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I'm a paleontologist enthusiast who loves wearing bowties!

Review of the Oscar Nominated Short Films (Animated) for 2018

I’m back again with another article on the Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts. 2018 was a satisfying year for shorts as all the nominees were entertaining and moving in their own way. Although Lou’s animation and Garden Party’s ending were fantastic, it’s the characters, humor, and voice acting of Revolting Rhymes that make it my pick for best ONAS of 2018. Let’s dive in.

Dear Basketball

The weakest of the five shorts although that does not mean I disliked it. Far from it, the pencil animated styles stood out strongly against the plethora of computer-model shorts from this year and the narrative was definitely it’s own thing (plus the score was quite moving thanks to John Williams). Dear Basketball, which focuses on Kobe Bryant’s basketball career, makes it this year’s memoir short along with Negative Space. Although it was nice, it falls flat for two main reasons. The first was the deflated story.   There wasn’t much conflict or pivotal moments to keep the story going. What’s more, this memoir short was too positive on Bryant’s basketball career and did not bring much in the way of sorrow or negative memories. It definitely paints Bryant in a positive light which makes it feel more self-adorning, and unfortunately egotistical, than self-reflecting. I will say the scene when Bryant mourns his aging body was great as the style shifted jarringly and really communicated how debilitating that was for him. Beyond that, nothing much else to say.

Negative Space

The other memoir short also stood out for its style and the premise and, unlike Dear Basketball, had a healthy mixture of positive and negative memories. Unfortunately, Negative Space’s story felt a bit clipped. At first I laughed at the line “there’s too much negative space” in the funeral scene but then I was astonished when the credits rolled after that. What I took as a comedic line was instead a somber reflection at how careless the coffin was created for the protagonist’s father. With such a quick ending, I felt cheated, as if the story was going somewhere but then decided to pull the plug half way through. With that said, I do like how much thought went into animating the background and the luggage as it really highlights the unique father-son bond the main character has.

Garden Party

What an ending! This was Mary’s favorite and I liked this one as well. It took me awhile before I realized what exactly was going on. Eventually, I was thinking an apocalyptic event happened and nature was reclaiming lost territory. My prediction was almost completely wrong but I’m happy that I was. What I find so compelling about this short are the frogs as they look so realistic but…not? It’s like the frog-version of the Uncanny Valley which I find amusing to think about. I think this quasi-realistic quality helps make the shocking ending great as the bloated decomposing man is so repulsive against the cute and adorable antics of the frogs. So funny.


Out of the five shorts, I predict Lou will win the Oscar. The story is nothing to write much about but Goddamn is Lou’s animation fantastic. You could tell the animators tirelessly planned and animated Lou’s movement to the insanity that his anatomy would let him. The whole chase scene with the kid was great, I could watch that scene dozens of times. Other than that the only other thing I have to comment is, did anyone else experience an existential crisis when the kid took all of Lou’s belongings and gave them to the kids?   Like, where did Lou go? Is his personality split up? Is he gone? Does he come back when the kids eventually lose their stuff again? The toys in Toy Story got nothing on Lou. Entertaining and energetic short but that’s not enough to make it my favorite for this year.

Revolting Rhymes

I went to see the shorts with Mary and my friend Kaitlin and all of us agreed that this was one of our favorites if not the favorite of the five shorts. Where to being on it? First, the short’s length was spent fantastically as no minute felt wasted. The characters, the pacing, the style, the voices, the humor all coincided perfectly to match Roald Dahl’s twistedness. There are so many things I loved about Revolting Rhymes. Like how the Mirror was animated very different compared to the rest of the characters indicating otherworldliness to him. Red and Snow White’s friendship felt believable and the Wolf’s revenge was not hackneyed or farcical.   And unlike Negative Space’s ending where I felt cheated, I felt satisfied but intrigued by Revolting Rhymes’ ending. Curious how the story could continue but content if this was the true ending. Not to say that it is, mind you, as it is Part 1. I really want to watch Part 2 and see how everything plays off.

If there’s one major criticism I had about the short its Red and Snow White’s “friendship.” Yes, I love their relationship but come on, they’re totally in lesbians with each other. Don’t give me this bs they are friends. They should be married. Sorry it just seems so painfully obvious they love each other but the short says otherwise. Come on.

See you at the Oscars!


The Dog Talisman: The Best Defensive Talisman

Happy Year of the Dog! We’re back once again to talk another talisman and this time it’s the Dog. The Dog Talisman has a special place in Jackie Chan Adventures as it introduced two prominent, reoccurring supporting characters. One was Scruffy, the noble dog that inherited the talisman’s power, and the other is the amazing Hak Fu! That’s right! Hak Fu’s was first introduced in the Dog Talisman episode in season 1, pretty interesting, huh?

But I’m getting ahead of myself, what does the Dog Talisman do? The Dog Talisman’s power is immortality. Whoever holds the talisman will not die and will survive events that would otherwise maim or kill them. We see Scruffy surviving a blast of dark magic from Daolon Wong, Uncle withstanding a brutal, wall-breaking punch from Hak Fu, and Jackie escaping unburnt from Shendu’s fire blast. This is a defensively strong talisman! However, beyond this the power becomes a bit inconsistent. Sometimes, the user does not flinch from attacks (like Scruffy for instance) while other times they seem to feel the pain but exhibit no outstanding injuries (like Finn’s collisional injury or when Shendu was electrocuted). This inconsistency seem to derive more from story convenience and less on the user or the situation. The show implies the talisman brings youth to the aged like it did for Uncle in season 1. Although he did not physically de-age, he fought like he was in his prime (it also cured him of his lactose-intolerance).

