For over 20 years, Pokémon has enthralled children and adults with a slew of video games and a succession of television and film series. From its inception as a role playing game available only for the GameBoy, the franchise has grown to include over 50 different titles for handheld game systems, consoles, and even a wildly popular phone game that has drawn the attention of longtime fans and newbies alike. Following the success of the first game, the first television series was released in 1997 and the first film followed just a year later. With the release of the franchise’s first live action film this year, Detective Pikachu, the series solidifies itself as a multifaceted, global phenomenon.
The premise of the Pokémon franchise centers on the namesake Pokémon, abbreviated for pocket monsters. In the game, players take the role of a Pokémon trainer with the goal of collecting and training different monsters to develop a strong team and with the ultimate aspiration of becoming a Pokémon master.
With each new series, creators have introduced new Pokémon for players to catch and train. Lapras hails from the very first generation of Pokémon. A native of the sea, Lapras plays an important role in both the television and game series because it has the ability to transport Pokémon trainers over water on its back. This tattoo replaces the shell on Lapras’s back with Hokusai’s Great Wave, cleverly depicting Lapras’s ties to the water and blending classic Japanese art with the contemporary.
The television series has been running for so long that the main protagonist, Ash, has captured and trained countless Pokémon. However, Pikachu, the cute, electric mouse Pokémon has been at his side since the series premiered in 1997. Pikachu is likely the most recognizable monster from the series since he has battled alongside his trainer ever since the series premiered over two decades ago. Pikachu is so beloved that it also takes the namesake role in this year’s Detective Pikachu film.
As new Pokémon have been revealed, we have learned about newfound predecessors and evolutions of Pokémon we already know and love. Mimikyu looks like it could be a relative of the iconic Pikachu. Really, it’s a master of disguise. Wearing a rag decorated to look like Pikachu, Mimikyu is actually a small, shadowy figure that uses the cute disguise to lure in trainers and Pokémon it hopes to befriend.
This tattoo marries the iconic singing Pokémon, Jigglypuff, with a more recent addition to the iconic game character repertoire—Dva from Overwatch. Jigglypuff wears Dva’s signature battle suit, nonchalantly chewing gum just like the adorable robot pilot Dva.
Umbreon is one of many possible evolved forms of the Pokémon Eevee. Each evolved form of Eevee boasts a different kind of power, be it based in fire, water, or psychic abilities. This colorful depiction of Umbreon, surrounds the Pokémon with crystals that not only add to the beauty of the piece but also illustrate Umbreon’s ethereal nature.
Each Pokémon has its own signature powers and unique personalities. Slowpoke is, like its namesake indicates, slow moving and slow to respond in battle. Despite its overly chill demeanor, Slowpoke can be surprisingly powerful when it eventually evolves into Slowking. Nonetheless, Slowpoke’s chill attitude is an inspiration to those who appreciate its laid back lifestyle.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PainfulPleasures.