by, 18th February 2011 at 02:49 PM (7850 Views)
Form: 7. You don't need to know anything about Spearow to think that it's aggressive. You just see its explosive facial feathers, prominent legs and claws, and spread-out tail feathers and assume it is. It seems perfect for flapping at people who come near its nest, pecking them in the head.
Color: 7. There seem to be two schemes going on: a sideways band going over the back, and a lengthwise one going under the belly. The sideways one is a striking array of the void-black back, the crimson wings, and pinkish wingtips. The lengthwise one is the always-acceptable brown-tan scheme. A nice mix of striking and complimentary.
Originality: 5. Spearow looks like the scrappy offspring of a sparrow and a falcon. Certainly it is not a boring look, but in the end it's another bird with few unique attributes.
Favorite Renditions: DestroyedSteak
Best TCG Art: EX Crystal Guardians 61/100 by Midori Harada
Form: 8. Being some kind of heron/eagle hybrid, Fearow certainly looks terrifying. The tactical knife-shaped beak, large, detailed wings, and scruffy shoulder and chest feathers are pros, but that ugly comb on its head and its frail neck are cons.
Color: 5. The pros and cons cancel out. The body's nice use of three different browns is hampered by the obnoxiously red comb and pink beak and feet.
Originality: 6. It is based on a vulture with an elongated cormorant's beak. Though I dislike the use of a comb, it's certainly a unique feature. The wickedly shaped beak and scruffs of feathers contribute, but the ignored head, neck, body, and tail subtract from the score. Fearow is pretty distinct from other bird Pokémon.
Favorite Renditions: DestroyedSteak, AFrozenHeart2, Midnight-Claymore
Best TCG Art: Unleashed 15/96 by Kagemaru Himeno
Form: 3. Eh... Clearly, it's based on a rattlesnake, albeit a fat one. The head is not threatening whatsoever (it doesn't even have fangs) and the only thing saving Ekans from disaster is its lines. They look somewhat exotic, but nothing is really happening overall.
Color: 6. The toxic purple and striking yellow work well, particularly in its eyes. The underside isn't even worth mentioning (oops), so let's move on.
Originality: 5. Ekans is based on a rattlesnake and egg-eating snake combined. I swear, if it weren't for those lines... If you look at its head from above, you can see a curving U shape that ends in the circles of its eyes, much like the hood of a spectacled cobra. The eyes themselves are pretty unique, but other than those factors...
Favorite Renditions: JESGRAD07, Foureyedalien, AcidPaw
Best TCG Art: Fossil 46/62 by Kagemaru Himeno
Form: 7. Form is vital to Arbok's whole deal. Its hood is designed to capture and maintain attention, which it does, but more on that later. I can't pin its body's quality in any other word but girth. The hood amplifies this even more. Gary Oak jokes aside, its body is not only massive, but long (exactly how long varies). The eyes are less fascinating than Ekans's, but the head and jaw shape are more serpentine.
Color: 7 and 8. This is tricky due to its different hood designs. There are six, but we've only seen two in the games. In the first and most common kind, shown in the official art, the eyes are two slanting heart shapes in red with black borders. There is an arrow-like shape above them with two red dots near the tip, and a black Jack-o'-lantern-like mouth below. The theme seems to be some kind of evil symbol. Meanwhile, in the second, the eyes' pupils are in yellow irises in red scleras, surrounded by black borders with fringed corners. There are two thick "eyebrows" and a red mouth with black lips, with visible teeth. The overall theme seems to be some terrifying tribal marking or tattoo. Between the two, the second demands more attention, while the first is more mysterious yet not as striking. The dull purple body and ordinary eyes subtract from both scores.
