Pokemon Pearl Mascot Palkia Has Fur, Apparently

This is just going to be a recurring revelation for Pokemon fans, I guess.

There was a horrifying but also hilarious phenomenon that occurred when the first trailer for the Detective Pikachu movie came out: our collective realization that a lot of the Pokemon we know and love from games and anime actually have fur. Pikachu is a mouse, so it makes sense that he’d have hair in a more realistic depiction of the character, but the little guy was straight-up furry in the movie. So it was an adjustment to be sure. But I personally really appreciated the artistic interpretation the filmmakers went with. I even have a plush version of him sitting on my shelf as I write this. But as this push for realistic interpretations of what a magical pocket monster might look like continues, I have now been subject to the uncomfortable realization that one of my all-time favorite Legendary Pokemon also seems to have some kind of fur? And that’s Palkia, the series’ god of space.

Palkia, the mascot for Pokemon Pearl and the upcoming remake Pokemon Shining Pearl, is one of my favorite Pokemon. It’s part of my “canon” party of six. The ones that, even if I don’t have them in every game, I always carry with me in my heart as my favorites. Palkia is a water/dragon type, so I always assumed that its body was slick for swimming, but also sturdy like an armor plating. But uh, the cover art of Pokemon Shining Pearl tells a different story. As pointed out by Twitter account Out of Context Pokemon, the Pokemon universe’s space god is fluffy.

Some of the responses pointed out that since Palkia is a water-type it’s likely its fur is slick and short, akin to something like seals or some whales, rather than being a furry beast like Pikachu appears to be in Detective Pikachu. This is an interesting observation, given that most of Palkia’s lore is separated from its water typing. But it’s still such a weird recontextualization of my space god dragon boy that I’ve loved for 15 years. Where once I imagined him being an imposing, unstoppable beast made of something that would have been hard to the touch. Now, I just want to give him some good scratches.

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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are coming to Nintendo Switch on November 19. We’ll see if Palkia’s fur is visible in the remakes. And if it is, I will give him some good pets.