The Slakoth Family

Finally, a SLOTH! One of the most rightfully beloved of all mammals, a creature so sluggish and lazy that its body collects algae, fungi and moths. Pity they didn't use that to make Slakoth a moldy grass type rather than a normal type, but at least they got the overall look of a sloth down perfect. This is precisely a two-toed sloth translated straight to pokemon's art style, and it is every bit as adorable as that implies.

...Until it evolves so unexpectedly into Vigoroth. I love the concept here of a fairly ordinary, gentle, sleepy sloth suddenly becoming this violent nightmare beast with a remarkably high speed stat, but I'm really not so big on the design. It just doesn't look as nicely drawn as Slakoth did, and I wish it retained a much more sloth-like, rounded face. I think that's the big thing. With a face more like Slakoth, maybe just a little grumpier, this would be excellent.

So, after an extended rampage as Vigoroth, this pokemon evolves into Slaking, and...really isn't even a sloth anymore, is it? That's quite clearly an ape, complete with five-fingered hands. If you signed on for a pokemon sloth, you may have been sorely disappointed to end up with more of a Slothey Kong.

I suppose Slaking isn't a bad design for an ape, however, and its concept is pretty fun. This is a pokemon so incredibly lazy, it actually skips every other turn by "loafing about," and may as well, since its stats are monstrously high for a non-legendary. It still doesn't really work out too well, strategically, when so many other pokemon can use that extra turn to boost their own stats, inflict a status effect, heal or set up a defensive screen, and in fact, a lot more people have used Vigoroth in competitive play, though neither are popular with hardcore metagamers.

How many pokemon am I going to give three and a half to this gen? The Slakoth line is aiming for something really cool and clever, but it just falls short of its potential, and it's another of those lines where the very first stage is the very best looking.