Information, Thoughts, & Analysis on Pokémon Sun and Moon

The Pokémon Company recently revealed a trailer for the upcoming games in the Pokémon series: Sun and Moon.  I will share my thoughts and analyses on what the trailer and official website had to offer, including information on starters, legendaries, gameplay, and region.  Please share any thoughts or excitement you may have about anything Generation VII in the comments below!

Pokemon Starters.jpg
Introducing the Pokemon Starters: Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio!

Rowlet: The Grass Starter

Rowlet is this generation’s grass starter and is actually a dual-type, Grass/Flying.  Its typing makes sense since it’s an owl Pokemon.  More notably, we haven’t seen a dual-type base starter since Bulbasaur’s Grass/Poison typing.  While this may seem to take away speculation regarding what types its evolutions will be, there has been precedence for Pokemon changing types upon evolving.  For instance, Scyther switches its secondary typing from Flying to Steel when it becomes Scizor, and Fletchling goes from Normal/Flying to Fire/Flying when it becomes Fletchinder.  I’d be fine if Rowlet remained Grass/Flying, which would hopefully make it a better version of Generation II’s Jumpluff or Generation III’s Tropius, but usable in official battles unlike the mythical legendary Pokemon Shaymin.

Rowlet
Introducing your Grass starter for Pokemon Sun and Moon, Rowlet!

The official site lists some interesting tidbits about Rowlet, likely from its Pokedex entries.  This excerpt from Rowlet’s page is particularly interesting:

Rowlet can attack without making a sound! It flies silently through the skies, drawing near to its opponent without being noticed, and then lashing out with powerful kicks. It can also attack from a distance using the razor-sharp leaves that form part of its feathers.

Pokédex entries are usually fluff entries that don’t actually describe what the Pokémon can do in game, but instead make up legends or tall tales about the Pokémon.  This entry is interesting because it makes Rowlet seem like a flying ninja.  While it’s probable that this excerpt doesn’t mean much, there is a chance that this predicts what kind of Pokemon Rowlet will evolve into, perhaps something along the lines of Greninja merged with a Sceptile and Noctowl.  Its other entry talks about it turning its head 180 degrees which further emphasizes its owl resemblance.  Rowlet actually does this as part of an animation in the trailer.  Its first Grass move, Leafage, is a brand new attack that appears to strike Pokémon with leaves, presumably made from its own feather quills.  Though this sounds like another established Grass move, Razor Leaf, the trailer shows that it more resembles several homed shots of leaves aimed towards the opponent as opposed to a barrage of leaves.  The other starter’s moves include Ember and Water Gun, which are both weaker moves with a base power of 40.  This suggests that Leafage may be the base power 40 version of Razor Leaf.

Rowlet 2
Rowlet is too cute.

Rowlet’s name seems to be a pun of “owlet,” which is a name for a baby owl.  Its Japanese name, Mokuroh, is likely also a pun of “moku” (wood) and “fukurou” (owl).  Rowlet looks like a round baby owl with a leaf bowtie.  Although I don’t typically pick the grass starter, Rowlet might just be my first one due to its overwhelming cuteness and potential.  For fun, these are what come to mind when I look at Rowlet.

Kikwi.png
Kikwi from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Blathers.png
Blathers from Animal Crossing – He even has the same green bow tie!

Litten: The Fire Starter

Litten is a fire kitten starter with a black body and red whiskers, leg markings, and face markings.  It starts out as a plain Fire starter, but based on its color and general attitude, it looks like it may gain a secondary typing of Dark down the line.  This would also match the general color scheme of Pokémon like Gen II’s Houndoom and Gen IV’s Weavile.  We already have a dark wildcat in Gen V’s leopard-like Liepard but maybe we’ll see Litten evolve into a different wildcat like a dark tiger or even a liger.

Litten.png
Litten, the coolheaded Fire starter of Sun and Moon!

The official site characterizes Litten as a coolheaded Pokemon who doesn’t show its emotions.  It’s always nice to see Pokemon have such a defined personality just like with Gen V’s beloved smug grass starter, Snivy.  Litten starts with the move, Ember, which has been a common starting Fire move since Red and Blue.  The difference comes in how Litten produces fireballs, which the official site describes as flaming hairballs.  That’s right.  Litten actually licks its own fur and spits out hairballs as explosive projectiles, which is amazing.

