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Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam

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Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam
Pokémon series character
File:AbraKadabraAlakazam.png
Abra (top left), Kadabra (top right), and Alakazam (bottom middle)
National Pokédex
Poliwrath - Abra (#63) - Kadabra (#64) - Alakazam (#65) - Machop
First gamePokémon Red and Blue
Designed byKen Sugimori
Voiced by
  • EN: Maddie Blaustein (4Kids)
  • EN: Bill Rogers
  • JP: Unshō Ishizuka

Amazon.com Logo.png Search Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam on Amazon.

Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam, known in Japan as Casey (ケーシィ, Kēshii), Yungerer (ユンゲラー, Yungerā), and Foodin (フーディン, Fūdin), are three Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise that are linked through evolution. Abra evolves into Kadabra after gaining enough experience in battle, and Kadabra evolves into Alakazam after being traded to another trainer. Created by Ken Sugimori, they first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and later appear in subsequent sequels. They have appeared in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. All are categorized as the Psi Pokémon. Using self-hypnosis, Abra spends 18 hours a day sleeping, unable to utilize its abilities unless rested. This behavior ceases once it evolves into Kadabra, known as the strong psychic that emits alpha waves affected by its current mental state. Able to remember everything since its birth, Alakazam's IQ is around 5000 and can outperform a supercomputer. Alakazam is also one of the handful of Pokémon to be capable of undergoing Mega Evolution, which increases its strength and makes its appearance undergo a few noticeable changes.

In the Pokémon anime, Abra and Kadabra appear under the ownership of Sabrina. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Alakazam plays a large supporting role in the plot of the game. All three appear in the Pokémon Adventures manga in various roles. IGN described Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam as "losing most of its charm" as it progressed. Calling Abra cute, they describe Kadabra as having "a bit of that personality", and Alakazam as being a "distinctly grim, foreboding character".

Design and characteristics[edit]

Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam were three of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue.[1][2] Originally called "Casey", "Yungerer", and "Foodin" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children.[3] Abra and Kadabra were initially intended to be named Hocus and Pocus (which were also the original names in the Pokémon Red and Green Beta Version) for American audiences, but were instead changed to Abra and Kadabra, based on the famous incantation along with Alakazam.[4][5][6] Alakazam's Japanese name Foodin was inspired by a rough translation of Harry Houdini's last name.[6]

Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam are bipedal Pokémon characterized by their humanoid body structure and somewhat fox-like appearance. They look like they are wearing armor, as they have two pauldron-shaped pieces on their shoulders and a fauld-like piece around their chest. Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam have three fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot, with two toes in the front on either side and one in the back near the ankle. Abra and Kadabra also have thick tails the same gold color as the rest of its body, except for a brown band located near the top. Kadabra and Alakazam have relatively large mustaches, which are shorter in female species. Kadabra has a red star-shaped symbol on its forehead, and three red wavy lines on its fauld-like torso. After evolving into Alakazam, the creatures no longer have the Zener markings and tails,[6] while their heads become much larger, resulting in extremely powerful mental powers. Alakazam undergoes slight changes upon Mega Evolving into Mega Alakazam, as its overall color scheme becomes slightly paler, it gains a white beard alongside its now white mustache, a considerably thinner torso, and a red gem-like organ on its forehead.[7]

