In the Western TCG, some cards that would otherwise fetch very high prices are sometimes released as easily-obtainable promos, especially if they depict popular Pokémon. This happened with three sought-after Pokémon-EX from the Black & White era: Mewtwo-EX, Darkrai-EX and Rayquaza-EX. The Full Art versions of Charizard-GX and Zoroark-GX were given their own promo boxes preemptively, since those two cards would otherwise boast inflated values on the secondary market (Charizard-GX for its collector value, Zoroark-GX for its playability).
Charizard had long been infamous in the TCG for being Awesome, but Impractical, with its cards simply having big damage/HP numbers printed on them and little to no competitive value. In 2019, Reshiram & Charizard-GX proved to be a genuinely useful and competitive deck, likely due to much better balancing, and 2020's Charizard VMAX and Vivid Voltage's Leon-themed Charizard started heading down that route as well.
Awesome Art: As a trading card game, this is a given. The Full Art cards from the Black & White series onward stand out in particular. BREAK Evolution cards also tend to have suitably epic designs.
Base-Breaking Character: Charizard, for similar reasons to the main games. It's one of the most popular Pokémon, its inclusion in a set always drives sales, and fans tend to get hyped whenever it gets a new rare printing of some kind. However, many other fans are sick of it constantly getting new cards to the point of Wolverine Publicity, lambast the fact that most of its cards are utterly unplayable, and blame it for the lack of variety in some sets as well as for some low-quality expansions such as Champion's Path that serve no purpose other than to motivate collectors to gamble for Charizard (not to mention it also motivates scalpers to snatch up sealed product).
In the United States, the base set had several different versions, each of which having its own special peculiarities, such as an error Pikachu. Flash forward almost a decade and a half later: with the release of Black and White, you had no fewer than three different releases, as well as... an error Pikachu.
In the original Black and White expansion, Reshiram has a big attack that involves discarding energy while Zekrom has a big attack that requires self-damage. Fast forward to Next Destinies, when both receive powerful EX versions...Only this time the Reshiram does self-damage and the Zekrom discards! Yin-yang in card form!
Other than secret rares, the international release of Dark Rush (called "Dark Explorers") has 108 cards in it.
The four Pokémon that get the "Mad Party" attack in Darkness Ablaze are a reference to the tea party scene in Alice in Wonderland. Bunnelby is the March Hare, Mr. Rime is the Mad Hatter, Dedenne is the Dormouse, and Polteageist is the teacup!
Base Set to Gym Challenge sets featured Trainer cards with extrodinarily powerful effects that often meant a game would be decided on the first turn of a game (In some extreme cases, the first turn was the only turn). This lead to a brief 'Prop-15/3' format * You could play at most 15 Trainer cards in your deck, and could only have 3 copies of any individual card. Naturally, the only difference in Trainer cards used than the standard format was that people were playing less of them which only made it harder for the player going second to get into the game which proved unpopular enough that it was only used at a single major event* Wizards of the Coast took inspiration from their own Magic tournaments, and began the practise of format rotation afterwards, rotating out Base Set, Jungle and Fossil for their next tournament.. Trainer cards from Neo Genesis onward were much less powerful; cards reprinting old effects often were limited to coinflip success or were simply less powerful; Expedition onward introduced Supporter cards, which you could only play one of a turn, and many of the old incredibly powerful Trainers became Supporters eventually.
The cards everyone remembers (Bill, Professor Oak, and Computer Search) allowed you to essentially draw through most of your deck in a single turn; successfully playing all twelve cards would let you draw 40 cards, four being free searches; including draw-for-turn, your opening hand of 7, and Prize cards, you could end your turn with only six cards left in your deck.
Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal meant that any attempt at actually setting up Pokémon with attack costs of more than one or two Energy was doomed to fail, and was one of the main contributors to the dominence of the Haymaker deck archetype in the early years.
Rocket's Sneak Attack, The Rocket's Trap, and Chaos Gym were all extremely powerful hand disruption that ultimately created the 'First turn victory' conditions- playing multiple successive Rocket's Sneak Attack cards to shuffle away all of the opponent's Trainer cards, then shuffling the rest of their hand back in with The Rocket's Trap, followed by laying a Chaos Gym card to disrupt any lucky Trainer card draws they might have, leaving them with only Pokémon and Energy cards to play without having to make a coin-flip.
Darkness and Metal types when first introduced in Neo Genesis, were often considered this early on. Before Diamond and Pearl introducing basic Energy cards for the types, all costs had to be paid via the Darkness and Metal Special Energy cards, which usually made the cards even more powerful than they might seem on initial readings.
Sneasel from Neo Genesis in particular was obscenely overpowered, capable of dealing a theoretical 140 damage a turn when charged up at a time when 40-50 a turn for that much Energy was considered extremely good. When the first Modified Format was created, Sneasel obtained the dubious honour of being the first Pokémon card specifically officially banned from a format.
The Neo Genesis Slowking in the English version, thanks to a mistranslation making its Pokémon Power much stronger than intended. "Mind Games" makes the opponent flip a coin to use any Trainer card, and if tails the effect fails and the card is placed on top of your opponent's deck. The Japanese text specified that the power only worked while Slowking was active, but this was left off the English card, which meant you could stack 4 Slowkings on your bench to reduce your opponent's chances of playing Trainers to 1/16, while also shutting down the opponent's draw 15/16ths of the time. The card was (eventually) banned like Sneasel until TPCI issued errata fixing the Power when they took over.
The 'SP Engine' focusing on Pokémon SP from the Platinum era of cards, was extremely powerful, with early-game setup options, additional search power and support tools such as Energy Gain that lead them to dominate the format until powercreep caught up to them.
Item-based Gusting effects* After Base Set's Gust of Wind have historically been very powerful, even when limited to either be a Comeback Mechanic (Ultra Prism's Counter Catcher) or a coinflip) (XY-era on Pokémon Catcher). However, non-limited Gusting effects (such as the original Gust of Wind, Double Gust, Black and White's Pokémon Catcher print, etc.) tend to be disgustingly powerful in comparison to other cards. (Reliable Gusting effects are usually extremely powerful even on Supporter cards; both Lysandre and Guzma saw incredibly extensive play while legal)
Mewtwo-EX was all but unstoppable for a year or two after its initial printing, being included in all four World Championships decks of 2012. X-Ball hit for 20 damage per energy attached to both active Pokémon, and could punish heavily-set-up opposing Pokémon with just a single Double Colorless Energy. Due to the colorless energy cost, it could be and frequently was splashed in every deck around right through until its final reprint in Legendary Treasures was rotated, even after power creep had mostly caught up to it.