Litten 2.png
Litten spits out fiery hairballs to attack.

Litten’s name most obviously derives from kitten, or baby cat.  The “Lit” part of its name likely refers to a fire or candle being lit.  The same “Lit” can be seen in the Fire lion cub Pokémon’s name, Litleo.  Litten’s Japanese name, Nyabby, also fits well.  “Nya” is the Japanese onomatopoeia for “Meow,” and can also be seen in Meowth’s Japanese name, “Nyasu.”  The “by” part of Nyabby’s name might be a pun off of the Japanese character (kanji) for fire 火.  Although that character is more commonly pronounced “hi,” it is changed to “bi” when following certain vowel sounds.  Finally, Nyabby rhymes with tabby, which is a breed of cat.

Its attitude and overall coolness makes Litten a good choice for a Fire starter.  I tend to lean towards the Fire starter ever since Charmander, and I’m glad that Litten doesn’t disappoint (as far as we know, right Fennekin?).  Litten reminds me of the following:

Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat, whose author I was recently able to meet!
Salem
Salem, from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, is also a dark cat with attitude.

Popplio: The Water Starter

Popplio, the sea lion Pokémon, is Generation VII’s water starter.  Its playful appearance, red clown nose, and jester-like neck suggest that it identifies itself with the circus or a water show like at a zoo or Sea World.  Its base form is a Water-type, but it may gain an ice-type for its final evolution, just like the other sea lion Pokémon, Gen I’s Dewgong.  It is also similar to Gen III’s Sealeo, who is a Water/Ice type Pokémon that evolves into Walrein.  Dewgong and Walrein resemble dugongs and walruses respectively, so maybe Popplio’s final form could be a dolphin?  In all 20 years of Pokémon, we have not yet seen an actual dolphin Pokémon, so this starter could become a series first.  Sure, it has whiskers, but even baby dolphins have whiskers on their upper jaws that fall off following birth.  Of course, it may just become another sea lion just as its Pokédex classification indicates.

Popplio
Popplio, the playful water starter!

Regardless of what kind of animal it resembles, Popplio is definitely a creature of the stage.  The official site states that Popplio can “snort out balloons made of water.”  It can then use the “elasticity of its balloons to perform acrobatic stunts and jumps.”  Even its image shows Popplio as a performer.  If this were Gen III or IV, it could have taken part in one of its renowned Pokémon Contests.  Perhaps Pokémon Contests may even return in Gen VII with Popplio being one of its big stars.  Popplio’s playful nature suggests that looks and style may have a role to play in some form.  Its first move is Water Gun, though I wonder if its bubble balloon technique could be the foundation of a brand new signature move.

Popplio 2
Popplio is like a circus performer that you’d find in an aquarium show.

Popplio seems to be a combination of pop and (sea) lion, referring to both its bubble ability as well as its classification.  Bulbagarden notes that “lio” may also come from Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, Hawaiian for monk seal, which makes sense considering the Hawaiian-based region.  Its Japanese name, Ashimari, may come from ashika meaning sea lion and temari which are Japanese silk hand balls.  These hand balls can be played with, similarly to how Popplio plays with its balloons.  Although I’m not terribly fond of Popplio, there is hope in where its final design will lead, especially since water starters have had a recent history of having superb final evolutions, such as Greninja.  Here is what Popplio makes me think of:

Jonathan
Jonathan, the seal from Kaleido Star, an anime about the circus
Stitch
Okay, Stitch is a stretch, but maybe I’ve been influenced by the Hawaiian-based region in this game.

Legendaries: Solgaleo and Lunaala

The cover legendaries were also shown off in the trailer and the official website.  The names Solgaleo and Lunaala have not been confirmed but are heavily speculated names based on trademarks made by The Pokémon Company.  Sun’s legendary is a majestic white lion with hints of red and yellow on its mane.  The name of Solgaleo would be very fitting if true since “sol” is Latin for sun and “leo” is Latin for lion.  It resembles Gen VI’s fire lion, Pyroar.  In addition to this, the fiery background and nature of the sun imply a Fire typing at the very least for Solgaleo.  The sun emblem from the logo art appears on its forehead in the trailer.  A fire beam can be seen emanating from its forehead roughly 44 seconds into the Japanese commercial.

