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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

HM Slave Bidoof's Big Stand (an original animation)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I was rooting for the Staraptor.

Over two weeks ago, The Pokémon Company International published this original animation featuring a Pokémon trainer and a scrubby, sickly Bidoof he caught and raised:

The premise is that there is a wild Bidoof that is a screw-up menace to the local Bidoof colony, so the Bidoof wanders away (or is exiled) and ends up stealing an Oran Berry from a Starly flock lead by a cool Staraptor. Unfortunately, Staraptor isn't able to retrieve the Oran Berry from the rodent Bidoof, as a young Pokémon trainer and his Lucario rescue Bidoof. This wild Staraptor is so cool that it's able to dodge an Aura Sphere, which shouldn't be possible, but Staraptor is that cool. The trainer catches Bidoof with a Nest Ball (which specialises in catching low-level weak Pokémon), and Bidoof is in love with the idea of high-fiving (or high-threeing for Bidoof) the trainer like he did with his Lucario, but the trainer is oblivious to this and just keeps feeding Bidoof Oran Berries instead.

Bidoof's Big Stand trainer catching Bidoof Nest Ball
I continue to really like that they show Poké Ball varieties that player-controlled trainers would actually use in that situation.
The Nest Ball is the most appropriate one!

Bidoof's life is seemingly destined to using Cut on objects blocking the Pokémon trainer's path. Bidoof is increasingly exasperated by its role as an HM Slave (so this is probably a throwback to the original Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum because Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond remove the HM Slave role), and Bidoof wants to be involved as a legitimate member of the trainer's team like Lucario is. (That said, at least the trainer feeds Bidoof Oran Berries AND gives him head-pats, which is FAR better treatment than what Bidoof deserves, and much better than how people normally treat their HM Slaves.)

Eventually, Bidoof gets its chance, since the Pokémon trainer brings it to a full battle in a big, well-attended stadium. His full team of Luxray, Infernape, Glaceon, Togekiss, Lucario, and Bidoof has almost all been wiped out—except Bidoof. He's facing against a trainer with Weavile, Probopass, Gliscor, Empoleon, Golem, and an unrevealed Staraptor. This guy sucks because he has two Fighting type Pokémon, and his opponent's team has huge problems against Fighting attacks (which pwn Weavile, Probopass, Empoleon, AND Golem). And he's losing and now has to rely on his HM Slave.

But miraculously, Bidoof defeats Golem and now has to fight Staraptor, which scares Bidoof who is thinking about how the wild Staraptor scared him. Staraptor makes the brilliant move of flying out of Bidoof's range and spamming a continuous projectile Hyper Beam from afar (after Close Combatting and Brave Birding). Smart, skilled, cool Staraptor.

Bidoof's Big Stand Staraptor Hyper Beam
While no self-respecting trainer in the mainline RPGs would give Staraptor Hyper Beam,
it is an effective tool in a scenario where distance is a factor, like anime or Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, since it's one of Staraptor's only projectiles.
And this Staraptor is using Hyper Beam for a WHILE in one shot, so it's well-trained!

Unfortunately, Bidoof cheated and somehow managed to OHKO Staraptor with base Rollout. This won the Bidoof's trainer the overall victory, and they finally exchanged high-five/high-three, and the Bidoof and the trainer lived happily ever after, with Bidoof having fulfillment and also showing off to its former Bidoof colony.

I liked how expressive everyone in this animation was, which was a design decision caused by there being no dialogue at all. It meant that everyone had quirks like the trainer making a chomping motion or a rolling motion with his hands to command Bidoof to use Cut or Rollout. Staraptor, of course, was amazing. I don't like Bidoof any more after, however. In fact, I still loathe Bidoof. Also, kind of unfair to the trainer's Glaceon, Togekiss, Luxray, and Infernape (could it be his starter?!) that he's just making poses at the end with Bidoof and Lucario. I actually did like this Sinnoh-based animation more than the The Rival, the Sinnoh-based episode from Pokémon Evolutions. That's a big compliment, since they both have Staraptor in them! ...And The Rival had a brief Mars cameo, too.

Ludwig's favourite Pokémon IS Staraptor, and Bidoof is one of his least favourites (bottom ten). So of course he disliked how the story ended and disliked its protagonist. But it was still a cute animation! What did you think after watching it?

The next animation takes us to Hisui, featuring snow and Zorua.


  1. I wonder who exactly makes these shorts. It’s hard for me to imagine Nintendo or Gamefreak themselves being aware (Bidoof constantly only using Cut) of the whole HM slave thing. Although I suppose they did do away with them, so they must know Something.

    1. There's credits at the end.

      Someone there is aware because Bidoof and Bibarel (and Staraptor) are the exclusive wild Pokémon for all of the HMs with the Hidden Moves Pokétch app in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.


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