to increase Dracovish’s Speed, enabling this monstrosity to sweep entire teams with ease. Fishious Rend benefits from Strong Jaw, giving a power boost to an already ridiculously strong move. The other moves are for coverage.

By the way, Dynamaxing allows a Choice item holder to temporarily choose a different move, which gives an answer to Shedinja and other pokemon that might be immune to Fishious Rend.

Zacian_Official_Package_Art.png

Zacian @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly nature (+Spe -SpA)
– Iron Head (Behemoth Blade)
– Play Rough
– Close Combat
– Swords Dance

While using a massively OP super-legendary may seem unfair, remember that the idea of a Battle Tower team is to win. What’s great about Zacian isn’t just that it’s strong, but its typing compliments Dracovish just right. Both Dragon and Fairy types can potentially give Dracovish trouble, and Zacian has the typing and moves to come to the rescue. Zacian has to watch out for Ground and Fire types, which aren’t much problem for Dracovish. The two go together excellently well.

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Rotom (Wash) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
6 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid nature (+Spe -Atk)
– Hydro Pump
– Trick
– Thunderbolt
– Volt Switch

Rotom provides a more direct answer to the Water types that might resist this team’s power moves. If you wish, you can go with Rotom Mow, which would take down Gastrodon in a hurry, but this comes with the risk that Rotom might take significant damage from an Ice-type move from a pokemon like Lapras on the switch-in. While stall pokemon like the Toxic/Protect users don’t usually cause Dracovish much trouble, those strategies are ruined when a Choice Specs are Tricked onto them.

Can you think of a way to improve this team? Or do you have a different team of your own? Feedback is welcome.

Is Go from Pokemon secretly a girl?

go from pokemon.png

A long-running tradition in the Pokemon anime is that of the poke-girl, the female traveling companion in Ash’s party. It started with Misty, continued with May, and went up until the seventh gen which gave us a few poke-girls instead of the usual one (Lillie, Lana, and Mallow). It would appear that the newest step in Ash’s journey would take things in a different direction by teaming Ash up with a boy named “Go”, and that a girl might not be traveling with Ash for this part of his journey.

Or is that really the case?

Japanese viewers have noticed that Go has been blushing a lot, which tends to happen often with female characters in anime.

gou blush.png

I could also point out that Go has stylized eyelashes, a feature that is usually only seen in anime girls and women.

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Is Go’s character a play on gender politics in a similar way to Samus from Metroid? Or is he simply an expressive male?

There is another mystery here, and that’s that Go is blushing at all. Blushing, or turning flush, is a feature of Caucasians. Blushing occurs when there is a sudden rush of blood, which is a physical reaction to awkwardness. With darker-skinned individuals, it’s less apparent that this rush of blood is taking place. When you put Go side-by-side with Ash, it’s plain to see that he’s not Caucasian.

go pokemon.png

As one could easily point out, Brock had darker skin too, and he was a legendary blusher. It would appear as though blushing in Pokemon was a stylistic choice, or perhaps was decided on by a team of Japanese animators who didn’t have access to many non-Japanese people to use as reference.

Also, what is up with those red clips in his hair? And those thin eyebrows? Were the writers of the Pokemon anime trying to pull one over on us?

Pokemon Sword version: first impressions

pokemon sword zacian.jpg

I’ve started playing Pokemon Sword, and I’m a few badges in. Here are a few first impressions:

NOTE: If you care about spoilers, there are some mild ones ahead. But because you’re using the internet, you’ll likely have come across some, anyway.

