Today, I decided to go back to the basics by doing reviews again! Instead of doing something simple, I will do something very, very simple. Today, instead of diving into the celebrity specialists straight away, I will select a few trainer classes that specialise the Poison-type and see how consistent they are with their specialty type.
Team Rocket Grunts
Instead of detailing about Team Rocket and their entirety, I will just look at the basic aspects of Team Rocket, because I am sure that kind of thing deserves an article by itself instead of this review that just talk about Poison-type trainers. Now, they are chosen because most of their choices are Poison-types, which was rather common back in those days. Perhaps the fact that there were very few Poison-type additions in Johto was a reflection to Team Rocketâ€™s downfall?
So, Team Rocket is basically a no-good organisation that attempts to do no-good things, and thanks to the player, their plans fail if they are in the way of the player. Oh, and because Poison-types are a perfectly good fit to their villainous nature, you can be sure that they mainly use these PokĂ©mon. While their choices are not restricted to those, the fact that you see them with their Zubats/Golbats and Ekans/Arboks for example classify them as so.
I find it amusing to see that female members are only additions in Generation 2 and beyond. Do note that FireRed and LeafGreen only have female members in the Sevii Islands, since the remake doesnâ€™t change things in the main quest. In fact, their physical depiction is carried over to HeartGold and SoulSilver, which is too bad, because I liked the female Rockets in the Generation 2 games, where they had long hair and no cap. Speaking of that, it reminds me of a comic where Lyra in disguise is exposed by Silver. (Canâ€™t find the comic to link, so if you want, you can do some searching yourself)
In the anime, Jessie and James used Poison-types when they started, which is a reflection to their type preferences. They started with Ekans and Koffing, which because of their appearances in the anime, made them popular, more so Koffing in my opinion. As the series progressed, Jessie had Dustox and Seviper in her repertoire and James only had Victreebel (two, in fact, but not both at the same time). Like the games, as long as Team Rocket is in Ashâ€™s way, they are sure to fail gracefully. Thanks to their popularity, they even get appearances in PokĂ©mon Yellow (Ahh…memories…).
So, itâ€™s a no brainer that the Team Rocket Grunts deserves a perfect rating for being the perfect villains for a game where one kid is on his way to be a champion, because they will help build the confidence (and ego) of the player, which is important in a quest to make the game memorable. The ratings had taken a bump, because Team Rocket in the anime have helped made the PokĂ©mon anime a very memorable experience with their mix of humour, determination, gallantry and guts.
7 Rockets out of 6!
Ninja Boys are new to Generation 3, where you will first meet them in very tall grass. Over there, they will attempt to surprise you by popping up in the grass or soot force you to battle them. This is similar to one of the famous ninja techniques of concealing oneself to attack others, except their attacks are PokĂ©mon battles. Perhaps to make up for the loss of Koga the ninja trainer (who will be reviewed next time), these guys took his steed and became the ninja representatives in both Hoenn and Sinnoh, and took up his legacy of being ninjas and train Poison-types.
For some reason, these ninja boys have long scarves, which I am not sure of its purpose. Of course, they are not the only ninjas to have long scarves, since Koga also have it, as with Shadowman from Megaman Battle Network. I do admit, it makes them look cooler, but why they have it is for you to tell me about it.
One ninja technique that is well-known is to throw smoke bombs to hinder the view of the opponents, so that the ninja could use that window of opportunity to escape. As you would expect, ninja boys use Koffings in Hoenn too. As for Sinnoh, they have a rather wide variety of Poison-types. There are Dustox, Croagunk, Zubat, Skorupi and Stunky. Of these, I can see Stunky pulling the smoke stunt off, but the others can pull of the stinging stunt. Dustox I guess use powder to stun the enemy, which works too, I suppose. Yeah, thatâ€™s a nice variety, and itâ€™s certainly better than just Koffing and Weezing (only one guy used one, and in a rematch, no less).
Besides Poison-types, they also train Nincada and Ninjask, because well, they are ninja insects. This only applies to Hoenn, because Sinnoh doesnâ€™t have these PokĂ©mon, so over there, they only have Poison-types due to the good variety of Poison-types. However, thereâ€™s an odd one out who trains only Geodudes, which comes off as weird because Geodudes donâ€™t have any ties with any ninja techniques, besides the fact that they explode, which sounds un-ninja-like. The only thing Geodude has is its ability to camouflage as rocks, which is similar to the ninjaâ€™s art of blending with their surroundings.
