Saturday, January 1, 2011

32. Nidoran♂

Aww lookit the adorable demonic bunny rabbit

How does Nidoran♂ have more spines and a creepier stare than Nidoran♀, but still manage to be the cuter of the two? Well, it’s all in the bunny ears. Their surface area is larger than its head. Its whole body, in fact, looks like a little potato by comparison. If you take into account the physical laws that seem to operate in the Pokemon universe regarding wing-to-body ratio (see: Charizard), Nidoran♂ should actually be capable of flight.

Gender politics have their fingerprints all over this family line. While each stage in the Nido evolutions is roughly equivalent to its opposite sex counterpart, the males all have higher speed and attack stats, while the females have higher defense and HP. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY NINTENDO? MEN ARE LESS DEFENSIVE? However, the usual equality is also undermined by the fact that Nidoran♂ gets clearly the better attacks of the two. Peck and Horn Attack? That’s not even fair.

Another thing I like about Nidoran♂ (and again I must credit Aqua Bunny for this observation) is that it's totally asymmetrical! Check the placement of spines on its ears. It's especially noticeable on the D/P sprite, or the original Sugimori artwork.

I like the idea of a creature in nature being such a thorny bramble of poison barbs that they're not even distributed evenly. Symmetry is overrated.

The Winner:
FireRed and LeafGreen

Some established criteria: Nidoran♂ sprites need to strike the right balance of evil and cute, and about half their height should be ears. Half of these do a pretty good job of meeting those criteria, which is unusually good! D/P maybe has the best pose, but its protruding tooth is too squared off; it reminds me less of a cool fang and more of a Dopefish. Gold's is one of my favourite sprites from Gold and Silver... I'm not sure why, it just has this great, dark, angular quality to it. Black and White does a pretty good job of recreating that sprite in the more current art style.

But I simply can't resist FR/LG's little potato shape. Nidoran♂ at its highest level of improbable cuteness.


  1. Between the male and female, more often than not I myself find the male cuter, but I never understood why. Well hot dog, I think I learned something new. It's in the head. Or ears. That and the female comes off as a big lump, at least in it's current design it does, which kind of absolutely sucks.

    One thing I'll personally state, though, is that I wish they'd go out of their way to show the male's cute side more often. Like this one:!B)eRDngEWk~$(KGrHqJ,!hIEv1+0Ey0jBMNmVr4qzw~~_3.JPG

    Maybe then people wouldn't be so quick to draw bony looking non-rabbit renditions of the poor creature just because it looks so scrappy (yeah yeah, I'm one to talk about artistic license, hahaha).

  2. I think I actually saw Nidoran floating by flapping his ears in Pokemon Stadium.

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