My Poke-Pinions #63-65: Abracadabra, Alakazam!


Name: I absolutely love this line’s name scheme of Abracadabra Alakazam. While Abra on its own is nothing to really write home about, it’s really clever and cute when connected with at least Kadabra’s name.

In Japan, it’s known as Casey, which is just too normal of a name to English ears for me to think it fits at all. It’s just awkward to call a Pokemon “Casey.” Being fair, it’s based on the famous ‘psychic’, Edgar Cayce, but it doesn’t change how it sounds to me.

Fun Fact: In the English beta, it was known as Hocus, as in Hocus Pocus.

Design: I’ve always found Abra oddly adorable. Sure, it’s a little weird with its big brown shoulder pads and rat tail, but there’s something about Abra’s face and mannerisms are really cute to me. Probably helps that it’s always napping.

Sprite-wise, R/G looks a bit demonic.

Gold looks really cute the way it’s got one eye peeking open.

Crystal’s animation is SUPER adorable the way it’s swaying its feet and twitching its tail.

What is Emerald doing?

What is D/P doing?

What is platinum doing?

What is HG/SS doing?

Love Gen V because it’s constantly floating in midair.

Everything else is fine.


Abra’s shiny is one of many ‘Let’s just turn down the saturation of the Pokemon’s colors and call it a day’ shinies. As expected, it’s blech.

Oddly, the one exception here is FR/LG where the shiny is, for some reason, darker than the base sprite.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Abra sleeps 18 hours a day to store enough energy to recover from the strain of using its psychic powers. If it fails to get 18 hours of sleep, its psychic powers will start to fail.

It usually responds to sensing any form of danger by teleporting. You must clear your mind and not be perceived as a threat if you want to catch one. Sometimes, it will create illusion copies of itself to further distract threats. It hypnotizes itself to allow it to teleport from danger even when it’s asleep and will teleport to another location once every hour to avoid danger.

When it awakens, it is not aware of where it was sent via its teleportation powers while asleep, usually causing it to panic when it wakes up.

Design-wise, Abra is a mixture of foxes, possums and cats with the idea behind its abilities and moveset being inspired by psychics and mediums.


Name: Continuing on with the cool naming scheme, we have Kadabra. I actually like Kadabra’s name the best out of the trio.

That being said, it also has my least favorite Japanese name of the trio – Yungerer. It’s based off of Uri Geller, the illusionist who popularized spoon-bending as a ‘psychic’ ability. Yungerer is very awkward to say. It’s like someone was trying to make up a name on the spot and just kinda mumbled near the end.

Fun Fact: Also following beta!Abra, Kadabra would have been named “Pocus.”

Design: Kadabra looks pretty cool. I like the star they added on its forehead. I do not, however, care for the bulbous tail. It’s just a bit too weird for my tastes.

Sprite-wise, Gen I and most of II are perfectly fine with nothing of note, but Crystal is hilarious. The perspective makes it look like Kadabra is trying to feed the viewer. “Open up the tunnel, here comes the train! Choo-choo! Num nums!”

I really don’t have much to say about anything until Gen V where the animation looks really funny again. It’s like it’s trying to wash a window with the spoon.

Kadabra is another Pokemon where the gender difference is only barely noticeable. I honestly wouldn’t have noticed unless I looked it up. The females have slightly shorter mustaches than the males. Why wouldn’t they just get rid of the mustache entirely? Did they think it would look too weird?


Basically same situation as Abra and just as boring.

However, instead of being darker in FR/LG, the sprite in that game has a muted purple where the brown should be, which I like.

Dex Entries and Backstory: There are a lot of weird details about Kadabra.

Kadabra possesses strong spiritual powers via the alpha waves it emits. It becomes even more powerful when it closes its eyes, when it’s in danger or when it gets a headache, which is very Psyduck-esque. Only those with powerful psyches can effectively train this Pokemon. When its getting ready to evolve, it stores psychic energy in the star on its forehead.

People close to Kadabra when its using is psychic powers tend to develop headaches. Likewise, electronic devices malfunction and clocks run backwards in its presence when using powerful psychic moves. Weird shadows also appear on TV screens when Kadabra are nearby. These shadows are said to bring bad luck.

