Grass types of Generation 2 - winstein's Review
by, 5th December 2010 at 09:29 AM (5312 Views)
The time has come for the one-part entry on Generation 2's Grass Pokémon! They certainly have some interesting choices of plants this generation, and we will be seeing them...now!
Chikorita, Bayleef and Meganium
At the beginning of the 2nd Generation, these are your Grass starters. Before continuing on, I would like to share with you an unreleased Pokémon Happa. This Pokémon looks close to Chikorita, doesn't it? Their Japanese names are also not much different from the English names, so you can just call them in English and still sound Japanese when calling them, which will please some fans. Also, due to my cousin's choice to pick Chikorita (I saw Bayleef), I was inclined to choose that starter over Totodile (during one playthrough, that is).
Their main highlight are their aromatic body. Chikorita's one is from his leaves, Bayleef's one is from the neck buds and Meganium's is from the flower petals around his neck. The aroma is even said to have positive effects as well, like soothing one's feelings and healing. The leaf on his head is even said to be feelers, which can be used to feel the humidity and temperature. This description is only used for Chikorita, but I assume that the other two feel the same way (Get it?). Also, Chikorita is said to have an affinity for sunbathing, and Meganium also has healing breath, which sounds more like a super power than an ability, and to me, funny. Before the end of the paragraph, let's look at Bayleef's LeafGreen entry: "The scent of spices comes from around its neck. Somehow, sniffing it makes you want to fight". While no Anger Powder yet, this must mean fighting spirit rather than aggresiveness.
Amazingly, more characters in the anime has a Chikorita than the other starters, so that's really nice of them to do that. Lyra (HGSS girl) has one, Vincent from Pokémon Chronicles has one that evolved into Meganium, Casey the recurring Johto trainer has one too, also evolved into Meganium, and Silver the Character of the Day has one too. Ash also got a Chikorita in the anime, and this one is a female, in a species that has a high male ratio. That Chikorita is rather competitive and stubborn, and not to mention possessive towards Ash. On note of the possessive part, Chikorita showed envy when Ash showed affection towards other Pokémon, especially Pikachu. This one evolved into Bayleef, and at one or more points, leapt on Ash despite the increased weight. Let's not forget the time when Ash wanted to recall her into the Pokéball, but she took it away in time in a recent episode regarding Ash's reunion with his old Pokémon before the Lily of the Valley Conference. That's naughty, but I like it!
Their competitive battling focuses on their defensive and support qualities, which were their strengths, and I am a fan of the defensive side of things (not just in Pokémon, you know!). As a Pokémon to have both Reflect and Light Screen, Meganium is able to set up both of them for defensive support. As a defensive Pokémon, having a one-turn recovery move is important, and they happen to have it in the form of Synthesis and Leech Seed. Let's not forget Aromatherapy and Safeguard, and in Generation 5, Healing Wave, which are also great support moves. In Generation 5, they do get Leaf Guard, accentuating their supporting qualities. Meganium isn't too shabby himself as an attacker, because some of the attacks are quite decent, possessing Earthquake, Body Slam, Seed Bomb and Dragon Tail as Physical moves to use with Swords Dance, and Leaf Storm, Petal Dance and Energy Ball (and maybe AncientPower) as Special attacks. It helps that they can learn Counter, in case the opponent is a Physical attacker and you need to take them out, which is a good fit on him, due to his good defence.
Of all the Grass starters, this one is considered the black sheep to many fans. Really, From what I have seen and explored (and asked), it seems that Chikorita and family looks relatively feminine, due to the head-leaf that looks like long hair (a characteristic pretty much exclusive to females) and their "necklace" buds, not that I have that view, actually. This is why Meganium is usually designated with female pronouns. Also, they are the hardest starter to use in-game. The reason is that the many gyms ahead have a type advantage over Grass. Flying, Bug, Steel, Ice and Dragon are ahead, and to an extent, Ghost (due to the part-Poison that every Pokémon had there). Well, the third reason is the big one: there are other Pokémon that does what Meganium does better, especially Celebi and Venusaur. What about the TCG? Don't ask me, I am no TCG player! If you are, please tell me how Meganium performs in the TCG; I would like to hear. What surprised me, though, is that being based on dinosaurs (which is already a cool factor), they didn't have the love they deserved. However, like every Pokémon in the book, they have their share of fans. So, if you like Meganium, be sure to join the club (Not that I am a member)!
