By Factory White Head
I’m back with Johto Part 2! We’re wrapping this up with Raikou, Entei, Suicune, and Lugia! Maybe now we might be able to put this legendary cat/dog debate to rest. Haha. Ha. Yeah, I’m doubtful, but let’s take a look anyway, shall we?
But before we do, have you heard of the two stories regarding the beasts? Because they were created in the second generation, it’s been thought that the three Pokemon who died in the destruction of Brass Tower were a Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporeon, who were resurrected as Raikou, Entei, and Suicune respectively. The Eeveelutions are important in Ecruteak City as it is, due to the Dance Theatre’s Kimono Girls using them in battle. It’s an interesting theory, but debatable.
Another interesting story regards the typing of the beasts. Raikou represents the lightning that struck the tower, Entei represents the fire, and Suicune represents the rain that put out the flames. It gives some depth to their backstory.
Anyway, back to the analysis.
Raikou originates from the Japanese thunder demon called the raiju. It can take the form of a lightning cat, and during thunderstorms, it becomes agitated and wild. Its cry sounds like thunder (like Raikou’s Silver Pokedex entry), and it leaps about, going from place to place. Raikou, as a roaming Pokemon, does just that. However, the raiju can go into buildings, and Raikou can only appear outside. Raikou’s name means “thunder emperor” or “thunder duke.”
Next up is Entei. A fierce lion-like Pokemon, its origin lies in the shishi, just like Growlithe and Arcanine. Shishi come in two major varieties: lion (like Entei) or lion-dog (like Growlithe). The lion-like shishi are frequently pictured with an open mouth, as if they are fiercely roaring, and they are shaggier than the lion-dog shishi. Either way, they are guardian creatures. In the third movie, Entei was Molly’s guardian, and it protected her from the Unown and Ash and co. when they were thought of as harmful. Entei’s name can mean “blazing heat emperor” or “flame emperor.”
Suicune, my personal favorite of the trio, is based on the Kirin. It is a peaceful creature that can walk on water. Appearance-wise, it is a chimera of sorts that takes traits from deer, dragons, and other animals. The Kirin only punishes the wicked, and if it sees an innocent person being threatened, it becomes angry and attacks the antagonist. It is said to appear only in areas ruled by a wise and benevolent leader, similarly to how Suicune will only appear to a trainer who is equally pure of heart. Suicune’s name means “water monarch” or “crystal monarch.”
Finally, one of the most popular Johto Pokemon, here’s Lugia. Lugia is based on the Shinto god Ryujin. Ryujin is a dragon that symbolizes the power of the ocean. It can control the tides from its home on the ocean floor, which is made of beautiful red and white coral. Shiny Lugia may in fact reference this, as its blue colors are replaced with reds and pinks. Not… much to talk about here, but at least we know Lugia is based on a dragon.
And that’s it. We’re already done looking at the Johto Pokémon. The next time we look at Pokémon origins, it’ll be in Hoenn. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did researching it.