Arthur loves playing video games, and is especially enthusiastic about "Pokémon."
Fire, Water, or Grass?
Throughout the decades of the Pokémon franchise, players have traveled to different regions and completed multiple tasks in order to fulfill their dream of becoming a Pokémon Master. Even though the games have changed drastically from the franchise’s conception in 1996, one constant is the option presented at the beginning of each game—which starter will you choose? Players can choose between a Fire-, Water-, or Grass-type (with the exception of Pokémon Yellow, in which the player is stuck with Pikachu). Even though some players may think that selecting their starter is a very simple component of the game, there are three factors that many players seriously consider prior to choosing their starter.
1. Which Type Is Best?
Players will often consider which type they prefer best, regardless of how their final evolution looks. For instance, my favorite type always has been Fire, so I will lean towards a Fire starter instead of choosing the other types.
2. What Is Their Final Evolution?
Another factor that players consider prior to choosing their first Pokémon is how they look in their final evolution. For instance, a lot of players in the past have picked Treecko, Torchic, Squirtle, Froakie, and Charmander solely based on how they look in their final evolution.
3. What Is Their Part in the Anime?
The anime will play a huge part in influencing the player on which starter the player will choose, which can make the game difficult for any player. When you really get to know a Pokémon's personality and backstory via the anime, you can feel more inclined to choose one of the same species as your partner.
Regardless of the reasons why you choose a starter, everyone plays favorites to some extent. That's why I wrote this article to talk about my favorite starters throughout generations 1 to 6.
Charmander: An All-Time Favorite
Previously, I broke down the three different factors that can influence which starter is chosen. I have been playing Pokémon on and off for years, and I always leaned towards a Fire-type because of my first Fire starter, which was Charmander. I would say Pikachu and Charmander are on the same level in terms of the most iconic characters of the franchise. Below, I will go into detail why Charmander is one of my all-time favorites.
When I played Pokémon Yellow, by default I started with Pikachu. But the player has an opportunity to get the other three starters throughout their journey, which is how I came across Charmander for the very first time. This Pokémon influenced me to choose other Fire starters in later installments of the game because I thought their last evolution would be just as cool as Charmander's.
Charmander's Final Evolution
When I first realized that Charmander would turn into a powerhouse like Charizard, I knew that Charmander would be the ideal starter for me. Charizard's look is unique, and in later installments, it received two additional evolutions, which made the XY series so successful. Charmander's final evolution and type were not the only reasons that influenced me to pick it as my starter—the anime also played an important part in my choosing.
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Charmander in the Anime
In the anime, Ash finds Charmander in the rain because it was abandoned by its trainer. Charmander believed his trainer was going to come back. However, the trainer turns out to be a prick and Charmander decides to join Ash and his team. Along with Ash, Charmander evolves into Charmeleon and later Charizard. Once he becomes Charizard, he becomes cocky and disrespectful. Sadly, I see myself in Charmander, which is why I have a connection with him. I went from being a very naïve person to a total prick. However, just like Charizard, I found that there is beauty and people you can trust in this world.
Charmander is an unforgettable starter because it reminds players of the earlier days of the franchise—when the goal of the game was much simpler to achieve. But Charmander is not the only one of the original starters that I love.
Squirtle: A Pokémon That Paved the Way
Over the years, players have seen multiple Water-types across vastly different regions. However, Squirtle has been one of the most iconic Water Pokémon. Squirtle paved the way for other Water starters and made the anime much more popular.
When I played the original games, such as Pokémon Red and Pokémon Yellow, it was very difficult to assemble my team without having a strong Fire-type or a solid Water-type. If I did not choose Charmander as a starter, I leaned towards Squirtle.
Squirtle's Final Evolution
Once the final evolution of a certain Pokémon is reached, the player feels like he or she has achieved a great feat. That is no different with a starter such as Squirtle. If the player decides to choose Squirtle, they will feel accomplished that it has evolved to Blastoise. Once your starter has become Blastoise, it opens the door for new moves and strategies.
Squirtle In the Anime
Just like Charmander or even Bulbasaur, people chose Squirtle solely based on the anime. Squirtle is always the comic relief, and he has a big personality. For me, the earlier seasons of the anime were the most influential. This leads me to the reason why Froakie is my last favorite starter.
Froakie: The Revamped Water Starter
After taking a long break from playing Pokémon games, I finally entered the Pokémon world once again, and I must say that has been an interesting journey. I started watching the anime again and I came across a newer starter named Froakie. I consider some of the previous Water starters to be a little boring and annoying at times. Froakie, on the other hand, is by far one of the top Water starters of the whole franchise. Its introduction to the Pokémon universe in XY was one of the reasons that I started watching the show again.
In some generations, the Water starter felt flat, which made the choice for a starter very difficult. When the XY series was introduced, it felt like the Pokémon franchise was trying to invent themselves. The whole process of reinventing themselves could not be complete without the introduction of Froakie.
Froakie's Final Evolution
Froakie's fighting spirit and compassion are why a lot of players chose him as a starter. But aside from those great attributes, Froakie's final evolution has tempted a lot of fans. Aside from being a Dark/Water type, by using the Bond Phenomenon, he can turn into Ash Greninja. In this form, Greninja's leg strength increases and it gains the ability to wield large water shurikens.
Froakie In the Anime
In the anime, we encountered a genuine connection between trainer and Pokémon. The bond that can be found between Ash and Greninja is so strong that they become one. This bond taught the audience that once your inner strength is found, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams. That is why I believe Greninja became one of my all-time favorite starters.
What Do You Think?
There you have it, my favorite starters from the Pokémon franchise. Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of my choices!