• Incineroar: Fans hoped for a quadraped and got a bipedal cat. Disliked for breaking tradition appearance-wise.
  • Voltorb: Criticized for being the first inanimate object Pokemon design. Some see it as a lazy choice.
  • Jynx: Debuted in blackface and changed to avoid racism accusations. Controversial due to appearance and design choices.

The Pokemon franchise is one that is tasked with adding a set of new creature designs to each game. More often than not, a new Pokemon game will include up to one hundred new designs for the franchise, and some of these will receive mixed feedback from fans. These Pokemon aren’t bad, though, as every Pokemon is someone’s favorite, after all.


Every Pokemon Based On Rabbits

With 2023 being the year of the rabbit, there’s arguably never been a better time to take a look back at all of the Pokemon based on rabbits.

Then, there are the Pokemon that cause controversy. These feature designs that can make some players feel uncomfortable for one reason or another, and some go against the established rules of the Pokemon franchise.

8 Incineroar

A Bipedal Cat Starter That Fans Were Not Looking For

  • Main Reason For Controversy: Fans Hoped The Starter Pokemon Would Remain A Quadraped

Starter Pokemon are unique as they are often the team members that players consider to be most like a pet during their playthrough. They are also normally the first new Pokemon that Gamefreak shares with fans before the release of a new generation. The seventh generation of Pokemon games was no different, and Pokemon Sun and Moon‘s marketing started by showing players the fire, water, and grass types Litten, Poplio, and Rowlett in early 2016.

Each of these Pokemon received praise from fans, but most people were taken with the fire-type cat, Litten. This adorable cat looked most like a traditional pet, so many were hoping it would maintain this appearance as it evolved. Sadly, Litten’s final evolution, Incineroar, stood on two legs, and many players disliked the Pokemon for what it wasn’t instead of what it was.

7 Voltorb

A Bland Design Used To Defend Modern Object Pokemon

  • Main Reason For Controversy: Considered The First Pokemon To Be Based On An Inanimate Object

With the Pokemon developers constantly in need of new Pokemon designs, they often look to the real world for inspiration. As a result, not all new Pokemon are based on animals with deep lore. Some are based on simple real-world objects, something that older fans of the franchise lament the newer games for.


25 Best Types Of Poke Balls In The Pokemon Games

Poke Balls are a crucial part of the Pokemon experience. Here are the 15 best types of Poke Balls in Nintendo’s games.

However, a common rebuttal to anyone criticizing any of these newer Pokemon is pointing out that Voltorb is a Generation 1 Pokemon that is basically a Pokeball with eyes. While this design did make it a good mimic trap in the early games, some fans consider the Pokemon to be a lazy design choice.

6 Lickilicky

An Evolution Most Fans Consider Pointless

  • Main Reason For Controversy: Many Players Do Not Think It Should Exist

The fourth generation of Pokemon added some much-needed evolved forms to older Pokemon. This is because they needed a power boost to keep up with the newer generations, or their designs could do with some more work. Lickitung from Generation 1 was one of the new Pokemon to receive an evolution later on, but it did not achieve any of the goals it intended.

For starters, Lickilicky is not much better in battle than its older form. It did not receive a new type, and its stats are not improved as much as needed. Also, the design choice for this Pokemon is almost universally mocked. Its tongue is shorter than its pre-evolution’s, and it resembles nothing more than a big, pink blob. As a result, most players find Lickilicky’s inclusion in the franchise unnecessary.

5 Alolan Dugtrio

Adding Hair To An Old Pokemon Doesn’t Make It New

  • Main Reason For Controversy: The Developers Did Little To Change The Original Design

Regional forms were added in Generation 7 as a way for the developers to breathe new life into some older Pokemon designs. Since Dugtrio is a Pokemon from Generation 1 and is considered by many to be a lazy repeat of Diglett, it was a solid contender for a new form.


Pokemon: 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Alolan Redesigns

Some Alolan redesigns were better than others. These are the strongest and weakest

Unfortunately, players did not receive a drastically new form of the lightning-fast ground type. Instead, the developers took the exact same Pokemon as before and gave it blonde hair. The added steel type that Alolan Dugtrio gains is useful, but its regional design is still considered to be underwhelming.

4 Klefki

A Pokemon That Defines The ‘It’s Just A Thing’ Statement

  • Main Reason For Controversy: Considered To Be Nothing More Than A Floating Set Of Keys With Eyes

The Pokemon team has always done a good job of giving the Pokemon based on inanimate objects a reason for existing in that universe. For instance, Banette is a possessed doll, and people in the Pokemon world got the idea for ice cream from the Pokemon, Vanillish. Then there is Klefki from Generation 6.

This steel and fairy type is a good example of a Pokemon design that many fans can point to and say, ‘it is just a thing.’ Klefki doesn’t even evolve into another more nuanced design choice, and so it is left as a boring set of floating keys with a face.

3 Lopunny

An Overly Sexualized Pokemon Design

  • Main Reason For Controversy: Should Not Be In A Game Designed For Children

Anyone familiar with the adult magazine brand, PlayBoy, has no doubt seen the company’s logo, which looks like a bunny rabbit. As such, it is not something that many parents want their children to associate with a video game.

At first glance, the design choice for Lopunny makes it obvious that the Pokemon is clearly meant to look like a normal rabbit. However, the overly long legs, humanoid face, and the placing of its arms also make this Pokemon appear to be overtly sexualized. Therefore, many fans feel uncomfortable about Lopunny appearing in a game like Pokemon.

2 Sawk & Throh

Two Standard Humans

  • Main Reason For Controversy: These Pokemon Look Too Humanoid

The Pokemon world is a place filled with unique and vibrant creatures, some of which are impossible to imagine running around in the real world. Then, there are some Pokemon that appear too normal to be used in a game. The fighting type has always had a problem with including Pokemon that appear to be humanoid, but it seems that Gamefreak gave up on giving these Pokemon distinguishing features when it came to designing Sawk and Throh in Generation 5.

These two Pokemon are meant to pay homage to the original fighting duo from Generation 1, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee. However, those two Pokemon had more of an animalistic design. Sawk and Throh just look like two normal men in bath robes, something no player wants to catch or battle with.

1 Jynx

A Pokemon That Had To Be Changed Due To Racial Controversy

  • Main Reason For Controversy: Jynx Originally Debuted In Blackface

There have been many attempts in the past to explain the way the Pokemon, Jynx, looks. However, despite people’s best efforts, there has yet to be a valid reason as to why Jynx originally debuted in the games the way it did. Jynx used to have a blackface and large pink lips, which many believed made it look like the result of an old racist stereotype. Therefore, the Pokemon developers were forced to change its color from black to purple.

This change may have avoided further accusations of racism, but the controversy surrounding Jynx remains. Plus, its bra line and decision to wear clothes in a game where it is supposed to be an animal also make some fans uncomfortable.


Every Mainline Pokemon Game’s Post-Game Content, Ranked

So the player has beaten the champion and watched the credits roll — but that doesn’t mean their Pokemon game journey is over.


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