Some things are so adorable that once you get enough of them, you just want to smash them in the head with a hammer. Before we cause an outrage, we are not talking about cute puppies or babies; we are talking about an animated character from the Pokémon games, and anime called Pikachu.
His name sounds like the sound of a sneeze, and that is annoying by itself. Since the beginning of the hugely successful global franchise, Pikachu has been the mascot for the Pokémon series, though that wasn't the intention when he was created. Pikachu’s role is similar to the way that Mickey Mouse is the worldwide-recognized character representing Disney. But fans don't really want Mickey to die a brutal death. Moreover, after decades of popularity, there are always new five-year-olds who are easy to impress with a quirky mouse character.
Recently, Kotaku wrote about why they're sick of the adorable little electric mouse, and apparently, it's not an uncommon belief in the fandom.
Fans of Pokémon
The difference between Mickey Mouse and Pikachu is that Pokémon fans are getting older and not really letting go of the franchise that was dedicated to children. This has caused game developer Game Freak to try and toe the line with their games as they need to be accessible to children without shunning longtime fans.
Fans may have started enjoying Pokémon stuff when very young; however, many are now adults. Forbes reports that in 2017 the online version of the game, Pokémon GO has over 65 million active players each month, with many users in their late twenties or thirties. Forbes says that more women (67 percent) play this game than men (23 percent) and surprisingly, the average player is a white female, age 25 years old, who makes over $100k per year. No couch potatoes here.
Not all fans want to get rid of Pikachu; however, Kotaku says there are many that think they have seen enough of this character. Pikachu has been in every rendition of Pokémon, since the game first appeared on the Game Boy device around 20 years ago, during 1997. Pikachu started out by being a bit chubby, happy go lucky, and cute. Over the years, he has changed to become progressively skinnier and more sinister-looking. There is something evil that has over-taken Pikachu and we miss the older style of the more adorable version of the character.
Old Versus New Pikachu
While there are literally hundreds of Pokémon characters, Pikachu is the only Pokémon monster with many special attributes and that receives excessive recognition. There is an entire game dedicated to Pikachu, called Pokémon Yellow and a spin-off called Hey You! Pikachu.
Pikachu, Pikachu, Everywhere A Pikachu
In the popular version of the game called Ultra Sun and Moon, a new feature is surfing. By winning all the mini-games in this version, the reward is a Pikachu that can surf. In the newest 3DS games, a player can dress in Pikachu clothes and a complete island in the game is dedicated to Pikachu. The island is chocked full of Pikachus. Some live in a Pikachu-shaped van. Talk about oversaturation!
Pikachu Parade and Cafe
For special events in the popular Pokémon Go game, fans get to capture more Pikachu characters, each time wearing a new hat. Pikachu is in every episode of Pokémon anime and in every Pokémon movie. Pikachu was the mascot for the real-life Japanese team when they played in the 2014 World Cup, and even had an entire parade dedicated to the character. The Pokémon is used everywhere in the official Pokémon cafe.
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With all the attention paid to Pikachu, what do you think? Is it time to kill the character off and replace the mascot with another beloved (some say more interesting) Pokémon character such as Mimikyu? Could Donald Duck ever upstage Mickey Mouse?
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