The British Museum recently kicked off The Citi exhibition Manga, an exhibition featuring huge Japanese anime and manga brands.
One of the brands being showcased at the museum is none other than Pokemon. Interestingly, the museum managed to get their hands on original artwork illustrated by legendary Game Freak artist Ken Sugimori. These artwork were created by Sugimori in 1996, the year Pokemon was born. Also for comparison’s sake artwork of Trainer Red and Pikachu drawn by Sugimori in 2018 is also on display.
Pokemon illustrations, 1996 and 2018 by Sugimori Ken (born 1966)
A small group of artists including Sugimori Ken designed the first Pokemon. These illustrations show how Pikachu has developed since his creation in 1996 (left) to 2018 (right). Others show Bulbasaur and Mew, numbers 001 and 151 of the original 151 Pokemon species. With regular new additions, there are currently over 800 collectible Pokemon.
And of course, new artwork of Red and Pikachu created for last year’s Pokemon Center 20th anniversary merchandise:
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