With Nintendo’s recent showing of Pokémon Sword and Shield at E3, I thought today would be a fine time to celebrate an aspect of the series that I’m rather fond of.
It’s not the variety of new Pokémon to catch in each new installment. It’s not the new world to explore. It’s not the prospect of battling and trading in an attempt to assemble an invincible fighting team.
It is, of course, the fact that Pokémon as a series is absolutely overflowing with cute girls. And as a relative latecomer to the series (Moon was the first I really played seriously), clearly I have some catching up to do in this regard… so I asked my good friend and podcasting partner Chris who were some of his favourites. Let’s explore them together in no particular order!
Flannery, known as Asuna in Japanese, is a gym leader originally from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire on Game Boy Advance, subsequently putting in further appearances in Pokémon Emerald, Black 2 and White 2 and finally, Ruby and Sapphire’s 3DS remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
As you might expect from her appearance, she favours fire-type Pokémon, and is regarded as having a “fiery passion that burns”. As the player character encounters and subsequently defeats her, she comes to realise that she doesn’t need to try and put up the aggressive, intimidating front that she’s been trying to present to the world (with limited success); she can just be herself.
Hex Maniac first appeared in the third-generation Pokémon games Ruby and Sapphire, but really became popular in 2013 with the release of X and Y. She is not a single character per se, but rather one of the trainer types that you encounter over the course of the game, unsurprisingly favouring ghost and psychic-type Pokémon.
At least part of her popularity comes from her resemblance to Kuroki Tomoko, the main character of the anime and manga series Watamote (aka No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!). Kuroki is not a “witch” as Hex Maniac clearly is, but rather a bit of an outcast thanks to her spending a bit too much time playing otome games rather than socialising prior to arriving at high school.
Whitney, known as Akane in Japanese, has appeared in a number of different Pokémon games over the years, beginning with Gold and Silver back in the Game Boy Color era. She’s a gym leader who favours normal-type Pokémon (particularly those who are cute in some way), and is rather simply known as “The Incredibly Pretty Girl”.
Whitney apparently loves softball, and that’s the reason she dresses the way she does. She also, in Gold and Silver’s remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver, demonstrates herself to have a bit of a childish temper on her… but she calms down eventually. Just don’t say anything mean about her Miltank.
You don’t have to put on the red tights… actually, do. Umm, sorry, what was I saying? Oh, right, Roxanne. In a real “dad joke” bit of localisation, Roxanne, who first appeared in Ruby and Sapphire, is into rock-type Pokémon. That said, her Japanese name Tsutsuji can be read with one particular combination of kanji as “soil” (土) and “light of the sun” (曜 ), so there was also a bit of an “earthy” theme in the original script too.
Roxanne is a scholarly type who is keen to apply the theoretical knowledge she gained in the Pokémon Trainers’ School in battle, and is a renowned expert in fossils. She hopes that she can learn more about Pokémon through watching them battle. Interestingly, the stern appearance she has above was introduced in Ruby and Sapphire’s 3DS remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire; her original art saw her looking much more gentle.
Olivia (Lychee in Japanese) was immediately popular as soon as she was revealed to be one of the important characters in the story-heavy Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, and she’s a good example of modern character design in the series: a thoroughly pleasant combination of inclusive and hot.
Despite her somewhat imposing appearance, Olivia is a very nice person, fond of describing things as “lovely” and complimenting even those who are able to overcome her challenges. She also encourages Sun and Moon’s rival character Hau to stand up for himself and strike out on his own rather than living in the shadow of his grandfather Hala’s achievements.
Karen, one of the few characters to have almost the same name in Japanese as in English (she’s Karin in Japan) is the final member of the Indigo League Elite Four in Pokémon Gold and Silver and their subsequent remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver, making her a formidable opponent just ahead of battling the region’s champion.
Karen regards the most skilled trainers as those who are capable of winning using their favourite Pokémon rather than those that are the “strongest”. She generally favours dark-type Pokémon for this reason — she’s fond of the image they portray.
Apparently the only Pokégirl lacking high-resolution official artwork anywhere on the Internet, Shauntal (Shikimi in Japanese) hails from the two Black and White games on Nintendo DS. As you might expect from her passing resemblance to Hex Maniac and overall colour scheme, she favours ghost-type Pokémon, and is a member of the Elite Four in Unova.
Shauntal is a bit of a writer, a bit of a chuunibyou and a lot of an anxious mess with a habit of quoting overblown segments of her novels to the protagonist to mark important occasions. Having never stumbled across her prior to writing this feature, I like her already.
I think that’ll probably do for now, but I sense this is a subject we’ll return to in the future. Thanks to Chris for the suggestions — be sure to go check out his cool artwork over at MrGilderPixels.com and enjoy his knowledgeable thoughts on games on The MoeGamer Podcast right here!
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Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this article. I’ve been writing about games in one form or another since the days of the old Atari computers, with work published in Page 6/New Atari User, PC Zone, the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, GamePro, IGN, USgamer, Glixel and more over the years, and I love what I do.
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