Pokémon: Was Snubbull Meant to Replace Jigglypuff in the Anime?
Snubbull had a lot more screen time during the Johto Saga than Jigglypuff, hinting at a possible replacement.
Jigglypuff was an Pokemon that Ash and his friends encountered throughout the original series. After the Indigo League, Jigglypuff started to disappear. Despite this, she wasn’t the only wild Pokemon that made frequent appearances in the anime.
After Ash and his friends made it to Johto they were followed by another Pokemon, Snubbull. She was actually following Team Rocket, which was then following Ash. Snubbull could have been intended to appear in Johto as Jigglypuff did throughout Kanto.
Is Snubbull Jigglypuff in the Johto Region?”
Jigglypuff had a simple, but effective, gimmick. It would travel throughout the region looking for a stage and an audience to sing. It would perform in front Ash and his friends no matter how convenient the timing. Its songs would put everyone to bed, so it would sometimes grow angry and draw on their faces before storming off. Although it sounds tedious after a while this anime still managed to get lots of mileage from its schtick.
There was no doubt that Jigglypuff’s gimmick was losing its relevance. It made seven appearances in the Indigo League. However, it was only present in the Orange League twice and in the Johto League four times. The show was cancelled after it made one appearance in the Hoenn area. Although it took some time, the anime was able to completely eliminate the BalloonPokemon from the show.
Snubbull looked like she was supposed to be the Jigglypuff in the Hoeen area. She had been enamored of Meowth’s tail since Episode 124, “Snubbull Snbbery”; she even started to chew on it. She would follow Meowth’s scent throughout the 50 episodes, hoping to get her tail back.
Snubbull was phasing out Jigglypuff, the anime made no secret of it. Episode 149, ” Tunnel Vision,” had the Fairy Pokemon take the marker of the Balloon Pokemon for the episode. It was almost as if the marker was a metaphor to Jigglypuff’s screen time.
Subbull was also not relevant for very long. Episode 175, “The Trouble with Snubbull”, saw the Fairy Pokemon evolve into Granbull, and disappear from the show. This and Jigglypuff’s diminishing significance could indicate that the era recurring pink Pokemon is over.
What could have been better for Snubbull!
Snubbull and Jigglypuff might have been more popular to encourage a trend of seeing the same Pokemon in every region. Other cute and pink Pokemon, such as Skitty, Munna and Swirlix, might have been the Jigglypuff in their respective regions. This potential is still untapped, despite the fact that anime has decided where it wants to go.
People can at the minimum say that Jigglypuff was present in Johto’s version as Snubbull. Although she may not have completely replaced Jigglypuff, her on-screen presence was enough to make them comparable. The Fairy Pokemon could have been just as good, if not better than the Balloon Pokemon with a little more attention.