Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Impressions of Meltan

Ah Nutto, I barely
knew ye.
If you play Pokémon GO, and were playing this weekend during Community Day, you probably were bombarded with a strange new pokémon. Although the pokémon had been leaked by a dataminer earlier in the week, no one expected it to show up in the game proper. However, on Saturday, you can catch as many as your heart desired. The problem? There was zero info for the pokémon, which was named ??? with an equally mysterious CP value. Players were able to catch it, but were then met with a surprise. Rather than registering in the Pokédex, every single one turned out to be Ditto! The question as to what this pokémon was then hit a fever pitch. Was it a new pokémon? Was it a temporary placeholder that accidentally got released into the game proper over a different pokémon? We got our answer minutes ago. It is the new mythical pokémon, Meltan. Up until this point, many fans had taken to calling it "Nutto", combining its hex nut head with its seemingly important relationship to Ditto.

From my interpretation, Meltan seems to be based on soldering metal which is also evidenced by its Steel typing. Solder is a low-melting temperature metal used to fuse together two less fusible metals. A prime example would be soldering a copper wire to brass. Well, Meltan has a little copper wire tail and its head is a hex nut, so that all checks out.

It's an inanimate object based pokémon, so haters will likely let their feelings be known on social media as much as possible. It's not easy being a machine.

Reception to Meltan is understandably mixed. I was initially less intrigued by it than I am now. When I first saw it, I didn't see the tail, so it just looked like Ditto wearing a hex nut for a hat. Not stoked. Now that I know more about it, and see the little copper wire tail, I'm more ok with it. Granted, I am typically more forgiving of inanimate pokémon designs than most. I actually like the weird designs like this as it feeds into a lot of the yokai legends that many pokémon are based on. A lot of yokai are basically possessed objects. For example, the Kasa-obake is a weird ghost umbrella with a human leg. People less enthused on inanimate designs are typically also people who don't know the culture that is being adapted for the design. This is somewhat understandable. If you don't get what they were going for, it is easy to assume they weren't going for anything.

For now, I'm going to give Meltan a thumbs up based solely on the fact I never would have never expected the design. I also give it a thumbs up for how it was released. Aside from the leak, which didn't give us that much, I like how it just mysteriously showed up and everyone was taken by surprise. It reminds me of the old Mew and "PokéGod" rumors back in Gen 1. Before Community Day even started one of these guys popped up on my Pokémon GO radar and I mercilessly tracked it down just to get a glimpse of it in game. People were buzzing about it all during Community Day as well. This goes to show that this reveal, despite if you like the design or not, was a successful one.