According To A Recent Experiment, Every Single Pokemon Is Somebody’s Favourite
It’s difficult to say how many Pokemon there are. Prior to the Crown Tundra DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield the last official Pokedex entry was for Zarude, #893. Crown Tundra went on to introduce Calyrex, Glastrier, Spectrier, Regieleki, and Regidrago, bringing the total to 898 — this doesn’t include the Galarian forms of the Legendary Birds, nor does it take any other regional forms of specific Pokemon into account.
So let’s roll with 898, just for argument’s sake. That’s a lot of Pokemon! As it turns out, every single one of these creatures is somebody’s favourite. Yes, even Dunsparce, Bruxish, and the infamous rubbish Pokemon.
This revelation comes as part of an initiative carried out over at the official Pokemon subreddit, where an interesting post was recently published. You can check it out for yourself below.
Pretty self-explanatory — all you have to do is come up with the most boring or horrible Pokemon design you can think of and see if anyone responds in defense of it. This sounds like a pretty easy game at first. Does anyone here like Vanillite? Have we got any Burmy stans in the audience? What about Binacle — surely nobody cares about Binacle.
As it turns out, people do care about Binacle, who I would have thought is immensely forgettable. “I like Binacle cause he’s a lil funny, but I think Barbaracle looks super badass,” writes one Redditor. Another five people in the same thread actually managed to snag themselves a shiny Binacle. This seems obscene to me, a Gen 1 player, because I’m astounded — and delighted — by how many people like a rock with two arms. That being said, I’m also a stalwart defender of Geodude, which helps me to understand that maybe, just maybe, my ambivalence toward Binacle is rooted in an absence of childhood nostalgic attachment to its design. Maybe it’s alright, actually. It’s even Pokemon musician Tomoaki Imakuni’s favourite.
Some of the reasons for why people like certain Pokemon so much are genuinely really intriguing — and, in some cases, pretty funny. One person mentions their love for Dunsparce, who I thought was unanimously hated outside of its intrinsic affinity to meme culture. “He has a place in my heart because my child logic leveled him up all the way to 100 waiting for the evolution after each new level,” the commenter writes. “The disappointment I felt after nothing happened at level 100 was so immense that I had to flip it to a positive and decided it must have been that it was too powerful for evolution.”
Other more random cases have seen some very creative ripostes from people who are keen on defending their favourites. One Redditor mentioned Armaldo and had to edit their comment to add, “I think I underestimated Armaldo’s fanbase.” The same thing happened with Pokemon like Maractus and Meloetta, and hundreds of others in between. We’ve got fans of Bruxish, Lickilicky, Purugly, Alomalola, Chikorita — who I have always loved despite the community’s near unanimous disdain for Meganium. One person brought up Qwilfish, who a commenter went on to call, “an angry sea mine that does really well in lower competitive tiers, what’s not to love.”
It’s really interesting to see something like this. In my ignorance I had always assumed that some of my least favourite Pokemon were universally hated and always would be. According to another survey conducted in the lead up to last year’s Sword & Shield — which received over 52,000 responses — there were only four Pokemon prior to Gen 8 who were nobody’s favourite: Silcoon, Gothita, Eelektrik, and Yungoos.
Because 52,000 people isn’t that large of a number when you consider that there are approximately 7.8 billion people in the world, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that a new experiment that has received this much attention — currently sitting at around 2,000 responses and counting — appears to have remedied the disdain for these Pokemon.
“Recently moved to the Virgin Islands, and there are little weasel like animals that remind me of Yungoos, so now I kind of like them,” writes one Redditor.
“I love Yungoos, I rescue ferrets and we have one particularly aggressive girl who was used as a hunter then dumped,” writes another. “She reminds me of Yungoos. An angry little ferret that just needs love.”
It’s also worth noting that Gumshoos, Yungoos’ evolution, got four votes, The same reasoning can be applied to Eelektrik’s lack of love. Eelektross actually got 49 votes, while Tynamo, its first form, got six. On top of that, Pokemon TCG fans came to Eelektrik’s defense in swarms, noting that it’s a core part of a powerful Raikou-based deck.
The Gothita family got 21 votes overall, despite Gothita having none of its own. While some people said it’s outshone by Gothitelle, others said they’re keen to try and build an effective team around Gothita. In terms of Silcoon’s poor performance, most people have just said that Cascoon is more beloved because it’s emo Silcoon — Silcoon, but with a personality. Fortunately Silcoon ended up getting some love, too, meaning that all four of our ugly Swannas had their previous scores of zero rescinded.
Looking at it a bit more closely, it sort of makes sense. Not everybody plays Pokemon just to get the strongest creatures available. Sure, there’s a lot of love for Tyranitar, and Gengar, and Dragonite. In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, Charizard was voted as the most popular Pokemon of all time, raking in a whopping 1,107 votes.
But there are other ways to get attached to Pokemon. People tend to love their first ever shiny, regardless of what it is — that’s probably why I am sympathetic to Zubat, despite the fact that an entire generation of Pokemon fans hate it because of Mt. Moon.
Other players have became enamored with Pokemon from doing Nuzlockes with them. For those unacquainted with the term, this is a self-imposed permadeath mode where you’re only allowed to catch the first Pokemon you see on each route. I did one a while back and caught a Nidoran, who I named Dany after Game of Thrones. Nidoqueen instantly became one of my all-time favourites and even made it the whole way to the Elite Four with me, where she unfortunately died during the last battle. Tragic.
It’s just nice to see. There are so many Pokemon out there, and I’ve always thought most of them were pretty forgettable. But there’s a trainer for every one of them. Even Stunfisk got 27 votes last time.
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Cian Maher is an Associate Editor at TheGamer. He’s also had work published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Verge, Vice, Wired, and more. His favourite game of all time is and always will be The Witcher 3, but he also loves The Last Guardian, NieR: Automata, Dishonored, and pretty much every Pokemon game ever released. You can find him on Twitter @cianmaher0.
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