Shaymin-EX allowed for lightning-fast setup, making fast offense decks much more powerful; when played to the bench ,you can draw cards until you have six in hand. Not only does this not take up your supporter card for the turn, you could play multiple Shaymin-EX to keep drawing cards, making exceptionally potent early-game attackers even more so. To top it off, for a single Double Colorless Energy, you could return it to your hand and then, if you wished, play it down again the next turn!
Tapu Lele-GX's Wonder Tag ability allows it to search out a Supporter card from your deck when played to the bench, making it a fantastic card to get you out of pooer hands or to aid in setup.* The last Pokémon to have this effect for an Ability, Jirachi-EX and its Stellar Guidance, saw incredible amounts of play despite effectively being very frail dead-weight in most decks after being played. To top it off, its main attack is a copy of Mewtwo-EX's X-Ball attack that can't hit for weakness; despite having been long since powercrept past, it's far from being a bad attack, and means that it can't just be ignored and can be a powerful tool in some situations.
Zoroark-GX is a true Jack-of-All-Stats; it has an incredibly powerful ability, Trade, which lets you discard a card to draw two more once a turn per Zoroark-GX, which is very powerful draw support especially when combined with cards like Mallow. Its first attack, and the one it most often uses is Riotous Beating, which hits the opponent's Active Pokémon for 20 damage per each of the attacking player's Pokémon in play, is a strong attack that's easy to hit large numbers with (especially with cards like Brigette), and its GX attack, Trickster GX, allows you to pick one of the opponent's moves to use, including other GX attacks. About the only weaknesses it has are that it can almost never OHKO opposing GX Pokémon in a format where not dealing a KO every turn is slow, and that it shares a format with Buzzwole-GX.
Buzzwole-GX is, as a standalone card, not overly powerful. However, in the 2018 BREAKthrough-Celestial Storm format, it proved ridiculously powerful; with Strong Energy and Beast Energy as boosting Energy cards, Diancie-Prism Star and Regirock-EX powering it up from the bench, Float Stone to dodge the cooldown on Knuckle Impact, Choice Band to boost to even more power, perfect partners in non-GX Buzzwole and Lycanroc-GX, and Max Elixers and Beast Rings to power up extra Buzzwole incredibly quickly, Buzzwole-GX decks racked up more wins than any other achetype in that season. Due to how simple it is to set up, (Brooklet Hill and Ultra Space stadiums are both capable of Buzzwole search) the only serious weakness Buzzwole decks had was the inherent unreliability of the Max Elixer card, with Buzzwole mirror matches freqently being decided by which player hit more Max Elixers.
When Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia GX (aka ADP) was first released, many thought it had shown potential. ADP's GX attack, Altered Creation, not only gives the team a +30 damage boost for the rest of the game, but with an extra Water energy, allows players to take an additional Prize Card after each kill. However, it was somewhat dismissed as Awesome, but Impractical due to being slow and convoluted to set up and requiring the somewhat unusual combination of Water and Steel energy. But when Sword & Shield dropped, it introduced Zacian V, which gave ADP everything it wanted for a partner and let to ADPZ, one of the most centralizing deck archetypes of all time. Zacian V was powerful, being able to KO important support Pokémon like Dedenne GX and Crobat V in one hit and can use its ability to quickly get the needed energy for its attack, allowing ADP to focus on setting up an Altered Creation. While being unable to use its attack two turns in a row seems like a Fatal Flaw, you can easily get around this by using a switch and then retreating the new active Pokémon (since effects of attacks wear off after a Pokémon is sent to the bench). The fact that the aforementioned support Pokémon are worth three prizes after Altered Creation means you only need to knock out two of them to win the game, and those cards are in virtually every deck due to improving consistency. If you set up everything correctly, ADPZ can consistently win in only four turns, giving it a massive advantage against anything that couldn't win that fast (which was pretty much everything). It had gotten to a point that for a time there were widespread calls to ban ADP, and many people's thought process when creating new decks was "well, it loses to ADP, but at least it has a decent matchup against everything else", and while ADPZ isn't quite as hated as it once was, it is still considered to be at the top of the meta.
Even more people would gladly point out that it's actually very challenging to play the Pokémon card game well not just to simply play it.
Obscure Popularity: A lot of people have collected the cards when they were kids, but eventually stopped. Nowadays, the TCG is thriving, with thousands of people of all ages attending tournaments, and the cards themselves even outselling Magic: The Gathering at times. Yet, a lot of people, even from within the greater Pokémon fandom, seem surprised not just at the popularity of the game, but the mere fact that it still exists to this day.
Older Than They Think: Many concepts and even attacks that appear in the game originated in the cards first. Abilities appeared in the third generation, but the cards have had Pokémon Powers since they were first released. Mega Evolutions debuted in generation 6, but Level X Pokémon appeared in the cards during the fourth generation.
Popularity Polynomial: The TCG had a resurgence in late 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic when Logan Paul made a video about buying an expensive vintage Base Set box, with stores beginning to sell out of TCG product; most notably, Evolutions, once derided as a nostalgia-baiting "filler" set, became very popular and sold out in many places due to the cards being designed after early sets. Unfortunately, this also lead to the rise of scalping and the situation is so extremely bad that most stores had to remove TCG sets to prevent this from happening as it also leads to fights (which is exactly what happened in a Target store in Brookfield, Wisconsin when a fight occurred over trading cards).
Sequelitis: The Champion's Path expansion is widely reviled by many fans. Intended as a "sequel" to the beloved Hidden Fates, the set list is very small and largely consists of simplistic, unplayable cards with the only sought-after cards being two versions of Charizardnote Shiny Charizard V and Rainbow Rare Charizard VMAX that have very low pull rates.note Compare to Hidden Fates, which also had a sought-after Shiny Charizard-GX card but also had a larger set list and a wider variety of chase cards, and consequently a higher probability of pulling at least one of them. Those two cards alone are enough to sell the set, but many have reported becoming depressed after buying hundreds and hundreds of dollars' worth of Champion's Path products and getting nothing but junk. Its successor, Shining Fates, is considered an improvement but still vastly inferior to Hidden Fates.
