One of the most common misperceptions about Pokémon is that Pikachu is everybody’s favourite. The Pokémon of the Year competition has put to bed any debate about the world’s favourite Pokémon, which was conclusively decided to be the Water starter, Greninja.
In collaboration with Google, The Pokémon Company (TPCi) launched a contest where fans could vote for their favourite Pokémon to win the award of Pokémon of the Year. Fans could vote every day for some of their favourite of the 891 monsters that span across eight generations of games. The results of this poll were released on February 27th, the anniversary of the original Pokémon Red and Green’s releases, known also as Pokémon Day. In this detailed database released by TPCi, fans can see the most popular 30 Pokémon in each generation.
Kanto received the greatest total of votes with 306,019
Greninja towered above every other Pokémon in the results, winning 140,559 votes- some thirty-eight thousand more than second-place Lucario. Interestingly, these two Pokémon have both appeared fighters in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, which may explain their successes in the poll compared to other Pokémon. Greninja also took a large role in the previous anime arc set in Kalos, gaining popularity for its Ash-Greninja form and exclusive Water Shuriken move. Greninja has also been a popular pick in competitive Pokémon battling, remaining viable throughout the past three generations due to its impressive speed and the rare Protean ability that improves its damage output.
Not all Super Smash Bros. fighters were as popular amongst fans, as the newest Pokémon fighter introduced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the fiery Incineroar, finished with 29,925 votes, failing to gain as many votes as its rival Decidueye, who many fans had hoped would appear as a new fighter in Sakurai’s latest fighting game.
A surprise contender in the race for Pokémon of the Year was Mimikyu. The ghost-fairy Pokémon that wears a makeshift Pikachu costume finally got the love it so dearly craves according to its Pokédex entry, beating Charizard to third place overall with 99,077 votes.
The two Pokémon mascots finished 19th and 20th overall
In the age-old debate amongst Pokémon fans over which starter Pokémon is the best, Bulbasaur beat Charmander and Squirtle by over thirty-thousand votes, thanks to a dedicated campaign by the Twitter fan account, Bulbasaur Propaganda and its 72,000 followers.
Pikachu and Eevee still remain popular amongst Pokémon fans and proved hard to split. The two Pokémon mascots finished 19th and 20th overall, split by under 300 votes. The Eeveelutions proved popular in the vote, as all the evolutions bar Flareon received over ten thousand votes, with Umbreon and Sylveon beating out the original by over twenty-thousand votes.
The Pokémon in the top 30 were fairly evenly split over the eight generations, with no one title having more than 5 or fewer than 3 Pokémon in this group. Unsurprisingly, Pokémon from the first generation, Kanto, received the greatest total of votes with 306,019, whereas Unova, the home of Pokémon Black and White, came in the least popular overall, with only 134,779 votes for its Pokémon in the top 30.
How did our favourites at The Boar Games do in the Pokémon of the year poll? For our editor, Hamish, Buizel was nowhere to be found, not making it into the top 30 of its native Sinnoh, getting beaten by the likes of Shinx, Turtwig, and the VGC legend, Pachirisu. My favourite, Oshawott, managed to win enough votes to finish 7th in the Unova region with 21,990 votes, beating the box legendaries of Zekrom and Reshiram. Reece, the other Deputy Editor, was not so lucky. His Castform also failed to infiltrate the top 30 Pokémon in Hoenn, losing out to 30th place Mightyena with its 6459 votes.