Abra uses various extrasensory powers, even when sleeping.[8] With the ability to read minds, they can sense danger,[9] teleporting when it does and can do so quickly enough to create visual doubles.[9][10] Using self-hypnosis, Abra spends 18 hours a day sleeping, unable to utilize its telekinesis unless rested.[11][12][13] This behavior ceases once it evolves into Kadabra, a strong psychic that emits alpha waves affected by its current mental state.[14][15] These waves can trigger headaches in nearby people and can cause machines to malfunction.[14][16][17][18] Once it evolves into Alakazam, it has mastered every type and form of psychic ability, and its brain continually grows.[19] This causes its head to become too heavy for its neck, requiring telekinesis to hold it upright.[20] Able to remember everything that it has experienced since hatching as an Abra, Alakazam has an IQ that exceeds 5,000 and can outperform a supercomputer.[19][21] Both Kadabra and Alakazam utilize spoons generated mentally to enhance their abilities, two for the latter, and can increase them further by closing their eyes.[22][23][24] Upon Mega Evolving, Mega Alakazam's mental abilities become even more pronounced due to it manifesting an organ on its forehead that emits psychic power.[7] It also manifests three additional spoons alongside the two it possessed as Alakazam.[7] Kadabra and Alakazam can engage in precognition, while all three Pokémon in the evolution line are capable of creating spaces where battle factors are affected.[25]

Appearances[edit]

In video games[edit]

The first video game appearance of Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam was in Pokémon Red and Blue versions. When encountered in the wild, Abra will always use Teleport to attempt to escape the battle on the first turn. Abra evolves into Kadabra after gaining enough experience in battle, and Kadabra evolves into Alakazam after being traded to another trainer. Abra and Kadabra later appear in every subsequent sequel. In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, before the Elite Four are defeated for the first time, an Abra appears as an NPC at the Indigo Plateau area, which will teleport the player character back to New Bark Town.[26] This NPC appears again in their remakes, but does not perform this function.[27] In the main game series, many trainers use Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam in their teams. Notable trainers include Saffron City Gym Leader Sabrina;[28] Blue, the player's rival in Pokémon Red and Blue and their remakes;[28][29] Silver, the player's rival in Pokémon Gold and Silver and their remakes;[26][27] Salon Maiden Anabel from the Hoenn Battle Frontier;[30] and Sinnoh Elite Four member Lucian.[25] Outside of the main series, Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam appeared in Pokémon Pinball, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, and the Pokémon Ranger games, while Abra and Alakazam appeared in Pokémon Puzzle League and Abra appeared in PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure and its sequel, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Alakazam plays a large supporting role in the plot as the leader of a Gold Rank rescue team along with Tyranitar and Charizard.[31] Abra appears as a Poké Ball Pokémon in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, using Teleport to warp itself and fighters off the stage, potentially KO'ing them.

In anime[edit]

In the Pokémon anime, the Saffron City Gym Leader, Sabrina owns an Abra, which she sends out in a battle against the series protagonist, Ash. After battling, Sabrina's Abra evolves into Kadabra, causing Ash to forfeit the match due to Kadabra's new and more powerful psychic abilities.[32] Ash later returns for a rematch, and Ash's Haunter makes Sabrina laugh, which causes Kadabra to also laugh due to the psychic bond it has with Sabrina. Because of Kadabra and Sabrina's laughter, they are unable to fight, and hand over the gym badge.[33] Abra later appears in the series under the ownership of Mira, who offers to teleport everyone to Hearthome city using her Abra, but instead teleports them to a flooded city to find a Poké Ball containing a Sandshrew that was lost in the newly flooded lake.[34] One of Abra and Kadabra's other appearances is living in an abandoned mining colony with several other Psychic-type Pokémon.[35] Alakazam's first appearance was as a giant Alakazam awakened near the site of the Pokémopolis ruins.[36] Alakazam has also been owned by many notable trainers, such as Luana, the Gym Leader of Kumquat Island,[37] Eusine,[38] Anabel,[39][40] and Kenny.[41]

In printed adaptations[edit]

In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Abra makes a cameo as the stolen Pokémon of the Pokémon Fan Club President.[42] Later when Red frees the Pokémon kidnapped by Lt. Surge; instead of his beloved Abra, the President of the Pokémon Fan Club finds himself with a not-so-cute Alakazam.[43] Like her anime counterpart, Sabrina also owns a Kadabra.[44] After Red's aptitude test to be the Gym Leader of Viridian City, a swarm of wild Pokémon suddenly appear outside the Gym after being attracted by Pokémon March music, one of which is an Alakazam. Blue captures all of them with his Scizor.[45] Alakazam is seen again as part of Blue's team for the Gym Leader faceoff,[46] and again as one of the Pokémon in Viridian Gym. It defeated Yellow's Pikachu easily using a combination of Role Play and ThunderPunch.[47] Green is seen to have an Abra, using its Teleport move to transport Silver away to a safer location.[48]

