With Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! releasing at midnight (EST) tonight, we thought it would be fun to pump out some Pokémon content. Last week, I went over My Five Favorite Eeveelutions as a part of this. That’s why I now want to discuss something related to the most popular Pokémon: Pikachu.
Most, if not all Pokémon fans, love Pikachu. How could you not? The little electric mouse is just the perfect blend of cute and cool. Pokémon developers Game Freak love it so much that they’ve made a tradition of creating a new electric rodent Pokémon with each new region. Though not as popular as the original, these Pikachu clones earned a spot in the fan base in their own iconic way. Similarly to my Eeveelution article, I will go over my favorites of these clones in a non-competitive aspect. As always, keep in mind that this list is opinion-base and therefore may not line up perfectly with your choices. With that out of the way, here are my five favorite Pikachu clones.
When I originally saw Dedenne, I didn’t know how to feel about it. It had some cute aspects, but overall it reminded me of a miniature, deformed Raichu. I’m sure its hamster-like appearance won some over, but not me. It wasn’t until I found out Dedenne’s typing that I started to appreciate it more. At the time, an Electric/Fairy type was unique in the games. It made Dedenne unique in battle, and I enjoyed using it. I also loved using Nuzzle on my opponents and paralyzing them. Perhaps what sold me the most on Dedenne was the anime. Every time Deddene used Nuzzle, I thought it was adorable and couldn’t get enough. Overall, though it definitely is not my favorite clone, Dedenne has grown on me.
Pachirisu made its debut in generation 4: a time where the concept of a Pikachu clone was still relatively new. What made Pachirisu special, however, involved its design. Before then, most Pikachu clones felt like rehashes of the classic mouse basis. However, Pachirisu’s design revolves around a squirrel, which felt like a breath of fresh air on the idea of electric rodents. It showed that a Pikachu clone doesn’t have to exclusively originate from mice. The squirrel Pokémon also introduced me to the move Discharge. In both the games and the anime, Discharge seemed like such a powerful move that I had to use it myself. Pachirisu made me appreciate Electric type moves a bit more, and I thank it for that.
I remember encountering Emolga in the wild and thinking “Is that a flying Pachirisu?”, and I was right in a sense. While Emogla felt like a reiteration of Pachirisu, the Electric/Flying typing separated it form other Pikachu clones. With its new immunity to ground-type moves, Emolga had a certain advantage over other electric rodent pokemon. This, combined with its cool black, white, and yellow color scheme drew me to it. Though I personally never clicked with Emolga battle-wise, I enjoy its basis and design enough that it earns the third spot on this list.
Ah, Plusle and Minun, perhaps the first set of true Pikachu clones. Not only did these two set the premise of non-Pikachu related electric rodents, but they also further diverged as counterparts to each other. I always found the premise of Plusle and Minun containing positive and negative charges respectively fascinating. It just proves how far Game Freak will go in terms of concept and design. Though each one’s design alone feels bland to me, as a set, it works well. The fact that they also helped begin the Pikachu clone tradition wins them some points in my book.
I truly feel that the newest addition to the Pickachu clone family has the most diverse and interesting concept and design. Togedemaru gets its origins from the hedgehog, and while we’ve already seen hedgehog-Pokémon, it manages to show a new take on this idea. The Electric/Steel typing and the premise that Togedemaru acts as an electric rod to use electricity shows careful planning on Game Freak’s part. Also, I enjoy the roundish-metal ball body type they went for. It adds a nice touch to its cuteness. All this, plus finding Togedemaru’s name fun to say, push it to the top of my favorite Pikachu clones.
What are your favorite Pikachu Clones? Let us know in the comments below! If you want more Pokémon content, check out our articles on Detective Pikachu So Far: The Good and the Bad and Features The Next Generation Of Pokemon Should Take From Let’s Go. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things gaming!
Oscar is a writer for Culture of Gaming. He is an aspiring video game journalist that follows anything and everything Nintendo. His favorite franchises consist of Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts.