Eyes. Yep, this is the latest controversy amongst Pokémon fans. We’ve left behind the five frames-per-second Gyarados’ and Magnezone’s flying through the skies of Hisui in Pokémon Legends: Arceus already because there’s a brand new Pokémon game to talk about.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduced us to a sparkly, sunny new landscape, three utterly adorable starters in the form of Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly, and two new trainer designs. And it’s that last thing that’s got people going.
Kotaku recently reported that many budding gen 9 Pokémon Masters are unsettled by one particular part of the new male and female trainer designs — their eyes.
The trainer designs themselves are quite a bit different from previous generations. Most notably, both the male and female trainers are wearing the same attire — a white collared, short-sleeved shirt, a tie, a blue hat, and a pair of shorts. It’s the first time the pair are (initially) identically dressed, though Legends: Arceus’ pair were pretty close too. We think it’s great that The Pokémon Company is standardising these designs, regardless of gender. And besides, who actually keeps their trainer in the default outfit once you unlock shops and customisation?
But it’s the eyes that people are fixated on, specifically how round they are. Just comparing them to previous trainer designs, Scarlet and Violet’s pair have smaller more realistically shaped eyes, as opposed to the bigger oval eyes we’ve become accustomed to. Some Japanese fans have even said the eyes make the characters look like dolls!
This seems like a logical jump forward, however. Since the series’ jump to the Switch, trainer designs, in particular their in-game character models, have been a lot more proportionally accurate. Even the 3DS games, and Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, were experimenting with this by just using full models in battle and chibi-fied models on the field, or by using a slightly-bigger character model across the board.
We’ve barely seen them in action at this point, and there may even be options to change the eyes in-game, so whether this is a bit of a reaction to some bigger design changes, remains to be seen.
The trainers aren’t the only thing about Scarlet and Violet that have been subjected to eye-related analysis. Our little Grass Cat Pokémon has a case of the old Scarlet and Violet eye problems too if you look really closely…
Can’t see any problem? No, neither could we originally, although various fans took to correcting the perceived issues with the official art. For example:
Still can’t see? The eyes have been levelled in the edited versions, and one has been rotated a bit. The ears have also been tweaked very slightly.
It might just be the angle it’s looking out at, or it might even be deliberate (a dizzy, grassy cat does sound pretty endearing, doesn’t it?), but it doesn’t change Sprigatito in our eyes. Who says Pokémon have to be perfectly symmetrical, eh?
What do you think of those soul-piercing eyes? And do you still love Sprigatito despite their off-centre eye? Make your vote heard below, and drop us a comment if you want as well!