Malamar is a dark-purple squid-like Pokémon. It has a pair of fins on the bottom of its body that function as its legs. Malamar's main body has six light-yellow spots on the front and back and a light-yellow stripe nearly wrapping around its body above the spots. Its arm-like tendrils have grown scythe-like in appearance and are very sharp. Malamar has a red beak, half closed eyes with black sclera, yellow irises and wavy "hair" made of eight tentacles. It possesses strong hypnotic powers, which it uses to force others to do its bidding, making it often utilized by people to do nefarious deeds. It can lure prey with hypnotic motions before it wraps its tentacles around the prey, then it finishes off with digestive fluids. Malamar and its pre-evolution Inkay are the only known Pokémon that can learn Topsy-Turvy.
An evil, psychopathic Malamar appeared in A Conspiracy to Conquer!. It appeared to be under the control of a woman named "Madame X", but in reality, it had hypnotized an Officer Jenny to pose as Madame X. It also hypnotized Jessie, James, Clemont, Serena, Bonnie, and many Pokémon, including Ash's Pikachu. While it was defeated in the end, it escaped after boasting of a grand plan to conquer the world. It reappeared in Facing the Grand Design! along with two other evil Malamar, where they attempted to initiate their plan of world conquest. However, they were thwarted again, forcing them to flee.
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.
In addition to Inkay's method of evolution into Malamar being unique, it would have been impossible in any of the previous core series Pokémon games, because the Nintendo 3DS is Nintendo's first handheld system with an internal gyroscope.
Inkay and Malamar are the only Pokémon in the Water 2 egg group that are not Water-type.
Malamar is based on an upside-down squid. Its body orientation and hypnosis ability may have been inspired by the vampire squid's abilities to invert its tentacles and produce light. It also somewhat resembles a standard owl, which would symbolically relate to its distinctive wisdom/intelligence.
Malamar may be a combination of mal- (Latin for bad), μαλάκιο malákio (Greek for mollusk), calamari, and mare (Latin for sea).
Calamanero may be from 絡ます karamasu (to entangle), calamari, 魔 ma (demon), and possibly nero di seppia (Italian for cephalopod ink).
In other languages
Possibly from 絡ます karamasu, calamari, 魔 ma, and possibly nero di seppia