The Fluff: Alolan Ninetales Is Life (and other news)


Hello, my dear PUCLonians, and welcome to a very enthusiastic edition of The Fluff! The latest Pokémon Sun and Moon trailer brought joy to my heart like none of them had quite managed to do since the first one. And by the way, that first one? I know it showed pretty much nothing, but I rewatched it right now, and I cried. Literally. Here, I’ll leave it here for you, so you can join me in Kleenex land.

But this article is about the latest trailer! The one with the crazy dance poses to unlock Z-Moves, the biggest meme lord since Team Instinct’s Spark (the tallest ever, though), a new kind of plot, a rideable Charizard (!!!) and the single. Most. Beautiful. Pokémon in existence.

OI! What am I, chopped liver?

Whimsicott, as cute as you are, true beauty apparently lies on colder shores. (They’re still all a-glitter with Fairy power, though.) Anyway, let’s dive into the news! There was so much in the trailer, I’m just going to cherry pick my favorite things to talk about.

The Alola Forms


Let’s get the big one out of the way first: I LOVE Alola Forms. I love the concept, I love the ideas, I love the designs. Alolan Exeggutor took the internet by storm, and many hilarious hours were had on Twitter after its reveal. The precious, precious detail of it being just barely taller than Mega Rayquaza just sealed the deal in making it the funniest thing in Pokémon since someone encountered the first Sudowoodo hiding in a horde of Trevenant. (Game Freak’s sense of humor is apparently at its best in tree-related things.)

I couldn't pick a meme, so I'll just show you that even the game itself makes fun of that height.
I couldn’t pick a meme, so I’ll just show you that even the game itself makes fun of that height. Also, Sudowoodo’s passing the funny tree torch!

Alolan Sandshrew and Sandslash are cute and all (I love the reference to curling stones in Sandhrew’s description), but of course, you know what stole my heart. As if an Ice-type Vulpix wasn’t enough, they are giving us THIS.


Ice/Fairy. The prettiest combination you can possibly imagine. If Bullet Punch didn’t exist, I’d declare this my go-to Pokémon for the foreseeable future. Heck, I might do so anyway. I am running one of these in game, for sure, and then we’ll see. But in the meanwhile, just look at how crazily beautiful it is! Honestly, is there a more beautiful Pokémon? I think not.

You are a horrible person. I feel abandoned and neglected.

Oh, shush, Whimsicott, you’re essentially me. I’ll always put you first, precisely because I’m a horrible person.

That is… weirdly comforting.

Anyway, Alolan Nitetales. Life. If this thing is version exclusive and not in Sun, I’ll throw the biggest fit ever.

The New Pokémon

Gumshoos is such a dead ringer for he-who-shall-not-be-named that I don’t want to talk about it. Mudbray is… OK. Oricorio finally gives us a Pokémon take on Darwin’s finches, which I find absolutely awesome. Its ability seems potentially broken (as I imagine you also get your own move for that turn), but so far it keeps with the gen VII tradition of looking very underwhelming while having such potential brokenness, so we might be all right. My favorite is probably Sensu style Oricorio (which people from Kanto like because Kanto = Japan! How cute is that?) with its super pretty color scheme. The two new Pokémon who really caught my attention, though, are Minior and Lurantis.


Minior is a freaking meteoroid Pokémon. When I figured out where they were going with it, I got really excited, as the astronomy lover that I am. And the colors! The Japanese trailer shows an extra one, so there’s at least five. As my recent addiction to TCG booster packs shows (darn you, Jushiro), I’m a big fan of collecting surprise treasures, and Minior will have the added advantage of costing me no extra real world money whether I catch one or thirty. The super goofy face it has once the rocky shell comes off is really cheerful, and I love that it looks like konpeitō (a.k.a. The Japanese sugar star candy you all know as the inspiration for the Star Bits in Super Mario Galaxy, but which I fondly remember from that one really sweet Sailor Moon movie with Luna and the astronomer).


Lurantis, and its pre-evolution Fomantis, are very, very pretty, but what I love most about them is that they are pure Grass types. I was confused for a second, seeing they were not Bug types, as well, but then I thought something like that sounded familiar, and the internet pointed me in the right direction.


That is not a flower. In fact, if you look at it, you’ll realize it’s actually looking back at you! It’s an orchid mantis, a rather pretty (if a bit creepy) and very smart insect which masquerades as a flower to lure prey in. (Lurantis! Get it? Yeah, it’s a bit on the nose, I agree.) Game Freak turned the concept on its head: Lurantis is a pure Grass type because it’s an orchid that looks like a mantis! I don’t quite know why, but I absolutely love that. Lurantis is apparently a totem Pokémon (you can see that in the Japanese trailer), which makes it even more interesting. So far all the best showings in Alola are by Grass and Fairy Pokémon.

Which is satisfying. But also obvious.


I… did not see that coming. And the accompanying dances are a bit… well, embarrassing. But the moves themselves, or at least the ones we’ve seen so far, look really, really cool.

If you don’t let me Bloom Doom a Bruxish, I’ll never speak to you again.

Oh, honey, we are so doing that. Don’t worry. We’ll petal their butts up!


As for what this means for the games… well. Some people are speculating that Mega Evolutions will not be back in Gen VII, and while so far some things might point to that, I have doubts. Apart from Gems, which were a far smaller thing, I can’t think of a major mechanic that was just left behind like that before (please, correct me if I’m wrong). People love Megas, they make many extremely popular Pokémon viable again (hi, Charizard), and they make for interesting meta possibilities.