The fact that they are ninjas screams bonus points, and thereâ€™s the fact that they are pretty cool Poison-type trainers themselves as they at least train Poison-types. Before I finish, itâ€™s interesting to note that Hoennâ€™s ninjas have Eastern-based names while Sinnohâ€™s ones have European-based names. Either this is a themed choice (of different regions) or a decision of the translatorâ€™s part is up to you to decide.
6 scarves out of 6!
Bikers are usually depicted with leather jackets and Mohawks in the past. I suppose Mohawks are out of fashion, so the newer ones have medium-long hair. Anyhow, Kanto is the only true region they train Poison-types, and no other region has bikers. Still, you do have to give them credit for keeping up with the times in HeartGold and SoulSilver, because they arenâ€™t stuck with Kanto Pride. For some reason, I thought it would be cool if your trainer has the ability to use motorcycles to travel instead of a bicycle, but for the sake of environmental concerns, thatâ€™s out of the question.
Their PokĂ©mon choices play well with their theme from what I can see. They have Poison-types (which is why they are included here in the first place, obviously), which is similar in nature to the liquid fuel as they are poisonous. The nature of exhaust is also similar to Poison-types, because itâ€™s a gas thatâ€™s not good for breathing (but Poison-types will no doubt love). They also have Fire-types because they burn and burning fuel is needed to get the bike running. Voltorbs are because they are Electrically-charged, but no clue on the one with a Togepi.
In Unova, the Bikers not only look different, they have a completely different preference of PokĂ©mon. They went for the â€śbad boyâ€ť feel and went to use mainly Dark-types with some tough PokĂ©mon thrown in (Bouffalant), so they are culturally different from the ones in Kanto.
I understand their cool factor, but they donâ€™t really give me much of an impression, as I donâ€™t really like how they look. That, and the fact that they do not commonly use fully-evolved PokĂ©mon, which is kind of a dissonance to their image as tough members.
4 bikes out of 6!
These guys are people who specialise in science, of course. Itâ€™s to note that the female variety isnâ€™t added until PokĂ©mon Black and White, which I guess is attributed to gender equality thatâ€™s being more accepted during this era, I believe. In the name of stereotypes, Scientists have to be bespectacled and wear lab coats, but at least they donâ€™t have wildly scruffy hair like Einstein, because that would make them too shameless. Not to mention, Fennel looks like the female Scientists in PokĂ©mon Black and White, with some pink thrown in.
Scientists used a myriad of PokĂ©mon, and they vary in type as well because well, science is a very wide subject that even covers physics, minerals and so on. However, some of them carry Poison-types, which is why they are chosen to be included. Only in Generation 4 did they exclude the Poison-type, though. Anyway, their Poison-types are related to some form of scientific by-products, like living sludge and living garbage (do note that those PokĂ©mon are said to come alive thanks to chemical reactions). They also have Koffing and Weezing, which is to presumably provide some gases and to inhale those, for experimental purposes, I reckon.
I do have to mention that in the PokĂ©mon TCG video game, there is a Science Club, where every member takes interest in science there (which by definition makes them Scientists) and use Poison-types PokĂ©mon cards. One of them has a Nidoran Deck, another is a Flying Deck (with Zubat and Golbat), another used myriads of Poison-types in his Deck, and the Club Masterâ€™s strategy is to use Muk to prevent PokĂ©mon Powers (the equivalent of Abilities now) from taking effect. Yes, itâ€™s true that they are the Poison-type, but the TCG doesnâ€™t have a Poison-type, so they are listed as Grass-types instead (which is coincidentally the type I am writing about too). However, later on, Poison-types are labelled as Psychic-types instead. During both times when Poison-types were different types, they still have a weakness to Psychic-type attacks.
As a trainer class, the Scientist is generally interesting if not viewed as the type that specialises in the Poison-type, as the only game that does so is the TCG video game. Still, I like intellectual people, so they are quite fine with me.
5 lab coats out of 6!
The next entry on the list is the Super Nerd. A glimpse on one would remind those familiar with Japanese culture of an otaku, someone who has an obsessive interest in anime, manga and video games. In fact, that definition is similar to what a nerd is. However, the Japanese name for Super Nerd is not otaku, but rather, itâ€™s â€śscience manâ€ť. Itâ€™s an odd definition for skinny teenagers with an obsession with science, and it also depicts them as a lower-ranked Scientist. Still, their teenage bodies and smart looks appeal to some people, so at least they still look good.