The spoon that it somehow gains upon evolution actually has a purpose – it amplifies its alpha waves by about twice as much. If it happens to lose the spoon, it will lose half of its power. The spoon has to be silver, it cannot be gold, which is a weird thing to note. Who even gave a Kadabra a gold spoon to test that theory? Also, does that mean it doesn’t get a spoon upon evolution – it needs to be given one?

It will levitate in its sleep and uses its tail as a pillow, which is pretty cute.

The weirdest note about Kadabra, however, is that it’s rumored to actually be a psychic boy who couldn’t control his powers, fell asleep and woke up as a Kadabra. But then, what’s an Abra?

In regards to design, the only animal trait it seems to retain from Abra are some fox-like features. But what we really need to discuss is the Uri Geller controversy. I had vaguely remembered reading something about Uri Geller being upset about Kadabra being basically an unauthorized parody of him many years ago, but I never really read much on it. Now that I have, holy shit, I had no idea this situation actually caused Kadabra to be basically banned from Pokemon for nearly 20 years!

Alright, so I mentioned that Kadabra’s Japanese name, Yungerger was based off of Uri Geller. It doesn’t really look that way in English (Romaji) but in katakana it does. Yungerer’s name is written like this ユンゲラー (Yu-n-gu-raa) while Uri Geller’s is written like this ユリゲラー (Yu-ri-gu-raa). Additionally, there’s the fact that Kadabra holds a spoon – spoon-bending being what Uri Geller was most famous for.

It wasn’t just that Kadabra was based off of him that set Geller off. He also claimed that the star and squiggly lines on Kadabra’s body were offensive symbols that were tarnishing his likeness – the star being an ‘occult’ symbol and the squiggly lines being ‘similar’ to the nazi SS lightning bolt symbol.

First of all, that’s a very simple star. Even if Kadabra is a psychic Pokemon, you can’t just say every single star shape is an occult symbol. If so, a lot of drawings and doodles I made as a kid must’ve been subconsciously supporting the occult.

Second, I can see how those lines look kinda similar to the nazi lightning bolt SS, but only if you ignore that there are three lines. With the third line, it looks much more like the universal symbol for steam, as in something hot. I literally have that exact same symbol on top of my microwave.

Apparently no one else was in agreement with Geller about the symbols because if they were indeed considered occult-ish or nazi imagery, they’d censor it just like they’ve censored other cards and Pokemon with similar issues.

Even if you don’t buy those explanations, these symbols do have practical reasoning. They’re based on symbols shown in Zener cards, which are cards that were used to experiment with ESP.

He was also angry that the Pokemon was “aggressive” and “in one case, evil.”

Thing is, Uri Geller seems to have been pretty lawsuit-happy back in the day. He has a long and storied track record of suing or threatening to sue people who piss him off. For instance, he sued a watch company, Timex, for showing someone psychically bending forks and other items, but failing to stop a Timex watch. In that instance, he was fined $149,000 for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

He also considered suing IKEA for having a furniture line with bent legs called “Uri,” and filed a complaint (that was rejected) with the Broadcasting Standards Commission of the UK against a show called Secrets of the Super Psychics. The show explained and showed how tricks such as those performed by Geller were done practically. His argument was that it was “unfair treatment” to show how these tricks are done when certain people, such as Geller himself, assert that they’re real powers.

Then there are the other lawsuits that his Wiki page didn’t even mention.

His lawsuit coup de gras was certainly his push against Nintendo for Kadabra’s existence. According to Geller, he was Christmas shopping one day when he discovered an Alakazam card….Yeah, I think there was some mixed signals here at first. He does describe an Alakazam card (Stating the Pokemon used two spoons, not one) but he uses Kadabra’s Japanese name to make the strong connection to himself. He also claimed there were two versions of the Pokemon – one good and one “evil,” which isn’t true for either Kabadra or Alakazam. There IS a “bad” Alakazam card – known as Dark Alakazam in the west – as well as a “bad”/Dark Kadabra card that did exist back then, but the thing is those are Team Rocket cards. Those Alakazam and Kadabra are only “bad” because Team Rocket made them bad.

