On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

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    Dreams of electric Bulbasaur BulbaBot's Avatar
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    Default On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    As part of an ongoing series exploring the likely cultural and zoological origins of Pokémon species, we take a look at Absol.

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    Registered User Morgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    I had previously heard somewhere that absol was based on some european legendary harbinger of doom. I had no idea it was actually this chinease/japanese creature. Interesting.

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    Bulbapædist Zeta's Avatar
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgil View Post
    I had previously heard somewhere that absol was based on some european legendary harbinger of doom. I had no idea it was actually this chinease/japanese creature. Interesting.
    That would be the Black Dog or Barghest. Interestingly, the barghest's lore does actually fit a bit more with Absol's bio about being misunderstood since a lot of Black Dog tales have it being misunderstood as a portent of death when it was actually trying to warn lost travelers of danger.
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    Barghest doesn't fit Absol at all. Firstly Absol doesn't look like any sort of canine species; Secondly it foretells natural disasters, not death of anyone; Thirdly, the themes of Pokemon species are still very "Japanese" back at Gen III. Only starting from Gen V, where the region based on a foreign country's city, then Pokemon started to adopt myths/legends/folklores creatures in Western cultures.

    Therefore when one tried to explain Pokemon's origin, one should assign first priority to all sorts of possible Japanese real and mythical creatures, and secondly to other Asian countries' creatures, then Western real creatures, and then the final priority in the Western mythical creatures (with only one exception of European Dragons).
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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    I did look into the barghest, and I can see where the parallels lie and why it gets mentioned as a possible origin. But yeah, the hakutaku and its variants definitely fit the bill more, especially when I got reading about the kutabe sub-myth.

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    Default Re: On the Origin of Species: Absol: Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

    I always imagined Absol being based on a white wolf, though the hakukaku clearly is always portrayed as an animal with a humans face, it's obvious they gave Absol a more dog/cat like face to make it more relatable, as well as much cuter.
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