Pokemon Execs Explain Why Water Starters Are the Hardest to Create

Pokemon has amassed an army of well over 800 creatures, and the series will only make more as times goes on. With the franchise preparing to debut its next generation of pocket monsters, fans are buzzing about the starters of Pokemon Sword and Shield. After all, the trio have become a quick favorite with fans, but there are some who critiqued the group for being a bit formulaic which was apparently intentional.

After all, in a past interview, two longtime designers on Pokemon did confirm they have a bit of a formula for each region's starters. The rules are what help make each trio feel familiar, but it seems the formula is not infallible. The pair admit it is always hard to come up with a Water-type monster, but they make it work.

As Ken Sugimori put it, the way the starter Pokemon are created is "usually very similar." The designs can't closely resemble any other pocket monsters, and their motifs have to suit their element type. However, when it comes to Water, Sugimori says the team always struggles.

"We come up with all kinds of ideas, but if the motif isn't well suited to a Water type, it's easy for the creature to end up looking strange," Takao Unno said. "It can also happen with the Grass starter - for example, it's weird if we end up with a Pokemon that's just a dog with leaves growing out of it."


As the artists explain, each monster must be uniquely suited to the types they are representing. It turns out Water-type creatures are the hardest to pinpoint without being repetitive, but The Pokemon Company has nailed all of their attempts so far. In fact, Sobble became an instant hit with Pokemon fans after making its debut months ago, so Sugimori's team did a job well done for the Galar Region. Now, the team can start brainstorming ideas for the next generation because it sounds like they're going to need some time to nail down a concept!

Which of Pokemon's Water starters is your favorite? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

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