The New Pokemon Series' Name Takes Some Liberties

The current Pocket Monster animated series is called "Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl". That makes sense as that's what the games based on it are called. The name of the new series?

Later this year, Nintendo will release the next generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon: Black & White. A new generation of Pokemon means a new animated series. A new animated series means a new name. It is...

Pokemon: Best Wishes!

Best wishes? Is Pokemon getting married or something? Maybe someone has signed an autograph for the Pocket Monsters? "To Pokemon, Best Wishes..."

Perhaps the series isn't called Pokemon: Black and White because some viewers might assume the show is not in color?

No, no, no. It is actually a word play of sorts. Best Wishes. BW. B&W... Black & White? Pokemon: Black & White? Geddit? So the new program's moniker is somewhat clever in that regards.

Historically, Japan has used the English language (well, pretty much any language) as it sees fit. Japanese incorporates all sorts of lingo and concepts from the outside world. That's fine. Because by doing so, those loan words, called "gairaigo", become Japanese. It is one of the things that makes the language vibrant and alive.

English is the same way, incorporating words from all sorts of language. Take "tycoon", which is from the Japanese "taikun" (大君), meaning something like "lord" or "prince". Most English speakers don't even make the connection - and likewise that's totally fine. Or take the name of this site, Kotaku, which is a made up word based on the Japanese "ko" (小) or "small" and "otaku" (オタク).

If it's totally fine, why am I moaning about this? Because the Japanese title of this series, Pocket Monster: Best Wish! (ポケットモンスターベストウィッシュ), is just better. It's not better by much, but still, it's better.

"Wish" is a fairly common word in Japanese. Heck, Toyota even makes a car called "Wish" (ウィッシュ). That's Japanese band Exile promoting it. Exile did the Street Fighter IV theme.

According to the show's official site, the English phrase "Best Wishes!" is defined as what is said when people leave to go on a trip, and it seems that is the reason it was selected for the show's subtitle. That's simply...incorrect. If that's the feeling they were hoping to evoke, the show should be called "Pokemon: Safe Travels" or even "Pokemon: Bon Voyage"! But, hey, it's their language, their program, and "BV" does not work with "Black and White". Let them do as they please.

Though, Pokemon: Bon Voyage? Like the sound of that.

あにてれ:ポケットモンスター ダイヤモンド・パール [TV Tokyo via ANN]


Comments

    Actually the current Pokemon Series is called "Sinnoh League Victors" and it is awesome.... Get your facts straight

      "Sinnoh League Victors" would be the US version name. I would assume that they were referring to the Japanese name, which is simply as stated above.

        Diamond and Pearl was the 10th Season... Battle Dimension was the 11th... Galactic Battles was the 12th Season and Sinnoh League Victors is the 13th Season currently airing in both the US and Japan...

        Don't mess with me... I know my Pokemon...

          Ha, if you were such a Pokemon fanboy, you would know that the names of the series, such as 'Advance Battle' and 'Sinnoh League Victors' were coined by 4KIDs and POKEMON USA to fit in the schedule of American shows, unlike Japanese.

          The Diamond and Pearl series, currently airing in Japan is the exact same as the one airing in America, happened to be called 'Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors', to make it easier for American children to understand.

          Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_(anime)

          Don't mess with me, I have Google :P

    Before i even got the 'play of words B&W' I immediately thought, maybe Best Wishes was B for Black and W for White.
    Maybe it wasn't a bad choice afterall for those who actually know of the Black & White games?

    Nah, who am I kidding, it's a terrible name!

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