Some people scratch their heads though as the Dog Talisman sounds suspiciously like the Horse Talisman and its power of healing. I would also question why the two talismans even exist separately. Remember, the talismans originated from Shendu. An ancient warrior casted a spell on the dragon and extracted his powers in the form of the talismans. Wouldn’t the healing and immortality be the same talisman? Also, I have to wonder why Shendu would even need the Horse Talisman if he’s immortal all the time (even Finn questioned why he would need to carry both at the same time)! But I’m nitpicking here.

If Jackie Chan Adventures had less respect for its characters or storyline we might have seen the Dog Talisman used more commonly as a solution to tricky problems. Luckily, thanks to Jackie’s reluctance on talisman use, this was not the case. When we do see the Dog Talisman, it’s usually in the vein of a talisman episode or a season climax. On that note, characters label the Dog Talisman as one of the “cool” talismans making it one of the first talismans characters try to snatch in the heat of the battle. Whoever carries it means their foe has to think cleverly to win the battle which is always an exciting moment.

Regardless, we have an unusual situation in that we have a “cool” talisman that rarely makes appearances! So there’s not much to talk about the Dog Talisman besides one noteworthy moment in Jackie Chan Adventures. As mentioned before, in season 2, “Enter the Demon World, Part 2” Jackie survives a fiery blast from Shendu thanks to the Dog Talisman. When they escape, Jackie relies on the Dog Talisman for survival and when he loses it, he doubts his own strengths. Jade rallies Jackie though and explains how Jackie by himself is still a great hero. This lifts Jackie’s spirits and helps the J-Team defeat the demons. It’s a touching moment in the series in that we rarely see Jade give an effective pep talk to Jackie.

That’s it for now, hope you all have a great Year of the Dog!

Best Types for a Single Type Run in Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HG, and SS

Pokémon Gold and Silver remains one of the top rated and favorite games in the Pokémon franchise for fans all around. Their popularity was heavily boosted with Heartgold and Soulsilver which, at the time, modernized the games and brought with it Pokémon that could follow you wherever you go. And now, with the rerelease of Pokémon Gold and Silver on the Virtual Console, I thought it was time to revisit these games but this time ask the crucial question, what are the best types for a Single Type (or Monotype) Run? This article will be similar to my previous two articles on the subject matter so feel free to check those out for more information. As usual, a Single Type Run is a run that involves no trading, only trains Pokémon of a certain type, and is completed when you beat the Champion (or in our case the first Elite Four). Since Heartgold and Soulsilver are very similar to their original counterparts (minus the Pokewalker) they’ll be included as well.

Best Types

Image from bulbapedia

Generation 2 has an advantage over its predecessor as it’s building off of most of the original 150 Pokémon with the addition of a 100 new Pokémon that bring more type diversity. As such, there are a lot more fun runs to choose in these games compared to Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen. The best type for a Single Type Run is probably the Water type. A huge diversity of Water Pokémon available throughout the game makes this a fun type to play as there are many different team combinations. Most notably, this generation introduced Quagsire which neutralizes Water’s weakness to Electricity and can be caught after the first gym. The Flying type is probably the second best as you can catch about ten different type combinations and there’s a new catchable, Flying Pokémon after each gym battle. Other types do very well including Ground, Bug, Normal, Poison, and, if you are generous, Grass and Rock. Check out a list of team combinations below.

Worst Types

Image from bulbapedia

The usual suspects for a bad Single Type Run are found here namely Dragon and Ice. Dragon’s especially bad as you can only catch a Dratini after the final gym and you can’t get a Kingdra unless you trade for one. Ice is very funky though as although the weaknesses are neutralized regardless of the game, the first Ice Pokémon you can catch is the Union Cave Lapras after you get the Surf HM (which is activated after the 4th gym). So you’ll be playing awhile without any Ice Pokémon. Ghost is also not that swell as despite Gastly’s pre-first gym availability, the next Ghost Pokémon you can catch is Misdrevous at Mount Silver, so basically at the end of the game!

Since Gold and Silver introduced Dark and Steel it’s no surprise that there is a rather low and late diversity of them in these games. You have some pretty big handicaps as Steelix and Scizor are basically off the table unless you have a trading partner. Then there’s poor Dark as many of the famous Dark Pokémon (Houndoom, Tyranitar, and Sneasel) are available after you beat the Elite Four.  Although once you finally catch that Murkrow, you won’t have to worry about Fighting and Bug attacks!