The fact that Z-Moves require a held item and can only be performed once per battle will probably make them not excessively centralizing, but I can see them being an interesting potential solution to the eternal “that one Pokémon stops my team forever” problem.

I just want to see the Fairy-type one. I bet it’s going to look even more amazing than Bloom Doom.

Personally, I hope it’s called Sparkle Motion, although that’s probably not nearly epic enough.

Poké Ride

You know what’s pretty darn epic, though? Getting to ride a freaking Charizard through the sky!

Go forth, my Soviet steed!

You do remember a Charizard is barely taller than you are, right?

It’s totally going to lift me through the skies! Shut up, Whimsicott! Don’t ruin my childhood dream!

… you were seventeen before you knew what a Charizard even was.

fine. But you have to admit, it’s an awesome thought anyway. Somehow, it beats soaring on a Mega Lati twin. And Charizard is not the only cool, classic Pokémon you can ride. A great PUCL favorite: Tauros! Unfortunately, it seems these Pokémon are not your own, and so I can’t bring GivesUHooves over to ride an actual green Tauros all over Alola.

The best part about the Poké Ride service is another, though; since you can call upon it at any time, much like you did with the Eon Flute in ORAS, there’s quite a lot of hope that this will mean the end of dependency on HM moves!

And good riddance.

That’s something people have been asking for years, and if it does happen, our Hawaiian adventure will be even more fun. And speaking of such adventure…

The Rite of Island Challenge

This is potentially the biggest change we’ve been shown yet. A while ago a Chinese leak claimed Gen VII would do away with Gyms, which pretty much no one believed. I mean, Gyms have been a staple of Pokémon games forever, right? But this last trailer confirmed about 80% of that leak, and while we can’t yet be sure without a shadow of a doubt, well…

Yeah, it’s pretty much a done deal. No Gyms in Alola!

They will apparently be replaced by four Island Challenge Trials, battles against Totem Pokémon and more battles against the Kahunas in the Grand Trials. Which… I’m surprisingly OK with.

For starters, I like the “classic RPG” feel of the challenges. A story that doesn’t resolve every single thing with a Pokémon battle is more immersive, and while it’s certainly not the first time a Pokémon game has done it, it’s never been part of the main “by the numbers” plot, and doing it in a wonderful 3D environment like Alola will feel pretty amazing, I bet.

Assuming these are not very plain fetch quests like in World of Warcraft.

Ah, I don’t think they’ll be as bad as that. There were hints that they differ from island to island, so I’m hopeful.

... ok, they might kinda be fetch quests.
… ok, they might kinda be fetch quests.

The Totem Pokémon are an interesting concept, but I’m a bit perplexed by them being “common” Pokémon, like Gumshoos and Lurantis. Had I been told about this element without details, I’d have guessed you’d have to battle Tapu Koko and its buddies. Having to beat a pumped up Linoone equivalent doesn’t feel very glamorous, even if it’s supported by a Zigzagoon-like buddy in a new kind of battle.

Maybe it’s an inspiring tale of one common ‘mon rising to epicness through… yeah, I’m not feeling it, either.

Well, I guess we’ll see. Maybe if the battles are hard enough they’ll get memorable that way, although I highly doubt Game Freak will make anything not laughably easy in these games, given how we were treated in Gen VI and THE FREAKING SUPER EFFECTIVE MOVE INDICATOR. (I’m sorry, I’ll never get over that.)

The Kahunas are the most familiar part of the whole thing, being the closest thing to Gym Leaders, but given there are only four of them, I hope the battles get to have something special to them. Since Ohmori is directing again, I have high hopes for the Kahunas having very interesting personalities, after the amazing work on NPCs that was done in ORAS, and I hope their battling styles are also very characteristic.

Hala looks pretty memorable already.

Yes, and he’s the one who gives out the starters, so I hope the other Kahunas also have interesting things to do.


The conclusion this week is that Sun and Moon are still 102 days away-


Shush, I’m totally finding a way to get it along with everyone else-

Then 103.

No, look, it’s already Monday here!

Is it? Darn, girl, I need my beauty sleep! Do you want my fluff to be all limp and ugly tomorrow?

Today, and who cares, you’re the fluffiest in spirit, always. Thing is, these 102 days simply cannot pass fast enough. The day I rise my Rowlet to the sky (possibly wearing a really dorky plastic light-up bracelet, because I am a dork) will be a day of utter joy.

Dear PUCLonians, which element revealed in this trailer are you most looking forward to? Did it raise your hype? What’s your favorite Alolan Exeggutor meme? Let me know in the comments, and come back next week for Snag’s take on this and the next batch of news, which are due on the 12th (please, Game Freak, leave me some Pokémon to discover in the games!) because the hype train ain’t stopping for no human, Pokémon or freakishly long-necked tree.

Until next time,

The Fluffiest Whimsicott


I discovered Pokémon at 17 and never looked back (thanks, Team Rocket, for making the anime more fun and making me want to pick up the game). I'm now 31 and I'm not in the least ashamed to still love Pokémon... especially Grass types! I'm from Italy, so time zones will be a thing if we want to battle or trade. Sorry in advance. Trivia: my first Pokémon ever was a Charmander.

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