Hitmonlee (サワムラー, Sawamurā, Sawamular in original Japanese language versions) is a fictional species of Pokémon in the Pokémon animé, manga, and video game series. It evolves from Tyrogue.
Hitmonlee's name is a combination of hit (suggesting its role as a martial arts pokémon), mon (a common abbreviation for 'monster' in various collectible monster games, such as Digimon and Pokémon), and lee (an allusion to actor and martial artist Bruce Lee). Its Japanese name is most likely a reference to Tadashi Sawamura.
Hitmonlee's anatomy, a humanoid with no discernible head who instead has a face on his chest, is similar to that of the classical Blemmyes.
Hitmonlee is vaguely a humanoid, bipedal monster with a body where its eyes lay on top, a pair of short arms, and two large, flexible legs with three spiky toes each and what appears to be leg warmers on them. His body resembles a foot. He is a diurnal omnivore, though it lacks a mouth, and eats through diffusion. It is an exclusively male species of Pokémon.
Hitmonlee's legs are the most noteworthy features of the Pokémon. The "leg warmers" on Hitmonlee's legs are actually folds of its skin that freely stretch and contract, so that the legs can extend and rebound like springs (hence, its natural ability, Limber, which prevents paralysis). This serves Hitmonlee in both mobility and offense: When in a hurry, Hitmonlee can gradually extend its legs to achieve strides that are extra long and loping, and therefore increase Hitmonlee’s overall traveling speed. In battle, Hitmonlee can perform powerful stretchy kicks with the legs’ spring-like motion that can stretch to almost double their normal length. In addition, it comes as no surprise that Hitmonlee can jump very high with the spring-like power of the legs. The Pokémon also has a perfect sense of balance; it can stand on one leg and use the other to lash out kicks from all angles. The only drawback to its legs is their relative lack of stamina: after each battle, it must rub down its legs and loosen their muscles to overcome fatigue.
Tyrogue will evolve into Hitmonlee if its Attack is greater than its Defense. Other than that, it can only be obtained in Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon Yellow, and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen by winning it at the Fighting Gym in Saffron City. It can be snagged in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness from Cipher Peon Petro at level 38 in the Citadark Isle.
Hitmonlee's movelist has been amended multiple times. In the original games, its movelist was predominantly based on kick attacks. However, in recent games, the addition of moves more commonly associated with fighting pokémon (such as Mind Reader and Foresight) and the extremely synergistic combination of Endure (which ensures that Hitmonlee's HP does not go below 1 on the turn it uses the attack) and Reversal (which does progressively greater damage as its user is hurt, eventually becoming a 200 base power attack at 1HP) increased Hitmonlee's versatility, and its popularity somewhat. With the new series of games (Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, FireRed and LeafGreen, and Emerald), its movepool finally exceeded the slim type coverage of normal and fighting moves when it was given Rock Slide and Earthquake. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Hitmonlee's movelist was augmented even further, as the now-physical fire move Blaze Kick (previously exclusive to Blaziken) was added to its repretoire of level-up moves. This move, its capability to learn Poison Stab, a powerful TM move, and its ability Body Risk, has made Hitmonlee even more diverse and useful than the 2nd and 3rd generations made it. Due to these things, many consider Hitmonlee to be the most usable of its branched evolution line.
Its attack score is in the top 5% of all pokémon, on par with Mewtwo and Mew. Since Pokémon Gold and Silver, Hitmonlee's Special Attack score has been in the bottom 20% of all pokémon, and its Special Defense score has been in the top 10% of all pokémon. In Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Yellow, its Special was in the bottom 20% of all pokémon.
Hitmonlee has a minor cameo in the video game Super Smash Bros. as one of several Pokémon which may emerge from thrown Poké Ball's, aiming for opponents with its Hi Jump Kick. Its cry when released was the source of much debate, as it did not appear to say its name like other Pokemon.
Hitmonlee's first appearance was in episode 29 (The Punchy Pokémon). Since then, it has also been in Pokémon: The Movie, and it had roles in episodes 42 (Showdown at Dark City; as one of the Yas Gym's Pokémon), 138 (Chikorita's Big Upset), 168 (Two Hits And A Miss), 175 (Wobbu-palooza), 235 (A Tyrogue Full Of Trouble), 275 (Gotta Catch Ya Later), and 403 (Saved by the Beldum). In the Battle Frontier season, Ash Ketchum battles with a Hitmonlee. Jimmy also battles a trainer with one in the Pokemon Chronicles episode 'The Legend of Thunder Pt1'.
In Pokémon Special Hitmonlee makes a cameo in Danger: High Voltorb as a mysterious Pokémon aboard the S.S. Anne.
Hitmonlee later appears as one of Bruno's Pokémon, who destroyed Bill's house. Bruno explains that Hitmonlee's legs are so flexible, it's impossible to locate the position of its knees and attack them.
Hitmonlee was also seen as one of Chuck's Pokémon. In the Gym Leader faceoff of Volume 13, it used Mind Reader and Reversal to turn Green's tactics against him.
Trading Card Game
Hitmonlee is a Basic Fighting-Type Pokémon in all of its following appearances on this list:
- Legendary Collection
- Neo Destiny
- EX Unseen Forces
The Unseen Forces card has a Poke-Body titled Stages of Evolution, stating that if Hitmonlee is evolved out of a Tyrogue card, its power increases.
- The following games and their instruction manuals: Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue; Pokémon Yellow; Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2; Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal; Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald; Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen; Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness and Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
- Barbo, Maria. The Official Pokémon Handbook. Scholastic Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-439-15404-9.
- Loe, Casey, ed. Pokémon Special Pikachu Edition Official Perfect Guide. Sunnydale, CA: Empire 21 Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-930206-15-1.
- Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon FireRed & Pokémon LeafGreen Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., August 2004. ISBN 1-930206-50-X
- Mylonas, Eric. Pokémon Pokédex Collector’s Edition: Prima’s Official Pokémon Guide. Prima Games, September 21 2004. ISBN 0-7615-4761-4
- Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon Emerald Version Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., April 2005. ISBN 1-930206-58-5