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POTW: Pokémon of the Week #14: Smoochum & Jynx

oh my
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In the World of Pokémon, there lives a vast number and variety of amazing creatures to befriend and collect. Every week, we will be focusing on a single one of these Pokémon or evolutionary line and talking about what makes it special. This week's Pokémon of choice is the Jynx line!


First appearing in original Red and Blue games, Jynx was one of four Pokémon that could be obtained only via trade in non-Japanese versions of the game. But despite being a hard Pokémon to obtain, Jynx proved to be a controversial subject due to it's origin. What it's based on is still unclear, though in Gen II, it did go through a design change from having black skin to purple skin to alleviate any tensions that remained.

Though it is undisputed that Jynx shares a resemblance to humans, which is backed up by its descriptions of talking in human-like patterns. It's also noted that it loves to dance, and even when it walks it looks like it's grooving. Also notable, Jynx is the only Pokémon able to learn Lovely Kiss, a non-daming move that puts Pokémon to sleep. Perhaps it's due to its ability to sway people as a psychic-type and dancer.

Generation II also saw the addition of Smoochum, a baby, humanoid Pokémon that became the pre-evolution to Jynx. Despite not having any notable appearances, it helped cement the theme of Jynx being a part of a trio with Magmar and Electabuzz. However, in Gen IV the Jynx line did not receive another member, which again raised many eyebrows. Why it didn't despite being a part of the trio is unknown.

Smoochum and Jynx are also the only Pokémon to have the Ice/Psychic typing, but with lackluster competitive ability, the type has yet to see much stardom, coupled with the fact that it was introduced 20 years ago.

Here are some questions to consider to get conversation rolling. You don't have to answer all of them or any of them in your post as long as you're staying on topic and within global forum rules.
  • Do you like or dislike these Pokémon? Why?
  • How are these Pokémon in-game?
  • How are these Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
  • Do you like these Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
  • How do you think these Pokémon would interact with our world?
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about these Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
  • There are many cases as to what Jynx is based on - do you have a favorite?
  • Despite coming out in Gen I, the Ice/Psychic combination is still unique to the Jynx line. Do you think this should be used on other Pokémon, or remain unique to Jynx and it's pre-evolution?
  • Jynx is the only Pokémon from the Gen I "elemental trio" that didn't receive an evolution in Gen IV, causing much controversy. Do you believe Jynx should receive an evolution, or perhaps even a Mega Evolution or an Alola form?
If you have any suggestions for Pokémon you'd like to discuss in the future just leave your ideas at the bottom of your post. Make sure you give your thoughts about the current Pokémon first!

Special thanks to @cityvillain for suggesting this week's pick!

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
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Fire Chicken
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Do you like or dislike these Pokémon? Why?
I like the strange design and interesting typing... but they have sparked too much contoversy :(
How are these Pokémon in-game?
Haven't used them a lot but I think Jynx could be nice in Gen I because it could defeat Lance's Dragons and had a really nice Psychic typing.
How are these Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
I've only read a bit on Smoochum strategies for Little Cup, it seemed like an interesting Pokemon to use.
Do you like these Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Jynx and the anime have a history... I haven't even watched the related episodes, so no clue. But that one episode where Jessie liked a Smoochum was cute :)
How do you think these Pokémon would interact with our world?
They'd probably cause even more contoversy...
If given the power to, would you change anything about these Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
I'd have designed them a bit differently to avoid them becoming a subject of contoversy. And better stats/Abilities, because what Pokemon wouldn't like that? :)
There are many cases as to what Jynx is based on - do you have a favorite?
I think it being based on ganguro is the best theory.
Despite coming out in Gen I, the Ice/Psychic combination is still unique to the Jynx line. Do you think this should be used on other Pokémon, or remain unique to Jynx and it's pre-evolution?
I wouldn't mind if it were to remain unique to Jynx... as long as it gets a boost of sorts.
Jynx is the only Pokémon from the Gen I "elemental trio" that didn't receive an evolution in Gen IV, causing much controversy. Do you believe Jynx should receive an evolution, or perhaps even a Mega Evolution or an Alola form?
Even though it differed from Electabuzz/Magmar in too many ways for me to consider them a trio (dual-type, not being version-exclusive, completely different way to obtain it in Gen I) I would like to see it get something more too. I've heard lots of theories about it getting a Fire-type Alola form, I wouldn't be against that.
 
