As I've said before, the pattern isn't so much that of unpopularity as it is of there being vocal backlash against each fire starter, which incineroar hasn't been exempt from (I've heard quite a few say it's too anthropomorphized and is too much of a wannabe fighting type due to resembling a wrestler).I'm pretty sure Gaogaen (Incineroar) had a rather big following when it debuted, so at the very least the supposed "pattern" of final stage Fire-type Starters being hated since Gen V has already been broken.
At least pokemon doesn't have any pokemon that are literally just a humans with clothes like Angewomon from Digimon. Probably one of Emboar's main problems was that fans didn't expect Pignite and Emboar to have a "Fat Wrestler" motif.
I know i'm crude but on the other spectrum when people take too much liking to a pokemon design it can snowball out of control and into the dar darker corners of the internet fanart. Where Anthro motifs gets out of hand with pokemon like Gardevoir and Lopunny. Even Renamon who is similar to Lucario hasn't exactly been safe either going full on furry.
The one complaint I might see some having is that delphox is its looking a bit "girly" for a usually-male starter, but even then, I'd say the design could very well read as an androgynous mage archetype, moreso than braixen, which apparently isn't as subject to the backlash. I haven't seen those videos (or at least don't recall them), so perhaps I might get more of an understanding if I watch them.
I wouldn't say transitioning to a bipedal form is completely new, seeing as there have always been cases like rhyhorn > rhydon or lairon > aggron which have become bipedal upon evolution. I was just thinking how well-liked rhydon is while being a stance-converted 'mon (with even quite a few of its dex entries referencing the fact). I suppose what is getting a bit more common is the evolved forms adopting human character archetypes while the unevolved form is a relatively straight animal (i. e. bunnelby going from a plain-old rabbit to the construction-worker-esque diggersby, the relatively straight mongoose yungoos becoming the detective-like gumshoos, etc.), something which isn't the case with the likes of rhydon or aggron which basically read as kaiju-type figures.The starter bipedalism is unfortunately a trend with not only starters but also with Pokémon general, as newer designs try to mix moe / anime uwu with a Digimon feel, but it's certainly more notable with starters due to the population sample size (only one Water line absolutely avoid bipedalism, for example).
To be fair, having fennekin temporarily become bipedal as braixen, then revert back to quadrupedal as delphox would be kind of weird. I guess wartortle does get those foamy tails it promptly loses when it evolves, and grovyle also gets a temporary head-leaf, but still, designs in an evolution line should ideally represent development that builds on itself (species which form cocoons notwithstanding).Fennekin for example was fine as a quadrupedal. Braixen could have been excused for her bipedalism via furry waifu factor (even Pokkén plays it strong, starting with the trailers, her super has her sending a kiss to the camera; they knew what they were doing). Delphox? It has none of that waifu factor going on for it. The ear hairtuffs are just weird, it's disproportionately tall, and it loses the "butt stick" appeal. There's also quite some decent fanmade quadrupedal Delphox (and Braixen) versions that feel more in-line with what Fennekin was going for by itself (not as part of a trio though!).
I feel that Delphox is so underrated. I love it so muchI dunno. Delphox, Incineroar, Cinderace are pretty popular (I personally don't care for Incineroar but it was popular in the VGC iirc). Actually, "burly" like Incineroar or Emboar might be the problem: the worry of being "just another two-legged muscle-bound tough guy" overshadows all the hype. Why else was Fennekin revealed to know psychic moves from its first appearance?
But in the end we come to appreciate the final results for what they're worth.
Angemon and Angewomon make sense given their motifs. Also, the main digimon from Tamers are even more justified since Dukemon, Sakuyamon, SaintGargomon and Justimon were the results of the base digimon fusing with their respective human partners.At least pokemon doesn't have any pokemon that are literally just a humans with clothes like Angewomon from Digimon. Probably one of Emboar's main problems was that fans didn't expect Pignite and Emboar to have a "Fat Wrestler" motif.
Me tooHey, I think Incineroar is cool.