Drowzee and Hypno

Another pure psychic type, Drowzee is a fat, sickly yellow, lovably sleazy looking tapir known for its powers of hypnosis and its diet of dreams, which it somehow sucks through the nostrils of sleepers. Gross! This is, of course, based on the mythological baku, a dream-eating monster traditionally depicted as a hybrid animal with the trunk of an elephant. Once the Japanese discovered tapirs for the first time, it seemed only natural to name them after the baku, and today, the monster is more commonly portrayed throughout anime, manga and video games as just a big, weird, magical tapir.

Drowzee is another of those smooth, natural looking first generation designs, which I do heavily prefer for flesh-and-blood animal pokemon. I love inanimate object creatures to death, but I can fully understand the criticism that from the third generation onward, a lot of ostensibly organic pokemon started looking a little too much like angular, plastic toys.

Drowzee also has a uniquely unsettling personality, its eyes simultaneously weary and euphoric. It's definitely the kind of face I expect from a creature getting high off brain-waves.

The skeeviness of Drowzee only grows as it evolves into Hypno, an incredibly disquieting blend of that doughy, yellow tapir with some kind of weasely goblin-man, and while I always got a sense that Hypno was just meant to look kind of comical and sagely, I feel like it's easily in the top four or five creepiest looking things in the series.

This isn't helped by the inherent wrongness of anything that gets into your head and lulls you to sleep against your will, or the fact that the pokedex says Hypno is capable of stealing children, whose dreams it also finds "tastier." This is like some sort of old-world, deep dark fairy tale horror.

I was glad to know I wasn't the only one who appreciated Hypno's top-quality uncanniness, as a whole creepypasta song revolves around the hairy gnome - sung to the tune of Pokemon's own dreadful Lavendar Town theme music. There's even at least one fan made game inspired by the song.

After all these years, though, it somehow only just clicked for me that Hypno's behavior and bearded gnome motif were probably intended to invoke the idea of the sandman all along. Of COURSE the sandman is actually an anthropomorphic baku!