This touching four-panel artwork is making people cry around the Internet.
With people around the world swept up in the pursuit of monsters from the augmented reality game Pokémon Go, there’s no real need to know anything about the characters other than how to swipe a ball across the screen at them in order to catch ’em all. With more than 700 Pokémon in the franchise, it’s hard to keep track of all the fairies, ghosts and animals that appear in the compendium, but for many fans there’s one that stands out for his heartbreaking backstory: Cubone.
if you ever think you're having a bad day, remember that cubone is literally called the lonely pokémon. https://t.co/fuNrOtm8Qh—
Elena Calderone (@elenacalderonee) August 01, 2016
Known as the Lonely Pokémon, Cubone wears a skull as a helmet, cries on nights with a full moon as he sees his mother’s likeness on its surface, and stains the skull with his tears. If that’s not enough to make you cry, Cubone’s mother died while protecting him from Team Rocket, who was attempting to poach the two. She was killed by a stun baton while Cubone was running away. With this origin story in mind, Twitter user and artist @ created a four-panel artwork dedicated to the lonely Pokémon, simply entitled “Mum”.
In the top image, Cubone can be seen holding a flower as he walks by the motherly, nurturing Pokémon Leavanny, who cradles Sewaddle while placing a loving leaf-hand on Swadloon. In the second image, Cubone watches the lion cub Litleo share a tender moment with the female Pyroara.
イーブイ松本 (@ev_matsu) May 10, 2015
The final two panels show Cubone, with nothing but a flower at his mother’s grave, who eventually finds some comfort by curling up in the embrace of his mother’s ghost.
While the artwork originally appeared on Twitter in May last year, it’s being liked and retweeted again in light of the augmented reality game’s immense popularity. With more than 108,000 likes, Twitter users are being brought to tears by the heartbreaking images, leaving comments like:
“Waahhhh…I never had emotions like this while playing the game!”
“The poor child. This brought tears to my eyes straight away.”
“These pictures are so moving. The relationship between a child and its mother is so precious.”
“Cubone has had such a sad childhood.”
“This brings back memories of the tear-jerking episode where Cubone’s mother hugs him as a ghost.”
It’s true that the final image here is reminiscent of a heartbreaking scene in the anime series Pokémon Origins, where Cubone races to his mother’s spirit, who appears as a ghost warning people of Team Rocket. For an overview of that episode, check out the video below. Just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby first!