Pokémon fan and Reddit user Kaltzer reimagines Pokémon as literal interpretations of their names, providing some clever and comical depictions.
One Pokémon fan has taken on the interesting endeavor of recreating different Pokémon in the image of their literal names. From the hundreds of Pokémon out there, most of them have names that are already pretty descriptive of their design. One artist takes it a step further to make a more matter-of-fact approach to drawing certain Pocket Monsters.
There are many applications for deriving the English names and constitutions of different Pokémon. For example, the iconic mascot, Pikachu – which has the same name in both Japanese and English – is obtained from “pikapika” which is a Japanese onomatopoeia for a “sparkle” sound and “chu,” which is Japanese for a “squeak” sound. Together they form a name that is pretty appropriate for an electric mouse. Then there are Pokémon like Charmander, with an English name that already evokes what the creature looks like: “char” means to burn or singe, while “mander” is short for salamander, a lizard-like amphibian. Similarly, its Japanese name of Hitokage can be broken down correspondingly with “hi” meaning “fire,” and “tokage” meaning “lizard.”
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Recently, Pokémon fan and Reddit user Kaltzer has generated a variety of fan art recreating Pokémon as their literal name suggests they may look – taking a humorous and whimsical approach to a “true” representation of these creatures. All of Kaltzer’s Reddit art can be found in the link provided, but here is a look at a handful of some of the artist’s clever creations.
Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Houndoom, Magikarp, & More Drawn Literally
The grass-type Pokémon Bulbasaur’s English name comes from “bulb,” like a type of plant such as a garlic bulb, and “saur,” a suffix for lizards, especially extinct ones like dinosaurs. Kaltzer kept the dinosaur part, but reimagined the “bulb” portion to evoke another meaning for the word – one that involves a glass encasing of a light source (i.e., lightbulb). The result resembles a holiday dinosaur with glowing lights for its spines.
This silly yet brilliant representation of the fire and dark-type Pokémon, Houndoom, is depicted as a Basset Hound wearing battle armor, although it also resembles a Dachshund. It brings up connotations of the Beskar armor worn by Mandalorians or that worn by Halo‘s Master Chief. Despite the heavy gear, it somehow looks less menacing than Houndoom’s actual design, although its protective covering certainly portrays a destructive implication.
Magikarp’s actual name derives from “magic” and “carp” – a species of fish, meaning this portrayal isn’t too far off. Kaltzer notes that much of this inspiration comes from the mythical wizard, Merlin. The blue robes, rounded glasses, and long white beard hint at the Disney depiction of the powerful wizard.
The comical Pokémon Psyduck is actually just a water type, as is its more awe-inspiring evolution, Golduck. It may be surprising neither of these are psychic type Pokémon since they both have psychic powers. Here, the artist reworks Psyduck’s design to that of a waterfowl with extrasensory perception like that of a clairvoyant or a fortune teller. Instead of gazing into a crystal ball, however, this Psyduck uses an egg as its orbuculum.
Although Samurott’s original design already encompasses that of an otter and samurai with its seashell-like armor, this drawing turns the quadruped into a bipedal otter, wearing samurai garb rather than having parts of its body resemble it. The katana and Geta sandals (traditional Japanese footwear) seem heavily drawn from Cartoon Network’s Samurai Jack.
Finishing up this collection of literal (and blue-themed) interpretations is a cute, dutiful turtle soldier ready for war. This Wartortle seems much more in alignment for the military than its genuine counterpart, which is slightly more hardened than Squirtle, but not quite as menacing as its final Pokémon evolution, Blastoise. Even with its militia gear, however, this design seems very unsure of what it’s getting into versus the determined look present on the actual Wartortle’s face. The combination of a worried look and tactical armor results in a hilarious Pokémon characterization.
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