Wonder why Pikachu has been ‘losing weight’ in more recent years? Well, fans have recently dug up an interesting nugget of information that reveals the main reason why!
According to a recently-translated excerpt from Yomiuri Newspaper in 2018, Pokemon art director Ken Sugimori actually commented on the matter of Pikachu’s thinning design. In particular, he pointed to the Pokemon anime as a main factor for this change – since Pikachu needed to perform many human-like gestures:
“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.'”
It’s definitely quite the revelation, and really puts the anime’s importance into perspective!
In any case: which version of Pikachu do you prefer? Feel free to share your thoughts below.