Amphibious Friend
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Jynx is just an odd Pokémon all around, having one of the most human appearances of all Pokémon but then having a completely off the wall type that isn't really reflected in its design at all. It also has a really peculiar position in the metagame. I wouldn't call its stats "bad," just kind of unexpected. Defensively its typing isn't great, being weak to fire, rock, and dark to name some common types, and even though it has pretty solid special defense its HP and defense are so low that it's definitely not a bulky Pokémon. But to kind of balance that out its special attack is pretty dang high and it's a lot faster than it looks, making it a solid ice type sweeper if given the right EVs and item. It also has an impressive movepool, boasting Ice Beam, Psychic/Psyshock, Energy Ball, Shadow Ball, Calm Mind, etc.

So yeah, an odd Pokémon, but not too gimmicky like most other oddballs. I would love to see it get an Alola Form/Mega Evolution/Evolution to let it really shine.
 
Driving You Batty
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Jynx is pretty weird and Smoochum is a cutie. I really love the stance Smoochum has in her official art. It's cute and gives off some sass. Her original GSC sprites are kinda terrifying on the other hand. Smoochum really takes after a baby with her little pink diaper and her manner of examining things with lips. It's like to how real babies will stick things in their mouths as part of exploring the world using all their senses. It's kinda strange how for a while Jynx could only naturally learn a Psychic-type through Smoochum, and it was just Confusion!

I wasn't too sure about the idea of a ganguro basis at first but hearing about its ties to the Yama-uba helps paint a better picture. This is addition with some Norse influences such as the Fat Lady make for an interesting amalgamation of mythologies and cultures. With the controversy about Jynx being a blackface caricature along the lines of Black Peter or Little Black Sambo I'm inclined to agree that it is definitely something that went into Jynx's conception though not out of any real maliciousness per say. As it turns out blackface caricatures gained some form of popularity in Japan most notably for their funny appearance and amusing antics. It wasn't considered much of a race issue since their enjoyment of it didn't come at the expense of black people, at least from their perspective, and there wasn't a loud enough black voice to enlighten Japan on just how offensive these blackface characters are. With no real push back these kinds of depictions go on to enter the cultural iconography which is why we get characters like Jynx and Mr. Popo from Dragon Ball. This here by no means excuses the offensiveness of these caricatures as it just serves to explain why an issue like this could arise from a franchise targeted towards children and families. The emergence of the Jynx controversy can prove to be a fascinating study on uniform and diverse societies and the effects globalization can have on them. Jynx has a perplexing design upon first impression but looking further into it can reveal the differing perspectives cultures have.

She had a pretty neat thing going with Magmar and Electabuzz as the group known for each member utilizing a specific elemental punch. They're each even based on dangerous mythological creatures which was real cool. It was pretty sad to see her dropped from the group but at least Fire and Electric still have an interesting relationship going on.

I don't expect much to ever be done with Jynx due to the controversy but I would be very interested to see what they could do with her.
 
Mechatronics Expert
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Honestly, of the "elemental trio," by which I assume you mean Magmar, Electabuzz, and Jynx, I prefer both Magmar and Electabuzz over Jynx.
That's not to say that Jynx is a bad Pokemon, by any stretch of the imagination. It's got a good special attack stat and two great types for special attacking.
It's great offensive types are very poor defensive types, however, and the fact that it didn't get a Gen IV evolution, like Magmar and Electabuzz, just leaves it behind even further. Magmortar is a great Pokemon that I've used in a few playthroughs, and Electivire is already shaping up to be a great addition to my team in my current Platinum playthrough.

It also doesn't help that I was never a big fan of Jynx's design. It also really doesn't help that, in a lot of the games you can catch Jynx in, you only find it fairly late into the game, but there are ways around that.

At the end of the day, though, perhaps in some future playthrough, I will use a Jynx. It isn't a bad Pokemon, I just don't think about it all that often...
 