Before I list Type Team Combinations, I should talk about the Pokewalker. As mentioned before, HG and SS are basically the same game as Gold and Silver with some tweaks, graphics update, and other gameplay features which doesn’t affect a route’s Pokémon. But the Pokewalker, God bless this device, makes it so you can catch some Pokémon as early as the first route. Sure, you might have to do a lot of walking but it will be worth it! The Pokewalker makes it so you can catch Electric, Steel, Psychic, Fighting, Dark, Ice, and even Dragon Pokémon right from the get-go! All these Pokémon are Pokémon you can still catch before the Elite Four so you won’t change your team diversity but at least you can get them earlier. This means you can do a feasible Ice type Run as you can catch a Shelldar and a Smoochum fairly early on. If you still have your Pokewalker, give HG and SS a go because a lot of types become more fun for a Single Type Run. I’ll make special mention of the types that are affected by the Pokewalker below.

Team Combinations


Ideal Team: Heracross, Venomoth, Shuckle, Parasect, Scyther/Yanmega, Forretress

First Pokémon: Caterpie (G, C, HG)/Weedle (S, C, SS)/Ledyba (S, C, SS)/Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30 before the first gym. Venonat and Paras via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes


Ideal Team: Murkrow, Umbreon

First Pokémon: Eevee given by Bill in Goldenrod after the third gym or Murkrow via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, thanks to Murkrow and Fairy not being introduced yet


Ideal Team: Dragonite

First Pokémon: Dratini via Dragon Den after the eighth gym or bought at the Goldenrod Game Corner after the second gym (or by Pokewalker).

Covers Weaknesses? No


Ideal Team: Raikou, Ampharos (G, S, HG, SS), Magneton, Lanturn, Electrode, Jolteon

First Pokémon: Mareep via Route 32 after first gym (except Crystal which would be Magnemite Route 38 after the second gym) or Magnemite, Elekid, and Voltorb via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground is not neutralized.


Ideal Team: Primeape (C, G, HG)/Machoke, Poliwrath, Heracross, Hitmontop, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee

First Pokémon: Heracross via headbutting trees after the second gym, Poliwag in Crystal via Route 30 before the first gym, or Machop via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Psychic and Flying not neutralized.


Ideal Team: Typhlosion, Magmar, Ninetales (S, SS)/Arcanine (G, C, HG), Flareon, Rapidash, Ho-Oh (G, HG)

First Pokémon: Cyndaquil via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No; Rock, Water, and Ground (besides Ho-Oh) are not covered


Ideal Team: Gyarados, Dragonite, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)/Skarmory (S, C, SS), Murkrow/Honchkrow, Jumpluff, Xatu

Optional Pokémon: Dodrio, Pidgeot, Spearow, Mantine (G, C, HG), Crobat, Yanma/Yanmega, Scyther

First Pokémon: Pidgey and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Pidgey, Doduo, Spearow, Hoothoot, Murkrow, Zubat, and Dratini available via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, regardless of your version


Ideal Team: Haunter

First Pokémon: Gastly via Sprout Tower (or at night at Route 30 in Pokémon Crystal) before the first gym; Gastly can also be caught on the Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark not neutralized


Ideal Team: Meganium, Jumpluff, Victreebel/Vileplume, Exeggutor, Parasect, Tangela/Tangrowth

First Pokémon: Chikorita via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, and Fire are not neutralized.


Ideal Team: Quagsire, Dugtrio, Rhydon, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Mammoswine/Piloswine, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Donphan (G, C, HG), Sandslash (G, C, HG or by slotmachines in S and SS)

First Pokémon: Geodude, via the southern route of Route 46 before the first gym or Geodude, Onix, the Nidorans, and Wooper via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Regardless of your version, all weaknesses are covered


Ideal Team: Piloswine/Mammoswine, Lapras, Dewgong, Cloyster, Jynx, Delibird (S, C, SS)

First Pokémon: Lapras in Union Cave after the fourth gym or Smoochum and Shelldar in Pokewalker

Covers Weaknesses? Surprisingly yes


Ideal Team: Pidgeot, Stantler, Dodrio, Girafarig, Miltank, Tauros

Optional Pokémon: Urasaring (S, C, SS), Fearow, Noctowl, Kangaskhan (via Pokewalker), Lickitung, Ambipom (HG, SS), Persian

First Pokémon: Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Kangaskhan, Doduo, and Spearow via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes


Ideal Team: Haunter, Venomoth, Tentacruel, Victreebel/Vileplume, Crobat, Nidoking/Nidoqueen

Optional Pokémon: Muk, Weezing, Arbok, Ariados (G, C, HG)

First Pokémon: Weedle (S, C, SS) or Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30. You can also get Grimer, Koffing, Tentacool, Gastly, Zubat, Venonat, Oddish, and the Nidorans on the Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Psychic is not neutralized.


