Every audience has a different taste. It is merely a luck stroke to find the interests of two different countries similar. Thus, sometimes it becomes a need to change existing designs and norms to fit with the audience. Nintendo of America thought of doing the same, with the look of Pikachu. The team believed that the “cute” Pikachu design was too ordinary for the American people, and wanted to revamp its style. However, to the great relief of all the Pokemon fans, the newly redesigned Pikachu did not get approvals from the authorities.
The newly proposed designs by Nintendo of America were bizarre and weird. Pikachu has always been a cute and friendly electric type Pokemon. Earlier, Pikachu was only a famous face in Japan, but at present, the character is loved all across the globe. However, Nintendo of America once thought that the American audience wouldn’t like the Pokemon to look this timid. Thus, it decided to make it appear more masculine and ravishing. The ideas proposed by the team weren’t satisfactory, though. The news spread after a Did You Know Gaming? episode.
The Nintendo Of America, out of the blue, thought of adding a heavy bosom to the Pikachu body. Tsunekazu Ishihara thoroughly disliked the newly proposed designs. He stated that the designs offered by the team were unexpectedly weird. The team completely changed the cute Pikachu look to something that looked like a giant tiger. The man also said that the redesigned character resembled one from the musical Cats.
Clearly, the Pikachu designs didn’t change when the Pokemon games were made localized anywhere outside its homeland, Japan. Pikachu is a mascot Pokemon and must look cute and simple, and not bulky and masculine. This was just one example of a redesign proposal getting denied. Yet, this does not mean that the game didn’t see any changes when localized in different nations. Go abroad, and you will find the game’s text and a few Pokemon names different from what they are called in your country. However, you wouldn’t experience a change in your generic experience.
One such instance came in light in an episode of Did You Know Gaming? Nob Ogasawara was the man behind translating Pokemon Red and Blue, making it suitable for the English audience. He was creative while doing the task as he added several pinches of pop culture. One such was the nods to some popular English movies and shows. He also removed references to religion and alcohol from Pokemon Red and Blue.
It is crucial to understand that the main power lies in the hands of Nintendo. Even when Nob proposed some new ideas, Nintendo did not approve of all of them. For instance, Nob wished to give NPC’s Spearow a nickname “Britney.” The purpose of the offered nickname wasn’t aimless. Had the team approved the nickname, the Pokemon would have been called by Britney Spearow, and it would give a reference to great pop singer Britney Spears. To Nob’s huge disappointment, Nintendo did not approve of the idea.
If Nintendo had allowed for all these changes and more to occur, the game’s overall experience would have been entirely different. The wise decision of disallowing what’s unneeded is admirable. If these changes were made allowed, especially the one presented by Nintendo of America, the characters probably have not received much love. Pikachu is a cute mascot and must look like a sweet Pokemon, not a tiger.