Pokemon Fan Shows Off Stunning Re-Designs Based on Japanese Mythology


  • A Pokemon fan has created stunning re-imagined versions of six classic Kanto Pokemon based on Japanese myths and legends.
  • Pokemon has a long history of incorporating elements of Japanese mythology and folklore into its designs.
  • Fans are excited about the artwork and have requested more Pokemon to be re-designed with a mythological theme, with the creator already sharing other re-designs in the past..

A Pokemon fan is sharing a set of stunning re-designs for some of the franchise’s classic creatures based on legends from Japanese mythology. Throughout its more than 25-year-long history, Game Freak and the Pokemon Company have brought a wide variety of unique designs to life through the monster-catching franchise. Pokemon designs have referenced everything from real-life animals and mythological concepts to even objects like Rotom’s many different forms taking the shape of household appliances. Now, a creative fan has re-imagined several older Pokemon with a Japanese mythological theming.

The crossover of Pokemon and mythological aspects is nothing new as the franchise has often referenced folklore and legends within its designs. An interview with Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri from PBS previously linked the origins of the franchise to Japanese card games revolving around yokai spirits, dating back to the 1600s. The trio of Pokemon featured in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s first DLC, The Teal Mask, also reference the classic Japanese folk tale “Momotaro.” Fans have also often shared their own re-imaginings of the iconic creatures based on many popular myths and legends.

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A post shared to the Pokemon subreddit by Reddit user CanadianTurt1e shows off six different Pokemon re-designs with Japanese mythology-inspired roots. The artwork features Kanto Pokemon Charizard, Rhydon, Onix, Shellder, Machamp, and Kakuna all taking forms inspired by different Japanese legends. Each image features the Pokemon’s Pokedex number written out in Japanese katakana lettering, with Rhydon’s design also referencing the statues from Pokemon‘s Kanto region. The artwork also features several references to other popular anime, with Shellder holding a Dragon Ball and Naruto‘s Shino using Kakuna’s shell as a disguise.

Many fans in the replies praised the stunning artwork, requesting more Pokemon for the artist to re-design with a mythological flair. Among the most popular requests from fans of the design was Arcanine, which the user confirmed he had already created a Japanese mythology-inspired re-imagining of Arcanine. Kakuna’s re-design was also popular within the replies, with some suggesting its new form bears a striking resemblance to The Nightmare Before Christmas antagonist Oogie Boogie.

Mythology and folklore have often been a popular inspiration for Pokemon‘s newest creatures, especially throughout recent entries in the franchise. The previously mentioned Teal Mask expansion for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet takes heavy inspiration from Japanese folklore, both with its new Pokemon and the designs for the Kitakami region’s Ogre Clan. Pokemon Legends: Arceus‘ also steeps heavily into historical Japanese theming with its setting in the Hisui region. Pokemon and mythology continue to be a popular combination, both for the main series and inspiring its legions of fans.

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Pokemon is a franchise that needs no introduction. One of the most successful media empires in history, Pokemon spans games, television, films, manga, merchandise, music, and more.

Created by Satoshi Tajiri

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