A few short hours after starting up Pokémon Sword & Shield, players are greeted by the most annoying antagonists the series has ever seen — Team Yell. It’s to Game Freak’s credit that it was able to craft a group of “villains” that are both easy to hate and so relatable, without making players turn their system off in disgust.
Team Rocket has been the go-to villain in the Pokémon series since its inception. However, they were a much more loveable group than Team Yell. Team Rocket was bad news — stealing Pokémon is about as low as you can get — but they were at least funny and entertaining to watch. Anytime Team Rocket popped up on the screen you knew you were in for something special.
Compare that to Team Yell. When these freaks are on the screen, they suck all the fun out of the room. They’re rude. They block hotel entrances. They block bridges. They fight people. They yell and scream and make a scene. They do whatever it takes to cheer on their Trainer, Marnie. Team Yell is a beautifully crafted abomination.
Enemies aren’t supposed to be “loveable.” We should be angry when we encounter them. Game Freak executed that perfectly with Team Yell. Not only that, but they did it in a way that fans will instantly recognize. At their core, Team Yell is just a group of over-passionate fans. Sound familiar to anyone?
Many Twitter users have pointed out that Team Yell’s behavior is shockingly similar to that of disenfranchised Pokémon fans — people who were upset over many of the changes made to the series. While it seems like a bit of a jump to make (as many of their complaints are valid), it is true that Team Yell can easily represent the toxic nature of many online communities. When they are out in public, they are rude, loud, and truly annoying. The only time they calm down is when Marnie steps in and intervenes.
No one would make the argument that Team Yell is better than Team Rocket. However, I would argue that Team Yell is a better antagonist. I’ve never encountered a group of characters more frustrating than this lot.
Team Rocket will always be the best, but Team Yell is certainly the worst.
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