My Poke-Pinions 016-018: The Pidgey Line

Pidgey

Name: Pidgey is a combination of ‘pigeon’ and either ‘budgie’ or ‘chickadee’ It could also be in reference to the word ‘pudgy’ given the roundish design. I like Pidgey. It’s very simple and plain, but also kinda cute, memorable and rolls off the tongue quite nicely.

Its Japanese name is Poppo, which is supposedly in reference to the onomatopoeia for the sound a pigeon makes ‘poppoppo’ Poppo’s kinda goofy and less fitting, at least to my American eyes, but it’s also pretty cute and snappy.

Fun fact: In the beta versions of Pokemon Red and Blue, Pidgey was originally named ‘Pidge’

In Korean, it’s name is Gugu, while in Chinese its name is Bobo, both of which are incredibly goofily cute.

Design: ….Let’s be real – Pidgey’s design is really boring. It kinda goes hand in hand with basing a Pokemon on one of the most common and boring birds (in terms of aesthetics) in the world.

It’s a very simple brown and tan bird. That’s not to say I dislike it, but there’s not really much to like, nothing that makes it really unique.

The same can easily be said of its sprites – particularly Red and Blue’s which doesn’t display the more prominent facial features or body structure of the Pidgeys we know today and really just looks like someone made pixel art of a bird they saw on a power line outside their window.

None of them really stand out much, except DPP’s, which makes it look like it’s ice-skating for some reason.

BW (&2) ’s is also kinda cute because it does a little dance.

Shiny: Pidgey’s shiny is frickin’ awful. I don’t know who chose this gross baby-poop green color for it, but it is vile. The earlier versions don’t look too terrible because they appeared more yellow than they did green, and the more recent versions are more toned down, but middle gen versions just look disgusting.

Cry/Voice: Pidgey’s game cry is perfectly fine as it sounds like a cute little bird tweet. Likewise, the anime’s voice sounds pretty cute and like a typical sound a pigeon would make.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Just as its design is kinda plain and boring, its Dex entries are similarly nothing to write home about. It’s very common, docile and kicks up dust with its wings to deter enemies.

The only standout thing about the Dex entries are the mentions of its innate ability to find its way back home no matter where it is, like a homing pigeon. But like I noted when watching the episode about homing Pidgeys in the Johto league episodes, this is actually somehow made boring because in the games it just has a good sense of direction and in the anime they’re trained to go from point to point by just having them run the route over and over.

In reality, how homing pigeons find their way is a bit of a mystery, but there are several theories.

First, pigeons can use the position of the sun to gauge their direction. They may also use landmarks like people do to take note of where they’ve been and how to get back. This matches the Pidgey Dex entries more closely.

Second, they may use magnetoreception, which is the process of using the earth’s own magnetic fields to estimate your location and the location of the target. Scientists believe that this may be why pigeons have iron deposits in their beaks.

Finally, a new theory suggests that pigeons can use infrasound to navigate. Detecting frequencies too low for human’s to hear, they can determine where they are and constantly search for the sounds of their home.

Design-Wise, Pidgey has many birds that it supposedly gains its features from such as a Cedar Waxwing, a house sparrow, a chickadee and osprey. Out of all of these, I think it resembles a house sparrow the most, though the cedar waxwing does sport that trademark spiky crown.

Pidgeotto

Name: I really like Pidgeotto’s name. It’s very snappy, works well with its predecessor and fits the Pokemon well.

The name comes from either a combination of ‘pigeon’ and ‘diciotto’ which is Italian for 18, the level number in which it evolves, or it’s a combination of ‘pigeon’ and Otto Lilienthal, a German aviation pioneer. Truth be told, neither version seems likely to me because the former just seems convoluted and the latter seems odd because it’s the first name not the last name like most references are. If I had to pick, the latter is probably more likely, but still.

Its original name is…..Pigeon……..*cough*

Way to be creative, Japan.

Fun Facts: Originally, it was going to be named Pidgeot. Personally, I think it might’ve worked better reversed. Kinda a name-length progression kind of thing.

Design: While Pidgeotto also has a bit of a plain design, I think they did just enough to it to make it stand out and look pretty cool. I’ve always really liked the dark pink crest it has and the yellow and red tail feathers. Plus, Pidgeotto is at nice size where you can have it perch on your arm like a hawk or sit on your shoulder like an owl.

Sprite-wise, it’s mostly unimpressive. I will note that in RBG, RB in particular, they really tried to have Pidgeotto look more like Pidgey in regards to its pudginess and head shape.

