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Who Dat Pokémon?
Welcome to the first installment of the weekly RPGamer series, "Who Dat Pokémon?" As everyone should be aware, Pokémon Black / White is going international this March. Of the one-hundred fifty some-odd critters in the game, only eight have definite names in English (a few more if one assumes that the legendaries won't experience any name changes). For now, we can only guess at what some of the more interesting critters will be named, and that's half the fun!
Each week, we're presenting two Pokémon, either an evolving pair or a version-specific matched set. We'll explain (as best we can) what the Japanese name is supposed to mean, and then have our panel of staffers make their own guesses as to what they should be called. First up, the dynamic duo of Darumakka and Hihidaruma!
(pictures taken from Bulbapedia)
Darumakka and Hihidaruma are both variations on the traditional Japanese statue of Daruma, a particularly manic Buddhist monk who brought the Zen school to China and was famous for his ill-tempered rages. For Darumakka, the monk's name was fused together with a Japanese word, makka, which means "pure red." For Hihidaruma, there's a triple wordplay involved. Hidaruma, which uses the same kanji as the monk's name, literally means "a man covered in flames." I know this mainly from reading the subtitles when I watch CSI. The word hihi means "baboon" in Japanese (also means lecher / dirty old man, hence the eyebrows). So Hihidaruma means something like "dirty old baboon which happens to be on fire." I must say it looks the part.
Now it's time for the guessing to begin! Here's what our panel of staffers think they should be called:
And as fate would have it, Hihidaruma already has a name in English. It was announced Dec. 27th. The original version of this page was actually written December 26th. C'est la vie.
Be sure to let us know on the message board which names you like best, and tune in next week!
Your man in Japan,
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