Legendaries.png
The cover legendaries for Pokemon Sun and Moon.  The lion Pokemon on the left may be named Solgaleo.  The bat Pokemon on the right may be named Lunaala.

Moon’s legendary is a large purple bat with two crescent wings and an upward-facing crescent moon on its head.  It resembles Noivern from the previous generation but somehow looks even more sinister.  An obvious dual-typing for this legendary would be Dark and Flying, though nothing has been said.  It looks like it generates a beam attack from its moon forehead, seen in both the trailer and commercial.  Its possible name, Lunaala, would fit since “luna” is Latin for moon and “ala” is Latin for wing.

Gameplay

The graphics during Pokémon battles look very similar to Pokémon X/Y, which is good since it had a very graphically impressive and dynamic battle style.  Outside of Pokémon battles, it seems that you will be able to move freely as opposed to the grid-based nature of previous entries in the series.  Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were grid-based but also allowed you to run anywhere if you wanted.  This seems to be an evolution of that style, perhaps taking away the grid entirely.  The camera angles are also different and employ more natural perspectives instead of a strictly bird’s eye view.  This should be exciting for those who want a Pokémon adventure that feels more like a full 3D game experience.

Pokemon Battle.png
Pokemon battles will look similar to Pokemon X and Y.
Pokemon City
Camera angles are more dynamic in this game, and hopefully unlike Lumiose City’s.

Hawaiian-Based Region

In the reveal trailer, we also get a glimpse of the new region of Alola.  The name Alola, most likely coming from Aloha – which means both “hello” and “goodbye” in Hawaiian – more or less confirms that this region is based on Hawaii.  In addition, the clothes, flora, fauna, volcanoes, and islands of the region resemble Hawaii.  My best guess of which Hawaiian island this is most like would be Oahu, which is also the most tourist-friendly island.  The volcano in the southeast might be part of Ko’olau, one of two shield volcanoes in Oahu.  The city is probably Waikiki, a well-known tourist destination most recognized for its city-like appearance and sparkling sandy beach.  The city/beach area shown on the map matches where Waikiki would be in the real world.  The big tower in the middle may then be based on Aloha Tower in Honolulu.  Also seen on the map is a tropical area just behind the big city which looks similar to what most of the rest of Oahu looks like.  If this truly is Oahu, there is likely another volcano area further to the northwest, a big surf area in the North Shore beaches, and Pearl Harbor.  I’m assuming that Pearl Harbor won’t be referenced in the game due to cultural reasons, but we’ll see.

Alola Region.png
The Alola Region resembles an island of Hawaii.

Another big sign that it is based on Hawaii comes from the Japanese commercial for Pokémon Sun and Moon.  During this sweet video, we see a young Japanese boy move to Hawaii and feel like he doesn’t belong.  That is, until he discovers the new Pokémon Sun and Moon games and makes friends with other kids through his love of Pokémon.  This beautiful commercial harkens back to the original reveal trailer for Sun and Moon in which people of many different languages and ages come together through Pokémon.  It also reminds me of the Pokémon 20th Anniversary Super Bowl Commercial in which many diverse people look towards the future and say, “I can do that.”  This, along with the worldwide push of Pokémon, seems to reflect The Pokémon Company’s recent theme of bringing people together and inspiring hope through a common interest.

Pokemon Tropical
There is a big tropical island theme in this game.

Regardless of where this region is based off of, one aspect is clear.  There will be much water.

Sun Moon Starters
Catch ’em All again on November 18, 2016!

Conclusion

Pokémon Sun and Moon looks like a solid continuation of how X and Y evolved the franchise on the 3DS.  The starters look pretty solid for the most part, and its evolutions will likely be guiding factors for the ultimate decision.  The legendaries look interesting and promote the titular sun and moon themes.  Finally, the Hawaiian region is a nice change of pace from the big city-based regions of past generations.  I’m looking forward to the advancements that this next generation will bring!  Pokémon Sun and Moon will be released worldwide for the Nintendo 3DS on November 18, 2016.

