Pokemon Type Reviews: Water


In stark contrast to the scarcity of fire, players have long felt that there are simply far too many water type Pokemon...but I have to disagree. Yes, having over 140 water types might seem a little excessive considering even "normal" type doesn't approach those numbers, but on our very own planet, the majority of all life is aquatic. If it feels like you can practically divide Pokemon entirely by "water types" and "not water types," then I say it's only being reasonable...and when you stick them all together on one page like this, it kinda feels to me like a much smaller number than it really is. Only around 140 water types? Counting unevolved forms? Please! That's hardly enough to cover so many things!

For all their numbers and variety, however, it's difficult to really review the water type itself for the same reason it was difficult to review flying. The only theme here is "lives in or really likes water," and like we just mentioned, that applies to more than half of all known organisms. It's unfortunately quite rare that a water pokemon offers any clever twist or integration with water beyond the fact that it happens to be a fish or a crustacean, but with so many of them, my top six lists may turn out fairly interesting?

MY TOP SIX FAVORITES:

As common as they are and as big a nerd I am for marine life, it actually wasn't until generations VI and VII that I actually found fully evolved water types I was really in love with.

MY LEAST FAVORITES:

...But having said that, I really struggled to fill this one. Poor little Finneon is pretty much only here because I just keep forgetting about it, and the two legendaries because they have so little to do with water as a visible theme that I forgot they had the typing at all. Except for more extraneous monkeys and the heartbreak Lanturn put me through, "least favorite" is almost meaningless here. The vast majority of water types are charming one way or another.

MOST CREATIVE:

For reasons explained already, we can't quite do a "cleverest use of water" like we did for fire, but some of these certainly have fun and interesting reasons for being water types, while others are just plain weird!

SCARIEST/MOST BADASS:

Maybe I'm committing a sin by not including Gyarados...

THE PRETTIEST:

...But Gyarados honestly strikes me more for its beautiful flow and intricacy more than anything else, and especially its mega form. Likewise, Golisopod's delicate details and overall flow are a work of art!

THE CUTEST:

FISH-ONLY FAVORITES:

INVERTEBRATE-ONLY FAVORITES:

I kinda surprised myself with how much I wanted Crawdaunt here over so many other choices.

WHAT'S MISSING?

Let's throw a new feature into this - one that will hopefully grow quickly outdated by future releases. It's been three whole generations since I did my "100 creatures begging to be pokemon" feature, and a lot of them have now come true...but not all of them, and not even the most obvious among them.

Aaaall these water Pokemon, and we're somehow still lacking...


A Sea Urchin

[photo by rosa say] One of the most iconic of marine invertebrates alongside its cousin the sea star, there are limitless ways one of these prickly globules can be translated into some kind of monster, as they have in absolutely countless other franchises. My own idea for an urchin was an ice type whose spines would resemble the crystalline branches of a snowflake, but now that we have an actual snowflake as a Pokemon, that might feel slightly redundant. An explosive steel type resembling an old, rusty nautical mine could be fun, though that might step on the toes of Koffing and Weezing if they had any.

It's worth noting that many sea urchins carry objects on top of themselves, such as sea shells, for additional protection. Maybe an urchin Pokemon could wear a seashell "hat" and come out looking almost like the face of a pirate, its spines like a big, bushy "beard" and a set of eerie eyes poking out from under its cap?


A Proper Anglerfish

The anglers are widely famous animals, but at least half of that fame is for the lovable monstrousness of their immense jaws and long, needle-like teeth. The Chinchou line remains our only representation of these fantastic beasts, and it looks so unlike them that it's often mistakin for a porpoise. A scarier, more true-to-life angler could take myriad forms as a pocket monster. Bruxish already explored the idea of a psychic-type fish with a "lure" and Lanturn went the obvious electric route, but a plain old water type or even the obvious water/dark would suffice. There's also the possibility of a huge, ferocious angler being water/dragon, or a seaweed-mimicking water/grass! Whether or not Pokemon would incorporate the famously bizarre mating habits of certain anglers is up in the air, but it could always work like Salandit or Combee, where only the female evolves. In this case, perhaps she needs a male in your party to do so, and the two actually "fuse" into the new Pokemon?


A Stingray

Yes, we have a manta ray and manta rays are pretty awesome, but manta rays and stingrays are very different creatures when you get right down to it, and don't get me started on the popular suggestion that Stunfisk is more ray than flounder. Where's our venom-barbed, bottom-feeding cartilage pancake? There's so much you can do with a stingray as a design! Put glowing lights around it and you've got a flying saucer fish. Give it steel teeth around its edges and it could act like a living rotary saw. Put its eyeballs on enough of a dome and the whole thing can look like a living bowler hat. Combine those last two and you've got Stingray Oddjob.


One of These Damn Things I Guess

A bottle-nosed dolphin has been one of the most requested pocket monsters alongside a wolf since the first generation, but of the two, it was surprisingly the terrestrial canine that would be introduced by the Hawaii-inspired Alola region. Funny! If we're going to get a Pokemon one of these, however, please for the love of god don't let it be some milquetoast water/psychic sea puppy. Go the Pangoro route. Let's have a badass dolphin. These animals hunt in packs, use confusion tactics to round up their prey, emit blasts of sound to paralyze their victims with sheer pain and bludgeon them to death with their own faces. Dolphins are brutal killing machines with filthy low-down fighting tactics, positively reeking of the dark type and only the dark type. I'd say I'd eat my hat if our first Pokemon dolphin turned out straight-up cute and innocent, but I don't own a hat, so I'm safe either way. Take THAT, dolphins!!!!!!

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