Saturday, August 17, 2013


#538 THROH & #539 SAWK

This week we're looking at Hitmonchan & Hitmonlee 2.0 with the Fighting fellas from Generation 5's Black & White games. This is a real marker for the nostalgia seeking attempts to have similarities to the original 150 in the newest generation. The question that comes to mind whenever they're compared? Does it work?

Let's first answer the question I just asked: does repeating the theme of Hitmonchan & Hitmonlee work with these two? I think, in some ways, it shows the greatest weaknesses and strength of the current design strategy. On one hand, I would argue that color coordination, details, and accessories; the vibrant red and blue are pleasant to the idea and make these two stand out, the karate theme and lines tie them together but they're separated well by their builds, and, the way they tied the "T" and "S" letters into their faces is a nifty little detail. The weakness in their design is that, unlike Hitmonchan & Hitmonlee, they lack a distinct feel that makes them feel slightly generic and look slightly out of place, and, furthermore, the use of karate outfits doesn't help as it makes them look/act too human. To be fair, Hitmonchan had boxing gloves and this is a general design challenge with fighting Pokémon, ex. why does every Machoke and Machamp have the same belt?

Now, let's look at them on their own individual aspects...

The images I found for both Throh & Sawk (above and below) cover the gamut of their aspects; from the noble to the brutal and from the human to the bestial, we get a look at the macho aspects of each of these cool Fighting Pokémon. They both have very expressive faces thanks to the way their eyes and mouths have been aligned/designed. I personally am a big fan of this sort of cartoony style that gives them a look that is both familiar and unique. The fact that they straddle the line between being cool and cute shows how Pokémon uses the cartoon style to it's advantage in appealing to fans of all ages.

P.S. Couldn't pick between these two obvious Ernie and Bert fanart remixes.

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