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Charmander

Charmander, known as Hitokage (ヒトカゲ?) in Japan, is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Charmander first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. The end of a Charmander's tail is alight with a flame, and the flame's size reflects both the physical health and the emotions of the individual. Charmander is a starter Pokémon the player can choose from at the beginning of Pokémon Red and Blue, and their remakes, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. In the anime, Ash acquires a Charmander early in the series, and it became one of Ash's most used Pokémon. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Blue receives a Charmander from his grandfather Professor Oak. Since it appeared in the Pokémon series, Charmander has received generally positive reception.
Charmander
Charmander 2

Charmander is the pre-evolved form of Charmeleon, which is the pre-evolved form of Charizard.

Design and characteristics

Charmander was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Hitokage" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. As a result, the species was renamed "Charmander", a combination of "char", meaning burnt, and "salamander". Charmander is known as the Lizard Pokémon. Charmander are small, bipedal lizard-like Pokémon. Most have blue eyes, red-orange skin, three-clawed toes, yellow bellies, and yellow soles under its feet. The end of a Charmander's tail is alight with a flame, and the flame's size reflects both the physical health and the emotions of the individual. When it rains, steam is said to spout from the tip of its tail. If the flame were to ever go out, the Charmander would die.

When Charmander receives enough experience from battles, it evolves into Charmeleon, and later Charizard. A salamander, upon which Charmander is based.

Appearances

In the video games

Charmander is a starter Pokémon the player can choose from at the beginning of Pokémon Red and Blue, and their remakes, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Charmander and the other starters from Red and Blue are replaced by Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow, the only starter available in it. Instead, they are each obtained from certain NPCs. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, as a reward from Professor Oak after defeating the final boss, Red, the player can choose from Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Outside of the main series, Charmander has appeared in Hey You, Pikachu!, Pokémon Snap, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, and the Pokémon Ranger games. A stage in Super Smash Bros. called "Saffron City" features an area where various Pokémon pop out to attack players; one such Pokémon is a Charmander that sometimes uses Flamethrower.

In anime

In the anime, Ash acquires a Charmander early in the series. Ash's Charmander originally belonged to a trainer named Damien, who believed it was weak, and cruelly abandoned it, telling it to stay in one spot until he "returned". The Pokémon was very loyal to its trainer, and risked its life sitting in the rain, waiting for a trainer who'd never come back to it. Ash, Brock, and Misty had to rush it to a Pokémon Center to keep it alive. Upon seeing Damien's true colors, Charmander joined Ash. It was immediately one of Ash's most used Pokémon, defeating such opponents as Koga's Golbat, Erika's Weepinbell, and helping capture Ash's Primeape. Charmander evolved into Charmeleon during a battle against an army of Exeggutor, and his personality changed completely, becoming a disobedient Pokémon and fighting only when and how he pleased. Charmander is also a deuteragonist of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters Out Of The Gate!. Along with a female Chikorita, he works alongside a young boy who transformed into a Squirtle in helping fellow Pokémon.

In other media

In the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, the circumstances in which Ash captures a Charmander appear to be different. While Damian appears, he was separated from his Charmander because he was injured, not because he abandoned it. At the end of the chapter, the two reunite. Despite this difference, Ash is still seen owning a Charmander, whose capture is not shown. Later in the manga, Ash's Charmander reappears as a Charizard. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Blue receives a Charmander from his grandfather Professor Oak. Blue tried using it against Mew but failed and withdrew his Pokémon. It is later shown to have evolved into a Charmeleon. In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga series, Isamu Akai's rival, Kai Midorikawa, chose Charmander as his starter Pokémon. Kai's Charmander is mischievous and has a rivalry with Isamu Akai's Clefairy.

Reception

Since it appeared in the Pokémon series, Charmander has received generally positive reception. It has appeared in several pieces of merchandise, including figures, plush toys, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game. It has been noted as a popular Halloween costume for the year of 1999. Also in 1999, it was speculated by analysts that Pokémon species, in particular Charmander and others, would become sought-after toys.

