|Pokémon series character|
|First game||Pokémon Red and Blue|
|Designed by||Ken Sugimori|
|Voiced by (English)||Kayzie Rogers|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Yūji Ueda|
Mr. Mime, known in Japan as Barrierd (バリヤード Bariyādo?), is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, Mr. Mime first appeared in the video games Pokémon Red and Blue and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise. Mr. Mime is voiced by Yūji Ueda in Japanese, and Kayzie Rogers in English.
Known as the Barrier Pokémon, Mr. Mime are gifted with the art of miming at a young age, and as they mature they gain the ability to psychically generate invisible objects such as walls and other barriers. In the anime, Mr. Mime appears as early on as a house cleaner and helper to Delia, protagonist Ash Ketchum's mother, while others are shown as entertainers or cooks. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, its abilities are utilized to create training rooms, and surround an entire city with a barrier to prevent access from the outside world.
Mr. Mime's appearance has been heavily criticized by sources such as 1UP.com due to its human design, as well as for combining the worst-perceived aspects of mimes and clowns and called a "creepy son of a bitch" in related podcasts. However, the character's design has also been praised by other sources in comparison to more common series characters, as in a study of Pokémon character design where it was the design was purposefully bad to invite player scrutiny and offer diversity to the series.
Design and characteristics
Mr. Mime was one 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 of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Barriered" 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. As a result they were renamed "Mr. Mime", based on their masculine appearance and behavior; The name has persisted despite the introduction of female members of the species in later games.
Appearing as an anthropomorphic creature, it has a pink head with red cheeks and blue, frizzy hair, a round, white body with a red spot in the middle, light-pink arms and legs are connected to its body by red spheres, white, five-fingered hands, and blue feet that curl upward at the tips. Their hands are depicted with four fingers and an opposable thumb, with larger fingertips and red dots on their underside. However, game representations of the character featured only three fingers on each hand until the release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
Mr. Mime are gifted with the art of miming at a young age, but as they mature, they gain the ability to make invisible objects by emitting energy from their fingers and minutely vibrating their fingertips to harden the air around them and form a wall. Barriers generated this way can repel harsh attacks, and its gestures and motions can convince watchers that something unseeable actually exists; once this is achieved, the perceived item will materialize. Mr. Mime are very prideful of their pantomime acts, and will heavily slap anyone that interrupts them while miming. Mr. Mime has a pre-evolution, Mime Jr., which evolves when mimicking other Pokémon.
In video games
In the video game series Mr. Mime can be acquired from an in-game trade in Pokémon Red and Blue, and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. It appeared in several sequels, including Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Diamond, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Mr. Mime gains a new pre-evolved form, Mime Jr., which evolves when leveled up while knowing the move Mimic. Gym Leader Sabrina uses a female Mr. Mime in every game she appears in except Pokémon Yellow, in which she does not have a Mr. Mime. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Elite Four Lucian owns a Mr. Mime.
Outside of the main series, Mr. Mime has appeared in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, the Pokémon Ranger games, and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure. In Pokémon Stadium 2, Mr. Mime stars in its own minigame called "Barrier Ball". Poké Balls appear on the field and by using Mr. Mime's Barrier, send the Poké Balls to the other player's fields.
In other media
In the anime, a Mr. Mime lives with Delia Ketchum. He does housework for her in exchange for room and board. Ash dressed as a Mr. Mime to inspire a real Mr. Mime who worked for a circus. Delia knew about this, so when a wild Mr. Mime came to her door and wanted lunch, she thought it was Ash in costume, and provided it with food. When the real Ash showed up, still in costume, she was quite puzzled, but wound up keeping Mimey as her live-in maid. It will only listen to Delia, and if anyone else, even Ash, gives it orders, or asks it to do something, it will normally ignore them. It is unknown if Delia has actually captured Mimey, as she is never shown with its Poké Ball. When Ash and his friends returned to Pallet Town following the Orange Islands saga, it was revealed that Brock and Mimey had become rather competitive regarding household tasks while the two of them were sharing the house with Delia.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Mr. Mime was first seen under the control of Sabrina, generating a Light Screen to seal off the whole of Saffron City. The same Mr. Mime was seen again during the Gym Leader faceoff, using its miming powers to trap Bugsy and defeat his Heracross. Mr. Mime has also appeared under the ownership of Crystal and has the ability to create invisible walls and rooms, much like Sabrina's Mr. Mime. It creates a training room for Ruby and Sapphire and Emerald to teach their Pokémon the ultimate moves Blast Burn, Hydro Cannon, and Frenzy Plant.
Since appearing in the Pokémon franchise, Mr. Mime has received generally negative reception. 1UP.com named Mr. Mime the "Lamest Pokémon" in the franchise, stating "Mr. Mime makes you shake your head and question what reality we actually inhabit. Surely proto-human-clown-mime Pokémon don't arise in any ordinary universe." In an analysis of the article on 1UP FM, the hosts agreed with the statement, describing him as hideous and "kinda a Krusty the Clown...malformed...thing". Retronauts stated similar, calling it out specifically as a "creepy son of a bitch", and a Pokémon that should not be part of the series due to its blatantly human appearance, further describing it as "everything that's wrong with mimes and clowns". GamesRadar named it one of the most "fugly Pokémon" in the series, describing it as "just...creepy", citing specifically its humanoid shape and dangling arms. However, they also noted that while one of the more weird characters in the series, it was also one of the more popular. IGN editor "Pokémon of the Day Chick" has expressed her dislike of the character in multiple articles, describing it as an "abomination" and jokingly alluded that designers were on drugs when they created it. GamesRadar editor Carolyn Gudmundson listed "humanoid" as one of the most overused Pokémon designs, listing Mr. Mime and Jynx as two of "the most infamous" examples.
Other sources have instead praised the character's appearance. The book Gaming Cultures and Place in Asia-Pacific defended Mr. Mime's design. Suggesting Sugimori developed it along with Jynx to draw upon the humor of heta-uma (a term meaning bad/nice), the book notes the design oscillates between the poles of good and bad, and as a result offers diversity within the game and invites scrutiny from players. The Coventry Evening Telegraph also praised its design, stating the character was "more interesting" in comparison to more commonly seen Pokémon such as Squirtle.
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