Shiny: Because Pidgeotto retains the same shiny color scheme as Pidgey, it has basically the same level of ick-ness. The only aspect that makes it slightly more bearable is the reddish-gold crest it gains and the fact that many of the sprites focus more on browns than greens.

Cry/Voice: I love Pidgeotto’s anime voice. It’s very…birdy, I guess you’d say, and pretty cute.

Its game cry is interesting because it still retains a very distinct bird-like sound while also have a bit of a growl to it, making it sound more aggressive than the mild-mannered Pidgey.

Dex Entries/Backstory: Pidgeotto’s entries are a little more interesting than Pidgey’s. It is now a fierce, territorial fighter with extremely sharp claws. It also has incredibly good eyesight for targeting prey like Exeggcute and Magikarp from far distances.

Design-wise, it seems to be based on an osprey, which I can definitely see more in Pidgeotto than Pidgey.

Pidgeot

Name: I really like Pidgeot’s name, which is the same in Japanese as it is in English. It’s incredibly snappy and befitting of this majestic bird.

It’s a combination of ‘pigeon’ and ‘jet’ which I kinda get but also don’t because you’d think a combination of those words would get you a ‘Pidg-jet’ sound, but it’s ‘Pidg-ee-aht.’ Pidgeot seems similarly confused because, when it says its name, it typically says ‘Pidg-aht’

Fun Fact: In French, it’s called ‘Roucarnage’ which is too awesome for words, and in German it’s ‘Tauboss’ which literally translates to ‘Pigeon boss’

Design: I absolutely adore Pidgeot’s design. It maintains a good chunk of the simplicity of its pre-evos while achieving a majestic and beautiful style all its own. The long dual-colored crest, the noble yet intimidating face, the massive increase in size to make it have a powerful presence and allow its trainer to ride on it – it’s amazing.

Sprite-wise, Gen I’s okay, but RB still seems to want to channel Pidgey-ness with its pose and shape.

What the unholy hell is going on with Gold’s crest?

Silver’s looks pretty cool.

Crystal’s makes it seem like a chicken.

Gen III is pretty unimpressive, but what is Emerald’s sprite doing? It’s cool, I guess, but why is it doing a spin?

DPP is just weird because, while the initial pose is just fine, the animation is just stretching out its head and opening its mouth real quick. I get that it’s calling, but it looks so strange.

HGSS is better with a more dynamic pose and a more threatening animation.

Gen V and VI are perfectly fine.

Shiny: Pidgeot’s shiny started off very rocky. It retained the gross green color for the body while having washed out colors for the crest. It made it look very unappealing.

However, every Gen beyond the first has made Pidgeot’s shiny gold, and that is SO much better. It is a beautiful shiny that is very fitting for such a majestic and noble-looking Pokemon. I’d gladly sit through raising a blech shiny Pidgey and a meh shiny Pidgeotto to get that golden bird.

Mega:

My opinion on Mega Pidgeot bounces back and forth a bit – never to a negative point, but sometimes I really love it and other times I just find it to be good.

On one hand, this Pokemon is gorgeous. It rivals the aesthetics of legendaries, it’s that good – it would fit right in with the other legendary birds. It almost looks like Pidgeot got fused with Articuno, to an extent.

However, part of me thinks it looks a bit busy, and I can’t help but hate those eyes. Pidgeot had such a noble but intimidating look, but Mega Pidgeot has eyes that make it look practically evil.

Also, Shiny Mega Pidgeot has little bits of dark purple on it. That’s another aspect I’m very unsure of….I’ll say I like it.

Cry/Voice: I really love Pidgeot’s voice. It’s simple, but strong and befitting.

The game cry is good, retaining some growl-y sound while also having a higher pitched chirp to it.

Dex Entries/Backstory: The most impressive of the bunch, Pidgeot can fly at speeds of up to Mach 2 and reach altitudes upwards of a mile. It has such great vision and precision that it can see Magikarp in the water while flying, swoop down and easily nab them up, though I’m not sure why they’d do that because, as we know, Magikarp are all skin and bones. Thanks, anime.

It has such a powerful chest with an amazing wingspan that it can create windstorms so powerful that they can bend trees. They also use their large wings to scare off predators.

Another common theme in the Dex entries is mentioning that Pidgeot are so beautiful in their plumage that they’re a very common choice for trainers.

The entry for its Mega evo includes that it gains such strong muscles upon this additional evo that it can fly for two weeks straight without stopping…..which…is impossible, no? Isn’t Mega Evolution only supposed to last a very brief amount of time? I’m not sure the time limit in the anime, but in the games Mega evos can only be achieved in battle and only last as long as the battle does, right?

