When the world first met Pokemon, a floodgate was opened for millions of people. The franchised piqued the imagination of children and adults alike. These days, the franchise is bigger than ever, but there are some things Pokemon had to leave behind during its early years which fans miss. So if you ever wanted to know what happened to chunky Pikachu, you don't need to wonder much longer.
After all, the secret behind Pikachu's design shift if well known. In the past, one of the executives on Pokemon spilled the beans and admitted the anime had a huge role in Pikachu's slimmer figure.
As shared by Dr. Lava, Ken Sugimori opened up about Pikachu during an interview with the Yomiuri Newspaper in 2018.
"We were also influenced by the introduction of the [anime]. Since the animation had them doing a variety of movements, including human-like gestures, we changed the shape of Pikachu's body to make acting easier. While Pikachu was originally very short and stout, we gradually gave it a more defined neck and elongated its spine," the lead designer shared.
"The Pikachu appearing in the Pokemon series after the broadcast of the animated series was influenced by how it appeared in the show," he continued. "Also, I had no idea they were going to make it cry 'Pikachu.' It's like a cat crying out the word 'cat.'"
As you can see, Pikachu was definitely in flux during the first generation of the franchise. Not only did the game team need to shore up its take on the starter but so did the anime. These days, both of the Pokemon teams have found their groove, but this design shift goes to show that anything can be in flux, and Pikachu is no exception.
Which version of Pikachu do you prefer the most...? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
Pokemon: The Series, is now airing new episodes weekly in Japan, but unfortunately is still not officially licensed for an English language release as of this writing. Staff confirmed for the new series include Daiki Tomiyasu serving as chief director for OLM, Maki Odaira as series director, and Kunihiko Yuyama as creative supervisor.
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