Cuddly Pokemon and the Demons That Spawned Them

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Cuddly Pokemon and the Demons That Spawned Them

Horrifying murderous creature, I choose you!

Read Full Article

The only one I knew about was the Kappa one. That actually was very cool to read about.

Just read some of the original Pok'e'dex entires, besides from being kind of ridiculous some are down right messed up.
image
Take this mother for instance, who drags sailors to their deaths.
image
Or this twisted thing!... stuff of nightmares.

Great article, I've always found myths from any culture a fascinating window into what their values and life was like. Something interesting I've observed from reading both western and eastern myths is that western heroes tend to be focused on using their wits or skills to solve a problem whereas eastern heroes tend to have a much greater focus on virtue, particularly loyalty to a parent or social superior, though this is anecdotal.

Hmmm...this article ties in quite nicely with this:

Game Theory: Pokémon, Jynx Justified

MatPat recently did this on the origins of Jynx...and this article seems to be more such origins. BTW...is it just me, or is Thunderus based on traditional depictions of the Japanese thunder god, Raiden? (Not to be confused with the MK depiction.)

CAPTCHA: sun tzu says

Well, whatever he says...I'm definitely listening! Just, uh...tell him to stay away from a Vlad "The Impaler" Tepes if he can. Trust me on this one.

Huh, very interesting. I can see where some of the concepts came from...

imageHaha, a series taking creatures like tengu and kitsune and nekomata and making them adorable and only superficially related to the source material.

How silly.

Japanese culture is fun. >:D

Also, regardless of backstory...
image
Still the creepiest pokemon.

I love reading the pokedex entries because of how messed up they are.

-If you see Articuno while lost in the mountains, it's an omen you're going to freeze to death.
-Sableye steals the souls of people.
-Banette gets energy for curses by stabbing it's self with needles.
-Darkrai gives people horrific nightmares (unintentionally of course)

Let's not forget Absol, who's whole reputation is a bringer of natural disasters.

image

Cool stuff. I like that I actually knew a few of these.

Also, I remember that attack of Lombre's being used in Doomsday Arcade.
>_> It's always super effective.

That was really cool. I'd only known of a few.
I think Mawile is by far the creepiest and coolest thing there. I always thought there must have been a story behind that pokemons weird-ass design.

I still find Hypno's pokedex description really creepy, how it once kidnapped a child.

Formica Archonis:
imageHaha, a series taking creatures like tengu and kitsune and nekomata and making them adorable and only superficially related to the source material.

How silly.

Yeah, there are literally thousands of examples like this. It's pretty pervasive culturally.

Rakor:
Japanese culture is fun. >:D

Also, regardless of backstory...
image
Still the creepiest pokemon.

WHAT THE...? It looks like Hurricane Sandy hit Wonka's Factory.

Eclipse Dragon:
I love reading the pokedex entries because of how messed up they are.

-If you see Articuno while lost in the mountains, it's an omen you're going to freeze to death.
-Sableye steals the souls of people.
-Banette gets energy for curses by stabbing it's self with needles.
-Darkrai gives people horrific nightmares (unintentionally of course)

Let's not forget Absol, who's whole reputation is a bringer of natural disasters.

image

Yeah, there are some seriously messed up Pokedex entries, a lot of which have little or nothing to do with Japanese folklore, but it's likely that the culture of Yokai inspired the devs.

Neronium:
The only one I knew about was the Kappa one. That actually was very cool to read about.

Believe it or not, in Hawaii I actually grew up with stories of the kappa since Japanese migrants transplanted a lot of their ghost lore to the islands. People also see the noppera-bo, the faceless ghost, though in Hawaii we tended to call it the Mujina - which in Japan is a name for a type of shape-changing tanuki that often changes into a noppera-bo.

Great article! I always considered Golduck to be very kappa-like.

great article man, iv always had a fascination with myths folklore and urban legends of all kinds. and the japanese yokai are no exception to that, i just think its awesome that these stories and all the wonderful creatures that inhabit them are being preserved for the general public, so that its not just folklorist,historians and geeks like myself that remember them.

The Touhou series turns the yokai into quasi-dark anime girls; Pokemon turns them into fluffy animals. I am noticing a trend here.

Mawile, the cute little Poké with a pair of steel jaws coming out of the back of her head, took inspiration from the futakuchi-onna, a cursed woman whose skull split in the back to reveal a gluttonous second mouth that would scream when it wasn't fed.

I'd feed Mawile, if you know what I mean.

...

Great article. Japanese folklore has always been especially weird and fascinating to me, I love learning more about it.

PunkRex:
image
Or this twisted thing!... stuff of nightmares.

I was hoping this one would come up.

See, I remember catching that fellow on a Friday a couple of years ago, thinking that it was adorable and would be a great addition to my team.

Then I read on the Pokedex that it tries (and fails) to kidnap children and/or send them to the underworld.

I'm not so sure about this article, some of the links are tenuous at best. Both of the lores are large enough that having some crossover isn't surprising. For example, comparing lombre to kappas just because of the lily pad is ridiculous, the pokemon is more strongly rooted in Mexican culture than anything else.
On the other hand, the details around Frosslass were much more compelling, I believe that the author was accurate in this instance. Enough background was given and direct connections between the pokemon lore and folklore were highlighted. However, for every other point, I remain utterly unconvinced that the author isn't just making things up.
Essentially, the article would be better for having more detail, which given three pages, I feel should be present.

Formica Archonis:
imageHaha, a series taking creatures like tengu and kitsune and nekomata and making them adorable and only superficially related to the source material.

How silly.

Touhou doesn't count because they only look cute there all still evil assholes especially chen and mystia (I know you showed aya but she's only kind of a bitch not really evil)the only reason I think they look like that is because they guy who made touhou cant draw to save his life so instead of trying to draw youkai he threw up his hands said there all shape shifters anyway and turned all of the evil monsters into little girls.

