Beginning the Pokémon of the Normal-type article series are these monkey Pokémon (or as they are called, the Long Tail Pokémon)! To get on with the article, please read on.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: Chaomaster1)
As far as monkeys go, Aipom and Ambipom are rather generic-looking. Because it’s Pokémon, it’s not particularly a difficult task to stand out, since there is no need to completely adhere to the traditional model of a monkey. There is indeed one trait that stood out for these monkeys.
One notable trait with Aipom is its tail. It’s quite prehensile, like any monkey’s tail would be, but that’s not the notable trait. The notable trait is the tip of the tail, which is shaped like a palm and has digits sticking out of it. It works like a hand, since it is shaped like one. It probably is a necessity, since Aipom has simple (and clumsy) hands, which is not likely to be effective. With that tail like this, it is likely to be used as a fist rather than its actual hands.
Ambipom, the evolution of Aipom, is similar – except it has two tails. They basically act as two hands, which is obviously more useful to have than one, since there are more things that could be done with them. Let’s not forget that like Aipom, its hands are rather simple and not of much use. Perhaps the fact that the tails of Aipom and Ambipom are used very often compared to their hands is the reason their hands don’t see much action, and thus became lame.
Aipom was introduced in Generation 2 as a standalone Pokémon, which means that it was likely introduced to show off the diversity of Johto, particularly as a Pokémon in a tree. It most likely didn’t have much use besides that since it is particularly weak for a fully-evolved Pokémon, with the only notable stat being Speed.
Generation 4’s Ambipom is likely to be the result of two things: one, to improve the viability of weaker Pokémon. A lot of Pokémon at that time needed an extra boost in strength in order to stand a chance against some of the big boys. Quite a number were lucky to get them, such as Gligar, Sneasel and as a more relevant example, Aipom.
The new method needed to achieve evolution is to teach Aipom Double Hit, followed by a level-up. This is notably not achievable in past Generations since Aipom previously couldn’t learn this move. Its tails are split into two when it evolves, to cater its improved dexterity, especially after its mastery of hitting twice. Armed with an extra tail (and larger size), Ambipom is more primed for battle and other stuff, such as communication through making a hand-holding ring with others by its two tails (something Aipom can’t do).
Its improved dexterity means it is faster, which is its advantage in battle. Having Speed that is faster than a lot of Pokémon is an advantage itself, since it could use its tricky movepool and decent strength well. The extra acrobatic ability comes in the form of its more useful Technician ability to make its weaker attacks stronger, such as Fake Out and Aerial, or to make use of some of its Special attacks with Nasty Plot, even if its Special Attack is initially low. Skill Link is not quite useful when it has very little moves to take advantage of it.
Perhaps its cuteness and monkeyness (made up word) makes Aipom a prime choice for a Pokémon to use. In Pokémon Adventures/Special, Aipom is one of Gold’s first Pokémon to have (making it essentially his starter, along with Poliwag), even before his “starter” Pokémon (Cyndaquil) was chosen. In the anime, Ash caught an Aipom at one point in the anime, in an episode where he settled the score with an Aipom who has a penchant for snatching Ash’s cap. In a later episode, Ash traded Aipom away for Dawn’s Buizel due to the different preferences of the two Pokémon. Much later on, Ambipom was released to pursue a ping-pong career.
Aipom and Ambipom fit the definition of a normal Pokémon: they have an ordinary look, being similar to a real monkey, and they also have traits that make them truly Pokémon, which are their unusual tails and fur colour. As a whole, Aipom and Ambipom are generally decent Normal-types, helped by their monkey charms. After all, monkeys remind people of themselves, which is what makes them likeable.
+ Multi-purpose tail(s)
+ Received an evolution that improves its viability
± Slightly unusual from normal monkeys (simple hands)
– Despite an upgrade, its battling abilities are not enough
Aipom’s TCG Card
When layers of paper background and a clay version of the character mix, they form a nice emphasis on that character while not sacrificing the significance of the background. In this example, Aipom is the character in question, while the background has a tree in which Aipom dangles on. This art style invokes childhood nostalgia, due to the inherent simplicity of how this style is normally used.
Ambipom’s TCG Card
The artist must have, in his or her vision (is Akira a male or female name?), imagine that Ambipom would do things with its tails as to what people normally do with their hands, which would explain the result. It’s interesting how Ambipom hardly used its actual hands for anything other than resting it, showing that it doesn’t have much use for it. One other thing: normally Ambipom displays a grin on its face, but here, its mouth is opened from awe, which makes it look less cheeky than usual.
As the name of this move suggests, the user will attack twice. This move is instrumental in evolving Aipom, as it needs to learn said move and level up for the process to take place. It made sense for such a Pokémon to evolve that way, since its tails became split into two, suggesting that this Pokémon adapted in order to properly use this technique.
Even though this move suggests that any Pokémon can learn it, since any Pokémon could feasibly hit twice, it’s reserved for any Pokémon with two or more of a certain part, such as Weezing’s two heads, Kangaskhan’s two-Pokémon-in-one and Mamoswine’s twin tusks. Some Pokémon could only learn this move while they have two heads, namely Doduo and Zweilous, which is weird since three heads could even twice, having enough resources to do so.
Pretty much the most feasible user is Ambipom (of course, since this move is made with this Pokémon in mind), since it has Technician (something Aipom lacks) to out-damage a full-powered Return. Hitting twice is mostly an advantage, because it can bypass any shields that work with one attack, such as Substitute and Focus Sash. It would be better if this move is slightly stronger, having at least 40 Base Power, so that the damage done by Ambipom is worth the usage of this move.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Arceus