Pokemon Pokémon Series Mascot

Discussion in 'Beachfront Hangout' started by Athena, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Athena Envoy of Mediation
    Athena

    Advanced Member Member

    Nowadays it's hard to imagine anyone except Pikachu as the main mascot of the Pokémon franchise, but that wasn't always the case. Originally, Clefairy was going to be the "main" mascot of the show, but it was later changed to Pikachu after some last-minute changes put Pikachu into the anime as Ash's starting Pokémon and the popularity of the anime led to Pikachu gaining its top mascot status.

    Now, Pikachu is likely the most-known of all the Pokémon and is a widely recognized mascot even by people who don't know Pokémon (or even play video games in general). Within the franchise itself, Pikachu has 78 different non-reprint cards in TCG and has been a staple in almost all of the games (including spin-offs) and manga, not to mention remaining the single most used Pokémon in the anime.

    I can't help but wonder how the Pokémon franchise might be different today if Pikachu didn't end up as the mascot. The change from Clefairy was apparently made to appeal more to girls and mothers (since Pikachu looks more like a normal "pet" than Clefairy), and also because the bright yellow of Pikachu makes him stand out strongly and be easily recognizable. But how could another Pokémon have changed the popularity and shape of Pokémon?

    The first Pokémon I thought of immediately was Charizard. After all, it makes a certain amount of sense to see Charizard as a potential mascot; he was already a box mascot for the original Pokémon Red game and has always been popular among the fan base, especially back in those early days. However, with such a large and violent-looking Pokémon as the main mascot, I could see parents complaining more about the game. When Pokémon originally came out, there were already many parents (at least in America) who weren't sure what they thought of a video game that was mostly about fighting animals, and having a fire-breathing (non) dragon as the mascot could have heightened their apprehension, and pushed the game series towards an older playerbase.

    Yet, it's the smaller and/or sillier Pokémon that I have fun theorizing about. If Pokémon had kept Clefairy as the mascot after all, I can't help but feel that it would have turned a lot of boys off the series and Pokémon would have become a more girl-based game. On the other hand, with the whole "Clefairy coming from space" deal, that opens up a lot of possibilities for exploration, which could have been cool to see as a larger focus. Eevee could have made a cute mascot, what with its ever changing forms. With Eevee as a mascot, we probably would have seen a larger variety of branching evolutionary forms for many different Pokémon (and also more Eevee-like "clones" the same way we have cute Electrc-type Pikachu "clones" every generation), and maybe even have an Eeveelution for every single type by now, too. What about Rattata? Sure, he's kind of boring, but then we could have a Youngster Joey talking about his top percentage Pikachu! :D I personally would love to have seen the Dratini line as a mascot; as a cool, rare Pokémon it would have gotten more focus, and Dragonite is equal measures of cute and dragon that could have had a wide appeal.

    And, so.... (tl;dr)

    What first generation Pokémon would you like to have seen as the main Pokémon mascot? How do you think different mascot Pokémon might have changed the focus and future of the franchise?
     
    MtheW, Celever and Leaf_Ranger like this.


  2. scattered mind Competitive VG Forums Mod
    scattered mind

    Forum Mod Member

    I think they made a really good choice overall with Pikachu as like you said, even non Pokemon fans recognizes him and most of them also like him.
    I think that if they already shaped up Charizard as a sub mascot of the franchise as we can see him in almost every time they want to approach an older audience or at least that is what it seems to me.
    Eevee could be a really great mascot on paper but the fact he will never evolve into so many forms and simply watching how ash finds out about more new eeveelutions would probably annoy the audience even more then Pikachu refusing to evolve into Raichu.
     
  3. Celever Wheeeee~
    Celever

    Member

    Thena, you mentioned there that Clefairy was originally going to be the mascot of Pokémon. However, that isn't actually 100% true. The original ORIGINAL mascot of Pokémon was going to be Jigglypuff, which I think would have been really interesting. Also interesting, is that the Pokémon anime workers (Ken Sugimori etc.) actually really liked Jigglypuff, as shown by her prominence in the first few seasons of the anime, and that she was a common fan favourite leading to her appearance in Super Smash Bros.. Jigglypuff is actually very iconic to the franchise (moreso than Clefairy) mainly because of Super Smash Bros. and the early anime, so in a way Jigglypuff is sort of the substitute mascot for if Pikachu gets ill. I think that having this cute little puff ball as a prominent character was a very good idea, as it appeals to both sexes, and to mothers (IT'S SO CUTE!) so in a way Jigglypuff has helped shape the franchise. However, if Jigglypuff was the true mascot, it is interesting thinking about what it'd be like today. I think that Pikachu was probably the better choice because it appeals to both boys and girls better than Jigglypuff, but yeah.

    I also agree with you about the Dratini line. That would have been fantastic!
     