Cultural impact[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

IGN described Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam as "losing most of its charm" as it progressed. Calling Abra "cute", they described Kadabra as having "a bit of that personality", and Alakazam as being a "distinctly grim, foreboding character".[49] At the same time, they cited them as one of the "most versatile" groups of characters in the franchise.[50] IGN also listed Alakazam, and to a lesser extent Kadabra, as one of the "best Psychic types", alongside Mew, Mewtwo, and Starmie. They commented that Alakazam was good for "down-to-Earth" players who don't want to use legendaries like Mew or Mewtwo.[51] They further described Alakazam as "arguably the single most popular non-legendary Psychic type in any of the current games" and as a "brilliant yet brittle brainiac".[52] Boys' Life named Abra one of the five "coolest" Pokémon from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen at fourth.[53] The St. Petersburg Times also praised the characters, describing their names as "clever".[54]

IGN called Abra "unimpressive", but "worth raising" because it evolves into the "more powerful" Kadabra.[4] GameSpy further commented that Kadabra makes up for the "shortcomings" of Abra.[55] 1UP FM praised the characters' design, as the hosts noted them as some of their "favorite" Pokémon in the series and that they were "impressed" with their appearance.[56] GamesRadar editor Henry Gilbert praised Kadabra and Alakazam's mustaches, listing them on their list of "The 10 greatest mustaches in gaming history".[57] GamesRadar editor Brett Elston labelled Abra's moveset "lame", while acknowledging its potential to evolve into more powerful Pokémon.[58] However, he claimed that Alakazam was "useful" only in "limited" circumstances.[58] Elston also called Alakazam one of the "most disturbing" Pokémon of all time for the game's assertion that its brain cells "continually multiply" until it dies a horrible death.[59] In a poll conducted by IGN, Kadabra was voted as the 91st best Pokémon, where it was called "much cooler" than Alakazam because "He doesn't need to show off by bending two spoons".[60] Alakazam was voted as the 20th best Pokémon, where the staff commented on the evolution line, stating they "not only loved the clever naming system but the creatures' designs and abilities as well". They further stated that "Abra has always been a bit of a pain to raise and evolve, but the end result, an Alakazam, is well worth it in my book."[61]

Controversy[edit]

Some fundamentalist Christian groups have targeted Kadabra as representing anti-Christian aspects of the franchise. In Palm Beach, Florida, Pastor Eugene Walton distributed pamphlets that described the symbol on its head as "a pentagram" (even though Kadabra simply has a red five-pointed star on its head, different from a pentagram) and claimed the symbol on its chest was representative of Nazi Germany's Waffen-SS.[62] In the book It's a Dark World, Roger Boehm argued that due to its psychic-status and the symbols on its body of the latter, Kadabra represented the occult, further arguing that the etymology of its name tied directly to them.[63]

In November 2000, it was reported that Uri Geller, an Israeli "psychic"-magician who claims to bend spoons with his mind, sued Nintendo over the Pokémon Kadabra, due to its Japanese name (Yungera) which he claimed was an unauthorized appropriation of his identity. Geller learned of the similarity after fans of both himself and Pokémon noted a resemblance to the character's Japanese name, behavior and face, and presented him with cards of the character to autograph after he had finished taping a television special in Japan.[64][65] He further claimed that the star on Kadabra's forehead, and the lightning patterns on its abdomen, were symbols popular with the Waffen-SS and that, through the character, Nintendo had "turned him into an evil, occult Pokémon character".[66] Nintendo countered by stating there was no connection between the two and that they had not named any of the Pokémon after actual people to the knowledge of their staff.[67] In 2008, Pokémon anime director and storyboard artist Masamitsu Hidaka confirmed in an interview that Kadabra would not be used on a Pokémon Trading Card until an agreement was reached on the case.[68][69] In November 2020, Geller announced he had given Nintendo permission to resume printing Pokémon cards depicting Kadabra.[70]