  • The rabbit, Scorbunny, is my favorite starter. By the looks of it, it’s the right choice, as it seems to have a clear edge against many early-game opponents.
  • The wild area is big, and you gain access to it early on. Don’t expect something immense like in BotW, however. Still, open wilderness areas are something I’ve wanted to see in Pokemon for a long time, and they’ve finally done it.
  • Even though there’s a large area that connects some locations, there are still routes that are connected to towns, and the gyms must be taken on in a certain order. So there is still linearity in this game.
  • Trainers have to be endorsed to take on the gym challenge, which does come up as a story element.
  • Hop is your main rival in this game. He’s a friendly guy who seems very enthusiastic, but gets in your face often and can get kinda annoying. But at some point, someone says something that gets under his skin, and it has an effect on him. At that point, how he develops becomes kinda interesting.
  • The use of UK slang is an intermittent reminder of the game’s setting. It also makes for somewhat difficult reading at times. Other English speakers let the British brag about the way they do English, but when we have to read it, it becomes apparent how generous we’re being.
  • The Wild Area is a dangerous place. Shortly after the game’s outset, you can battle wild pokemon 20 to 30 levels higher than yours! It’s easy to get into a difficult situation in which your team can get quickly wiped out.
  • You might have the idea to catch a high-level pokemon and quickly breeze through the game. In Sword and Shield, the level of pokemon you’re allowed to catch depends on how many gym badges you’ve obtained.
  • As far as power-leveling goes, unless someone discovers a way to cheese a super-strong wild pokemon, battling trainers close to your own level seems to be the most consistent way to go about it.
  • Dynamax may be impressive, but it’s not game-breaking. I’ve had an ordinary pokemon hold it’s own against a gym leader’s Gigantamax pokemon until it reverted.
  • PSA: If a Dynamaxed pokemon switches out, it reverts back immediately. Also, a Dynamaxed Golisopod’s ability still activates while Dynamaxed. Therefore, General Grievous Golisopod isn’t a great choice for Dynamaxing.
  • When booting up the game with a save file, a skipable animation plays. Skip it, and the save file loads up from where you last saved, immediately. No menus, no title screen, you get right into playing. Just as I would have it.
  • There are NPCs that dress up as Eevee. They are cuter than any pokemon I’ve found in this game, so far.
  • The bad guy team in this game is actually another trainer’s cheering team. The trainer that they’re cheering on seems indifferent and perhaps kinda annoyed at what they’re doing. This is both hilarious and sad.
  • It seems like every pokemon can Dynamax, but only specific ones can Gigantamax. What’s more, they can only Gigantamax if they were obtained under certain conditions. I’m kinda disappointed that the first Alcremie that I obtained isn’t eligible.
  • Those leaked pokemon turned out to not be as bad as I thought. There’s a difference between seeing a still image of a character and seeing that character in action in the game.
  • There is a Thunderstone located in a wild area near the start of the game, and Pikachu can be obtained early on. You know what that means…

dynamax raichu.jpg

To address the National Dex controversy, I don’t see it as a big deal. There have gotten to be so many pokemon that it was likely to happen at some point that not all of them would be coded into a game. When it comes to that point, it’s more expedient to prioritize pokemon that are more relevant to the setting, among other considerations such as game balance and popularity of certain characters. Sword and Shield aren’t the first games to have done this, that distinction would go to last year’s Let’s Go games, which didn’t receive nearly the backlash in spite of there being a far more limited selection of pokemon.

The availability of every pokemon that’s ever existed wouldn’t matter to very many players except a few fans who might actually have some kind of disorder. I suspect that much of the noise we’ve been hearing about this can be attributed to this remote and vocal minority. To normal players, omitting certain pokemon isn’t likely to make much difference. When it comes to playing a game, the experience is more important than some collection chores that mainly appeal to the overly-obsessive.

So far, I’m really liking Pokemon Sword and Shield. GameFreak did pretty well based on what I’ve seen so far.

#ThankYouGameFreak Shows the Best in Pokemon Fandom

pokemon great taste.png

After it became apparent that some pokemon would not be making it into the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield, social media lit up with hashtags such as #dexit and #bringbacknationaldex. Within the last day, Pokemon fans spoke up with the #ThankYouGameFreak hashtag, expressing gratitude toward GameFreak for their hard work in making a game that had a positive impact all around the world.

But there is another major difference: the #ThankYouGameFreak hashtag became the number one trending tag in the US.

In today’s culture, we see the more ungrateful among us screeching the loudest, and it’s easy to perceive that we live in an entitlement culture, and this perception is reinforced with the ease of finding social media posts from ingrates who apparently are facing the prospect of not getting everything they want for the very first time.

the empty can rattles the most

It’s easy to miss that the silent majority doesn’t always share the sentiments of the most vocal among us. The information media, the entertainment industry, and tech companies have platforms that allow them to spread their voices far and wide, but the common population continues to hold to their own virtues, and the social engineers are only able to succeed in preying on the more gullible among us.