What did you think of the reveal trailer of Pokémon Sun and Moon?  Did it raise your hype for Generation VII?  Which starter Pokémon will you choose?  Which version are you going to pick up?  What do you think of the Alola region?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Source: Pokémon, Official Pokémon Youtube Channel, and Pokémon CoJP Youtube Channel

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31 thoughts on “Pokémon Sun and Moon Analysis & Thoughts

  1. Reblogged this on The Unofficial News, Reviews & Personal Views Blog Site On Nintendo and commented:

    Hey everyone, Mr. Panda here! We just got a new, exciting trailer for Pokemon Sun and Moon and learned more about its starters, legendaries, and region! Please check out my preview based on the information we’ve learned and my analysis of what we can expect based on the trailer! Please feel free to leave comments regarding your thoughts on Pokemon Sun and Moon and on which starters and versions you will choose! Happy Pokemon Week!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great analysis! I definitely thought of Grumpy Cat too when I saw Litten, but Salem is an awesome reference 😄 I’m torn between Rowlet and Litten for now, so I guess my choice will come down to what their evolutions look like!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad you thought of similar references for Litten! I’m also torn between Rowlet and Litten, but I had a similar case between Chespin and Fennekin in Gen VI. I ultimately chose Froakie because of Greninja so there’s still hope for Popplio if it can prove itself!

      Like

  3. I noticed you wrote ‘Leo is Latin for “moon”‘ when you probably meant lion, just a little thing. Overall this was a very thorough and insightful analysis, and I’m excited for Sun/Moon very much.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Great post! I’ve kinda been wanting to play Pokemon again. The last Pokemon I played was Black. So I’m definitely keeping an eye on Sun and Moon. Litten possibly evolving into a liger sounds awesome. I’ll probably choose him if I do get into Sun and Moon. Haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your nice comments! Litten starts with the same two letters as liger so it already has that going for it in terms of evolution name puns! He is a great choice whom I am also considering especially since I have leaned towards Fire starters ever since Charmander. Pokemon Black and White was a good generation, and as good as X and Y were, their big contributions were in upgraded graphics, mega evolutions, and the Fairy type. Getting into Sun and Moon after Black wouldn’t be too big a jump, and you might even be surprised with some good Gen VI Pokemon if they keep them in the regional Pokedex for these games. Hopefully, if you do decide to try Sun and Moon that you will enjoy where Pokemon has gone!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You obviously know that i am an anime fan from commenting on my blog, but Pokemon was my first love. I have played the series for fifteen years, even delving into the competitive scene, and the newest installments excite me a lot! The Hawaiian-based region looks very unique, the starters are Pokemon that I cannot decide my favorite amongst them, and the updated camera angles make everything look much cleaner. Overall, I cannot wait for November 18!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awesome! Thanks for your great comments! I also have been playing Pokemon since I was young with the Pokemon anime being one of my very first anime! There is definitely plenty to be excited about for the new games, especially in the competitive scene. Each generation adds new Pokemon and mechanics that always keep competitive play fresh no matter how the actual story modes are. I’m looking forward to see what new abilities and movesets the next generation will bring into the fray! The updated camera angles as well as the more natural proportion of the trainers certainly make it feel more like a modern JRPG. It still has that familiar artstyle, just from different angles, almost resembling the Pokemon anime more.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A very well thought out–and prompt–analysis! You clearly put a lot of thought into everything! Very well done! I gravitate toward the fire starters myself. It’s exciting to have a fire cat. Speaking of fire cats, I would definitely go for Pokemon Sun to get my hands on that awesome-looking legendary lion. The comparison pictures were a nice touch, made me laugh–especially Grumpy Cat, haha! Having visited Hawaii myself, I’m super pumped about a tropical island region! Can’t wait for a Pokemon vacation!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your awesome comments and answering my prompts! I really appreciate it! It’d definitely be something to have two fire cats on the team. Maybe if Litten really did become a tiger or liger, we could have a pair of fiery wildcats! Glad you enjoyed the fun comparisons! Hawaii is a great place to base a region and I look forward to seeing what Game Freak does with it! Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Mr. Panda

    I enjoyed the well thought out and detailed review of the Pokemon. I also enjoyed the fact that you have the most important Pokemon first, and by most important, I mean Rowelt. I will be choosing that pun-tastic starter for myself with Pokemon Sun because PRAISE THE SUN!

