SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 28 — Pokémon of the Year 2020 goes to the grey ninja frog creature, Greninja.
In celebration of Pokémon Day — February 27, the anniversary of 1996 franchise debuts Pokémon Red and Green in Japan — Google has announced the results of its official Pokémon of the Year poll.
Votes were collected over the first two weeks of February, and Google invited account holders to register their preferences on a daily basis.
Punters plumped for Greninja in numbers, allocating it a total tally of 140,559 votes.
The Water / Dark-type is the final form of Froakie, one of three available starter Pokémon in 2013’s Pokémon X and Y, the Nintendo 3DS’s first Pokémon game pairing.
Greninja also popped up as a key component of 2019’s record-breaking Detective Pikachu movie as well as the Nintendo Switch’s hit crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and has frequently appeared in various Pokémon animated shows.
Notably, it’s not available in the latest Pokémon game, 2019’s Pokémon Sword and Shield. That Google’s poll asked voters to pick a Pokémon from each of the games’ fictional regions may have helped votes to coalesce around the X and Y favourite.
In second place was wolf-like Lucario, another Super Smash Bros. franchise cameo, introduced through 2006/7’s Pokémon Diamond and Pearl on Nintendo DS (102,259 votes); third was crudely disguised Pikachu mimic Mimikyu, debuting in 2016’s Pokémon Sun and Moon (99,077 votes).
Fourth was Charizard (93,968 votes), the fire-breathing winged dragon that can be evolved from Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue starter Charmander, emblazoning the cover of Pokémon Red and its 2004 remake Pokémon FireRed.
Charizard was involved in a cage match battle against Pikachu in Detective Pikachu and is a longstanding fixture in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, as well as a fighter in Pokkén Tournament.
In fifth place was catlike Umbreon (67,062 votes), one of several possible evolutions of Pikachu’s rival-in-cuteness Eevee (as in 2018’s Pokémon: Let’s Go! Eevee on the Switch), and part of the Pokémon mythos since Pokémon Gold and Silver at the turn of the century.
Ranking in 6th to 10th were another Eevee evolution, Sylveon; Legendary-class creatures Garchomp and Rayquaza; psychic fairy Gardevoir, and grinning sprite Gengar, with Pikachu only charting in 19th place despite recent box office heroics.
A full ranking of places 1 to 30 is available from pokemon2020.pokemon.com. — AFP-Relaxnews