Coming up with numerous fictional monsters is hard work. There are only so many permutations of wings, teeth, claws and tails that you can draw to create a monster artwork.
The developers of Pokemon turned to lots of sources to assist their creativity of developing these monsters. Some Pokemon is thinly veiled versions of real animals. However, others are drawn based on the inspiration from myths and legend around the world.
Here are 10 Pokemon that are inspired by myths and legends.
Ninetails is a fire Pokemon which evolves from Vulpix. Vulpes is the Latin name for “fox”. Ninetails is rather more difficult to understand except for its obvious nine tails. The Pokedex entry informs us that Ninetails utilises its sinister red eyes to get total mastery over its foe’s mind.
Kitsune is the common Japanese word for “fox” and it is also commonly referred to the types of Japanese spirit which take the form or image of a fox. As they age, these kitsune grow additional tails. When they grow nine tails, they turn white. This is why Vulpix develops into the white Ninetails.
Golurk is vast Automaton Pokemon. They are stated to have been produced by ancient individuals with the goal of protecting human beings and Pokemon alike. They look artificial and are marked by strange angular signs.
In Jewish folklore, the Jews of Prague were suffering persecutions. To help the people, a rabbi developed a golem, which is a huge clay figure. He animated this golem by giving it mystical signs.
This golem then acted as a protector for the Jews of Prague. Many figurines show the golem with patchwork braces holding it together, which resemble those borne by Golurk.
Whiscash is a Generation III Pokemon. This water and ground type Pokemon looks like a large catfish with enormous barbells, the “hairs” from which it takes its name. The Pokedex entry for it explains the Pokemon as incredibly territorial. When threatened, it will trigger earthquakes by thrashing around.
Namazu is a figure from Japanese mythology. Namazu is among a number of mischievous spirits that cause catastrophes such as earthquakes. Interestingly, this spirit reveals himself in the disguise of a huge catfish.
Espeon is a catlike, psychic Pokemon whose main distinction is from a feline except for its split in its tail. They are stated to be extremely protective and loyal to their owners.
Bakeneko is Japanese spirits and they start as normal felines. As they start to age, they start to walk on their hind legs. Bakeneko can light their way with their fiery tails along with start blazes with them. Bakeneko might even have the capability to alter their shape into a human kind to cause more chaos. The most distinctive are Bakeneko’s split tail.
Another legendary animal has more than a passing similarity to Espeon. When Europeans reached South America, they hunted an animal called a Carbuncle. This animal was said to be just like a feline and pet dog. However, it has a gem in the middle of its forehead, just like Espeon.
Zapdos is another of the famous birds of the Pokemon universe. As its Zappy name suggests, this Pokemon is an electric type that drops bolts of lightning onto its opponents. The Pokedex informs us that Zapdos lives in thunderclouds and controls lightning.
The Zapdos closely resembles the Native American folklore, Thunderbird. The Thunderbird develops the noise of thunder by flapping its wings and is so large that it snatches whales from the ocean, just like how eagles catch their fishes.
Mawile is noted as a Deceiver Pokemon and it has a placid, docile face. Hidden right behind its head is a monstrous set of jaws, waiting to devour its opponents. Behind the Pokemon is an equally hazardous legend that ought to teach us to always treat our loved ones well.
Futakuchi-onna is a female who has a ravenous mouth concealing beneath her hair.
In some legends, she is a shape-shifting demon. However, in other legends, she is a lady who has not been offered enough to eat. This hunger eventually becomes the advancement of the mouth on the back of her head. To feed this brand-new void, her hair functions as prehensile tentacles which bring food to it.
Shiftry is a Dark or Grass Pokemon that makes its appearance in the Generation III video games. Shiftry resides in ancient trees and utilise their fanlike hands, which are made from leaves, to blast their opponents with the wind.
Act as forest guardians, they have psychic powers which make them able to read their opponents’ minds.
Tengu is long-nosed Japanese goblins who reside in forests and mountains. Tengu fills the traditional trickster function that folklores seem to have and they have psychic capabilities.
Forest Tengu have been known to tear apart those that damage trees and woods because they live in the forest. Some Tengu holds a fan in one hand, which they use to develop ravaging winds. They are also revealed to wear geta, a type of sandal which closely looks like Shiftry’s feet.
Pikachu is a cute and cuddly “electric rat” which starred in the Pokemon anime series. Pikachu develops into the less charming Raichu, though it still keeps its electrical powers.
Thunder and lightning are such awesomely effective things which have actually inspired folklores around the world. For the Japanese, the power behind lightning was Raiju, the thunder beast.
Raiju is a four-legged mammalian animal which looks very much like a wolf. It also controls the forces of lightning.
Ho-Oh is a legendary Pokemon, a firebird that is stated to appear only to the pure hearted. It flashes its colourful wings and lives at the bottom of a rainbow.
A firebird? Many countries have the myth of the phoenix.
The phoenix is a magical bird that delivers by igniting and being reborn from the ashes. In China and Japan, the phoenix is a sign of the emperor. The Asian phoenix is one of the four Celestial Guardians of the Direction. In China, the bird was understood as Fenghuang. In Japan, it took the name Ho-o.
Magikarp is among the most aggravating Pokemon from the original video game. It prevails and virtually useless. The Pokedex itself describes this Pokemon as “worthless.”
However, when Magikarp evolved, it becomes a terrifying and powerful Gyarados, which is a dragon.
According to legend, Dragon’s Gate is where a waterfall flows down from the top of the mountain to the bottom. While lots of carp swim against the water currents, few would arrive and leap over the Dragon’s Gate. Those that do make the jump into the Dragon’s Gate are changed into massive and powerful dragons.