We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Girafarig, who has heads on both ends of its body! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: katribou)
When you look at Girafarig, you will see that there’s a giraffe in front, when you look at its behind, it will also be looking at you, because its tail has a head of its own. In some ways, that head is creepy because it looks more intimidating, as if it has a mind of its own. It definitely is no ordinary tail, for it has psychic powers, making Girafarig a Psychic-type that it doesn’t resemble that type at a glance.
Girafarig’s name is a palindrome, a term used for words where it’s spelt the same forwards and backwards. This is one example where the name is intentionally spelt, because it’s a palindrome in every language, including Japanese and Korea (French and German used the same name as the English one). Since Girafarig’s a Pokémon with heads on both ends, this is a befitting name. In an earlier design of Girafarig, it was a giraffe’s front on both ends, essentially making it symmetrical (with different colours), which looks really strange and difficult to function. Therefore, the current design is a lot more intuitive.
The final design for Girafarig lost its symmetry, leaving us with a behind with a much darker colour and a different head. Since this head is smaller, it makes it less dominant than the other, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Having eyes that look behind is great for animals likely to be attacked, especially if it doesn’t sleep, but this extra head does more than that. With a brain of its own, it could even bite things when something gets close to it, usually by reacting through scent or sound. The tail-head might use some mysterious powers if danger abounds, likely some psychic power. Even though the tail-head is alive, it is not quite sentient, so it’s driven by instincts. Funnily, when Girafarig eats, its tail would imitate the motion of eating, as if both are eating at the same time.
Giraffes are known for being one of the tallest animals on land, contributed by its long legs and long neck. Girafarig has a similar physiology as a real giraffe, only not as tall. This is the opposite case from where cat or dog Pokémon are made larger to be better-fit for battle, but Girafarig is made to be smaller, likely because being too large might make it hard to interact with others. That’s not forgetting that giraffes used to be smaller before it evolved into a taller animal. Since Girafarig is not big, it makes up for it with a tail-head that bites and some psychic powers. It’s not known if the psychic power comes from just the tail-head, but based on Girafarig’s mastery in Psychic, it’s likely the main head could be psychic as well.
Girafarig’s Japanese name reveals an interesting connection between a giraffe and the QiLin. Since the Japanese word for giraffe is pronounced the same way as the QiLin, Girafarig having both a giraffe half and a fearsome biting creature half makes a lot of sense. The QiLin also has the ability to detect guilt and pierce their heart, making it a creature to fear. On a smaller scale, Girafarig’s tail-head could detect any enemies and bite them if they get close.
With two sides specialising in different things, Girafarig makes for a unique battler. The front could perform some special abilities, while its back would be more physical. With two sides looking out at different directions, Girafarig won’t be ambushed. Girafarig is even a skilled herbivore with Sap Sipper (called Herbivore in Japanese), so it could absorb the Grass moves for an Attack boost. It doesn’t seem strong, though, since its stats are either mediocre or just OK, so the best it has going for it is its unique type combination allowing for dual STAB.
The fun thing about Girafarig is how the concept of having two head evolved into something more natural. A two-sided animal is something that is occasionally done, so it’s nice to have something with a twist in that idea. Considering that Girafarig would have been more normal otherwise, having a different type of head is a good idea, because it makes Girafarig much more fantasy-like and original.
+ Two active sides are better than one
± Size is very different from a real giraffe
– Mediocre battler
– Psychic type is not very obvious
Besides showing Girafaring having a nice grassy snake, what I like most about this card is that there is a Mario reference here, mainly referring to that thing that look like a block with eyes, which is something you would see in a Mario game. This nicely ties in with Girafarig’s tail resembling a Chain-Chomp, a black head with sharp teeth (sounds familiar?), typically tied to a chain and behaves like dogs.
Of all the Pokémon, Girafarig is best linked to Baton Pass since its two parts are linked as to be able to pass certain responsibilities between each other, and with this move, to its other teammates.
Normally, when you have boosts, it will be gone once that Pokémon is forcefully recalled. If you wish you could provide boosts for another teammate, look no further than Baton Pass! If the user has any boosts or volatile effects like Ingrain and Focus Energy, then this move will provide the recipient with any boosts the user received. Unfortunately, some negative volatile effects are also carried over, namely confusion, Leech Seed’s effect and Perish Song’s countdown, so it’s not all well.
This move is an essential part of Baton Pass teams because the cumulative boosts will eventually be difficult for any individual opponent to take care of. The entire team has a chance to take any one opponent as long as they know what they’re doing. The coup de grace is normally the one with Stored Power, due to that move boosting 20 BP for every boost gathered, and not even Unaware Pokémon can negate the BP’s increase.
This move proved to be a force to be reckoned in Singles thanks to some great users (Espeon, Scolipede and Smeargle being main offenders) that its use becomes more limited as to control the power of it, while still making it available for those who wants to use Baton Pass to pass quicker boosts such as Quiver Dance and Shell Smash.
Overall, this move is very flexible and encourages team play, therefore it is a very useful and effective move.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Glameow & Purugly