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BDP: Psyduck-Golduck

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Another edition of Best Designed Pokémon. Some notes: I have tweaked the scores of a few previous Pokémon slightly, new Favorite Rendition artwork has been added for Venusaur, Caterpie, Metapod, Gloom, and Vileplume (all by the artist Petah55), and I have given the grade Variety a new name: Originality. This is to clear up my own confusion of the term. Previously I had been judging this grade by how original a Pokémon looked, not on how original its concept is. Lastly, I'm entertaining the idea of putting the name and image of the Pokémon in the center instead of along the left. Please let me know how revolutionary this idea is.

54. Psyduck


Form: 1.5. So, so, so, so plain. The body has no detail whatsoever. It really couldn't be more plain. The only things I could talk about would be the hairs on its head and strangely pointy tail, and I'm stumped as to what I could say of them. They're there, and that's it.
Color: 4. There's a strange appeal to its simple color scheme. Lemon yellow fur/feathers give an otherwise normal-looking duck a unique look. The cream-colored beak and feet simultaneously cover up and compliment the monotonous yellow, and the black hairs give it a pitifully cute appearance.
Originality: 5. Psyduck looks like a platypus trying to be a duck. According to the Pokédex, it merely gives off the appearance of weakness to trick enemies. The key to its psychic powers is its incessant headache. Its appearance is nothing more than a bland platypus/duck creature, but the more low-key aspects of its being give it an interesting story.
Design: 3.5
Favorite Renditions: RacieB, RtRadke, Petah55
Best TCG Art: Team Rocket 65/82 by Mitsuhiro Arita



55. Golduck


Form: 7.5. The only reason one would think that Psyduck and Golduck are related is their names. Golduck's body is so different. Its limbs and tail are sleek and long, the head's feathers shoot back into spikes, and the face is determined, not blank. It has also grown another claw on the back of its feet and a forehead gem like Persian. However, the uncomfortable look of its hands and feet perturbs me. It just looks like it would be impractical and troublesome to have webbed phalanges with long claws. The torso and tail are also quite plain.
Color: 7.5. The cobalt blue looks very good on Golduck, letting it blend in with the waters it swims in. The minor colors red and cream add some variety to the mix, but it is still vastly blue. Too blue.
Originality: 8. Golduck is loosely based on the kappa, a Japanese mythical creature that inhabits ponds and rivers. Good thing, too, because behavior such as raping women, drowning people, and eating children isn't exactly kid-friendly. Golduck itself takes the platypus/duck concept and adds mythological inspiration. With a unique look, respectable demeanor, and status as the fastest-swimming Pokémon, Golduck has the kind of Originality that make Pokémon so interesting even to adults.
Design: 7.7
Favorite Renditions: RacieB, spoonerman, AnnaJ, ShakShakalut, knocknoc (stupid sexy Golduck!)
Best TCG Art: Platinum 29/127 by Kouki Saitou


I have two other propositions as well. Would it be better to split Originality into two grades: one for how well a Pokémon expresses its inspiration, and another for that Pokémon's unique attributes and lore? Currently I combine both (like for Psyduck, its appearance was a 3 and its attributes were a 7). My other proposition is an old one that no one's talked about: Top Cosplayer. I'd look for the best cosplayer's costume of the Pokémon, male or female, which does a great job of anthropomorphizing it. Let me know what you think.

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Updated 9th October 2012 at 10:35 AM by Aviator Zero

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