Ideal Team: Espeon, Exeggutor, Girafarig, Xatu, Jynx, Starmie/Slowbro

Optional Pokémon: Lugia (S and SS), Kadabra, Hypno, Wobbufett

First Pokémon: Slowpoke at the Slowpoke Well before the second gym. Abra, Wobbufett, Slowpoke, Smoochum, and Staryu via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized


Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Shuckle, Sudowoodo, Corsola, Onix

First Pokémon: Geodude via southern portion of Route 46 before the first gym, or Geodude and Onix via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes


Ideal Team: Magneton, Forretress, Skarmory (S, C, SS)

First Pokémon: Pineco via headbutting trees after the second gym or Magnemite via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized


Ideal Team: Feraligatr, Gyarados, Quagsire, Slowbro/Starmie, Tentacruel, Lanturn

Optional Pokémon: Lapras/Dewgong/Cloyster, Vaporeon, Seaking, Golduck, Azumarill, Kingler, Corsola, Poliwrath, Octillery (S, G, HG, SS), Mantine (G, C, HG)

First Pokémon: Totodile via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

The Rooster Talisman: there since the Beginning

Happy Year of the Rooster!  To celebrate the occasion, let’s once again check out the Rooster Talisman in the Kids WB cartoon series, Jackie Chan Adventures.  The Rooster Talisman (which bestows Levitation powers to the user) is special as it was the first Talisman seen and premiered in the first episode of the series!  Looking back at this episode, I can’t help but be amused how different the show was compared to later seasons such as the rougher character designs and an overall awkward pace.  You can tell the creators were trying to figure out what kind of show Jackie Chan Adventures was going to be.

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

But enough about the show, let’s talk about the Rooster Talisman!  Unlike our previous two talismans, the Rooster was prominently used throughout the show, even in episodes where it was not the focal point (a big example being Jade’s battle with the Sky Demon).  It’s now hard to understand why either.  The Rooster Talisman is simply useful.  The power to levitate yourself (and other objects) would’ve solved a world of problems for our heroes had it not been for Jackie’s reluctance to use the Talismans.

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well.  The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake.  Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well. The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake. Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

The Rooster Talisman has been a constant presence in the series for reasons you may actually not realize.  Okay, so in season 3 when Jackie blew up the Talismans, the Rooster Talisman possessed its noble animal, Eggbert, a rooster that lived in Malaysia and later moved to Kansas.  Eggbert was subsequently paired up with the Pig Talisman’s noble animal, Mordecai.  These two were the best as Eggbert just flew Mordecai around while he caused havoc with his laser eyes.  Now, this episode was one of the few times Jackie Chan an co. lost to Daolon Wong as he absorbed both powers with his freaky mouth hands.  In subsequent episodes, up to the climax of season 3, Daolon Wong frequently used his newfound levitation and heat beam eye powers to his advantage.  I like this a lot actually as Daolon Wong becomes a bigger threat unlike season 1 where the Dark Hand barely used their talismans.  That wasn’t the last of Eggbert though as he and Moredecai were infrequent guests to the show in later episodes such as “The Amazing T-Troop” and “The Powers That Be.”

Luckily, when push comes to shove the Talismans will be used as a last resort.  These instances don’t happen too often though and that’s what makes those episodes great.  Some of the special ones include the awesome Talisman battle in Season 2’s “The J-Team,” the Talisman vs Demon battle in Season 2’s “The Demon World,” and the battle against the Oni Generals in Season 4’s “Ninja Twilight.”  The Rooster Talisman’s insane usefulness combined with the show underplaying them means that every time we see someone use it, we’re in for a good time.

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Godzilla in Hell: Review and Analysis

There are few things in life that equal the ridiculous concept of Godzilla in Hell. Yet, this concept is the foundation of a wonderful comic miniseries that tells the story of Godzilla as he traverses through the different circles of Hell. When I first heard about this series I immediately was intrigued and wanted to learn everything I could about this comic book series.   When Christmas came, I finally got the chance to get the complete volume as published by IDW. And the result? I love it. It wasn’t what I expected and that’s what makes it good. Godzilla in Hell’s risky departure from the normal, Monster-of-the-Week formula, makes this series a must read for fans of the Big G.

Image from issue 1. Art done by James Stokoe.

Unfortunately, those looking for a straight-forward narration similar to Godzilla and the Fifty Year War (done by James Stokoe who also penned the first issue in Godzilla in Hell) will be disappointed as narration is kept to a minimum, if at all, and some issues have many pages completely devoid of dialogue. As such, the reader shoulders a great deal of interpretation that would otherwise be spoon fed to him. This lack of exposition makes the series strong as I feel a word-by-word explanation of Hell would only detract from the experience and not enhance the other worldly feel of this abysmal world.

Each issue is also done by a different artist and as such we see radical shifts in styles throughout the series.   The aforementioned lack of dialogue means the artists are given almost free reign over the pages without worrying too much about spacing problems. Whole pages are dedicated to scenery and battles and it’s amazing. Stokoe’s Godzilla still looks good as usual but I have to give a hand to Eggleton’s Godzilla as his issue is entirely painted and he makes a damn fine looking Godzilla.

Image from Issue 2. Art done by Bob Eggleton.

The multitude of artists leads to the most interesting thing about Godzilla in Hell and that’s the self-contained stories in each issue. Rather than one continuous arc, the miniseries is comprised of many tales that you could easily interpret as stand alone rather than interlocking. It strikes me as the old epics in literature like the Odyssey; here is another tale of Godzilla and his never-ending journey through Hell. This further lends fuel to the reader’s interpretation fire and allows us to enjoy Godzilla in Hell in a variety of ways.

