Shelmet and Accelgor

Sheesh, finally. Why is this lovely little gastropod spaced so far away from its rival, Karrablast?!

Well, whatever. Shelmet is a truly perfect snail pokemon, with a wonderfully tubular face - almost seahorse-like - you really don't expect from a snail monster at all, and a shell modeled more after that of a nautilus crossed with a knight's helmet. The dex says it can squirt poison as a defense mechanism, and the slots on its helmet allow it to do so even when its shell is closed. What a neat detail!

It's rather strange, however, that Shelmet is bug type. Not even bug/steel type, just bug! Really? A mollusk?? Shouldn't that make Shellder, Clamperl, Slugma and Octillery all "bug" pokemon as well?

Anyway, as I mentioned before, Shelmet is the version counterpart to Karrablast, which is also Shelmet's natural predator, inspired by real Carabid beetles who specialize in tearing snails from their shells. Surprisingly however, no predator/prey relationship is ever mentioned between these two pokemon, not something this series normally shies away from. Instead, they're simply said to evolve when they're "bathed in energy together," which is why they evolve when traded by two human trainers.

You already know that Karrablast acquires armor during this exchange, actually becoming bug/steel. Shelmet, meanwhile, evolves into Accelgor; a fearsome, ninja-like ex-snail with one of the highest speed stats in the entire series.

There's a lot for me to love about this one. The coiled flesh is accurate to an actual de-shelled snail, it has eyes inside of its "mouth," and it wears a casing of tattered wrappings, presumably formed from dried slime, giving it the appearance of both a bagworm and a tattered mummy.

That's a lot of things I enjoy all rolled up into one pokemon...

...So why the heck isn't it one of my all-time favorites? It's exactly my kind of thing, through and through, and even has a cute, oddball design I can easily admire. On paper, it should honestly appeal to me almost as much as Garbodor, but I guess there's just something about Accelgor that's not quite hitting the right button for me.

Perhaps it's simply that the design is so ambiguous? I'd certainly never figure out what the hell this creature was supposed to be if it weren't explained to me. It looks about as much like an earthworm, a geoduck, or the ghost of a NASCAR driver as it does a slug or a snail, and those are all entertaining things, but I think it's that vagueness that leaves Accelgor just short of my personal gold rating.

I'm sorry, Accelgor, I just shouldn't have to be TOLD that you're a de-shelled snail monster. "Don't explain the joke" as they say.