Pokemon is undoubtably one of the greatest franchises to ever exist, and its anime had much to do with it is global success. Writer Takeshi Shudo was responsible for most of the anime's stories as he reigned as chief writer on the show between 1997 and 2002. Now, thanks to Dr. Lava's efforts to lay out Pokemon history, fans can learn more about Shudo's work on Lugia and why he was shocked the legendary Pokemon was used outside of the anime.
Over on Dr. Lava's blog, the historian says he went through Shudo's old-school blog entries which he made before his untimely death. A translator was used to turn around Shudo's comments on the Pokemon anime, and it is safe to say some explosive info came from the entries. However, the note about Lugia has left most fans surprised as Shudo did not expect for Pokemon to continue using Lugia after the monster debuted in his own film.
According to Shudo, he was the one primarily responsible for creating Lugia which was rare. Up until this point, it was the game development team which made new Pokemon, but Shudo was given free reign as The Pokemon Company was dealing with fallout from Porygon's controversial anime debut. With creative control on his side, Shudo designed Lugia as work began on Pokemon's second movie, but he did not expect the company to take the legendary bird outside of the anime.
"I mentioned this once before — during a big meeting (in which even game development and distribution staff participated), the name “Lugia” was chosen by a majority vote. Since Lugia was a Pokemon I designed myself solely for the new movie, I was surprised it ended up getting used later in the games and TV show," Shudo shared.
"I can only imagine what was going on in the game development and TV show departments."
Aside from Lugia's name being voted upon by a group, the Pokemon was the brainchild of Shudo. To this day, the monster remains a favorite with fans and continues to show up in the anime with Pokemon Journeys revisiting the legendary quite recently. Shudo may not have known he was making history when he crafted Lugia but few ever realize they're doing it in the moment. But for fans, we can look back now and thank Shudo for putting his all into the Pokemon anime while he was here.
Are you glad Lugia made it into the anime in the end...? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!