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Pokémon series character
File:Popplio Artwork.png
National Pokédex
Incineroar - Popplio (#728) - Brionne
First gamePokémon Sun and Moon
Designed byKen Sugimori

Amazon.com Logo.png Search Popplio on Amazon.

Popplio, known as Ashimari (アシマリ) in Japan, is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Designed by Ken Sugimori, Popplio is referred to as the "Sea Lion Pokémon" and was introduced as a starter Pokémon in the 2016 video games Pokémon Sun and Moon. Popplio is a water-type pinniped Pokémon that is primarily blue. Popplio received generally negative responses from critics, with criticism directed towards its appearance as a starter Pokémon in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Concept and design[edit]

Popplio was designed by Ken Sugimori. Popplio are sea lion Pokémon that can do tricks and form water bubbles from their "clown-like nose".[1][2] Popplio is a water-type pinniped Pokémon that has large eyes, a long, white snout with black whiskers, and a round, pink nose. There is a small, rounded earflap on each side of its head. Around its neck is a light blue ruff, which extends past its shoulders. It has four flippers. The front flippers are larger than the hind and have white markings separating its toes.[3][4] Popplio is able to snort bubbles of water from its nose, which it uses as part of its battle strategy. On land, it uses the elasticity of its bubbles to perform acrobatic stunts and jumps.[4] It evolves into Brionne, which later evolves into Primarina.[5][6]


Popplio originally appeared in Pokémon Sun and Moon as a starter Pokémon.[1] It later appeared in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon[7] and Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Aside from the main series, It also appeared in Pokémon Rumble Rush, Pokémon Shuffle, Pokémon Masters EX,[8] Pokkén Tournament[9] and New Pokémon Snap.[10]

In Anime[edit]

Lana, a protagonist in the Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon anime, owned a Popplio as her main Pokémon. Popplio made its manga debut in "The Delivery of Rotom and the Girl" chapter of Pokémon Adventures. It was owned by Professor Kukui and later evolved fully into Primarina.[11]


In contrast to the positive reactions to Rowlet and Litten, Popplio initially received negative reactions across social media platforms, however, these reactions have generally become more neutral over time, leading many to see Popplio as a polarizing addition.[12][1] A 2016 community poll by Destructoid ranked Popplio as the least popular Pokémon starter.[13] In a Twitter poll held by The Pokémon Company International, Popplio was the least popular of the three starters, receiving only 21% percent of the vote.[14][15] As a result, supporters of Popplio began to defend the Pokémon. According to Christian Hoffer, "the sea lion has been subjected to so much derision...Popplio's few fans have even formed a 'Popplio Defense Squad' dedicated to sending out positive vibes for the disparaged Pokemon".[16] Kotaku reported that "While most Pokémon fans were freaking out about Litten's perfect name, or Rowlet's cute bowtie, Popplio seemed to either attract indifference, hate, or worse, straight-up pity".[15] Fans already called Popplio as "ugly", and its evolution would even bother fans more about the Pokémon being too "feminine".[6]

In response to the criticisms, Pokémon Sun and Moon director Shigeru Ohmori stated that "I personally think that Popplio was very cute and he'll be very popular with a lot of people."[17] During the voting of Polygon staff on which is the best Pokémon starter of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, none of them voted Popplio. Ashely Oh described Popplio as a "shitty, nominal derivative of Piplup", later stating that "Popplio has a lot of things wrong with it, but maybe it's not Popplio's fault that Popplio looks like a secondhand child clown."[18] Megan Farokhmanesh of The Verge described Popplio as "very ugly", and further stated that his "big dumb nose is so honkable, front flippers are too big, and the back flippers are too small. His ears don't even make sense. Is he a dog or a seal?"[3] Allega Prank praised Popplio's final evolution, and called it "pretty".[5] Sam Loveridge of Digital Spy claimed that due to the hatred of Popplio, the Pokémon Sun and Moon creators even don't like Popplio.[19] Daniel Dockery of Syfy ranked Popplio as 20th of 23 starter Pokémon, though he also described "It's adorable."[20] Laura Gray of Screen Rant called Popplio "pretty cute".[21]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "These Are Your Pokémon Sun and Moon Starters". Kotaku.
  2. Frank, Allegra (May 10, 2016). "Take a closer look at Pokémon Sun and Moon's new monsters". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 2016-06-14. Retrieved June 13, 2016. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Farokhmanesh, Megan (October 27, 2016). "An apology to the pokémon Popplio for all the things I said". The Verge.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Frank, Allegra (May 10, 2016). "Take a closer look at Pokémon Sun and Moon's new monsters". Polygon.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Frank, Allegra (October 18, 2016). "Popplio's evolutionary line is Pokémon's best ugly duckling story". Polygon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Starter Pokémon's 'Feminine' Evolution Is Bothering Some Fans". Kotaku.
  7. Becht, Eli (September 22, 2017). "Pokemon Ultra Sun & Moon Trailer Shows Off Mantine Surfing".
  8. Mohanty, Suchit. "Pokemon Masters EX introduces Alolan Sync Pairs with a new story and events". www.pocketgamer.com.
  9. "Litten And Popplio Are In Pokken Tournament DX". June 14, 2017.
  10. "New Pokémon Snap: Ranking Each Region's Pokédex By Representation". ScreenRant. May 9, 2021.
  11. https://www.cbr.com/pokemon-anime-rare-appearances/
  12. Hernandez, Patricia (May 11, 2016). "Pour One Out For Popplio, The New Pokémon Starter That Nobody Likes". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on 2016-06-13. Retrieved June 13, 2016. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  13. Hansen, Steven (May 13, 2016). "Damn, y'all HATE Popplio". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 15 July 2021. Retrieved 14 July 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. The Pokémon Company [@pokemon] (May 11, 2016). "Now that you've met Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, which do you think has the most potential? #PokemonSunMoon" (Tweet). Retrieved June 13, 2016 – via Twitter.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Pour One Out For Popplio, The New Pokémon Starter That Nobody Likes". Kotaku.
  16. Alexander, Julia (November 23, 2016). "The cult of Popplio was created to defend, cherish Pokémon's divisive monster". Polygon.
  17. "Pokémon Sun and Moon's Devs Respond To The Popplio Backlash". Kotaku.
  18. Frank, Allegra (May 10, 2016). "The staff of Polygon officially crowns Pokémon Sun and Moon's best starter". Polygon.
  19. Loveridge, Sam (October 19, 2016). "Even the Pokémon Sun/Moon creators don't like Popplio". Digital Spy.
  20. Dockery, Daniel (November 9, 2018). "All 23 starter Pokémon, ranked". SYFY WIRE.
  21. "Every Starter Pokémon, Ranked By Cuteness". ScreenRant. April 26, 2021.

External links[edit]

Other articles of the topic Pokémon : Dragonite, Legendary Bird Trio, Bidoof, Clefairy, Oshawott, Dewott, and Samurott
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