With Halloween, October draws to a close, and so too does Pokemon's official "Mimikyu Month"–an entire month dedicated to the adorably spooky Ghost/Fairy Pokemon wearing a shoddy Pikachu costume.
But Mimikyu is more than just a cute spookymon. Mimikyu has the single best, most relatable concept of any Pokemon in the history of the franchise, and as such, they deserve recognition far beyond the month of October. While every generation of Pokemon games introduces a new Pikachu-adjacent knock-off, Mimikyu is the first to feel truly original.
Potentially inspired by the Breton myth of the Bugol Noz––a kind woodland fairy whose appearance is so hideous that anyone who sees him dies of fright––Mimikyu is a ghastly looking Pokemon who inadvertently curses anyone who gazes upon its true form with illness or a painful death. As such, Mimikyu lives a life plagued by loneliness, craving acceptance, love, and friendship more than anything else. So, realizing that Pikachu is an incredibly popular Pokemon adored for its cuteness, Mimikyu creates a crayon-decorated Pikachu guise to hide beneath in hopes of acceptance.
And even though Mimikyu's disguise might not be particularly convincing, that doesn't stop them from trying their best to fit in. For instance, in spite of their Ghost/Fairy type, Mimikyu can learn Pikachu's signature Electric-type moves, including Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, and Thunder.
Mimikyu's Song [eng subbed] www.youtube.com
Everything about Mimikyu, from their visual design to their in-game playstyle, aligns perfectly with their thematic concept as a terrifying ghost who just wants affection. Mimikyu is both deeply tragic and wholly relatable.
Fair warning: I'm about to get sappy here. As someone on the autism spectrum, Mimikyu is one of those rare characters that speaks to me on a fundamental level. I never thought there would be a Pokemon––a freaking Pokemon––that so thoroughly encapsulated the existential trials of the human experience, but here we are.
As a Pokemon, Mimikyu exists in an almost (if not outright) meta-context. Pikachu is the mascot of the Pokemon franchise, meaning that Pikachu is popular practically by default. Pikachu is cute and fuzzy, the perfect brand image for monsters everyone wants to collect. Mimikyu, on the other hand, is allegedly hideous, spectral, and weak to sunlight. Unlike Pikachu, nothing comes easily for Mimikyu. They're forced to make their own disguise by hand, and even then, they're relegated to the shadows by necessity. And yet, in spite of it all, Mimikyu isn't bad or evil, and they keep awkwardly but bravely striving forward. They just want to be loved.
The Pokemon Company
Social interactions don't come easily for me, either. It's hard for me to make eye contact with people (especially when I'm uncomfortable with them), correctly distinguish tones, or know how to relate with people who don't share similar interests to mine. I can be abrasive and condescending at times without meaning to be. So to compensate, much like Mimikyu, I also look to others who are more naturally socially adjusted. Like Mimikyu, I also wear a disguise of sorts, trying my best to copy the behaviors of other, more popular, people in order to better fit in.
I don't even think that's necessarily specific to autism. There's no guidebook to social interactions, and I imagine that a lot of people, autistic or otherwise, must rely on trial-and-error. To some extent, maybe we're all wearing masks of the people we admire or are jealous of, in hopes that by emulating them we'll get the same results they did. Maybe we're not all succeeding, at least not all the time, but we keep trying because, ultimately, we crave love, companionship, and acceptance. And if that's true, maybe we're all a bit like Mimikyu.