Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

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    Face of mercy? NOPE Yato's Avatar
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    Default Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    It could have been ANY pokemon. Ash could've traveled with ANY pokemon. But out of the first 151, it just had to be Pika. Why?

    Bulbasaur's pokedex entry is #001, so it's not hard for him to be a candidate. Heck, the three starters all could've had the chance (of course, they all later joined the team, but as supporting characters, NOT the main protagonist)

    It could've been Mew as well. I know Mew is a legendary... but it's not really all that strong compared to other legendaries, no?

    So out of all those pokemons, why - WHY Pikachu? Any guesses?


    EDIT: This is a thread about "Why Pikachu Was Chosen?", not "Why Clefairy Was Not Chosen". Clefairy isn't the subject here. Thank you.
    Last edited by Yato; 19th August 2012 at 07:13 AM.

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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    Because he's cute small and strong, and market wise he is the perfect pokemon represent you're brand because boys and girls love him, while i doubt many boys would prefer a bulbasaur over a charmander.
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    Well Clefairy was originally going to be the mascot of Pokemon and being Ash's first Pokemon. But because Pikachu had so much popularity he ended up becoming the mascot and Ash's starter.

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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    maybe Clefairy didn't stick because it's pink and some small boys hate pink because it's for girls...
    but yeah I wonder why Pikachu. Maybe because yellow's a more gender-neutral color? I also think it's because it can appeal to both boys and girls.
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    I thought some form of market research went into this long ago. Indeed, they were going to do Clefairy originally, or even Poliwag to represent Tajiri's own favorite pokemon. How they landed on Pikachu of all things, the only answer I could have was that it was popular before the anime was conceived, and it was a perfect neutral ground for them, since I can understand they could not favor one of the starters over the others, although someone could've been given Bulba if giving Gary a Squirtle was always in their intentions, and Ash would then get Char. This would also assume that Gary got a larger role, though, which who knows what their original plans were. Given how things went, it wouldn't have been a good idea since Gary was not shown battling at all.
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    Clefairy was supposed to be the mascot, as proven by the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga. I think after TVTokyo chose Satoshi's starter to be the cute Pikachu, not the also cute Clefairy, then Clefairy would be the mascot of Pokemon,
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    As many said, Clefairy was going to be the mascot, but they chose Pikachu in the end because it would be popular with both, boys, and girls.

    Also, I read somewhere that at the time Pokémon came out, there weren't many yellow mascots (with Winnie Pooh being the most popular), so they chose Pikachu so the audience would recognize it easily.

    Now, this is a theory of my own, I doubt they thought of this. They chose a Pokémon that required an evolutionary stone to evolve so they could avoid having the mascot change. While Ash has many unevolved Pokémon, Pikachu is the one who outright rejected evolution.

    And finally, I think Pikachu's size played part in it too. If Ash had started with, say, a Bulbasaur that evolved into Venusaur, how the hell would Venusaur be out of its Poké Ball all the time? Maybe if the starter just stayed unevolved for the whole series. The whole Pikachu-hates-Poké Balls thing was likely done so they would have a reason to keep the mouse on-screen most of the time.

    EDIT: Found this interview with Satoshi Tajiri.

    TIME: Pikachu is sort of marginal in the game. But it's now the best-known character. How'd that happen?
    Tajiri: When they did the anime, they wanted a specific character to focus on. Pikachu was relatively popular compared with the others and potentially both boys and girls would like it. They heard a lot of opinions about this. It wasn't my idea.


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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    Besides what's already been said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Destiny Queen View Post
    It could've been Mew as well. I know Mew is a legendary... but it's not really all that strong compared to other legendaries, no?
    But it was still legendary, and the most exclusive Pokemon at the time. Having it be the mascot probably would've been considered too much exposure.

    I also wonder if they felt that having a Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle as Ash's first Pokemon would make Ash less neutral, and that for the anime they didn't want this.
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    As others have mentioned, Pikachu can appeals to both boys and girls with being cute and being tough in battle at the same time. Clefairy could have done that too, but I think that the design would appeal more to girls than boys and they didn't want to go that route with the anime. I don't think that they could have given Ash just any Pokemon out of the original 151 Pokemon though. I don't think that they would have given him one of the three starters since they probably wanted to make his first Pokemon different from usual not only to make his character stand out, but to make the anime stand out as well. I definitely couldn't see them giving Ash a legendary Pokemon like Mew since that would have been a bit much and with Mew specifically, they didn't want to give it a lot of exposure to begin with.

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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    Well let's take a look a Pikachu it's small fast and electric type.

    I think electric type is the real key hear to be honest. Think about it's gym appears early and it's one of the four type dragon resistant to. Which suggest to me is that Electric and the starter type are the main four special types. So they need a mascot but they don't want to chose one starter over another because that is kinda alienating so the chose the final "main element"

    Now lets look at the electric types can't chose Voltorb Zapdos or Electabuzz too mean looking magnemite doesn't have much girl appeal. So it seems like Pikachu is the obvious choice here
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    Registered User Saiga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    I'd like an actual source on that Clefairy rumour. The fact that the Pocket Monsters manga used it isn't relevant, the various manga are separate from the anime.
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    Your opinions are all good and great guys... but I'd rather prefer we don't talk about Clefairy here because I asked Why Pikachu Was Chosen, not Why Clefairy Was Not Chosen.

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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    This is just one of my little theories. Maybe GameFreak or Nintendo wanted Pikachu to be the Japanese Mickey Mouse?
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    good question... well for starters: pikachu is cute, but not sickeningly so. it has a simple, memorable design & a bright color scheme. in the games it's the only electric type available early on, meaning that many kids who played r/b/g probably caught one and had one on their team & thus were familiar with it/fond of it. it's small & adorable enough to be a "pet" - sitting on ash's shoulder, being hugged by him, doing cute little tricks - but can also hold its own in a battle. and the fact that it needs a thunderstone to evolve makes it slightly more plausible that it would still be a pikachu after all these years. a mascot should always stay basically the same after all, which is why bulbasaur or squirtle wouldn't have worked as well. as a kid, everyone wanted to see the starters evolve into their final forms, whereas pikachu... well, let's just say that raichu isn't exactly quite as badass as blastoise or charizard. ;p

    it technically could've been any pokemon, but all things considered i think pikachu was the perfect choice marketing-wise...
    mew would've been a good choice as well, but it's design is actually a bit too simple. it doesn't have any distinguishing marks like pikachu's thunderbolt tail to make it stand out. plus, making a legendary the mascot would take a bit of the ~mystery out of things IMO.
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    Default Re: Why was Pikachu chosen as the anime protagonist?

    I think they wanted it to be a pokemon that evolves with a stone such as Pikachu and Clefairy so that the pokemon would be small enough to sit on Ash's shoulder and can be strong without showing signs of evolution.

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