Origins

Another fun thing about the Pokemon franchise is guessing the origins of each Pokemon. Some of them are pretty random, but others are obviously inspired by real life animals. Vulpix is one of these pokemon.

Let's start by Vulpix's name. Its English name is obviously a mix of the words vulpes (Latin for 'fox') and six (which is the number of Vulpix's tails). Its Japanese name, Rokon, comes from roku (six) and kon (grudge), which is the curse that Vulpix and Ninetales can cast of their enemies (and also an attack that Vulpix can learn). Kon kon is also a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound that foxes make.

Given its name and its appearance, it's quite obvious that Vulpix was inspired by real life foxes and kitsune (Japanese folklore foxes). Vulpix looks a lot like a fox, with the exception of his six tails, but the warm colours and facial features of foxes are there. Vulpix is also inspired by the kitsune of Japanese mythology, which are foxes with special powers that include breathing fire (check) and creating illusions. These kitsune also have long lifespans, after which they take on spirit forms, which could be the reason Vulpix and Ninetales can learn Ghost-type moves.

Firefox © Chibi.
Part of Reflection & The Endless Sky Network.
Pokemon © Nintendo, Game Freaks & Satoshi Taijiri.
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