On “Mon-Days” we put a single Pokémon in the spotlight. Last edition was about my favorite Pokémon Sylveon, so this time we go the opposite route. Today we look at Simisear, the Pokémon, not me, but the world hates the most. Today however we are going to give it some love and attention. Pokémon have feelings too and all deserve some love and affection.
The Ballad of the Trash-Monkeys.
To understand Simisear, we are going to need to look at it’s pre-evolution and it’s little brothers first. The monkeys which oftenly get referred to as the trash-monkeys, Panpour , Pansear and Pansage were developed to resemble the Three Wise Monkeys. You know .. the See no Evil, hear no evil and speak no evil ones.
The origin of these monkey’s actual lies in the land of Pokémon, that’s right Kanto… I mean Japan. Over a door in the Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō these monkey were carved into stone by a man named Hidari Jingoro. Of course he carved plenty of other things in there as well, all meant to represent come stuff Confucius used to say. With the monkey’s said to represent the code of conduct and lifecycle for man. At this point I need to point out that in our western world the Monkey’s basically represent the opposite of what they mean in the East.
While in the east, speaking, hearing and seeing no evil is a good thing, in the West we see it as denying stuff , allowing evil to roam the world by not acknowledging it is there. In Japan and then likes, when you see no evil, it means your eye is not turned on vices, when you speak no evil, it means not speaking ill of anyone and when you hear no evil…well I guess you don’t have thin enough walls to hear your neighbours or something, maybe not listen to metal or something… take your pick. Here is where it gets interesting though, the Pan-Pal’s are monkey’s who FAILED at their wise Monkey’s counterpart. Pansage can be seen removing the mouth from his hand, Pansear can be seen putting a hand to his ear to listen, and Panpour is seen peering out, and is just squirting NOT closing its eyes. So while in the land of the rising sun, these monkey’s would be sinners, in our civilisation they should kinda be heroes, for standing up what is right. There you go, looks like those little rascals already got a little more interesting.
Hearing a lot of evil
With this established, it’s already a bit more understable why these monkey’s get no love, but what makes Pansear and it’s evolution that much more hated? Does it really deserve the hate because it’s a bit of a fool in Japan? Heck no! Simisear might be looked at as a fool in Japan and that shines a bit trough in it’s design. He looks a bit derpy, and like it’s brother is prone to vices. So, part of our problem is we never really understood pansear and Simisear as westerners. It’s hard to appreciate what you don’t know. Pinkie over here, must admit she kinda likes the design of simisear. Let’s for example compare it to the other fire type monkey.
Infernape is clearly based on Journey to the West’s Son Wukong, that’s kind of why he reminds you of Goku. Yet Infernape in my opinion , even though it’s a lovely Pokémon on its own, is the more faulty design of the two. Gen IV had a lot of “overly designed’ pocket monsters. Simisear feels much closer to something you can keep as a pet, or use for battling then the beloved Gen IV starter with a hated typing. It’s design might be basic and a tad bland, sure but it actually feels like an animal you can befriend, play with and challenge a league with, Wukong the Pokemon to me just feels like a weapon. Sure it looks dopey, it’s not cool and might have a weird haircut, but it’s an animal.. it’s not Furfrou that we can groom,it’s meant to look dopey because it’s a foolish monkey. Besides, haven’t we looked past stupid hair before… and after. Simisear does not deserve the hate for it’s design.
‘Well, maybe we can hate Simisear then for being that fool, if the Pokédex says it’s an idiot, I don’t want it in my party!’ Of course it’s not an idiot in the Pokédex. Simisear and Pansear are some of the sweetest monkey’s out there. Pansear likes to collect fruit and uses its fire powers to lightly toast them to make them taste nicer, while Simisear is a hoarder and devourer of sweets. Like charmander Simisear has a little flame to keep alive. In case of our simian pal though that flame is inside itself. That little flame is fueled by sweetness. So can you really hate a monkey that just really loves to eat fruit and candies? In its very core it’s quite an innocent creature that is not made and build for battle, and once more that is reflected in it’s very being.
Sure it’s battle prowess is nothing to write home about, you will not be able to use it in an extremely competitive situation…but neither are so many mons that don’t get the hate. Dunsparce is quite loved, and that has a lot lower usability. Sunflora is objectively the final evolution in the game and it’s not as much shit upon. Flare Blitz, Grass Knot Life Orb or Focussed Simisear is not that bad to run. It even can be runned as a passable special attacker. It’s offensive stats are decent enough, and it’s speed is high enough to compensate for it’s subpar defences, certainly when choiced. However Simisear was never designed to be one of the competitive mon’s. The Monkey’s were much more of a crutch, to learn new players about type coverage early. They were designed to take along on your Pokémon journey through Unova without having to care about IV’s , EV’s and the likes. You are given a little monkey friend to build a more solid team around your starter, and though Sycamore might have had a sweeter deal a generation later, I will always remember my first monkey friend, it was a Pansear and faced the elite four with me as a Simisear and I had absolutely zero qualms in using it. You can hate on a Pokémon for it not being cool, or for not being very useful, but by flat out hating a Pokémon just for hating it, you might tarnish someone’s fond memories of their first playthrough of a certain game. Do not take away the magic and remember: When you can only be bitter about this little monster, you might very well be killing a poor little monkey from the inside! Keep the flame alive, be sweet!
I love you Simisear!
So let’s try a little something to fuel that flame! Let’s keep Simisear alive, by saying something positive about the adorable monkey in the comments, tell your friends and keep the chain going! Let’s make a spirit-bomb of sweetness and love! Poképals, share your love, and stay pink!
Until we read again!