The Scrappy: With Champion's Path being a particularly hated expansion, the version of Machamp in the set is often mocked and used as a scapegoat for disgruntled players not being able to pull the set's extremely rare Charizard cards due to its disproportionately high pull rate, to the point of "Machampion's Path" becoming a derogatory Fan Nickname for the set.
The PC simulatorPokémon Play It! has some horrifying CGI human characters trying too hard to mimic the anime's art style.
From the same simulator, each of the cards had a "cry" that's similar to the cries in the main series games. Only these cries are unique to this game and borrow heavily from the anime and stock sound effects. It could almost be an auditory version of the uncanny valley.
Woolseyism: Shining Legends Incineroar has an attack named "GoddamnPunch"note as spelled out by katakana in Japanese. For obvious reasons, such a name wouldn't slide in the English version, so it was translated as "Profane Punch"; not only does "Profane" convey the intended meaning much better than Obligatory Swearing in a children's game, but it serves as a Stealth Pun in that the Japanese name of the attack was literally profane.
Magmar and especially Magby's Japanese names: Boober and Booby, respectively! Of course, it was MEANT to reference birds like the Blue-Footed Booby, but... well... And Magmortar is Booburn. Ouch.
The series of unfortunate innuendos continues with Mandibuzz, whose Japanese name is... Vulgina. While it is meant to be a portmanteau of Vulture and Regina, it's very likely one doesn't pick this meaning first, especially considering the evolutionary line is all-female.
The move Harden could make a few people with dirty minds giggle. Especially since the same Pokémon likely will know String Shot... Hydro Pump causes the same dirty thoughts sometimes. Particularly with Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action jokes.
Ask anyone over the age of 40 about Pokémon. They'll most likely answer something like "Pokémon? Isn't it that cheapkids' cartoon from the '90s about cute little monsters?" And since Most Writers Are Adults, for a long time, most mainstream parodies of Pokémon were either based fully or partially on the early anime, with particular emphasis on the poor reputation that it had early on. Over the years, however, the balance has shifted slightly as millennials have become a more dominant force in popular culture; while some elements of the anime (such as Ash, Team Rocket, Pokémon Speak, and the theme song) are universally pervasive, elements from the games have become increasingly recognized and more commonly cited, and the overall tone of Pokémon parodies has shifted from derisive "kiddy" snark to nostalgic fondness (regarding both the games and anime).
Quick, what do you think of when you think "Pokémon's main theme"? For most people, it's the first opening of the anime (English or Japanese) rather than the game's title screen theme. A quick search on YouTube has the first English opening theme as the very first result. You need to dig further to find the game's title screen theme.
Mainly Slowpoke, but Slowbro and Slowking have their charming qualities too.
There is something about the Magnemite line's big googly eyes and the way they spin their magnets that make them unusually cute in Pokémon-Amie.
Archeops' model from X and Y on involves it desperately flapping its wings as it struggles to stay aloft. It's endearingly pathetic.
A happy Xurkitree will do things one would normally not expect from an Eldritch Abomination, such as dancing in joy when being treated well in Pokémon Refresh, and you can see some Xurkitree happily skipping◊ (instead of more mundane running animations other Pokémon and Ultra Beasts have) in the background in the Ultra Plant in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
Sneasel and Weavile in Pokémon-Amie. They give off a sassy and badass expression, but that quickly melts away when you pet them. They will smile in happiness, and then give a genuine giggle that they sheepishly try to hide. It's so adorable.
Despite the Periphery Demographic, Pokémon, thanks to the anime, its English dub, and its lack of popularity among adults in its early days, is widely viewed as being solely for children. As of Gen VI, Game Freak fortunately seems to have caught on to this status, and is trying to appease the older fans and establish that Pokémon is indeed for all ages. An entire article was written on the subject, and the mainstream success of Pokémon GO has alleviated this to some extent. Pokémon Detective Pikachu completely averts this and was likely an attempt to shed this trope for the franchise in general, being a family movie targeted towards all age groups and not making concessions for the under-12 crowd like the rest of the franchise.
There is also the fact that many of the monsters, especially the most marketed ones, are usually simplistic enough to be easily drawn by children, which cannot be said for other franchises that have monsters as their main focus, like Monster Hunter or even Digimon.
A common criticism of later games in the series is that they are very overbearing in terms of handholding and in-game tutorials. This is often cited as an attempt to pander to young children and treat them in a patronizing manner, a common fallacy of Pokémon in general (most notably with the anime series pre-XY).
Despite the above, the philosophy of the series had always been to appeal to all ages from children to adults, according to Junichi Masuda's Word of God. When developing Pokémon Black and White, one of the main issues he wanted to address was that Pokémon players felt that they "graduated" the series as they got older (something he wasn't too pleased about), and he wanted to make a game that players could continue to enjoy as they grew up, echoing Iwata and Miyamoto's attitude towards the Super Mario Bros. franchise. Thus, while fans may have various complaints about different games in the franchise, pandering solely to children isn't one that was actually intended by the creators.
Audience Shift: While Pokémon started out purely as a "kids-only" franchise (and is probably most well known as such), over time the Periphery Demographic grew enough so that Game Freak would acknowledge them as a part of its demographic just as much as the kids themselves. Come Gen VI, lots of Pandering to the Base could be found in the games, and the official international website was overhauled to look more like an Apple product and less like an early 2000s kids' website.
Character Tiers: A heavily present feature in the metagame, and kind of necessary, given that for all of Game Freak's tweaks and additions, some Pokémon still clearly have it better than others. Most communities make an effort to organize the tiers thoughtfully, at least. Smogon has one example.
Despite a fair number of them being crutch characters, it's not uncommon for players to keep their starters as permanent fixtures of their team (usually as the strongest Pokémon in their lineup). The reasons why vary from attachment to practicality (either as a legitimately good Pokémon or a HM Slave).
The metagame has resulted in a lot of Pokémon being used by players a lot (Smogon appropriately dubs them "OU" for "overused"), simply due to being very powerful without being an outright (major) Legendary or Mythical Pokémon. VGC 2016 brought this to a head with the teams of the Top 5◊ — which were largely identical to each other, coining the derogatory term, "CHALK".* So named for the fact that four of them used Cresselia, three of them used Heatran, three of them used Aegislash and/or Amoonguss, and all of them used Therian Landorus and Mega Kangaskhan. Incarnate Thundurus was also very common among them.
