Over a decade ago when I found myself playing the original Pokemon Red, I spent much of my time in the Safari Zone attempting to capture my most favoured Pokemon of the Generation: Dratini. While its evolutions made their way onto my team, I always wanted to keep one or two from levelling, because I always adored how it looked. So how is it that this Pokemon could capture my interest more than the mascot of the franchaise, Pikachu?
First of all, Dratini belongs to one of the most powerful types in the game: the Dragon type. Being the ‘original’ Dragon Pokemon of the franchaise, this Pokemon was capable of resisting the most common of special attack elements, while having the capability of using the very types it resisted (except for Grass). Dratini and its evolutions are also the first of the exclusive group known as the Pseudo Legendaries, Pokemon that stand out from others because of their stats, though standing just behind the Legendaries in terms of their power.
Dratini also maintains a rather cute appearance, something that is becoming more common as later generations gave way to new Pokemon. Unfortunately, the original Red/Blue/Green sprites of this Pokemon made it somewhat ugly, appearing more as a worm than a serpent (in particular, the striped underbelly). However in Pokemon Yellow this was corrected, the cosmetic change making the Pokemon look much better.
With the somewhat rare combinate of cute and powerful (for an unevolved Pokemon at least), I feel that it was somewhat unfortunate for one of the only episodes to portray Dratini to have been banned from English viewings. The reason for this was not because of the Pokemon, rather the excessive use of firearms in 35th episode of the original Pokemon series (known as “The Legend of Miniryu” in Japan). To add further injury to this cancellation, a plothole was formed because of the thirty Tauros that Ash had captured in the episode (as the reason he had them was never explained later on in the series).
While I have many other Pokemon I love as well, Dratini tops them all with its decieving appearance and its irresistable charm.