My Poke-Pinions #43, 44, 45 and 182 | The Weed/Flower Line

Oddish

Name: Oddish’s name is pretty cute and memorable. It’s a mixture of ‘odd’ and ‘radish’ however it has been posited that it’s just the “word” ‘oddish’ like ‘kinda odd’ which I don’t believe.

Its Japanese name is Nazonokuza, which is supposedly based on ‘nazo no kusa,’ which means ‘enigmatic grass.’ It’s a bit long and clunky of a name, but it’s pretty fitting.

Design: Oddish is pretty cute……Yup.

There’s no much to say about Oddish. It’s literally a vegetable with a simple face and simple feet. It’s always kinda creeped me out that Oddish doesn’t have any arms, but even that’s nothing significant.

Sprite-wise, Gens I and II are way too dark. It’s less blue and green and more midnight blue/black and green.

Some of the animations are adorable, such as Crystal’s,

Emerald’s

and B/W/B2/W2.

That’s about it.

Shiny:

I’ve never been much of a fan of Shiny Oddish. It’s just a lot of green. Granted, it’s basically the same situation as shiny Bulbasaur, but for some reason it bothers me more with shiny Oddish. I think shiny Bulbasaur’s shades of green are better and have more contrast than Shiny Oddish.

In Gen II, shiny Oddish looked almost entirely different. It had a super dark green body with yellow leaves, and, in my opinion, it looked a million times better than the flat green version we have today.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Oddish is supposed to be heavily based on the mandrake plant. Mandrakes are root vegetables that kinda resemble human figures. Mandrakes are most famously known for the myth of basically being living plants. When in the ground, they look no different from other plants, but when removed from the ground, they’ll shriek. Oddish’s Dex entries just recycle this myth full-out in several games, even though I can’t remember this ever happening in any Pokemon media I’ve consumed.

It also has a scientific name, one of only two Pokemon with such a thing (The other being Kabutops) – Oddium Wanderus. At night, it will wander around the land sowing its seeds while absorbing moonlight as nourishment.

I don’t think this is reflected in either the games or the anime very well either, because I found a lot of Oddish in the games during the day, and, in the anime, I only remember them really being shown during the day. Only the TCG seems to reflect this, but even that seems to have dropped the nocturnal concept.

Oddish is also based on, as you can guess, bulbous root vegetables like onions, turnips and, of course, radishes. The leaves are meant to be in reference to snake plants, but uh….yeah, I think they’re just leaves. Especially considering that a lot of snake plant leaves seem to have yellow in them, which, unless that’s meant to poke at Gen II shiny Oddish, isn’t reflected in Oddish.

Gloom

Name: Gloom’s name is a bit weird. It’s fine, technically, but it’s also strange. Gloom’s not really a depressed Pokemon. It just tends to be drawn in a manner where it’s nearly always frowning or at least just has a neutral expression. I guess I’d understand if Gloom was bummed all the time because literally all anyone talks about in regards to this Pokemon are that it stinks something fierce. However, it’s not noted as being depressed or gloomy or making anyone else sad.

It also took me until I was an adult to realize that Gloom’s name was meant to also be a play on the word ‘bloom.’ I was wondering why Gloom’s name was such a blunt reference to sadness and non-related to plants, but then I remembered ‘Oh yeah, bloom.’ But that doesn’t even really work because the word is completely lost in Gloom. It’s just ‘gloom.’ Am I stupid? How many people got that on the first hearing?

In Japan, it’s known as Kusaihana, which literally translates to ‘stinking flower.’

Design: I never much cared for Gloom. I don’t like its weird face, I definitely don’t like its drool, and I don’t like its weird ball-flower thing on its head. It’s not the weirdest/ugliest/creepiest Pokemon in the world, far from it, I just don’t care for it very much. At least it has arms now.

Sprite-wise, R/B is weird.

Green is like its drunk.

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

IS.

WITH.

YELLOW?!

Why is it so red?! It’s ENTIRELY RED! What the hell happened to this sprite?

Other than that, Silver looks drunk again.

Crystal’s animation is ueghhghgh.

Emerald’s animation make it look like it’s high.

HG/SS looks like it’s having a slight seizure.

I don’t much care for any of the sprites, to be honest.

Shiny:

Gloom’s shiny is one of the laziest and ugliest shinies. They literally just put an ugly-ass yellow filter over a regular Gloom and called it a day. At least Gen II’s shiny feels like the flower is glowing, but every other Gen’s shiny of Gloom is just terrible.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Hey, guys, did you know Gloom smells bad? You do? Well, now you know 95% of the content in Gloom’s Dex entries.

It’s smells real bad. It smells so bad, people may faint because of it. The stench is so strong, you can smell it from over a mile away. And, to make matters worse, this fact makes Gloom even creepier, because apparently it loves its own stench and will drool more after sniffing it…..eugh. When calm and secure, Gloom won’t produce its horrible stank, which is something they actually highlighted in the anime.