I feel that this Pokémon is hard to review, because I need to choose carefully on what to put in in order to do these plant-dinos justice, considering their current reputation among the fans. I am also neutral in terms of favourites towards Meganium, so I don't think I had explained enough positives on them (and therefore I apologise beforehand). Hopefully what I written gives you a new level of respect to this family of Pokémon!
10 petals out of 10!
(I might have taken a point due to being traumatised by hearing his flaws, but luckily I didn't. Hooray!)
It's probably wrong to call Bellossom the standalone Grass this generation, but his/her appearance looks too drastically different that he/she might as well be called one. I might reason this as the fact that the Sun Stone cause the darkness in Gloom to be erased, making Gloom lose the colour and turned into a brighter-coloured Bellossom. It wasn't clear to me as to why the developers shoehorned Bellossom as an evolution to Gloom, asides giving the Sun Stone more use, as I feel Bellossom can make do without the split evolution. But as it stands, it cannot be undone at this point, so acceptance is the only option.
Anyway, Bellossom looks like a hula dancer from Hawaii, what with the flower adornments on the head, and of course, the petal- skirt. That dancer motif makes any Bellossom looks friendly and willing to help, and of course, cute. Like all Pokémon that looks like a female, some immediately assumes that they are primarily female, but they must be darned to know that there is an equal chance of a male Bellossom occuring as well. It is unknown whether Bellossom has feet, but appearances of him/her reveals that his/her feet are unlike the rest of family, and instead, some of the inside petals are the "feet".
The anime presents two major appearances for Bellossom, from the several appearances he/she has. One of them is in Johto when Ash and gang met them in a city, where many Pokémon were performing in streets. It turns out that one of them weren't well-versed with a stunt, and with enough practice and motivation (due to Team Rocket problem), that Bellossom mastered the stunt, which he/she performed well in the end in a show. The second one shows the split evolutions of Gloom fighting over territory (for sunlight), and their evolutions are even determined by the direction of the wind! When the wind blows in two different directions, Glooms started to evolve differently, causing more conflict. As usual, Team Rocket provides a much-needed (unintentional) motivation for them to unite.
Bellossom's only difference in Base Stats from Vileplume is the Special Attack and Special Defence, which were swapped, meaning Bellossom has higher Special Defence than Special Attack, and vice versa for Vileplume. This makes Bellossom a better supporter, due to better defences. Unlike Vileplume, Bellossom has Leaf Storm and Leaf Blade, which are better Grass attacks than anything Vileplume has, in addition to Petal Dance, so Bellossom can use Swords Dance better as Leaf Storm can be used on anything that has a weaker Special side (and Drain Punch for healing). Bellossom is suited for doubles, though, because there are two things that Bellossom has to support this: Healing Heart (ability that may heal partners) and Go Ahead (move to makes the target move after that). Sure, Vileplume gets Go Ahead too (Oddish learns it through breeding), but Bellossom's overall supporting role makes him/her a better supporter, especially with the Sun.
Bellossom is the only Pokémon to lose a secondary type upon evolution, and also one of the first Pokémon to get a split evolution, but I am not exactly sure if the new evolution is better than Vileplume. To me, at least, Bellossom and Vileplume has their own advantages and disadvantages: Vileplume has the overall better type, while Bellossom has the defences and overall offence thanks to the better moves. Also, Bellossom has the sunny looks and the cuteness, while Vileplume has the consistency (in evolution) and grander looks. Things will be different for Bellossom if he/she were to be a standalone Grass Pokémon...if he/she was made into one, that is...
