So I’m about to go on a long trip, and as preparation, picked up Pokemon Black & White. Which naturally I began playing, because c’mon! Who waits for the road trip?
I’m about halfway through, and I am beginning to fear that they have run out of Cute.
There’s a lot of Cute in the first few Pokemon. Indeed, it is almost all cuteness. These are adorable little sprites that you catch and raise and love and make beat one another into unconsciousness. This is the premise of Pokemon.*
By Black and White, we seem to have run very low on cute. There is a whole lot of freaky and weird and peculiar, but not a great deal of cute. There’s a couple cuddly little things, including a very cranky little bug wrapped in a leaf burka and an electric flying squirrel and a rather charming little mole, but there’s also a whole lot of puzzling things, like the very angry thing that looks like a cross between a snowflake and the head of Megatron and and the weirdass thing that’s basically a body-building brain with a clown nose carrying a girder.
I never liked the humanoid pokemon. That was too damn uncanny valley. Jinx gave me the creeps, and all those mime and clown ones are just horrifying. Anybody who wanders around with a small semi-sentient clown following them, giggling and attacking people on command, ought to be locked away and given baskets to weave where they can’t hurt anybody. Fortunately there aren’t that many of those in Black & White either.
Occasionally there will be a cute thing with a very unsettling description. The little ghost carrying a mask was okay until I learned that the mask had been its face while alive and sometimes it looked at the mask and cried. Dear LORD. And the happy little candle with the waxy bangs was darling, up until I read that it is burning the life energy of its foes. (I mean, it’s still in my party! Ghost/Fire, who am I to pass that up? But still!)
I fear that in the next decade, when they release Pokemon Pink and Teal or Pokemon Plaid and Argyle or whatever, we will see a complete end to cute and it will all be really messed up little squiggles with eyeballs carrying girders.
*Various parties have pointed out that in Real Life, most of us would be appalled by Pokemon combat and would be crusading to end it. Also, the apparent lack of non-sentient food animals is disturbing.