In terms of design, Pidgeot is based on either a osprey or an eagle with its shiny being seemingly based off of a literal golden eagle.

Interestingly, the design of its eyes may be based off of the eye designs of depictions of the sun/sky gods Ra and Horus.

Next up, the Rattata line!

Previous – The Weedle Line

Pokemon Episode 5 Analysis: The Pewter City Showdown!

Stop being a baby, Pikachu. It’s just a hug.

Character Debuts:

Brock: The Pewter City Gym leader, Brock is a very responsible and caring teenager. His father left him, his mother and various brothers and sisters to go on a Pokemon journey. His mother left—oops I mean died then became a zombie I guess much later, thus he was left as the sole caretaker of his siblings.

Brock is a pretty level headed and knowledgeable individual, unless a pretty girl is around, and he aspires to be a Pokemon breeder. Once his father, Flint, returned and decided to take the reigns on caring for the family, Brock decided to join Ash on his journey so he can develop his skills a Pokemon Breeder. He typically offers plenty of knowledge and advice to Ash while serving as the group’s cook. He’s known for being a great chef both for human and Pokemon food. Though not aspiring to be a Rock Type Master, Brock still does seem to favor Rock types in his roster.

Badge Episode – Boulder Badge: Pewter Gym

Leader: Brock

 

Plot: Ash has arrived in Pewter City and notices a poster about the upcoming Pokemon League Championships on the Pokemon Center wall. In order to enter, you need to travel to various Pokemon Gyms throughout Kanto and defeat the leaders of the Gyms in order to obtain at least eight badges that will later be presented to the league as qualification. Ash gears up to join the tournament, and he’s directed to a Gym right in Pewter City, lead by someone named Brock.

Ash arrives and meets the stone-faced (hehe puns) Brock who accepts his challenge. He starts with the giant Onix while Ash starts with Pikachu. The little yellow mouse is intimidated by the huge snake made of rocks, but agrees to battle anyway. Pikachu’s electric attacks are not powerful enough to harm Onix, so Onix easily gains the upperhand.

Onix binds Pikachu, and Ash finds that he’s unable to recall him, so he’s forced to forfeit before Pikachu gets hurt.

Defeated in more ways than one, Ash laments on his loss as he talks with the mysterious rock salesman, Flint, who explains to him that Brock has an unfortunate situation. His mother ‘died’ and his father left on a Pokemon journey never to return. Thus Brock is left as the sole caretaker of his ten brothers and sisters.

Despite seeing Brock in a different light, Ash still wishes he could find some way to defeat him. Flint offers a suggestion of powering up Pikachu with the local water wheel. It’s dried up, so Ash will have to power through operating it manually like an external hamster wheel. Pikachu bears the pain while being infused with the electricity, and they get ready once again to take Brock on.

The next day, Ash asks for a rematch against Brock. With Misty as well as all of Brock’s sisters and brothers watching, they battle once again.

Brock starts out this time with Geodude while Ash starts off with Pidgeotto. However, Pidgeotto’s almost completely ineffective against Geodude, so Ash is forced to recall it. Ash then sends out Pikachu. Powered up Pikachu is able to take out Geodude with a single blow, but Onix proves he won’t make things that easy.

While Pikachu’s putting up a better fight than before, even damaging the Gym with his power, Onix is still too powerful for him and ends up trapping him in a Bind once more. Brock calls off the attack, this time for fear of hurting Pikachu, but Ash won’t stop the match.

Suddenly the small flames caused by Pikachu’s earlier attacks cause the sprinkler systems to go off, inflicting pain to Onix. Misty points out that Rock Types are weak to water, giving Ash an opportunity to take Onix down.

He attacks with Pikachu once, causing Onix to fall. As Ash is about to make the final blow, he’s held back by Brock’s brothers and sisters who don’t want Brock to continue watching Onix get hurt any further. Ash agrees and says it wouldn’t be fair to continue since Onix was unfairly damaged by the sprinklers so he leaves.

Brock later catches up with him and offers him the Boulder Badge for his kindness towards his Pokemon. Ash accepts, and Brock reveals that he’d rather be a great Pokemon Breeder than a Gym Leader or a trainer, but since he has his brothers and sisters to care for, he can’t follow that dream. He tells Ash to do it for him.

Just then, Flint arrives and reveals himself to be Brock’s estranged father who offers to finally return home and take care of his family while Brock goes off on his own journey. They all depart for the next city and the next Gym with Ash’s shiny new Boulder Badge proudly pinned to his vest.