References[edit]

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  8. Game Freak (2004-09-07). Pokémon FireRed. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. It sleeps for 18 hours a day. It uses a variety of extrasensory powers even while asleep. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  9. 9.0 9.1 Game Freak (1998-09-30). Pokémon Red. Game Boy. Nintendo. Using its ability to read minds, it will sense impending danger and teleport to safety. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. Game Freak (2000-10-15). Pokémon Silver. Game Boy Color. Nintendo. If it decides to teleport randomly, it creates the illusion that it has created copies of itself. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
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  13. Game Freak (2003-03-17). Pokémon Sapphire. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. Abra needs to sleep for eighteen hours a day. If it doesn't, this Pokémon loses its ability to use telekinetic powers. If it is attacked, Abra escapes using Teleport while it is still sleeping. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  14. 14.0 14.1 Game Freak (1998-09-30). Pokémon Red. Game Boy. Nintendo. It emits special alpha waves from its body that induce headaches just by being close by. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  15. Game Freak (2003-03-17). Pokémon Ruby. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. Kadabra emits a peculiar alpha wave if it develops a headache. Only those people with a particularly strong psyche can hope to become a Trainer of this Pokémon. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  16. Game Freak (1999-10-19). Pokémon Yellow. Game Boy. Nintendo. Many odd things happen if this Pokémon is close by. For example, it makes clocks run backwards. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  17. Game Freak (2000-10-15). Pokémon Silver. Game Boy Color. Nintendo. If it uses its abilities, it emits special alpha waves that cause machines to malfunction. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  18. Game Freak (2007-04-22). Pokémon Diamond. Nintendo DS. Nintendo. If one is nearby, an eerie shadow appears on TV screens. Seeing the shadow is said to bring bad luck. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  19. 19.0 19.1 Game Freak (2000-10-15). Pokémon Silver. Game Boy Color. Nintendo. Its brain cells multiply continually until it dies. As a result, it remembers everything. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  20. Game Freak (2003-03-17). Pokémon Ruby. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. Alakazam's brain continually grows, making its head far too heavy to support with its neck. This Pokémon holds its head up using its psychokinetic power instead. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  21. Game Freak (1998-09-30). Pokémon Red. Game Boy. Nintendo. Its brain can outperform a super-computer. Its intelligence quotient is said to be 5,000. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  22. Game Freak (2003-03-17). Pokémon Sapphire. Game Boy Advance. Nintendo. Kadabra holds a silver spoon in its hand. The spoon is used to amplify the alpha waves in its brain. Without the spoon, the Pokémon is said to be limited to half the usual amount of its telekinetic powers. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  23. Game Freak (2001-07-29). Pokémon Crystal. Game Boy Color. Nintendo. When it closes its eyes, twice as many alpha particles come out of the surface of its body. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  24. Game Freak (2009-03-22). Pokémon Platinum. Nintendo DS. Nintendo. The spoons clutched in its hands are said to have been created by its psychic powers. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
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  62. Kelts, Roland (2007). "Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.". Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 95–96. ISBN 978-1-4039-8476-0.
  63. Boehm, Roger J. (2007). It's a Dark World. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-0-615-14590-7. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
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  68. Sahagian, Jon (July 4, 2008). "Second Interview with Masamitsu Hidaka – Many Interesting Points!". PokéBeach. Archived from the original on May 20, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2016. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
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  70. Solorzano, Sergio. "Uri Geller Gives Nintendo Permission To Print Kadabra On Pokemon Cards Again". TheGamer. Retrieved 28 November 2020.

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