Rellor and Rabsca

How the HELL did it take them this long to get to a dung beetle?! It's a beetle that rolls a ball around! That's already irresistible Pokemon material! The ball itself is just a brown sphere with some grey and orange cheeto-shaped markings on it, which looks pretty foul, though the Pokedex kind of wusses out and calls it a "mud ball." Did someone feel like the concept of a dung beetle needed to be censored? Well, whatever. The Pokemon itself is nicely done, a circular grey beetle with a dull yellow segmented underbelly and four clawed, jointed limbs. It has a pinkish cartoon face with a bulbous nose and a unibrow, which a lot of people hated instantly, but the only part I dislike is the dark "lower lip," meant to look like it has a beard I guess. I just don't quite like the shape of that piece, and how its edges overlap the pink face. Not a big deal, though!

Rellor's carapace is also really nice; a dark grey beetle shell with white markings arranged kind of like part of a "maze." Like part of a pac-man maze. It's pretty and it feels very beetle-ey. There's no obvious single seam where these elytra would open into beetle wings, but funny enough there are a number of flightless dung beetles whose wing cases are fused permanently! I don't know if the designer knew that, I just thought I'd mention it.

I'd also like to mention that the shiny version of this Pokemon doesn't change the beetle, but turns the ball into solid gold, which is cute!

If you're reading these blind, I don't think you can imagine the route this takes when it evolves at all.

WOW that's a cool looking thingy, and what gorgeous colors! Rabsca is actually a bug/psychic Pokemon, now with a beautiful turquoise colored body more reminiscent of scarab brooches. I love its four bug legs becoming softly jagged flipper-like shapes, which works well as a "cartoon" version of actual scarab limbs. Its face is now deep red, with a pointier nose and tightly shut eyes, resembling more of a spooky mask. It has a couple of big, jagged white eyebrow-antennae, and spiky white fluff under its face-mask that extends into an additional pair of large white bug-legs. I know this is meant to look like an exaggerated beard and mustache, but when I read those as a pair of limbs, I just see sort of cute red-faced owl with a fluffy ruff and white wings. Aesthetically pleasant either way!

Sometimes Rabsca even opens up its eyes, which turn out to be a luminous pink with bright white star-shaped centers. Ominous!

But as neat as its insect portion has become, it's not even the half of what's interesting here. In fact, the insect body barely even animates anymore, dangling lifelessly upside-down from a "mud" ball that now floats around telekinetically! A ball that no longer looks like mud or dung, but like a mass of rubbery purple goo wrapped around a transparent, gelatinous pink sphere with a denser pinkish orb suspended in the center. It looks like one enormous egg cell surrounded by organic tissue, or in fact like a giant flying womb, and that's clearly intentional.

You probably know that a dung beetle's dung ball is an incubator for its eggs and larvae, but that goes quite a bit further with this Pokemon, as the dex confirms there is an "infant" sleeping inside the ball, but that this may in fact be the true seat of Rabsca's consciousness. Maybe you also know that scarabs are symbols of death and rebirth in multiple cultures, but if you didn't, now you do! And if you get just the right glimpse at just the right moment, depending on camera angle and illumination, you can sometimes actually see its adorable new grub body:

Lovable! Just a fat little pale maggot with closed eyes and a pointy snoot, hovering asleep in the "egg." I respect the novelty of it being kind of "secret," but I do wish we could always clearly see this reminder of what Rabsca "really" is, a beetle that evolves into its own psychic larviform reincarnation. This also happens to be that other Pokemon able to learn "Revival Blessing," allowing it to bring an ally back from fainting.

I pretty much live to see how Pokemon will represent every new arthropod it tackles, and I have to say its first-ever dung beetle far exceeds my expectations. It's visually striking, mechanically fun, and unexpectedly bizarre in ways that thoughtfully incorporate both the mythology and biology of the real animal.

All Scarlet/Violet sprite animations ripped by adamsb0303!