Is the most common type in Pokémon franchise, Water-type has a wide variety of designs and inspirations. Currently, there are a total of 159 Water-type Pokémon, and all other Pokémon types have been paired with Water at least once. An overall strong type with only two weaknesses, Water types are often found among the strongest Pokémon.
Waters are very versatile. They can be as savage as Gyarados or as majestic as Milotic. Some have an angry appearance like the Poliwrath, or are mischievous and friendly like the Politoed. Then there are the cute and sweet ones, which take advantage of their aquatic elements to seduce their trainers. Here are some of the cutest Water-type Pokémon out there, even if that cuteness might be a little unusual.
Dewpider may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Water-type Pokémon, but it is a Water-type nonetheless. Dewpider, originally found in the Alola region, is a small, spider-like Pokémon that carries a water bladder on its head, which helps it breathe on land. Dewpider appears a lot in the episode “Dewpider Ascending!”, where one is befriended by Ash’s friend Lana, a Water-type Trainer. Dewpider is looking for a new home and is stuck in territorial disputes. Even though Lana never captured Dewpider, they still had a close relationship.
Spheal is a Pokémon native to the Hoenn region, where it first appeared. Spheal are both Ice and Water types, so are best equipped to live in colder waters. Spheal can evolve twice, into Sealeo and finally Walrein, a Pokémon that is decidedly not cute. Spheal’s spherical, ball-like shape allows it to roll on land and can stop at any time with its fins. Although no main character in the anime ever possesses a Spheal, the Spheal has been the focus of many one-off episodes, including the first episode, “The Spheal of Approval”, where a gun used against Ash when he was mistaken for a thief.
As a fourth generation baby Pokémon, Mantyke can evolve into Mantine under the right conditions. Mantykes are said to have slightly different designs on their backs depending on the region they are found in, although this is not always depicted accurately. Mantyke is known for its ability to jump out of water and glide short distances, which has earned it the nickname “Kite Pokémon.” In Pokémon Journeys, Ash’s companion Goh captured a Mantyke which he used in a race known as the Iceberg Race at Snowpoint City.
Manaphy is a mythical Pokémon introduced in generation four and has long been one of the most difficult Pokémon to capture in the game. Manaphy is said to come from a distant, warm body of water and float freely throughout the oceans, riding the ocean currents. Manaphy plays a key role in the ninth Pokémon movie, Pokémon Ranger and Temple of the Sea, where it hatches from an egg and is targeted by a gang of vicious Pokémon thieves. Manaphy is ultimately crucial in locating the eponymous Temple of the Sea, and Ash and his friends must protect it.
Mareanie is the absolute definition of “Ugly Cute”. The trainer may want to pet it but at the same time fear for its safety. Indeed, Mareanie’s spines are poisonous and its tentacles can trap its prey before delivering the final blow. Clever and stealthy, it can regenerate any part of the body overnight, except the head. A Mareanie is owned by Team Rocket’s James in the anime, and it loves to hold his head in a loving (but toxic) hug. Mareanie was eventually left behind in Alola, where she could live happily in its natural environment.
Oshawott is the water-type starter Pokémon of Generation Five. Known as the Sea Otter Pokémon, Oshawott carries a small shell, called a fish scale, on its abdomen. It can remove this shell and use it as a weapon to perform the powerful Razor Shell attack, and Oshawott will become extremely miserable if he loses this shell. In the anime, Ash owns an Oshawott, which he often places outside his Poké Ball like Pikachu. Ash’s Oshawott is a troublemaker and can easily develop feelings for female Pokémon he encounters.
Corsola is an adorable Water-type Pokémon first introduced in the Johto region. Found in warm, shallow waters, Corsola lives in large groups. Sometimes they are so large that entire settlements can live on them, like Hoenn’s Pacifidlog Town. The Corsola is hunted for its valuable horn, which is used for jewelry and carvings. A dual Water/Rock-type Pokémon, it has a regional variant in Galar that is a pure Ghost-type. In the anime, Misty possesses a Corsola that she caught in a special Lure Sphere. Misty’s Corsola is very energetic and even a bit noisy at times, but is ultimately a very cheerful and lovable Pokémon.
One of the three original Eeveelutions, Vaporeon is the result of exposing Eevee to the Water Stone. Due to its unique evolutionary method, Vaporeon is rarely found in the wild. It is most common in urban environments under the ownership of a coach. Vaporeon has the unique ability to turn its body into water molecules and dissolve into water. This ability allows it to camouflage itself when swimming underwater, making it a dangerous predator. As a carnivore, it eats smaller fish Pokémon. Although none of the main characters in the anime ever possess a Vaporeon, it has appeared several times in the series, often alongside other Eeveelutions.
