Red Fuji – Wikicommons / Pokémon Legends: Arceus
The origin of this normal/ghost type Pokémon is much more mystical
In ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ we have the opportunity to travel to the Hisui region to discover all its secrets. Even though we know its biome, there are certain pocket monsters that adapted to the environment on which the game is based. Creatures like Voltorb, Growlithe, Lilligant or the evolutions of Typhlosion, Decidueye and Samurott They are very different from how we knew them. But what did the Game Freak illustrators draw inspiration from to acclimate these Pokémon?
With the sheer number of Pokémon we’ve come to know throughout these past eight generations, it’s no wonder the art team leaders needed external inspiration to create new creatures. Any fan of the series will be able to easily tell which of the over 800 pocket monsters are based on real animals, inanimate objects, or even in Japanese culture.
However, there is another long list of Pokemon that they have a much more mystical origin, as is the case with Zoroark in the new Hisui variant. It is a normal/ghost type Pokémon and its appearance has a lot to do with a form of kitsune called ‘Tenko’, a celestial fox from Japanese mythology. Folklore tales from the Land of the Rising Sun describe him as beings who, after reaching a thousand years, turn white and ascend to heaven.
Illustration by Matthew Meyer for www.yokai.com
According to Japanese mythology, it is the most powerful form of kitsune. It’s a type of divine beast with red and white features, and it’s the same in Zoroark’s depiction. The outline of his eyes, the details of his front and hind legs, as well as his big bush are painted with these emblematic shades of the Tenko.