POTW Pokémon of the Week #23: Froakie, Frogadier, and Greninja

Driving You Batty
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The Wide World of Pokémon! In this world live a vast number and variety of amazing creatures. This week we are excited to welcome the arrival of new batch of wondrous creatures to befriend and collect. To start things off we will be focusing on a very special Pokémon. A bridge between Generation VI and Generation VII. The first partner many players will get to travel alongside and battle with during their first foray into Alola. This week’s Pokémon of choice is Greninja!



The Water-type starter for Pokémon X and Y Greninja is an incredibly popular Pokémon with wide reaching appeal and medium presence. The Greninja-line is designed after the association between ninjas, stealth, and deception with frogs. Dating back all the way to “The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya”, the legend of the ninja Jiraiya and his mastery of toad magic, the association has been well established through Japanese folklore and has spread through Japanese culture and its use of storytelling. Through more than just the fitting classification as a Dark-type the Greninja-line embodies the image of a ninja. As Froakie and Frogadier these Pokémon produce foamy bubbles that cover their necks and backs with which they make use as projectiles, makeshift bags similar to stereotypical Japanese thieves, and scarfs reminiscent of the romantic imagery of heroic ninjas donning flowing scarves while standing atop roofs silhouetted by the moon. Greninja continues the use of these allusions although with shuriken made of compressed water and with an even longer flowing scarf which in actuality is Greninja’s tongue! However off-putting some people may find the tongue scarf at the very least it can be said that it is a neat combination of a frog’s long tongue and the traditional red scarf worn by daring Japanese figures. Greninja also fills an interesting design role with its starter counterparts Chesnaught and Delphox as the stealthy rogue to their respective honorable warrior and crafty mage. These three roles create somewhat of a standard team archetype seen in many stories of European origin, a similarity to the Kalos region, that has carried on to modern role playing games.

Ever since its introduction Greninja has been an immensely popular Pokémon even so far as winning first place in the Pokémon General Election 720! Greninja has appeared in almost every article of Pokémon media in which it has garnered a significant position within each of them. In the main series games Greninja is a top contender in the competitive metagame with its use of the highly versatile Protean ability allowing it to change its type with each move make often leaving the opponent in the dark as to what Greninja will actually do. Announced alongside the solo return of Charizard to Super Smash Bros. Greninja has seen much use because of its mobility and speed in a game where mastering these qualities can mean long-lasting success. Of interest is also the fact that Greninja was apparently in development for Smash before even the announcement for its debut game which is something it shares with Roy from Fire Emblem. That is a process that no character has ever gone through before! And in the realm of the anime Greninja was Ash’s only starter capture in his time around Kalos deeply bonding with Ash that eventually it unlocked a powerful new and perplexing form in Ash-Greninja. With all this continued success and popularity seemingly right out of the gate some have even wondered if Greninja was purposely bred to be the best at what it does!

As previously mentioned Ash’s Greninja achieved a new powerful form change through their bond that confused and astounded fans from all over the world. Many marveled at Ash-Greninja’s newfound strength and incredible abilities in battle. Those people as well as many others also wondered what exactly is this new phenomenon, what is really the nature of Ash’s bond with his Greninja, and what all this meant for the future of the franchise. With the simultaneous reveal of new Zygarde forms and the later reveal of the brand new Pokémon Magearna confusion, anticipation and fervid speculation erupted like never before. All of that came to a resounding peak with the announcement of Pokémon Sun and Moon and the conclusion of the XY anime following Ash’s journey with his Greninja. And just like with the unexpected reveal of Ash-Greninja the Pokémon community has again come to a state of uncertainty as Gamefreak and TPCi venture into territory the series has not explored before. With the Sun and Moon demo we finally saw the release of Ash-Greninja and were able to experience its new abilities for our very own. In this somewhat unprecedented union between Pokémon games and Pokémon anime we have also begun our journey into this new world that has been laid before our feet. Though it may seem frightening it is important to remember that this is also a time of celebration for the series and the community where all experiences come together. Take steps into the new era with reverence and jubilation of what has passed. And if hearts are still wavering remember that our good friend Greninja is also there with its new do ready take those steps with us towards that endless horizon.

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 this Pokémon? Why?
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
  • How do you feel about Greninja’s extended presence throughout the series? Did you enjoy it or did you feel it was overexposed?
  • How does Greninja compare to the other Kalos starters? How about to all the other Water starters?
  • Would you ever like to see another Pokémon gain powers like Greninja? If so do you have anyone particular in mind?
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!

