DOUBLE-TAKE? MORE LIKE A QUINVIGINTUPLE-TAKE
~ ...oh my god, you actually were serious. ~
Day 25/30: Least Favourite Character
Character Chosen: The entirety of Team Flare
Appearance: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (Nintendo 3DS, 2013)
"Listen up! We're the fashionable team whose very name makes people tremble in fear: Team Flare!"
~The First Grunt, in the Glittering Cave
. . .
No, I'm pretty sure that's trembling in stifled laughter there because, holy fuck, with that getup, you can't be serious.
God damn, even Team Galactic looked a whole lot less stupid than these guys. At least their uniform was appropriate, and at least they had the right attitude for the job -- not being so annoying about shoving something irrelevant down your throat.
Pokémon, in Gens 1 and 2, had Team Rocket. They're pretty basic and straightforward as far as bad guys go, and, in their simplicity, they did it right. Shady organization who rely on stealing and exploiting Pokémon for profit, dangerous looking criminals who you wouldn't want to be caught dead in an alley with, BAMF Giovanni as Rocket's head honcho with the public disguise as Viridian City Gym Leader. Basically, the mafia. Awesome.
Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald introduced Teams Magma and Aqua. Their main goal was to expand the land and raise the oceans respectively by taking control of Hoenn myths Groudon and Kyogre, with these guys setting the standard of token criminal organization going after Legendary Pokémon to accomplish their mission. Their uniforms were well designed and themed, and the bosses, Maxie and Archie, were pretty cool guys, all the more so in the Adventures manga.
Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum brought us Team Galactic. They looked like they came straight out of a scifi B-movie and look kinda sorta ridiculous, but the grunts, from what I recall, get straight to the point and don't tend to beat around the bush with stupid nonsense. Like the previously mentioned baddies, their uniforms at least fit with the aspirations of their boss, Cyrus, who sought the powers of Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina to create a new universe. Time, space, and antimatter would be at his disposal, his building blocks for a world of his own creation. Galactic indeed.
The Black and White games pit the heroes against Team Plasma, and the writers really went to town on developing these guys. These guys tackled the issue of Pokémon Liberation, acting as chivalrous knights for a just cause (only on the surface), their headquarters were a freakin' castle, and their leader, N, was a King in their eyes. Their mission, however, was taken too far once they started abducting and forcefully liberating other people's Pokémon, Pokémon who didn't want to leave their trainers, and N, nice as he is, was but a plaything of his adoptive father, who used Team Plasma as a front for his own selfish desires. The sequels then split this organization into two -- one group, the New Plasma, remain loyal to N in hopes of changing their ways, and atone for their crimes by helping people reunite with their lost companions while perpetuating messages of peace and harmony; the other group, the Old Plasma, follow Ghetsis and sought to use Kyurem's power to cripple and subjugate Unova. This conflict made for an interesting tale in Black 2 and White 2, as you get to see just how the criminal organization you curbstomped in the previous game has changed over time (a reminder of Gold and Silver in Gen 2, where you get to see how Rocket has managed without Giovanni and how they hope for him to return).
What these guys all had going for them was substance.
Team Flare in Gen 6, however... oh good god, they didn't have any. Their designs are an overall eyesore, and don't really come off as threatening at all. Constant comments about how stylish and fancy they are just plain irk me in the long run, but they're so fucking in-your-face about it that you just can't wait to wipe the floor with their leader, Lysandre, and get this shit over and done with. It stopped being cute the first time around. I don't fucking care about your clothes, I don't fucking care about them if I got them dirty in a battle, I really cannot force myself to give a shit. So please, please, please shut the hell up and save me the extra headache in dealing with you guys.
Flare's members were plainly, and uglily, generic -- they look and feel like token baddies because, let's be honest, they're just there to be there. Also, they were pretty blatantly hypocritical in their intent to "save Kalos" (for themselves, mind you, by engulfing the entire region in a massive explosion), and I'm gonna quote TVTropes here because they put it better than I could. Referring to the Broken Aesop trope (be warned: spoilers)...
"But Vizard! Wasn't Team Plasma just the same in saying one thing and doing the other? Why aren't you mad at those guys? Stop having an opinion I don't like! Ugh, you're ruining everything, you stupid Genfiver! Go back to 2011, we don't like your type around these parts!"
Because, in Black and White, this is actually a plot point. Team Plasma, yeah, they are against Pokémon training and abuse, yet they gratuitously capture and abuse Pokémon themselves -- all of Plasma but N. The fact that their supposed King seems to be the only one who lives to Plasma's publicly perpetuated agenda, and the only one who seems to actually care about it, hints that there is something else going on at Plasma that we have yet to know about. That contrast made the whole Broken Aesop trope work here. It made sense as you went along!
In X and Y... there's no excuse for this, only adding all the more to Team Flare's overall blandness. Just... no.
Galactic? Pretty good.
Plain. Fucking. Annoying. Go back to your shitty café in Lumiose City and stay there.
mention "style" one more time in my presence and i swear to god i'm going to tear off that horrendous outfit of yours before promptly fucking up your digestive system by shoving your clothes right down your throat and out of your asshole do you understand me