Pokemon’s official YouTube does the impossible twice in eight minutes

So, a little ways back the official Pokemon YouTube channel, in the midst of all their little tastes of the upcoming Pokemon Legends Arceus, dropped a weird eight-minute animation called “Bidoof’s Big Stand”. I, admittedly, didn’t watch it. I’m not trying to be flippant or anything, I just don’t really get excited about Bidoof so it just never registered. To me, the little chonk has always been associated with the concept of “HM Mules” — a thing that, if you read my other articles, is something I’m very happy Pokemon has been working to make disappear.

But, this morning, someone convinced me to finally give the video a watch. They told me the animation was really good and unique and that’s the kind of thing that will absolutely pull me in so I watched it. As should you.

Two things happened that I didn’t think were possible.

First, I now kinda love Bidoof. This self-aware video explores the self-doubt that a Pokemon merely being dragged around as an HM Mule has to contend with. And while you experience it you start to empathize with it. Anyone who has ever been in a job that they wanted only to be put on the worst possible assignments knows this feeling. Anyone who has ever been “the friend with the car” in their late teens, early twenties, knows this feeling. Anyone who has ever worked at Gamestop, period, knows this feeling.

This created an emotional bond I didn’t think I could have with a Pokemon but damn if this thing didn’t become a runner up for my spirit animal right behind the Abert’s Squirrel.

Kudos for the team who worked on this for pulling that off. But also for doing the second thing I didn’t think was possible.

The team that did this video made a reference to the much more violent, bloody and edgelordy fighting game series Guilty Gear. And it’s a BIG nod. It’s a nod so large that, were a human to attempt that sort of nod they’d, to quote acclaimed poet Busta Rhymes, “got that head nod [stuff] that makes you break yo neck”.

For what I’m talking about, watch the Bidoof video again. Specifically at around 2:05.

In this scene, a trainer shows up with their Lucario and proceeds to chase away a Staraptor that’s harassing our Bidoof buddy. It charges up a huge Aura Sphere which the Staraptor dodges. The Sphere then blows up with an explosion like a small blue atomic bomb, making the until now confident bird realize how close it came to being unalived.

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Now, if you play Guilty Gear, specifically “Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-” (listen, I didn’t number the Guilty Gear games, I don’t understand it either), you’d recognize this IMMEDIATELY just as I did. See, in the game there are moves called Instant Kill moves. You get one chance per match to pull this off and if you success in pulling off this ridiculously telegraphed moved, your opponent is instantly defeated. Whether launched into space, fired via cannon into the horizon, eaten by something or whatever. It’s never good for the opponent. But series mainstay “Dizzy” has a very different one.

Dizzy is a character who literally always has an angel and a devil on her shoulders. They make up her white and black wings. And in her “Instant Kill” move, the devil side has had enough, charges up a big energy ball and fires it at the opponent. Dizzy realizes what’s about to happen and tackles the devil at the last second, tackling them and making the sphere just miss the opponent which then explodes in a massive mushroom cloud in the background. The opponent suddenly looks completely shaken at what just happened and the word “SURRENDERED” appears on-screen ending the match.

But that looks they make right before this happens is unmistakably what happens in Bidoof’s Big Stand. I mean, look.

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Like, flip either image and the ratio and length of explosion are even the same. I love that. Like, even knowing that there has been a Pokemon fighting game made by the Tekken people and seeing things like Pokemon Mobas, I would have never imagined in a million years that I’d see a Guilty Gears reference in any official Pokemon anything and I love it.

Not sure who’s responsible for that nod but thank you so much.

Oh, and if you want to see that particular move in action, here’s a compilation of Dizzy doing it to all the different opponents.