Pokemon Sword and Shield - Interview about Sobble Released

In their third and final interview on starters, Gameinformer invited Game Freak to talk about Sobble. We went over the topics they talked about.

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Sobble

What kind of Pokemon is Sobble?

In their third interview, Gameinformer invited Game Freak once more to discuss the new water type Sobble in Pokemon Sword and Shield. The video was posted on October 9th, 2019.

Meet Sobble

According to Mr. Ohmori, Sobble is a water type starter that pairs well with kind and caring trainers. He introduced Sobble as a bashful Pokemon with a penchant for submerging itself in water.

But they also may be somewhat shy.

For example, if Sobble goes into the water it becomes transparent and fades into the scenery.

Sobble, the meek reptile

Mr. Ohmori told Gameinformer that two ladies were in charge of Sobble’s design. When he shared about the origin of the expression, he felt some uncertainty on how Sobble’s design would appeal to people outside Japan. While it’s true that Scorbunny’s patches are also influenced by traits of young Japanese kids, it was more apparent in media. Meanwhile, Sobble’s design can be regarded as bizarre for fans who are unfamiliar with the idea behind its conception.

There definitely was some factor of not knowing for sure that it would be a design accepted on such a worldwide scale.

He added that Sobble’s design also drew inspiration from an expression in Japanese culture used to call something cute if people feel sorry for it. We came across the Japanese expression, “kawaisou,” which describes a feeling for young children who are “helpless, yet adorable.”

In Japan, there definitely is a culture of feeling like something is cute because you kind of feel sorry for it a little bit.

So we knew it would be well received in Japan. But seeing the reaction online, we weren’t sure about it.

Each starter has its own personality

The team also discussed each starter’s unique qualities. When it came to Sobble, they gave it a more reserved nature. Mr. Masuda also noted the difference and stressed how each starter was distinct. He then shared that trainers who are undecided might like the timid water Pokemon Sobble.

That being said, they were able to argue how the differences among the three starters led to Sword and Shield’s way of forming its own identity. In fact, looking back to the previous generations, the starters often resembled one another. In those games, starters shared a quality or two in their faces, stances, or a mixture of both. Take the Kanto region, where starters appeared to be modeled after prehistoric dinosaurs, or the Johto region’s cheerful trio. This notion persisted for years with Pokemon either having a cheerful personality or resembling the “silent protagonist” archetype. While it certainly led to consistency, the standard designs can get a bit stale. However, given the idea of diverse personalities, we’re excited to see how Game Freak conceptualizes their designs in the future.

There’s such a clear differntiation between the personalities of the different starter Pokemon.


When asked about the looks of its evolution, none from the team hinted at it. Looking back on the previous interviews, the team made remarks on the possible designs of their evolutions despite vagueness. For example, Grookey has its defining traits as a monkey-themed Pokemon. Meanwhile, Scorbunny, due in part to its tendency to wander off alone, might surprise its trainer after evolving. Unfortunately, neither Sobble’s possible looks nor the trainer’s reaction were hinted in the interview. The closest to it was a message left by Mr. Ohmori:

Yeah, I think as players play the game and go on the adventure and see how the Pokemon grow and  evolve…

They’ll think, “Ah, that makes sense with the Galar region why these are the starters.”

Visit our News and Features Archive for more Pokemon Sword and Shield news and updates!

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