Creepy Awesome: Many of the Poison-, Ghost-, and Dark-types count. Also some of the more malevolent Pokémon definitely get this treatment such as Mewtwo, Giratina, Kyurem, Yveltal, Genesect, and so on. The Ultra Beasts also have their fair share of fans thanks to their creepy, alien, and un-Pokémon-like designs.
Creepy Cute: While they're supposed to be creepy and unsettling in-universe, Ghost type Pokémon, especially the unevolved forms, are just as adorable as any other unevolved Pokémon. A few examples include Gastly, Misdreavus, Shuppet, Drifloon, Yamask, Litwick, Pumpkaboo, Phantump and Mimikyu.
Hex Maniac trainers in Generation VI are either this or adorable.
A case could be made that every Pokémon that's not conventionally cute is at least somewhat Creepy Cute (or Ugly Cute). With the possible exception of the Ultra Beasts, as they were designed to not look like Pokémon at all.
Critical Dissonance: According to critics, Pokémon has remained strong since the beginning. According to fans, the series has had high and low points which are greatly dependent on who you ask and when and where you ask. As you can imagine, fans do not agree on much.
Crosses the Line Twice: Nicknaming either Drifloon or Drifblim "Hindenburg" (and having either one of them with the Explosion attack) was already a pretty common joke, but then they got an exclusive Dream World Ability, Flare Boost, that increases their Special Attack while Burned. It's even worse in the Gen V and VII games, which take place in the series' equivalents of Americanote New York and Hawaii, respectively. Oh, the Humanity!...
On a similar note, one could nickname their Golem "Kurt Cobain" and teach it Explosion as well. Works best with suicide leads in the metagame.
Escapist Character: You get to go on a journey across regions by your lonesome at the ripe old age of 11 to 16, don't have to go to school ever, raise your own crew of Cool Pets up to and including various Physical Gods, take down criminal empires single-handedly, and become the region's biggest badass in short order. Let's be honest: if you've grown up with these games, you definitely wanted to become a Pokémon trainer at some point.
Even Better Sequel: Each new generation of games adds many new features and otherwise fixes design flaws.
Evil Is Cool: Some of the most popular Pokémon are known in-universe as sinister, malevolent, and destructive entities, such as Gyarados, Hydreigon, and Gengar. Special mention goes to Mewtwo and Necrozma, both widely known for being vicious and powerful Blood Knights in a land where being a Blood Knight is a way of life, and while the latter is the first Pokémon to be the Big Bad of a main series game, the former is one of the most famous and iconic creatures of the franchise.
Friendly Fandoms: Pokémon has such widespread appeal that its fandom overlaps with most other fandoms out there, from similar franchises such as Kirby, Super Mario Bros., and Sonic the Hedgehog to completely different ones such as Game of Thrones and Love Live!. Given any fandom, there's a high chance that it'll have unironic crossover fanart and fanfiction with Pokémon, no matter how awkward the crossover may be. The most common kind of fanart you'll see being a fictional character having a team of six Pokémon that reflects that character's personality, appearance, abilities, home location, or occupation. The fictional character may even be dressed like a Pokémon trainer (mostly wearing sporty clothing and a Nice Hat).
Genius Bonus: Some of the inspirations for the Pokémon species designs are delightfully obscure.
Shuckle resembles a turtle and many viewers automatically assume that it must be based on a turtle, but it's actually based on an Endolith, a kind of fungus that lives inside porous rocks.
Avalugg is likely based on Project Habakkuk/Habbakuk, a proposed World War II project to make aircraft carriers made of Pykrete, a mixture of wood pulp and ice. The project was considered for the fact that it turned out to actually be bulletproof, but ultimately turned down based on its ridiculously low maximum speed of six knots, along with the fact that so many measures would have to be taken to keep the damn thing from melting. Sound like someone?
Goddamned Boss: Roaming Legendaries can become this easily. It takes ages to find them because they move all over the place (and will move to a new location if you use Fly) and when you do find them they run away on their first turn. The only way you can prevent this is to trap them with an ability or move, but even then you have to be lucky enough to make sure to lead with Pokémon with such moves/abilities when you encounter roaming Legendaries. For added insult, some of these legendaries have the forced switch-out move, Roar, which will provide the Pokémon a chance to end the battle even if you managed to trap it.
Growing the Beard: Each generation brought in numerous improvements to the game, either competitively or in-game speaking since Generation I.
Generation II pretty much is where the games hit their stride, with the introduction of genders, held items, and breeding, certain trainer rematches, the In-Universe Game Clock and the first implementation of the series' wide battle tower in Crystal. Also, though elementary, it introduced the series' first move tutor who would teach a Pokemon of your choice a powerful move. Generation II also split the special stat into special attack and special defense stats to make it easier to determine which mons were going to dish out/take special attacks better or worse. It also introduced swarming, letting you catch certain monsters at certain times. Interestingly, most of the features that debuted here were meant to be in the first game but were cut due to production limitations, so their inclusion in the second generation makes Gold, Silver, and Crystal literal examples of Pokémon as it was meant to be played.
Generation III saw a noticeable improvement in art and sound over the previous two generations. It also introduced natures, innate abilities (like Mudkip's Torrent, for example), farming for berries, and a slew of more competitive-worthy items and monsters. Gen III also refined the ability to rematch against certain trainers (with gym leaders added to the list for Emerald) just by expanding the lists. It expended the move tutors abilities to teach your Pokémon far more moves as well, if you had the BP for it. One thing that most people tend to overlook is the PC box system was completely revamped. In previous games, you had to save your game each time you moved to a new box and once you filled a box of 30, you could not catch any new Pokémon until you switched the box in the PC. Starting with Ruby and Sapphire, the system was given a radical interface change allowing one to switch boxes and select boxed Pokémon effortlessly and to see them all simultaneously.
Generation IV saw a massive overhaul of the standard battling system just by splitting up physical and special attacks by the individual move, as compared to what the type of the move was. Also, it introduced tons of moves that enabled broader strategies. Gen IV also introduced even better abilities to take mons From Nobody to Nightmare (Scizor, much?). It also introduced the Pokétch, which was like the Pokégear with more functions such as EV counting, happiness checking, etc. It also introduced transferring across generations and wireless communications, all of which improved the number of Pokémon one could catch in one version before referring to a friend/GTS/themselves with another cartridge. Probably the biggest change was bringing the series online via Wi-Fi, which meant trading and battling with people from all over the world.
