My Poke-Pinions: 007-009 – The Squirtle Line

Squirtle

Name: Squirtle’s name is a mixture of ‘squirt’ as in a squirt of water or a small child’s nickname, and ‘turtle’ because…..turtle. Apparently, it might also poke at squirrels because of the shape of its tail. I have never heard of that, and it kinda blew my mind.

I love the name Squirtle. It’s very bouncy, memorable, and if I ever have a pet turtle, you bet your ass I’m naming it Squirtle…..and I’ll get a second named Donatello.

Its original Japanese name is Zenigame, which literally translates to ‘baby pond turtle.’ Also, it was revealed in Black and White that the ‘zeni’ portion of its name is an allusion to the pattern on its shell. It looks like an old coin and an old term for money was ‘zeni.’

I like Zenigame. It’s a very cool word with an adorable meaning, and it rolls right off the tongue. I do prefer Squirtle, however, because it has more zip and isn’t as much of a mouthful.

Fun Fact: In German, it’s known as Schiggy, and I find that endlessly adorable for some reason.

Design: Like Charmander, Squirtle’s design is so straightforward that it’s almost exactly just a cartoony turtle…..but it’s an ADORABLE cartoony turtle! Look at those big expressive eyes! Look at that widdle beak and big smile! Look at it’s tiny hands and feet! Look at it’s curly tail! Look at it’s cute shell! It’s so adorable!

I have a Squirtle plushie, and it was one of the first pieces of Pokemon merchandise I ever got. And it’s adorable too! I just want to hug it.

The colors are nicely chosen. If you’re not going to go for the turtle-y green, which is reserved for Grass types, basically, a cool baby blue will do wonderfully.

In regards to sprites, Red and Blue’s always looked….cute but goofy? It’s like Disney tried its hand at drawing it.

Yellow is adorable.

Green’s is like a baby for whatever reason.

Gold, Silver and Crystal are alright. Ruby and Sapphire’s look like it’s teaching math class.

Emerald looks like it’s teaching math and roll back and forth on your butt class.

FireRed and Leafgreen are fine. I find Diamond, Pearl and Platinum to be hilarious because it looks like it’s tap dancing.

The newest generations are consistently alright, except the most recent incarnations have Squirtle in a zombie stance for some reason.

Shiny:

I’ve always really loved Squirtle’s shiny form. It has a beautiful lighter blue color on the skin, which makes it look cool, and I love the contrast with the lime green shell, which is a very fitting throwback to actual turtles.

My only complaint is that the earliest versions of this sprite also have a green tummy, which I think is too much.

Cry/Voice: Truth be told, Squirtle’s cry was always a bit obnoxious to me. It’s loud, it’s grating and it doesn’t sound like it fits very well.

I’ve always loved Squirtle’s voice in the anime. It’s very unique and fitting for the character. I’ve always thought it sounded very vaguely Donald Duckish, but maybe that’s me.

Dex Entries and Backstory:

Ash’s and FireRed’s Pokedex Entry: “Squirtle. This Tiny Turtle Pokémon draws its long neck into its shell to launch incredible water attacks with amazing range and accuracy.”

Long neck?

Artwork by TeleDildonics

……???

Squirtle’s Dex entries are pretty basic. After birth, the Squirtle’s back swells up and hardens into a shell. It will withdraw into the shell to shoot blasts of water and foam at its enemies. It has a smooth, well-rounded shell for hydrodynamic purposes. Not terribly interesting, but that’s to be expected, really.

Squirtle as a Pokemon is merely based on turtles, so there’s no interesting backstory to go over, either.

Wartortle

Name: Wartortle is a mix between ‘war’ or ‘warrior,’ ‘tortoise’ and ‘turtle.’ I really like the name. It’s more intimidating than Squirtle, but it’s still cute. It’s fitting and the ‘tortle’ part is really unique. It’s especially cool because it’s a middleground between Squirtle (Turtle) and Blastoise (Tortoise).

