When Niantic Labs announced the arrival of the new Legendaries in “Pokemon Go,” many fans argued about the proper way of labeling the creatures. Some players call Raikou, Entei, and Suicune cats while other fans call them dogs. As in any case, it is always best to look at the roots of these powerful pocket monsters to label them properly.


The new Legendary creatures that were recently introduced in “Pokemon Go” are generally called beasts by many fans. Official sources of the popular franchise remain tight-lipped on the origins of these pocket monsters.

Looking into the origins of these creatures, it appears that Raikou, Entei, and Suicune are based on the different creatures of Japanese and Chinese mythology.


The powerful Electric-type Raikou is inspired by the Japanese mythological thunder beast, Raijou. This creature has the ability to take many forms. It could be a dog, a tiger, or a wolf to name a few. Raijou is the loyal companion of the Raijin, the Shinto god of thunder. According to mythology, every time there is a thunderstorm, Raikou grows restless and would like to strike down trees and buildings. The Legendary creature has a strong resemblance to a Saber Tooth Tiger, which is a prehistoric creature originating in America. Its wolf form seems to be the inspiration for the Generation III monster Manectric.


While Raikou is based on the Japanese mythological character, Suicune is a different story. The creature appears to be based on the qilin, a Chinese mythological creature, which is most often mistakenly identified as a unicorn by the people in the West. In the mythology, the qilin has massive antlers that have a strong resemblance to Suicune’s headpiece.

Often, the qilin is linked with crystals and gems, which corresponds to the pocket monster’s status as the icon of “Pokemon Crystal." While many view the qilin as a giraffe, it has a strong resemblance to the dragon of the Chinese.


Meanwhile, Entei is most likely the Chinese guardian lion that is often seen at the entrances of Chinese temples, palaces, and imperial structures.

From a Chinese perspective, the creature is a giant feline. On the other hand, Westerners most often call the guardian lion the Foo Dog because of their long snouts. In Japan, there is a different kind of guardian lion that is called Shisa. The creature is most popularly known to the Japanese as the guardian dog that protects against fire.

Based on their origins and resemblances, the new Legendaries in “Pokemon Go” are neither dogs nor cats. Instead, they are mythological creatures that have a long list of history in Japanese and Chinese cultures. Most definitely, the term Legendary Beasts would fit well as the proper labels for these powerful creatures.