Absol (Japanese: アブソル, Hepburn: Abusoru) is a fictional creature in the Pokémon franchise. It was first introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Absol is a Pokémon that can predict natural disasters, and due to its attempts at warning humans of said disasters, it has been erroneously labeled as a doom-bringer. Absol also appears in the animated series and in a film, as well as in other Pokémon-related games and merchandise. Since its introduction, Absol has been well received by critics and fans, with most of the praise being toward its design.
Absol is a Dark-type Pokémon with a felid appearance. It is known as the "Disaster Pokémon" because it can predict natural disasters such as earthquakes and tidal waves with its sickle-like horn, and appears before such disasters happens. It lives in the rugged mountains, and only leaves to warn people of natural disasters with its innate ability to sense them through subtle changes in the environment. People often accuse Absol of causing the disasters themselves, resulting in its reputation as a doom-bringer. Absol has white fur with a dark blue face, tail, and a scythe-like growth on the right side of its head. Its design has been described as yin and yang-themed by Jeff Marchiafava of Game Informer and Siobhan Whitebread of WhatCulture. It was given a "Mega Evolution" in Pokémon X and Y, which sees the yin and yang-styled fur on its head become more evident, according to Marchiafava, while the fur around the back of its mane shoots upward and appears to look like a pair of wings.
Absol first appeared in the 2002 video games Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and could be found on Route 120. It also appeared on Route 120 in Pokémon Emerald, released in 2004 (Japan), or 2005 (North America, Europe, and Australia). Absol appears in Route 213 in a swarm during Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, or on the summit of Mount Coronet in Pokémon Platinum. Absol could be found in Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver using the Hoenn sound in many locations, including Dark Cave, Union Cave, Slowpoke Well, the Whirl Islands, Cliff Cave, Mount Mortar, Ice Path, Tohjo Falls, Victory Road, Diglett's Cave, Mount Moon, Rock Tunnel, the Seafoam Islands, Mount Silver, and Cerulean Cave. If you transfer an absol in, it will be found in the mountain area of Pal Park. In Pokémon Black and White, Absol appears in the Giant Chasm, a place that disaster is said to fall upon those who enter. It also appears in Route 13. In the sequel, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, it can be found in Route 13, Route 14, and Route 23's hidden grotto. In the dream world, it can be found in Rugged Mountain. Absol can be found in Pokémon X and Y on Route 8, or in a dark friend safari. Absol appears in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on Route 120. In Pokéemon Sun and Moon on Mount Lanakila or in Tapu Village. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team (2005), an Absol makes a short appearance in Frosty Forest. It also appears as an NPC in PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure.
Outside the video game series, Absol appears in the sixth film based on Pokémon, Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker (2003). It acts as Jirachi's protector and has to help Ash Ketchum and his friends to get Jirachi to the place where it must return to be in safe on time. However, Butler, a magician who is trying to capture Jirachi, stopped it and after being released it got consumed by the fake Groudon. Absol appears as a major figure in a 2004 episode of Advanced Battle. In the episode titled "Absol-ute Disaster!", Ash arrives in a village where the people think Absol is causing disasters and wants to prove they are wrong. Absol also appears in the episodes "What I Did for Love" and "May, We Harley Drew'd Ya!" of Battle Frontier, and in "Mutiny in the Bounty!" of Diamond and Pearl. The Mega Evolution version of Absol first appeared on "The Strongest Mega Evolution: Act I" special of the XY series, and also appears in the 2014 film Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction. Absol also appears in the manga Pokémon Adventures.
Absol received generally positive reception by fans and critics. Exploring its popularity, it has appeared in several Pokémon-related merchandise, including key chains and plush dolls of both its regular and Mega Evolution likeness. IGN editor "Pokémon of the Day Chick" called Absol the "neatest Pokémon design since Umbreon", while the site's staff stated "Absol looks really cool (not quite sure what it is exactly), but it's also one of the more interesting Pokémon, period" after it being voted as the 75th best Pokémon in a poll conducted by the site. Through a Official Nintendo Magazine pool, readers voted Absol the best third generation Pokémon. His ability to predict disasters and the fact he is mistaked as bringing doom is "downright creepy" in Becky Hollada and Josh Max of Nintendo World Report opinions, because "as we've seen in films like The Ring, something bad is coming is almost just as bad as the thing itself." While also found Absol "just so creepy", Whitebread elected Absol's design as the seventh best of all time Pokémon in a 2013 article when she noted "Absol is designed to be creepy, and fits the brief perfectly." Marchiafava deemed Absol "by far the best Pokémon I've seen in a long time". While criticized how the name "Mega Absol" sounds and the fact that Mega Evolutions were more like "Different Hairstyle Pokémon", Marchiafava said "Mega Absol is legitimately cooler than normal Absol, though." Thomas East, writing for Official Nintendo Magazine, stated "You wouldn't have thought it could look any better than it already does", while GamesTM compared its appearance to the characters of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.