Top 10 Controversial Pokémon

Now we all are familiar with ‘Pokémon’, one of the most acclaimed franchise series that’s been engraved as part of our childhood. It originally started out from 151 different types of Pokémon, but as the years go by, Game Freak did a great job developing the series, spanning out a total of 6 Generations of Pokémon with a total of 721 Pokémon from the original 151.

With every fame, comes the controversy that goes along with it. Pokémon is no exception. Some spiked huge reaction and some small, but nonetheless, controversy is controversy. If Pokémon controversy is news to you, then you are in for a surprise as this Top 10 Controversial Pokémon will uncover controversial facts that shook the world of Pokémon. Let’s get to it!

10. Mew

  • Generation: First
  • Pokédex #: 151

First up on the list is Mew, although there isn’t much known about this Mythical Pokémon, it is said to be the origin of all Pokémon. Notably, because of the fact that Mew is able to learn every TM, HM moves ever existed in the world of Pokémon. Mew is also known to be an event-exclusive Pokémon in most of the Pokémon game franchise.

The controversy for this Pokémon stems from it being the very first Pokémon trademark ever registered (March 1994), few years way before Pocket Monsters (December 1997). Despite being the first ever Pokémon, namely the origin of Pokémon, Mew is registered in as #151 in the Pokédex database, being the last Pokémon in Generation I. Even when Pokémon Red and Green games were first released, Nintendo wasn’t aware that Shigeki Morimoto, the game designer, and programmer, had Mew programmed into the game.


9. Celebi

  • Generation: Second
  • Pokédex #: 251

Originally, the controversy started when Ash was asked by Prof. Oak to retrieve a mysterious golden-colored PokéBall called GS Ball from Prof. Ivy in Valencia Island which was located in the Orange Archipelago. The initial plan was to have the GS Ball investigated, but Prof. Oak then decided that it was more to it than he can handle so he would have Ash to bring in once again to Kurt, the PokéBall Master in Johto.

The GS Ball gradually gains the attention of millions as there were quite a few episodes in the Pokémon series dedicated to the mysterious ball. But when Ash successfully gave the ball to Kurt, the GS Ball was never mentioned again in the series, leaving fans with a big question mark over the mystery of the GS Ball.

The mystery of the GS Ball was finally revealed in an interview with the Pokémon Anime Director, Masamitsu Hidaka, who confirmed that the GS Ball would have contained the Generation II Pokémon, Celebi, but because Celebi already had a movie dedicated to itself, he felt that it would be redundant to mention Celebi again in the series, therefore never mentioning the GS Ball again in the series.


8. Tentacruel

  • Generation: First
  • Pokédex #: 73

This next Pokémon earned its controversial debut thanks to an episode of the Pokémon animated series. The story starts off with Nastina, who is persistent to build a hotel/theme park in Porta Vista, even if it means destroying the habitat of Tentacool that lived there. Nastina’s plan went a bit overboard as she was even willing to give out a $10,000 reward to whoever was able to repel off the Tentacool. Eyes on the prize, Team Rocket got involved with the plan, but the plan took a turn for the worse, as one of the Tentacool evolved into a gigantic Tentacruel. Fueled with rage over their destroyed homes, the Tentacruel began destroying skyscraper buildings and the city.

The mass destruction caused by Tentacruel became the major contributing factor of this specific episode to be banned for a few years from airing in the U.S. as it was attributed to the event of September 11th terrorist attack. Even though the episode was banned from airing, the scene of said destruction remained uncut from the opening sequence.


7. Drifloon

  • Generation: Fourth
  • Pokédex #: 425

Moving on to the number 7 spot on the list, we have Drifloon. In hindsight, this balloon-like Pokémon might appear to be cute and cuddly, but it, in fact, holds quite a bizarre secret. According to folklore, this dual-type Ghost/Flying Pokémon is referred to as the “Signpost for Wandering Spirits.”

What’s so controversial about this Pokémon stems from its dark and bizarre Pokedex entry, which specified that Drifloon is Pokémon that takes children to the “world of the dead” in the original Japanese version. It was then changed into “It tugs on the hands of children to steal them away.” in the English version of the Pokémon game. Granted, the Pokémon is a ghost-type and is meant to be creepy, but it does beg the question, “how creepy is too creepy?” You decide.


6. Ludicolo

  • Generation: Fourth
  • Pokédex #: 272

This next Pokémon might seem cheerful and harmless, but h

You might wonder how a cheerful, happy-looking Pokémon like Ludicolo could end up in the Top 10 Controversial Pokémon list, but the fact remains that this Pokémon is attributed to the stereotypical Mexican dancer. This sparked some level of controversy amongst the Pokémon fans but it wasn’t too serious, as Ludicolo was remarked as an overall positive thing.

The fact that Ludicolo’s name derived from the Spanish word ‘Loco’ which meant crazy, some speculated that this also becomes one of the contributing factors that fueled the controversy. All in all, there were no actions taken by Game Freak or Nintendo as a measure to resolve the issue.