I will share a pointless story, though. When I was a kid, I had a bad habit of pronouncing it as ‘Warturtle.’ and my friend had the annoying habit of condescendingly correcting me whenever I’d say it that way.

Wartortle. TORtle. It’s an O.

I get it, thanks.

Yeah, but it takes years before I correct myself in not pronouncing ‘Gyarados’ ‘Jai-ar-a-dos.’ That’s much more embarrassing, Jamie! Thanks for nothing!

……Uuuhh….*cough*

In the original Japanese, it’s called Kameil, which is either a mixture of ‘kame’ for ‘tortoise’ or ‘turtle’ or is an offshoot of ‘Kameru’ which means ‘to be able to bite.’ I’ll be honest, I don’t much care for the name Kameil. It sounds like a dog food brand. Wartortle’s a million times better.

Fun fact: In German, it’s called Schillok…I have no clue why, but that sounds like an insult.

Design: I almost love Wartortle’s design as much as Ivysaur’s. It’s another example of a great mid-evo design. It’s different enough from the other two to stand on its own without seeming like it’s just ‘the placeholder’ and it has a lot of style that the other two don’t have. I particularly love it’s ears and eyes. The ears are an adorable add-on, though I’m not sure why they get lost in the final evo (same for the tail) and the eyes are sharper and fierce while maintaining a cuteness to them.

Truth be told, I’ve never been a major fan of the tail, but it is cute when drawn well, and it adds a lot of character to it.

I also love the colors. It’s such a beautiful shade of blue.

Sprite-wise….Uh, what’s up there, Red/Blue? You’re cute, but you have a bad case of Jack-O-Lantern face.

Yellow looks badass because he looks like he’s really cocky lol.

I don’t know what’s up with Green’s. He looks like he’s pretending to be Yao from Mulan. “I am Yao! King of the rock!”

Gold’s is alright. Silver’s is like ‘Come at me, bruh!’

Crystal’s….made me laugh uncontrollably. What is up with that weird pelvic thrust animation?

I have no clue what’s up with the coloring in Ruby/Sapphire. It’s so deep blue, like Blastoise. And I don’t much care for the pose, either.

Emerald fixed the coloring, but the animation is weird, like it’s throbbing.

FireRed/LeafGreen is alright. D/P/P has a great starting pose, but what is the animation doing? It’s hopping on one foot like it just stepped on a Lego brick.

HG/SS look better because it’s like it’s calling you out and yelling at you.

I love the ones for B/W/B2/W2 because it adds a cute twitching animation to the ears.

The most recent versions are just okay. They’re very stiff and have no dynamic posing.

I don’t really like how they keep changing the coloring on Wartortle. His original artwork color is fine, thank you.

Shiny:

I’ve always loved Wartortle’s shiny. It’s such a cool purple color, and, again, the contrast with the green is fantastic. The only gripe I have is that Wartortle shares the same issue as Squirtle – in the first version of the shiny, they also make its belly green.

Cry/Voice: Wartortle’s cry in the games is alright. It’s a bit high-pitched at the start, so it’s kinda cute, but they add the lower tones at the end to make it seem more intimidating.

As for its voice in the anime, Wartortle pretty much just sounds like a Squirtle with a sore throat saying ‘Wartortle’

Dex Entries and Backstory: Wartortle’s lore has always been very fascinating to me, partially because it’s not a part of either Squirtle or Blastoise’s but equally because, when you dig into it, there’s a lot of it and it’s hard to make any sense of it.

Wartortle’s big fluffy tail is said to be symbolic of age and wisdom, which, while being cool, is also a bit weird considering Wartortle’s a mid-evo. Usually Pokemon of advanced age are fully evolved. They go even further with this by stating if you find algae on a Wartortle’s shell, it’s a sign that they’re very old.

It’s said to live for 10,000 years(!!!???) and the tail fur changes to deeper colors the older it gets.

Its tail is also said to bring good luck.

It uses its ears and tail to maintain balance while swimming, and Wartortle can also store air in its tail to stay underwater longer.