With only five issues, I can’t help but analyze each of them and try to understand what the artist was trying to convey to the reader and what it means overall. In issue one, we are given a snapshot of Godzilla’s initial fall to Hell. The silence of the fall and the impact lends to the eeriness of the setting. Philip Glass’ opus Koyanassqui plays in the background in my head as I watch the King of Monsters recover and set forth. After Godzilla blows up Hell’s famous entrance sign, he encounters an avalanche of naked people who swarm him like an immense tidal wave. Are these the souls of the damned? Or souls whom Godzilla has killed in the living world? I think it’s the latter as they form a splitting image of Godzilla himself before transforming into a demonic-being that is a cross between Godzilla and Biollante. In a way, this weird monster reminds me of Shin Godzilla and how the collective power of Humanity was able to stop him and not some giant monster. Unfortunately, for this monster, Godzilla destroyed it with one mighty blast and moved forward on his journey.

The return of Rodan, Ghidorah, Anguirus, and Varan highlights the painted issue two. Demons now posses Rodan and Anguirus who now reside in Hell for eternity. Eggleton cleverly references their origin stories as Rodan first appearance was from a volcano while Anguirus’ was trapped in ice. Since Godzilla did not kill either of them (or Varan) I would wager he recognized them and did not want to kills their incarnations

image provided by

image provided by  From Issue 3, art done by Buster Moody.

Issue three reveals how Godzilla fell to Hell in the first place and it’s probably the most fascinating chapter of the five although the other chapters give it a run for its money. I had to read the chapter twice before I realized that Godzilla actually went to Heaven first before he rejected it and was sent to Hell in response. In fact, it took me awhile to realize that the angel’s wings were similar to Mothra’s! In Godzilla lore, this makes a lot of sense considering Mothra is basically the Earth’s Guardian.

There’s a quote from the epic poem “Paradise Lost” that I’m sure issue three parodies which goes “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” Unlike virtually all mortal beings, Godzilla has the power to reject Heaven and in response, Heaven sends Godzilla down to Hell. Yet after he defeats Space Godzilla, he rejects ruling Hell as well. As such, Godzilla takes a third, unscripted option that stuns the denizens of both worlds. Better to live on Earth.

I just love these issues as they are all so different in style and tone. Wonderful as they are, issue four stands above the rest as Godzilla finally meets his match through his arch nemeses King Ghidorah and Destroyah in a Hellish version of Tokyo. As much as I love the previous issue, Godzilla never faced a total sense of doom, depression, hopelessness and torment. Sure, he may have had problems with the Lust monster or Space Godzilla, but he prevailed nonetheless in relatively short battles. Issue four changes that and gives us scenes of constant battle. Scenes of Godzilla fighting and killing Ghidorah and Destroyah again and again. Scenes of Godzilla killed again and again. And scenes of Godzilla trying to break through the wall in vain again and again. We have seen Godzilla in Hell but never Godzilla in his own Hell.

Godzilla is truly a force to be reckon with but to finally find something that stops him is unbelievable. I would argue that this issue, and not issue five, truly tests Godzilla’s spirit. With no narration, we are unsure how long Godzilla has suffered. Months? Years? Godzilla’s eternal damnation may be similar to Dante’s version of Hell where the passing of time is inconsequential; it’s happening for now and forever. As such, I can’t help but applaud Godzilla’s escape; he broke through eternity. And as Godzilla leaves his Hell, Destroyah and Ghidorah, mere tools of his damnation, slowly disappear along with the faux-city of Tokyo.

Image from Issue 5.  Art by Dave Wachter

Image from Issue 5. Art by Dave Wachter

In the final issue, Godzilla has to climb an incomprehensibly steep and tall mountain where he can finally escape Hell. Out of all the issues, this one is the hardest to interpret. Why does Godzilla’s atomic breath fail? What is the giant monster on top of the gate? Why do the winged demons reform into Godzilla after eating him (and why do they all now have eyeballs) and why can they now release a full atomic blast? Although I can’t answer all of these questions, what I can suggest is that Godzilla’s indomitable spirit and will to succeed has brought him back from the dead and made him stronger.

Questions aside, this is a gorgeous looking issue. I love the lighting effects and the predominance of black and red. I feel like issue five’s Hell is like an abyss, devoid of light but not devoid of action. The lightning in the clouds was done rather well and the formidable mountain looked foreboding. This contrasts amazingly well with the last panel of Godzilla escaping Hell and he’s released onto the surface of the Earth, breaking through the ocean and taking his first breath of freedom. Godzilla never looked so content.

Overall, Godzilla in Hell is a great comic and I recommend all Godzilla fans to read it. It’s a different take for the King of All Monsters and it works well. Check it out.

Best Pokemon Types for a Single Type Run in Sun and Moon

When Pokémon Sun and Moon was released I wanted to do another Single Type Run (or Monotype Run) analysis on these games similar to my earlier article on previous generations. The purpose of this project was to determine which types were the best for a Single Type Run in Pokémon Sun and Moon? With just two games to tackle, this question is easier to answer than before however, I had to change my setup as Trials and Kahunas were added and Gym Leaders were removed. I had to tackle this problem a little differently but I think I succeeded. If you want to find out what a team of Bug or Psychic Pokémon would be like in Pokémon Sun and Moon just scroll down past these next few paragraphs and find that type.

