Yes, you read the headline correctly. With Pokémon’s 25-year-plus history, there are always little tidbits coming out about how the franchise propelled itself to success across the world, and one of the most recent gleamings we’ve gotten from the history of the series is that, apparently, American marketers wanted to give Pikachu boobs.
Fortunately, we never had to see Pikachu boobs, but we can take a guess at what it might have looked like from listening to Tsunekazu Ishihara’s words when speaking to Alex Pappademas for The Big Hit Show podcast. He described the American redesign as “something like a tiger with huge breasts”, adding that “it looked like a character from the musical Cats”.
I’m pretty sure your own imagination has run wild with what little information we’ve given, so be glad to know that that’s as much as the president of the Pokémon Company was willing to share on this occasion. We hate to think what Mr Ishihara would think about the thicc Pikachu that’s been doing the rounds in recent months, but at least it doesn’t look like something out of the mind of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
A heavy-chested Pikachu redesign isn’t the only bit of fresh information we managed to take from episode 3 of The Big Hit Show. It turns out that the same marketing team responsible for trying to pin the booby on the Pikachu came up with over six sets of alternative names and translations when naming the first 151 Pokémon. However, with what we know their imaginations were capable of, it’s probably for the best these never saw the light of day.
There you have it, all you need to know about the time that a bunch of marketing specialists tried to give Pikachu boobs. For more bare-chested Nintendo-related news stories, check out the latest on Bayonetta 3’s NSFW naive angel mode.