When talking about Pocket Monsters or popularly known as Pokemon, Pikachu is the first to enter the minds of people. That is because among the more than 500 kinds of Pokemon species, Pikachu is the most recognizable since it is the official mascot of the Pokemon series. With its yellow fur and pointy-ears, Pikachu has charmed the world since the first release of Pokemon in 1996. The series started as a manga or the typical black and white Japanese comics. Due to its popularity, it was given a game, and later on a TV anime series. If you want to know more about Pikachu, you can check this article about the origin and development of Pikachu.
1990s - The birth of Pikachu
Pikachu is part of the Pokemon Generation 1, which is the standard bearer of the entire Pokemon franchise. Designed by Atsuko Nishida, the name Pikachu is a combination of the word “pika” – which is the sound an electric device create, and “chu” which is the sound that a small mouse creates.
Pikachu debuted in the 90s anime series “Pokemon: Gotta Catch Them All” which started the phenomenal franchise. First aired in 1997, the show follows the adventures of Ash Ketchum, and his Pokemon partner Pikachu. The first anime series premiered in Japan in 1997, which is entitled
Pikachu first appeared in the Gameboy games Pokemon Red Version and Pokemon Blue Version in 1996. Pokemon Yellow Version was released in 1997 which follows the same story-line of the anime series. The defining feature of Pikachu are the red spots in its cheeks, and its thunderbolt-like tail.
In 1998, the Pokemon Trading Card Game was released in Japan. After a year, the trading card game was released in the United States with the original 102 Pokemon cards. Pikachu being among them is a rather hard to find card, making it so desirable among collectors. In 1999, the franchise released its first theatrical movie, entitled Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewto Strikes Back which broke box-office records as an animated film.
2000s - Pikachu Over the Years
Over the years, the animation quality of Pikachu has evolved, and improved significantly. From the pixelated game version to the latest 3D CGI used in the movie Detective Pikachu, it truly gave a new perspective to the beloved character. Also, in the Pokemon Red and Blue Versions, Pikachu is seen to be a chubby mouse-like species. However, fast forward 12 years later in Pokemon Emerald Version for Gameboy Advance, they slimmed down Pikachu to justify its fast speed and mobility.
2000 Pokemon Johto Journey premiered in the United States. The series ran for a year and have significantly boosted the popularity of the Pokemon series.
2003 After Pokemon Johto Journey, Pokemon Advanced Challenge premiered in 2003, and ran until 2006.
2006 This year marked the release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and introduced the Sinnoh Region. Also this season introduced new species of Pokemon from the said region. The series ran for four seasons, and ran until 2010.
2010 Pokemon Black and White premiered on the United States and introduced the Generation 5 Pokemons. The series was set in the Unova Region and with Ash and Pikachu trying to get stronger for the Pokemon League. The series ended after 3 seasons in 2013.
2013 Ash and Pikachu explores the Kalos region with new friends and Pokemon in Pokemon the Series: XY. The series premiered in 2013 and ran on local TV networks before it ended in 2016.
2016 Currently airing around the world is the latest installment of the Pokemon series, which is entitled Pokemon: Sun and Moon. The series premiered in 2016, and is still airing as of writing. The series introduced the Alola region, which is a tropic like island similar to Hawaii, where Ash and Pikachu entered a Pokemon School.
2000 Together with the animated series, Pokemon Gold and Silver Version were released. This was the game version of the series which was released for the Gameboy Color console. In 2001, Nintendo released the third installment of the Generation 2 franchise which is Pokemon Crystal Version. The game featured a different set of Pokemon, and a new map and story-line. The game follows the journey of a boy/girl to become a Pokemon Master. Also, there are new things to discover on the new game which became a hit after its release.
2003 Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire are the latest installment in the Pokemon franchise, which were released for the Gameboy Advance SP. This is a more advanced version of the old Pokemon games because it is now in full color. A new set of Pokemon, including Pikachu are introduced in this installment of the Pokemon game.
2007 This is the year where Pokemon Diamond and Pearl was released, and marked the 10th year anniversary of the Pokemon video game franchise. The Sinnoh region was introduced along with a new story-line and characters. This is also where the Generation 4 Pokemon were introduced to the world.
2011 Pokemon Black and White were both released in 2011, for the Nintendo DS console. Many new features where added to this version, like the Universal Link System, which uses the Wi-fi to connect with other players around the world. It laid the foundation towards the advancement of the Pokemon game franchise in the coming years ahead.
2013 Pokemon X and Y is considered to be the most successful Pokemon game ever. Released for the Nintendo 3DS, the game marked a revolution to the usual pokemon graphical display, as it is now in full 3D. The game was set in the Kalos region, and introduced the Generation 6 of Pokemons including Pikachu.
2016 This is a monumental year for the Pokemon franchise, because it is their 20th anniversary. Pokemon Sun and Moon was released to commemorate the event, and marked the start of a new anime series as well. Generation 7 Pokemon were introduced on the new map of Alola.
In the year 2000, a Pikachu game was released for the N64 console, which was entitled Hey you, Pikachu!. The game comes with a microphone, because the players can talk directly to the Pikachu in the game. The player gives commands to Pikachu just like a Pokemon trainer in the series.
Pikachu Feature Film and Short Movies
Pikachu’s Vacation is a short-film that features Pikachu and other Pokemons in an island. The movie is about Pikachu and friends having an adventure while they are on vacation. The film has a total runtime of twenty-one minutes and premiered in the United States in 1999.
Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure
This is another short-film about Pikachu and his friends. This time they are stranded in an island where Pikachu used to live. In an attempt to rescue their friend Togepi, Pikachu and the other Pokemons embark on their second solo adventure. The film was released in the year 2000 in the United States, and was a part of the opening act of the full-length animated film Pokemon The Movie 2000: The Power of One.
The Pikachu craze is even stronger with the movie Detective Pikachu, featuring the voice of Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds as a talking Pikachu. The film features a talking Pikachu who lost his memories and a young man who is looking for his father. The two decide to join hands in solving the mystery of the disappearance of the boy’s father and why Pikachu lost his memory. The movie is was released in May 2019 and will surely hit the world with Pikachu fever all over again.
If you want to watch Detective Pikachu and other Pokemon movies offline, then you can use Acethinker Video Keeper to download them to your PC.
Other Pikachu Games and Contents
With the advent of 3D Pokemon games, some players want to get the old-school feel when it comes to Pokemon games. The pixelated 2D sprites are the defining features of old Pokemon games, which Pikachu Volleyball has. The game is exclusive to Windows users and is a one versus one volleyball game. Both players play as Pikachu and compete over volleyball, never allowing the other player to get a point. It has all the elements of a classic Pokemon game including the sprites, effects, and even the music.
This is probably the game that is closest to the real Pokemon adventure game. