Pikachu is without a doubt the most well known Pokemon in existence. With over 726 Pokemon in total, this is certainly an impressive feat.
The cute yellow mouse Pokemon will be getting a new name in localized versions of the upcoming Sun and Moon Pokemon games for the Nintendo 3DS in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In previously translated Pokemon media and games released in the region, China had their own translations done that suited the local languages. Now its a unified change for the region taking Pikachu’s currently name 比卡超 (Bei-kaa-chyu) in Hong Kong to 皮卡丘 (Pikaqiu).
Zheping Huang from Quartz explains the issue:
“Pikachu was originally translated as 比卡超 (Bei-kaa-chyu) in Hong Kong. Now it is named 皮卡丘 (Pikaqiu). While the name 皮卡丘 in Mandarin sounds similar to the global name Pikachu (as it was always called in China and Taiwan), it reads as Pei-kaa-jau in Cantonese, which doesn’t sound the same at all.”
Pokemon fans in Hong Kong are furious over Pikachu’s name change and are even taking to the streets to protest the change. The usual Facebook pages and petitions are present but what’s surprising is that a small group of fans event went to the Japanese consulate to sing the Cantonese National Song and demand that Nintendo not change the name.
Pikachu’s next game outing will be in Pokemon Sun and Moon which releases worldwide on November 18 for the Nintendo 3DS.
What do you think of the situation? Is Nintendo right to change the name? Let us know in the comments.