All Pokémon Graded, Part 12: Nos. 111 to 120 (Rhyhorn to Staryu)

After a seven-month hiatus, welcome back to All Pokémon Graded, the feature that seeks to empirically quantify the goodness (or badness) of your favorite Pokémon. Inspired by the massive success of Pokémon GO, I’ve decided to strike while the iron is hot and return to a format a handful of people really enjoyed. Also, with the imminent release of Pokémon Sun & Moon standing a good chance of boosting the total Pokémon count above 800, I’ve decided to drop the “720” and just call it “All Pokémon Graded”. Anyway, in this installment, it’s mother’s day.
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250px-111rhyhorn111. Rhyhorn
Type: Ground / Rock
Best Name: Sihorn (Japanese)
This Pokémon looks like its body is made entirely of bone fissures, which sounds incredibly painful. In XY, the protagonist’s mother is a famous Rhyhorn racer. This sounds unfathomably boring, mostly because they look like they have a top speed of “galumph”. I was going to pick on it some more, but I feel bad because I looked at its Pokédex entries and a lot of them make note of its small brain and how “inept” it is at turning. C+
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250px-112rhydon112. Rhydon
Type: Ground / Rock
Best Name: English
Bulbasaur may have the honor of being number 1 in the National Dex, but Rhydon is the #001 of Pokémon creation order. That’s right, Rhydon is the OG Pokémon, and deserves your respect thusly. Its shiny variation is a nice gentle creme color that I really like. Rhydon, like Onix, is another victim of the anime’s awful habit of breaking established type relationships to give Pikachu even more time in the limelight. Normally ground types are totally immune to electric attacks, but they gave its horn some baloney “lightning rod” quality so Pikachu could take Blaine’s Rhydon down easily. It was a pretty cool Pokémon to begin with, but it gets a heaping helping of bonus sympathy points for that rigmarole. A-
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250px-113chansey113. Chansey
Type: Normal
Best Name: Lucky (Japanese)
Chansey has always been kind of a paragon of motherhood in the Pokémon series, what with its marsupial-like egg pouch and constancy at the side of anime fixture Nurse Joy. Full-time maternity hasn’t stopped it from a healthy side career in trolling, however, as it’s notoriously the hardest to catch in the original game’s Safari Zone. Name sounds like a type of English accent. B
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250px-114tangela114. Tangela
Type: Grass
Best Name: Monjara (Japanese)
Tangela might look a hot mess, but it can see and it can walk without tripping over itself, so maybe we should just be happy for it and mind our beeswax. Induces a sudden strange craving for gummi worms. B-
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250px-115kangaskhan115. Kangaskhan
Type: Normal
Best Name: English
Another parent Pokémon; one wonders how Tangela managed to insinuate itself between them in Pokédexical order. Only Pokémon named after an extremely violent Mongolian warlord, which informs its temperament and surely must count for something. Highly noteworthy Mega form, in which the baby pops out of the pouch to fight alongside the parent. ULTRA-CUTE. B+
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250px-116horsea116. Horsea
Type: Water
Best Name: Hypotrempe (French)
One of those tiny Pokémon that one is amazed to learn doesn’t just spend its entire day getting its butt kicked. Japanese name is “Tattu”, which derives from a term for “seahorse” that translates to “illegitimate child of a dragon”. I don’t know about you, but I’m functionally twelve years old, so that little tidbit means I will be naming every Horsea I capture from here on out “Bastard”. No word on whether said name is also a nod to its side gig as part of a Russian lesbian synthpop duo. C+
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250px-117seadra117. Seadra
Type: Water
Best Name: English
Seadra is an utterly forgettable Pokémon. Who wants to hang on to a Horsea until level 32 just to get a plain old water Pokémon that’s been outclassed several times over by the time you finally encounter it. One thing I do like about it is its Red/Blue sprite, which has an aerodynamic quality that, in a weird way, evokes the difference between the rubbery Klasky-Csupo era of The Simpsons and its lifeless current design. I’m impressed that they managed to remember it fondly enough to give it a pretty cool evolution later on down the road, because I sure couldn’t have done that. D+
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250px-118goldeen118. Goldeen
Type: Water
Best Name: Konchi (Korean)
Magikarp may take a fair amount of flak for being a floppy useless trash heap (more on that in the next ten), but in my mind Goldeen takes that title, even with the horn on its head providing some reasonable off-type offense. What was more disappointing than opening a Pokéball in Super Smash Bros. Melee and watching a Goldeen flounder on the ground not damaging anything? Looks like it has the integrity of a wet Kleenex. It wigs me out when I see it in a battle and it’s just floating in midair like that creepy Ghost of Christmas Past in The Muppet Christmas Carol. C-
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250px-119seaking119. Seaking
Type: Water
Best Name: Azumao (Japanese)
I think the general internet populace might remember Seaking, to the extent that they remember it at all, from the meme “F— Yeah Seaking”. By meme standards, “F— Yeah Seaking” is improbably ancient, beginning on 4chan in April 2007, making it only slightly more relevant than Chuck Norris jokes. Notably, it was the first of many Tumblrs to use the “f___yeah[insert thing here]” subdomain, so that nets it a few internet history points. Assuming “Goldeen” is a combination of “gold” and “queen”, that implies that a king evolves from a queen and thus is the superior form of monarch, undoing all that wonderful stage-two equality established by Nidoking and Nidoqueen. F— YEAH UNFORTUNATE IMPLICATIONS, SEAKING. B-
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250px-120staryu120. Staryu
Type: Water
Best Name: Sterndu (German)
I’m not proud to admit this, but my primary remembrance of Staryu concerns its appearance on a trading card of prurient interest, that being “Misty’s Tears” from 2000’s Gym Challenge expansion. I vividly recall rumors swirling about the adolescent sphere of a card where Misty bared all, and I remember being gobsmacked that they actually turned out to be true. This is one of those cases, however, where Western puritanism actually produced a better work, as the close-up of Misty crying with a Squirtle wiping away her tears is much cuter and more emotionally effective. Aside from that, I have nothing to say about Staryu itself, other than I don’t appreciate it staring into my soul with its featureless, implacable gem eye. C
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Next time: Starmie to Gyarados

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