Picture: Nintendo Life

I am going to begin this with a complicated admission: My favorite factor on the planet is a visit to an aquarium. I might spend days gazing via the curved glass of a tank, watching sharks glide previous me, urgent my hand towards the graceful, white underbelly of a stingray, and being attentive to the clownfish darting out and in of the swaying mass of a sea anemone. Aquariums are my blissful place. They’re fascinating, lovely, entrancing, and for a child who grew up fairly distant from the ocean, mainly magic.

So why do I dislike fish Pokémon a lot? It is exactly as a result of they don’t have anything in widespread with these precise fish in an aquarium, or within the sea. Let me clarify.

Again in 1996, we have been launched to the idea of Pocket Monsters — bizarre little animals that lived in tiny, transportable cages, that may struggle different Pocket Monsters in your behalf. Lots of these Pocket Monsters have been primarily based on real-world animals, like turtles, butterflies, and birds.

In amongst all these real-life animals, in fact, have been fish — three fish, to be precise. Goldeen, Seaking, and Magikarp are the one fish-like beings on the Gen I Pokédex, though you might increase your definition of “fish” to incorporate Gyarados (who’s extra of a dragon, for those who ask me), the Horsea line (these are horses, duh), Shellder, Staryu, and Omanyte (these are shellfish), Poliwag (a tadpole), Tentacool (a jellyfish), Vaporeon (some type of dog-mermaid), and Lapras (…dinosaur?). For the needs of this text, I’m speaking solely in regards to the fish-shaped fish, and I’ll ignore all different marine and piscine creatures, okay?

Fish Pokemon
He’s kinda cute, although

Pay attention, Goldeen and Seaking are fairly cool. They’re primarily based on decorative fish like goldfish and koi carp, and having grown up with a koi pond, I am fairly keen on the sparkly little guys. In consequence, they’re fairly fairly, with their frilly little fins and orange-white-black colouring, however let’s be sincere: They’re the Rattata of the ocean. Nobody truly needs them for any motive aside from to replenish the Pokédex. These fish are PC Field filler.

Now, you may argue that Magikarp is, in reality, the Rattata of the ocean, however you would be unsuitable — I would argue as an alternative that Magikarp might be the most attention-grabbing fish in all Pokémon historical past (not that there is a lot competitors). There’s even a trope named after it: “Magikarp Power“, which is when a personality or merchandise appears fully ineffective at first, however ultimately evolves into one thing nice. And Magikarp retains wonderful firm on this class: Chie in Persona 4, Donnel from Hearth Emblem: Awakening, and even Exagryph from Hades are all of the Magikarps of their respective video games.

Nevertheless it’s all downhill from Magikarp. I do not suppose there’s been a single fish Pokémon that I’ve truly wished in my social gathering since then, and although lots of the designs are cool — Relicanth, Mantyke, even the stupid-looking Arctovish — I simply do not look after them.

Fish Pokemon
It does not assist that fishing is the dullest factor within the video games

I put ahead my speculation: That, of all of the forms of Pokémon (fowl, dragon, humanoid) the fish ones are all the time essentially the most disappointing. You suppose I care in regards to the distinction between Tynamo and Remoraid? I don’t. You suppose I wish to put in a ton of effort to catch and evolve a Feebas right into a Milotic? No. Has anybody ever picked Huntail or Gorebyss as their favorite Pokémon? Most likely not, proper?

I do know lots of people aren’t eager on fowl sorts both, and I am inclined to agree that fowl sorts undergo from the identical boring “oh, it is a fowl” designs that fish sorts do. However fowl Pokémon have a tendency to look early within the sport, once you’ll take absolutely anything to beef up your social gathering for the subsequent gymnasium, and so I’ve an attachment to them as a result of they normally stick round lengthy sufficient to develop on me. Fish Pokémon, however, require a fishing rod or the Surf potential, which means that they normally begin showing within the video games as soon as I’ve already acquired a fairly strong roster of attention-grabbing and highly effective Pokémon, and there isn’t any room in my coronary heart or my social gathering for a weak-ass salmon lookalike.

I do not get it. The ocean is stuffed with bizarre and unusual fish, however when translated into Pokémon, they only appear so extremely uninteresting. However I believe I do know why they’re so uninteresting — it is as a result of fish aren’t actually very attention-grabbing on their very own. They’re attention-grabbing collectively — the best way they transfer, the best way they work together, the wondrousness of the ocean itself as one other world beneath the land.

Sadly, in Pokémon video games, as a result of we’re solely ever on the floor of the water (aside from Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire’s cool diving sections), we do not get to truly discover the oceans like we do each different a part of the land. Every time we encounter fish in Pokémon, they skim alongside the waves after which leap out of the water to battle us. There aren’t any swimming sections, through which we get to brush previous colleges of glittering Luvdiscs, or night-time bioluminescing swimming pools courtesy of Finneon and Lumineons; it all the time feels as if we’re forcing these fish to return to our world relatively than visiting theirs and attending to see them behave, you understand, like fish.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet was the primary time I ever actually noticed fish behaving like fish — specifically, seeing a Dondozo come as much as the floor from the shadowy depths. It was such a cool second; a second that implied a literal and metaphorical depth to those oceanic creatures that had beforehand simply been an annoying hindrance as I attempted to Surf from A to B.

So, Recreation Freak, if any of your designers are studying this: Allow us to discover the oceans in a future Pokémon sport. Allow us to see fish Pokémon of their pure habitats. Give us seabeds blanketed with Staryu and Pincurchin, coral reefs crowded with Skrelp and Qwilfish, and solitary Arrokuda lurking in darkish corners, able to seize their prey. Allow us to respect fish the best way we do in actual life — not as lone encounters, however as a wealthy, vibrant ecosystem.

Is your favorite Pokémon a fish Pokémon? Do you suppose birds are method worse? Did you want Ruby and Sapphire’s diving sections as a lot as I did? Give me your ideas within the feedback!

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