Controversy arose when it was mistakenly believed that Charmander's name, while in actuality being a combination of "char" and "salamander", meant "life without God." This was met with negative response, with one mother hosting a party consisting of her child and his friends, encouraging them to pledge to not play Pokémon anymore. In the book Dragonlore: From the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry, author Ash Dekirk described Charmander as a "fire-breathing dragon". Author Loredana Lipperini cited Charmander as a popular Pokémon, suggesting that its popularity comes from its fiery tail. Author Mark Jacobson found the transition from Charmander to Charizard to be odd, questioning how a "baby" Pokémon can grow into a "two-hundred-pound monster whose breath can melt boulders." GamesRadar commented that while Charmander seems pitiful due to its flame tail, which burn more brightly depending on his mood/health, it grows into the cool-looking Charizard. GamesRadar editor Brett Elston stated that while it lacks the nuances of later similar starting Pokémon, it has "cutesy appeal" to it. In a humour article, GamesRadar editor Dave Meikleham listed Charmander as a video game creature who would make an "awesome pet", stating that it could serve as a makeshift campfire. IGN called Charmander a "great choice" for a player to choose; IGN editor "Pokémon of the Day Chick" in particular commented that while Charmander is at a disadvantage initially, it becomes great with patience. She added that it is popular amongst players who use it for its speed. The Escapist editor John Funk described Charmander as "cute", using its evolution into Charizard as an example of an extreme evolutionary change in the series. Chicago Tribune editor Darryl E. Owens described Charmander as "adorable". San Antonio-Express News editor Susan Yerkes described Charmander as "disgustingly cute". Teen Ink editor Kathryn J. called Charmander her favorite Pokémon.

Charmeleon

Charmeleon, known in Japan as Lizardo (リザード, Rizādo?), is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Charmeleon first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise.
Charmeleon
Charmeleon is the evolved form of Charmander, and the pre-evolved form of Charizard.
Charmeleon 2

Design and characteristics

Charmeleon was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Lizardo" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. It was eventually changed to "Charmeleon", which takes from a combination of the words "char", relating to fire, and "chameleon".

Charmeleon, known as the Flame Pokémon, are bipedal lizard Pokémon, that have yellow bellies and soles, three clawed feet and hands, and bear a flame at the end of their tails. They are darker-skinned than Charmander, now possess a bumpy horn on their heads, and take on a more intimidating appearance. Indeed, Charmeleon are excessively savage and short-tempered by nature, and they are powerful fighters due to their temperament. The flame on its tail may burn a bluish white when the Pokémon is excited, and the air temperature often raises to very high levels when the tail flame is waved around.

Appearances

In the video games

In the video game series, Charmeleon evolves from Charmander and eventually into Charizard. It first appears in Pokémon Red and Blue, and their remakes Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. It appeared in several sequels, including Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Diamond, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. It appears in several other video games, including Pokémon Pinball, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, Pokémon Ranger, and Pokémon Snap.

In other media

In the animated series, Ash Ketchum's Charmander evolved into a Charmeleon after stopping a stampede of Exeggutor. Afterwards, its behavior took a turn for the worse, as it now ignored Ash's commands, as well as using Flamethrower on him many times. It soon evolved into a Charizard during a fight with an Aerodactyl, in order to keep up with the winged foe (not so much to save the Pokémon's captive, Ash). The evolution did not improve Charizard's behavior in any way, and Ash struggled for some time to get the Pokémon to listen to him once more. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Blue receives a Charmander from his grandfather Professor Oak. It evolves into a Charmeleon, and when Blue is possessed by a Gastly in the Lavender Tower, so is Charmeleon. Blue's Charmeleon is eventually released from its possession only to be faced down by an Arbok, owned by Koga. Charmeleon tricked Koga by using a zombie Psyduck to deflect Arbok's acid attack before literally slicing the Arbok in half with his tail. Blue later appears with an evolved Charizard and gains access to Saffron City by helping to disable a barrier created by a Mr. Mime.

Reception

Since appearing in the Pokémon series, Charmeleon has received generally positive reception. It has been featured in several forms of merchandise, including figures, plush toys, and the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Charmeleon, along with Pikachu, was featured as one of two Pokémon-themed costumes released in 1999.