Outside of the constant ‘it smells bad’ the Dex entries note that the ‘drool’ coming out of Gloom’s mouth is actually honey, which, ew, that tastes good, which ew, who the hell discovered that and why? To make matters worse, while most Gens insist that only the flower on Gloom smells bad, Gen VI claims that the honey also reeks as badly as the flower, which is strange because Gen I explained that the drool/honey was used to attract prey. Don’t think it would do a good job of that if it smells horrid.

Design-wise, Gloom was also based on the mandrake, but more specifically it was based on the budding stage of the Rafflesia, which is known for its giant (and ugly, quite frankly) spotted five-petal flower and for smelling like rotten fish. It is also a parasitic flower, which is supposedly why the leaves on its head are now orange/brown – because the leaves are dying.

Female Gloom are said to be based on Rafflesia hasseltii, which have larger spots, as female Gloom do. If I can rag on Gloom’s design one more time, I also don’t care for Gloom’s female version because, being totally honest, it just looks like it has a bunch of discolored boobs on its head.

Finally, Gloom’s stench amplification abilities used as a defense mechanism are based on skunks. And the fact that Gloom’s pollen is used as an ingredient in perfume, as seen in the anime, is also a reference to real-life musk, which, despite its pungent odor, is commonly used as a base in perfumes.

Vileplume

Name: Unlike Gloom, whose name is a bit too one-note to the point where it loses the plant indication, Vileplume’s name works very nicely. It’s memorable and very fitting since it works in both the unpleasant implications and the plant reference very well. It’s a combination of ‘vile,’ which is in reference to its stench, and ‘plume’ as in a plume/cloud of pollen.

Its Japanese name is Ruffresia, which is obviously a nod to its real-world flower inspiration. I don’t like the way they changed it, though. It’s a clunky word, and unless you know of the genus of flower from which Vileplume is derived, you’d have no idea what it means.

Fun Fact: In Germany, it’s known as Giflor, which is ‘gift’ and ‘flor’ mixed together, which sounds weird from an English standpoint, but ‘gift’ here actually means ‘poison’ which is very fitting.

Design: Vileplume looks….fine. I was never a fan of the thick flower petals, they always gave me ew vibes, but overall it’s fine. It’s a flower….with a body, a face, arms and legs….

Sprite-wise, R/B looks…off. It’s like an Oddish ripped the leaves from it’s head and wore that flower as a hat. The perspective is very weird.

Green is the same issue, but it somehow looks worse, like it’s a bootleg sprite.

Yello—AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

How the fuck did that happen twice?! Who’s in charge of the Gloom and Vileplume sprites for Yellow? What were you on when you did this?

Other than that, the rest of the sprites are actually pretty cute. I love Silver’s pose.

Emerald’s little dance is really cute.

What the hell is happening to Vileplume in D/P/P?

Did it drop its keys?

Gen V is also odd because it looks like it’s tipping its flower to me.

Everything else is fine.

Shiny:

I would say it’s basically the same situation as Gloom, but despite also seeming very yellow-filter-y, Vileplume is moreso pure green and orange than just putting a yellow filter over the original sprite. Out of the three so far, it’s probably the best, but I still don’t really care for it that much.

The Gen II sprite isn’t as different from the regular set as Gloom and Oddish’s. In fact, other than having a darker body, it looks about the same as it does later on.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Vileplume has the largest flower petals in the world, which I think is incorrect because surely Venusaur beats it? It spreads a toxic pollen around by flapping the petals, and the more pollen it contains the larger and heavier the petals are. The petals can get so large that Vileplume may have difficulty holding its head up.

Most of the Dex entries note it as being both poisonous and allergenic, but….I think if it’s poisonous it doesn’t much matter if it’s allergenic. It’s like, imagine poisoning someone and then, as they lay dying, you gloat that they’ll have acid reflux because of the poison.

The pollen is used for paralyzing its prey, which is fine and dandy, but….uh….how does Vileplume kill or consume living beings? It’s not like a Venus fly trap. It has little stubby arms and legs and no teeth. I’m trying really hard to imagine Vileplume trapping and eating its prey, and I just can’t do it. Anything I come up with is too silly.

In terms of design, we have the same info from Oddish and Gloom, but the notes about paralyzing its prey and eating it are based on carnivorous plants, as I already pointed out. Also, like Gloom, the females have larger spots than the males, but female Vileplume looks much better. At least it has a multitude of spots instead of head boobs.

Bellossom

Name: Bellossom’s name probably beats Gloom in being one note. It’s literally just an extremely slightly changed version of ‘blossom.’ At least this name is obviously related to flowers, but it’s also incredibly boring. The ‘bell’ part is meant to come from either ‘bella’ which is Spanish for ‘pretty’ or just ‘bell’ in reference to its shape.

In Japan, it’s known as Kireihana, which is a combination of ‘kirei,’ meaning ‘pretty’, ‘rei,’ which means ‘bell’, and ‘hana,’ which means ‘flower.’ This is a perfectly fitting name for this Pokemon and it flows well. It’s also a slight send-up to Gloom’s Japanese name.