——————————————————

– $1,150 is quite a bit for a bowl of rice and a drink. That’s not even counting tips. How did they go from doing such a fantastic job repainting the Pokemon League poster to neglecting to add a decimal point after removing the yen symbol for a dollar sign? If such a tiny detail as the yen symbol was enough to bring out the digital painters, you’d think they’d catch such a thing. Hell, I caught that when I first watched this as a kid.

– With how busy Brock must be, I find it weird that he sometimes sits alone in the dark in his gym. Also, who turned on the spotlight when he first spoke?

– I really, really don’t want to complain about this, but it’s just bugging me. Why did Ash previously have such detailed knowledge of Pokemon League rules before but now he’s completely oblivious as to what Gyms are and how they work? Did he just pick and choose specific details about training to learn by heart?

– The wiki notes that there’s a graphical error before the battle begins where we see Ash’s eyes turn red, but they just look brown to me. It’s technically still a graphical hiccup as, despite the fact that Ash’s eyes are indeed brown, they’re usually colored black unless it’s a particularly detailed closeup. However, I find it weird saying that coloring his eyes their canon color for a change is a ‘mistake’.

– Brock: “As Gym Leader, I have to accept every challenge.” Odd that Dogasu’s comparison doesn’t note this. It’s possible that the original has him say the same thing, but I’m noting this in conjunction with the Rainbow Badge episode where it’s noted that Erika, in the dub, says she’s obligated under league rules to accept all challenges. In the original, she says no such thing and had actually been rejecting Ash’s challenges all day, so the rule seems like bull if it does exist in the original.

– Brock definitely had a bit of a personality change over time, eh? He went from really serious and blunt, almost mocking, to being a pretty goofy skirt chaser. Granted, he’s still very knowledgeable and responsible, but you can really tell the difference in this episode.

– Also, Brock, why are you not shirtless? You’re shaming your game counterpart with your shirt.

– Eric Stuart doesn’t really sound like he has……acting down. I would say Brock’s voice, but he’s just acting pretty poorly in this episode for some reason. He gets better with time but ech.

– Brock: “Such a weak electric attack can’t hurt Onix.” No – no electric attacks period can hurt Onix because it’s part Ground type….

But as we’ll later see, screw that logic. Messiahchu to the rescue!

– It’s understandable to feel like crap when you lose, especially as badly as Ash just did, but come on. He’s had one other trainer match in his entire life, yet he’s acting like his career is over after one loss.

– Ash: “Yeah but why has he never been in a regional championship himself?” Who said he hasn’t? Also, I’m really unclear as to how Gym Leaders are chosen. The wiki says it varies greatly either from region to region or Gym to Gym but you’d think there would be some solid rules considering they’re all under official League contracts. How did Brock prove himself to be good enough to be a Gym Leader? How did Misty? They’re not really particularly strong when you view them against other Gym leaders in the region or even the whole Pokemon world, so it’s just confusing to me.

– Behold! 4Kids purposely adding in character death for no reason! Join us in about seven years during Pokemon Chronicles where Zombie-Brock’s Mom makes an appearance.

– I would ask why doesn’t Flint tell Ash that Electric vs. part Ground is pointless, but in this episode it doesn’t seem to matter much anyway. Weird how they pay such attention to the type advantages and disadvantages from the game that it actually made them goof a couple times, yet they get this completely obvious fact wrong just to give Pikachu more limelight. Granted, neither Butterfree nor Pidgeotto would have a good shot either, they’re both weak to Rock types, but still better than a Pokemon who, by all logic, should have no effect on any of Brock’s Pokemon.

– That’s right, kids. If you want to get a badg -; don’t go out there and train. That’s for morons! Instead, torture your Pokemon by hooking them up to generators and pumping raw electricity through their bodies!

Don’t try to tell me that this isn’t hurting Pikachu. They make a point to show that it’s really painful. I especially find it stupid that Ash is like ‘I can bear moving a waterwheel with my feet as long as you bear having electricity forcibly fed into your body.’

– Do I even need to bring up how cheat-y this seems? I mean, I know there are items in the games that can improve your Pokemon’s attributes, but this is just a big fat shortcut to, as Flint puts it, ‘Superpowering’ Pikachu. The power wasn’t earned, it was taken.

– Flying types pointed out as being weak against Rock → Rock (Geodude) easily wins.

Electric types have no effect on Ground types → Beats Geodude (Part Ground type) easily with one electric attack.

😐

– Brock: “It looks like you’ve trained it better.” Last I checked, training did not involve booster cables. Also, does he really believe he trained Pikachu that much better in one night?

