Did you know that with the advent of Pokémon Black and White there are now 649 Pokémon in existence? I remember back in the day when I would watch the anime on television and hear that familiar Pokérap song at the end of each episode naming all the Pokémon that, at the time, totaled 150. I'll admit, I was one of those people who tried to memorize their names, and I also went even further by researching their origins and how they were thought up. And guess what? I still do.
This is the eighth of my many I Choose You! articles where I will focus on one Pokémon or on its evolutionary line and cover its origins and abilities. I'll also include my own opinions about the Pokémon and what I remember most about them. Sure, we all know about Pikachu, Mewtwo, and Lucario. But what about the less famous ones like Finneon, Lombre, and Graveler? I've added all 649 Pokémon into a randomizer and I will try to focus on all of them as they come and in no particular order. Even if you are not a Pokémon fan, I hope you'll learn a bit about them, how they affected my own gaming experience, and perhaps realize why the Pokémon franchise is still going strong. Hit the jump for Persian!
I was one of those people who played Pokémon Red with the full intent on completing my Pokédex. Commercials for the game constantly advertised that familiar slogan that made me want to catch them all as well. Unfortunately, you couldn't catch them all by yourself and you needed someone to trade with in order to get Pokémon that did not appear in your game. After trading over Meowth from my brother's game, I had to invest some time with it until it finally evolved into Persian, a Pokémon like any other house pet.
My Meowth's evolution into Persian was a complete surprise back in Pokémon Red. I had never seen Persian before, and it surprised me how a small, comical, bipedal cat evolved into a larger, graceful feline. While it is based real life large cats like leopards and mountain lions, it really has no resemblance to the real life Persian cat. In fact, Persian cats have a lot more hair on their bodies than Persian does. Its beige colored coat and rounded ears with black tips give it more of a resemblance to Siamese cats and its large build is that of a wild cat. It also has an mysterious jewel on its forehead that it uses in attacks such as Power Gem and Hypnosis.
Because it is based on a cat, there really is nothing spectacularly interesting about Persian's background. It seems to be a living stereotype and exaggeration of most cats, and its species, the Classy Cat Pokémon, signifies it as such. Its Pokédex entry also states that it is a very haughty Pokémon that exudes elegance and grace, but when angered, its true claws come out and it shows off its barbaric side. Its very agile and its six whiskers let it sense the air around it. Having the Limber ability, Persian's nimbleness prevents it from ever being paralyzed.
I remember using Persian until it learned Slash, a move that I used quite often in the later part of the game because of its high critical hit ratio. Nowadays, Persian has a whole arsenal of moves that it can learn including the cat-friendly Fake Out, a move whose Japanese name, nekodamashi, means something like "cat trick." Nekodamashi is a sumo move where you slap your hands in front of an opponent's face to astonish it and gain the advantage. Persian's personality gives it access to moves like Taunt and Captivate, and while its stats are relatively low, its high Speed and Nasty Plot move can allow it to become a Special Sweeper if you focus on building up its Special Attack.
Persian is one of those Pokémon whose name actually exists in the dictionary. There really isn't much inspiration behind the Pokémon and its stats also reflect on its Normal-type plainness. Because it has low Defense, Persian might not last very long on the battlefield, but any cat lover will ignore these shortcomings and admire its curly tail. Just beware: If Persian raises its tail, it is getting ready to pounce.