I prefer shin megami tensei over pokemon it features youkai without disneyfication and did the concept of
A game in which you fight using monsters earlier and better.

well to be honest they don't have that many youkai Besides also featuring some of their gods most of their mons tends to be from other mythology even lovecraft.

Japanese myths aren't any weirder than most myths they like all myths are the terrifying result of superstitions and bored people with lots of creativity that drink a lot really the only really weird part of most Japanese myths is that everything becomes sentient.

Your cat dog rabbit or whatever pet you have becomes a youkai when he gets old enough and presumably kills you if you treated him badly same for most animals tools and other objects would come to live after a 100 year meaning you could be killed by the old umbrella you threw away.

I'm also starting to think people had a lot of bizarre fetishes back then considering the amount of shapeshifting youkai that fall in love with people.

Also I know it has been mentioned but the pokedex entries can be pretty disturbing.

I only took a brief glance at some of the other comments, and some of them seem to have brought up the issue of whether "Taming" the original legends by making them cute is okay.

Personally, I'm fine with a more family friendly version of critters, provided it helps them fit in with the theme and tone of the narrative in question.

However, what I'd really like to see, is a game that treats the Youkai or their in universe equivalent as if they were equal in rights, status, and personality to humans.

I want to see a Kitsune with ambitions to become a musician, a Kappa that wants to open their own store, and a Nekomata that wants to be an author.

Why? Well, think about it, ancient Youkai would probably work out as having similar states of social development as humans would have had: dark, primitive, anti-social, and violent.

But in a modern day, they would probably have reached a similar state of social progression. And with that, comes all the mundane concerns of modern life.

Once you've got all that, try balancing that familiarity with their historical personality (besides the primitive parts), their powers, their traditions.

...and at that point, you can start stretching them back out to encompass the wider scale of tendency to make them extremely relate-able to humans; starting with the "regular Joe" Youkai working 9 to five, and moving to the extremes of a Saintly one fighting a complete monster of one... And they could all be the same kind of Youkai.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... I'd like to be able to see the Youkai treated as a "living" being with its own thoughts and desires, instead of just being some creature that does it "cause it can", or some other excuse not to give them a personalty by forcing them into a role.

All right, Pokémon don't actually do that,

What? Hell yes, they do. You brought up drowning children and I immediately thought of Frillish (though they drown anyone).

The seemingly innocent one is the one that scared me the most. Lombre, I knew I couldn't trust you.

This article was a great read though!

Robert Rath:

Rakor:
Japanese culture is fun. >:D

Also, regardless of backstory...
image
Still the creepiest pokemon.

WHAT THE...? It looks like Hurricane Sandy hit Wonka's Factory.

It evolves from the trash bag pokemon.

It rather frightened me when I first saw it. Reminds me more of Micky Mouse...which makes it creepier.

Article:

Electrabuzz derives from the man-eating oni, Shiftry's long nose and single-tooth geta mark him as a tengu, and various Pokémon fit the description of tsukumogami

Electabuzz, not ElectRabuzz. Comon, think you'd know better by now!

jk, great article. I think its great that they involve a bit of history and old stories into their pokemons, even if its unknown to most.

That's... that's soooo cool! :D

Bookmarking this article, I need to do some research on a slow day.

Very interesting article. Japanese folklore has always interested me, if not for its weirdness among other things.

I knew about some of these already, but I never knew about Espeon and Electabuzz for example. Though they toned that particular case down a lot,they sure haven't with a lot of the other critters.

I mean, they have a Grim Reaper, a spiteful doll hellbent on getting revenge for being abandoned, a balloon that kidnaps children, a creature of the night that locks people in eternal nightmares... hell, any ghost type Pokemon is most likely evil.

cool article. it shows how all cultures keep adapting their boogeymen.
In the west we totally do the same thing: fairies were not helpful, nice, friendly baing in their original version.

also, we have our analogue to the kuchisake-onna in the west: slenderman

Imp Emissary:
Cool stuff. I like that I actually knew a few of these.

Also, I remember that attack of Lombre's being used in Doomsday Arcade.
>_> It's always super effective.

if I recall correctly Absol can see disaster coming and tries to warn people before it happens its reputation is people getting the wrong end of the stick.

I'd like to see them pull off a pokemon of the woman that has an eyeball in her anus.

I'm fairly sure that Giratina is based off of satan, having 6 spikes, 6 wings and 6 claws in ints origin forme. It was banished by Arceus (who is stated to be the god of all pokemon) because of its sins. So its not just japanese folklore they take these ideas from, not anymore.

A very interesting article and very well written.

I'm sure I won't be the only one who's going to be researching this when I find some spare time

image

while i believe lucario's origin's are more of an Egyptian nature like this guy

image

lucario is one of the many running references to street fighter in nintendo games
his fighting style and moveset anyways
basically a dalhsm/ryu in smash brothers
and in the cartoons as well as smash brothers his sideways aura sphere throwing stance is exactly like ryu's and his nutrual stance is chun li in alot of the cartoon and in smash brothers, there are alot of street fighter fans at nintendo, there are a bunch of refernnces to them

my favorite

image

i wouldn't classify exactly a demonic orgin, but then again there is evil ryu so technically
*shrugs*

ryo02:

Imp Emissary:
Cool stuff. I like that I actually knew a few of these.

Also, I remember that attack of Lombre's being used in Doomsday Arcade.
>_> It's always super effective.

if I recall correctly Absol can see disaster coming and tries to warn people before it happens its reputation is people getting the wrong end of the stick.

I think you have the wrong person friend.

But for what it's worth, I do agree with you.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here