– His electric attacks are hurting Onix too. Pfft.

– Misty, why are you telling him to cheat?…even more than he already was? I know he realizes this is wrong later, but A) he still attacked anyway, B) He was going to finish it off before Brock’s brothers and sisters intervened and C) Misty’s still encouraging him to do this.

Onix getting hurt by the sprinkler system is an accident – taking advantage of an accident during a match is just as bad as cheating. To put it into perspective, imagine you’re battling a Grass type and someone threw a lit cigarette on it, causing it to burst into flames. Or imagine if a Water type accidentally stepped on a live electrical wire. Would you take advantage of that and overtake them in battle or stop the match immediately? That should be common sense not an after-after-thought.

– Onix is also basically ‘finished’ before Ash tries to attack again, so this just seems cruel.

– Misty: “*sighs* Just when he finally gets a lucky break, he decides to be a nice guy too.” Wha, did you want him to be an asshole? What’s wrong with you?

– Brock: “No, you beat me both in battle and in being kind to Pokemon.” No, he didn’t beat you in either. If he beat you in battle, it would’ve been because he cheated – twice. And he wasn’t particularly kind considering he was going to attack your already beaten Onix. In competition there, you released Pikachu from the Bind earlier and gave him an out to surrender before Pikachu got hurt. He didn’t beat you in any way, shape or form.

– And thus starts the line of Indigo League pity badges. Hooray.

– How is Ash supposed to fulfill Brock’s dream of being the greatest Pokemon breeder for him if Ash is a Pokemon trainer? Also, why can’t Brock become a great breeder at home if he can still be a gym leader?

– Why did Flint need to wear a fake beard as a disguise? Couldn’t he just grow one?

—————————————-

I……pretty much hate this episode. Okay ‘hate’ may be a strong word, but I don’t really like it. I like the introduction to Brock, and Flint is one of the funnier minor characters, but Ash essentially cheats, twice, even if he decided to finally stop at the end, with interference mind you, and Misty encourages him to cheat.

Team Rocket’s role, while being the first pitfall trap they’ve made, is completely minor and not funny. They don’t even come face to face with Ash and Co. all episode, they just get stepped on by them at the end and appear for a couple minutes at the beginning, which I don’t really mind, but still. If they played such a small role, why include them at all? Note how I didn’t include them at all in the synopsis – they’re that minor here.

It’s not just the cheating that bothers me either – it’s just uncomfortable that Ash was that okay with pumping Pikachu full of electricity instead of just saying ‘well, guess I need to train more.’ Ya know…like anyone else would.

Or hell ‘Maybe I need to train more and catch more than three Pokemon.’ That would work too. He doesn’t even second guess this. He’s excited about doing it. Was it a big emergency that Ash had to beat Brock as soon as possible? Pikachu agreed to do it, but it still just doesn’t sit right with me.

Plus, like I said, this is the first of many ‘pity badges’ that Ash gets in the Indigo League. In fact, let’s crack out his legit badge earnings right here. X is pity, O is earned.

Pewter City (Boulder Badge) – X

Cerulean City (Cascade Badge) – X (Though, I do agree that Ash would’ve won easily had Pikachu agreed to fight. However, the mere fact that Pikachu refused to fight is sorta a testament to his skill as a trainer, isn’t it?)

Vermillion City (Thunder Badge) – O

Celadon City (Rainbow Badge) – X

Fuchsia City (Soul Badge) – O

Saffron City (Marsh Badge) – X

Cinnabar Island (Volcano Badge) – O (In fact, I adore that Blaine was like ‘Hell no! You still have to battle me, idiot!’ when Ash asks if he earned a badge by helping Blaine with his Gym. It was a slap to the entire concept of pity badges.)

Viridian City (Earth Badge) – X (To a degree. He did beat Team Rocket, but he didn’t technically earn the badge properly. He never faced Giovanni, who is the actual Gym leader, leading to more confusion about how Gym leaders are chosen, plus he definitely would’ve lost if he was faced against Mewtwo. Just because Team Rocket had stronger Pokemon doesn’t make them more of a challenge. They’re still the same idiots Ash beats all the time. So, this one’s on the line, but it still counts)

I’m so glad this stops after the Indigo League.

Next episode, Clefairy and the Moon Stone. Ash and the others go through Mt. Moon on their way to Cerulean City for Ash’s next Gym Match. They meet the stranger Seymour (The Scientist) who is researching the Clefairy found on the mountain as well as the mysterious Moon Stone.

Previous Episode…