Surprise Pokemon Wins Google's Pokemon of the Year Contest

Greninja became the first Pokemon to take home Google's Pokemon of the Year contest. The evolved Water-type Starter Pokemon of the Kalos region beat popular Pokemon like Gengar, Charizard, and others to take this year's inaugural title. Google announced the winner of its contest today as part of the festivities for Pokemon Day, an annual celebration of the founding of the Pokemon franchise. Other major announcements included the reveal of the new mythical Pokemon Zarude.

Pokemon fans voted for an approximately two week stretch earlier in February, picking one Pokemon from each "generation" of games. Because of the how the votes were tallied, it's arguable that Greninja is only the most popular Pokemon compared to its generational peers, especially as Greninja only had to compete with 76 other Pokemon in its generation compared to other Pokemon that had to compete with up to 155 other Pokemon. However, Google is the one who made the rules, and thus we have no choice but to stan Greninja as this year's Pokemon of the year.

Lucario finished in second place, Mimikyu came in third, and Charizard came in fourth. The Eevee evolutions Umbreon and Sylveon finished in fifth and sixth place, while Garchomp came in seventh. Rounding out the top 10 were Rayquaza, Gardevoir, and Gengar. Other notable placements were Bulbasaur in 13th place, the highest of any basic Starter Pokemon, Pikachu in 19th place, and Eevee in 20th place.

Surprisingly, this isn't the first time Greninja has won an overall popularity contest. The Pokemon Company had a popularity contest in Japan back in 2016, where Greninja also beat out all competitors. Unlike this poll, the 2016 contest didn't have any qualifiers, so Greninja seems to have an enduring popularity among fans.

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A full list of the rankings can be found on the Japanese Pokemon website.