#124 Jynx

Whoa! Let’s talk this over!

What can be said about Jynx that hasn’t been said a million times over? Let’s try and take this slowly, a step at a time.

So what is Jynx? It’s Pokemon #124 is what it is. It’s also the final evolution of the only Pokemon line to be Psychic / Ice in the entire series. At least, it is for now. That could change in the future maybe.

But what is she?

I NEED AN ADULT

I NEED AN ADULT

I don’t know. There’s lots of very very strange things about Jynx. Everywhere. I mean I’m sure many of you are probably immediately jumping to the real life controversies about Jynx, and what she is, but I’ll get to that in the second section.

WHAT IS JYNX IN THE CONTEXT OF POKEMON?

Let’s look at the facts. Jynx is very reminiscent of a humanoid female. She has hands, what appear to be visible breasts, big pink lips, and long blonde hair. She’s a Pokemon, in other words.

Or is she? I present to you one of the most bizarre things in all of Pokemon.

Ooh a Pokemon Stadium gi-OH MY GOD

Now, normally when a Pokemon is KO’d in one of the 3D games it goes into a short animation where it collapses. It’s typical, standard fare. Jynx, does not do that. Jynx completely vanishes save for the long yellow hair. So what does that mean?

There are two prevailing theories. Number 1, Jynx isn’t solid. She’s actually some kind of gaseous Pokemon that doesn’t have a solid form despite all appearances. When she gets KO’d that gas dissipates, and the one solid part of her form, the hair, is left behind.

Theory number 2, and the one that I prefer to subscribe to, is way more insane. See, Jynx is just a mass of yellow hair. Jynx is dual typed Ice and Psychic. As a type, Psychic has been known to do some pretty intense things in the Pokemon world, and creating a body for itself is well within those established limits. When Jynx gets KO’d, she loses the ability to keep her physical form up, and her true body, the mass of yellow hair, flutters to the ground.

Also the hair has Ice powers.

Also the hair has Ice powers.

Further adding to the weirdness is Jynx’s speech. The Pokedex states across several games (Starting with Pokemon Stadium) that Jynx speaks a language that is completely incomprehensible. Some elaborate by saying that it sounds like human speech, and a few even say that scientists are actively trying to determine what it’s saying. That’s a bit unusual, isn’t it? Scientists don’t care what other Pokemon are saying, and shouldn’t whatever language other Pokemon speak be just as incomprehensible?

Or what if scientists have already figured out how to understand other Pokemon. Suspend your disbelief with me for a moment.

What if scientists had managed to understand other Pokemon, and could listen in on their conversations and what not. What if then, even with that ability, they were still unable to understand Jynx. That would explain why she’s being singled out, wouldn’t it?

Now get this. In the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games you actually get to play as a human transformed into a Pokemon. As such, you’re able to speak some sort of bizarre universal Pokemon language. All Pokemon can be understood by you, and you can speak with them as well. When a Pokemon joins you they have a handful of lines relating to their current status, and a snippet of dialogue for leveling up.

Jynx though. Jynx is still a mystery. What does Jynx’s dialogue look like in Pokemon Mystery dungeon?

∞XO@#*~♪ ∞XO@#*~♪ Jynx at 51-100% HP
!!O@#*~!  !!O@#*~! – Jynx at 26-50% HP
!!!!!!~! !!!!!!~! Jynx at 1-25% HP
∞XO@#*~♪♪♪ ∞XO@#*~♪♪♪ – Jynx levels up

Jynx is spooky.

DID YOU KNOW?

THAT JYNX IS RACIST?!?!?!*

IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!

IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Probably.

I’m sure this is the part that most of you reading this are interested in. Jynx was at the center of some very real controversy surrounding Pokemon back in the early 2000’s. The accusations were that Jynx is a racist caricature of black people. And it’s very hard to deny the similarities between old, black-faced Jynx, and other racist cartoon characters.