Introduced in generation eight, Sobble is Galar’s Water-type starter Pokémon. Based on the appearance of a chameleon, Sobble has the ability to camouflage in water, where it often hides. Extremely shy, Sobble can easily become nervous and start sweating to disappear into his surroundings. It is also a crybaby and its tears are contagious, seemingly having the power of 100 onions. In the anime, a Sobble appears and is captured by Ash’s companion, Goh. It became one of his main Pokémon, and he even evolved it to its (somewhat controversial) final form, Inteleon.
A dual-type Water/Ghost Pokémon introduced in Generation V, Frillish has different colors depending on its gender. It lives in burrows about five miles below the sea surface, where it faces dark and pressurized conditions. Despite her cute appearance, Frilish is quite cruel. As a carnivore, it wraps its prey around its arms and paralyzes it with poisonous stings. A legend in Unova states that all Frilish are actually transformed citizens from an ancient sunken city. In the anime Black and White, Team Rocket’s Jessie owns a very mischievous Frillish. Frillish eventually reunited with Jessie in one of the final episodes of the anime, once again becoming an important part of the team.
The Water-based Pokémon, Squirtle remains one of the most famous and memorable first-generation Pokémon. Although usually walking on two legs, Squirtle can also run on all fours to increase speed. It withdraws into its shell for protection or to sleep. Squirtle memorably appears several times in the anime, notably as Gary Oak’s starter, as well as the leader of the “Squirtle Squad,” which eventually becomes Ash’s Pokémon. Ash’s Squirtle returned in the last few episodes of the anime, where he was shown still working as a firefighter in the Squirtle Squad, while also hosting Power Rangers-style live shows for children.
Another Generation I Pokémon, Horsea, is, as its name suggests, based on a seahorse. Despite its small body, Horsea is surprisingly tough and can squirt water or black ink at any attacker. Like real-life seahorses, male Horsea are responsible for raising their young. It creates whirlpools by swimming like a dance and competes with each other to see who can create the best whirlpool. In the anime, Misty owns a Horsea, which is the first wild fish she caught during the series’ run. It often has more difficulty fighting than her Staryu and Starmie, so she mainly keeps it as a companion rather than a fighting partner.
One of the most inspired Pokémon in Generation IV, Shellos has two different appearances. Western sea shells are pink and white, with many buds growing out at the top like flower petals. East Sea seashells are blue and green in color, have two horn-like knobs and protrude from the face. It can exist on both sea and land, as reflected by its Water/Ground evolution, and has excellent regeneration abilities. In the anime Diamond and Pearl, Dawn’s main rival, Zoey, owns a Shellos, which she uses to compete in competitions. Her Shellos eventually evolved into the much less cute Gastrodon.
Alola’s Water-type starter Pokémon Popplio is a blue seal-like creature, although the Pokédex classifies it as a Sea Lion Pokémon. It has an extremely welcoming personality and is very playful. It snorts bubbles to entertain others and uses it as part of its fighting strategy. It loves to perform acrobatics and jumps and appreciates the applause of delighted audiences. In the anime, Ash’s friend Lana has a Popplio who loves to sing, and it eventually evolves into Primarina. Lana’s Popplio is also known to be very polite, even to Team Rocket–at least until it realizes who it is talking to.
Back in Generation IV, the Water of Sinnoh starter was the absurdly adorable Piplup the penguin. However, don’t be fooled by its cute appearance, because Piplup is extremely proud and independent, to the point that it will refuse food from humans, including its trainer. It has difficulty trusting others, which makes it difficult for it to bond with its trainer. Piplup plays an important role in the anime, where it is the main Pokémon of Dawn, Ash’s companion. Dawn’s Piplup loves participating in competitions and can be a bit jealous at times. Although her Piplup never evolved, that was probably for the best due to its love of participating in competitions.
There are a lot of really adorable Water-type Pokémon that characters like Misty would be happy to elaborate on. As one of the three Starter Pokémon types, Water types have been loved by many fans through these Starter Pokémon. Water-types also often play an important role in the anime, almost always featuring on Ash’s team in some way, alongside Water-type specialists like Misty and Lana. The cutest water Pokémon is sure to make any fan see why specializing in this genre seems appealing.