Somewhere between a cricket and a violin beetle, dressed up in a little red suit with a comedically-large collar and even larger, flashier eyebrows. This little lass is ready to make a big debut, and I’m here for it.
She is notably rounder than any bug this side of Ledyba, what with her tucked-in spherical limbs, button-nose, and… crest? on her forehead. But I like the colors on her even more; you get the same effect of a whitish color, a blackish color, and a reddish color, but they’re all a little more subdued in a way that feels classy as opposed to the bright and cartoony look of other bugs. It’s a good fit for a traditional musician in insect form.
And speaking of traditional musician looks, a detail not noticable from the back is how her wing-coverings (assuming this non-Flying bug has wings) form a little pair of coat-tails on her back. More of a conductor look but absolutely on-theme.
Plus, I love the effect of her collar being so high up that it looks like her mouth is tucked into the collar of her “shirt”. That’s a “toddler in a too-big suit” look if I’ve ever seen one.
Kricketune just blows the whole look out of proportion, though, and not just because her brows mirgrated downard to form a glorious ‘stache.
While keeping a recognizable through-line, her entire body is the shape of a violin now, with two arms to double as fighting-blades and as bows to pull across her own sternum (not strictly how actual crickets striate, but a much clearer and more fun visual). She’s even got some black spots on her sides to suggest how a traditional violin-body isn’t strictly ovular.
You’d guess that the antennae can do so, too, what with being very noticably segmented, but a combination of Pokédex entries and her natural held item suggests those to be natural twin metronomes. It’s a weird pull, especially for a musician that ad-libs and isn’t especially noted to perform in groups, but certainly a more interesting look than plain antennae.
Just listen to her in-game cry, a recognizable combination of bow-on-string instrument sounds and animalistic whooping. Marvelous, and heavily embraced by the community.
Moreso than the actual line, even. People claim to have the same problem this line that I do with Starly, but frankly.
It’s impressive just how diverse this series’ lineup with bugs is, but hey – the whole concept is inseperably tied-up with the concept of bug-collecting. And, without going too far into observing-cultures-from-the-outside, bug-collecting and beetle-wresting are both huge summer pastimes for boys in Japan (or, at least, were when the series’ designers were growing up). Just look at the themes in Kamen Rider, or the collectibles in Animal Crossing, or even their otherwise-left-field inclusion in otherwise-unrelated games like Rogue Galaxy.
It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that beetles in particular are represented in broad detail and delightful variety.
It probably doesn’t help Kricketune’s case, though, that a combination of pure-Bug typing and below-average-to-abysmal stats makes her a solid last pick for team outings. I definitely tried having one as my team anchor in the Diamond & Pearl remakes, and frankly she just can’t keep up. Poor girl needs a bit of a boost that she’s just never gotten – maybe something that makes her survive long enough for the combined boost of Metronome and Fury Cutter to really kick in, since as-is she just can’t hold on long enough to make good on that themed combo.
I personally adore the designs of these two, and think they keep adding creativity to a type that’s already chock-full of it. Certainly I find them more unique than Yet Another Lepidoptera, and luckily the Scarlet & Violet planners seemed to agree. But if Kricketune keeps showing up in the Reserve roster, she deserves a serious once-over from a gameplay perspective to make her viable in the otherwise-easy story campaigns, let alone other aspects of the games.
Any and all appreciation for Kricketot and Kricketune is welcome in the comments!