Like *sigh* Marvel's Whitewash Jones

Like *sigh* Marvel’s Whitewash Jones

Nintendo reacted as most companies would, and altered Jynx’s appearance. Her skin was changed from pitch black to a light purple. And in the decade plus since people have argued about whether or not Jynx was actually intended to be racist. Arguments range from Jynx being based on Ganguro, a Japanese fashion trend, various characters or monsters from Japanese mythology, or even just the classic design of an opera singer.

Lots of good points have been presented to the “Jynx isn’t racist” side of things, with GameTheory in particular having a well-thought-out video as to why she’s 100% innocent of all accusations.

Now, I love GameTheory. I really, really do. But I have to disagree with them here, simply because inspiration can come from more than one source. While I agree with the sentiment that Jynx is likely based on a yama-uba, I still think that once they’d come up with a general idea for Jynx’s design, they added the blackface thing because Pokemon is full of ideas like that.

See, Japan is extremely homogenous, with something like 98% percent of the people living in it being Japanese. Making them seem dumb is not my intent, but it’s a fairly well known fact that most things other nations could find racist fly over the head of Japanese people. In 2009 (Yes, 2009. Almost a decade after the Jynx thing) a Japanese actor actually performed Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” on a TV show in full blackface. It was intended to be a tribute to black culture, and the audience had no negative reaction to it whatsoever.

Just look at how big those lips are!

Just look at how big those lips are!

In short, I really think that Jynx’s design was intended to reference a woman in blackface. However, I don’t believe for a second that it was done maliciously. It was just an unfortunate side effect of Japan’s homogeneity.

BUT THAT’S JUST A THEORY. A ME THEORY. Thanks for reading.

USING JYNX IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Oh man what do we have here. 95 Speed is pretty alright. 115 Special Attack is nice. 95 Special Defense is also pretty nice.

Shame about the everything else. 65 HP doesn’t do much good for that 95 Special Defense, and an absolutely pitiful 35 Base Defense is just terrible. This makes Jynx an extremely risky Pokemon to use.

On the one hand it has Nasty Plot, and can get dual STABs in Ice Beam and Psychic / Psyshock. On the other hand, almost all priority moves absolutely demolish Jynx. Fake Out and Mach Punch can lay a nice meaty dent into Jynx, but Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, and Bullet Punch are usually a death sentence.

SO, Lovely Kiss is a move you’ll definitely want. If you want to risk playing Jynx as a sweeper, then Nasty Plot would be your next choice. Then just stick your dual STABs on top for all 4 moves. If you’re looking for more of a revenge killer then, swap out Nasty Plot for Focus Blast, or Energy Ball. Depending on situations you find yourself encountering, you may want to also consider Frost Breath instead of Ice Beam. While it is weaker (Frost Breath has 60 BP but always crits for effectively 90 BP vs Ice Beams 95 BP) and has a lower accuracy, it won’t be deterred by screens, or overly defensive Pokemon.

As a final option, you can throw a Choice Scarf onto Jynx, and have it use Trick to disable any Pokemon on the enemy team that depends on setting up. Dry Skin is always the ability you should go for to add a much-needed immunity, and you’ll want to decide between a Life Orb as an item, for more power, or a Focus Sash to get you an extra turn to save you from the inevitable OHKO.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
“I’ll have some of that, please!” – No one, ever.

DESIGN: 4/5
Yama uba, blackface, opera singers, yokai, etc etc. Jynx is a hilarious smorgasbord of random designs glued together to create a creepy Pokemon that may secretly be a pile of hair.

BATTLE: 3/5
Too risky to rate higher, too many good aspects to rate lower.

WAIT A SECOND: BLACKFACE / AND DRY SKIN?
Now THAT’S racist.

OVERALL: 2.6/5

Fun fact: Jynx’s cry is actually the longest ever

Advertisements

#091 Cloyster

Now this is a face I can trust!

Now this is a face I can trust!

First things first: A correction! Like I said yesterday, I don’t know much about the coasts cause I live in an area completely secluded from that. It turns out that a giant tongue sticking out of a clam isn’t all that weird. Be warned, this is a little gross.