The Dex notes that scratches on Wartortle’s shell are signs of its toughness, which is also weird to note because you could say that of nearly any Pokemon if you include scars in that.

Wartortle is based off of the legend of the minogame – a Japanese legend about a 10,000 year old turtle who grew a tail of seaweed. Supposedly, the Dex fact about it storing air in its tail for use underwater is a reference to the fact that some turtles have the ability to breathe through their cloaca. Yup, some turtles have air sacs in their tummy and can breathe through their butts. Biology is fascinating and disgusting.

Blastoise

Name: Blastoise’s name is a combination of ‘blast,’ which is fairly obvious, and ‘tortoise.’ I’ve always really liked Blastoise’s name, for the most part. The ‘blast’ part is really powerful and cool, but I feel like the ‘toise’ part kinda hangs there.

It’s original Japanese name is ‘Kamex’ which is a mix between ‘kame’ for ‘turtle’ and ‘max.’ I’m alright with Kamex, though it seems a lot like a brand name.

Fun fact: In French, it’s called Tortank, which I find to be insanely awesome. In German it’s ‘Tortuk,’ which, again, kinda sounds like an insult.

Design: It’s a mix between a tortoise and a tank. What’s not to love? It’s so simplistic, just adding cannons onto a tortoise, but it works so well. I also love the color scheme. It’s the perfect shade of blue.

Sprite-wise, Red looks…..cool, but weird. It’s like he’s a gang member from the 50s and the shell is his leather jacket. The back sprite doesn’t help this theory because the dimensions on the shell are entirely off. It looks flat.

Yellow’s kicks ass.

Green’s make it look like a bear.

Gold’s alright. I really like the pose in Silver.

Crystal’s awesome both for showing the cannons ‘firing’ and its little tail wag like ‘yeah, I’m badass, and I like it.’

Ruby and Sapphire are alright. Emerald’s playing a really violent game of patty-cake.

FireRed and LeafGreen are fine. DPP is aggressively waving at me.

HG/SS is pretending to be Thumper.

And the most recent gens are alright, though they also have zombie stance syndrome.

Shiny:

I really like shiny Blastoise….mostly. I love the cool purple color much in the same vein as Wartortle’s shiny, but the shade of green they chose for its shell is a little too dark for me. Blastoise’s first shiny also shares the same green belly issue, though, with the poses, it’s not as noticeable. Also, it’s licorice flavored.

Mega:

*sigh* Mega Blastoise…..Gurl, you fugly.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some things I like about it, but it is flat-out ugly. They made it very wide, messed up its face and now it’s all hunchback.

I like the new wrist cannons, and the back super cannon is a little cool, but kinda sloppily designed and clunky. I just feel like they had a great opportunity to make this bad-ass turtle tank and messed it up.

Cry/Voice: Blastoise’s cry is friggin’ terrifying. It’s awesome, but terrifying.

Blastoise’s voice in the anime just sounds like Venusaur saying ‘Blastoise.’ Venusaur drawls a bit more, but it’s basically the same voice. It’s not a bad voice. It’s very powerful and commanding, but it’s still a bit lazy to me.

Dex Entries and Backstory: As you can probably guess, most of Blastoise’s info involves its water cannons. They’re powerful enough to blast through concrete walls and thick steel, they’re so powerful that Blastoise is intentionally heavy to withstand the forces. They’re so accurate that they can hit soda cans from 160 feet. It can use the force of its cannons for high-speed tackles, and that’s about it.

Also, Blastoise likes to crush its enemies, I suppose.

The origins of Blastoise as a Pokemon is…well, it’s a tank merged with a tortoise. Again, that’s about it. How that derived from the mythical 10,000 year old turtle with seaweed for a tail, I’ll never know. Supposedly, the cannons may be based off of the tubes that some mussels use, hence why it’s now a shellfish Pokemon, but I find that to be a bit of a stretch. How do you go from tubes used for eating and extracting feces to high-powered steel water cannons?

Next up, the Caterpie line.

Previous – The Charmander Line