Malamar is a Pokémon that resembles an upside-down squid. Several purple tentacles with bright blue undersides sprout from the top of its head. It has yellow eyes with black sclerae, a dark pink beak-like mouth, and lighter purple eyelids. Its main body is dark purple and has six circular yellow lights on the front and back. There is also a yellow stripe nearly encircling its upper body. Covering its main body is a transparent mantle with two white fins on the bottom that function as legs. On each side of the mantle is a long tentacle with dark pink at the top and white, scythe-like fins at the ends. The edge of Malamar's fins are said to be supremely sharp.
Malamar possesses strong hypnotic powers, which is said to be the most powerful of any Pokémon. Malamar uses its hypnotic power to force others to do its bidding. People often utilize this ability for nefarious deeds. Malamar's hypnotic powers are said to have played a role in several history-changing events. It lures prey with the flashing pattern on its luminescent body and hypnotic motions, then ensnares them in its tentacles. The prey is then finished off with digestive fluids. Prior to Generation VIII, Topsy-Turvy was its signature move.
Six Malamar appeared in Facing the Grand Design!, along with the three evil Malamar. Unlike the three evil Malamar, these Malamar were peaceful and lived with Pokémon living in the forest. They later helped James and Clemont stop the three evil Malamar from completing their plans and rescue their friends.
Malamar is based on an upside-down squid. According to Hitoshi Ariga, Malamar's upside-down design was inspired by the fact that squids are commonly illustrated upside-down in pictorial books. Its body orientation and hypnosis ability may also have been inspired by the vampire squid's abilities to invert its tentacles and produce light. The fact that Malamar turns upside-down when it evolves from Inkay may also be a reference to torsion, a process in the embryonic development of gastropods where the body rotates 180 degrees with respect to the head. Malamar and Inkay are based on cephalopods, not gastropods; but both are mollusks.
Additionally, as alluded to by Ariga, Malamar's physical appearance and its use of hypnosis to forcefully control others may be inspired by a stereotypical extraterrestrial supervillain, especially ones that are common in tokusatsu shows.
Malamar may be a combination of mal- (Latin-derived prefix for bad), μαλάκιο malákio (Greek for mollusk), calamari, and mare (Latin for sea).
Calamanero may be a combination of 絡ます karamasu (to entangle), calamari, 魔 ma (demon), nero (Italian for black), and possibly nero di seppia (Italian for cuttlefish ink).
In other languages
From 絡ます karamasu, calamari, 魔 ma, and possibly nero di seppia