Image from

RULES: As in my last article, a Single Type Run assumes you don’t trade (so no Golem or Alakazam for instance) to yourself on Pokémon Bank or to other players. If you’re doing a run like Electric, you must capture the first available Electric Pokémon (Pichu) and box your starter. You may capture a Pokémon that will evolve into a certain type (like Pichu for a Psychic-type run) but you must evolve it asap. Only Pokémon that can be caught before the Elite Four are counted (so no Lucario).

So overall, how did Sun and Moon do compared to earlier games? Unfortunately, although Sun/Moon provides players with a diverse set of Pokémon fairly early on, these games are worse at covering weaknesses than XY (but roughly the same as ORAS). XY scored 32 out of 36 (18 types times two games) for neutralizing cover as opposed to SM’s 25 out of 36. Mind you, this is still pretty good when compared to other generation-premiere games as the next best is Ruby/Sapphire with a score of 16 out of 34.

What types did better in these games?

image from

image from

Right off the bat, the two types that benefited the most were Fairy and Ghost. This is the first time we have starters that evolve into those types. This combined with their neutral coverage makes them great types for a Single Type Run. This is one of the few times a Ghost-type run has neutral coverage so I urge you to try it out here. Also, you can catch a plethora of Ghost Pokémon on the first island including Drifloon, Gastly, Misdreavus, and Sableye; great Pokémon that will go far with you. Fairy types received a nice, mix bag of Pokémon such as Klefki’s weakness neutralization and Primarina and Mimikyu serving as back up.

I would argue that Sun and Moon are probably the best Pokémon games for an Ice-type run. You can get a Crabrawler somewhat early and from there you can get a Delibird and a Shellder and then an Eevee on Aklala Island. The biggest thing to consider is your Sandslash and Ninetales exclusives. Both of which neutralize certain weaknesses (Rock, Steel and Fighting respectively) but other Pokémon can cover them so it’s not a do-or-die situation. The biggest drawback is many of your powerhouses won’t be available until RIGHT before the Elite Four so that’s too bad.

I need to mention Fire type as well but only for Sun. There’s been only one game in the history of Pokémon where Fire’s weaknesses are neutralized and that’s Pokémon Black. Sun has offered a second chance at a fun Fire-type run thanks primarily to the Sun-exclusive Turtonator. It will still be a difficult run but fun nonetheless.

Electric, usually an okay type for a Single Type Run, is blessed with neutral coverage AND an early-available Pokémon via Pichu. Both of these things do not happen often for Electric, much less when they are together. If you’ve been holding out for a good Electric-type game, now’s the chance to try it out with such picks as Magnezone, Vikavolt, Eelektross (scan), and the Alolan variants of Graveler and Raichu.

Finally, we have our usual types that do well for a Single Type Run such as Water, Normal, Steel and so forth.  In particular, Water is probably the best type in Pokemon Sun and Moon for a Single Type Run.  A huge diversity combined with a great starter makes Water Type stand above the rest.  From Gyarados to Aquachnid, from Slowbro to Gastrodon, Sun and Moon gave us a type that can fill many rolls (special defense, physical attacker, status inflictor) and is there with us from the beginning.

What types did worse in these games?

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As expected, some types took a hit and aren’t as efficient in a Single Type Run as in previous games. For instance, it takes a looooong time before you get a Rock Pokémon so that’s a big disadvantage. Bug’s probably the biggest loser here though as it’s great recent record has finally been broken with glaring weaknesses to Rock attacks. This isn’t to say that a Bug-type run is bad as you still get a lot of new and interesting Pokémon to work with such as Golisopod or Vikavolt, but you’ll have to work hard to make sure you aren’t being torn apart by hikers.

Fighting type also took a hit due to FINALLY losing a starter that gains it as a secondary type. It takes awhile before you catch your first Fighting Pokémon (Crabrawler) and your team will have to watch out for Flying Pokémon (usually, a Lucario would watch your back in previous games but not this time around, they’re available after the Elite Four).



Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Romblebee, Parasect, Masquerain, Scolipede (scan)

First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, and Spinarak via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.



Ideal Team: Incineroar, Sabeleye, Hydregion (scan), Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro

Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo

First Pokémon: Litten via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Salamence, Komomo-o, Garchomp, Hydreigon (scan), Exeggutor, Drampa (moon)/Turtonator (sun)

Optional: Flygon, Haxorus (scan), Goodra

First Pokémon: Bagon via Route 3

Cover weaknesses? Nope, Dragon is not neutralized in both versions and Fairy is not neutralized in Moon.



Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Graveler, Magnezone, Eelektross(scan), Raichu, Oricorio

Optional: Electivire, Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn

First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Primarina, Klefki, Whimsicott/Shiinotic, Mimikyu, Wigglytuff, Togekiss (scan)

Optional: Sylveon, Granbul, Ninetales, Carbink, Ribombee, Azumaril (scan)

First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Crabominable, Emboar (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro

Optional: Primeape, Passimian (sun), Hariyama

First Pokémon: Crabrawler via Berry Fields

Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized



Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator(sun), Talonflame, Salazzle, Marowak, Emboar (scan)

Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan)

First Pokémon: Litten via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Only in Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Moon, Water is not neutralized.