While it’s certainly understandable to be a little miffed that someone based a character on you without asking your permission, I don’t see how Kadabra is in any way insulting to his image or even really stealing it. Kadabra is a pretty damn good Pokemon. It’s a legitimately Psychic Pokemon, possibly born of a real (game lore-wise anyway) psychic boy, and it doesn’t look anything like Geller. It’s not particularly aggressive as far as I read in the Dex entries. It’s powerful, yes, but not inherently aggressive.

Geller wound up attempting to sue not just Nintendo in Japan, but also in the US, and he was considering suing in other regions across Europe, Latin America and Australasia. The lawsuit for the Japanese office was set for £60m and the lawsuit for the US was going to be $100m. The lawsuit was put forth in 2000, but it was dismissed in 2003. From what reports indicate, while the lawsuit was dismissed, there was a caveat in which Geller only agreed to stop pursuing legal action if they stopped producing Kadabra cards. It’s unclear if Geller demanded this as well, (Doesn’t seem to be the case) but they also stopped showing Kadabra in the anime in 2006 to stave off any possible further litigation from Geller, although they kept Kadabra in the games.

And, yeah, after 2003, there was never another Kadabra card produced, and Kadabra was basically quietly banned from ever appearing in the show or movies either. This kinda screwed up the TCG because Abra no longer had a means of evolving into Alakazam. A special version of Abra had to be printed with the ability “Ultra Evolution” that allowed Abra to skip the Kadabra phase and instantly become an Alakazam.

What I find especially silly about this lawsuit is that Geller took the reference as such an insult, but as far as I know he didn’t get a single lick of negative press or public reaction from Kadabra’s existence. He stated himself that reactions were incredibly positive. A store manager came out bowing to him, and “hundreds of children” begged him to sign their Kababra/Yungerer cards while chanting his name. The only reason he ever got any negative reaction from anything involving Kadabra as far as I saw was because he sued Nintendo over it and banned Kadabra from being a part of 2/3 of the main Pokemon media outlets for nearly 20 years.

Seventeen years later in 2020, Uri Geller had a change of heart. A recent outcry from fans as well as discussions with his granddaughters prompted Geller to realize how silly the whole situation was and see Kadabra as a tribute to him – not an insult. He sent a letter to Nintendo giving the green light to finally start reintroducing Kadabra back into the TCG. Kadabra was confirmed to be getting its first TCG release in 20 years in the Pokemon Card 151 set being released this June. This public and private go ahead also lead Kadabra into being formally reintroduced, albeit briefly, in the anime in 2021’s Pokemon Evolutions.

Good for Kadabra, and good for Mr. Geller. I hope Kadabra gets some cool cards and anime appearances in the future.


Name: In keeping with the theme, I like Alakazam’s name a lot. It’s also great in that it’s truly been built up to as a final evo name because the magic words are just like that. Abracadabra is the buildup, then ALAKAZAM!

In Japan, it’s called Foodin, which is meant to be “Houdin” I imagine since Harry Houdini was used as an inspiration for this one. There’s just no “Hu” sound in Japanese because that hiragana is pronounced “fu.” The name really falls flat for me. Even if I am more understanding and call it Houdin, it still just sounds weird to me.

Design: Alakazam does look cool, but I feel like I’m bordering on labeling it a lazy evolution. It’s pretty much just a bigger Kadabra without the symbols and tail and now with *drum roll* TWO SPOONS!

As with Kadabra, the female version of the line just has a slightly shorter mustache.

Also, I feel the need to point out that if any Pokemon in this line legitimately has an occult symbol on it, it’s Alakazam because it’s head is meant to be in the shape of a pentagram. (You can argue that Kadabra’s head is too, but I don’t think the sides are prominent enough to say that.)

Sprite-wise, R/G looks thoroughly unimpressed with the spoons it’s holding.

Crystal looks pretty funny because it looks like it’s taunting the player with the spoons. “Oooh look at yoooouuu. You don’t have spoons like meeee.”

R/S looks confused by his spoons.

Emerald also looks confused, but then the animation makes it clear that he’s figured out the spoons.

FR/LG makes him look bored af.

Not gonna lie, Platinum gives off more ‘maracas’ than ‘spoons.’

Everything else looks fine.


