Oddish, Gloom, and Vileplume
|Oddish, Gloom, and Vileplume|
|Pokémon series character|
|First game||Pokémon Red and Blue|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
Oddish, Gloom, and Vileplume, known in Japan as ナゾノクサ (Nazonokusa), クサイハナ (Kusaihana), and ラフレシア (Rafureshia Ruffresia ), are three Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, they first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels. They have later appeared in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. They are all voiced by Kayzie Rogers in the English dub.
Concept and characteristics
Oddish, Gloom, and Vileplume are three of 150 different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Nazonokusa", "Kusaihana", and "Ruffresia" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. According to IGN, Oddish's English name comes from a combination of "odd" and "radish"; Gloom's name comes from a combination of "gloomy" and "bloom"; and Vileplume's name comes from a combination of "vile" and "plume". Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga author Toshihiro Ono cited Oddish as one of his favorite Pokémon to draw for the series, stating the reason being "because it's cute". Gloom and Vileplume are based on the plant rafflesia arnoldii, which is characterized by its huge flower.
Oddish is a weed-like Pokémon that looks like a small animated radish plant with a rounded body. Its body is blue or purple with two small feet and red eyes. On top of its head grows a large clump of 5 long green blades of grass. Oddish is a nocturnal Pokémon, using moonlight rather than the sun's rays for photosynthesis. During the day, Oddish avoids the sun's heat and brightness by burying itself into the earth, leaving only the leaves on top of its head visible above ground. In this way it disguises itself as a plant, misdirecting its herbivorous daytime predators. In the night, it goes around sowing its "seeds." While buried, Oddish nourishes itself by absorbing nutrients from the soil using its feet, which are said to temporarily change into a root-like structure for this purpose. Oddish has been known to use its leaves as hands, such as one who used this to climb a rope net and tried to fly like a Hoppip. If anyone pulls at Oddish's leaves and tries to uproot it while it is buried underground, Oddish will react by shrieking in a high-pitched voice. This mirrors the behavior of the legendary mandrake in a similar situation, although it seems that Oddish's squeaks do not have the same dire consequences as a mandrake's.
Gloom is a flower-like Pokémon that is a larger and stronger evolution of Oddish. Gloom can also be found in most grassy areas of most regions. The fluid that oozes from its mouth isn't drool; it is a nectar that is used to attract prey. Once the prey is attracted, the nectar will cling to the prey, trapping it. The nectar mostly attracts prey that lack a sense of smell, as the nectar smells so bad that those who have the misfortune of sniffing it suffer from memory loss. As well as its nectar, the pistil of Gloom's flower smells incredibly foul, often described as smelling of old sneakers, garbage, and rotten eggs with a hint of skunk fumes, and strong enough to be smelled from a mile away. It has been found that approximately 1 in 1,000 people enjoy the scent that Gloom emits. Those that don't enjoy the smell have been known to faint upon smelling it. When Gloom is faced with danger, the stench worsens. If it is feeling calm or secure, it does not release the horrible aroma. It is said to widely shower its attacks; with moves such as Stun Spore, Poison Powder, and Sleep Powder, it has the ability to cause status problems on its foes. Gloom has two evolved forms (from the second generation onwards), Vileplume and Bellossom. Unlike other Pokémon that evolve via level, Gloom will not evolve until it is exposed to an evolution stone; a Leaf Stone will make a Vileplume, while a Sun Stone produces a Bellossom.
Vileplume is a huge flower-like Pokémon that is a larger and stronger evolution of Gloom. Vileplume can be obtained by using a Leaf Stone on a Gloom. Vileplume is known for its extremely offensive stench that comes from its large red flower. Vileplume uses this stench in battle, catching its foes off guard when they start to back away from the horrible smell. However, Vileplume's flower can actually be a hindrance in battle due to it being very heavy and bulky. Due to of its weight, Vileplume walks very slowly, and it often must use its hands to help support the flower. Vileplume can be found in forests and they like to stay low to the ground. When they sleep, their huge petals droop over their head and they blend in more with the plants around them. They also release toxic, dense pollen into the air in this position so animals don't go near them. At night, they sometimes gather together to perform odd rituals – during this time they release toxic pollen to deter intruders. The white markings on this flower are larger in the female than in the male. Vileplume's look and characteristics are modeled after the Rafflesia.
