Zorua and Zoroark
|Zorua and Zoroark|
|Pokémon series character|
|File:Zorua and Zoroark.png|
Garbodor - Zorua (#570) - Zoroark (#571) - Minccino
|First appearance||Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions|
|First game||Pokémon Black and White|
|Designed by||Atsuko Nishida|
Eileen Stevens (English)
Kurumi Mamiya (Japanese)
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Zorua (Japanese: ゾロア Hepburn: Zoroa) (//) and Zoroark (Japanese: ゾロアーク Hepburn: Zoroāku) (//) are Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. The two Pokémon were first introduced in 2010 and first featured in Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions, becoming available for gameplay in Pokémon Black and White.
Both characters, who bear a resemblance to foxes, were designed by Atsuko Nishida. In Pokémon media, Zorua evolves into Zoroark, and both are capable of illusionary abilities. The reception for the two Pokémon are relatively mild, with generally favorable fan and critic comments, although the two consistently placed somewhat low in popularity polls.
Design and characteristics
Zorua is a small, quadrupedal fox with dark grey fur, a black fur ruff around its neck and a red-tipped tuft of fur on its head. Upon evolving into Zoroark, it now sports a larger, bipedal vulpine figure, still with dark grey fur, now gaining a long, red mane ending in a ponytail. In the games, both Pokémon are Dark-type and possess the ability "Illusion" - which allows them to appear as other Pokémon or as a human. The in-game description of the two Pokémon refers to them as the "Tricky Fox" (Zorua) and "Illusion Fox" (Zoroark) Pokémon.
Both Zorua and Zoroark were designed by Atsuko Nishida, who remarked in an interview that she was inspired to design Zorua as a "cheerful-looking" fox Pokémon after watching the movie Helen the Baby Fox, which had a sad story. As the design for both Pokémon were developed, the team preparing a new Pokémon movie decided to use Dark-type Pokémon as main characters, and found that Zorua and Zoroark worked well with the movie's concept. In the design, Zoroark's mane took the place of an otherwise nonexistent tail.
In video games
Zoroark, along with Zorua, was first teased through its silhouette during an airing of the show Pokémon Sunday and then revealed through a CoroCoro Comic release in early 2010, becoming the first Pokémon revealed for the fifth generation of the Pokémon games. An in-game event in Black and White allows the player to use legendary Pokémon Raikou, Entei or Suicune in an encounter with a reclusive lady, revealing that the woman was in fact a Zoroark behind illusion, and analogously, Zorua could be obtained through mythical Pokémon Celebi. There were no other methods to obtain Zorua or Zoroark in Black or White normally otherwise. Zorua became normally obtainable in the sequels Black 2 and White 2 through gameplay, and by extension Zoroark. Zoroark was also distributed through an event held in 2015 for North American players of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
Zoroark is also featured in the Super Smash Bros. series as a non-playable, Poké Ball character.
In other media
Zorua and Zoroark are main characters in the 2010 movie Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions where Zoroark was the mother of Zorua. In the movie, Zoroark was voiced by Romi Park, while Zorua's Japanese voice was provided by Kurumi Mamiya and the English voice by Eileen Stevens. In the Pokémon anime, a Zoroark is part of the team of Ash Ketchum's rival Gladion and battled against Ash's Pikachu at the end of the Sun & Moon series.
The Pokémon Company designated September 2011 as "Zoroark month", releasing merchandise of the character and holding in-game distributions of Zoroark. A Zoroark character is also featured multiple times in the variety show Pokémon Smash!, which aired on TV Tokyo between 2010 and 2013. Like other Pokémon, Zoroark is also featured in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and a deck built around a Zoroark card was named by IGN as its top pick for the 2018 championships for the game.
Following the announcement of the new Pokémon, Takara Tomy released stuffed toys and vinyl figures of the two characters as part of the movie's merchandising, and also released cooking molds in the shape of Zorua. In 2019, a Zorua plush toy was released as part of a halloween merchandise line. Tokyo's Pokémon Café also released a limited-time dish inspired by Zorua during Halloween of 2019.
IGN ranked Zoroark #68 in its "Top 100 Pokémon" list, and Japanese fans voted Zoroark to the 56th place of their favorite Pokémon in a 2016 official poll, while Zorua placed 147th in the same poll. In a 2016 Anime News Network survey of Japanese fans of "most handsome Pokémon", Zoroark ranked 20th, and ranked the 5th best in the generation in a 2011 poll by the Official Nintendo Magazine.
Janine Hawkins of Paste described Zoroark as having a "sophisticated skill set that relies on manipulation", contrasting it to its werewolf-like design, while referring to Zorua as "precious". Oliver Cragg of International Business Times UK referred to Zorua as "the standard bearer of [the fifth] generation", and similarly, Robert Grosso of TechRaptor wrote that Zoroark was "the de-facto mascot of Generation 5". Newsweek described Zorua and Zoroark as fan favorites. Jeff Marchiafava, writing for Game Informer, commented that Zorua was an example of a Pokémon's original form being better than its evolved form.
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- Nintendo Dream, vol. 201 (translation)
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- Yehl, Joshua (22 August 2018). "8 Best Pokemon Decks That Could Win the 2018 World Championships". IGN. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
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- "Get ready for a costume-filled Pokémon Center Halloween Festival". Nintendo Wire. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
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- Paget, Mat (8 June 2016). "Here Are the Top 100 Pokemon in Japan". GameSpot. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- ""ポケモン総選挙720"101位以下、720匹分の順位が全発表！". Famitsu (in 日本語). 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- Frank, Allegra (15 April 2016). "Japan's 'most handsome' Pokémon is a questionable choice". Polygon. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
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- Hawkins, Janine (30 October 2015). "The 10 Best Werewolves in Videogames". Paste. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- Cragg, Oliver (25 February 2016). "Gotta list 'em all! Here's our top 5 best Pokémon of each generation". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "The Six Best Designed Pokemon of Generation 5". TechRaptor. 24 February 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- Martinez, Phillip (10 January 2020). "Here's a list of every confirmed returning Pokémon in the 'Sword and Shield' expansion pass". Newsweek. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- Marchiafava, Jeff (10 February 2011). "Analyzing The New Pokémon". Game Informer. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
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