In the book Dragonlore: From the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry, author Ash Dekirk compared Charmeleon, along with Charmander and Charizard as "fire-breathing dragons". Author Loredana Lipperini described Charmeleon as an "awkward teenager, full of potential but also of uncertainty." The SCP Journal commented that the Charmander line, which includes Charmeleon, represent the three stages of a dragon's life. Author Joseph Jay Tobin used the line as an example of a line whose names are "rich in cute puns and in a pseudo-Linnean attention to family and genus". GamesRadar editor Brett Elston compared Charmeleon to Ivysaur in how they both lack the cutesy appeal of their previous forms, but are not as intimidating as their next forms. He also comments that Charmeleon, in spite of being named after the lizard chameleon, "sticks to one lifestyle - burning rage." IGN commented that Charmeleon was just a "more pumped up version of Charmander", commenting that while its statistics cannot compare to Wartortle's and Ivysaur's, it's "just as fast as ever". In a poll by Official Nintendo Magazine, Charmeleon was voted as one of the best Fire-type Pokémon. They stated "Charmeleon may have lost Charmander's cheery smile but it gained so much in evolution". The Daily Cardinall called Charmeleon the "ugliest dragon of the bunch".

Charizard

Charizard
Charizard
, known in Japan as Lizardon (リザードン, Rizādon?), is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Charizard first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels. They have later appeared in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. Charizard is voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki in Japanese and English. Known as a Flame Pokémon, Charizard are violent yet honorable creatures that fly proudly around the sky and constantly seek powerful opponents to quarrel with.
Shiny Charizard

Charizard is featured in the Pokémon anime series with the most recurring being from the main character, Ash Ketchum. It is featured in printed adaptations such as Pokémon Adventures, in the possession of Blue, one of the main characters. Charizard has received positive reception from the media, with GamesRadar describing it as "hands-down one of the coolest Pokémon out there". Charizard is the version mascot of Pokémon Red and FireRed versions, and makes an appearance on the boxarts of Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky.

Charizard is the evolved form of Charmeleon, which is the evolved form of Charmander.

Concept and characteristics

[1][2]Charizard's design resembles European depictions of dragonsCharizard was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Lizardon" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. As a result they were renamed "Charizard", a combination of the words "charcoal" or "char" and "lizard". During an interview, Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara stated Charizard was expected to be popular with North American audiences because of their preference for strong, powerful characters.

Whereas its pre-evolutions Charmander and Charmeleon are ground-bound lizard like creatures, Charizard resembles a large traditional European dragon. Despite the resemblance, Charizard is explicitly a Fire/Flying-type, not a Dragon-type. Charizard have two wings that are blue, while the back is orange, as with the most of its body. Its belly and soles are cream-colored, while their eyes are light blue in color. The video games describe Charizard as having wings that can carry them close to an altitude of 4,600 feet,[3]flying proudly around the sky and constantly seeking for powerful opponents to quarrel with. They can breathe intense flames that can melt any material, but will never torch a weaker foe. If Charizard become angry, the flame at the tip of their tail can flare up in a whitish-blue color. Because of their reckless behavior, Charizard are known to unintentionally cause wildfires.

Appearances

In video games

Charizard made their video game debut in 1996 with the Japanese release of Pokémon Red and Blue. It is available only through Pokémon evolution from the starter Pokémon, Charmander. In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, and their remakes, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Charizard is used by Red, who acts as the games' final boss. Charizard has made appearances in many other Pokémon games. It appears in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team on a team with an Alakazam and Tyranitar, who play a significant role in the story. In Pokémon Ranger, Charizard is a boss Pokémon who becomes attached to the player's character and assists him or her throughout the game. Charizard returns in Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs as another boss character.

Charizard has appeared many times throughout the Super Smash Bros. series. Charizard first appears as a non-playable character in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, as one of the Pokémon which can appear if a player throws a Poké Ball. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Charizard is now playable, under the command of the Pokémon Trainer.The Trainer has a Squirtle and an Ivysaur, all three of which can be switched between; unlike the other fighters, these Pokémon become fatigued and consequently weaker, and must be switched out long enough to recover.

