In a series with nearly a thousand digital creatures, it's surprisingly rare for a Pokémon to be considered widely popular. Every fan has different tastes, and that means every fan may have their own wildly different favorite Pokémon. However, there are some obvious exceptions. One of those exceptions, and one that has maintained popularity for years since it was introduced, is Lucario. The fighting/steel type has found itself as the title character of an entire movie, among other things. It only placed behind Greninja in recent popularity polls.

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Lucario, then, is explored territory in terms of research. But what about its pre-evolution, Riolu? The baby Pokémon gets dragged along with its older sibling in every single game Lucario makes an appearance, but hardly anyone talks about just Riolu. And people should talk more, because there are some things about Riolu that just don't make sense.

10 Appears In (Almost) Every Single Region

Riolu originally comes from the Sinnoh region, living deep within the mountains or in the caves of Iron Island. The player could only obtain one through an egg given by Riley, a fellow trainer. Since then, however, Riolu has been canonically confirmed to appear in nearly every single other region. The only main regions it cannot be found in the wild are Kanto and Hoenn. If Pokémon biology is supposed to determine a location that the Pokémon lives in, then how can Riolu thrive in so many different climates? Riolu also appears in most of the spin-off titles as well, for the record. Definitely a strange Pokémon in that regard.


9 Wasn't An Anime Lead (Until Recently)

It would make sense that Riolu and Lucario, with their overwhelming popularity, would become a mainstay of the anime in some form. Yet, curiously, Riolu has never made it into the party of any of Ash's companions. There was a lore important Riolu during the Diamond and Pearl series, but it did not join Ash's party. Korrina also was shown to have a Riolu, but that was hardly much of an appearance. However, in Pokémon Journeys: The Series, Ash does actually catch and use a Riolu as part of his main team. It's even a flagship character of sorts, staying out of its Pokéball. It's a wonder why it took so long.

8 Aura Is A Nebulous Concept

The Pokémon series has had "aura" in its vocabulary since Pokemon Colosseum, maybe earlier. However, "aura" as it refers to Lucario and Riolu isn't very consistent. In the games, aura doesn't really mean anything outside of a couple of moves. Korrina from X&Y refers to the player's aura as well, but it isn't explained at all.

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The concept of aura, despite being deeply tied to Riolu, is only really explored in the anime and some spin-offs. Aura is apparently a mystical force that trainers and Pokémon can both utilize. There just isn't a lot of consistent information about it.

7 Aura Is (Almost) Never Mentioned

This opens up another thing that doesn't make sense about Riolu: despite it being the pre-evolution of the "Aura Pokémon," aura is pretty much never mention in the games. Aura does appear in Pokémon Colosseum and XD: Gale of Darkness, but that's referring to the artificial shadow aura of Shadow Pokémon. Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go are similar, but the word aura isn't used by any researchers. In mainline titles, it is only mentioned once by Korrina. If it really is that important in the Pokémon world, it's a wonder why it isn't brought up more often.

6 Riolu Is Hardly A Prankster

Starting with Pokémon Black and White, every Pokémon had a hidden ability added as an option. It requires special means to obtain, but hidden abilities often allow Pokémon with underwhelming normal abilities to compete. The hidden ability can also change when the Pokémon evolves, like some normal abilities. For Riolu, this change goes from Prankster to Justified. Which begs the question: why does Riolu have Prankster at all? The ability is usually only held by a collection of weird Pokémon. Creatures like Klefki learn it naturally, while Sableye and Murkrow have it hidden. It doesn't really make sense for Riolu to have Prankster at all.

5 The "Emanation" Pokémon

Lucario is called the "Aura Pokémon," referring to its ability to read auras that may or may not actually exist. This makes sense, and it's a big part of Lucario's gimmick. There's a reason it uses a lot of Aura-based attacks in the Super Smash Bros. series. Riolu, on the other hand, is called the "Emanation Pokémon." Now, Pokémon titles don't really have to make sense, but for Riolu it's just so abstract. If it were also an "aura Pokémon," that would be justifiable since it shares similar abilities. It doesn't really emanate anything aside from auras, and if that's all emanation is referring to, then why not call it an "aura Pokémon?" Pokémon research really is just a cluttered mess.

4 It Evolves Only In The Daylight

Riolu, like many other baby Pokémon, requires high friendship to evolve. This is consistent, so it makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that it specifically can only evolve during the daytime. Other Pokémon do have this requirement as well, like evolving Eevee into Espeon for example.

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However, this minor inconsistency from other baby Pokémon must mean that sunlight has some significance to Riolu or Lucario. Considering they train within mountains and caves, that's a lot harder to believe. It seems like the little detail of requiring the sun was just thrown in for fun rather than having a reason for it.

3 It Has A Ridiculous Amount Of Energy

Multiple Pokédex entries about Riolu refer to its extremely high stamina. It can run for a long time, quickly, and hardly tire out. Its evolved form is similar in that regard. Interestingly, Riolu actually only has a maximum of three stamina in Pokéathlon events, with the average performance being two stars. So, is its level of stamina really that ridiculous? Speed is more understandable since it has a high speed performance stat, but stamina is underwhelming. Perhaps the person who wrote the Pokédex entry was just going off the cuff here.

2 Loves Galarian Snowstorms

Riolu can be found natively in Sword and Shield. However, its appearances are rare at best. It can only be found in one area, and specifically during snowstorms. This one little detail is very confusing, especially looking at all the other Riolu information. It loves the sunlight, and can thrive in regions aside from the snowy Sinnoh, but in Galar it loves snowstorms. It stands out among the rest of the snowstorm Pokémon as an oddity. Perhaps it is simply training in the snow, like Maylene does in Diamond and Pearl? It's hard to tell, but it definitely makes no sense.

1 It Isn't A Steel-Type

Pokémon sometimes change types when they evolve; this isn't new information. Typically, they either pick up a secondary typing or swap their secondary typing out. Usually, this type change can be explained through the design of the Pokémon. Drapion, for instance, loses its distinctly bug-like appearance to become more of a monster than anything else. However, for Riolu the change isn't that drastic. It grows about a foot in height in gets spikes on its hands and chest. These spikes are apparently enough to make Lucario a steel-type, which doesn't make sense to begin with. However, it's clear that Riolu is also developing these spikes on its body. There's no reason Riolu couldn't also be a steel-type.

NEXT: Pokémon: 10 Things That Make No Sense About The Hoenn Region

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