Pokemon is one of the most famous media franchises in the world today. You can find these cute and / or cool monsters in video games, anime, movies, to card games. Since its establishment in 1995, the monsters or Pokemon introduced have also approached the 1,000 mark. But after more than 20 years, Pokemon still have the same mascot, namely Pikachu.
In this article, we probably won’t analyze the characters based on their personalities or stories. Instead, we’ll cover how a yellow electric mouse could be the face of a franchise for up to 25 years.
From Rare Pokemon To Mascot
Pikachu is one of the first 152 Pokemon to appear in Pokemon Red, Blue, and Green. But unlike in the anime, he is not one of the starter partners you can choose. You can still catch it in one of the early areas of the game, but it is quite rare and requires some patience to be found.
The first time Pikachu appears as the main mascot in the Pokemon franchise is in the anime. First broadcast in 1998, the anime was immediately popular, including Pikachu, the main character’s partner, Satoshi / Ash.
In the same year, Game Freak developer then released Pokemon Yellow. The game has the same content as Pokemon Red / Blue / Green. The only difference is that you can only choose one partner, Pikachu. From there, Pikachu got his status as a mascot.
Until now, Pikachu has always existed in all Pokemon games. All main Pokemon games always have a Pikachu that you can catch. All Pokemon spin-off games always have Pikachu as a character. No half-hearted, games like Pokemon GO even have many versions of Pikachu that you can catch. Then when it comes to other franchises such as Super Smash Bros. Pikachu has always been a representative of Pokemon.
A Mascot That Cannot Be Replaced
As we mentioned above, Pikachu was not originally the only mascot in this series. The throne fell into the hands of Clefairy, who had a big hand in the Pokemon comic story, Pokemon Adventure. Initially, Clefairy will be the mascot for Pokemon.
But when it was about to be made into an anime, the mascot’s position was moved to Pikachu. The reasons are many, and almost all of them revolve around marketing.
Although no less cute, the pink Clefairy is considered too synonymous with women. This certainly makes Pokemon less attractive to boys. That’s why the mascot in the anime then fell to Pikachu, who is still cute and attracts girls, but also with a cool electric element that attracts boys.
Pikachu’s mouse-inspired shape also makes it easier to identify as a pet than Clefairy. In addition, yellow, which is the main color of Pikachu, is one of the three basic colors and is easily recognized even from afar.
In each generation, all parties involved in the Pokemon series always have one Pokemon as the main face. For example in the fourth generation, this main face is Lucario, then in the seventh generation there is Mimikyu, and so on.
But despite having one Pokemon that has become the main spotlight in a generation, Pikachu’s position as the Pokemon mascot as a whole cannot be replaced. He has already had a huge impact on the Pokemon series and franchise from year to year.