With each new core entry in the Pokémon franchise comes a new batch of creatures for the Pokédex, and even though most long-time fans know the classics by heart it can be a little trickier to fold the newest ‘mons into our memories. Enter the humble list, where all that information gets sifted and sorted and processed into more mnemonically-digestible pieces.
There are naturally lots of folks out there who will tell you which of Pokémon Sun and Moon’s new pals are the most powerful, or has the most competitive potential, or will give you the most bang for the hours spent training it or even breeding it with others. But honestly, that’s just not how I play Pokémon, so that’s certainly not the kind of list I’d ever sit down to write. I still play to win, of course, but I aim to win with as beautiful a squad as possible. So instead of doing the standard number-focused round-up, I’ve combed through all the new additions and picked out a very specific series of Pokémon to share, each one too good, too pure, and too lovely to touch an immaculate foot down upon this earth. And I mean that literally. Maybe they float, maybe they fly, maybe they swim or maybe they just outright have no feet. Either way, they have better things so do than sully themselves on land with us.
Alright, so technically Rowlet’s immaculate feet are down upon this earth most of the time you see them, so in a sense their inclusion defies the already thin premise of this list. But hear me out. First of all, that fancy bowtie could get this little bub into any list or party they’re willing to show up at. Second, Rowlet’s Pokédex entry in the Moon version states the following: “Silently it glides, drawing near its targets. Before they even notice it, it begins to pelt them with vicious kicks.” That’s proof positive that this precious little dollop of owl is only standing on the lowly earth to practice stomping the faces of lesser beings.
Arms are for hugging. Legs are also for hugging. All limbs are made for hugging. This is the truth by which Komala lives its life. According to the Moon Pokédex, “the log it holds was given to it by its parents at birth. It has also been known to cling to the arm of a friendly Trainer.” What a precious baby. And what does the Sun Pokédex have to say about this sweet child? “It is born asleep, and it dies asleep.”
We can all agree that Toucannon is just a toucan, right? Like I’ll accept the argument that Komala isn’t just a Koala because it has that weird built-in log pillow happening, and I’ll even push the Magikarp agenda since it evolves into a massive sea terror, but Toucannon is just, straight up, a Toucan. Don’t read me the Pokédex entry, don’t tell me about its hot gassy explosion beak. It’s a Normal/Flying type. It’s a Toucan. A kind of squinty and judgy-looking one at that. But don’t mistake this for a put down. In a series full of purple mice and cats with fleshy whiskers, Toucannon’s honesty might be its most beautiful trait. Either that or the flawlessly complimentary colors of its beak and legs.
Comfey, entry #764. “Posy Picker Pokémon.” Until I read that, I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about a magical animal thing posing as a fun tropical accessory. Now it just sounds like Comfey knows the secret to living a gentle and fulfilling life, and I’m very jealous.
Years and years ago when I was first playing Pokémon Yellow I would never have thought that Bug types would become some of the cutest around, but the addition of Fairy types in Pokémon X/Y has been a serious boon for the bugs, too. As if its pre-evolution form, Cutiefly, wasn’t adorable enough, Ribombee looks like a wide-eyed little angel in a hand-me-down scarf, toes pointed as if they just might edge the very tip of one down into the cool grass from time to time when no one’s looking.
Bruxish carries on the fine tradition of unnervingly sexualized fish within the Pokémon games. Some might accuse Bruxish of being garish or tacky. Some might tell them to tone down the eyeshadow a bit. Some might point them to some YouTube beauty gurus diplomatically explaining the importance of pairing a bold lip with a subtler over-all look, or a subtle lip with a bold look instead. But Bruxish is perfect just the way they are, a Technicolor dream and/or nightmare who probably goes out for coffee with your mom a lot and slips you unwanted gift cards and a few leftover butter cookies after Christmas. They probably smell like a MAC counter that also sells cigarettes and orange Tic-Tacs for some reason, but damned if they don’t have the most unrestrained, joyful and emotionally restorative laugh you’ve ever heard in your life.
The whole galaxy-everything trend has been done to death, but I have to give Cosmog a pass. Much like Toucannon, Cosmog’s harmonious coloring makes them pop. I also can’t decide whether I want to read its two cloud-topped appendages as pompom pigtails or perpetually raised and flailing arms. I tend to favor the former interpretation, but whatever they are they’re adorable.
You know the beginning of The Little Mermaid when you see all of Ariel’s friends and siblings? They all have cool hair and tiaras made out of coral and coordinate their bras with their tail scales and look real neat as the camera inevitably leaves them behind to focus on Ariel—who is just fine—instead? Tapu Lele reminds me of them, except instead of watching them namelessly fade into the background I’m going to feed them beans and tell them how to fight various weasels and dogs. True, the Pokédex describes them as “guilelessly cruel,” but I think we’ve all been there at some point in our lives.
There was a time in my life when I thought no Pokémon would ever appeal to me more than Vaporeon. But then there was Audino. And when I thought there could be nothing above Audino, then came Sylveon. And when I thought Sylveon was the purest peak of what Pokémon’s designers could give me, Primarina rose up from the sea on a bed of pearlescent foam. And probably said “bwark” or whatever, because they’re still a seal, right? Primarina, the final stage of dearest Popplio’s awkward puberty, may as well be a gleaming reward for those who rose to the clown seal’s defense after the widespread mockery that came with its reveal.
Oricorio stands upon the soil like any common Pokémon, this is true, but they do not do so because they must. No. Their wings could carry them upward and protect their beauty from the taint below, but instead, feet planted, Oricorio in each of their four forms employs their wings…. For dance. (If this were in an audio format I’d cue up some castanets right about here.) Breathless romanticism aside, Oricorio is one of the most interesting Flying type Pokémon in a while, as far as I’m concerned. The ability to feed them various nectars to get them to change form and type also makes them a useful and flexible party member.
… And now that I’ve said that, I can at least say that I ended this whole on a serious and strategic note, even if I’m still only including them on my team because they’re so cool-looking.
Janine Hawkins is a freelance writer specializing in games and gaming culture. You can find her on Twitter @bleatingheart for more of her work.