In another example of the silent majority expressing their voice, the Pokemon fandom is turning out in great numbers to express their sincere appreciation for a media franchise that had a positive effect. This stands in stark contrast with those who binge-raged at the possibility that they might not find a character in an upcoming video game, and the hack industry analysts who are now carefully searching out and compiling any evidence they possibly could that the game company is in decline, as though a random YouTuber in some place like mid-state New York suddenly has access to information about a major game company that the rest of us don’t.

When it comes down to it, the culture isn’t made by the face on the TV screen or the person who shouts the loudest. It’s the people who make the culture. And, as it turns out, this culture is actually very capable of being grateful.

This Pokemon is Not the Devil.

EIaH4fLX0AEQ4Ky.jpg

The pokemon pictured above is called “Impidimp”. It’s gotten some attention lately from fans who suppose it to be a representation of the Devil in the upcoming Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Shield. Since then, various edgy pre-teens have expressed their intention of including it on their in-game teams.

They continue to feel confident in their assertions of its identity, even as it’s evolved form was allegedly leaked on social media, which looks like this guy:

goblin from world of warcraft.png

Whoops, hold on. That’s not the guy. Here’s the alleged leak:

EIaH4s-WoAI0uWj.jpg

When people call this pokemon the Devil, they sound like they have no idea what a goblin is. Considering the sheer number of people out there that consume fantasy media, this is surprising, as the goblin in middle age fantasy is like the Goomba from Super Mario Bros.. Its motif was even used for the Spider Man villain, the Green Goblin:

green goblin spider man.jpg

If you’re wondering what the Devil looks like, it would seem that no one got him on Polaroid. But it’s not likely that we can take a picture of him, because the Bible doesn’t describe the being to us in a physical sense. As far as that goes, what the Bible indicates is that he was likely very beautiful. Which is pretty far from what describes your typical goblin.

The extent of our ability to perceive the Devil is as a disembodied voice that attempts to influence people into doing things that they shouldn’t, kind of like an evil Obi-Wan Kenobi. If he were to appear in someone’s vision, it’s very likely that he can change his appearance, so he’d look like anything he wants (such as dead relatives or even what we’d perceive as angelic).

obi-wan kenobi.jpg“Steal that candy bar. Grocery stores are rich, they won’t miss it.”

Also of note is that Impidimp’s type is Dark/Fairy. Dark is an example of something that people would be afraid of, which would make it something that could unnerve a pokemon that uses its mind in battle. “Fairy” is an old English word that refers to a humanoid or a human with unusual traits. Going by this definition, vampires are fairies. Werewolves are also fairies. Goblins are fairies, too. It’s a very broad term. And yes, even Cirno from Touhou is a fairy.

cirno pop.jpgNatch.

So, what did we learn? Among other things, that an edgelord’s limited perception becomes apparent when we allow them to interpret pokemon designs.

These Pokemon Sword and Shield leaks are probably fake.

EIbzslLWsAAORLq.jpgI don’t know about this…

There have been numerous alleged leaked pokemon from the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield games which have been appearing on social media the last couple days, apparently originating from this Twitter account.

While the “leaks” look professional and convincing, there is a possibility that they could be fake, as fakes of such high quality can be produced by ordinary people. A prominent example would be the “leaked” starter pokemon concept art from over a year ago which were supposedly of the gen 8 starters, complete with the confidential stamp which was already known to be used for internal GameFreak documents:

pokemon_gen_8_leak_potential_grass

That really had the fans going, but when the real source came forward, it served as proof that just one guy and his friend who knows Japanese can trick a collective.

But what really makes the latest “leaks” more convincing is the use of quality 3D models, such as this one:

EIaw-h9XUAAL3oS.jpg

The reason I’m not convinced is because it is possible for an ordinary person to create a 3D model, texture it, and animate it, as shown in the following video:

This was the work of a first-year student in 3D modelling and animation, and he was able to produce something of demonstrably higher quality than the official models, and he did this to spite an ignorant commenter.

The other type of possible fake going around supposedly comes from a yet-to-be-released “Trainer Handbook”:

EIYkKrGX0AEyWp6

EIVwyGPX0AElSG-.png

If the guidebook is legit, then there’s a huge problem with the guidebook itself: it’s a terrible guidebook. Most strategy guides, particularly for RPGs such as the Pokemon games, are packed with helpful statistical information, movesets, and typing information. This particular guidebook would seem more concerned with filling pages with illustrations of pokemon.

