Pokemon has changed a lot over the years. Though the franchise had originally started with around one hundred and fifty pocket monsters, the popularity of the series opened up the roster to around eight hundred creatures total. Not only has the roster expanded, the designs of some of the biggest pocket monsters has changed to boot. Pikachu, for example, originally looked quite different when he hit the scene in the Pokemon: Red and Pokemon: Blue video games, and even the earliest episodes of the anime franchise.
Crunchyroll shared a breakdown on their Official Twitter Account of just how the electric, yellow, rodent mascot changed from its original "chunky" look back when it first made its debut to the world to the skinnier, more streamlined appearance that has been made famous in works such as Detective Pikachu:
The writer behind this article broke down how they believe that Pikachu was far chunkier originally because it was once at the "top of the food chain" when it came to the other creatures that resided alongside itself in Veridian Forest. The quote that best exemplified this fact is below:
"Take a look at where you can first find a Pikachu: Viridian Forest. The wildlife there, aside from the rare Pikachu (meaning that there's barely any competition for resources among them,) is mostly Caterpie, Weedle, and Pidgey. The first two are Bug Types that are both smaller and less powerful than Pikachu. Electric Types don't have an advantage against or a weakness to Bug Types, but Pikachu can muster Thunder Shock, while all Caterpie has is a measly tackle. Weedle knows Poison Sting, but Pikachu has an incredible Speed stat, meaning that Weedle likely couldn't catch up with it and are not a threat either."
Certainly, you could make the argument that Ash Ketchum's Pikachu has changed its appearance over the years thanks in part to its "domestication" though all Pikachus that appear in both the anime and the video games look closer to Ash's as time moved forward.
Pikachu will be looking extremely different in the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive game, Pokemon: Sword And Shield, as he will be getting a Gigantimax makeover. The newest breed of Pokemon will tower over its competition, both pocket monsters and humans alike.
What do you think of the reasoning behind why Pikachu originally looked like a "chunky boy"? Do you dig the Pokemon's newer look in comparison to when it first appeared? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Pokemon!