In addition, they’re a bit more mobile than I gave them credit for, as seen here:


Anyway, let’s talk about Cloyster. It’s got a creepy face on a black sphere, and its shell has gotten way more hardcore since its days of being a Shellder. There’s a bunch of spikes everywhere, and Cloyster as a whole looks a lot less like a Pokemon that I’d want to meet in a dark alley.

W-Why's it glowin' red man?

W-Why’s it glowin’ red man?

If there’s one thing I really like about Cloyster though, it’s that smirk. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but if there’s one thing I don’t like it’s apathy. A smirk isn’t exactly the opposite of apathy, but it shows confidence, and you aren’t confident if you’re apathetic! What makes Cloyster so cocky? Maybe it’s the fact that it’s encased in an incredibly hard shell. How hard? Well, Cloyster has the highest Defense stat of any Generation 1 Pokemon.

What? Is that not impressive enough for you? Well, how about this. In the nearly 20 years and five additional generations since Pokemon became a thing, there have only been four Pokemon with a higher Defense stat than Cloyster. And one of those is only higher by a measly four points.

Cloyster walks up to your Psyduck and pinches its ass, what do you do?

Cloyster walks up to your Psyduck and pinches its ass, what do you do?

Unfortunately, the biggest thing bringing Cloyster down is its typing. While it’s got enough Defense to tank literally anything coming its way for days, it’s been burdened with the Ice type. Now, I don’t mean this to be offensive to anyone who likes Ice types, because, well, I’m one of those people. I loved the thought of exploding a Dragonite with a single Ice Beam, and the like. Unfortunately, Ice is probably the worst type to go defensive with because of its many common weaknesses. On the offensive side, Ice remains fantastic, but many of its best moves are also available to the many Water types out there, leaving you little reason to actually burden yourself with an Ice type weakness.

Leading the charge is Cloyster. A Pokemon that would excel above all others and be known as an incredible threat to all is made only a medium-sized threat because of its many weaknesses. And that’s it. That’s all that is stopping Cloyster from sweeping the entire game and being the best Pokemon there ever was and ever will be.

I may be exaggerating just a little.

I may be exaggerating just a little.

At least, that’s what Cloyster’s face tells me. Look at that cocky son-of-a-gun. I want to just punch his stupid face in, but I also can’t help but wonder if my fist would just go right through his head? What if Cloyster isn’t solid at all, aside from the shell, and is just a gaseous being. I think I remember hearing a theory about that somewhere…

I couldn't think of a way to fit this in, but I adore this image, so take it for free. Click for source.

I couldn’t think of a way to fit this in, but I adore this image of Cloyster using Shell Smash, so take it for free. Click for source.

DID YOU KNOW?

I know that I’ve shown my disdain for Pokemon theories in the past. There’s a good reason for that. A solid 90-95% of them are the dumbest things you’ve ever heard, or completely falsified. It’s the worst having to deal with the people who subscribe to these theories, and listen to their horrible conversations about Pokemon. Today’s theory falls into that 90-95%.

I love how presumptuous that first sentence is.

That’s right. A popular theory is around that Cloyster is either a shell possessed by a Gastly, or that a Gastly is a Cloyster who’s died. Now, let’s look at why these people believe this could be true.

1. Cloyster and Gastly both have a round body with similarly shaped faces.
2. They’re next to each other in the Pokedex.
3. ???
4. WASN’T TWO ENOUGH FOR YOU?!

Anyway, Gastly possessing a shell is easy to disprove because, well, Cloyster evolves from Shellder. That’s the only way to get one. Some people will try to claim that Shellder is also a shell possessed by a Gastly, but Shellder is different enough for that thought to be silly. As for dead Cloysters becoming Gastly, well, that’s harder to disprove. Because I can’t, really.

Except logically. See, the whole point of a theory like this is to try and determine what the creators may have intended, but kept secret from everyone. The only thing I can see when I read a theory like this is someone sitting in the dark desperately trying to make connections where none were intended. The thought that “This is what the developers intended” is what makes certain Pokemon theories gain so much traction that people take them as fact exclusively. For a good example of this, go try reading about the Cubone -> Kangaskhan theory, and the Ditto -> Mew theory. I’ll get to those in due time, but trust me, I don’t have anything nice to say about them.