8 petals out of 10!
Hoppip, Skiploom and Jumpluff
To me, I used to not be able to tell who's in what part of the evolution, because they don't seem to have any size or body proportion difference between evolutions without referring to the data. However, I like how each stage in the family have a completely different colour. Another thing I find interesting is that Jumpluff lacks visible ears, which Hoppip and Skiploom has. I am not sure what they mean, but really, it just looks pretty on them that I don't need to make sense out of that point to appreciate them.
When the player begins their journey through Johto in the daytime, they will inevitably meet with one of the Hoppips. It's a great thing that you get to meet new Pokémon right off the bat, as a diurnal Pokémon is needed to explore the differences in the Day and Night system, and besides, new Pokémon are always exciting to meet! However, the bad thing is that a low-leveled Hoppip cannot attack, instead, having Splash as the first move to use, so it's not conducive to capture one early unless you don't mind switching Pokémon around for experience (Tackle is the first attacking move they will have). But, being one the faster Pokémon, they are incredibly useful for their status inducing effects. In fact they have a very nice status movepool (notables include Encore, Sleep Powder and Memento), and what makes them great is the fact that they are extremely fast under the Sun, thanks to Chlorophyll, so they can actually be annoying there.
Hoppip, Skiploom and Jumpluff are based on dandelions: Hoppip the grassy stage, Skiploom the flowery stage, and Jumpluff the seed-blooming stage. As such, they are very light, making them able to be airborne for long periods of time. Normally, only the seeds of the dandelion are the ones that can go airborne, but I imagine their body structure let them stay in the air for a long time. Hoppip goes with the wind's flow, Skiploom has a flower propeller, and Jumpluff have the white cotton puffs that slows descent. Like some Pokémon, they are said to reproduce in a non-standard way, where their cotton seeds/spores are used to produce more offspring, which is how a dandelion reproduce. Interestingly, Skiploom and Jumpluff are inactive when it gets cold, due to their (extreme) weakness to Ice. Jumpluff also looks like a cheerleader, with their pom-pom hands, and with that, it's a logical choice for them to learn Helping Hand.
Jumpluff's competitive viability lies in the fact that he/she is fast, and thus, can make good use of the many status moves that he/she has. Under the Sun, he/she can outspeed many Pokémon, which ensures that he/she will often go first. As such, the Substitute + Leech Seed strategy is a good fit on them, even from the 3rd Generation (2nd Generation Pokémon cannot access Substitute, a Generation 1 TM), as with loading up on full support like setting up Sunny Day, cure status with Aromatherapy, stopping opponents with Sleep Powder and Stun Spore, disrupting them with Encore, or even weakening them with Memento. Of course, let's not forget U-turn, which will let Jumpluff see if the opponent switches out into something dangerous, and let you choose something that can take on that switch-in.
In Generation 5, Jumpluff gains Anger Powder and Cotton Spore, which are moves that Jumpluff can take advantage of. Even the Dream World ability is nice, because now Safeguard can't stop Jumpluff now (note that Jumpluff is already naturally fast)! However, Jumpluff has something to watch out for, and that is a certain cotton elf, because he/she has an overall better disruptive movepool and an ability that ensures they are the first to be fired off. But still, Jumpluff has advantages over the new plant, mainly Sleep Powder and the Ground immunity (rendering Spikes useless).
This family is also cute, I must admit, and their cheerful and happy nature makes the Pokémon world a happy place to be. It will probably be a sight to behold when you are in the grasslands, seeing these Pokémon floating around jauntily while you fell the breeze...but it's just something that can only work in imagination. Still, I like this Pokémon, because they are cute but possibly deadly as well, so don't let appearances fool you!
9 cotton balls out of 10!
