New Pokémon games means new Pokémon designs -- that's practically a given. The real question is, are they any good? Let's look at some of the highlights, shall we? Obviously, if you don't want to be spoiled on the new Pokémon, you shouldn't keep reading.
Aside from the new Mega Pokémon, the Pokémon that's caught most people's attention is Klefki, a keychain Pokémon. Yes, you read that right: a keychain Pokémon. A fairy keychain Pokémon, to be specific.
The Pokedex entry for Klefki:
And this is what it looks like in Pokemon Amie, the Nintendogs-like minigame included in X & Y that lets you develop friendship with your team:
You could say it's much in the vein of earlier Pokémon, like Rotom: inanimate objects that are somehow Pokémon (much to the dismay of folks who think Pokémon designs are getting less creative). Or, more broadly, it continues the type of Pokémon that are seemingly based on Tsukumogami -- "animate houshold objects" according to Wikipedia. The way it's supposed to work is, after a lifetime of service, tools and instruments gain souls and become alive. Hijinks ensue from there...which might explain why Klefki has an ability called "Prankster." Tsukumogami are a part of Japanese culture, which makes it seem like Pokémon such as Klefki are less the result of lack of imagination at Game Freak than some people would think.
Yes, this is me defending a Pokémon that's a keyring. Because god damn it, it's kind of ridiculous, and that's exactly what makes it notable (same thing with the ice cream cone Pokémon, and the Pokémon that's made of garbage). Meanwhile, you look back at, like, the original 3 starters and they're just a bunch of turtles. Turtles! Dude. C'mon. Stuff like that can't be the standard to which we hold other Pokémon to!
Well, regardless of whether or not you take its design seriously, you probably will take its battle prowess seriously. Some of the tougher trainers in X & Y have a Klefki, and it's fully capable of wrecking your shit. The first time I went up against one, that's what happened. I almost got destroyed. Hence, I suppose, memes like this one posted by foolishfox on Reddit:
Actually, it's been a lot of fun to see people's reaction to the Pokémon. We've got some cute fan-art, like this illustration by gossungossungossun on Tumblr that puts adorable charms on Klefki:
Of course Klefki is not the only new Pokémon! It just happens to be the one that's gaining the most attention, outside of the Megas. Let's talk about some of the other designs, shall we?
First, one of the final evolutions of the new starters -- Greninja. What's notable about Greninja is its scarf...which seems to also be its tongue, maybe? Here's a rendition by Xous54 on deviantART, where you can see what I mean:
I'm not even gonna bother looking at Tumblr reactions for this Pokémon thanks to that tongue scarf. Shudder.
Moving on, we've also got another inanimate object that somehow is a Pokémon -- Honedge.
OK so. I'm all for Pokémon like this, and Honedge's final evolution is one of the raddest Pokémon ever (it can go from blade form to shield form!). But, like...it's kind of unsettling. I don't want my Pokémon to be hit by a blade, that seems unfair! What the hell?
Seems kind of dangerous, in fact. eyepatch.fireball imagines this scenario over at Tumblr:
Nevermind trying to befriend it on Amie, based on this video by porkjello on Tumblr:
Another Pokémon that seems to have captured people's attention is Goomy. Part of it is the goofy name. Part of it is the goofy design -- look at that smile! It's kind of just...a blob thing? Could be confused for a brain slug of sorts?
Overall, people seem to be in love with this Pokémon...so much so that some folk, like shinozomi on Tumblr, are catching entire boxes of this Pokémon:
Could it be that it's brainwashing us?
Whatever it is, it's caught on -- anywhere you see talk of Goomy, people keep saying Goomy is life, god, love. Everything, you name it.
Let's end on a less bizarre one, shall we? A definite highlight of the new Pokémon has to be Hawlucha, a Pokémon that's basically a bird crossed with a Lucha Libre fighter. It's rather creative, I think. Here's a rendition that looks like actual Pokémon artwork, drawn by icaro382 on deviantART:
Rad. Overall, I can't even point to any Pokemon in X & Y that I dislike -- even the arguably horrible designs are notable in some way to me.
What about you, do you have any favourite new Pokémon? Or Pokémon that you absolutely hate? Make a case for 'em in the comments. And if you're curious...there are no Megas in this post, because we'll be discussing Megas more closely later this week. Stay tuned.