pokemon philosophizing

You wanna know why Solgaleo is Psychic/Steel?

Okay, so a lot of people have been complaining that Solgaleo, the new mascot Legendary Pokemon for Pokemon Sun, isn’t Fire type. “How can the Sunne Pokemon be weak to Fire type?”

Let me break it down for you.

First, Solgaleo is referred to as the “Sunne Pokemon.” The word Sunne is the Old English word for the giant gas ball at the center of our solar system. But why would GameFreak/The Pokemon Company use the language that dated back to the early 11th century?

Here is a screenshot of the official website’s description of Solgaleo

I highlighted something interesting listed here: “the beast that devours the sun.” Obviously I had to look this up, because I’m super interested in what that means. My research led me to this drawing in an alchemy text

This is referred to by alchemists as “the Green Lion.” The Green Lion is a metaphor for the most important catalyst in all of alchemy: vitriol, commonly known as sulfuric acid. Vitriol had the amazing property to devour any metal, except gold. Another crazy thing is that alchemy started flourishing in Europe around the early 12th century, during the time that Old English was the native dialect.

Solgaleo could also have drawn a little bit of inspiration from the mythological Nemean Lion. In the story of Heracles, one of his tasks was to kill the Nemean Lion. Heracles soon found that the Nemean Lion’s hide was impenetrable, and Heracles used the Lion’s hide as armor after defeating it.

So maybe Solgaleo has an alchemic reference to it. But maybe there’s more to it.

The four main elements of alchemy are Water, Air, Fire, and Earth. This can be kind of a stretch, but the Alola Region seems to be focusing heavily on those four attributes

Now here is my little bit of speculation: in alchemy, most of the reactions are centered around an all powerful stone, called the Philosopher’s Stone. Combining the four elements into the Philosopher’s Stone (a process called “Magnum Opus”) is said to bring “perfection to the human body and soul.” And then we have these things:

Pokemon are usually seen as innocent beings in nature throughout the games, anime, and manga. So maybe that mysterious stone is able to “perfect the human body and soul” by connecting to a Pokemon in a similar fashion as Ash and Greninja.

Also, something ironic about Solgaleo’s Ability “Full Metal Body” which could be taken as a direct reference to none other than

2

Silver and N, two sides of the same coin?

So, I was thinking about some of the rivals/antagonists throughout the Pokemon games, comparing and contrasting, and these two stood out from the others. There are just a few things that separate them from the other rivals.

First, the main character didn’t know/grow up with either prior to the beginning of the game, so as you go through the game you have a greater impact on their characters, and are able to change them more.

Second, neither has been able to connect to other humans, until you befriend them through the course of the game. 

On the flip side, their opinions on Pokemon are almost complete opposites. Silver considers them tools to be used as he pleases, while N values their friendship far above that of humans, and want’s to save them from the trainers who would misuse them - trainers like Silver. So while one thinks Pokemon - all Pokemon - should be free, the other believes they should be captured and used however the captor deems fit.

Eventually, both are able to reach a middle ground, accepting that humans and Pokemon have to love and respect each other, and that most people are able to do so. They are both very dynamic characters, as opposed to many of the other rivals who don’t go through a drastic revelation and subsequent character development. Their ideals change, and begin to look at the world as a whole, rather than focusing in on one aspect of it. I think that’s why I like them so much.