There's a new Pokemon that looks an awful lot like Gene Simmons, and he seems less than impressed. Earlier this week, the Pokemon Company revealed the Pokemon Obstagoon as one of several new species of Pokemon that would appear in Pokemon Sword and Shield. The new Pokemon is the evolved form of the Galarian variant of Linoone, and is basically an angry bipedal badger. However, it quickly became evident that Obstagoon was at least partially inspired by Gene Simmons of the band KISS, as he not only has facial markings similar to Simmons' KISS face paint, but also sports a long tongue, shoulder pads, and thick armor.
In a statement to Newsweek, Simmons seemed happy about the homage. "Pokemon has been part of our household for decades, ever since our kids first discovered them," he said. "To see Pokemon pay homage to KISS is flattering." However, his reaction on Twitter (seen below) was much more muted.
The Obstagoon design is a little confusing, as Pokemon Sword and Shield is set in the Galar region, a part of the Pokemon world modelled after the United Kingdom. While a Pokemon based on the Beatles might make sense, KISS is an American rock band and Gene Simmons has little to do with the UK. Sure, it makes sense to include a badger Pokemon in a region modelled after the UK, but to turn that badger into an American rock and roll icon is just...odd (and also hilarious.)
We'll have to see whether Obstagoon gains a special Detroit Rock City attack or pays homage to KISS in some other way. But from the sound of his recent tweets, I don't think we should expect to see Gene Simmons promoting the new Pokemon games in a commercial anytime soon.
Pokemon Sword & Shield comes out on November 15th.