Written by Jonathan Wojcik
DAY 10: VICTREEBEL!
When most people think of carnivorous plants, the first thing that comes to mind is nearly always either the Venus flytrap or at least something inspired by the Venus flytrap; so much so that it's pleasantly surprising how a pitcher plant was the first Pokemon inspired by any actual insect-eating flora, and retained this exclusive status until Carnivine showed up in 2006.
Even now, Victreebel stands out as one of the coolest, meanest and most interesting-looking grass types in the game, especially thanks to the two very different directions you can read its anatomy:
If we think of Victreebel's usual stance as "upright" with a mouth on the top of its "head," it becomes a more ominous, emotionless entity with sinister eyes glaring from beneath its feeding orifice. If we think of Victreebel as simply spending most of its existence "upside down," however, it becomes a bulbous, almost fish-like monster with an expression as goofy as it is terrifying.
And speaking of fish, the Generation III pokedex entries delightfully inform us that Victreebel's long, whip-like vine is "waved and flicked about as if it were an animal to attract prey." Somehow, I wasn't aware of this until just now, looking it up again for this very review. This was already a favorite of mine, how the hell did I miss that they gave it anglerfish tendencies?! The luring vine has never been mentioned again, but it makes flawless sense, and I refuse to accept anything to the contrary. I also appreciate how its other 'dex entries repeatedly mention how it digests its prey alive, "bones and all," and even goes so far as to call it horrifying.
Finally, for those who missed out on Victreebel's anime appearances, it was one of the very few Pokemon who didn't communicate by speaking its own name. Instead, in pretty much all translations, it did nothing but scream and scream.
Victreebel could not be more perfect, in every conceivable way.