Gen V incorporated smoother game-play note to the point that one could beat it within a few days and much stronger story-telling elements (though whether or not it succeeds is up to the viewer). Black and White also redesigned a lot of interfaces to speed up action (weather listed on sidebars, Repels being used by the menu asking you rather than manually using one through the menu). Finally, it also introduced a long awaited sigh of relief: Reusable TMs.
Black and White 2 also refined the mechanics of breeding, and such to make it even easier to perform without sinking in a lot of time. The tutors (a returning feature from Generations 3&4) also encouraged a lot of innovative move-sets. It also shortened the Pokémon tournaments in postgame (the PWT) in a way that it's no longer tedious (though still time-consuming admittedly) to earn BP in order to get the items one needs compared to Generations III and IV.
Generation VI introduced many new improvements, including full 3D, trainer customization, and wider options for Wi-Fi play. Many features were designed to quicken the pace of gameplay: easier EV training through the Super Training mini-games, even more streamlined breeding mechanics and greater accessibility to perfect IVs even for legendaries. Game Freak also seemingly made a conscious effort to balance competitive play with, among many other things, a revision of type matchups (including a new type, Fairy, designed specifically to check Dragons and Fighting-types, as well as giving Poison and Steel-type moves something they are super effective against), nerfs to weather abilities, and a more reliable way of removing entry hazards.
Generation VII brought about at least two changes that greatly improved the gameplay: HMs being removed in favor of the Poké Ride system (thus moveslots aren't wasted on sub-par moves to get around the overworld) and Hyper Training, which can increase the stats of a less than perfect Pokémon so that they can be useful in competitive battling, effectively salvaging Pokémon from earlier games who may have had bad stats.
Generation VIII introduced mints, purchasable consumables that change a Pokémon's stats to mimic a certain nature, as well as separating the daycare system into two nurseries (which act like the old daycare system but no longer give experience and are solely used for breeding) and the Pokéjob system, which allows users to send a large number of Pokémon on real-time excursions to gain experience and EVs. Together with EXP candies which can be even more effective than rare candies, it's never been easier to level up competitive teams.
The games have also gotten this for some due to the decidedly old-fangled mechanics at the core of the battle system, the similarity between installments, and their extremely high popularity despite being a largely stagnant, non-innovative series.
Any Pokémon that happens to be heavily marketed, since some fans argue that Game Freak goes overboard on the Wolverine Publicity whenever they decide to use it and makes them quickly get sick of the Pokémon in question. Pikachu, Charizard, Mewtwo, Blaziken, Lucario and Greninja have all suffered from thisnote with Pikachu's "cute" Kid-Appeal Character nature and lack of fanboy worship making its case slightly different, while Zoroark narrowly avoided such a treatment due to its average reception.
The Battle Frontier gets this reaction from some fans, along with its Spiritual Successor, the Pokémon World Tournament. While both facilities are highly beloved, a small sector of fans bashes any "sequel" or "third version" game that doesn't include either of the two or an equally expansive equivalent and disregards any other new additions or features that would make up for the content in other areas, making the Frontier and PWT appear overhyped and overglorified to other fans. It doesn't help that no such facilities have been introduced ever since X and Y greatly streamlined competitive breeding and training mechanics, causing people to associate such battle facilities with the unfun grind-fest that was breeding and training prior to Gen VI (or hacking).
It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: The franchise has suffered from this all its life, first for the "Pokémania" fad among kids in the late '90s, and later for its massive and largely nostalgia-based Periphery Demographic. Additionally, some popular Pokémon species (such as Charizard) started suffering from this trope after their fandoms emerged in full force.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: All of the updated rereleases and remakes (and to a lesser extent, the first titles in any given generation) have run into a certain amount of these complaints. Generally the series as a whole has gotten this over remaining the same at its core.
It Was His Sled: For almost any game, you could make an argument that some kind of plot-twist is well-known outside the fandom.
Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: In the Gen 1 and 2 Pokemon games, Team Rocket are the main villains, plotting to steal rare Pokemon, cutting off Slowpoke tails and serving them as food, and other heinous acts. But who gets all the vitriol from fans? Your rival Blue, or as he's known more colloquially, "Gary Mother F***ing Oak!!" whose greatest crime is...telling you he'll "smell ya later!"
Junk Rare: ZigZagged with Shiny Pokémon. They're extremely rare to come by, but they're just Palette Swaps and nothing else. While a Shiny may have a good IV spread occasionally (or if bred accordingly), it's no different from any other Pokémon of the same species.
In the west, the human characters are (usually) hardly ignored, and many have large and dedicated fanbases, but most Western fans pay more attention to the Pokémon themselves to various degrees, a fact reflected in most Western fanart and almost all Western merchandising.
In Japan, however, this is outright reversed, at least where fanart is concerned, and the human characters get a good share of the merchandising, most of which stays in Japan.
LGBT Fanbase: Sylveon has become anunofficialicon for many transgender fans, as its color scheme coincidentally matches that of the trans flag; its evolution from the more masculine-looking Eevee only adds to the accidental symbolism. Primarina is also popular with trans fans, to something of a lesser extent, due to its extremely feminine design clashing with its 87.25% male gender ratio and the more boyish appearance of its pre-evolution, Popplio. In general, Pokémon with distinctively "masculine" or "feminine" designs but that are of the opposite gender (such as female Machamp, male Gardevoir and male Gothitelle) are popular with transsexual, transgender and non-binary fans due to the fact that the Pokémon themselves defy gender norms in a way that is just treated as natural rather than Played for Laughs or overemphasized.
Online interpretations of Drowzee/Hypno lean towards either pedophilia or murder. FireRed/LeafGreen and Explorers definitely doesn't help in that area.
Ambipom, with that creepy smile, udder-like things on its tails and those hands...
Mr. Mime is treated as this due to its unlikable, clown-like design. Taken Up to Eleven with its animation◊ and newly-introduced Fairy typing in Pokémon X and Y. This does not apply to its Galarian form however as its tap-dancing motif thankfully makes it a lot less creepy.
Gen V introduced a new catching mechanic where on rare occasions, a thrown Poké Ball will make a jet-stream sound effect before making contact; telling you ahead of time that you had just thrown a badass ball that will require almost no effort to catch the Pokémon.
The "shing!" that plays when a shiny Pokémon appears.
Not as often mentioned as the others, but the fanfare that plays when you pick a TM from an item ball in the overworld. Later games made item balls containing Technical Machines yellow to distinguish them.