So, with that all out of the way, there’s still the fact that Cloyster looks an awful lot like a Gastly to address. If I’m making the argument that it wasn’t intended, then why do they look so similar? Simple. Cloyster’s body is a real, honest to goodness black pearl. Which, yes, are real. This explains Cloyster’s body shape, and its similarity to Gastly’s gaseous body.

Not just the villains in a Disney movie!

Not just the villains in a Disney movie!

USING CLOYSTER IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Remember what I said yesterday? Do that again. Shell Smash + Icicle Spear + Rock Blast. Cloyster also gets access to Spike Cannon, which also works with Skill Link, but I wouldn’t use it because Normal type coverage is a coverage almost nobody needs. Ice Shard is a good priority move if you’re fighting against priority yourself, or Razor Shell / Hydro Pump are good STAB options if you want a solid Water typed move for use. A Focus Sash will make it so your Cloyster can’t get exploded in one shot, and will guarantee you get a Shell Smash off. If you’d like more power instead, a Life Orb will make Cloyster deadly.

Or you can go with the hilarious third option for an item. A King’s Rock. King’s Rock gives all of your moves a 10% chance of flinching your opponent. Normally, it’s rather useless. However, because Skill Link makes things hit 5 times, this raises your chance to a beautiful 50% chance of flinching. And since Cloyster’s Speed is at +2 from a Shell Smash, it’s likely you’re going to go first and keep your opponent flinchlocked. It’s fantastic.

Cloyster does have another option though, thanks to its amazing defense. It can run a bit of a supporting role, by littering your opponent’s side of the field with Spikes or Toxic Spikes, and carrying Rapid Spin in order to remove any unwanted debris on your side of the field. Explosion finds its way into Cloyster’s moveset as well, and will do a good job of making anyone who has to eat the move feel terrible about it afterward.

In short, Cloyster is fantastic. It’s fallen out of use a bit as Priority has neutered fast attackers a bit, but its stellar Defense will ensure it can still survive almost anything thrown at it. At least on the Physical side. Even Cloyster will tremble at the sight of any Special attackers.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
Look at that shell. I don’t wanna be near anything that looks like that and can learn a move called Spike Cannon.

DESIGN: 4/5
I love Cloyster’s design. The shell isn’t just a regular shell anymore, it’s a crazy terrifying super spiky shell of death. It’s also got a black pearl for a face! It’s also a euphemism for a lady’s parts, but I don’t want to link to anything pornographic here, so I’ll just leave it at that.

BATTLE: 5/5
Sure it’s not as good as it once was, but it’s still a terrifying threat to behold that can sweep entire teams if they’re unprepared.

BUT POKEMON: THEORIES ARE/SO COOL
Creativity is cool, as is looking at things in newer, more interesting ways. However there’s a limit to this and we crossed it a long time ago.

OVERALL: 4/5

Hey kid. Come a little closer.

#087 Dewgong

Less compact but somehow even more cute.

Less compact but cuter.

At least. At least, Dewgong is two letters off of the real animal it has some basis in. Dugong. Seel could easily be passed off as a typo, but Dewgong is definitely intentional. Plus, hey, dew is a little bit of a water reference, while Dewgong is a Water / Ice type because the prospect of a pure Ice type was apparently terrifying to Gen 1… and Gen 2. We didn’t get our first pure Ice type until Gen 3, with Snorunt, but I’ll get to that way way later.

Anyway, this is Dewgong. It’s got some real sexy fins for arms and its tail, while its big scary tusks have flipped upside down to look less weird. It’s got a cutesy smile, big black eyes, and its horn looks a little less weird since it’s shrunken in size now.