Here are the other four hood designs: One, Two, Three
Originality: 8 and 7. This will be just as tricky. The first hood seems less reminiscent of a face and more of a painting. The arrangement of details is interesting and original. The second is obviously a face, so it's much less original, but still great in its own right. The focus on Arbok's hood is so great that the rest is ignored. The head has none of Ekans's exotic lines and the body is just a bland earthworm replica. To complicate things further, Arbok had two black W shapes on its back in Gen I, but never again. I would prefer it to have kept them. As a side note, Arbok obviously resembles a cobra, but due to its once-signature move Glare, it is also based on the mythical basilisk.
Favorite Renditions: AFrozenHeart2, drgknot, DestroyedSteak, RtRadke
Best TCG Art: EX Dragon Frontiers 13/101 by Hisao Nakamura
Form: 9. For the sake of simplicity, we're going with the anime depiction (I abhor these atrocities). Every one of its features is instantly recognizable by billions of people. This little guy's the reason that Pokémon is Nintendo's #2 franchise. From its striking ears to its shocking tail, to its Beanie Baby-like body, Pikachu is the perfect, most likable mascot I know of.
Color: 7. The black ear tips, brown back lines and tail junction, and of course the red electricity pouches certainly add character to the otherwise plain yellow body.
Originality: 8. The Electric Mouse Pokémon. Pikachu, Pikachu, what iconic features! The lightning bolt tail and the concept of electric sacs in its cheeks bring much Originality to an otherwise plain-body Pokémon.
Favorite Renditions: !kikariz, hextupleyoodot, speedking
Best TCG Art: Ash's Pikachu M LV.X (DPt-P Promo 43) by 2009 Pikachu Project
Form: 8. Raichu's physical style is nothing like Pikachu's. Its radical ears and wild, flexible tail are drastically different. Its tail looks very much like a weapon. Its barrel-chested body sitting atop its kangaroo-like legs is a peculiar sight. It's almost too much to bear, but gives Raichu plenty of character.
Color: 9. The dark brown ears, paws, and stripes give it a wild appearance. Its orange body makes the transition to its yellow cheeks and cream belly more appealing. The slick, black, wiry tail, culminating in a striking and intimidating bolt, adds some punch to the earth tone mix. The designer even cared enough to make the bottom of its feet cream with orange pads.
Originality: 10. If you think about it, Pikachu and Raichu are hardly alike. Whoever designed Raichu the kangaroo rat-inspired Pokémon a style all its own. All of its unique features have already been mentioned. No one could argue that Raichu is dull, by any means.
Favorite Renditions: `hibbary, `hibbary, RtRadke, Petah55, joshD1000
Best TCG Art: Stormfront 8/100 by Kagemaru Himeno
Form: 8. It's adorable. Like Bulbasaur, its rotund body suits it well (not to mention similar ears). Its Beedrill-like eyes look great coupled with its teardrop-shaped head.
Color: 5. Cream and yellow do suit a subterranean Pokémon, but overall it looks rather dull. The deep blue eyes save it from an even worse score.
Originality: 7. Sandshrew... the Mouse Pokémon? Really, it's an armadillo with shrewd characteristics (see what I did there?). The tiles on its body give it a unique pattern that suits its earthen origin. The head is its most appealing feature, with the border between skin and scales going around the large eyes.
Favorite Renditions: AFrozenHeart2, RtRadke, Petah55, AnnaJ, TheXicer
Best TCG Art: EX Sandstorm 75/100 by Kouki Saitou
Form: 7. It's hardly similar to its pre-evolution. All the scales are gone, its head is much slimmer, and instead of its limbs looking similar, the arms are insectoid while the legs mammalian. The spikes look good, but the contradictions remain.
Color: 5. Unimpressive. Yellow skin, cream belly, and brown spikes. The prominent white claws have some charm to them however.
Originality: 5. Unlike Sandshrew, Sandslash is based on the pangolin with its spiky scales. The skin is bland and the tail is completely ignored. The dissimilar limbs and spike-like ears are questionable forms of Originality.
Favorite Renditions: RacieB, ValentinwUmbreon, Tuonenkalla
Best TCG Art: EX Sandstorm 21/100 by Kouki Saitou
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