My Poke-Pinions: 010 – 012 – The Caterpie Line

Caterpie

Name: Caterpie is obviously an off-shoot of ‘caterpillar,’ and damn the Wiki writers for calling it a ‘corruption’ of the word. It’s a ‘cute….uption.’ I really like Caterpie’s name. It’s snappy and adorable.

It’s also its original Japanese name as well, so my work’s done here.

Design: Let me preface all Bug Type analyses in the future by saying I hate bugs in real life. I shouldn’t say I hate them so much as….am afraid of most of them. I like ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies, daddy long legs and, yes, even caterpillars, but I get freaked out over even things like moths or ants. I don’t like them touching me. I am very interested in studying them from afar, because insects can be quite amazing. but don’t friggin’ touch me.

It’s also difficult to say any bugs are really ‘cute.’ They can be kinda pretty, but I’m not sure ‘cute’ is the word for any of them. Pokemon has a great talent of changing this opinion, however, because Bug Types tend to either be cute or badass in design.

That being said, I love Caterpie’s design. It’s adorable. It has large expressive eyes, cute little feet and cuddly little body. I also like the choice of colors. It’s nothing very creative, but it’s pleasing to the eye and fitting for the Pokemon. The design of its antennae was also cute and added a nice splash of contrasting color.

In terms of sprites, Caterpie hasn’t changed much at all over the years. It only tends to change angle slightly.

Emerald’s sprite is kinda cute with its animation because it’s curled up like a baby.

I don’t have any other notes for any other generation, except maybe that B/W looks weird with how it bobs up and down. It kinda looks drunk.

Shiny: I really like Caterpie’s shiny version. I love the golden hue, though some versions are a little too yellow for my tastes. Since caterpillars commonly have yellow on them, this shiny suits it very well.

Cry/Voice: The initial note of Caterpie’s game cry is a bit too high pitched. It’s slightly irritating. Other than that, it’s cute and fitting.

The anime’s voice is awkward. It can be cute, but it very obviously sounds like a person trying to do garbly animal noises.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Being such a ‘beginner Pokemon,’ Caterpie’s Dex entries are kinda boring. It has suction cups on its feet to climb up surfaces, emits a terrible odor from its antennae to repel predators and eats a lot.

Its design origins are equally uninteresting. It’s based on the Asian Swallowtail caterpillar, and the end of its tail might be based on the horns of hawk moth larvae.

Metapod

Name: Metapod sounds like a transformer. And I’m just fine with that. It’s a combination of the words ‘metamorphosis,’ since it’s currently in a transformative state within its cocoon, and ‘pod,’ because…it’s…a pod…

It’s Japanese name is Transel and I hate it. Transel is a combination of ‘transform’ and ‘cell’ or ‘shell.’ It sounds weird, it doesn’t fit the Pokemon, in my opinion, and it is not catchy at all.

Fun Fact: In French, it’s call Crysacier, which is a billion times more awesome.

Design: Uhm….it’s a cocoon with eyes…It’s hard to either like or dislike it. It never seems like it has an expression besides Eeyore and super pissed. I will say that, despite how it looks, I actually found it incredibly difficult to draw when I was doing my series of Pokemon drawings. The shape is just awkward.

It has an okay shade of green to it, and that’s about it.

For sprites, again, there’s not much to say considering it’s a mostly inanimate cocoon. It’s not like it can have interesting animations or dynamic poses.

The only note I have here is, holy crap, the back sprite for RBG is HORRIFYING. It’s like something out of a horror movie.

Shiny: I really love Metapod’s shiny. It’s such a unique and pretty shade of orange. Combined with its original form, it’s like an autumn version of Metapod.

Cry/Voice: Metapod’s cry is alright. It’s nothing special, but I don’t really expect it to be.

I honestly forgot if Metapod even had an anime voice. It’s mostly quiet, but when I looked back, it does indeed have a voice and it sounds kinda awful. It sounds like someone pinching their nose and saying ‘Metapod’ with no inflection whatsoever.

Dex Entries and Backstory: As you can probably guess, Metapod’s Dex entries and backstory are fairly bland. It’s just an intermediary stage for Caterpie to reach Butterfree. It has a shell as hard as steel, and its only move is Harden. And millions of small children and 30-somethings everywhere giggled.

It also has the fastest evolution rate of any Pokemon known in Gen I, which isn’t true because Weedle evolves into Kakuna at the same level.

Metapod as a Pokemon is based on the chrysalis of the caterpillar that Caterpie is based on, the Black Swallowtail, with protrusions that mimic either the Polydamas or Pipevine Swallowtail chrysalis.

