Arthur loves playing video games, and is especially enthusiastic about "Pokémon."
Throughout the years of Pokémon, the player has encountered very distinct types of Pokémon—from Ground-types to Ghost-types, Fairy-types to Normal-types, and so forth. However, one of the most common Pokémon types that can be found in all regions is the Water-type. In this article, I will discuss the most iconic Water starters and their significance in Generations 1 through 6. One thing to keep in mind when reading this article is that it is my opinion only, and I more than welcome other opinions in the comments section.
Squirtle: The OG Starter
When the first game debuted in 1996, the player had the option of purchasing the Red or Blue version. Each contained unique Pokémon specific to that version, with only the starter choices being the same. Those starters were the Fire-type Charmander, the Grass-type Bulbasaur, and the Water-type Squirtle.
When discussing the different Water starters, it is very hard not to include Squirtle. Just like its counterparts, Squirtle played a vital role in the success of the earlier games and the anime. For instance, Squirtle is one of the first starters that Ash caught, and it made special appearances throughout the anime. Squirtle's level of importance to the franchise is very high because it also played a crucial part in the development of the Mega Evolution storyline, which led the XY series to become very successful.
A Formidable Starter
As I previously stated, Squirtle was the first Water starter that was available for the player to choose in the Red and Blue versions. It is important to note that Squirtle's last evolution, Blastoise, is featured on the cover of the game, which is a big deal. No other game has one of its starters on the main cover.
Squirtle is one of the most formidable starters that you may encounter throughout your journey in the Pokémon universe, and it plays an integral part in the success of the franchise as a whole. But how vital is Squirtle in comparison to the likes of Totodile and Froakie?
A Transitional Starter: Totodile
Following the massive success of the Indigo League and the Orange Islands, the Pokémon franchise felt there was a need for a new generation of Pokémon, which was introduced in the third season of the anime. Within that season, viewers were introduced to a new region as well as new starters to be part of the player's journey. Those starters were the Fire-type Cyndanquil, the Grass-type Chikorita, and the Water-type Totodile. In the following section, I will go in detail about Totodile's importance to the Pokémon franchise in terms of the game and the anime.
With the introduction of a whole new generation of Pokémon, including new starters, it was inevitable that Squirtle was going to depart the anime. This is why there was a need for Ash to capture another Water starter—in this case, Totodile. That is why I call it a transitional starter. Once that transitional phase was established, Totodile become a more relevant part of the anime, and also provided some context in regards to why players should or shouldn’t choose him as a starter in the game.
A Well-Rounded Pokémon
After being introduced to the anime, Totodile played a supporting role. The same cannot be said when discussing Totodile's introduction to the Pokémon games. I consider Totodile to be one of the more robust Water starters of the game because it possesses high defense and offense hit points, which can be useful for any player. However, does Totodile have the same impact on the franchise as Froakie does?
A Special Bond: Froakie
Following the lackluster Black and White series, there was a need for new concepts, as well as a new generation of Pokémon. The XY series was introduced with a brand new set of starters; the Fire-type Fennekin, the Grass-type Chespin, and the Water-type Froakie. I believe that Froakie played a more crucial role in the anime than its predecessors did, and I will explain the reasons why.
I consider the XY series to be a rebirth of sorts for the Pokémon franchise. It allowed fans to relive their childhood by introducing new evolutions for Pokémon of previous generations, while also introducing a brand new generation. The introduction of Froakie in the anime was well-received; as the bond he formed with Ash is one of the best in the series. Ash's bond with Froakie and its evolutions cannot be matched by any protagonists of the show, including those with Mega Stones. Froakie's level of importance to the show is tremendous, and it plays a huge part in the Pokémon games as well.
Influence Beyond the Franchise
As it is one of the three starters, the opportunity to capture Froakie will be at the beginning of your Pokémon journey. However, Froakie's level of relevance is not just prominent in the XY series. Froakie's final evolution, Greninja, is a key member of the Smash Bros. franchise as well, which increases the level of interest among a larger audience. In other words, Greninja's success is so huge that it reminds me a lot of how cool Charizard was when introduced to players and viewers alike.
So Which Starter Is the Most Iconic?
Considering everything I have said about these starters, I would say that Froakie's level of importance is greater or equal to Squirtle's. Froakie can also be considered a transitional starter, just like Totodile. But in general, I believe most of the Water starters, especially those that I mentioned in this article, play considerable parts in the success of the games and the anime.
In your opinion, which Water starter do you believe plays a more significant part in the success of the franchise?
Shadow jack09 on July 22, 2018:
hey i like the current generations is.....you know.......kinda cool