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
Fire Chicken
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I like it for several reasons! It being a nice starter, its extreme popularity and inclusion in Smash, the focus in the anime and now it keeps being relevant to Gen VII, not to mention it's the only starter to have such a unique form.
How is this Pokémon in-game?
I haven't used it while playing through XY. It was extremely strong in the Sun/Moon Demo Version, and I hope it will be very good in Sun/Moon as well.
How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
Protean is such a great Ability it entered the Uber tier. My preferred strategy for it would be hyper offense.
Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
I sure do! There is no single moment or quality to enjoy when it comes to Ash's Greninja; that Pokemon had its own storyline, in fact it was the leading force behind lots of the XY series' plot! I believe the arc where it perfected the Ash-Greninja form was the best part.
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
Most people would think of it as an extremely awesome, loved hero.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
The Battle Bond Ability doesn't really fit what we saw in the anime. I feel like the clauses that trigger the Ash-Greninja form could've been handled better.
How do you feel about Greninja’s extended presence throughout the series? Did you enjoy it or did you feel it was overexposed?
I enjoyed it. I don't mind it being overexposed, some Pokemon need to get that treatment for the success of the franchise. If anything, it makes them even cooler!
How does Greninja compare to the other Kalos starters? How about to all the other Water starters?
It is the best of the three in lots of ways. It is probably the best Water starter as well, even though Blastoise/Swampert I like a lot as well.
Would you ever like to see another Pokémon gain powers like Greninja? If so do you have anyone particular in mind?
I would like it to be used as a concept again with some other Pokemon, although it should not be overdone. The only Pokemon I have in mind for now is Pikachu; while it has been given special treatment more times than any other Pokemon, I believe that as things are, every single special Pikachu is still outclassed by Raichu.
 
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  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I like Froakie and Frogadier a fair amount. For Greninja, I'm mostly indifferent, but it leans towards "like". Design-wise, they're all solid, but the over-the-top popularity kinda stings.
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
Greninja is pretty useful with Protean.
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
Haven't used one... Yet. :p
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
I don't like Ash-Greninja much. Also the ninja people having two other Greninja felt very awkward and biased.
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
It'd be a superhero, basically.
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
REMOVE ASH-GRENINJA Hmm, nothing in particular. Again, the designs are pretty solid.
  • How do you feel about Greninja’s extended presence throughout the series? Did you enjoy it or did you feel it was overexposed?
Definitely overexposed. Especially, again, the two other Greninja that were owned by the ninja.
  • How does Greninja compare to the other Kalos starters? How about to all the other Water starters?
I prefer Chesnaught to Greninja, and Delphox to both. It's not very high in my favorite Water starters.
  • Would you ever like to see another Pokémon gain powers like Greninja? If so do you have anyone particular in mind?
Honestly? No. I don't think we even need Bond Phenomenon, so more than just Greninja is overkill.

I'll suggest the Mareep line again.
 
"What do you mean, my Gengarite is contraband?!"
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  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I initially liked it, but my feelings on Greninja are... rather mixed now. See the anime question for why.​

  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
Pretty decent. I only used Greninja in the XY era before slipping back to Starmie afterwards though.
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
Again, good. I'd still use Protean today.
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Oh boy... By the time Ash had his rematch against Wulfric, I'd grown to dislike Greninja in the anime. Ash-Greninja spelled the end of all the strategies that got Ash most of his other Kalos badges. Electro Ball stopping Sleep Powder, Rock Tomb/Draco Meteor/Aura Sphere Climb, Trick Room Breaker, Future Sight timer, each one abolished for another Ash-Greninja overpowering beatdown. Unpopular opinion: I'm glad to see him leave.​

  • How doyou think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
I never know how to answer most of these.​

  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
I'm not sure if I would. Greninja itself is a good Pokémon.​

  • How do you feel about Greninja’s extended presence throughout the series? Did you enjoy it or did you feel it was overexposed?
Overexposed to the nth degree. I don't enjoy it and I didn't plan to use Greninja for Alola.​

  • How does Greninja compare to the other Kalos starters? How about to all the other Water starters?
By personal preference, I'd go for Chesnaught as a Kalos starter and Primarina as a Water starter.​

  • Would you ever like to see another Pokémon gain powers like Greninja? If so do you have anyone particular in mind?
No, just no.​
 
Thesaurus rex
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I'm honestly getting a bit sick of Greninja. The design is fine, as pokémon go, and I never had a problem with the tongue scarf the way a lot of fans initially did. I suppose it's how very straight the whole "ninja" thing is pitched. Other than that it's a pokémon, there's nothing to make it much different from any other ninja you'd seen a hundred times before. I can't help but feel a little irony or self-mockery of the cliché might freshen it up
 
The Pokemon Observer
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Initially I was indifferent towards this pokemon line, but now I grew to dislike it, thanks to the anime and feverish favoritism from TPCi. Not yet to the point of hate, as that is a strong word, but I really don't want to see it exposed so much, especially individually on its own but not as a GenVI starters trio set, or as AshGreninja.

