Last week saw mass protests in Hong Kong over the Chinese versions of Pokemon Sun and Moon using the Mandarin pronunciation over the traditional Cantonese pronunciations of the Pokemon, more specifically the franchise’s icon Pikachu. The name change altered the sounding of Pikachu’s name quite a bit and sparked fans to rally in frustration over it. These protests were also apart of a wider political movement in China to protect the believed eradication of the Cantonese language.
Well Nintendo’s Hong Kong Division has released a statement, as translated by Nintendo Everything, in regards to the matter that clarifies the pronunciation of Pikachu.
“Following the announcement of Pokémon Sun/Moon info in May 10th, the new names of the 151 Pokémon appeared in Pokémon Red/Green was also announced. However, the suggestions in the petition was not reflected in the info announcement. At the same time, we did not give detailed explanations, causing severe negative reactions. We sincerely apologize for causing this inconvenience.
“The decision of the inclusion of additional language in Pokémon Sun/Moon was reached after discussion between Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. To help everyone understand the development concept of Pokémon Sun/Moon…
“As for the Chinese name of Pikachu – it will be displayed as「皮卡丘**」in game. However, we never intended to restrict the pronunciation as「皮卡丘 (PeiKaaJau)」, instead we wish that the global pronunciation “Pikachu” will be used. Because of that, whenever the name「皮卡丘」appears in marketing and promotional materials, the pronunciation “Pikachu” will be used.
“We understand the unfamiliarity caused by changes in the pronunciation of some Pokémon.”
So it looks as though Nintendo isn’t in fact changing anything after all. You can put down your torches and pitchforks now Pokemon fans, balance has been restored.