CROCONAW, THE POKEMON WITH THE BIG JAWAuthor: Joseph Reilly
In a day and age where there's more content on the internet than there are children's television channels, a name like Croconaw may sound like a species off the Discovery Channel. But what if you were to find out that it's actually the name of a two-decade old Pokemon that still gets fans excited today?
Since the very beginning in 1996 with the release of Pokemon Red and Green in Japan, The Pokemon Company has produced hundreds of Pokemon, a line of games, truckloads of merchandise, a super popular trading card game, anime, manga, and more. They've done this for the last twenty-years under the guidance of Nintendo. But today we are going to take a look away from the macro that is the Japanese behemoth- The Pokemon Company and shine the light on one of it's oldest characters, with his mohawk like hair and dinosaur appearance, his name is Croconaw. Today we'll look at not only his history in the franchise, but we'll run down his stats, his evolution, what games you can find him in, and just what makes this Pokemon stand out from the rest.
In the Pokemon world, creatures are logged in through a virtual encyclopedia called a Pokedex. In all the games, all the series reboots, this Pokedex is a key component to helping not only the characters learn about the Pokemon they seek to catch, but it's also a clever way by the writers to give fans all the information they need on their favorite or unknown to them Pokemon. One feature that the earliest Pokedexes lack though is a history tab; a directory of origins. Today on the other hand, we're going to take a look at the history of Croconaw.
Croconaw is a Water Pokemon who had his first appearance in the Pokemon games Gold and Silver for Gameboy Color back in 1999. Croconaw was a late bloomer to debuting in the anime as his first appearance wasn't until 2006 in the United States, and 2001 in Japan. The episode's title was called The Legend of Thunder, and saw Croconaw fight in the episode's battle and was actually named Wani-Wani by it's owner Marina. Since then, Croconaw has made both major and minor appearances in the series with his last appearance dating back to 2018 in both the United States and Japan, which marks an eighteen year career for Croconaw in the anime.
Since Croconaw's debut in Pokemon: Gold and Silver, the Pokemon has made quite the name for himself on the gaming side. He's since been a usable character in Pokemon: Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed, LeafGreen, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black, Black 2, White, White 2, Omega, and Alpha.
One aspect of Pokemon that has been a long standing must know for both hardcore and casual fans alike is the attributes of the Pokemon themselves.The Games have move sets during battles that you can upgrade after game progression. The trading card game lists moves and health points, while the anime series tries to adhere to some gameplay elements. The common theme here though is that Pokemon fans love to read up on their favorite Pokemon statistics and Croconaw doesn’t disappoint!
Croconaw, as mentioned before is a Water type Pokemon, which means he's strong against steel, water, Ice, and fire Pokemon while being weak against grass and electric Pokemon. Croconaw is known as a Big Jaw Species, and stands at 1.1 meter high and weighs 25kg. Croconaw starts out as a Totadile Pokemon, evolves into Croconaw, and then finally into Feraligatr. Throughout each evolution, he keeps his blue coloring, yellow pattern, and is inky without his red mohawk during his first stage.
Croconaw is very versatile in his abilities in both the games and anime. In the games his move sets include a variety of move types such as water, rock, dark, ice, steel, and ghost. Croconaw has over fifty available moves throughout the games that can be unlocked through traditional progression.
The Pokemon company has always known how to stay relevant and fresh for their audience. This is the sole reason why grownups who were once playing with Pokemon trading cards as kids now play Pokemon Go! On their mobile devices. Seeing Pikachu on a bookbag or in a magazine keeps the cult following alive and well in between games or when the series is in reruns. When it comes to Croconaw, aside from appearances in Pokemon mainline games, anime, and manga, Croconaw has been an elusive Pokemon when it comes to other media. Like the other hundreds of Pokemon that remain in the franchise's world, Croconaw isn't at the level of fame that Pikachu has where you see him in other media like the movie Detective Pikachu or the Nintendo game series Super Smash Bros.
From smart starts in some of the first Pokemon games in existence all the way down to being in games on The Nintendo Switch in 2019, Croconaw has spent the last twenty years earning a rightful spot in the hearts Pokemon fans everywhere. He may not have the star power of Pikachu, or the size of a Pokemon like Onix, but Croconaw has his own irrefutable charm that lets you decide who your favorite Pokemon are. Maybe you don't need to love the most powerful or most popular, maybe the little dinosaur looking type Pokemon like Croconaw is right up your alley. All in all, learning about Pokemon like Croconaw show fans that it's a franchise that needs everyone to be special and maybe it's that simple ingredient that has given not only Croconaw a twenty year career but also the Pokemon Company as well.
Will Croconaw appear in the next games coming out for the Nintendo Switch later this year titled Sword and Shield and all the possible future games to follow? Will we continue to see Croconaw battle in the anime even after twenty years? Given Croconaw's history this far, it certainly looks that way!