Alakazam’s shiny has a leg up over its pre-evos in that it actually looks like a shiny and not just a bleached out Pokemon. That being said, the shiny for Alakazam is just okay. The dark brown parts are replaced by magenta, and that’s….fine, and the yellow parts are replaced with a goldish yellow that looks more bronze in Gen III.

Gen II’s shiny is a bit weird because they also change the yellow parts to a gross sewage green.


Mega Alakazam is pretty damn cool. It doesn’t try to do too much like a lot of Mega evos do. It has a wizardly beard, a cool jewel (even if it is called an ‘organ’ eugh) in the center of its forehead, and *even more drum roll* FIVE SPOONS!

I also, for some reason, like that it interlocks its toes instead of sitting cross-legged.

Even its shiny is a little better because it has purple in place of the dark brown parts instead of magenta.

(I don’t know why the main artwork for Mega Alakazam also has purple areas. It’s supposed to be brown.)

Dex Entries and Backstory: Alakazam is insanely powerful and smart. It is said to have an IQ of 5000, it can outperform a supercomputer and it never forgets anything that it learns. It closes its eyes to help it focus, and its brain never stops growing. Its brain eventually reaches a point where it’s so heavy that it uses its psychic energy to hold its head up instead of its muscles, which is insane. It is noted that it has extremely weak muscles, likely as a result of being too reliant on its psychic powers.

We actually have an origin of Alakazam’s spoons. They’re said to be created by Alazakam’s psychic powers, and both spoons are entirely unique.

A funny and sweet note about the spoons is that, if an Alakazam truly trusts you, it will give you one of its spoons. If you eat anything with it, it is guaranteed to be delicious.

Mega Alakazam has lost all of the strength in its muscles and transferred all of its energy into its psychic abilities, which explains why it is always floating and never stands or walks anymore. A mere glance from a Mega Alakazam gives it complete knowledge of your entire life, which is also insane.

Its psychic abilities have now reached precognition capabilities. It can predict every move an enemy plans, which makes me wonder how anything fights a Mega Alakazam…………Hm.

As for inspiration in design, the only things I haven’t mentioned yet are that its horns, long mustache and talons are said to be based on Chinese dragons, which is cool if true, and that it may be based on goats, which are also symbolic in the occult. I, personally, don’t see the goat thing. It does have horns, but they’re not shaped like a goat horns.

And that was the longer-than-I-expected-to-write Abracadabra Alakazam line! I’ve never been a massive fan of this line, but they’re pretty cool in their own right. Gen I was kinda lacking in the (purely) Psychic Type department, and Alakazam was my favorite non-Legendary purely Psychic Type back then (With Mew and Mewtwo taking the first and second Legendary spots, respectively). I liked Kadabra a lot too. While Abra is really cute, all it knows is Teleport, and catching one was a massive pain in the ass back then.

Next time, it’s everyone’s favorite slightly unnerving humanoid bodybuilder Pokemon evo line, Machop, Machoke and Machamp.

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Pokemon Episode 22 Analysis – Abra and the Psychic Showdown


Badge Episode Attempts 1 and 2 – Marsh Badge: Saffron City

Gym Leader: Sabrina – ‘Blessed’ with intense psychic powers from birth, Sabrina’s been obsessed with honing her powers since she was very young, even pushing her parents away to reach more power. Her true personality has split in two – a stoic and cold woman who loves playing with her opponents, and a happy little child who loves ‘playing’ with her opponents. Despite the ‘real’ Sabrina seeming ruthless and almost inhuman, deep down, she truly just desires to make a connection with a real friend.

Reappears?: Yes, due to this being a failed Gym attempt. She makes an appearance in the episode after the next in the rematch.

Pokemon: Abra. It quickly evolves into a Kadabra. Later, she obtains a Haunter, technically.


Ash has two failed Gym attempts this episode and does not get the Marsh badge.

CotD(s): Sabrina’s father – Never given a proper name, Sabrina’s father is the genetic source of her psychic powers. His psychic abilities, however, are not nearly as powerful as Sabrina’s. He wishes for Sabrina to go back to being the happy little girl he knows she is, so he tries to help Ash both defeat her and bring out her smile.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock are lost in the woods, again, on their way to Saffron City. In the dead of night, a little girl appears and runs away. Ash tries to follow her to get directions, but finds himself falling off of a cliff. He quickly saves himself with Bulbasaur, and before the group can find out where the little girl went, they spot Saffron City in the distance.