Ideal Team: Toucannon, Gyarados, Drifblim, Aerodactyl, Salamence, Skarmory

Optional: Braviary(sun)/Mandibuzz(moon), Crobat, Talonflame, Masquerain, Honchkrow, Minior, Togekiss (scan)

First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Marowak, Mimikyu

Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Haunter, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius

First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott, Parasect, Exeggutor, Roserade (scan), Dhelmise

Optional: Victreebel (scan)

First Pokémon: Rowlet via Starter

Cover weaknesses? No, Ice and Flying are not neutralized.



Ideal Team: Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Mamoswine (scan), Palossand, Krookodile, Garchomp

Optional: Mudsdale, Flygon, Rhydon (scan)

First Pokémon: Diglett in Verdant Cavern after completion of first trial

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Froslass, Weavile, Sandslash(sun)/Ninetales (moon), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable

Optional: Delibird, Glaceon

First Pokémon: Crabrawler via berry patches in Berry Fields on Melemele Island

Cover weaknesses? Surprisingly yes regardless of version differences.



Ideal Team: Toucannon, Tauros/Drampa (Moon), Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Bewear, Oranguru (moon)/Miltank

Optional: Raticate, Blissey

First Pokémon: Yungoos and Pikipek via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Muk, Scolipede(scan)/Ariados, Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Salazzle, Roserade (scan)

Optional: Haunter, Victreebel (scan)

First Pokémon: Grimer near the Trainer School

Cover weaknesses? Heck yes.



Ideal Team: Oranguru, Slowbro/Starmie, Espeon, Metagross, Oricorio, Raichu

Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish

First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1

Cover weaknesses? Nope, Dark is not neutralized.



Ideal Team: Carbink, Rhydon(scan), Graveler, Aerodactyl, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(sun), Bastiodon(moon)/Probopass

Optional: Lycanroc, Sudowoodo, Rampardos (sun), Archeops (moon)

First Pokémon: Roggenrola at Ten Carat Hill

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Magnezone, Dugtrio, Bastiodon(moon)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan)

Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (sun), Togedemaru, Klefki

First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School

Cover weaknesses? Yes



Ideal Team: Primarina, Gyarados, Slowbro/Starmie/Bruxish, Gastrodon, Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golisopod/Aquachnid,

Optional: Whiscash, Poliwrath, Milotic, Lanturn, Sharpedo, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(sun), Azumaril (scan)

First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter

Cover weaknesses? Yes

Break the Ice (or how to improve the fragile Ice Type in Pokemon)

Over the past few Pokémon generations, Gamefreak continuously tweaked and balanced Pokémon to the point that weak types (like Poison) were strengthened while other types (like Fighting) were checked.  New moves, abilities, and stat changes made weak or irrelevant Pokémon respectful.  But through it all, one type has remained virtually unchanged since Generation 2 and that’s the Ice type.

The Ice type is notorious for its great offensive lineup but abysmal defense.   The only type it resists is itself and it’s weak to Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel moves.  Keep in mind, Fighting, Fire, and Rock moves are plentiful due to the plethora of Pokémon that can learn them.  As such, many hardcore players favor fast, hard hitting Ice Pokémon, like Weavile, if they want to use them at all.  Meanwhile, defensive Ice Pokémon, like Avalugg or Cryogonal, can not fully live up to their tank desires.  Personally, I usually train dual-typed Ice Pokémon to mitigate their poor defenses.

Ice Pokémon as such, are in desperate need for an upgrade.  Gamefreak needs to fully realize this type and bring it into the fold as a well-rounded type.  But how can Gamefreak do that?  In order to answer this question I decided to do a quick analysis of all 18 types of Pokémon and determined which types could be nerfed in order to advance Ice Pokémon.

In short, I compared each types Super Effective (SE) to Not Very Effective (NVE) ratios for both offense and defense.  Some types are better defenders than attackers (e.g., Poison and Steel) while others are vice versa (e.g., Ground and Rock).  In our case, we want to up Ice type’s defense to be on par with the average type.  At the same time, however, we want to ensure that other types aren’t severely nerfed.  After a lot of tinkering, pondering and calculating, here’s what I came up with.

Changes to Ice Type

Steel normally damages Ice

Ice resists Ground

Ice resists Ghost

Hail boosts Ice Type’s defense by 50%


This may surprise some of you for my choices so I’ll break it down why I chose these types to improve Ice.  First off, Steel can just get out of here!  Steel is the best defensive type in the game, period.  As such, Steel does not need to be SE against three different types.  I love how Steel is powerful against Fairy as that really plays into the mythical history of fairies and forged weapons.  But Ice???  I don’t honestly see why it’s SE unless you’re a snowplow.  There are plenty of types out there that are only SE against two types such as Electric, Dark, and Poison so we can shove Steel into that category.

Ice losing its Steel weakness does not majorly affect Ice as Steel moves aren’t that common as mainly Steel Pokémon use them.  Plus, as mentioned before, Rock, Fire, and Fighting are very common moves so you can easily use these types to take down Ice (Steel Pokémon also commonly learn Rock moves).

Speaking of common attacking types, let’s talk about Ground!  Ice is already SE against Ground so it wouldn’t be surprising if Ice gained a resistance towards them as well.  Sooooo many type combos have this relationship including the famous precedent of Fire-Grass-Water.  Ground and Ice should be similar.  Ground also has the best SE to NVE ratio out of all the types being SE against five types with only two types resisting and a third with immunity.  I ask the court to look at Fighting for my justification as well.  Fighting has five SE and six NVE/immune defending types.  An added resistance would still not place Ground on the same level as Fire.  In short, Ice’s resistance towards Ground would not hugely impact Ground’s usefulness.