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  4. Athena Envoy of Mediation
    Athena

    Advanced Member Member

    I used the Wikipedia Pikachu entry as the initial basis for my research. The source it cites in that particular section was actually a print book that I don't have and so I can't really dig much deeper, but this is what it said:


    Clefairy was, as referenced in this article, the main Pokémon in the Pocket Monsters manga as the starter Pokémon of the manga's main character, Red. The Bulbapedia article on Clefairy also states that Clefairy was originally going to be Ash's Pokémon in the anime, too, to draw a parallel to the manga which was incredibly popular at the time (despite being wildly different from the games and show from what I can see, with Pokémon talking and weirdness with evolutions), but the idea was scrapped early on and replaced with Pikachu. In the end, the only boost that the Pocket Monsters manga got in the anime was a short cameo during the Advanced Generations, probably since the manga got a sequel around that time, too. Sadly, Bulbapedia's not as good as sourcing its info as the regular Wiki, so I don't exactly know where that came from; perhaps the same book?

    I won't deny that Jigglypuff is well-liked; it's always been a favourite among GF staff and fans, and has been a popular secondary mascot (like Charizard, Togepi, legendaries, starter Pokémon, etc.) since early on, which is likely what secured its spot in SSB. But I haven't seen any information anywhere pointing to it being an initial choice for primary mascot; as far as I've been able to see, it's always been a popular character and secondary mascot.

    I'm really interested in checking out that book, though; seems like it would be a really cool look at the origins of Pokémon and how the beginning of the franchise was handled in Japan and internationally. People seem to have a problem with the fact that the book's proclamation about the "fall" of Pokémon with its waning popularity around 3rd gen (obviously proven to be untrue), but that wouldn't make the historical information any less true or interesting.
     
  5. Leaf_Ranger Knight of Nature and Pokémon
    Leaf_Ranger

    Member

    BULBASAUR , of course! :D

    Kidding aside, my best bet would be Mew! Bulbasaur would be too much connected to a certain type, Meowth, one of my possible choices resembles to much a "Manekineko" to stand on it's on as the symbol of Pokémon. Charizard woul suffer even more from the same problem of Bulbasaur because it has a flame and so is stands out as a Fire-type more.

    I wouldn't mind if Clefairy or Jigglypuff were the actual mascots...on second though, I would due to them being (light) pink. If we might be joked by playing Pokémon, more so if the mascot was a pink ball...oh yeah, Jigglypuff couldn't do it because it reminds too much of Kirby! I said that 1st sentence because I've grow up with Pikachu being the star and I'm already sick of it due to Ash's Pikachu and Ash.

    About Eevee, Rattata and Dratini. Eevee would be great and I would say "definitely yes" if I hadn't read Athena's small explanation, namely the color imprtance, and now I think Eevee wouldn't really stand out. Rattata is a purple rat so not a good option (color + rodent associated with garbage, plague and pestilence). Dratini seems a nice option except that when it comes to mascots, they usually have more mobility in order to allow for more poses and stuff.

    PS: Pikachu has a physical feature to its advantage: the cheeks! Not only they make it cuter and adorable (hence the gag in the anime) and by being red they remind us although not directly, about Japan and it's flag's red circle.
     
  6. Athena Envoy of Mediation
    Athena

    Advanced Member Member

    Mew would certainly be a cool mascot. I wish Mew was more advertised like some of the other legendaries.
     
  7. Overall I don't really see any Pokemon being a 'better' mascot than Pikachu is, though I am one of those who don't find Pikachu annoying as a result of being Ash's Pokemon in the anime. Speaking of the anime though, if you look at Charizard's (and Charmeleon's) behavior until about half way through Orange islands, you have to ask yourself is this Pokemon really a good representation of the entire series?

    I knew Clefairy was originally considered, but I didn't know about Jiggylpuff. I think for some either one could be considered by some to be too girly. Also as it was mentioned they do resemble Kirby a bit too much, granted both Kirby and Pokemon are owned by Nintendo but I think it could still have been confusing. It's probably best they didn't make the cut. I do wonder though if they had done this if it would have taken until gen 6 to make both of these Pokemon more than just normal types. Likewise I can't see Rattata as the mascot either.

    Dratini would have been neat, but even better I think would have been Dragonair. Whatever cute appeal it may lose through evolution is made up with elegance. Plus it can kind of fly too so that would be a great compromise for movement and poses.

    Mew would have been a fun mascot to have. I kind of wish we'd see more of Mew.

    Depending on how well one wants to assume Gamefreak is prepared, they may have known in advance that at least one other generation would have Eeevee evolutions in it and it couldn't be localized to one generation, though that could lose credence with gen 2 introducing baby Pokemon for the top two contenders (plus the winner) of the mascot run.
     
  8. bbninjas Ready or Not!
    bbninjas

    Advanced Member Member

    Surprisingly noone has mentioned Gyarados. Although I wouldn't recommend him, he's certainly an iconic player in Pokemon. Any of the newer players probably heard about catching a weak Magikarp and making it evolve into a really cool dragon!
     

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