In the video games
The first video game appearance of the Oddish evolutionary line was in Pokémon Red and Blue versions, where it was only made available in the Red version. It later appeared in several sequels, including Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the Red and Blue remakes Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Pokémon Black and White. They are not available in LeafGreen and Black versions, being version exclusive to their counterparts. Outside of the main series, they have appeared in Pokémon Pinball and the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, while Vileplume itself appeared in Pokémon Snap. Oddish, Gloom, and Vileplume also appear in Hey You, Pikachu!.
In other media
Oddish first appears in the anime in Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village where Misty tries to catch it before being stopped by a Bulbasaur, which is caught by Ash. In Foul Weather Friends, Oddish wishes to fly, going as far as to paint itself like a Hoppip. Erika, the Gym Leader of Celadon City, has a Gloom that Ash Ketchum rescued from the Gym when it went up in flames because of Team Rocket. Erika first met Gloom when it saved her from a Grimer when she was a girl. In Make Room for Gloom, a character named Florinda has a Gloom which she wants to evolve into a Vileplume, but it shows its worth as a Gloom when defeats Team Rocket. Vileplume first appears making cameo appearances in Pokémon Scent-sation, being one of the Pokémon owned by the attendants at the Celadon Gym. Vileplume's first major appearance was in Holy Matrimony under the ownership of James's fiancee, Jessiebelle.
Oddish has minor roles in manga, appearing in The Electric Tale of Pikachu as one of Ash's Pokémon, and in Pokémon Adventures during a mass migration of Pokémon at the Seafoam Islands. In the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, Brock presents a Vileplume to the Sensational Sisters as a makeshift bouquet. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Vileplume is one of the Pokémon owned by Erika, its powerful Petal Dance attack being its forte.
Since appearing in the Pokémon series, the Oddish evolutionary line has received generally positive reception. They have been featured in several forms of merchandise, including figures, plush toys, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Vileplume was featured as a keychain in a Burger King promotion. A first edition Vileplume card has been noted as being worth up to $75. A Vileplume card was released with a printing mistake.
Oddish has been described as an "onion with hair", a "cute blue weed". and a "cute little plant". The Baltimore Sun editor Kevin Cowherd described it as resembling a "mutant head of lettuce". Nintendo World Report's Ben Kosmina noted that while Oddish's death animation in Pokémon Colosseum was "ho-hum", Vileplume's was a "riot". Destructoid's Johnathan Holmes criticized Oddish as an example of a frustrating Pokémon to encounter, due to its high encounter frequency. Destructoid's Jim Sterling wrote that he preferred Gloom and Vileplume to Bellsprout and that Gloom was better than Vileplume due to its "English accent" in the anime. He used them as an example of why Pokémon Red was better than Blue in his opinion. Gamertell's James Bishop wrote that while carrying around the Poké Walker accessory may seem weird, catching an Oddish on it was worth looking weird doing it. GamesRadar editor Brett Elston praised Oddish for its usefulness in capturing legendary Pokémon. He called Gloom nasty due to its stench and white gloop coming from its mouth, which the game claims can "curl noses from more than a mile away" and noted that Vileplume was superior due to its lack of this stench. Authors Tracey West and Katherine Noll named Vileplume the seventh best Grass type Pokémon. The Washington Post's Laura Sessions Stepp wrote that the character Erika's Gloom was a "blue-grey stinkball".
An editor for IGN wrote that Oddish and its evolutions represent the "best qualities" of the Grass/Poison type combination due to their numerous attacks that are either Grass or Poison. The editor noted its only flaw being its low attack power. The editor also called Gloom "basically a meaner, slightly more powerful version of Oddish with a bit of drool on its face". The editor noted that Vileplume's greatest strengths were in its status-changing attacks. IGN's Pokémon Chick wrote that Oddish was a better Pokémon than the Pokémon Sunkern. She used Gloom as an example of the middle evolution in a three-stage Pokémon species line that is ugly and wrote "it's like the makers of the game wanted us to hate them so we'd keep our Pokémon at their earliest stage long enough to get all the good moves quickly and then evolve them twice in quick succession to get the boost in stats". She also called Vileplume boring but praised it for the improvements made to it in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
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