Ninja is the icon of federal Japan history and a significant RPG character class, but IMO it is not more "special" nor "superior" than Mage and Armored Knight, the icons of Victoria era Europe and also notable RPG character classes. Is it just because of all the Cool Japan propagandas, making everyone shout out: "Ninja!? Badassly COOL!!! Mage and Knight!? Nah, they are so overused and old-fashioned". The popularity of GenVI starters are so unbalanced and biased where it is Greninja getting all the focus, Chesnaught and Delphox are both miserably eating dust.

The time Ash's Greninja received a forme change based off his trainer, that was the turning point where my indifference changed into dislike. IMO I don't see Ash's Greninja is anymore special than his Pikachu, Charizard, Snorlax, Sceptile, Infernape, etc. Where they are all his fully evolved powerhouse (except Pikachu) that has the highest win ratio and mostly used to counter against very powerful opponents. When Greninja is no more different than them, why make Greninja so special? Is it just because there is Mega Evolution, hence his powerhouse in this gen also need something similar to counter it? Rather than bring back his old pokemons and further develop their powers, Anime insisted to stick with GenVI pokemons, furthermore go all the way to develop this AshGreninja out of thin air, to me it is not only a disrespect towards Ash's old pokemons, but also a disrespect towards the original game source, and conceptually an unfairness to any trainers deeply in love with their pokemons.

Personally I'm fine with ME not achievable (yet) by all FE pokemons, because it is more item-based, hence a pokemon can ME only when Mega Stone for a certain pokemon is discovered (or invented), but conceptually it doesn't rule out the possibility of all FE pokemons can ME.
But I'm not satisfied with the concept of AshGreninja, because this is more emotional-based rather than item-based, yet why Bond Phenomenon is achieved only by Ash's Greninja? Everyone can love a pokemon, and the pokemon can love the human back in return, forming a deep bond between each other, but even still there is no Bond Phenomenon occurring (because it doesn't even exist in the first place!!!). Does that mean Ash's love with Greninja and Greninja's love with Ash is just THAT strong? Nah, don't tell me that literally, SHOW that to me in action!

Don't know how Greninja performs in battle, because I chose Fennekin rather than Froakie in XY. Besides, I personally has no interest in ninja. I'm not even interest in Naruto.

I hope TPCi can restrain a bit on the exposure of Greninja, especially AshGreninja. From what I see, AshGreninja is the Creator's Pet during XY&Z saga, add quite many significant scores to the Mary-Sueishness of XY!Ash, where I just dislike that.
Please, stop the glorification on Greninja. I know it is a popular pokemon, but this is just a normal non-legendary ordinary pokemon. Keep it "normal", please.
 
Actually Your Boy Guzma
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
It's actually my top favorite starter. Like, ever. It's just got a cool, sleek design that nevertheless has a bit of weirdness, which is a good thing.

How is this Pokémon in-game?
Really good, no matter what ability - he's fast, and he can hit like a truck on special or physical. The guy carried me through X and Y on multiple playthroughs.

How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
He's really damn good thanks to Protean. I basically just try and mix things up so my Greninja can deal some heavy damage to anything he wants.

Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
I haven't watched the anime, but I know he's basically the current "Charizard." You know, Ash's powerhouse. I was pissed when he lost to Charizard, my least favorite starter.

How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
Probably be stealthy an' stuff.

If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
Nope.

How do you feel about Greninja’s extended presence throughout the series? Did you enjoy it or did you feel it was overexposed?
Haven't watched the anime, but I feel it was a bit overexposed... But I don't care because I love Greninja.

How does Greninja compare to the other Kalos starters? How about to all the other Water starters?
I liked all three Kalos starters a lot, but this guy's still my fave. There's also never been a Water-type starter I dislike, and he's my top fave (with Primarina as my second fave).

Would you ever like to see another Pokémon gain powers like Greninja? If so do you have anyone particular in mind?
I was hoping synchro evolution was a thing, so yes. I would have liked to see it on the Gen VII starters.

I suggest Scyther and Scizor for next week.
 
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Thesaurus rex
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It occurs me that perhaps I'm being slightly unfair to the Froakie line in the anime - its subplot was tied in with the really goofy Ninja Village business. Oddly misplaced culture (In this case bamboo forests and professional ninjas doing magic secret ninja techniques in a region supposedly inspired by France) is par for the course as far as the anime is concerned - but it was so po-faced and so obviously intended to be seriously cool that it just came across as dumb. Without that I might be better disposed towards the idea of a cool ninja-frog coolly doing cool ninja stuff all the time
 
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