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Sunday, March 5, 2023

MAR5 Day 2023: Mars, puRUGly (Purbeauty!), and gLAMEow

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Happy Mar5 Day, for Galactic Commander Mars!

You remember Team Galactic Commander Mars, yes? In last year's MAR5 Day (Mars Day) article, I wrote how her combination of her looks, fashion sense, loyalty to her boss, and potentially vicious personality to her enemies makes her quite endearing.

But I didn't go into much detail on her signature Pokémon companion, her Purugly. She's great. Apparently, Purugly also terrifies a lot of newbies to Sinnoh. Purugly claws apart middling heroic children at the Valley Windworks, where she is drastically underleveled compared to when Purugly's pre-evolution, Glameow, evolves into Purugly (level 39). She's all-around great. Both Mars and her Purugly. I guess Mars can be classified as a (crazy) red-headed cat lady. Besides Purugly, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl gives Mars another pet cat, Espeon, in the Battle Tower. (That's content exclusive to those remasters, so anyone who tells you they provide no value over the originals or over Platinum is a liar.)

Mars Purugly Iron Island Golbat command arm stretched out Team Galactic Commander
Mars commanding Purugly to get rid of some annoying pests.
(...I didn't notice this until now, but please refrain from looking at Mars's thumb.
...You looked, didn't you? What happened to it? Did Purugly play a role?)

A lot of people unfairly malign Purugly, so I'm going to see things from Mars's point of view (which is the correct one) and talk about why Purugly is really a Purbeauty.

Mars obviously loves her Purugly the way she is, much more as a Purugly than as a Glameow, or else she would've kept Purugly as a Glameow. Glameow is a very common Pokémon among Team Galactic Grunts (they're a hive mind of cat fans), but Mars wanted a better cat. She has excellent taste, better than anyone else in Team Galactic (or in Sinnoh). And Purugly really is wonderful, despite propaganda from the anime with episodes like For The Love of Meowth! where Team Rocket's Meowth falls in love with a twerpette's Glameow but then ceases to love her once she evolves into a Purugly. Let's look at some Pokédex entries some Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which should take place far enough in the past before the anti-Purugly propaganda started to spread throughout the region:

Pokémon Legends Arceus Pokedex dex entry Glameow number 152 catty
Glameow is only popular because she “bewitches humans”, as opposed to being a lovable feline through honest means.
This is expressed by Glameow learning Hypnosis by level up; the only cat Pokémon to do so. And quite early, too.
(Level 13, or level 5 in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.)

Pokémon Legends Arceus Pokedex dex entry Purugly number 153 tiger cat
Meanwhile, the ancient people of Hisui adored Purugly and bestowed great popularity because of Purugly's BEAUTIFUL fur.

Some uncharitable trainers point to Purugly's name as evidence that she is meant to be “pure ugly”, or “purUGLY”. This is a misreading of Purugly's name, and it's curious that people don't choose to read Glameow's name like that. You see, you could just as easily read Glameow's name as “gLAMEow”. A lame cat that causes ow to anyone nearby with her hidden claws.

As for Purugly, she's clearly meant to be read as “puRUGly”. One of her defining features, after all, is her fur. And everyone knows that (real) rugs are made from animal fur. Purugly fur rugs are being compared to velveteen rugs back in Hisui. As of modern-day Sinnoh, humans decided that's a bit cruel to Pokémon, so they've made carpets, mats, and the like out of faux material. That has reduced the popularity of Purugly in the modern era. However, Purugly is still nice to cuddle up with, with plenty of fur and surface area to be affectionate with. She has much more substance than the likes of Glameow, and that is surely a reason why Mars chooses to be a Purugly trainer. Mars's official Pokémon Adventures (manga) artwork even features her snuggling on top of her Purugly's cloud-esque tail, which is significantly cushier than Glameow's tail. (Purugly's tail is usually wrapped around her waist.) It's a species trait for Purugly to cinch her tail around her waist, but a skilled Purugly trainer like Mars can get Purugly to unwind and witness the full, true beauty of the Tiger Cat Pokémon. Props to both Mars and Purugly!

Pokémon Shining Pearl Purugly Purbeauty Beauty Master Ribbon
Some Purugly in the modern day, such as COLA, are able to Slash through the propaganda and take her rightful place as a BEAUTY MASTER.
She purrfectly embodies Beauty! A true Purbeauty!

This MAR5 Day article was more about Mars's Purugly than about Mars, but a crazy cat lady like Mars should have absolutely no problem with someone writing an article giving her cat the attention she deserves. (And Mars is crazy, given that she's omnicidal for Cyrus.) Sometimes Ludwig wishes that Mars would make him her third most important thing in the world. (Behind Cyrus and Purugly.) What do you think? By the way, Ludwig doesn't actually dislike Glameow. He just wanted to make a point for this article. Though he does like Purugly more.


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