Illustration: Sam Woolley

Move over, Professor Sycamore. There’s a new daddy in town. (NSFW warning!)

As many of you know, every Pok√©mon game comes with a Pok√©mon expert who guides you on your journey to catch ‚Äėem all. In the first generation of games/anime, we had good ‚Äėol professor Oak:

For a while, this was more or less the standard for Pokémon professors: older, wiser, and kind of dad-like.

Then Pokémon X & Y happened:

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Professor Sycamore, pictured above, was not like most Pokémon professors. He looked young. He looked hip. He looked fashionable. And as weird as it is to say about a Pokémon character, Sycamore looked, well...hot. Sure enough, a horny fanbase followed online.

Pokémon Sun and Moon are entirely new games of course, which means that they come with their own region-specific Pokémon academic. And for whatever reason, Pokémon developers Game Freak decided to up the ante in the professor’s design. Meet Professor Kukui:

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Yes, that’s a shirtless Pokémon professor. Now, arguably, you could make the case that he’s shirtless for a reason: Pokémon Sun and Moon take cues from Hawaii, so the setting is probably tropical and hot. Still though. There’s something pretty damn extra about perpetually showing off your abs like that, especially in a game like Pokémon.

You might even ask yourself, what’s the point of wearing a lab coat over nothing but bare skin? There’s no way the coat offers any real protection. Which leads me to believe that the point is sexiness. Certaintly, that’s the way most of the Pokémon fandom is parsing Kukui; many people believe that Kukui is intentionally designed to make players hot for teacher. Though Pokémon Sun and Moon aren’t actually out yet, Professor Kukui is already amassing a very thirsty fandom online.

Just today, The Pokémon Company dropped new footage of Kukui, along with a few new details about him. Players are eating it up. They have been since Kukui was revealed earlier this year, really:

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One thing the fandom has latched onto is Game Freak‚Äôs description of Kukui‚Äôs research style. Kukui has apparently ‚Äútaken direct hits from Pok√©mon when there was something to be learned from it.‚ÄĚ This seemingly innocuous detail has only fanned the flames, as some fans fantasize about what this could look like in action:

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Eagle-eyed Pokémon players also noticed that Kukui appears to wear a wedding band, and this has prompted its own series of hilarious reactions as well:

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Naturally, the fandom has gone into overdrive in its love for Kukui, and has gone ahead to whip up some intense Pokémon fan art and Photoshops. Hell, we threw our hat into the ring with a tasteful Kukui illustration up top, courtesy of our art team’s Sam Woolley.

Most images online follow suit, accentuating Kukui’s abs, chest hair, and sometimes even his dick. Yeah, what follows can be considered NSFW.

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Created by: Doctor Anfelo

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Mind, this is some of the tamer stuff out there. I’ve seen some wild shit, like professors from different generations banging each other. Nothing is sacred, because this is the internet.

The conspiracy theory floating around as a result is that Game Freak counted on this reaction though, and that they intentionally designed Kukui to get people riled up. Whatever you believe, know this: the thirst is real, and even games like Pokémon are not immune to it.