In terms of their choice of PokĂ©mon, one of the types they specialise is the Poison-type. The only Poison-types they are known to use are Koffing, Grimer and Muk. No idea why they would prefer Grimer and Muk, but I guess they thought that living sludge makes them cool in their own way, or worse: their failed experiment with chemicals had created a monster out of it, forcing them to stick with Grimer or Muk.
Their other choices are much less ickier, which are Electric-types and Fire-types. Both of them have their own fields in science, so it makes sense for them to have those types. There is another PokĂ©mon that Super Nerds could have, and that is Porygon. This is pretty OK as far as selection of PokĂ©mon goes, since Porygonâ€™s inorganic, after all. Another oddity the Super Nerd has is a Slowpoke. My theory with some of their affinity for this PokĂ©mon is their odd properties. According to the anime, if a Shellder is attached to their tail, they will evolve into a Slowbro or a Slowking, depending on the bitten area. Another oddity with Slowpoke is their quickly-regenerating tails. Once amputated, it will regenerate quickly, hence their ability Regenerator.
In the manga, there is a Super Nerd called Miles or William (depending on translation) who managed to be trouble. He disguised himself as Red (at a time when heâ€™s disappeared), but only did so to capture his Pikachu. Utilising a dastardly combination of Parasâ€™ Spore to prevent Yellow from getting close, Marowak for ranged hits with the Bonemarang, and Persian to scratch the walls to interfere with Yellowâ€™s sense of hearing. Eventually he was beaten when his rubber coating was torn (he wore that to prevent Pikachu from harming him), which shocked him to defeat. In truth, he was hired by Agatha to do the work. It seems he changed sides for the better after the fall of the Elite Four of Kanto, so itâ€™s all good.
Conway is stated to be the anime equivalent of a Super Nerd, and itâ€™s not without reason. He looks like a Super Nerd in the games, and heâ€™s also somewhat intelligent. However, his choice of PokĂ©mon is very different. The only PokĂ©mon that somewhat matches the Super Nerds in the games is Slowking. However, it might attribute to the difference in culture between Sinnoh and Kanto, since the ones in the games are found in Kanto.
The Super Nerd is an interesting class, but like for the Scientist, only if itâ€™s not viewed as a trainer class that specialises Poison-types. A plus for this Trainer Class for having interesting characters in the manga and the anime, which itself gives them a bonus point, so the score for this class is…
5 pair of specs out of 6!
Last but not least on the list, itâ€™s the janitor! Look how happy he is doing his job! This is the only Generation 5 trainer that seems to like Poison-types, as the Bikers are different in their choices in Unova. However, they are relatively sparse in their appearances, so you never see a lot of them. In fact, you only see two different janitors in Unova, which suggests three things: Unova is a very clean place that we donâ€™t need janitors, the people are actually civilised and likes the place to be clean, or the fact that these janitors are godly and can appear in many places at once to clean. Personally, I think itâ€™s the fourth option, which is the fact that the PokĂ©mon themselves are hygienic. Or it could be that janitors donâ€™t battle. Maybe there are so many theories about it that itâ€™s not worth talking about since it could take all day and nothing will come out of it.
Anyway, one of these janitors isnâ€™t even a real janitor, since he himself claims to be a president of a company to observe employees, and will give the player an Experience Share when defeated. Itâ€™s to note that due to the new experience-gaining method, this item is really useful for the lower levelled PokĂ©mon.
Because there are only two janitors, itâ€™s easy to see their PokĂ©mon choices. The disguised president has Minccino and Trubbish, which are fair enough, since one of them is a hygienic PokĂ©mon while the other represents filth. The other used Koffing and Weezing. The PokĂ©mon they have are fair enough, because itâ€™s mostly Poison-types.
Itâ€™s too bad that there are not many of these guys, but I suppose it could be attributed to the lack of Poison-types that Generation. There is even potential to have a lot of them lying around, because well, cleanliness is important, and they are up for the job to make sure that any place stays clean.
5 mops out of 6!
Alright, one down, one to go. Next time, the Celebrity Trainers will be reviewed (Grass first, then Poison), which will be the last reviews about the types. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Thanks for reading.