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It’s been observed that each new generation of Pokémon incites to critics complain about how much the designs suck, especially compared to the first-generation characters, long considered the gold standard.
Today, the Internet met the three starter Pokémon for the upcoming Sun and Moon games and immediately gave the poor li’l cuties more than enough reason to run screaming back into their pokéballs.
Look at this misbegotten creature. It’s called Rowlet, clearly created while its designer was craving a delicious cinnamon roll:
It’s a total nerd that’s gonna get bullied:
i want to shove that owl nerd into a locker
— tiny floofer (@PontiusPyrite) May 10, 2016
And that’s the best one! People actually kind of like it!
Litten, the catlike fire-starter, has suffered a bunch of obvious “it’s lit!” jokes and one very undignified comparison to Shadow the Hedgehog.
The new sea lion Pokémon, Popplio, has taken the biggest bashing, and is far, far behind the other two in popularity polls. But again, that’s nothing new. Remember what happened to Oshawott, the water starter from Black and White? It’s an accepted part of the canon now, but it was heavily dumped on by armchair Pokémon designers when it debuted.
Over on video games forum neogaf, someone compared all three of the “disappointing” new Pokémon to that most disappointing of Sunday comic strips, Garfield. This burn is extremely sick and should be treated by a doctor immediately.
— Zalman (@enterzalman) May 10, 2016
We could at least wait until we see their evolutions to pass judgment, though, right?
Meanwhile, brands struggle—as per usual—to turn the Pokémon reveal into #marketing #content. Big ups to Arby’s and to the nation of Canada for particularly forced attempts.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.