In anime

In the anime, the most notable Charizard is one Ash Ketchum has had since he was a Charmander abandoned by his former owner. Ash's Charmander evolved into Charmeleon during a battle against an army of Exeggutor, and his personality changed completely, becoming a disobedient Pokémon and fighting only when and how he pleased. Charmeleon evolved when Ash summoned him for protection from wild prehistoric Pokémon, though it initially refused to help. When an Aerodactyl attacked him and which intended to devour Ash, Charmeleon evolved in order to fight the Aerodactyl more effectively. Ash was ultimately saved by Charizard. Charizard still did not obey Ash and only battled Pokémon that would pose a challenge, but through his willfulness he often inadvertently helped Ash reach his goals, particularly against Gym Leader Blaine. At one time though, his refusal to obey Ash led to his loss in one of the Kanto League matches.

Charizard became loyal during the Orange Islands arc after Ash battled a trainer with a Poliwrath and Charizard was frozen solid. Because of Ash’s continuous self-sacrificing efforts to save Charizard from certain death, he began to obey Ash and defeated the Poliwrath in a rematch. He remained on Ash's team and contributed to his wins in the Orange League and parts of Johto. He eventually stayed behind in the Charizific Valley, a reserve where wild Charizard battle and train to become stronger. This was likely due to meeting Charla, a female Charizard for whom he developed a fondness. Charizard, like many of Ash's other Pokémon, has returned on a temporary basis to battle at Ash’s side, typically when Ash faces a particularly powerful Pokémon. Charizard has saved Ash's life on more than one occasion, as seen in the film Spell of the Unown, where he battled against Entei. Charizard returned for Ash's first Battle Frontier battle, where he took on Noland's Articuno at the Battle Factory and won thanks to an unorthodox strategy.

Charizard has its own DVD that contains three episodes featuring it: "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon", "Charizard Chills", and "Charizard's Burning Ambition". This DVD is part of the 10th Anniversary Box Set; in the Box Set's "10 Most Wanted Pokémon" countdown Charizard is listed as the third most wanted, beaten only by Pikachu and Jigglypuff.

In printed adaptations

In Pokémon: Pikachu Shocks Back which loosely parallels the storyline of the anime, Ash catches a Charmander, and it ultimately becomes a Charizard and battles in the Pokémon League tournament. Despite his catch, he has trouble controlling it. Ash brings Charizard to the Orange Islands and trains it diligently since the near-disaster. He then uses it to battle Dragonite in the final showdown with the Orange Crew Supreme gym leader Drake.

In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Blue receives a Charmander from his grandfather Professor Oak. It evolves into a Charmeleon, and when Blue is possessed by a Gastly in the Lavender Tower, so is Charmeleon. Blue's Charmeleon is eventually released from its possession only to be faced down by an Arbok, owned by Koga. Charmeleon tricked Koga by using a zombie Psyduck to deflect Arbok's acid attack before literally slicing the Arbok in half with his tail. Blue later appears with an evolved Charizard and gains access to Saffron City by helping to disable a barrier created by a Mr. Mime. Later, Red and Blue face off against Koga's Articuno and are frozen by its Ice Beam, but they ultimately defeat the Team Rocket Executive with Charizard's Flamethrower. It then teams up with Red's newly evolved Venusaur, Saur, and Green's Blastoise, Blasty, to defeat Sabrina's monster Pokémon. They end Team Rocket's control of Saffron City, splitting apart the three birds in the process.

Blue's Charizard re-appeared during the final match of the ninth Pokémon League, against his longtime rival Red. Despite the type advantage, Charizard battles against Saur and is nearly knocked out. As the battle progresses the two trainers send out their first Pokémon to battle again, when Saur binds Charizard from attacking. Suddenly, thunderclouds form from the attacks of Poli and Pika, and Saur submerges a vine into the cloud, shocking Charizard and knocking it out. When the "FireRed and LeafGreen" volume of the manga began the original protagonists – Red, Blue, and Green – return to fight the newly formed Team Rocket and the Deoxys under their power. The three trainers become trapped inside the Trainer Tower in the Sevii Islands, battling the main computer of the building and the Deoxys Divides. After struggling to co-ordinate Blasty, Saur, and Charizard, the three trainers manage to focus the angle of the three powerful attacks – Blast Burn, Hydro Cannon, and Frenzy Plant – to free Mewtwo, who in turn destroys the Trainer Tower.