They enter the city, and they’re met with noisemakers and two people dressed in Hawaiian outfits claiming they’ve won prizes as the millionth visitors to Saffron City. As they’re lead into a building, the duo reveals themselves to be Team Rocket and snatch Pikachu away from them. When they try to get him back, Jessie pushes the three onto a warp tile which teleports them into an enclosed room.

When they gloat to Ash and the others through a TV feed, Team Rocket discovers the same little girl from earlier. She freezes the duo and takes Pikachu back, returning him to Ash. Revealing herself to be more than meets the eye, the girl teleports the group outside of the room and right in front of the Saffron City Gym.

A mysterious man points out where they are and tells Ash to skip this Gym if he really wants to make it into the Pokemon League before disappearing just as soon as he appeared.

Not deterred, Ash confidently goes into the Gym and finds that it also houses some strange psychic training center. A mildly psychic man leads them into the arena and the group is slightly frightened when Sabrina scolds him with a psychic assault.

Ash is surprised to see the little girl from before on the Gym Leader seat, and is even more surprised to find that the little girl is with a beautiful woman who bears a striking resemblance to the little girl. They agree to a match on one condition – if Ash loses, they have to be Sabrina’s friends and play with her. Ash, thinking it’s a silly harmless promise, agrees.

Sabrina lets out her Abra and Ash sends out Pikachu. Despite Abra being asleep, it can use its Psychic abilities and Teleports away from Pikachu’s attacks. In the middle of the match, Abra evolves into Kadabra and psychically pummels Pikachu, even sending its own attacks against it.

Seeing Pikachu being utterly steamrolled, Ash calls off the match. Having lost, the little girl says they have to hold up their end of the bargain now and teleports them to a strange deserted town. As they look around, they realize that the food is fake and the few people they are able to find are dolls. They come to the conclusion that Sabrina has shrunken them and put them into a play town filled with dollhouses.

The normal sized Sabrina starts to try to grab at them, and the little girl walks into the town with her ball and nearly squashes them with it. However, the mysterious man from before suddenly teleports into the town and teleports them back to Saffron City, turning them back to normal size as well.

The man again warns Ash and the others not to challenge Sabrina or else they will be lost to her toy box forever. Ash refuses to give up, but the man humiliates Ash by using his abilities to force him to dance with his pants down. He states that his psychic powers are in no comparison to Sabrina, and if Ash can’t beat him what hope does he have against Sabrina?

Ash begs the man for help in beating Sabrina. The man continues his psychic assault on Ash to get him to realize the weight of the situation and just go home.

Despite the pain, Ash is determined to beat Sabrina and continues to plead for the man’s for help. Impressed by his resolve, the man lets up and gives Ash a word of advice – the only Pokemon strong against Psychic types, besides other Psychic types, are Ghost Pokemon, and he should obtain one from Lavender Town if he wants any chance at beating Sabrina.

With Ash accepting his advice, the man leaves and Ash sets out for Lavender Town to get a new Ghost Pokemon that will hopefully help beat Sabrina and earn him a Marsh Badge.


– Lisa Ortiz voices Sabrina here. She’s not making my ears bleed as adult Sabrina, but she is as that little girl, especially when she does that horrible giggle. Even worse because the little girl needs a higher pitched voice. I still have criticism on her selection as the VA for adult Sabrina, however, because she does not sound right sometimes. I know adult Sabrina is supposed to be cold and emotionless, but Lisa Ortiz has these moments where she confuses cold and emotionless for bored.

Though, I will concede and say Ms. Ortiz does a pretty good job with her. I wish she’d used a much more toned down voice more often…

– It’s now in canon that James has kissed Ash…..

– I give Ash props for finally being skeptical of sudden odd things that seem like scams, and then I take them away for falling for it anyway.

– Hey a warp tile! Neat.

– I might be able to forgive Ash for still thinking that he was a prize winner after he was warped away if not for the fact that 1) his Pikachu was stolen by the people who told them about the prize, 2) they were obviously Team Rocket and 3) He’s a dumbass.

– Heheheh, Ash acknowledges that Jessie and James kissed him.