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  • Do you like or dislike these Pokémon? Why?
Jynx had been my fav Pokemon since 1998. Back then, it was amazing competitively. I also find attacking by kissing is a creative way to attack.
  • How are these Pokémon in-game?
Jynx is amazing in-game in GSC, where you can wipe out Lance's entire team with it.
  • How are these Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
I used Jynx during the BW era and scored 1700+ on Pokemon Showdown.
Lead with Dry Skin Jynx + surf Hydreigon combo was what that made me win so many battles.
  • Do you like these Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Not really. I don't quite like how in the anime, Jynx feels quite dumb.
In Holiday Hi-Jynx, she doesn't know how to do the simplest of things. It feels like she had subhuman intelligence.
However, in The Ice Cave, I like how gentle she was portrayed.
  • How do you think these Pokémon would interact with our world?
I don't understand this question.
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about these Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
I'd change its battle stats. Add 10 points to the physical defense points, or HP.
  • There are many cases as to what Jynx is based on - do you have a favorite?
Favorite? As in, ignoring the facts?
Why should it be arguable?
A crossover between the Yama-uba Yokai and the Yamanba fashion is the most logical origin ever.
  • Despite coming out in Gen I, the Ice/Psychic combination is still unique to the Jynx line. Do you think this should be used on other Pokémon, or remain unique to Jynx and it's pre-evolution?
I don't mind if there's another Pokemon that is ice/psychic.
  • Jynx is the only Pokémon from the Gen I "elemental trio" that didn't receive an evolution in Gen IV, causing much controversy. Do you believe Jynx should receive an evolution, or perhaps even a Mega Evolution or an Alola form?
I think Jynx might of dodged a bullet there. Look at how unpopular Electivire and Magmortar are... they aren't even great competitively.
I'd like a Mega or something similar for Jynx though.
But I'd prefer if they make Jynx prettier/ less ugly.
 
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Fun Ghoul
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I wouldn't say that I don't have any opinions on Smoochum and Jynx at all, but I guess I don't have any strong opinions. The line feels like it's been pretty thoroughly ignored in the main games since Gen II.

Jynx was always kind of a personal joke between myself and my siblings when we were young and playing the Pokemon Stadium games thanks to its appearance; something about such a human-seeming Pokemon was very funny to us. I have some warm nostalgia towards it for bringing me childhood amusement.

I wouldn't mind seeing it get a third evolution, a mega, or a regional form, something to bring it back into the spotlight a little bit. I've never used one in-game due to being hard to obtain in most of the main series games, but if it were more available I wouldn't mind giving it a try thanks to its unique typing and moves.
 
PinkIceTales!
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Do you like or dislike these Pokémon? Why?
I used to dislike Jynx's line but... I caught a smoochum in Ultra Moon and loved it in pokemon refresh and I kept her in my party.
How are these Pokémon in-game?
Useful, but tend to faint a lot because I'm not used to their typing weaknesses since I've never used Ice types much.
Do you like these Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
RIP Jynx line in the anime. Even if you're purple and look awesome now the world cannot handle you.
How do you think these Pokémon would interact with our world?
Considered creepy/weird by most.
If given the power to, would you change anything about these Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
I'd have made em purple from the start to hopefully stave off the accusations of them being black caricatures. Then maybe they'd have a chance to appear more often.
There are many cases as to what Jynx is based on - do you have a favorite?
I always felt the Ganguro mixed with Opera Viking women was a pretty good guess.
Despite coming out in Gen I, the Ice/Psychic combination is still unique to the Jynx line. Do you think this should be used on other Pokémon, or remain unique to Jynx and it's pre-evolution?
I never feel a typing needs to be used on only one group of pokemon. It kind of hampers the creative process if you say 'well [Pokemon] is the only one allowed to be this type!'
Jynx is the only Pokémon from the Gen I "elemental trio" that didn't receive an evolution in Gen IV, causing much controversy. Do you believe Jynx should receive an evolution, or perhaps even a Mega Evolution or an Alola form?
Of course! It's totally unfair that she got left out, even if the evolutions from Gen IV were just more crappy trade evolutions. Though I'd prefer her getting something I can actually use in my games since I don't really have anyone I can just trade my pokemon to to get trade evolutions (can you tell I hate that some pokemon evolve through trade? Because I do.). Maybe not Mega Evolution since they seem to have died with Gen V, but a new form or something like that would be pretty cool to see. ...Just don't make it version exclusive or something because gods know I'd wind up getting the version its not in.
 
Call of Fate
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I don't particularly like the line, but I don't dislike them, either. Jynx is one of few Ice-types that is meant to be a glass cannon, not slow and bulky, so I appreciate that. She also has a good movepool with moves like Nasty Plot and her signature Lovely Kiss. I find it interesting that Smoochum could get the latter as an egg move in Generation II, but since only the fathers could pass moves to the offspring, it was impossible without cheating. They should make the move available again for Smoochum, since it is possible now.
 
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