Inkay and Malamar



Can you believe how much sweet time Pokemon took to show us a dang squid? That's one of the most fundamental sea creatures and even one of Japan's basic staple foods! Octillery was getting lonely!

I'm glad our first squid is this darn cute, too, with the signature transparency and bioluminescence of so many real-world squid of the deep-sea abyss, to boot, though perhaps the coolest thing about this line is that it doesn't even live in the ocean.


Rather than a water type, this spooky cuddle-fish is the first pokemon to be both psychic and dark type, quite befitting of a predator as intelligent, formidable and inhuman as a cephalopod. It's not a Stunfisk situation where the pokemon still inhabits water, either - we've pretty much only seen Inkay telekinetically floating around meadows, canyons and forests.

It's a psychic air-squid, and it only gets more amazing from there.


Inkay, uniquely, evolves from level 30 only if you flip your Nintendo 3DS upside-down during the evolutionary process. In-canon, Inkay itself has to flip upside to complete the process, and that's how we get this magnificently maniacal mollusk waddling around on its little fins like some sort of tentacle-penguin.

It's surprisingly the first time I've ever seen a cartoon squid oriented this way, and it makes all too much sense. A squid is just as prone to swim tentacles-first as fins-first, neither end rightfully qualifying as "front" or "back," so why should the tentacles always be the "legs" in so many fictionalized Decapodiformes? Again, I'd have rated this one highly even if went the expected route, but by simply flipping it over, Gamefreak turned a rather straightforward squid design into a far kookier monster with even more personality.


Malamar is actually said to have the most powerful hypnosis and mind-control of any psychic-type pokemon, again, very befitting of a squid, with many real species using bioluminescence or rapid color changes to confuse and disorient their prey. In a couple episodes of the X and Y anime, it even enjoys a stint as one of the very few completely villainous Pokemon we've seen, actually (spoiler alert) hypnotizing and disguising an Officer Jenny to appear as its "trainer" when it's really a rogue pokemon with dreams of world conquest. I guess its resemblance to a wild-haired mad scientist is more than just a happy accident.

Fortunately, Malamar is thwarted in the end by a band of other, non-evil Malamar and Inkay, which live out in the woods, in case you already forgot that these giant hypnotic squid live in places like the friggin' woods.


Upside-down supervillain squids fly around eating deer.

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