A Pokemon Sun and Moon trailer meant to be shown off tomorrow by Game Freak has recently leaked, reports Serebii, and it provides some very tantalizing information and possibly game-changing information about the “forgotten” Pokemon, Raichu.
Perhaps the most exciting bit of information revealed in the leak, which included a few new Pokemon and the evil team leaders, is the announcement of an Alola form Raichu. The new Raichu form is electric/psychic type and has the ability “Surge Surfer,” which looks to double the Pokemon’s speed when Electric Terrain is active. The Pokemon’s originally very pointy and contrasting black-and-yellow features are softened, both in terms of color and in terms of edge design. In the words of Pokemon-themed YouTube content creator TyranitarTube, Alolan Raichu “looks less electric-like and looks like it gave more room for it to become a psychic type” in comparison to The Pokemon Company’s original Raichu design.
— NOBODY (@Barbaric_K) August 11, 2016
Pokemon fans familiar with more of the main series games than only generations one and two may be even more surprised by the announcement of Alolan Raichu than they would if it were any other Pokemon. The reason for this is that, ever since Pichu was added in generation two, The Pokemon Company has done everything in their power to make the public forget about the other Pokemon in Pikachu’s evolutionary line in an attempt to give Pikachu — who, according to Polygon, is one of the best-known fictional characters on Earth — more of the spotlight.
There are many examples of things The Pokemon Company included in the anime or the main series games that urge Pokemon fans not to evolve their Pikachus. Take the fact that Ash, the anime’s protagonist, refuses to evolve his Pikachu, or the fact that the Pikachu players received as a starter Pokemon in Pokemon Yellow was unable to evolve, or the presence of about five different custom costumes that Pikachu could wear during Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s Pokemon contests. Or, possibly the most infamous example, the main series games’ inclusion of the light ball, a hold item that can only be held by Pikachu and raises the Pokemon’s attack and special attack stats to game-breaking levels.
The Pokemon Company’s insistence on including a single-stage Pikachu imitator Pokemon in every generation from the third on (Plusle/Minun, Pachirisu, Emolga, Dedenne) is another great example of their lack of love for Raichu, as it implies that “the electro-rodents were meant to be single-stage deals. Forget the evolution from generation one.”
— Lister Fiend (@RunsWithOtter) November 14, 2014
That is not even to mention the ceaseless promotion that Pikachu has seen over the past 20 years as The Pokemon Company’s official mascot. And although basically everyone, Pokemon fan or not, has had that iconic smiling yellow face with round red cheeks, twinkling black eyes, and pointy ears shoved at them countless amounts of times, Raichu has been, for all intents and purposes, left out in the cold.
It has, in fact, become somewhat of a running joke on Pokemon community forums such as Moar Powah how much of a “forgotten middle child” Raichu has become.
Now Raichu finally gets his time in the sun, no pun intended, as the announcement of his Alola form is the headliner for almost every article about the leaked info from the trailer.
Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu! Who's your favorite?? pic.twitter.com/QAj02vapAA
— Josey Lee (@BuhtPrincess3) August 8, 2016
Questions abound, though. Does the announcement of Alolan Raichu in turn confirm the inclusion of Alolan Pikachu? How about Alolan Pichu? Will Alolan Raichu get the benefit of extraordinarily powerful stats or a great ability to make up for his many years of being relegated to the cellar? Will Pokemon Sun and Moon players have a good enough motive to obtain Raichu to outweigh the Pikachu-exclusive benefits Game Freak has already added to the games? In short, can Raichu’s reign atop his own evolutionary line last?
Pokemon fans will more than likely find out more about Raichu’s Alolan form when the new Pokemon Sun and Moon trailer is officially released tomorrow (August 12) at 9:00PM EST that will help to answer some of these questions.
[Image by Moxie2D/Deviantart]