I have never made it a secret that I am a huge fan of Pokémon, a franchise which got me into both gaming and anime. And naturally that means that for each Generation of Pokémon there will be some which I like more than others. In honour of the upcoming Generation VIII, on this blog I will be listing my favourite Pokémon from Generations I-VII. Note that these are favourites, therefore these are not necessarily the best for competitive battling, and to make the list slightly more challenging I have restricted myself to one Pokémon per evolutionary family.
Kicking off this list is a Pokémon whose place in my Top 10 is due to its role in the anime. Togepi became the first Generation II Pokémon to appear in the anime, hatching from an Egg around midway through the Kanto saga, and signalling to us kids of the late-1990s that Pokémon may just be around for a long time to come. It became a Walking Pokémon under Misty’s care, often getting into mischief, and we the fans of the anime came to love Togepi due to it having real character and an absolutely adorable design.
As the Generation II Mythical Pokémon, it only makes sense that Celebi was a Pokémon shrouded in mystery when Generation II came into being, and it resultantly came to prominence when it served as the central Pokémon to the fourth film. Do not let its adorable design fool you, Celebi is a powerful Pokémon in battle, and also plays to a long-standing science-fiction concept – time travel. As a Pokémon which can time-travel, Celebi left us OG Pokémon fans awestruck, as we realised that there may well be no limit to what Pokémon could be created.
It is crazy to think that the adorable Teddiursa evolves into this fierce and ferocious Pokémon, but it sure does. Boasting great attack power, Ursaring is a terrific addition to any team, particularly as its already high attack power takes a phenomenal boost whenever it gets afflicted by a status ailment, making it easy for it to one-hit-KO multiple consecutive opponents. In the anime, Ursaring has made a number of appearances and usually serves as a source of threat to Ash and his friends; although, most notably, Ash’s Sinnoh rival Paul has one, which was among the major powerhouses of his team.
The Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon of Generation II, Tyranitar is a great asset to any team due to its durability, and excellent attack and defence stats. It is an extremely powerful creature with a very fierce design that has led to many considering it one of the most awesome Generation II Pokémon. Tyranitar has made a number of anime appearances – notably one was the mother of a Larvitar which Ash briefly looked after during his Johto journey, one was used as the main Pokémon of The Iron Masked Marauder (antagonist of the fourth film), while Ash’s Kalos rival Alain also has one.
Of the Legendary Beasts, none is more awesome than Entei. That is not just down to its excellent design, but also because (like a Legendary Pokémon should be) it is a powerhouse Pokémon that is a great addition to a Pokémon team. Speedy, powerful and with access to a phenomenal variety of moves, Entei is one of the best Fire-types out there. Fans of the anime remember it best for its key role in the third film (where it had an awesome battle against Ash’s Charizard), while a Shiny one later appeared in the thirteenth film, and another briefly appeared in the twentieth.
Box art Pokémon for Silver Version, the Legendary Lugia is the Guardian of the Seas and Trio Master to the Legendary Birds of Generation I. Lugia can be seen as a wonderful example of a balanced Pokémon (for real lack of a better phrase), as it is an absolute powerhouse in battles (not least because of its incredible defensive stats), yet it is also an incredibly calming influence upon other Pokémon. It first made its mark several months before the release of the Generation II games by being the central Pokémon to the second film. A parent and child Lugia-duo played a key role in the Whirl Islands adventure of the anime’s Johto saga, while other Lugia have appeared in the eighteenth and twenty-first films.
Look, do not get me wrong, I prefer the Generation I Starters by a country mile, but I have also always loved the Generation II Starter Pokémon a lot (in my defence, I was 8-years-old when Generation II arrived in the UK). Chikorita won a place in my heart at a young age due to its adorable design, and a calm nature which perfectly compliments its ability to calm angry or distressed Pokémon. In the anime, Ash caught one in Johto, which had a lot of personality and evolved into Bayleef; while Casey, Vincent and Lyra each had one as their Starter, the former two evolving their’s all the way into Meganium.
Totodile’s reason for being one of my favourite Generation II Pokémon is the same as my reason for Chikorita being one, although in Totodile’s case I developed a soft spot for it at a young age due to the fact that it had the coolest design of any of the Generation II Starters. The fact that its design shouts “fierce” beautifully contrasts the fact that it is a very playful and friendly Pokémon. In the anime, Ash caught one with a heck of a lot of personality in Johto; while Marina and Khoury each had one as their Starter, before evolving them to Feraligatr and Croconaw respectively.
Cyndaquil’s reason for being one of my favourite Generation II Pokémon is the same reason for Chikorita and Totodile making the list, although where Cyndaquil differs is that it is always my first choice of Starter when playing Generation II games (and their remakes), due to the considerable number of type-advantages it has in Gym battles. I also developed a soft spot for it as an 8-year-old due to its adorable design, I will be honest about that, but being adorable never stops it from being a tough cookie. In the anime, Ash caught a Cyndaquil in Johto and Dawn hatched one in Sinnoh, both of which eventually evolved into Quilava, while Jimmy got one as his Starter that evolved into Typhlosion eventually.
Umbreon is not only one of the original Cross-Generation evolutions, being an evolved form of Eevee, but is the original pure Dark-type. When Generation II was gradually being revealed to the Western world almost 20 years ago, the concept of the brand new Dark-type intrigued us OG Pokémon fans, and for me it has become one of my favourite types. Umbreon is ultimately the most iconic Dark-type due to being the OG, and has an absolutely awesome design, while it is an excellent Pokémon to use in tactical battling. Whenever I think Generation II, Umbreon is the first Pokémon that I think of, ergo it is my favourite of that Generation. In the anime, Ash’s rivals Gary, Virgil and Gladion have each evolved one from an Eevee and had it as a core team member.