Apparently Dewgong is terrible at floating

Apparently Dewgong is terrible at floating

Dewgong was always a Pokemon that I wanted to like. The problem is that Dewgong was never available at a good point in the game. Seel, and Dewgong by extension, always appear far too late in the game for you to be picking up a random new Pokemon to train, and have thus never really been all that appealing a catch. Of course, the fact that it’s just not very good doesn’t help that either, meaning that this Pokemon line is definitely one of the more easily forgotten in the series.

Don't forget to bring a towel!

Don’t forget to bring a towel!

I do like that the Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald Pokedex entries relay an anecdote about Dewgong’s though. They say, ahem, and I quote:

Dewgong loves to snooze on bitterly cold ice. The sight of this Pokémon sleeping on a glacier was mistakenly thought to be a mermaid by a mariner long ago.

I feel like this is the perfect way to sum up Dewgong really. Even in the Pokemon world, people care so little about Dewgong that they’ve resorted to sticking an anecdote about the Pokemon into its entry. And even that doesn’t say all that much. Like, really. It doesn’t say that it happens all the time, or anything like that. Just that one time, one guy saw a Dewgong and thought it was a mermaid. This story wasn’t passed down for generations, Dewgong aren’t revered for their beauty, or anything like that. It doesn’t even give any details on the guy who made the mistake? What if he was just a drunk guy? What if he wasn’t even a mariner? What if someone just made that story up, and some Pokemon researchers caught wind of it. Not caring to find out anything more, they just took the information, and included it on the official resource for Pokemon information.

In previous gens you'd get an image for entering a new area. This is Seafoam Island's in HGSS.

In previous gens you’d get an image for entering a new area. This is Seafoam Island’s in HGSS.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that everyone in the Pokemon world could take their jobs more seriously. Surely you could find something more interesting to say about Dewgong than that?

Its body is covered with a pure white fur. The colder the weather, the more active it becomes.

Then again, maybe not.

DID YOU KNOW?

I didn’t have anything to write here, so it’s time to watch another episode of the anime! There’s actually one that has a Dewgong in it that isn’t just a cameo or set dressing!

This image comes up super late into the episode by the way

Episode 61 of the anime is called The Misty Mermaid. It begins with Misty’s Horsea feeling terrible. Brock suggests that maybe Horsea needs some time to swim around and play, because it’s been limited to things like fountains until now. Misty doesn’t seem to care about her Horsea one bit, but agrees.

"I wonder what's on TV tonight?"

“I wonder what’s on TV tonight?”

So since they’re in the area they head to the old Cerulean City gym, to pay Misty’s sisters a visit. Her sisters immediately try and convince her to play the part of the mermaid in an upcoming show they’re doing. Misty says no. Her sisters get all emotional, and convince her to do it because family, and emotions, and all that jazz.

Then they laugh and talk about how good they are at deceiving Misty while standing only a few feet away.

Then they laugh and talk about how good they are at deceiving Misty while standing only a few feet away.

So Misty is going to play the part of the mermaid in their upcoming show! Misty’s sisters tell her she’s gonna do fine to calm her down.

AND A MILLION FANFICS WERE BORN

AND A MILLION FANFICS WERE BORN

So Misty puts on the costume and begins.

AND A MILLION ADULT IMAGES WERE BORN

AND A MILLION ADULT IMAGES WERE BORN

UNFORTUNATELY, TEAM ROCKET PAYS THEM A VISIT. This is where things get silly, even for Pokemon. See, a lot of people like to imply that James as a character is a homosexual. There’s many reasons for this, but this episode was a big one. Why’s that?

So there were 2 costumes, and James chose the dress?

So there were 2 costumes, and James chose the dress?

I’m sure it would not have been difficult for James to wear the normal clothes while giving Jessie the dress. But, he didn’t. He’s wearing the dress. And they really seem to enjoy flaunting this fact.

Couldn't he have just left his Team Rocket uniform on?

Couldn’t he have just left his Team Rocket uniform on?

They get a lot of mileage out of this joke.

No comment.

No comment.

