Unlike in Nintendo’s Pokémon games where legendary Pokémon are so exceedingly rare that most people question whether or not they actually exist, the unique creatures make rather frequent appearances in the franchise’s anime television shows and films, where they’re featured as being integral parts of special stories.
Usually, legendary Pokémon are depicted as being uber powerful as part of the reason average trainers aren’t able to catch them and why they end up becoming involved in world-altering events. But a relatively new legendary Pokémon’s first debut in a recent episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon came with a surprising revelation about another species.
Sun & Moon has taken the Pokémon anime series into some odd yet fun new territory that’s likely to seem strange to anyone who hasn’t kept up with the games, but all you really need to know is that Ash and Pikachu are currently hanging out in Alola, a tropical region loosely based on the Hawaiian islands, and some of the legendary Pokémon in the area are extra-dimensional beings known as Ultra Beasts.
Because the process of crossing over from Ultra Space into Ash’s dimension tends to disorient Ultra Beasts, when they arrive they typically go on violent rampages, necessitating a team of expert Pokémon trainers called the Ultra to seek them out and attempt to force them back into their home dimension.
In “Beauty and Nyarth!”, Ash and the Ultra Guardians must investigate when the insectoid Ultra Beast Pheromosa is detected in the area and begins stealing Z-Crystals (Pokémon really has become complicated) from various trainers.
At one point, Phermosa crosses paths with Team Rocket and, in its hunt for Z-Crystals, it ends up destroying the den belonging to a wild Bewear and her cub Stufful, a move that the Ultra Beast ultimately comes to regret. While Bewear is a relatively common Pokémon in both the games and the anime, the species is canonically known for being dangerous to humans because of its deceptively cute appearance. From Bewear’s Pokémon Ultra Sun Pokédex entry:
It waves its hands wildly in intimidation and warning. Life is over for anyone who doesn’t run away as fast as possible.
In Pokémon Sun & Moon, a female Bewear’s developed an odd fondness for Team Rocket, resulting in her taking them into her den as one of their own, and when she discovers her home in ruins following Pheromosa’s attack, she sets out on the warpath. In most instances of a regular Pokémon fighting a legendary, the former is summarily trounced in battle because of the assumed imbalance in power sets. But when Bewear finds Pheromosa, it quickly becomes clear that the species’ reputation is far from hyperbolic. Despite Pheromosa (a Bug/Fighting monster) having a type advantage over Bewear (Normal/Fighting), Bewear easily beats the crap out of a shocked Pheromosa, scoops Team Rocket up, and runs off into the distance to get back to its Bewear business.
Without Bewear’s help, it’s unlikely the Ultra Guardians would have been able to defeat Pheromosa because that’s just how anime works. If Ash were a properly sensible trainer, he’d come away from the experience realising that if he really wanted to become a true Pokémon master, his time might be better spent trying to catch the bear Pokémon — but when has that kid ever made sensible decisions about his future?