In the United States, we all know Pikachu by his famous name, and in Hong Kong, it was the same idea that those in China knew Pikachu by a certain name. But with the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon releases, Pikachu’s name has been changed in China and people aren’t happy.
Quartz reported that,
Now Nintendo wants to unify them: Pokémon in Greater China will be officially called ?????, or Jingling Baokemeng in Mandarin (Jinglingmeans “spirit” or “elf,” and Baokemeng is a transliteration of Pokémon). Earlier in Hong Kong, it was ?????, Pet Little Elves (or Spirits), while in Taiwan, it was ????, Magic Babies.
So essentially, the name was changed to something else. That’s like someone in the United States taking Pikachu’s famous name and changing it to something. It just isn’t right. And people responded in the only way they knew how: in anger.
Hong Kong was most affected by this decision because the widely accepted language there is Cantonese, only the new name for Pikachu is straight-up Mandarin. Pokemon Sun and Moon are supposed to be the first games in the series to have traditional and simplified Chinese, but those affected say they feel their memories and language aren’t being respected.
Fans protested the name change by collecting over 6000 signatures on a petition and even created a Facebook page to rally support. But we all know Nintendo, and we know they won’t budge on their decision. They aren’t really ones to listen to the fans. I can honestly say I feel for them because if someone came in and just up and changed Pikachu’s name to something else, nothing would feel right. Pikachu is Pikachu and that’s that and nothing else. Pokemon in the United States has a hardcore and dedicated fan base as I’m sure Hong Kong does, so for someone to go and change the name of one of the franchise’s most beloved characters would be an outrage, and I think fans here would react exactly the same.
Pokemon Sun and Moon will be releasing November 18 this year. For more information, you can visit the official website.