But then they finally enact their plan. So what was their big plan? Just cast a big net around the Water-typed Pokemon being used in the performance, and steal them, of course! As is typical of episodes of, well, anything using a plot like this, the audience doesn’t suspect a thing. They assume everything is going as planned. Call this a conspiracy theory, but I think it has something to do with the mysterious shadowy figure in the crowd.

You. With the red hat and hidden eyes.

You. With the red hat and hidden eyes.

Remember when I said things get silly earlier. Well the people in charge of directing the fight scenes saw the ridiculous outfit that Jessie and James were wearing, so they came to the conclusion that they needed to up the ante, and make things sillier. So they have a battle. Underwater. Jessie sends out Arbok, who apparently has no need to breathe underwater. Misty orders Seaking to swoop in and use Horn Drill. In the games, Horn Drill is implied to be a super brutal move, because it’s a one-hit KO. In the anime, on the other hand…

A MINOR ANNOYANCE AT BEST

A MINOR ANNOYANCE AT BEST

Arbok doesn’t really care. So then things get sillier. Arbok’s apparent ability to breathe underwater is never explained. I was fine with this, thinking that oh they’ll just not bring it up, because people will just assume things are okay if they’re not dwelled on. But then they do bring it up. James sends out Weezing, who…

Now wait just a second

Now wait just a second

…promptly drowns. So they are going to address that you can’t just fight underwater if you don’t have the ability to breathe underwater. One of Misty’s sister pops in and says that only Water Pokemon can do this, which contradicts the fact that Arbok is perfectly at home staying and fighting underwater. Then one of Misty’s sisters sends out Psyduck…

Typical Psyduck

Typical Psyduck

…who promptly drowns as well. In all honesty, they were handling this pretty well, because it was like six Pokemon fighting off Arbok and winning. But they had a quota to fill, and the whole reason I’m watching this episode is for some sweet Dewgong action. Misty’s sister’s Seel comes in and starts fighting, and, again, is easily able to handle Arbok. The whole evolving thing wasn’t even necessary, but you gotta fit Dewgong in there somehow, right?

And this is how Seel evolves. By spinning like a pinwheel.

And this is how Seel evolves. By spinning like a pinwheel.

Finally, the whole reason I bothered watching this idiotic episode has come. Seel evolves into Dewgong, and is ready to continue fighting. The game does not disappoint, as it quickly switches gear and starts playing a sweet remix of the battle theme, while Dewgong proceeds to… use Ice Beam. Underwater.

AND SOMEHOW ONLY TEAM ROCKET IS FROZEN

AND SOMEHOW ONLY TEAM ROCKET IS FROZEN

This episode is stupid.

THEN DEWGONG DELIVERS A SWEET FLIP KICK

THEN DEWGONG DELIVERS A SWEET FLIP KICK

And then the episode ends. Dewgong had only a few minutes of screentime but I watched the entire episode. This is the worst. The only good part of all this was the sweet remix that plays when Seel enters the fight. Check it out here.

USING DEWGONG IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Dewgong is pretty not great. Its stats are fairly well rounded, which would be good if it had super high stats, but they’re not. Its most notable stat is Special Defense, so the best Dewgong can do is to buff that up as high as possible, hold Leftovers, and start tanking.

Thick Fat is definitely the ability you’ll want to use to be more useful. Toxic is definitely the main move you want access to. Ice Beam is also a great, solid attack with good coverage that Dewgong gets STAB on. Your last two slots are mainly up to you, but Perish Song is a great way to force out enemy that would otherwise resist everything Dewgong threw at it, like any Magic Guard Pokemon, or Steel / Poison types. For your final slot, you can go for a secondary attack in Surf, a trapping move like Whirlpool, or just Protect to stall out extra turns for more Leftover healing / Toxic stalling.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Cute as a button.

DESIGN: 2/5
Another remixed version of a seal. Nothing special here.

BATTLE: 2/5
Has some decent moves, but no reliable recovery + no stats that even reach 100.

I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW: THE ANIME/IS GREAT
I will believe what I want to believe!

OVERALL: 2.6/5

Dewgong is known to never blink. Ever.