Not this guy again.
Does anyone out there actually like Tentacool? I mean, on paper, sure, I can see why. Those giant red things that are totally not eyes look kinda pretty, and despite all their shortcomings, jellyfish can be pretty too. It’s not insane to think someone could like a Tentacool.
The problem with Tentacool comes from its application, not the idea behind it. Tentacool are infesting the waters of the Pokemon world and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.
Pictured: Literally anywhere in Hoenn’s oceans
Tentacool is one of the big reasons that nobody likes to use Surf in the Pokemon games. Just about every single route in every single game is overflowing with Tentacool, and everybody hates to fight them. They’re dumb, they’re weak, and not immediately useful. Also their red spots aren’t eyes which has always bothered me.
In a way though, this is accurate to real life.
Nobody likes jellyfish in real life either. They swarm in like a bunch of jerks and murder the crap out of everything in its own natural habitat. Then the Jellyfish reproduce, and create giant horrible crowds of jellyfish that also go out and murder more things. It’s a horrible cycle and it’s having a pretty bad effect on fish markets.
Tentacool, similarly, completely infests the waters of almost every region in the entire series. Seriously. Here’s a list of locations via Bulbapedia.
PART 1 OF 2. SERIOUSLY.
-takes a deep breath
“Where can I find a Tentacool?” asked NO ONE EVER
Seriously. Until I looked that up just now I’d completely forgotten that Tentacool was completely absent from Generation 5, which also just happens to be my favorite generation. Maybe they’re related? Huh.
Wait a second. Generation 3 also has the most locations of any other game, and that just so happens to be my least favorite generation. Huh. This is all starting to make sense. I know you can’t see me right now, so you’re going to have to just trust me, but this is a huge revelation for me. I’m glad you could all share it with me.
This is my face right now
Tentacool is always there to ruin a good time. This is in unfortunate contrast to its very name. Tentacool, a portmanteau of Tentacle, and Cool. I like it as a pun, but cool is never the first word anyone would go to if they needed to describe a Tentacool. Or jellyfish in general, really.
So I’d like to propose a new name for Tentacool. From this day forward, the species shall be known as “Swim Faster”. When you see a Tentacool, it’ll call out its name, urging you to swim faster and escape before you encounter another one. This is what things would be like if I was in charge of coming up with Pokemon names.
SWIM FASTER! SWIM FASTER!
And I would be awesome at it.
DID YOU KNOW?
I figured I had 2 options here. I could talk more about jellyfish and the very real dangers they pose to the world’s oceans. I could mention all the billions lost in fishing because of the swarming jellyfish, and why you should be very concerned about this. It would be boring, but educational, and very easy to do with some research.
Or I could talk about an episode of the anime that featured a Tentacool and its relationship with one of the major characters. This seems simple, but it involves finding the episode online, watching it, taking screens, possibly making gifs, and getting it all into a nice digestible format here. It would be less fun for me, but more fun for the reader.
Guess which one I chose.
Luckily, the entire episode wasn’t centered around Tentacool, so I didn’t have to watch it all. So the Did you know section for Tentacool is more about May, the girl who replaced Misty starting in the Generation 3 anime. May’s always been popular with the fans, and I’m pretty sure it’s because the artists had no idea what size of bustline is appropriate for a 10-year old girl.
IT WOULDN’T HURT TO HAVE SOME MODESTY
Well, it turns out, May is terrified of Tentacool. I used to think the anime characters were completely 2-dimensional and there was nothing to them.
I mean, I was right, but it was still nice knowing they at least tried one time with May. So, to spare my poor, innocent readers the herculean task of actually watching the episode this bit of characterization comes from, I’ll explain it here.
THIS IS ADORABLE
So one day May was hanging out in the ocean. The Hoenn ocean. She was waring a blue swimsuit and a blue swimcap and just generally being adorable. WHEN SUDDENLY.
Two Tentacool pop up! She thinks they’re pretty, and plays with them.
Nothing dangerous about this at all.
And then, well. I think it just works better in gif form.
I CAN’T HANDLE THE CUTE
So. Like any of us would have done at that age, she screams for help from her parents. They hear the cries of their young girl, and rush into action.
But wait! There’s a twist!
Of course, May’s mother then throws a Pokeball at May, thinking that she’s a Tentacool. Unfortunately, this isn’t shown, so I can’t get any screens or a gif of it, but it’s probably hilarious so just keep thinking about it. And, yeah, that’s why May apparently hates Tentacools. Or used to. That’s kind of unclear. As an apology for not being able to finish this off in a way that I thought would be hilarious, have an extra gif I made from a scene right after that.
Can it be? The legendary Super Saiyan?!
USING TENTACOOL IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!
stats via pokemondb
Tentacool has one outstanding stat, as you can see. 100 Special Defense is fantastic, and certainly gives Tentacool a workable niche as a Rapid Spinner. Also as a setter of Toxic Spikes, which are a lovely entry hazard.
So, of course, Rapid Spin is a move you’ll want to use. Also Scald, because, I mean, 30% Burn chance with 80 Power is hilariously awesome. Who wouldn’t use Scald if they were Special Attack oriented and had access to it? Toxic Spikes is a good third move, as I mentioned earlier as well. After that, well, erm, there’s only one slot left. You can use it on another attack, and have Tentacool learn Sludge Bomb for a secondary STAB, Knock Off for utility, or Dazzling Gleam / Giga Drain / Hidden Power / Ice Beam for additional coverage.
Berry Juice is the standard, “HELP I’M GOING TO DIE RESTORE ME TO FULL HEALTH” item in Little Cup, so Tentacool does well with that, and of Tentacool’s three abilities, Liquid Ooze is probably the most useful. It makes sure that any attempts to drain Tentacool’s health actually deal damage to the opponent, putting a hamper on moves like Giga Drain or Leech Seed. Then just add your EV’s into your Special Defense, Defense, and HP stats to get yourself a pretty workable little addition to a Little Cup team!
I hate Tentacool, I really do. But I hate it for how often it appears, not its appearance.
Okay, Tentacool works just fine as a jellyfish, it really does. The problem comes in the form of its not-eyes sitting on top of its head. Two huge red things that could pass for eerie eyes, and instead they add a tiny face beneath it. This is absolutely terrible, and would ruin the design if the rest of it weren’t good.
Rapid Spin away all the obstacles, and set up some of your own. Perfect.
GOD I HATE HOW GOOD THIS SCORES I HATE TENTACOOL HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE
I’d say I wish you never existed, but I know something worse would replace you