Scorbunny, one of the starter Pokémon for the newly announced Pokémon Sword and Shield, is a sweet lil bunny, and I love him. He’s also the source of some concern among Pokémon fans.
So far there have been eight different generations of Pokémon games in the main series, leading to eight different sets of starter Pokémon. More modern entries allow those starters to gain a second Pokémon type in addition to their initial ones, Fire, Water or Grass. Whereas the Water and Grass Pokémon have gotten a diverse range of secondary types, the Fire ones tend to follow a routine. Torchic (Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire), Chimchar (Pokémon Diamond and Pearl), and Tepig (Pokémon Black and White) all became Fire/Fighting creatures. These three games also followed each other consecutively, making the trend all the more glaring.
Pokémon players are now afraid Scorbunny will have the same fate. Why? Because of the bandage on his nose.
It might not mean much to people who aren’t obsessed with Pokémon, but the designs of the characters usually have consistent motifs to signal the type of Pokémon with which they’re associated. It’s not very subtle. Fighting-type Pokémon and Gym Leaders usually have a sporty look. Pokémon like Hitmonchamp and Hitmonlee wear martial arts gear. Maylene, the Fighting-type Gym Leader from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, has a bandage on her nose like Scorbunny. Besides the bandage, Scorbunny also gives off a sporty vibe. He’s long, lean, and fast, kind of like a soccer player.
All those signs have sent Pokémon fans into a fit of speculation. They’re desperate for some variety in Fire type starter Pokémon. Your starters are usually with you the whole game, and whatever second type they get in evolutions can also help fill some gaps in your party. While Fire/Fighting can be a useful type in the late game, it’s also more of the same. Pokémon Sun and Moon had some creative type combinations for the final evolutions of its starter Pokémon with Grass/Ghost, Fire/Dark and Water/Fairy. Getting another Fire/Fighting type is seen as a boring step backwards.
Put more succinctly, one fan tweeted, “If Scorbunny is fire/fighting I’m gonna do a murder,” and it was retweeted over four hundred times. The conversation also continues to crop up on the Pokémon subreddit. In the thread announcing Sword and Shield, the highest rated comment about Scorbunny, with over five thousand upvotes, reads, “Scorbunny looks like it has a band-aid on its nose. You know, like a martial artist… sounds like everyone’s favorite starter type-combination is back!”
All of this is speculation, and I’d love to see Scorbunny turn into anything other than Fire/Fighting. As a series, Pokémon has been slow to try new things, with the recently released Let’s Go games being the first shake-up the series has had in a long time. Only time will tell what Scorbunny will turn into. For now, I can safely say that he’s a cute bunny and also my friend.