I can’t say I’m particularly surprised that Greninja wound up on this blog, given the mixed reception that he got after being revealed. But, much like the hate that Lucario got in Brawl, much of the hate Greninja is getting is unwarranted. So Professor Draco is just going to go through this one by one to defend my favorite Kalos starter.
Not Mewtwo/”Replaced” Mewtwo
While it’s true he’s not Mewtwo, there is absolutely no reason to believe that Greninja replaced Mewtwo. For starters, the game isn’t out yet, and for this reason, the final character roster is not yet known. We don’t know if Mewtwo is in the roster or not! Second, even if Mewtwo isn’t in the game, does not mean that another character “replaced” it. People said the exact same thing about Lucario back in Brawl, claiming that he replaced Mewtwo. But as it turned out, this was never the case, as hacking the game to view its code showed there was data for Mewtwo, showing there were plans to include him, but in the end he had to be cut due to time constraints. So for the time being, there is no objective evidence to suggest that Greninja replaced Mewtwo.
some think his announcement trailer was deliberately set up to make it look like it was for Mewtwo just to tease fans
Okay? People can think what they want. But if you watch the trailer, you can see that even when Greninja is “shadowed” to conceal what it is, the attack he’s preparing is water-based in nature. During the second time they show the concealed Greninja, you can clearly see the spinning Water Shuriken forming in the middle. And at the end, when they show the “shadowed” full body image, Greninja’s large, pointed ears are clearly visible. Plus, he was hanging upside down the entire time! Mewtwo has never really been portrayed to do that in any media. Hanging upside down has always been kind of a “ninja trick”, since it’s not really practical outside of being ninja-eye candy. Honestly, this is a bit of a stretch; there was clearly enough in the trailer there to show it wasn’t Mewtwo.
from X and Y/Not from gen. 1
Oh boy, the nostalgia goggles again. Ignoring the blatant nostalgia, I believe it’s actually a good thing that it’s not from Gen 1. After all, the bulk of playable Pokemon in the series have been from Gen 1 already! Between Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard, we’ve had six playable Gen 1 representatives. Prior to Greninja, there were only two playable non-Gen 1 Pokemon; Pichu and Lucario. Honestly, including a Gen 6 Pokemon gives the series more representation without being stuck on the nostalgia-biased Gen 1.
some fans wanted Blaziken/Chesnaught/some other Pokemon instead
I’ll admit Greninja wouldn’t have been my first choice as a Pokemon to add, and Blaziken probably would’ve been a logical addition as well (given it’s had quite a bit of hype, and is the only Gen 3 starter to get a Mega Evolution, but I digress). That said, there are over 700 Pokemon right now. There are gonna be people who want other Pokemon instead. Heck, there are even people who want completely illogical Pokemon like Dunsparce to be added. But unfortunately, this does not play a role in the selection process, because opinions are just too mixed. As much as everyone would love to see their favorites in SSB, it’s just not feasible for all of them to be in. And it’s not a reason to hate Greninja just because it is in the game.
others are afraid he’s replacing Jigglypuff
Much like the case is with Mewtwo, there is no evidence to suggest this is the case. Some people are just worried because Jigglypuff hasn’t been revealed yet. However, Jigglypuff is not the only veteran to not be revealed. Others like Captain Falcon and Ness are still missing in action, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not going to be in the game. The game isn’t scheduled to be released for a few months yet, and something that most people don’t seem to have considered is the fact that they don’t have to reveal every single character prior to the game’s release. Some may very well be kept secret so people can have the pleasure of discovering them by playing the game. So, this is just speculation and not a reason to hate Greninja.
That’s subjective. But for that reason, I won’t say anyone can’t dislike his design, because when it comes to aesthetics, there’s no right or wrong answer. Some people like it, some people don’t. It’s just that simple. Still, it’s not really a great reason to hate the character as a whole, or write them off entirely. Sort of a “don’t judge a book by its cover” sort of deal.
looks overpowered/”will just be another Meta Knight”
Pure speculation and nothing more. We’ve had maybe a minute of gameplay, and people have decided he’s going to be overpowered without playing as him? Not to mention during reveal trailers, they typically show the revealed character beating on other characters, rather than vice versa. After all, the best way to show off a newcomers moves is when they’re successful. But even based on that one reveal trailer, I see no resemblance to Meta Knight. Do we have proof of high priority on his attacks? Do we know that he’ll have four different recovery moves that make him unpredictable? Do we know how his edgeguarding will be? Do we know how he’ll match up against other characters? No, we don’t. We know very little about Greninja due to very little footage being revealed. And again, we haven’t actually played the game yet. So rather than speculating and looking for a reason to hate on Greninja, perhaps it would be better to wait until the game’s release, and see how he plays then.
overshadowed Charizard who was announced in the same trailer
That’s debatable, although I could see why people thought that. I personally think they had a comparable amount of screentime and emphasis, although I suppose a slight edge could be given to Greninja. However, you also have to consider that Greninja is a new character, while Charizard is not. True, this is Charizard’s solo debut, as opposed to him being lumped in with the Pokemon trainer in Brawl, but still; to an extent, we know what Charizard’s about. It still appears to be a heavyweight, with its fast dash speed and decent range on its attacks. With Greninja, we had nothing to go by with regards to how it plays, so it stands to reason they’d give slightly more emphasis to the newcomer in a trailer. It’s not really a reason to hate it, given it’s a pretty logical decision.
“tongue-scarf thing is gross/creepy”
Much like the “ugly design” thing, this one’s pretty subjective. Personally I find it creative, but yeah, I see why people wouldn’t go for it. In any event, since it’s pretty much the same deal as the “ugly design” thing, I won’t repeat myself about that, so let’s just move on.
evolution of the “worst” X and Y starter
That’s highly debatable. From a purely in-game perspective, one could consider Froakie’s line to be the worst, given it has the worst matchups vs. the significant in-game opponents, making it have problems for Speed Runs. However, from a competitive perspective… Froakie’s evolutionary line is EASILY the best of the X/Y starters. Its hidden ability, Protean, makes it extremely powerful. The ability to change its type not only makes it a bit more unpredictable, but it also means it gets permanent STAB on every attack. That’s basically the equivalent of holding Choice Specs/Band, but with none of the associated drawbacks. Not only that, but its speed tier is nothing short of amazing; base 122 speed puts it as the 24th fastest Pokemon overall, outspeeding things such as Dugtrio, Alakazam, Sceptile, and even Arceus! True, it’s pretty frail, but its combination of power and speed cannot be denied, and its wide movepool lets it take on things that other water types have trouble with, such as Rotom-W and Mega Venusaur, and come out on top. So I would think twice before classifying it as the “worst”… but even then, it’s not a reason to hate a Pokemon.
To be honest, a lot of Greninja’s hate comes from Gen 1/Mewtwo fans who, for whatever reason, think that Greninja’s presence in the game means Mewtwo cannot be, or that it replaced Mewtwo. These exact same arguments were made for Lucario back during the time of Brawl, but it was later discovered that none of these arguments were true for Lucario. As such, I would simply recommend waiting until the game comes out, and then making your complaints. There’s no telling which characters are going to be in the game that haven’t been revealed yet. It’s one thing if you don’t like Greninja or wanted another Pokemon instead of it… but it’s not a reason to hate it based on pure speculation and reasons that have no objective evidence to back them up. So let’s all take off the nostalgia goggles for a little bit, and let Gen 6’s representative have its moment in the sun.