Which comes to my final type change, Ice resisting Ghost.  After I decided Ice should resist Ground I was debating whether to even add another resistance.  After all, the Ice Type is a GREAT offensive type.  It’s SE against Dragon, Grass, Flying, and Ground.  A great mixture that leads to quite a few 4x weaknesses.  When compared to other types, Ice is above average when it comes to attacking.  As such, Ice should still be below average when it comes to defense.  But here’s the thing, quite a few types have four or more resistances so having a third resistance would still place Ice in the below-average category.  But which type?

When I first started this project, I leaned heavy towards an Electric resistance as ice in real life conducts electricity rather poorly.  Electric also only has one weakness.  However, Electric already has a rather poor showing in the attacking category as only two types are weak to it whereas three resist and one is immune to it.  I eventually chose Ghost as only Normal and Dark can counter it.  Plus, when Gen VI rolled around, Gamefreak removed Steel’s resistance of Ghost giving it a mild boost.  As such, I don’t think it would harm Ghost that much if Ice gained a resistance out of it.

BTW, what’s the logic behind Ice resisting Ghost?  Well, I kind of feel like it would counter the shiver people get when their scared.  Since Ice types are already cold, they can’t shiver like Ghost Pokémon would want them to, hence, they resist Ghost attacks.

Finally, let’s talk about the weather!  Back in Gen V, weather teams were all the rage.  Thanks to the like of Hippowdon, Ninetales, Politoed, and Tyranitar, weather effects on the battlefield were common except for Hail.  Snow Stream may benefit Ice Type’s and their abilities but that’s about it.  Even Sandstorm gave Rock Pokémon a 50% boost in their special defense.  Why can’t we say the same thing about Hail?  With this addition, Ice Pokémon can “weather” out attacks and stay strong on the battlefield.

Who benefits the most out of this?

Obviously all Ice Pokémon would rejoice if they were to hear these news but these changes would benefit some Pokémon more than others specifically…

Defensive Ice Pokémon

Avalugg, Cloyster, and Cryogonal would now shine in their tanky roles.  Cloyster was already an effective tank but it had to use its Water typing to get an edge.  With this update, Cloyster now resists five types and is weak to four.  Cloyster can be used as an effective check towards such Pokémon as Scizor, Aegislash, and Excadrill.

Alolan Sandslash, fresh off of Sun and Moon, would benefit nicely as well with its 120 defense power.  A Ground weakness is now neutralized leaving a 4x weakness to Fire and Fighting.  This adds up Sandslash’s resistances and immunities to 11, a fantastic, defensive Pokémon.

Thick Fat Users

Thick Fat is an ability that halves damage from Ice and Fire attacks.  Dewgong, Mamoswine, and Walrein all have this ability which helps them tremendously.  The updated Ice Type would definitely benefit them especially Mamoswine.  Now, a Thick Fat Mamoswine would resist four types, be immune to one and be weak to three.  Mamoswine could finally be a decent switch-in against many Pokémon including prominent Ground and Steel types.

Former Ghost-weakness

Froslass and Jynx would now be one of the few Ghost and Psychic Pokémon that have normal resistance to their dreaded Ghost foes.  I feel like Froslass, with its average stats, would profit the most out of the two by gaining some sweet advantages.  Froslass can now Shadow Ball her Ghost comrades and serve as a decent counter to the likes of Golurk, Palossand, and Aegislash.  This is not to say that Jynx wouldn’t benefit as well as now she can serve as an effective status inflictor and a by-the-books offensive sweeper.

Hail users

We saved the best for last.  With a 50% boost in defense in Hail, Ice Pokémon can now become tough-as-nails in their weather.  Plus, many Ice Pokémon have abilities that directly benefit from Hail including Snow Cloak, Ice Body, and Slush Rush.

Let’s start first with Abomasnow.  Ice Pokémon hail their pine tree bro as he gets the party started with his sweet Snow Warning ability!  Abomasnow would be a great switch in to Rain Dance/Sandstorm teams as he could withstand oncoming Ground and Water attacks and dish out a 100% accurate Blizzard (plus it doesn’t hurt that he can Mega evolve).  After you got a decent Hailstorm brewing start throwing in your tanky Ice types to sow anger and discontent among your foes.  Ice Body users like Glaceon and Avalugg will be blessed by their increased defenses while a Walrein with Leftovers would be extraordinarily difficult to take down.

This scenario will make Hail a now viable weather scenario that could be taken seriously among hardcore players.  Hail would still not be as popular as Sandstorm and alike but at least it would be treated respectfully.


Could this ever happen?  It’s hard to say in all honesty.  Gamefreak’s continuous modification to Pokémon means anything’s on the table.  Maybe Ice wouldn’t gain these respective resistances but a new type could shake things up and make Ice defensively viable.  Granted, this probably won’t happen until the next Generation which would be awhile and that’s fine.  But until then, fingers crossed!


All images from pokemon wiki