Design: Can I be real with you guys? I don’t get the point of Bellossom. There are many Pokemon from old Gens that eventually received new evolutions, and the results vary with each one, but Bellossom has always stood out to me as being particularly pointless at best and completely nonsensical at worst.

The Oddish-Gloom-Vileplume line already has three stages. It’s such a ridiculously simple Pokemon line that it doesn’t need a fourth optional stage.

But more than that, Bellossom doesn’t fit in this evolutionary line at all. At least when old Pokemon get new evos or pre-evos they typically stay consistent with what the original Pokemon was about. How did we go from a line based on ugly, toxic, rancid smelling flowers to a “cute” and “beautiful” Pokemon based on hula dancers? It doesn’t look anything like its predecessors. The only thing that comes remotely close is its face and even that’s not quite right.

The flowers on its head are supposedly Rafflesia flowers, but I’m not buying it. They don’t look like those thick gross flowers. They just look like normal pretty flowers.

Not to mention that Bellossom is one of the weirdest instances of regressive evolution I’ve ever seen in Pokemon. It’s not only purely Grass type, making it the only Pokemon in existence that evolves from a dual-type into a single-type, even Oddish was dual-type, but it’s also, somehow, the smallest Pokemon in this evolutionary line. Yes, it’s even smaller than Oddish.

Oddish is 1’8” and Bellossom is 1’4”.

Being completely fair, I have nothing against Bellossom’s design. It’s a very cute little Pokemon. Not one of my favorites, but still a cute Pokemon. I’d have no complaints about it if it was just a standalone Pokemon, but it’s not. For some reason, they decide to staple this Pokemon onto Oddish’s evolutionary line, and I just don’t understand in the slightest.

Sprite-wise, G/S looks a bit off, but not bad. It had pink flower petals and leaves instead of red. Looks kinda pretty, if you ask me. In fact, I’d prefer that be the shiny version.

Crystal also has red on the leaves, which will later be green, but I also don’t mind that. It looks pretty cool.

I don’t have much to say about any other Gen. Some Gens have cuter dance animations than others, but that’s about it.

Shiny:

Gen II’s shiny is a bit strange. It’s like a denim or navy blue mixed with red. It’s alright.

Gen III is also a bit strange. It has a purple face and nothing else is different. I don’t know if it’s just the clashing of the red with the purple or something, but even though purple is my favorite color, I’m not really into this shiny.

Gen IV and beyond has shiny Bellossom in more of a lilac purple with pinker flowers, which I think works perfectly and definitely makes it the best shiny version out of this entire evo line.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Bellossom love to dance, a lot, which is in reference to the hula dancer inspiration I mentioned earlier. They dance to worship or summon the sun, and they close up their petals at night to fall asleep, which, in my opinion, just makes this evolution even weirder because we had established earlier that Oddish was nocturnal.

When their flower petals rub up against each other, they make a pleasant ringing noise. Finally, Bellossom is said to grow more beautiful flowers if it evolves from stinkier Gloom, which….I guess makes sense but also doesn’t. Why does that matter? Also, it’s funny how the brown/orange tinge of Gloom’s leaves are meant to be indicative of the parasitic plant drawing nutrients away from the leaves Oddish had, effectively killing them, but Bellossom will grow prettier flowers if it’s evolved from a really smelly Gloom.

I just don’t understand this evo at all.

Design-wise, we already touched upon how Bellossom is based on hula dancers, but specifically the grass skirt is present and the flowers on its head are meant to look like plumeria, which are commonly worn as hair decorations and used in leis. It’s also meant to be based off of Rafflesia, but I already said I don’t buy that. Specifically, it’s based on the Rafflesia keithii, which, I’ll admit, does look kinda similar to Bellossom’s flowers in regards to the shapes of the petals, but that’s about it.

Finally, it’s bell shaped, which is meant to build on the ringing sound that it makes when their petals rub together. I don’t get what any of that has to do with flowers, hula dancers or quite literally anything related to this line. I don’t understand how flower petals rubbing against each other can sound like ringing. I don’t know why it’s bell shaped as a result. I don’t know what the bell or ringing would even mean. I guess bells are sometimes used in rituals, and the dance is meant to summon or worship the sun, so….maybe that’s the reason? It’s not mentioned anywhere. I’m just guessing. I dunno.

Next time, we tackle the Paras line!

Previous – The ‘bat Line


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2 thoughts on “My Poke-Pinions #43, 44, 45 and 182 | The Weed/Flower Line

  1. Whew! Glad I’m not the only one who didn’t get the “bloom” wordplay until adulthood. All I thought about was it being a sad-looking Pokemon for years. However, I did feel smart by noticing the rafflesia parallels when I was younger when I read about that plant in a book during my childhood and thought about how Gloom was like the flower with the putrid smell. I’m with you with Bellossom. If it was a separate Pokemon that was a standalone or had it’s own unique evolution line, I wouldn’t mind it so much. The fact it’s part of the Oddish line felt forced.

    Liked by 2 people

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