Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Ten Lamest Pokemon Names!

I'll return to my regularly scheduled essay format after this, but tonight I bring you a cynical look back at my 1990s childhood; as I am prone to taking often enough.  These are the Pokemon names for which Nintendo and Gamefreak dropped the ball and didn't even try.

10) Ekans

This sounded like meaningless gibberish until we realized that it's just the word, "snake", backwards.  There was ample precedent to call it "Serple", or "Purpent", which would be both more descriptive of exactly what sort of snake (I'm pretty sure that there's no purple snakes in this world, after all) and creative.  Still, at least the lameness was subtle enough in this one; unlike the rest of these.

9) Krabby

I really don't know if they were trying to make a normal animal sound cuter, as in, Doggy, Kitty, Birdy, or Eely, or trying to convey that it's a constant grouch.  Either way, I can't hear it without thinking of Spongebob cooking it into a burger.

Though it does beg the question of exactly how crabs got associated with being grouchy in the first place.  Because they pinch people who pick on them?  Yeah; that's self-defense, genius; almost every animal has some sort.  Are you ignoring this just because they look so different that you can't empathize with them, or because they taste so good you don't care to think about their wishes?

Well, you fail extra hard then, Pokemon staff.  Not only is this name lame; it's also racist!

An attitude they have fortunately moved on from since then!

8) Hippopotas

First of all, I don't know of anything including the syllables "popo" that I can take seriously.  Moreover, though, there's no way this could stay off the list when it needed to be said that removing letters from a word could create results just as stupid as adding them.  It would be like calling Rhyhorn "Rhinocous", or calling Lapras "Pleasiaur", or calling Meowth, "Siamat".  I can't even say this thing's name right without preparing myself, since it is in effect, going against 29 years of saying "hippopotamus" correctly.

7) Seel

Sometimes, when I see the direction literacy is going on such places as the YouTube comments section, I worry that some evil witchdoctor might have revived E. E. Cummings and is  using him to take over the world with terrible spelling and grammar.  What I'm not sure is why I didn't have this worry back in the 1990s, when Pokemon decided to change one letter in an actual animal's name and call it a day.  Granted, I hadn't had as many pretentious literature teachers trying to convince me E. E. Cummings was a good writer at the time, but still, this one is so stupid I at least should have thought something.  Yet at least I know exactly what I'm dealing with when I hear it.  Unlike...

 6) Sawk and Throh

It's a good thing this article includes pictures; otherwise you might assume that one on the left is actually a wooly white tube that rides around on people's feet.  In reality, they're a double-tribute to the ongoing "Striker vs Grappler" battle MMA adores, and also to some of the most forced misspelling ever to pretend they actually named Pokemon.  I have to wonder if you're just supposed to pronounce them like the actual English words they bastardize, or add a dopey drawl to "Sawk" the Hell would I pronounce Throh?!

5) Tauros

If this wasn't a word frequently used to refer to maybe somewhat cool (in a New Age, hipster sense of the word) things, it would be higher on the list, but as it is, it's still on it somewhere, as it consists only of substituting in an exact Greek translation for the word, "bull".  I think they could have done better; like why not "Bullhardy"?  Or "Bulldreaded?"  Or "Bovinihilator"?  Come on; that one has to be a Pokemon name; guys!  Send me post a comment down there with your depiction of what "Bovinihilator" looks like, and I'll give you my Paypal for royalties.

4) Golem


Apparently, a "golem" (Not to be confused with "Gollum"; the ugly materialist creature from LOTR) is an animated stone behemoth in Jewish mythology.  So they applied the name directly to an animated stone behemoth in Pokemon, I guess.  In case you never considered, that's about the equivalent of naming a Dragon type Pokemon, "Dragon".  Or a Ghost Type "Ghost".  The worst offense, though, is that in its original stage, this Pokemon is known by the awesome name, Geodude, which conjures up all sorts of insane mental images of valuable stones asking you to slap them high-five in a mess of dated skateboard lingo.

3) Haunter

As noted above, fortunately the stupidity behind naming a big rock monster, simply, "Golem" did not extend to naming a Dragon Pokemon, simply, "Dragon", or a Ghost Pokemon, simply, "Ghost."  No; they were clearly exercising massive amounts of brain power when they presumably asked, "Hm; what does a ghost do?" and came up with this embarrassment.  I'm not exactly sure what name they should have thought of for this thing, but I do know that by these standards, Pikachu should have been named "Shocker", Hoothoot and/or Noctowl should have been "Hooter", Cubone and/or Marowak should have been "Boner", and Fearow should have been "Pecker".

Which, to be fair, would have been awesome.

2) Mr. Mime

 In all fairness to the people in charge of naming this thing, I have a feeling that no casual observer could have looked at it and come up with a name for it that wasn't a derogatory term for gay people.  Yet since the people in charge were obviously told it was supposed to be a Mime, they had much more to work with, but somehow decided to focus on the possibility that it was also a male mime, and hence we should address it like it was our teacher or boss.  It would take a total of one generation to introduce Pokemon gender; rendering the name potentially inaccurate on top of its lameness.

And this is on a Pokemon that wasn't very charismatic to begin with.  Which makes our final entry all the more tragic.

1) Persian

Somehow, when naming a cat Pokemon, the Pokemon company went back to the old "Golem" trip and just defaulted to the exact name of an actual cat, and that would have been lame enough.  However, what really earns this the number one spot in not only lameness but also stupidity, is that they actually got the wrong breed!  Seriously; that's a Siamese cat crossed with a mountain lion; plus a chakra to make it seem as though it could curse us with its Jedi powers, and they named it after this:
"Rawww; I are thcary, fierthe fighter!  Yawn!"
Not even getting into the immense physical differences between the two, the Persian breed is a lap cat with a belly that would drag in battle, and a perpetually held nose that makes air intake difficult.  Compare that to this description from the games: "Behind its lithe, elegant appearance lies a barbaric side. It will tear apart its prey on a mere whim."

Yeah; fail.

Think of some I missed?  Write about them in the comments!  But don't be surprised if I fail to see them from gaping at Bovinihilator's epic awesomeness.

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