ATB’s Top 25 Pokemon: (18) Pikachu


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This is At the Buzzer’s list of the top 25 Pokemon of all-time. We’re in the serious business zone now, counting down one by one until we reach the very best. For more information, click here or check out the Related Links down at the bottom of the post. Don’t forget to vote on how we did in the poll below!

Today’s Pokemon lives in forests away from people. It stores electricity in its cheeks for zapping an enemy if it is attacked. It keeps its tail raised to monitor its surroundings. If you yank its tail, it will try to bite you. When it releases pent-up energy in a burst, the electric power is equal to a lightning bolt.

18) Pikachu (3 votes, 120 points)

Shaun: In real life, I make fun of hipsters like it’s going out of style. Get it? HA.

In Pokemon life, I’m apparently the biggest hipster of all. Because I liked Pikachu before he was cool, and when he became the face of Pokemon, and the Pokemon even people who have never heard of Pokemon can reference, I hated him.

Because, let’s get real — he’s not that good. He’s cute, sure. Lots of things are cute. My dog Mr. Patches is cute. That doesn’t mean he’s a great Pokemon. My girlfriend is cute. She also is not a great Pokemon.

Pikachu’s stats are pretty so so, and his moveset is weak. He’s so lame he can’t even evolve on his own. And yet, Pikachu sort of had to be on this list somewhere.

The fact is, Pikachu is one of the most iconic gaming “characters” of all time. His face has made Nintendo more money than is remotely reasonable. Pikachu is recognizable pretty much all over the world, and has left a huge impact on the gaming industry as a whole. So good for him. Plus, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you he’s one of my go-to’s throughout each of the Smash Bros. games. How’s that for self-contradiction? God, I really am a hipster.

I don’t really like Pikachu. But I respect Pikachu.

Chris: Pikachu has never been my main in any Smash Bros. game, but he’s always been a pocket character (the intertwining lingo here is strong). He’s been No. 2 or No. 3 on my list in all three versions.

That sort of sums up how I feel about Pikachu in general. Like Shaun, I agree that he had to be on this list. Maybe you’re burned out of the electric rodent by now, and I wouldn’t blame you for that. Some people feel like both Ash and his Pikachu have run their course on the anime. To me, I understand why they’re still around, even though Ash is awful and Pikachu keeps having to be nerfed.

Regardless, it’s the early memories of Pika Pika that matter the most. Remember that time he destroyed Misty’s bike? Remember that time he put on boxing gloves for that fighting tournament? Remember that time he used Volt Tackle and it was the hypest thing ever? (P.S.: Screw you, Smash Bros. Brawl, for ruining that attack.)

Pikachu is an icon, and he deserves to be in our top 25 no matter what your individual opinion might be. But I also like where he ended up — borderline top 20 is a fair spot. It’s the right balance for those who think that he’s important and those who think that he’s overplayed.

Nick: Oh man, why couldn’t Pikachu be #25?  Get it?  GET IT?  It’s because…  it’s because his pokedex number is…  #25.  Okay, I’ll let myself out…

Before I go, I will mention that X/Y was the first generation that I actually used a Pikachu in the main story, so 12-year-old me rejoiced.  And I caught him in Viridian Santalune Forest!

Jason: As the undisputed logo and mascot of everything Pokemon, it’s hard to not both love and hate Pikachu at the same time. While arguably one of the worst Pokemon in the actual game, his presence in popular culture has helped propel both Pokemon and portable gaming to an entirely new level. And for that, unfortunately, I have to thank him. He’s also a fantastic fighter in Smash Brothers, so there’s that too…

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RELATED LINKS

(19) Torchic

(20) Garchomp

(21) Lapras

(22) Dragonair

(23) Swampert

(24) Voltorb

(25) Butterfree

#50-26

#75-51

#100-76

#125-101

Honorable Mention

Introduction

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