In 2014, it was chosen as the mascot of the Japan national football team, an unofficial one along with Tsubasa Ozora. Also, it was chosen as one of the "anime ambassadors" for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but was cut off the final announcement for unknown reasons.
Not exactly the character itself, but Pikachu also appeared as one of the mascots of the 2019 Chilean protests, in the form of a corporeal. The backstory is very innocent: a woman's child took the cellphone and bought various products from China, being the Pikachu corporeal one of them (for adult size), then the conflict started and in October and when the "biggest march of Chile" happened, the woman opted to go as Pikachu, dancing during the protests and bringing joy and hope to the rest of the people and became a symbol until today. She's already know as "Baila Pikachu" (Dance Pikachu) and even has her own Instagram account.
My Real Daddy: The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri, but there are many fans who consider Junichi Masuda, who took the reigns from Tajiri from Gen 3 and onward, as the Real Daddy of Pokemon, as he further fleshed out the world of the franchise and established many enduring elements of it, with increasingly greater emphasis on story and character development than there ever was in the Tajiri-helmed games.
Narm: The change from "[Trainer] wants to battle!" to "[Trainer] would like to battle!]" in the Gen. 3 games. Sure, it's more polite, but it sounds ridiculous when said trainer is someone from Team Rocket or Cipher.
Only one of Hypno's Pokédex entries mention it hypnotizing and kidnapping a child, and even then it was treated as an isolated incident. Yet the fandom Flanderizes Hypno into an entire race of pedophile kidnappers. There's even a song written about it!
The Jynx controversy arising from her suspicious original coloration has pretty much ruined any chance for her to be popular when she seemed to be a misguided attempt to represent a Japanese legend/fashion trend. Nowadays, any mention of Jynx will inevitably bring up the controversy, and her reputation has been spoiled.
Porygon and its evolutions will never live down being the focus and namesake of the infamous anime episode that sent hundreds of children in Japan to the hospital with seizures or other ill-effects. The episode was subsequently banned from ever airing again in Japan or elsewhere, caused the show to go on hiatus for a few months, and proved to be a major stumbling block for the series early in its life. Since then, Nintendo and Game Freak have continually downplayed the line, none of which have appeared in the anime since, and seldom appear in merchandise.
One Pokédex entry states that Drifloon tries to kidnap children, but that Drifloon are much too light and weak to actually carry the children away, which leads to them being dragged along like a normal balloon.
The evil teams' menace tends to be dampened by the sheer incompetence of their Grunts. Team Skull from Pokémon Sun and Moon is Game Freak deciding to roll with this (in the process giving the Grunts more characterization than usual).
Older Than They Think: Since the West grouped event-exclusive Pokémon such as Darkrai and Celebi in with in-game Legendary Pokémon (sometimes even calling them such), many fans think the former being split off and called "Mythical Pokémon" was a later development in the franchise's history, not helped by some non-Mythicals like Ho-oh, Lugia and Zoroark being event-exclusive at some point. This distinction, however, existed in Japanese media since almost the very beginning.
Pokémon has, quite possibly, one of the clearest examples of this in video gaming; there's a reason why The Other Wiki lists it as the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. Outside its obvious target demographic of young kids, the entire franchisenote though the anime a bit less so than other incarnations is also quite popular with young adults that were kids in the late 1990s when the series was introduced, as well as with Otaku and Nintendo and JRPG fans in general. The franchise also has been a massive influence on youth and Internet culture, considering its popularity on Image Boards and the number of memes, videos, and fan tributes that the franchise has spawned, and has a number of famous fans such as Jordin Sparks, One Direction, Robert Downey Jr., Robin Williams and Ronda Rousey.
The franchise's adult fanbase has grown so much that in Japan, many child fans of Yo-Kai Watch claim that the Pokémon fanbase is full of "old fogeys" and prefer Yo-Kai Watch precisely because it hasn't caught on with adult fans yet.
Pop Culture Holiday: The Pokémon Company and fandom alike celebrate Pokémon Day on February 27th, the anniversary of Pokémon Red and Blue's Japanese release. Ever since 2016, which was the franchise's 20th anniversary, the company has put out some celebratory merchandise or in-game events around this date, such as holding a virtual concert with Post Malone on February 27th, 2021. It's also a common date to hole special video game and trading card tournaments.
Replacement Scrappy: Usually when a new Pokémon game comes around, you'll get this reaction towards certain Pokémon that supposedly replaced a previous favorite's role and failed/achieved to do the role better, or, in Zoroark's case, being purposefully advertised to be the next coming of the previous generation's Breakout Character, Lucario. And speaking of Zoroark, Generation V was notoriously infamous for this trope in terms of the main game's Pokémon roster.
MissingNo.. and 'M were a pair of glitches that occurred in Pokémon Red and Blue when data was mixed or corrupted, causing a sprite of jumbled pixels and Normal attack moves. This gave rise to the popularity of the fan-nicknamed "Glitch Type" Pokemon, with MissingNo.. and 'M becoming the most popular of these and appearing in several Pokémon fanfiction and Creepypasta.
Ashley from Pokémon was initially just Ash Disguised in Drag to get into a gym that he'd been banned from. That hasn't stopped some people from making Ashley a separate character on her own, ranging from an alternate universe counterpart to a Genderbent Ash.
For all the base-breaking going on in the fandom, Pokémon as a wholenote aside from the more contentious anime, at least post-Indigo League is treated as this because of the sheer number of people who grew up with it. It's become a cardinal sin to say anything bad about its world and characters or to claim that it's "strictly for children", and (aside from a few Vocal Minority circles) most complaints about the direction of the franchise are cast in a sympathetic light as opposed to bashing Pokémon as a lousy series.
Many Pokémon species in particular can also become this, with the strongest examples being popular Gen I and II(-related) species that do not suffer from Hype Backlash, such as Gengar, Scyther/Scizor, Gyarados, Eevee and the Eeveelutions, Mewtwo and Lugia, as well as a few from other generations such as Absol and Mimikyu. Such species are loved by older nostalgic fans, but are also tolerated and even equally loved by newer fans for not annoying them through excessive marketing and/or an overzealous fanbase, causing many people to consider them to be above criticism. Species that do attract Hype Backlash, such as Pikachu,note through its ubiquity as the Series Mascot and constant overshadowing of its own evolution Charizard,note through its association with "genwunners" and unfair marketing skew compared to the other Kanto starters Lucario,note through its very heavy Wolverine Publicity and association with the Furry Fandom Blaziken, and Greninjanote a combination of Charizard's and Lucario's reasoning become more divisive, with some fans treating them as Sacred Cows to an even greater degree and other fans expressing their annoyance towards such.