Charizard appeared as the main Pokémon in the short novel, Charizard Go! Adapted by Tracey West, the novelisation retells Ash's journey with his Charmander, and it reaches its climax as Ash and Charizard battle in the Pokémon League at the Indigo Plateau against his good friend Richie. The story covers Ash and his companions finding the abandoned Charmander, the battles in which Charmeleon did not listen to Ash, and Charizard's battle against Blaine's Magmar. Charizard Go! is the sixth novel in the Pokémon Chapter Books series. Another chapter novel, All Fired Up: Pokémon the Johto Journeys, adapted by Jennifer Johnson, covers the portion of Ash's journey near Violet City and the Characific Valley. In the novel, Ash wonders if Charizard should leave his team forever; it covers the capture of Ash's Cyndaquil, his new fire Pokémon.

Reception and legacy

Due to Charizard's appeal, it has been featured in lines of soft toys and action figures in the Pokémon franchise, made by Hasbro, and Tomy. In 2004, the "Charizard Medium Plush" was part of a major recall of 13 plush toys due to a manufacturing fault where tips of needles were being found with the stuffing. This caused Tomy to replace the toys with compensation or replacements. Charizard appears often in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, most notably in the series' initial release. Cards featuring the character have been stated to be the most desired of the series, quickly rising to high prices amongst collectors and retailers. These cards overpowered and knocked out opponents in one hit.

Described by the media as "a lean, ferocious, fire-breathing dragon [...] sleek, powerful, and utterly destructive", Charizard has been noted as one of the franchise's most popular characters. Retailers have attributed the high sales of merchandise related to the character to the popularity of the character's dragon-like design with children. Interviewed children have stated similar; they attributed its appeal to its "cool looking" appearance and associating the character with the concepts of stubbornness and power. The book Rebuilding Attachments With Traumatized Children stated psychiatrists utilized the character as an empowered character traumatized children who were fans of the Pokémon series could relate to. The book Pikachu's Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokémon cited Charizard as popular with older male children who tend to be drawn to "tough or scary" characters, and compared the character's evolution from Charmander into Charizard with the loss of "cuteness" as one leaves childhood.

In 2005, search engine Yahoo! reported Charizard as one of the top Pokémon-related web searches. IGN editor "pokemonofthedaychick" called Charizard "certainly the most popular and perhaps the most well-balanced of any of the current starting Pokemon". GamesRadar's Brett Elston described Charizard as "hands-down one of the coolest Pokémon out there", heavily praising its character design and calling it "one of the coolest" designs of the entire series. GamesRadar editor Raymond Padilla stated "Charizard was an awesome Pokemon back in the day and still an excellent choice more than a decade after it was introduced." UGO.com described Charizard as a "winged, dragon-like creature" which is "able to breathe fire and smash opponents into red-tinged goo", but states that in Brawl it is "as slow as Bowser" and "lacks the coolness factor of Mario's arch-nemesis."

1UP editor Kat Bailey expressed concern about which Pokémon could follow the player in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, stating "allowing popular favorites like Charizard would go over quite well". In a poll by Official Nintendo Magazine, Charizard was voted as the best Fire-type Pokémon. They stated "not only is Charizard your favourite fire Pokémon but it is probably one of the most popular 'mon of all time". The Daily Cardinal editor Kyle Sparks called Charizard "the most dominant Pokémon in the whole universe, a force of sheer strength". Authors Tracey West and Katherine Noll called Charizard the best Fire type Pokémon and the third best Pokémon overall. They wrote that there was nothing else that could better fit that spot and that "it has won our hearts and had us cheering for more". In a poll conducted by IGN, it was voted as the best Pokémon, where the staff commented about remembering being torn between choosing Blastoise and Charizard at the start of the game.

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