In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
Pokémon revolves around people called "Trainers" who develop the fighting abilities of elemental monsters called Pokémon. The video games from the series appeal to older players with strategic battles, while younger audiences are enthralled from simply collecting all the monsters. There's no denying Pokémon has become a major phenomenon, and the games are still selling well to this day.
Undoubtedly, the collection of many cute and fierce Pokémon largely contributes to the success of the series. However, have you ever wondered how some of the creatures would look in real life? Imagine yourself as a new Pokémon Trainer, at the age of ten, leaving your home to quest and battle with these 'cute' monsters..
Classification: Pig monkey
Okay, maybe not everyone agrees that Mankeys are cute to begin with, but they seem innocent enough. They're somewhat round, furry, and grumpy (sounds like some cats I know). But place one into real life, and check out just how 'cute' it becomes..
Now there's a face only a mother could love. To make matters worse, Mankeys are described by the Pokedex (an encyclopedia of Pokémon) as "easily angered" and "unsafe to approach". I doubt 10-year old me would really be comfortable around one of these guys. Heck, 23-year old me sure isn't.
Look at this cartoony fella. Tangela looks a bit disheveled, but in a charming manner. The Pokémon is also shy (those vines are just shields to hide behind), another trait many find endearing. Plus, it's a Grass Type, which are commonly thought of as more peaceful than creepy. However...
Yep, that's how a Tangela would actually appear. A pair of eyes staring at you, hidden behind a mess of debris. There's just something unsettling about this thing, no matter which way you look at it. Plus, consider that the Pokedex tells us Tangela's vines never stop moving, and anyone who looks at them is said to become unnerved. I definitely can't blame them.
Drowzee may look goofy, but he's almost lovable, in his own way. He's tired, lazy, and loves to sleep - who can't relate to that? He's also chubby, which many pet owners find endearing. How bad could it be when we see him in real life?
Hide the children. Call animal control. Someone get my lawyer. This thing is the definiton of creepy. It's long snout, pale color, and sinister face contribute to its overall grotesque look. As if that's not bad enough, keep in mind that Drowzee will eat your dreams. Through your nose. As one Pokedex entry states, "If your nose becomes itchy while you are sleeping, it's a sure sign that a Drowzee is standing above your pillow and trying to eat your dream through your nostrils." Gross.
Next, we have the classic Ghost-type Haunter. Alright, yea, he's a ghost, but there are loads of Ghost types in Pokémon, so in that world it's not as big of a deal. And he's a pretty jolly fellow, especially when we first met a Haunter in the anime; he wanted little more than to laugh and play with toys. How could having a good-natured prankster around go wrong?
That thing is disturbing. Especially when you factor in the many creepy Pokedex entries about the average Haunter. Here's a few:
- By licking, it saps the victim's life. It causes shaking that won't stop until the victim's demise.
- Haunter is a dangerous Pokémon. If one beckons you while floating in darkness, you must never approach it.
- In total darkness, where nothing is visible, Haunter lurks, silently stalking its next victim.
When it comes to Haunter, Trainers beware; you're in for a scare.
Hey, it's our old friend Geodude! This floating rock is pretty adorably grumpy. And he was on the good side; long-time Pokémon protagonist Brock used a stalwart Geodude throughout the first season. What's so bad about this rockhead?
Wow. Something about the realistic Geodude is incredibly off-putting. The two arms which can double as legs? The creepy rock eyes and mouth? Take your pick. Thankfully, Geodude doesn't seem to be a very malicious Pokémon, but it is said to relentlessly pursue people who accidentally step on it (it's often mistaken for a simple rock). I wouldn't sleep easy at night knowing this creature was after me.
Who doesn't remember Hitmonchan, the courageous punching Pokémon? The "chan" in its name comes from famous martial artist Jackie Chan. (Hitmonchan's kicking counterpart, Hitmonlee, is likewise an homage to Bruce Lee). Hitmonchan is loyal, fierce, and an appreciable reference to a real-life fighter. What's not to love?
That's not to love. In real life, Hitmonchan's appearance looks downright deformed. The head is human, yet alien, as is the torso. The shoulder plates almost seem like they were grafted onto this creature, and its expression looks gloomy and miserable. In short, this creature looks less like a Pokémon and more like a human who was cruelly experimented on.
First place goes to the cuddly Jigglypuff. This popular and musical Pokémon has a power that inadvertently puts people to sleep when she sings. Jigglypuff is small, round, pink, has big eyes, loves to sing, and can even be played as in the popular fighting series Super Smash Brothers. Does she really look spooky?
Yes. Yes, she does. Those big eyes are cute when she's a cartoon, but now make me feel like I'm staring at a baby's head - with short arms and legs attached. The goblin-like appearance, the almost-furless body, and even the tuft of human-like hair - these things really make Jigglypuff a lot creepier if you imagine a real one. And if one happened to have it out for you, you'd be in a lot of danger. Physically, these creatures are weak, but since one could easily put you to sleep, you'd have no defense against its wrath. Tread carefully in the world of Pokémon.
Do you still think of all of these guys are just as cute as before? Pokémon sure has some surprisingly disturbing critters who simply look cuter when animated.
There's still lots of fearsome monsters to explore, but for now, vote for your creepiest critter, and I'll see you at our next countdown!