Hello and welcome to the first edition of our new weekly column: Who’s that Pokemon⁈ Each week we’re going to be taking a Pokemon and discussing a brief canonical history of that Pokemon along with the basis of their design. For the first column we will be tackling Bronzor.
Bronzor is a dual type Steel/Psychic Pokemon, first appearing in Generation IV of Pokemon, initially encounterable in Route 206 in Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl on the Nintendo DS (as well as the Wayward Cave, Turnback Cave, and Mt. Coronet). It made it’s first anime appearance in a brief cameo in the movie The Rise of Darkrai. The first hints of the object upon which Bronzor is based are in the pokedex entries from Diamond and Pearl, the Diamond Pokedex reads: “Implements shaped like it were discovered in ancient tombs. It is unknown if they are related.” While the Pearl pokedex entry reads: “X-ray photos were taken to check its body structure. Nothing appeared, however.”
What is this strange Pokemon? Many US fans have trouble recognizingthe object upon which it is based at first glance, and that makes it a perfect specimen for this first column. Bronzor is, actually, a mirror!
But that doesn’t look like any mirror I’ve ever seen?
Bronzor’s Japanese name is actually a portmanteau of a Japanese word and an English word, like many Pokemon: “Dohmirror.” This name combines the words Dokyo and Mirror.
Polished bronze mirrors, or dokyo, have been uncovered in archeological digs dating back to the Yayoi Period (300BC-300AD) in fairly huge amounts. It is believed that originally these mirrors were brought to Japan from Korea and China (the Chinese-style bronze mirror was called “Shinjukyo” or “deity and beast mirror”) as similar styles to the earliest mirrors discovered have also been found in archeological digs in those areas, however by the end of the Yayoi Period the mirrors had taken a distinctive appearance that is unique to ancient Japanese culture.
There is some debate about the function of the central spherical knob on the back of many dokyo, it has been suggested that either a leather or corded strap could be wound through this knob to function as a handle, or that the mirrors were on much larger straps to be worn around the neck during religious ceremonies.
Did you know about the origins of Bronzor? What other Pokemon would you like to see covered in this series? Tell us more in the comments!