We all know and love the cute yellow electric mouse that has taken the world by thunderstorm. Marketing itself as the face of the franchise, Pikachu sits pretty as the Pokémon mascot in all regards. However, we are left with the question of why Pikachu? There were 150 Pokémon available in the original generation 1 games, 151 if you count the ever-exclusive Mew. In the manga, there were a few more Pokémon available to the main protagonist and Pikachu was only one of the handfuls to choose from.
Mascot Battle Royal
Before we get into the main reasons of how Pikachu rose to power, we want to tell you that Pikachu wasn’t a hands down decision, nor was it the first face of the Pokémon world. Originally, Clefairy was meant to be the mascot of the series. When the debate came down to it, the only competition that Clefairy had been Pikachu.
What fans don’t know is that Pikachu was originally supposed to be a low-class electric type obtainable early into the game, and Clefairy was supposed to be the face in front of the name. However, Pikachu became a household name and face. From plush toys, to posters. Pikachu can be found in the hundreds when it comes to merchandise and collector’s items. Clefairy was found to be a bit too feminine and the creators of the franchise possibly felt this would lose a portion of male players and fans.
Were We Spoon Fed Pikachu’s Rise to Fame?
Now that we know how Pikachu was chosen, we need to know why Pikachu was a candidate. We must ask ourselves, were we spoon fed Pikachu’s image and name through the anime and the games to accept the mascot, or did Pikachu become the mascot because it became so common to associate Pikachu to the rest of the Pokémon world?
We can assume that Ash received Pikachu as his first Pokémon in the show not because Pikachu was famous, at the time it wasn’t, but perhaps the writers didn’t want to show favoritism to the other three starter Pokémon. When Ash received Pikachu, the viewers began to fall in love. The cute ears and tail, with the big lovable eyes, this electric mouse resembled the familiarity of a beloved household pet. The emotional journey that the animated series takes us on with Pikachu does nothing but help us fall in love with the yellow mouse of electrical power. We think it is safe to say that the fans had a part in picking Pikachu.
In conclusion, because of the fame that was grown from the anime and into the games, Pikachu became the face of the Pokémon franchise. The release of Pokémon Yellow, and the sales, was only more proof of the love everyone had for Pikachu. We dare you to picture the Pokémon franchise without this adorable yellow mouse.
What do you think? Is there a Pokémon you feel should have been mascot over Pikachu? Let us know and as always thank you for reading.