    One reviewer to another, keep it up!
    – Mr. Gamer

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thank you very much Mr. Gamer for your reply! Glad to hear you’re also a fan of Rowlet! I may end up picking it too since others I know are choosing Litten and Popplio. Either way, we have a pretty good set of starters for this upcoming generation! I look forward to seeing what they evolve into. Thanks for your encouragement as well! Keep up the great work too!

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  9. Great and thorough analysis! I really like the Hawaii inspiration having just visited Oahu and Mauii! Also I think I would start with Litten, even though I don’t typically go with fire.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate your kind words! I’m excited about a Hawaiian-based region having also visited Oahu recently. Maybe you’ll be able to visit more islands in the Alola region, like some more resembling Maui and the big island! Litten is a great choice and fire starters are usually fun to use. I think my wife is going with Litten, so although I would usually choose the fire starter, I might choose Rowlet, whom I am also fond of! Thanks again for your comments!

      Like

    1. Thanks for your kind comments! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Interesting point about Aloha. I’m not sure exactly which meaning Game Freak was inspired by, but in either case, they clearly based it on the Hawaiian word. The “love” translation got me thinking about Alomomola, the 5th Generation Pokemon that resembles a cross between an ocean sunfish and a heart. Perhaps, we’ll see Alomomola or an evolution of it in the Alola region based on the similar name and origins!

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  10. Hi, Mr. Panda! I’ll be honest, you piqued my interest. I haven’t played a Pokemon game since I dropped off the franchise with Emerald. I played Pokemon Snap, if that counts hahaha! Anyway, I grew up in Hawaii so this game has some significance for me. It looks a lot like Oahu where I was born, and I can pick out Diamond Head, Waikiki, Haunama Bay, Pearl Harbor, North Shore, Makaha, downtown Honolulu and such. I just think that all these new-gen Pokemon look really mechanical and ugly, to me, like Digimon. But again, you piqued my interest in a franchise I had little interest in for a long time. So thanks a bunch! Mahalo!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your nice comments, Well-Red Mage, or I should say mahalo! I’m very glad that I was able to pique your interest! I’m very flattered by your kind words! It’s awesome that you have such a connection to the new Pokemon games! I only visited Oahu so it won’t compare to you being born there, but I could definitely tell the map was like Oahu just based on visiting. It’s awesome, and I hope that you will enjoy it if you pick it up! The new designs may be different but there are certainly plenty of likable Pokemon! This is coming from someone who’s stuck with the series since the beginning. Thank again for reading! Mahalo!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I also think the newer gens look kind of ugly! They’re too angular and a lot of the legendaries have too much going on for me to find them visually appealing. Having said that, it hasn’t stopped me from playing the games, especially X/Y. Those were my fave recent releases and I highly recommend it! Some really awesome new features like Wondertrade, GTS, and Friend Code Safari Zones really gave it new life. It was the first Pokemon game since the originals that really got me hooked.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the wonderful comments Lisa! I’ll always like the older gens for nostalgia. That said, I love some of the newer Pokemon, especially Greninja and of course, Pancham! The new starters for Sun and Moon look pretty good so far. As for the other Pokemon, they’re mostly okay, though I can see a few getting really cool evolutions. Every gen, it’s all about just finding new favorites, and I base them on how interesting their playstyle is. Aegislash in 6th generation was one of the most unique Pokemon for being able to change between attack and defense stances midbattle. That is really cool to me.

        And yes, Gen VI is awesome! My wife got back into Pokemon starting at Gen VI and has since gone back to play gens she’s missed including the excellent remakes Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire for the 3DS. The new features for the latest titles make them great social games. It’s easy to see how Pokemon GO can be such a social phenomenon, when the Pokemon series has largely been a social experience from the very beginning!

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  11. I have been mildly interested so far, your post heightens the anticipation though. I do hope they add sufficient new things into the mix and keep the gameplay fresh. But it will surely be getting one of them!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comments! I’m glad that my post helped to hype you up for the next generation! It’ll be interesting if they add any new types or evolutions like in the previous generation. I’m worried that since Game Freak already did that recently, it would “justify” not adding too much. But we’ll see. I’m always looking forward to what every new generation will bring!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for your kind words! I’m very excited for Pokemon Sun and Moon as well, of course! It’ll be interesting to see if and how it connects to NX! We’ll have to see what Nintendo does with its next system! Thanks again!

    Like

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