I don't get it. Why the gloves? Many pokemon have clothing items and that's because they are going for some specific idea but for Poliwhirl/wrath I don't see it. It's one thing for Hitmonchan the boxing pokemon to have boxing gloves but what drove the pokemon designers to be like "you know what this tadpole/frog thing needs? gloves!"? There's not even much mention of it even being a skilled fist fighter, if anything what the pokedex always emphasises is how much of a great swimmer it is.

So why the gloves? Is this some sort of obscure japanese pop culture reference or pun or pun I'm missing? Afaik there are no punching frogs in folklore.

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because a tadpole that punches you is cool. cope.

remember what they took from you

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Honestly probably just some early cartoon design choice.

Can't remember

The only thing is they could use the spiral for hypnosis shit and make him psychic

Im in no need to cope, I love the line(minus politoed) which is why Im interested.

It doesn't seem all that early. Poliwhirl and wrath are #110 and #111 in the index

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Because it looks cool, duh.
Design clearly needed some detail to divert from overall rather monotone shape and color and gloves work just well + they accentuate the fighter element of its design.

Poliwhirl was an early mascot. It was Red first pokemon, was a pokemon centre mascot and was one of the orignal run to have plushies for no good reason. Dex order does not denote origin.

And pic related

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It was an "early mascot" in the sense that it was Tajiri's favorite pokemon so after the game was done they pushed it marketing wise. We know for a fact it didn't exist on the early Capumon days

Well no shit it's black

Does this look black to you?

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Because FIGHTING-type used to mean FISTICUFFS (or kicks, as the case may be).
Then Gen 4 expanded it to include weird aura voodoo and knife fingers.
Then Gen 5 expanded it to include dancers and sword ungulates.
Then things got extra-shitty with Gen 8 pushing the envelope to include big wolves and like four different weapon birds.
I guess what I'm saying is you got it a little backwards. The big white mitts ARE the tell that Poliwrath is Fighting-type, just like Charmander's flame says Fire-type. Nowadays Fighting doesn't have such a strong identity.

I miss him. He used to be darker in the TCG too.

I see you skipped yellow, great

But I like how the gloves emphasise how it ends up growing hands, and then fists.

The real question is why is Poliwhirl/poliwrath necessary? Doesn't one or the other suffice? They look like the same pokemon except drawn in different styles. It's the poster child for the "It just gets bigger meme."


Keep in mind that for a while in gen 1 types weren't even a thing so a lot of pokemon were retroactively given types that fitted them so either two things happened:
- Poliwhirl/wrath were already designed before types and having the gloves+other traits poliwrath seemed fit to be given fighting type. In that case the typing can't be used as justification.
- Poliwrath was designed with it's typing in mind which begs the question of why wanting to make the frog pokemon a fighting type in the first place. If you look at all other fighting mons they are all ambiguous humanoids with attire for a specific combat style + mankey which by nature of being a primate is naturally humanoid and fit to brawl. So why throw a frog into the mix? There's nothing about frogs to suggest it should be a fighter, even the dex avoids the question and always focuses on it's amazing swimming abilities.

do they have mouths

Plus let's not forget that beta poliwrath was a fat bastard so the idea that it was designed with fighting type in mind seems sketchy.
At the time Poliwhirl (which isn't even fighting type) already had the gloves so it's not even a matter of at first it wasnt designed to be fighting but when they completely redesigned wrath they changed their mind to make them fighting so added the gloves then to make it fit.

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I just looks neat.
It grew hands and it wanted to do something cool with them.


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>Then Gen 4 expanded it to include weird aura voodoo

That's ki, a basic part of fictional martial arts.