Mr. Mime is even stranger than you think, according to one longtime Pokemon journalist. The Psychic/Fairy-type Pokemon is one of the oldest and oddest Pokemon in the franchise. Originally introduced in Pokemon Red and Blue, the Pokemon is vaguely humanoid, albeit with spindly arms, oversized hands and feet, and a complexion that resembles a clown. Recently, the live-action Detective Pikachu movie revealed that Mr. Mime's "hair spikes" were actually fleshy protrusions on its head, and that its skin (as the Pokemon is actually nude) has the texture of a dodgeball. This is a very, very weird Pokemon, especially due to a design change made during its long history.
Mr. Mime originally had four fingers in the original Pokemon games, a design seen in both the in-game sprites and official artwork. However, Mr. Mime quietly grew a fifth finger with the release of Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen, with no official explanation given in the games. Although some Pokemon fans noticed the odd change at the time, Mr. Mime's mysterious fifth finger was largely relegated as a footnote, especially as the Pokemon has now had his fifth finger for 15 years.
When a tweet about Mr. Mime and its fifth finger went viral earlier today, Jon Sahagian of PokeBeach.com revealed the reason why the Pokemon Company gave Mr. Mime an extra finger. According to Sahagain, a veteran Pokemon journalist, the change was made due to parents complaints as having four fingers is associated with the Yakuza in Japan. The act of Yubitsume, or cutting one's pinky finger off as an apology, is practiced by the Yakuza and some parents took Mr. Mime's oversized four-fingered hands to mean that it was a member of one of the notorious Japanese crime syndicates.
I noted this on PokeBeach years ago after speaking to a TPC official in Japan, but Mr. Mime gained an extra finger because parents complained about four fingers being associated with gangs. The Yakuza get their fingers cut off, so I guess parents thought Mr. Mime was a yakuza. XD https://t.co/mLwMVzigXO— PokeBeach.com (Water Pokémon Master) 💧 (@pokebeach_wpm) August 15, 2019
It seems strange to think that Mr. Mime, with his soulless grin and his ability to generate invisible barriers, would even be mistaken for a Yakuza member. Then again, maybe Mr. Mime's elaborate red and white skin patterns are actually tattoos. Mr. Mime having ties to organized crime would also explain the disappearance of Ash's father from the Pokemon anime. Once Mr. Mime moved in with Ash's mother, maybe the Pokemon used its crime connections to make Ash's father disappear so he could keep Delia Ketchum all to himself.
Are you surprised by Mr. Mime's link to the Yakuza? Let us know in the comment section or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCBus to chat all things Pokemon!