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Pokemon: Why Jynx Is the Series’ Most Infamous Design

Pokemon has had some great designs from the very beginning, but a few of the early Pokemon simply missed the mark. Chief among those is Jynx.

Pokemon has a long and storied history at this point, with over twenty years of games, films, toys, cards, and more. Pokemon has a wealth of different designs, with over 800 unique Pokemon to date. The first generation continues to have some of the most memorable designs, like the iconic Pikachu.

Pokemon Red and Blue mostly hit the mark with its 150 Pokemon, but there were a few designs that didn't quite stick the landing. Chief among the original Pokemon is Jynx, which remains one of the most infamous designs the series has ever seen.

Related: 10 Pokémon So Dangerous, Only Tiger King Would Want One As A Pet

The Pokemon series has since redesigned Jynx, but the original version was controversial, for pretty obvious reasons. Here's why Jynx is Pokemon's most infamous design.

Jynx was introduced with the first generation of Pokemon and it's original design, as seen above, had a very questionable look. The Pokemon had a disturbing similarity to the idea of blackface in the West. Blackface had its founding in 1800s theater but became widely known as a racist caricature of African Americans. There's an obvious stigma behind it, and Jynx was far too close to Blackface for comfort. There's never been confirmation on if Jynx's design was intentionally this way or not, but even the Pokemon's early Pokedex entries are a little strange. Red's entry reads "It seductively wiggles its hips as it walks. It can cause people to dance in unison with it."

After that, Pokemon Stadium's entry says "Talks in a strange, incomprehensible language. It is known for its weird wiggling that causes people to dance." These Pokedex entries certainly seem a little atypical, and in the grand scheme of things it's no surprise that Jynx was redesigned. Jynx was met with criticism right from the get-go, and it changed how the Pokemon Company approached certain aspects of the series.  For example, the first Pokemon episode to feature Jynx (Episode 49 - Holiday Hi-Jynx) never aired in the US.

After years of complaints, Nintendo redesigned Jynx to have a purple design, and episodes of the anime that included Jynx were edited in overseas markets. Interestingly, the Virtual Console releases of early Pokemon games, like Yellow, have a purple Jynx. The Pokemon Company has tried to rectify mistakes, but the exact nature of Jynx's inspiration and creation still remains unknown.

Next: Over 86,000 Counterfeit Pokemon Figures Caught By U.S. Customs Bust

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