Butterfree

Name: I adore Butterfree’s name. It’s a mix of ‘butterfly’ and ‘free,’ Though, in Japanese, the tail end of the name includes the sound ‘furu,’ which can mean ‘to flap’ like Butterfree’s wings.

The name rolls off the tongue, is very cute and suits it beautifully.

Butterfree’s name is the same in Japanese.

Fun Fact: In French, it’s called Papilusion, which is beautiful.

And in German, it’s Smettbo…..Smettbo……That is the funniest word I’ve heard all week.

Design: Butterfree’s so adorable! Look at its cute widdle hands! Its big eyes! Its cute widdle mouth! Its pretty wings! Its cute widdle feet! Its adorable antennae!

Sprite-wise, they’ve done pretty well with Butterfree over the years.

Red’s the tiniest bit doofy, but Yellow’s is adorable.

Green’s is a little odd because it seems like they altered the shape of the wings before releasing overseas.

N’aw the animation for Crystal!

N’aw the animation for Emerald!

N’aw the animations for DPP and HG/SS!

IT’S CONSTANTLY ANIMATED IN BW/BW2!

Stop! My heart can’t take much more of this.

The female versions have a little black splotch on their lower wings. It’s a fine addition, I guess. Better than adding hearts to it.

Shiny: I’ll be honest, I don’t much care for Butterfree’s shiny. I really like the green eyes, and there are some nice versions of its pink wings, but the pink hands and feet just clash to me. It’s too much all together, and it makes it look unappealing.

Cry/Voice: Butterfree’s cry is cute, but, again, I think the first note it just a bit too high pitched, which makes it a little irritating.

Butterfree’s anime voice is really cute…in small doses. It can get majorly annoying very quickly.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Butterfree’s Dex entries surprised me a bit because almost all of them focus on its ability to collect honey from flowers….I don’t know if it’s the same in the Pokemon world, but you don’t collect honey from flowers.

Bees collect nectar from flowers and they store it in a special organ called a honey stomach. Then they regurgitate it and pass it to another bee, who chews on it. It gets passed back and forth like this for a half hour until it turns to honey due to an enzyme in the bee’s mouth. Then they store the honey in cells on a honeycomb, which is also made of gunk excreted from a bee’s pores. Num num num.

Only in Ultra Moon do they finally say ‘nectar.’

Other than that, Butterfree’s wings are also covered in poisonous spores that keep it dry in rain and help it evade predators, which sounds more fitted for Venomoth’s Dex entries.

It’s weird. I could’ve sworn I read something about Butterfree having some sort of mysterious psychic abilities, considering it can use some Psychic moves. Hm.

The origins of Butterfree as a Pokemon are based on the Black-Veined Butterfly, which is a bit of a boring-looking butterfly, but kinda cute.

Next up, the Weedle line.

Previous – The Squirtle Line

4 thoughts on “My Poke-Pinions: 010 – 012 – The Caterpie Line

  1. That was a good write up on the Caterpie line. Those were some good starter Pokemon, but it was better to catch a Caterpie and let it evolve, so it retains the attacks. I’m surprised it didn’t mention psychic stuff with Butterfree since it could do psychic attacks from what I remember. Of course, I was just reminded of the Pokemon show and NO! I’m not crying about that episode! [leaves room]

    Okay, I joke about that last one, but that episode hit so many people in the feels when they were kids watching the anime.

    • Yeah, the aspect of Butterfree using Psychic moves has always confused me. I mean, it does make it very useful to have early game, but there’s literally no reason given as to why and how it can use Psychic moves. The best I can guess is that, in Japan, butterflies are sometimes connected to the afterlife. In some lore, spirits either turn into butterflies upon death or they’re guided to the afterlife by butterflies (which is something seen in Hell Girl and Bleach) However, even then, you’d think that’d give Butterfree Ghost moves, not Psychic so I dunno. lol

      Also, you’re definitely not alone there. When I rewatched that episode for my analysis series, I started crying. I had prepped myself and everything, but it still got me. I may give Pokemon its fair share of jabs, but sometimes it really has a talent for hitting that spot in your heart. 😦

      • Yeah, that’s totally weird. I noticed how helpful it is early on in the game, but it felt kind of tacked on. That explains so much about Bleach with the butterflies. Wow, I didn’t even think about that as a possibility. Funny how animals and insects can be seen in different lights in different cultures. Butterfree doing ghost moves could be interesting even if it would be a bit strange given how the character looks.

        Thanks. Yeah, that is one episode everyone remembers who saw Pokemon back in the day. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the 90s kids cried in anime for the first time and up there with other sad moments in animation (western and otherwise) in that decade.

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