5. Lopunny

  • Generation: Fourth
  • Pokédex #: 428

So far, the list contains Pokémon that contains stereotypical resemblance of things in real life, but this next Pokémon is known to be overly sexy. Lopunny has been a target victim for parents who complain that the design on this Pokémon is too sexy and inappropriate for kids to watch. It was even assumed that Lopunny was based on the infamous playboy bunny, or a lady wearing fur boots and cuffs.

It sparked some attention to this Pokémon, but ultimately, the initial design of said Pokémon is not at fault. And it all comes down to how a person perceives something. Some might think that it’s inappropriate, some think it’s normal. What do you think?


4. Registeel

  • Generation: Third
  • Pokédex #: 379

Taking the number 4 spot on the list is one of the Trio Regi Legendary Pokémon known in the Hoenn region, Registeel. Just like its name, Registeel’s body is entirely made of steel, with 7 glowing red eyes but no mouth, giving it a mysterious look.

This steel-plated Pokémon was known to be a source of controversy thanks to its sprite design. In the original Diamond & Pearl Pokémon game, the hand gesture of Registeel resembles that of a Nazi salute, with one arm reaching out forward. The sprite of said Pokémon was then edited in the European version of the Pokémon game.


3. Kadabra

  • Generation: First
  • Pokédex #: 64

Entering the top 3 spot of the Top 10 Controversial Pokémon list is Kadabra. The case pertaining to the Kadabra controversy started in the late 2000s, when a man named Uri Geller tried to sue Nintendo for a total amount of £60 million, claiming that Kadabra’s Pokémon design was based on a parody of himself, since he was also a psychic that has the ability to bend spoons, similar to Kadabra’s original artwork of holding a bent spoon.

Even though Uri’s lost the lawsuit, Nintendo took action as the necessary precaution to avoid further altercations and lawsuits from Uri. This resulted in the printing of Kadabra TCG cards to be ceased immediately. The usage of Kadabra TCG cards was also banned at one point, and Nintendo eventually printed Abra cards that have an attack that allowed it to evolve directly into Alakazam, skipping the Kadabra evolution line.

Kadabra pokemon Capture


2. Porygon

  • Generation: First
  • Pokédex #: 137

This next controversial Pokémon is responsible for hundreds of children having seizures, Porygon. The controversy originated from an episode of the Pokémon animated series titled “Dennō Senshi Porigon” which translates into "Cyber Soldier Porygon”. The scene responsible for the controversy was when Ash’s Pikachu uses its Thunderbolt attack in order to stop some vaccine missiles. The huge explosion from the attack resulted in a rapid flashing sequence of red and blue lights.

After this particular scene, viewers complain to have experience dizziness, headaches, nausea, some even experienced seizures. The event led to hundreds of children getting sent to the hospital. It was speculated that only a fraction of the victims were diagnosed to have photosensitive seizures. After the airing of this infamous episode, the entire Pokémon series came to a stop as it was suspended and it went into a 4 months hiatus break before airing again.

Porygon pokemon Capture


1. Jynx

  • Generation: First
  • Pokédex #: 124

By far, the most controversial Pokémon ever existed, is Jynx. Taking the number 1 spot on the list, the controversy brought by this Pokémon was taken seriously by both Nintendo and Game Freak. It all started when Carole Boston Weatherford, claimed that Jynx’s initial design was a mockery towards the African-American culture, as it resembles the stereotypical African-American with dark black skin and bulging lips.

The complaint sparked some serious issues in the Pokémon community, forcing Nintendo and Game Freak to make some altercations to the Pokémon design itself because it was criticized for being racist. Although Jynx’s design was originally inspired by a trending fashion style in that time, the media still had the episode pertaining to said Pokémon to be banned from airing. Even after Nintendo and Game Freak decided to change the color from the original black to purple, the episode was still banned from airing in the U.S. thanks to its resemblance to the African-American community.

jynx pokemon Capture


Final Thoughts

With each popularity, there is always a price to pay. The Pokémon series being to exception as well. Judging by the sheer impact of how the Pokémon series affect the viewers and fans around the world, it is without a doubt that some will perceive it to be bad, and some to be just the opposite. At the end of the day, it all depends on the perspective of each individual.

That’s it! We have reached the end for yet another article about Pokémon, the Top 10 Controversial Pokémon list. After reading this article, which one do you think is the most controversial? Do you have any other Pokémon controversy that should’ve made it onto the list? Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

Winfrey Widjijanto

Writer

Author: Winfrey Widjijanto

Hi! My name is Winfrey and I come from Indonesia. I’m currently residing in Jakarta to pursue my bachelor degree but I hope in the near future I get to travel to new places including Japan! Still in search of my passion though, but so far, music and writing seems to interest me the most. (Just starting out) Desperately trying to learn new things and striving to become a better person each passing day. Cheers from Jakarta!

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