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This official Pokémon popularity contest is pure chaos

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Pikachu STAY losing

Dynamax Pikachu appears in a screenshot from Pokémon Sword/Shield Game Freak/The Pokémon Company

As an internet connoisseur, I can tell you with certainty that nothing tastes as good as drinking entropy straight from the content spigot. And let me tell you, the discord at the heart of this official Pokémon popularity contest is as baffling as it is delicious.

To celebrate Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, there’s now a Japanese Pokémon Day website that, among other things, displays the results of a live contest. Via Twitter, fans can vote for their favorite pocket monsters, and the site refreshes with the latest numbers. Most of the participants are Japanese, though there are efforts from Westerners now as well. As of this writing, there are nearly 700,000 ballots. And the top contenders might surprise you.

The top voted monsters in a Japanese popularity contest. Image: The Pokemon Company

Right now, the number one spot goes to none other than second-rate Pikachu wannabe, Dedenne. Trailing closely behind is beefcake Buzzwole, which already gives me a total whiplash. The votes only get stranger from there! Why is Magnemite number there? Then we’ve got Barbaracle and Cinccino in the top ten, and while there’s nothing wrong with these monsters, just ... what?

Sure, Pikachu is in there somewhere, plus Eevee and Snivy give the top ten some semblance of sanity. But overall, the most popular ‘mons are the results of anarchy. Where’s Greninja, Charizard, Mimikyu, Gengar — you know, the faces you’d expect to see? The monsters that you see nearly everywhere, every time? The list defies all understanding, and I love it for that.

There’s a chance that, over time, these votes will stabilize and end up somewhere much less weird, but for now? Chaos rules, baby. This is better than that one time Pikachu lost a popularity contest to its own imposter.