Sunkern and Sunflora
The designs of these Pokémon are quite simple, but effective. Even the logic behind their evolutionary line is easy to understand for Pokémon fans, non-Pokémon fans, and any average person, unlike the 3rd Generation, where some of the evolutions make sense, but it's not easiy understandable (but luckily, that makes them more awesome; no offence, Sunflora!).
Sunflowers are phototropic, meaning that its orientation is based on the sun's position, and more specifically, heliotropic. Heliotropism is basically the plant parts (in this case, flower) turning so that it faces the sun, to get the most out of the sunlight. Similarly, Sunfloras are known to be active during the day, because that's when the sun is up in the air, but during the night when it's not bright (it rhymes!), they will become dormant. In anime episode "Grin to Win!", Sunfloras are shown to be able to vary in size, although the average is 80cm, or about 2 feet 0.7 inches to US people. Even their heads can grow based on the sunlight too! Sure, they can learn Growth, but in that case, it's over-the-top hyperbole. Oh, and Meowth of Team Rocket had disguised as a Sunflora more than his other disguises.
Sunkern's Base Stat Total is incredibly low, even lower than Magikarp or even Feebas. This makes Sunkern sound like a weak Pokémon, but the good thing is that unlike Magikarp, the seed can learn many egg moves acquire Egg Moves and learn TMs, and unlike Feebas, Sunkern's evolution method is easier to accomplish. Even in the PokéDex entries capitalises on the vulnerability of Sunkern: it cannot do a thing in the face of predators, except for shaking its leaves, and Sunkerns restricts mobility to conserve energy, as he/she had a specialised diet of dew. Ironically, Sunkern's Pokéathlon stats can be fully maxed out in every category, which is in the same level as Ditto and some famous legendaries, namely Mew and even Arceus! I would be surprised if Sunkern is shown in real life to surpass Arceus in every minigame available there, because it would probably be shameful for the Arceus user to be beaten by an underdeveloped Pokémon!
In Pokémon Adventures (Volume 8), a herd of Sunkerns escaped from a Skarmory, and Gold went on to catch one of them to combat the tormenting Skarmory by giving his fire starter a boost to attack that bird (which Falkner caught). In another chapter (Volume 14), Sunflora was not used as a battler again, but instead used Sunny Day to power up Fire attacks to combat the Masked Man. Remember everyone, a Sunny Day team should have Fire and Grass Pokémon, due to their synergy!
In competitive battling, Sunflora didn't seem like a sound choice, especially in earlier generations, due to the Speed. Even when doubled, the Speed is still not enough, and not to mention Sunflora is on the frail side. Well, he/she does have a great Special Attack in addition to some nice Special moves (Thank goodness for Earth Power!) and Solar Power, which helps in making them a potent attacker in the Sun. All in all, there's nothing much to say about Sunflora in this category.
Being concerned about his/her competitive viability, I believe that Sunflora can make do with an evolution, so that the sunflower can get more attention, and the overall stat boost is well-appreciated. It would be better if this evolution of Sunflora will be part-Fire, because the face value of the sunflower makes sense in this respect (Sun = Fire, Flower = Grass), and not to mention this type combination is decent offensively. Maybe to some, sunflowers doesn't work that way, but I am looking beyond those limitations, so here's hoping Sunflora can evolve next Generation. Writing about this pair gives me a new form of appreciation to them (and maybe you might too), so I hope you don't mind me raising their ratings!
8 petals out of 10!
(Extra point for Sunkern's Pokéathlon irony)
At last, we have the event legendary of this Generation: Celebi. Sometimes called Serebii (because of a certain website), this Pokémon was as elusive as Mew was, only that the secret of it wasn't held back as long as Mew. Perhaps the endearing quality of elusiveness lies in the GS Ball, an event item that never came to be in the non-Japanese countries, because that item can only be grabbed from the Pokémon Mobile System GB, which was a flop due to inconvenient usage costs, and thus removed from other languages of the game.