As you might remember, the official strategy guide for Pokemon Platinum was the size of a phone book, even though the pages were thin and the font was small. It stands as a bulky example of just how complex the Pokemon games have become, and this was from a few generations ago.

pokemon platinum strategy guide.jpg

Another problem with these leaks is the recurring use of blurred photographs, which have been used to create the impression of taking a hasty photograph with limited opportunity, but is used to cover up possible flaws in the designs:

EIVzYSTXkAAYYk1.png

There is another problem, and this is a huge one: if these leaks turn out to be true, then GameFreak succeeded in making a bunch of pokemon that I’m not really interested in capturing. The following montage image showcases some of the images being circulated:

EIUVyfQWoAMLt5G.jpg

Most of them don’t really have the kind of appeal that is normally associated with Pokemon. The Galarian Meowth looks goofy, and its inclusion is confusing considering that we get to see a Gigantamax variant to Meowth introduced. And that weird thing next to it is supposedly a Galarian Persian.

That purple dragon-looking thing looks more Neopets than Pokemon, and seems out of place. Then there’s the red fox, which looks like it doesn’t want to be there. Also, that Farfetch’d is supposedly a Galarian variant, with the difference being a larger leek. Most regional variants have radically different designs, so why does Farfetch’d get such a half-hearted treatment?

I could keep going with what’s wrong with these designs, but you see them. Not only do I doubt that these leaks are real, I want them to be fake. If they aren’t fake, then the gen 8 pokemon designs will easily go down as the worst in the series.

EIVu4eXWkAEuMYU.jpg

I actually like Scorbunny, so I don’t want its final stage to look so bland.

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another moth

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I’ll grant that these “leaks” are very convincing, but that’s not very comforting considering that what we’ve seen from them so far looks pretty bad.

This is an interesting time for entertainment media, because social media has resulted in a rise of a culture of leaks. People love the attention that comes with having something exclusive, and there are people who like crafting a convincing ruse. It really isn’t anything new to Pokemon. Some who have been at it for a while remember the Shaymin Sky Forme “leak” from 2008, which was eagerly posted by Pokebeach with their watermark, even though it was made by a DeviantArt user called PurpleKecleon:

shaymin-sky-form.jpg

The same thing is happening with other media franchises, such as Star Wars, with communities speculating wildly about the contents of the next film in the series, The Rise of Skywalker. In the case of Star Wars, hoaxes have been carefully crafted around information that’s already available to make them sound more believable. Such has been the case with Pokemon, too. The hoaxes have gotten more sophisticated, resulting in fandoms that have to be far more cautious than they have been in times past.

UPDATE: The Twitter account that has been posting these leaks has been suspended. It’s possible that Nintendo requested this suspension because they didn’t want these pokemon leaked. Some of the designs have grown on me, but whether they’re legit remains to be seen.

The Pokemon anime spoiler that’s difficult to avoid (Alola league results)

ash league win.png

Ash has won a Pokemon League tournament in the Pokemon anime. Yes, that actually happened. The anime has been running for over two decades, with each generation of Pokemon typically concluding with a Pokemon League tournament where the winner would be declared the champion.

To be fair, Ash has won two similar victories in the past, those being the Orange Island League and the Battle Frontier challenge, but neither of those were leagues in the same sense as the Alola League, which held a tournament as other traditional Leagues do.

There have been those who have insisted that Ash should have won other league tournaments in which he participated, but I prefer to be more realistic about it. Most league tournaments in the Pokemon anime are single-elimination tournaments, wherein contestants are eliminated as soon as they’ve lost, after just one round. These tournaments can be pretty brutal, especially if there is a large number of participants, which would necessitate more rounds. While Ash may be the main character of his story, he’s every bit a person as everyone else who entered the competition, and those other people have had experiences just as valid as his. Because a large crowd participates in Pokemon’s league competitions, the odds of any particular contestant winning are very slim, but can significantly improve if a person is of a higher skill level. Because tournaments typically attract highly-skilled participants, the odds of an average-level participant taking top honors is very slim.

Ash’s league victory comes just after we’ve gotten a strong hint that the next generation of Pokemon anime will take place across all regions featured in the main Pokemon games, with the possibility that Ash may no longer be featured as the main character. If this turns out to be the case, granting Ash a league victory would give the character, and fans all over the world, closure that they’ve collectively been waiting a long time for.

Well done, kid.

ash champion trophy.jpg