Taylor Swift and Pokemon are two generation-defining pop culture phenomena. As a kid, I cried when Pokemon was pulled out of my country’s Cartoon Network for no apparent reason. As a tween, I raged over Taylor Swift’s award speech censorship feud. These two seemingly mismatched elements that shaped my personality growing up can come together in unexpected ways.
In 1996, Pokemon launched on Nintendo’s handheld Game Boy console, sending kids’ schoolyards into a frenzy. 10 years later, Taylor Swift released her first album and has since catapulted herself into being one of the biggest music icons today. Let’s embark on a journey to unite these colossal cultural forces by representing each Taylor Swift era with a single Pokemon.
Sunflora is a jolly Grass-type Pokemon rocking a sunflower-inspired look. Is that not the most 2006 Taylor Swift thing you’ve ever heard? It’s basically just missing a cowboy hat.
Like Taylor stormed the music scene in 2006 with her eponymous album, Sunflora bursts onto the scene with a green trunk, a cream-colored noggin, and vivid yellow petals that scream youthfulness. Sunflora just minds her own business, steers clear of drama, and stands in the background decorating the gardens of Johto. This grass-type Pokemon mirrors the innocence and earnestness Taylor Swift brought to her debut, with its eyes permanently sealed in a zen-like state. The Debut era was like a sun-soaked chapter in Taylor’s book.
I know that’s quite a glow-up but isn’t that what Fearless represented for Taylor Swift? It’s not quite innocence’s lost, but it shows character development.
This dazzling canine Pokemon draped in glistening golden-white fur is the absolute embodiment of Taylor Swift’s Fearless era. Ninetales’ regal mane and nine bewitching tails radiate the same elegance and fuel that marked Taylor’s wild leap from country to country pop music.
Ninetales’ mystical mojo and its penchant for payback perfectly sync with the album’s themes of love rollercoasters, heartache, and having the guts to be audaciously fearless. Just as Taylor’s songs delved into the depth of her emotions.
Speak Now: Gardevoir
Standing gracefully at just over five feet tall, Gardevoir dons an ethereal white gown-like body with green accents, like Taylor’s transition from her signature princess costumes to chic knee-length halter dresses during the Speak Now era. Gardevoir’s flowing locks and empathetic nature mirror Taylor’s loosening up of her signature curls and embracing a more glamorous red carpet look.
Maybe Taylor doesn’t have Gardevoir’s ability to read the future. Still, her Speak Now era was a testament to her intuition and emotional depth, as she wrote every song herself. Plus, Gardevoir’s gentleness, caring nature, and protectiveness toward other Pokemon echo the album’s love, heartbreak, and self-discovery themes.
Flareon is fiery but adorable, just like Taylor during her Red era. With its sweet, warm-hearted personality and an aversion to being the center of attention, Flareon mirrors Taylor’s ability to command the spotlight while remaining down-to-earth.
In terms of appearance, Flareon’s reddish fur reflects the Taylor Swift Era’s theme of red lipstick and burgundy berets. The Red era, marked by the album’s commercial success and hit songs, is quite similar to the obsession with Flareon as an eeveelution: everyone likes it; it’s undeniably cute.
Pikachu is a universally adored Pokemon, and that’s why he’s the ultimate representation of Taylor Swift’s 1989 era. Just as Pikachu is the most popular and recognizable Pokemon, 1989 marked Taylor’s transition from country to pop, catapulting her to global superstardom.
Just as Pikachu remains a beloved character in the Pokemon franchise, Taylor’s 1989 Album, featuring chart-toppers like Shake It Off and Blank Space, became a commercial and critical sensation. Sure, you could argue there are “better songs” and “better Pokemon” out there. Still, no Taylor Swift album has had so much hit fuel in it, just like no other Pokemon has stayed as relevant as Pikachu for decades. It’s a match made in pop culture heaven.
When Taylor released Reputation in 2017, she might have fancied herself a fierce Houndoom or a cool, detached Greninja. Looking back on it, Reputation gives me angry teenager vibes, a look much better represented by Scrafty.
Scrafty is a tough-as-nails Dark/Fighting-type Pokemon with a heart of gold. Scrafty may seem like a ruffian on the surface. Still, it’s fiercely loyal and protective of those it cares about, ready to defend them with its powerful kicks. Similarly, Taylor’s Reputation era departed from her previous image, embracing a darker and more mysterious persona while staying fiercely loyal to her message.
Scrafty’s spit-based taunts, though a bit gross and acidic, reflect Taylor’s willingness to confront negative perceptions and use her music to reclaim her reputation. The Reputation era was about change and resilience, and Scrafty perfectly embodies that spirit. Both cases prove that even the fiercest reputations can be rewritten.
Luvdisc perfectly encapsulates Taylor Swift’s Lover era, where love and romance took center stage. Just as Luvdisc symbolizes eternal love and happiness, Taylor’s music during this era was filled with themes of romance, bright and colorful aesthetics, and a more positive outlook on life.
Related: The 10 best fairy Pokémon, ranked
Luvdisc’s association with love and deep emotional connections mirrors the heartfelt lyrics and sentiments in Taylor’s songs during the Lover era. While Luvdisc may not be known for its strength or power, it is cherished and iconic in the Pokemon universe for its representation of love and romance. Similarly, Taylor Swift’s Lover era was not about grand gestures but celebrated the beauty of love in its simplest and purest form.
Folklore is a majestic stag-like Fairy-type album. Just as Xerneas is revered for preserving the balance between life and death, Taylor’s music during this era was celebrated for its intricate tales and profound emotions.
Xerneas’ legendary status as a protector of wounded Pokemon during an ancient war mirrors the Folklore era’s focus on storytelling and its ability to heal through the power of music and lyrics. Similarly, Taylor Swift’s introspective and emotional songs resonated deeply with her audience, offering solace and understanding in a troubling time.
In both cases, Xerneas and Taylor Swift’s Folklore era remind me of the power of storytelling to inspire, heal, and preserve the delicate balance between emotions and memories.
Pumpkaboo captures the essence of enchanting storytelling, mystique, and pumpkin spice latte coziness. Just as Pumpkaboo is said to lead souls to their next journey and bring good luck, Taylor’s music during this era guided listeners through intricate tales of love and longing, leaving them with a sense of wonder and serendipity.
While Pumpkaboo’s pumpkin-inspired design lends a touch of whimsy, Taylor Swift’s Evermore era embraced a similar cozy and introspective vibe, making it a fitting companion to the autumn and winter seasons. Both offer a delightful blend of enigma, charm, and enchantment.
Midnights: Flutter Mane
Flutter Mane’s eerie appearance, with red gems and spikes adorning its ghostly form, mirrors Taylor’s Midnight era’s dark and moody aesthetics. Its yellow eyes with red sclerae evoke the album’s emotional depth and introspective themes. And that red pearl necklace? You know she’s still bejeweled.
In the esports world, Flutter Mane’s exceptional popularity and usage reflect the Midnight era’s critical and commercial success. Taylor Swift’s album quickly became a chart-topper and fan favorite.
As both Flutter Mane and the Midnight era maintain an air of curiosity and intrigue, they beckon us to venture into the unknown, explore our inner depths, and revel in the enigmatic beauty that lies within.