The GS Ball was needed to reveal Celebi in a hut in Ilex Forest, but hacking is the only way to get it if you play the non-Japanese game, so the purpose of the ball is not handled properly. Even in the anime, the purpose of the GS Ball wasn't handled properly, as it was significant for a period of time, but the significance was removed in the middle, where Kurt was given possession of it, because the producers decided that Celebi is best used in the upcoming movie. The Johto arc was considered a failure in the history of Pokémon anime, and this was one of the blunders. If there's something I learnt from this, it is to always plan ahead, so that everybody's happy that the objectives of the plan is fulfilled.
There is a method to obtain Celebi without the need to obtain it through an event or hacking, but the process is quite complicated to normal fans (I didn't fully understand it myself), but basically you need a Sneasel that knows Beat Up, knowledge on cloning Pokémon, and a Pokémon you don't mind being deleted. Keep in mind that it can only be done in Gold, Silver or Crystal for the Gameboy (Colour), so don't expect it to be doable in the remakes!
Celebi's special ability is time travelling. It also has nourishing properties, because forests will flourish, the dead is brought to life and plants are regenerated by the power of Celebi. It can even bring back eggs from the future, so one might accuse Celebi for being an egg thief. But if I see a Celebi going into the future, I will tell it to take an egg of a new Pokémon, because I am itching to know of a never-before-seen Pokémon! It might make a good plot point in a future episode, I am sure. Inspirations from the Curupira and Lorax are new to me (and likely for some of you too). Curupira is from the Tupi mythology in Brazil, in which he's a backwards-facing-feet boy with flaming hair and green teeth. The Lorax, from Dr. Suess, is a small moustached creature who speaks for the trees (I love that book). Both of them have one thing in common: the concern for their forest home and willingness to protect it.
Like every Legendary Pokémon, Celebi got a movie centering about it. In this movie, a boy from the past called Sammy Oak inadvertantly went to the future to meet Ash and company. However, the Iron Masked Marauder had an eye on Celebi, and went out of the way to catch the Celebi with one of his Dark Balls, automatically making the Pokémon evil. It was up to the heroes to bring Celebi to the senses, or else the world is doomed, and by extention, Team Rocket. So, Ash and Sam took it upon themselves to save the day and when all is done, Sammy was sent back to his time, 40 years ago. In another movie (the 13th), Celebi was in pursuit of another Pokémon hunter, but I don't really know the whole story, so no further comment. In Pokémon Chronicles, Celebi took Ritchie back in time to help stop the destruction of the Pokémon Centre.
Celebi, despite possessing a lot of weaknesses, is still a fairly good competitive battler. Asides the overall great stats, Celebi still has good resistances, particularly Fighting, and a good movepool as well. What can it do? Recover for longevity, Heal Bell for healing teammates, Thunder Wave for paralysis, Baton Pass for passing boosts, Perish Song for eventual fainting, Trick for item switching, and a myriad of attacking moves, especially on the Special side: Leaf Storm, Earth Power, Signal Beam, AncientPower, Grass Knot, Psychic and Shadow Ball, and if you participated in the 13th movie event, you can even obtain one with Nasty Plot! Otherwise, you may use Calm Mind. That works too. In case of uncertainty, U-turn is there to escape from possibly unwanted company. Natural Cure is a great ability, because free healing is always welcome.
Celebi is a great attempt for the first Grass legendary Pokémon out there, because it feels mystical and has special qualities, like time travelling and mass healing, and those are some cool concepts at that time. Overall, Celebi is an awesome Pokémon.
10 leaves out of 10!
And this is it for the Grass-type Pokémon for Generation 2. If you ask me, I find both Chikorita's family and Celebi's the hardest to write about, so I might miss out on some awesome thing about them. The next Grass-type review will cover Generation 3, and that one will also be split into two, so it's far from over. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
Thanks for reading.
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