What Does This New Pokemon X/Y TCG Card Say?


BusterTheFox asked a question about the upcoming set of Pokemon trading cards. I know nothing about ANY of the trading card game stuff (except for seeing a VHS of this video which curiously has Ernie Hudson in it) and seeing Japanese cards for sale on American shopping channels on TV back in the day, but hopefully I can still help:

The new set of pokemon TCG cards (XY) is coming out next week. Pre-release images have started coming out, and as I plan to restart my collection when the set comes out, I had been looking through the cards when I found this little anomaly:


Clearly the image has untranslated Japanese it in, even though the rest of the card has been translated. I’m willing to bet it probably says something like “Mega Blastoise”, but just in case it’s more interesting than that, I figured I’d send this in!

It took me a second to even find the Japanese text in there, there’s so much going on 😯

Anyway, the Japanese text in the center says ハイドロボンバード, which means “Hydro Bombard”. Which seems to make perfect sense, as that’s the text in English on the bottom half of the card. Hopefully that clears up that little mystery!

You know, I’m curious to see how the final English version of this card looks – when it’s finally out, someone should post a pic in the comments or something for all to see 😀

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  1. I’m actually pretty sure that this is done on purpose; I could swear I have seen some other Pokémon cards like this (the M-EX varieties in particular) that have Japanese text on them. interestingly enough I think it’s reversed for the Japanese cards, where the artwork has English text featured on it. so I think it’s done on purpose! 🙂

  2. That actually is the final version of the card. I don’t keep up with the TCG side of Pokemon, but what I have picked up is that Mega Evolution cards all have their attack in the opposite language of the card.

    That is to say, if you looked up the Japanese version of this card, the “Hydro Bombard” part of the artwork would be in English while everything else is in Japanese. Or at least, that was the case with the Mega Venusaur card, whose Japanese version has “Crisis Vine” written in English, and English version has it written in Japanese.

  3. Very unique, it’s not often they ADD Japanese for the localization.

    1. And yet, they did exactly that in the Pokémon X/Y video games, as well! http://legendsoflocalization.com/what-does-that-tourist-lady-say-in-pokemon-xy/

      Which is because Nintendo is crazy.

      1. I remember also the second Professor Layton had the explorer in the sewers talk in Japanese (in romaji though, since the game no longer has a Japanese font).

  4. Hey, did you know that the Japanese version of this card has the attack text in — oh, you’ve heard? My bad.

    In that case, I’ll just point out that this artwork is xtr33m. It’s like the official 1992 release of the Pokémon X/Y set.

  5. I’m kinda getting used to figuring out Katakana of english words (kinda fun, actually). Looking at this card, i was able to figure out the first part said “Hydro”. As i was trying to figure out the second half (i did recognize the final character as “do”), my eyes glanced down and saw the attack name and instantly realized that’s what the remaining katakana said.

    1. It’s been a long time since my last Japanese course, but I still find myself trying to decipher English words written in katakana all the time. It’s good practice, but not always easy.

      1. I can read virtually no Japanese, but I have a little bit of ability to recognise the spoken language, mainly due to web sites like this and video games. So whenever I’m listening to Japanese, I’m always trying to pick out words I know. 🙂

      2. I hate how ン (n) and ソ (so),
        シ (shi) and ツ (tsu),
        カ (ka) and the kanji 力 (chikara, ie force)
        look almost exactly the same..

        I had lots of trouble with the pre-boss fight sequences in Tengai Makyou Zero (an excellent RPG, along with its Saturn sequel, anyone who played Earthbound will surely love it).. The boss will randomly say words like BRATS, ME, YOU in katakana (it would translate to upper-cases in English) while the word “force” keeps thrown around a lot, and it’s really confusing at times, but often kanji like 血 (chi/blood) and 死 (shi/death) are obvious enough 🙂
        Kanji is sometimes a curse, sometimes a blessing 😛

        I can barely understand Japanese by the way outside of the general anime/RPG terminology stuff, but I can’t wait for byuu’s fan-translation.

        1. “カ (ka) and the kanji 力 (chikara, ie force)”

          Wasn’t there some pun or something using those two in Mother 2? I thought i remembered seeing it somewhere in Mato’s comparisons.

  6. You sure get to my Pokemon questions quickly, Mato. 🙂 Interesting to see in the comments that the original Japanese version has English text instead! O_o I was just looking through the images on Serebii.net when I found this, didn’t think to look at the other Mega Evolutions to see if they had it, too.

    A very strange choice IMO, but I guess it sorta ties in to how X and Y got the worldwide release and all that? I may never understand.

  7. The finny thing is that the japanese version use english text …
    and the strange is that pokeUSA never made this inverse reference.. like one NPC on d/p/pt that speaks english on the japanese version, they made he speak french on english ver or things like in game american characters that just got turned something from europe on the elhish …
    well about the japanese cards:

    1. That’s really strange but also really neat – I wonder why it’s like that. I guess maybe the “foreign-ness” of another language makes it more stylish or something.

  8. I looked at the Japanese version and it says HYDRO BOMBARD in English so they are the opposite and hydro bombard is the move on the card

  9. NEAT, I’m a card colleter & were did you find IT!

  10. Can anyone explain b to me what the numbers on the bottom right hand of the card mean?

    1. 30/146 just means that it’s Card No. 30 out of the 146-card set.

  11. It is actaully the attack name in japanese. It says Hydro Bombard

  12. Having the katakana (it is katakana, right?) makes the card have a JoJo feel to it, almost.
    Or maybe I’m just so obsessed that’s what my first thought is.

    1. The art style on this card is very reminiscent of the anime opening theme sequences we’ve been seeing in the modern adaptation.

  13. I have the Mega EX Ampharos card and I was trying to decode it for a long time. I gave up and finally did a search online. It finally makes sense!

  14. It seens most Mega Evolution cards have the name of their attacks written in Japanese in their image.

  15. Mars Adept Enten

    I have a giant-sized Mega Camerupt EX card (got it as part of a gift that’s basically a collection of giant-sized cards (usually promos, but sometimes others as well) and noticed it also had its attack in katakana. Specifically, this card: https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/File:MCameruptEXXYPromo198.jpg It has マグマイラプシヨン in the artwork, which presumably translates roughly to ‘magma eruption’. Which also happens to be the lone attack it has.