– Hehehehe, Ash didn’t realize until they got out of those costumes that they were Team Rocket…..wait that’s not funny. That’s sad.

– Hah! Alright, they made up for it with the gag of them drinking tea as Team Rocket does their motto.


– This is just more Team Rocket Stupidity They successfully caught Pikachu and trapped Ash and Co. to keep them from following for at least a very long time. So what do they do? Do they run? Hide? Go to Giovanni? Nope. They gloat to the group through a TV feed and even reveal that they could potentially get out of that room through the warp tile they came in on….

– Masked Psychic Guy: “You can’t control a Psychic Pokemon without telekinesis.” That is not true. At all. In the slightest.

– I agree with Misty and Brock, that display of ‘strength’ by Ash (struggling to physically bend a spoon) was just embarrassing.

– The random bar codes in the Pokedex return.

– And again on Kadabra.

– Man, this is the second time Ash has had to stop a match because Pikachu was just being beaten way too badly. The Indigo days were rough.

– Brock: “She must’ve used her telekinesis to shrink us!” Actually, Brock, telekinesis only allows you to move items with your mind. To transform something into another through psychic powers is transmutation.

– Nice technical nudity by the doll in the bathtub. How’d that escape 4Kids’ censors?

– And we see Ash in his undies? Asleep at the editing wheel, guys?

– Okay, this ending, and subsequently the next episode and rematch, are rife with technical problems. First of all, this whole ‘must get a Ghost type to beat Sabrina’ thing is fueled by several factors. The first of which being that Ash cannot, supposedly, catch and use a Psychic type Pokemon because they state that Psychic types can only be tamed by people with psychic powers, which is not true and will continue to prove to be untrue throughout the series.

Second, Ghosts are not, in fact, strong against Psychic types in this Generation – they actually have no effect on Psychic type Pokemon in this Generation. This isn’t really so much the writers’ faults as it is just a mess of problems involving the game.

In the game, it was originally slated for Ghost types to be strong against Psychic types, but a problem in the coding instead made them immune to Ghosts. I guess they just never played the games and went off of some notes from the original programming team or something.

Like originally planned, Ghosts were made strong against Psychic types in Generation II and onward, but the writers didn’t even get the right memo there because they decide to stick to what the first Generation sent out and later made an episode in Johto, Girafarig’s debut, where they think they ‘fix’ their initial mistake by having the town’s whole shtick being Psychic types always beating Ghost types as almost a duty in doing so. Oops.

Third, there is another Pokemon, one that is way easier to obtain, that is strong against Psychic types……Bug types. Sure, there are few Bug type moves in Gen I, but it’s still a viable and much easier option.

To be honest, one of Ash’s best Pokemon for this battle chose a really horrible time to get laid. Butterfree is both a Bug type and can use Psychic moves if taught.

Finally, why does Ash not ask how Gary and the other three Pallet trainers made it through Sabrina? We know they came through here and that they must’ve beaten her without using Psychic types since none of them are, supposedly, psychic.


I’ve always really liked this episode, and I still do. The main glaring weakness is Team Rocket’s part (what a shock) but mostly because that took up so much of the first half. I guess it wasn’t a total waste since it showed little Sabrina helping them, giving a glimpse into Sabrina’s kinder side.

I love the Psychic battle, Sabrina’s an awesome and intimidating Trainer, the plot with her family is interesting and left as an intentional cliffhanger to be resolved in the redux of this battle, Sabrina’s personality splitting into two beings is very interesting, and the dollhouse thing was an awesome way of showing Sabrina’s power and her odd yet sad desire to merely have some friends to play with.

Her habit of turning her failed opponents into dolls is both sadistic yet a legitimate effort to quell her loneliness. I do have to wonder why the dollhouse is so empty, though. Does she just not get many opponents or does her dad save them all?

It’s nice to finally have a failed Gym attempt where the rematch is not in the same episode, though I’ve always been very uneasy about how he actually ends up winning the Marsh Badge.

But enough about that, it’s time for Ash to friggin’ die! Next episode is the Tower of Terror where Ash visits the most depressing town in the game to enter the most depressing building in the game where the most depressing and memorable story of the game is conveyed….or he could screw off with a bunch of Ghosts for 20 minutes. That’s fine too.

Previous Episode….

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