In this recurring series, I’ll analyze the origins of Pokémon designs, their culture, and their historical allusions to British culture.
Toxel debuts with a few special aspects. It is the first with the unique typing of Electric and Poison. It is also the first baby Pokémon introduced since the fourth generation.
What is a baby Pokémon? There are few specific criteria, being the lowest form in an evolutionary line, being obtainable through breeding, and not being able to breed itself.
Toxel’s name, a combination of “toxic” and “toddle”, is another indication of its youth. Its design is a young lizard-like with an oversized head and a lighter bottom half around its waist that resembles a diaper. Similar to other Electric-types, it has circular patches on its cheeks and there is a lightning bolt on its forehead.
It stores poison in an internal poison sac and secretes that poison through its skin. If you touch this Pokémon, a tingling sensation follows.
It manipulates the chemical makeup of its poison to produce electricity. The voltage is weak, but it can cause a tingling paralysis.
The Pokédex describes the relationship between its electricity and poison. In this case, its electricity and paralyzing nature is a side-effect of its poison.
Its amphibian design may be in particular based on the northern crested newt, a newt species that is indigenous to Great Britain. When hunted by predators, they will secrete the poison tetrodotoxin, which prevents signals from being sent through the nervous system. In effect, this will cause paralysis and other symptoms.
Toxel has a unique evolution method to turn into one of two forms based on its nature. The more aggressive natures like Hardy and Brave will cause it to be in the Amped Form while the more passive natures like Lonely and Modest will cause it to be in the Low Key Form. Its name is a combination of “toxic” and “electricity”.
In both forms they have an amphibian design, now sharing a closer look to the blotched northern crested newt. The Amped Form is yellow with six protrusions on its chest while the Low Key Form has blue with four protrusions.
Toxtricity is based on punk rock, a musical genre that is similar to rock but with a culture of anti-establishment. The genre started in North America in the 1970s and quickly spread to England and Australia. Several punk rock bands had names with negative connotations such as “Poison Girls” and “Toxic Reasons”. It became more than just a music, with the same punk subculture encompassing art, literature, and film.
Their protrusions are references to electric instruments that would be part of a punk rock band. The Amped Form references an electric guitar, with its six strings. The Low Key Form references an electric bass, with its four strings. The spikes are to those on Piers’ outfit and he uses a Toxtricity in later battles.
When this Pokémon sounds as if it’s strumming a guitar, it’s actually clawing at the protrusions on its chest to generate electricity.
This short-tempered and aggressive Pokémon chugs stagnant water to absorb any toxins it might contain.Amped Form
Capable of generating 15,000 volts of electricity, this Pokémon looks down on all that would challenge it.
It has an electrical organ on its chest. While generating electricity, it fills its surroundings with what sounds like the strumming of a bass guitar.Low Key Form
Toxtricity’s signature ability is Punk Rock, which boosts its own sound-based moves while reducing the damage it receives from opposing sound-based moves. It can use this along with its signature move Overdrive, a sound-based Electric-type attack.
Both forms of Toxtricity turn into this starry-eyed Gigantamax form. Its electrical power has now become so intense that it takes the form of its instrument. It can use its signature move G-Max Stun Shock which will either paralyze or poison the opponent.
Its excessive electric energy is its weapon. This Pokémon can build up more electricity than any thundercloud.
Out of control after its own poison penetrated its brain, it tears across the land in a rampage, contaminating the earth with toxic sweat.
Twenty thousand years ago Eternatus fell into Galar from a meteorite. It is from this that Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing began. The Darkest Day, three thousand years ago, was when Eternatus absorbed all of the energy in Galar, which caused Pokémon to spontaneously Dynamax and Gigantamax. This event is memorialized in several places including a geoglyph to the west of Turffield.
Given the cultural influence of punk in British culture, it makes sense for Toxtricity to be represented as a Pokémon. Its basis on a poisonous newt gives it a unique typing and Toxel being among the few baby Pokémon make this line stand out even more.
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