Story: Pikachu, known throughout the world as the cute and little yellow mouse of the Pokémon world. Like all Pokémon in the wild they like to hide from trainers and other Pokémon, this Pikachu just wanted to take a little peek to show his face.
Creating: With the huge success of the poplar worldwide game of Pokémon Go, I knew this was a project I had to capture by taking different Pokémon creatures their photographs in their natural habitats and bring them into our world of reality. When taking Pikachu’s photograph, I wanted to create a moment that I could represent all the wild Pokémon creatures that hide themselves in the tall grass environments like in the classic Gameboy games to when you begin your adventure and come across different on your way. Another idea to creating this photograph was actually inspired by another classic game from my childhood known to as Pokémon snap for the Nintendo 64, where the purpose of the game was take photograph’s of different Pokémon in different locations and try and get the perfect picture on them doing something. So in a way, this project of taking Pikachu’s photograph was like re-enacting the game and making it more realistic in our world and making Pikachu look real in his habitat.
Facts: Created by Artist Atsuko Nishida who was working at Game Freak and had been in charge of her character designs for the Sega Mega Drive game Pulseman, Atsuko was assigned later to work on Pokémon with three other designers to come up with Pokémon creatures. Now working in the development of creating the new creatures for the Pokémon game, Atsuko would work with Ken Sugimori who came up with the idea of Pokémon and becoming a game. The first step to creating the creatures was not always to sketch the creatures on paper but first draw their creations in big, blocky pixel art on the computer and make them big, bold and eye-catching which also meant they needed to be made to match the greyscale to match the screen on the Gameboy.
. As Atsuko was more of a cute and cuddly Pokémon designer, Ken was more into creating cool, sleek and quite scary designs like Mewtwo and Gyarados which he claimed he struggled creating friendly creatures and left it Atsuko to create them. When balancing the gameplay of creating different Pokémon from different types, Atsuko was given to create a family of three electric Pokémon and needed them to be cute. As Atsuko began working on her creation, Atsuko would create something that resembled a, skinny daifuku which was a tasty sugary Japanese treat and then added some ears and face and named it Pikachu. Behind creating the name Pikachu, the Pika was onomatopoeia for the noise of electricity zapping and the chu part was a cute sound that a cute animal would make which a Pikachu is actually a real mouse called Pika.
. When taking her idea to Ken for the first time, Ken wasn’t sure what to make of her creation but loved the name and wanted to keep it for an electric Pokémon but he wanted a better design of the creature. As Atsuko was a massive animal lover and wanted a pet squirrel which she thought they were adorable and loved the way they moved and the way they stored food in their cheeks. The idea now occurred to Atsuko to what if she created an electric squirrel that stored electricity in its cheeks and the idea seemed to fit perfectly and Atsuko created her new design and gave it a lightning bolt for a tail to represent its electric power. With Pikachu’s new look for Ken which he loved the new design he would draw a design in more detail and gave Pikachu his yellow design for the games electric Pokémon and made the director of game Satoshi Tajiri would become a big fan of Pikachu and referred him as electric mouse.
. In addition to Pikachu’s evolving, Atsuko came up with two more designs this being Raichu and then in its last stage Gorochu, but Gorochu was cut from the game. Pikachu would make his first ever appearance in Pokémon Red and Green in 1998 for Japan and for his first international release in Gameboys Pokémon Red and Blue on September 28th 1998 and Pikachu would become the company’s mascot and face that represents all of the Pokémon in the franchise today and involvement with Nintendo.