Game Freak Devs Say They Were Initially Hesitant About Having Pokémon Speak Their Names

By Casey . August 18, 2017 . 9:30am


There’s no denying that, as far as Pokémon goes, Pikachu is the most popular of all the pocket monsters, as well as the mascot for the Pokémon franchise in general. However, Pikachu’s popularity was never really intended by the devs over at Game Freak. In a new interview with Game Informer, Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda revealed that it was more a decision by anime production company OLM Inc. to push Pikachu’s visibility and thus further its overwhelming popularity.


In regards to putting a lot of the Pokémon anime’s focus on Pikachu, Masuda said the following:


“That was a decision, or rather a suggestion, from the company that made the anime. They originally came to us with the idea that they wanted to feature Pikachu, because Pikachu at the time was really popular amongst kids in school. It is a hard-to-find Pokémon, so kids knew about it.”


In addition to that, OLM Inc., also conceptualized the idea of having Pokémon speak their own names, to which Game Freak was originally skeptical about, Masuda revealed.


“They actually had [Pikachu’s] voice actress, Ms. Ikue Ōtani, do a take on the voice and they showed us a clip of it and we listened to the sound of it saying its name over and over in a really cute way. We weren’t really sure about it, but it worked out.”


That’s not all OLM Inc. influenced in the Pokémon anime, either. According to Masuda, while Team Rocket was Game Freak’s idea, OLM Inc. came up with the concept of the recognizable duo of Jesse & James.


To read more from the interview, you can go here.

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