Flash is widely hated for its unreliable accuracy for a HM move that lowers the target's accuracy. From Generation 4 and on, its accuracy was increased to 100% and it is now a TM move instead.
Cut's Power is sub-par with just 50, its accuracy means it has a slight chance to miss, and it's an HM move. Not only did Gen IV remove its ability to cut tall grass, but Gen V buffed Tackle's Power to 50 and its accuracy to 100%, while also reducing Cut's mandatory usage to just one segment.
While Rock Smash has a high chance to lower the target's defense, its Power is just 20. It did get its power increased to 40 from Gen IV onward. Gen VI then introduced Power-Up Punch, which always raises the user's Attack if it hits (which is more useful than lowering several opponents' Defense), making Rock Smash redundant. It didn't help that in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire it regained its HM status.
Constrict has the lowest Power move of all moves, at just 10. Its secondary effect isn't that impressive either: it has a ridiculously low chance of reducing the target's Speed.
Self-Fanservice: Happens incredibly often, most notably to the main Pokégirls of whatever season that's airing. It's absolutely not unusual to see them aged-up and in skimpier outfits, be they canon like Misty's swimsuits for example or a completely new fan-designed outfit. This also extends to other notable female characters in the anime and the games, and the occasional male character, and the more humanoid Pokémon.
The Game Corners are minigame hubs which, in early generations, include slot machines, and in later generations contain randomized puzzle minigames. It is very easy to get distracted by them.
Pokémon Contests and the Pokéathlon have this effect as well. Since both pull different kinds of stats from the Pokémon and have different methods of gameplay than the usual battle, you can easily find yourself partaking in them for hours once you get the hang of it.
Pokéstar Studios is most definitely this. Here the player partakes in mock battles to create movies.
A lot of time can be squandered in Pokémon-Amie trying to get the highest ranks, and therefore, best Poké Puffs in the minigames.
Mantine Surfing in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is not only a fun minigame in itself, but also a nice and quick way of earning BP to teach moves to Pokémon and buy items.
The spiral on Poliwag's stomach? That's meant to be Poliwag's innards as seen through the translucent skin on its belly. In fairness, this is true of tadpoles in general.
One of the eggs of each Exeggcute has a piece of their shell missing, exposing their "yolk". In other words, you can see their insides...
Despite resembling eggs, they are more characteristic of plant seeds or coconuts, but still.
Beautifly and Gorebyss' method of feeding is sucking out their prey's bodily fluids. Leaving them a dried, dead husk. Oh, and Gorebyss's pink colour becomes more vivid once it's finished.
Lick, the only standard Ghost type move from the first generation, can cause Paralysis. The anime deliberately interpreted the attack through this trope (Ash's Charmander does not like it, for certain). Later Pokédex data for Haunter actually reveals the attack is a form of Vampiric Draining, causing the opponent to shiver until it dies.
"Stop Having Fun" Guys: Some competitive players mock people who play with their favorite monsters and insist that the series isn't for kids. Though this seems to be more a product of G.I.F.T than anything, as most prominent members of the competitive community, such as most Pokétubers and contributing members of Smogon, actually applaud players who make use of lesser-seen Pokémon and often try to do so themselves (though they can be less receptive if they believe said players are using such Pokémon poorly). After all, the alternative is seeing the same dozen or so Pokémonover and overAND OVER again.
You won't be too hard pressed to find people who stubbornly claim that there are only 151 Pokémon, or that Gold/Silver/Crystal were the only good sequels, or that Generation III was very poor (FireRed and LeafGreen notwithstanding). In fact, the GBA generation has probably gotten the worst of it, due to the inability to trade and battle with games from the prior two generations.
At the time of each new generation, you would always hear complaints about "something" that the newest generation brought to the Franchise. Examples being:
Generation II's introduction of the two new types, Dark and Steel, ruining the original type set-up.
Generation III's introduction of abilities being needless tweaks to people's favorite Pokémon. Starting the tradition of staying to one region instead of following the Gold and Silver example of being able to return to previous regions received a ton of backlash in particular.
Generation IV's Physical/Special split causing overused Pokémon to lose some of their offensive power in certain situations that they would win most of the time prior to the split. There was also the "kid-friendly" Voltorb Flip replacing the Game Corners in HeartGold and SoulSilver outside the Japanese versions of the games.
Generation VI's removal of experience dividing (meaning any Pokémon sent out in battle gets the full EXP) and full-party Exp. Share, which can remove a large chunk of difficulty from the game. Also, massive game changers such as the Fairy type and Mega Evolution.
Much like Generation V, Generation VII's focus on story and constant cutscenes have divided some players. There is also either the removal or downplaying of many of Generation VI's mechanics, which split many fans.
Generation VIII has completely removed Mega Evolution and Z-Moves which has upset a lot of fans. There is also the complete removal of some Pokémon and replacing the third game with expansion packs which has divided many fans.
Gold and Silver's end-game, which allowed the player to return to the past generation's region and actually extending the previous generation's timeline. A lot of players believe that this was a great way to extend Pokémon's end-game, yet these were the only games to include such a feature (aside from the remakes, obviously).
Black 2 and White 2 have confirmed that shapeshifter Pokémon can take on human form and communicate with humans, in which a backpacker NPC says a few lines, gives you the TM Snarl, then transforms into a Zoroark and runs off. If this was a common thing, for Dittos, Zorua/Zoroark and even freaking Mew to be in human disguise, only giving off vague hints. That is a plot thread too awesome to not use. Many fans love to think that N is actually this, but unless Game Freak states it as canon, it doesn't count.
X and Y left a lot of fans curious about the mystery behind Zygarde, the apparent third counterpart to version mascots Xerneas and Yveltal. Then Generation VI ended abruptly before Kalos could get a traditional third version or paired sequels like Unova, and while Sun and Moon did give Zygarde some new forms, its sidequest was ultimately disconnected from everything else in the games and barely had any plot to speak of. It seems the green dragon has been left high and dry by Game Freak.
A lot of Mythical Pokémon, being Dummied Out for years before their official reveal and (usually) impossible to get in normal gameplay, wind up getting almost no focus in their debut games. The biggest examples of this may be Genesect, who only gets a minor event where it gets two Drives (of four) despite being the creation of Team Plasma, and Arceus, who despite being the Pokémon equivalent to God plays no role in the Sinnoh games' plot beyond vague allusions to it in backstory. The Azure Flute used to fight and capture it wasn't even officially released!
