When Pokémon first arrived on the Game Boy in 1996, Pikachu was illustrated as a plump electric rodent that looked far from agile. It wasn't until later on in the series, the face of the pocket monster franchise got an artistic makeover, making him slightly less chubby.
What was the reason behind the change, though? If it wasn't already obvious, it was due to the influence of the anime series at the time. During an interview with the Yomiuri Newspaper in 2018 – as recently shared by YouTuber Dr. Lava – the character designer and art director of the Pokémon series Ken Sugimori explained these changes in detail:
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 Pikachu appearing in the Pokemon series after the broadcast of the animated series was influenced by how it appeared in the show. Also, I had no idea they were going to make it cry 'Pikachu.' It's like a cat crying out the word 'cat.'.
If you miss the older version of Pikachu, the recent release of Pokémon Sword and Shield on the Switch somewhat makes up for it, with the addition of Gigantamax Pikachu. This Pikachu has little resemblance to the famous one we know and love nowadays and is arguably closer to the original Pokémon design.
Do you like the current design of Pikachu? Have you encountered its Gigantamax version in Sword and Shield yet? Leave a comment down below.
Makes sense. As much as I like the old chubby Pikachu, I like the newer designs much more.
Glad to see I’m not the only person confused by the anime ‘mons just calling out their own species. Such an odd concept.
I like Slim Pikachu.
It looks cuter than chubby Pikachu.
Cat cat cat ca-cat cat, c-c-cat.
(As long as it's not the weird oval-headed thing, it's fine.)
What if the cat has been trying to tell us its name is "meow" all along
@Eel With this logic maybe Meowth is the Pokemon universe's version of a cat.
7.8, not enough raichu
They should have just made Galarian Pikachu like the Pikachu of old and perhaps make that evolve into the much-fabled Gorochu. Almost no-one will use Gigantamax Pikachu except for bragging purposes.
The reason why Pikachu became skinny was to highlight his growth with Ash in the series. When the series first started out, Pikachu was reluctant to participate in Pokemon battles. Gradually, Ash's bond to Pikachu inspired him to become stronger which resulted in him becoming Ash's closest ally and more willing to be involved in human affairs. It is another example of the Pokemon anime being the best work of fiction out there.
This notion of Pikachu being redesigned to make him more human-like and cute is just a lie fabricated by Game Freak for not coming up with this brilliant characterization.
@nessisonett I never understood this either. Imagine this in the real world, I wonder how duck billed platypus would sound? Was always really odd
Is it just me or are all non generation 1 Pokemon designs terrible?
@Silly_G that's a good idea lol I mean Galarian weezing is a bong with a hat/moustache.
Do admit it's fun being a fat pokemon like Gengar or Snorlax too. My favorite shirt lol
@Deanster101 It's just you.
I never understood why people fixate on this change so much. I've heard it talked about for years and years but never understood why it's such a prevalent "issue" for people.
Too much playing Ring Fit?
Old Pikachu was much more mouse or hamster shaped. Anime design is more angular and easier to pose, as it has a more defined body and head difference. But it also made Pikachu look less like a mouse and more like a bunny creature.
And I also got the impression that Pokémon weren’t supposed to cry their names in the games, the first Machoke you see cry “Guoh!” In text.
Also Drowzee’s cry will always sound “bawowo bawowo” and Koffing “bafufu” to me ;P
@Deanster101 it’s just you, Furret is adorable.
They took my thiccachu.
Although he was never really as fat as that particular pic in most of the promo images and in-game graphics. The newer tweaked design is definitely better though.
@MrVariant I thought it was supposed to resemble a Chimney
Pikachu had a lot of training
I never liked the name thing and I hate that they had to force it into the games too.
@NorseGamerTommy lol that's a kid-friendly way to put it. I'mma use surprised Pikachu. Not as surprised when fat lol
Gigantamax Pikachu & Eevee were such a waste and might as well not exist...
I liked fat Pikachu. What's next? Skinny Snorlax?
I prefer the chubby one.
Nobody mess with Tubby-Chu!
l can see why the acting can be harder because chubby pikachu seems to have no neck. He's too fat.
Smash Bros. has Dr. Mario who packs a punch but is slow. I propose Chubby Pikachu as a DLC character.
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