In this recurring series, I’ll analyze the origins of Pokémon designs, their culture, and their historical allusions to British culture.
Meowth has been depicted in several different ways. In Alola it was seen as royalty and was a Dark-type. Now it is a Steel-type. The hair on its body has grown out and it looks unkempt. Additionally, its yellow charm has now become a lustrous black color.
This may be a design allusion to the Norwegian Forest cat, a breed that became popular among vikings who would take cats with them on voyages. As a breed, they have adapted to a colder climate, are relatively strong, and were able to hunt mice and rats that may have stowed away. If the cats had extra toes, they were seen as lucky.
Living with a savage, seafaring people has toughened this Pokémon’s body so much that parts of it have turned to iron.
These daring Pokémon have coins on their foreheads. Darker coins are harder, and harder coins garner more respect among Meowth.
The Vikings were a seafaring people who raided and conquered many settlements throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. They were primarily settled in the lands around Great Britain and Scandanavia. The Pokédex description makes allusions to the hard life of voyage and attacks.
Unlike Alolan Meowth, Galarian Meowth evolves into an entirely new Pokémon species. Perrserker, whose name is a combination of “Purr” and “Berserker”, is classified as the Viking Pokémon.
This species has many features that resemble a viking. Its claws can shoot out of its paw and fold together to resemble a blade. Two horns come out of its head, which resembles a horned helmet like what vikings were said to wear. The thick hair around its neck now resembles a thick beard from being at sea for a while.
What appears to be an iron helmet is actually hardened hair. This Pokémon lives for the thrill of battle.
After many battles, it evolved dangerous claws that come together to form daggers when extended.
This Pokémon was very adept for fighting, and was likely a good companion to the seafaring people. In battle it would’ve been interpreted as a berserker, a Norse label for those who would enter a state of intense fury in conflict.
Cats have been a companion of humans in many cultures, including in Northwestern Europe. While a new, distinct cat Pokémon could’ve been introduced, creating a regional variant of Meowth provides the opportunity to see how they adapted in the harsh climate of cold weather and regular sea voyages. The forked evolution into Perrserker pays homage to the history of vikings in the region with a unique design rather than a variation of Persian.
Let us know what you think of this purrfect feline evolutionary line in the comments below or on our Discord server.
PSST- Don’t forget to enter the first March giveaway for a flocked Pikachu doll!