Saturday, July 13, 2013

NERDCULTURE SMACKDOWN! POKÉMON OF THE WEEK! JULY 12- JUNE 19/13!

#69 BELLSPROUT, #70 WEEPINBELL, #71 VICTREEBEL

When I played Pokémon Blue, my team always began by choosing Charmander because getting a Charizard was like a rite of passage, back in my day. I liked Squirte but, considering how many Water Pokémon exist in each Generation, I rarely choose Water starters. I didn't really like Venusaur, so I never chose a Bulbasaur. So, being a kid, I felt it was necessary to have a Grass Pokémon on my team that I would use as a HM 01 CUT slave, Bellsprout until I eventually got tired or how lame and his evolutions were and put them in the PC.

LAST WEEK'S POKÉMON OF THE WEEK: #304 ARON, #305 LAIRON, #306 AGGRON

But let's look at these Grass/Poison guys on their own merits, shall we...

The possibilities of rubbery animated movement in Bellsprout has always been a surefire shortcut to comedy in the Pokémon anime and in the fandom.

The secret is the simplicity of Bellsprout's design that hails back to the very foundations of animation-- which seemed to be quite fond of rubbery dancing flowers-- and, combined with it's slightly unsettling design and unassuming form, creates a lot of potential. In the game, Bellsprout is a pretty lousy creature that only really comes in handy against the second gym for trainers that skipped Bulbasaur but is otherwise fairly unappealing. The only positives I can give it or it's evolutions are it's status afflicting moves that come in handy when catching Pokémon or defeating some difficult Pokémon.

Weepinbell sucks. Literally, that's pretty much the only visual joke that is achievable with this boring bell-shaped Pokémon.

Oh Victreebel, I'll admit you have a more compelling design than Weepinbell and look somewhat intimidating (for a first gen Pokémon). This green mean Bell plant machine has got a special place in our Pokémon nostalgia as being a very important Pokémon to Team Rocket's James.

In the anime, James had Victreebel through a large portion of the Kanto and Johto seasons and used it as his secondary Pokémon with the running joke that, every time he summoned it, it gave him a big smooch. This joke had about as much flexibility as you'd imagine but was charming enough (if not horrifying) for the anime.

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