Ugly Cute: Hydreigon arguably always has had some shades of this, but it's made more evident in Gates to Infinity, where it's a kind hero with a quirky personality and made completely undeniable with how adorably it behaves in Pokémon Amie in X/Y. It's hard to see it as a raging beast of mass destruction when it's beaming at you and doing happy dances, and also makes one question the accuracy of its Pokédex entries.
Several Pokémon fit into this: Feebas, Stunfisk, Skrelp, Mareanie...
A case could be made that every Pokémon that's not conventionally cute is at least somewhat Ugly Cute (or Creepy Cute).
Uncanny Valley: Many Pokémon, such as Kantoian Mr. Mime, Jynx, etc., due to being designed as off-putting humanoids.
Underused Game Mechanic: Double battles. They were introduced in Gen III as a selling point of the new games, but are rarely ever used outside of a few token battles in the main games. The only games that put a major emphasis on Double Battles are Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD, and to a lesser extent, Pokémon Emerald, which are all in the debut generation of Doubles. This wouldn't be so bad if official VGC tournaments weren't entirely conducted based on Doubles. In other words, the single-player campaign of most Pokémon games do almost nothing to prepare players for a crucial part of tournament play.
Quite a few Pokémon have a suggestive tuft of fur/feathers between their legs, like Blaziken, Reshiram and Beartic. White Kyurem gets a few of Reshiram's characteristics... but not that suspicious placing of fur.
Not to mention what the Internet has done with Cloyster.
Mew's backsprite from Black and White.
Palkia's phallic design from the shoulders up.
Combusken's torso, head, and thighs together look like a different kind of pecker than the designers probably intended.
And the issue of Onix being a "rock snake".
The African American character Lenora sparked controversy with her apron (which links to her being a mammy), so the Japanese designers re-designed her without the apron.
Magikarp: since it has horrible stats and can learn only four moves outside of events, it is systematically perceived by in-game trainers as useless, and even its Pokédex profile describes it as "virtually useless". In Real Life, on the other hand, everyone knows it evolves into the much more badass and useful Gyarados, so it ended up being the opposite of this trope for fans and the Trope Namer for Magikarp Power. This had the side effect of giving the impression that nearly any Pokémon based on a fish is bound to be awful, even when it isn't the case (most of the time anyway).
In-universe, Pyukumuku is viewed as an ugly nuisance by tourists, to the point where chucking them back into the sea is a common part-time job in Alola. Players beg to differ, finding the sea cucumber utterly adorable.
Western fans often clamor for a "Light" type, mainly as a countertype to Dark. What many don't understand is that Dark itself is known in Japan as "Evil", with Fighting being already the "heroic" type, in reference to samurai and the code they followed, to counter it, and Psychic and Fairy to embody anything that could be considered "holy" (as opposed to "good"). Some argue still that a Light type would be strong against Poison (one of Fairy's weaknesses), by way of purification (something Shaymin is known for, despite embodying another Poison-susceptible element), and would be more likely associated with the sun than the moon, while others wonder what a Pokemon equivalent to, say, Angemon, who isn't exactly a fairy or a psychic, would benote Keep in mind, though, that not only are angels a western concept, but Angemon himself wielded a Japanese bo staff, which would be associated w/ Fighting, and was already associated with "Air" and "Battle" in the Digimon World series (which itself lacked a "Light" element proper)..
The Bug-type being super-effective against Dark also makes little sense to a Westerner, where bugs are often met with fear and revulsion. However, in Japan, bugs are considered super-heroic, and the Dark type is known as the Evil type in Japan.
Within the Pokémon fandom, the anime tends to attract a small, but extremely vocal faction that dismisses the show as "kiddy" and praises the games as being "mature" relative to the anime; in some cases, even the anime-based elements in Super Smash Bros. and Pokkén Tournament can be a Berserk Button for them. The same faction treats Pikachu in a similar way, since it's a Kid-Appeal Character and most of its prominence and its Spotlight-Stealing Squad tendencies come from the anime. While a decent chunk of the older fanbase still dislikes the anime, the proportion of fans who don't seem to mind it or its influence on the rest of the franchise seems to be a bit bigger and much more silent about it, especially over time where the anime's overall effort and ambition seemed to increase (despite still having some controversial moments). These older fans might even regard the first few seasons with some degree of fondness.
Within the games themselves, you'll find plenty of complaints about the post games of Gens VI, VII, and VIII being "too short" or lacking in extensive battle facilities that Generation III, IV and V had. What isn't mentioned is that Game Freak has noticed that most fans don't even participate in them since they're often far too difficult for most of the player base to even attempt, and to do well, you'll need to understand the ins-and-outs of game mechanics that the game doesn't mention at all. This all indicates that those who actively complete these areas are unfortunately a minority of players. Generations VI, VII, and VIII in fact, got more sales and mainstream recognition than the previous few generations, indicating that ultimately the changes made in them resulted in wider overall appeal and all but confirming said fans as a Vocal Minority.
Many Pokémon and NPC names are portmanteaus or puns, and the translators took time to create a portmanteau or pun when translating from one language to another.
Renaming the Evil type to Dark type may count as this, especially considering the black colour of nearly all the Dark Pokémon.
Team Rocket is based off of the Yakuza in the Japanese version. In the other versions, they are based off of the more locally recognizable Italian Mafia stereotype, even down to the boss being named "Giovanni".
The Champion Ribbon is known as Hoenn Champ Ribbon in Japanese games. Except it's awarded for either Hall of Fame existing then. Fixed with the description in Gen IV as it states "in another region". Sinnoh doesn't have that problem, as Johto has a separate ribbon for the True Final Boss.
The "pokédollar", the in-game currency used, is actually based off of Yen, and was invented for the English script. Because many people were not familiar with how Yen pricing works, it was easier to just make up a fantastical currency instead of translating it into Yen, and "Dollar" is the currency in many English speaking countries (America, Australia, Canada) As a result, inserting a decimal point after the last two digits makes the numbers sound much more reasonable.
Elite Four is such a fitting translation for Shitennounote While it directly translates to "Four Heavenly Kings," this is a concept rooted in Buddhism that doesn't have an equivalent in other cultures, and in practice, it refers to a group of four high-ranking individuals. that it carried over to this very wiki.