Pocket monster designs in Pokémon Sun and Moon have been…different. Some of those designs have been bordering on the surreal, with Alolan variants of generation one Pokemon being especially and wonderfully ludicrous. Honestly, I don’t want to live in a world where Dugtrio doesn’t have magnificent flowing locks of hair.
Some people like the new designs, others don’t. You can’t exactly please everyone, but one thing is for certain: Those goofier designs were intentional. Speaking to Kotaku, Pokémon Sun and Moon producer Junichi Masuda and director Shigeru Ohmori discussed the design process for the new generation of critters, with Jangmo-o being the very first fella out of the design labs.
A creature who symbolised courage, Jangmo-o wasn’t the latest addition that GameFreak enjoyed working on the most. It was the Alolan form of Exeggutor, whose long neck and silly grin put a smile on the faces of the staff working on Pokémon Sun and Moon. “When the designers first came up with the idea, the background is that the sun in Alola is so strong, that [Exeggutor] just keeps growing and growing,” Ohmori explained.
For the 20th anniversary, we wanted to have a lot of special surprises…we wanted a funny element. At the same time, we had to find a balance of cool ones, serious ones. We looked at the Alola region as a whole and thought about that ecosystem.
And I dig these designs! Pokémon is twenty years old now, and a lot of the people who grew up playing the classic games, are now old enough to get grouchy and shake their fist at a cloud whenever a new generation appears. But if Pokémon wants to grow and survive for another twenty years, it’s going to need to pull in a younger and eager fanbase to keep the pocket monster spirit alive.
A spirit fuelled by goofy throwbacks to the past. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Last Updated: October 26, 2016