Anorith and Armaldo

I was pretty excited when I saw that there'd be an Anomalocaris pokemon. If you need a refresher, this three-foot beast was the world's largest known predator during the Cambrian era, and its kind are believed to have been the ancestors of all modern arthropods.

Anorith, a rock/bug type and our second fossil line, embellishes very little of the real animal, basically following Anomalocarid anatomy to a T, and those dewey eyes are so sweet for something that was basically the T-rex of its day.

Things get...kinda weird...when Anorith evolves into Armaldo. I understand what they were going for here, I guess; like Kabutops, it takes a marine invertebrate and adjusts it into a bipedal, amphibious hunter, a glance into some wildly speculative evolution of an anomalocarid that never went extinct.

Anomalocaris-turned-dinosaur is a great idea for a fossilmon, and it's competently drawn, but Anomalocaris really loses something special when you take the claws off its head. Look at those claws. Those are Anomalo's premier anatomical characteristic, like a Cthulhu made of shrimp and also really cool, unlike Cthulhu, who is a tired nerd. Anorith turns those wonderful face-fingers into a relative banal pair of arms where you would expect any pair of arms to be, and it just feels too unlike the spirit of its basis. The ear-shaped eyes are also kind of a bit awkward, and in both stages of this line, I never really liked the "eagle feather" look of those red and white fins.

Still, on its own merits, and not held up to the real animal's rather high standards, Armaldo is a unique looking creature with a lot of personality, kind of like a fat goana lizard crossed with a silverfish. It's easy to see why it has such a devoted following.

Kabutops to this day remains my #1 fossil pokemon, but the Anorith line is still a pretty worthy followup to its legacy.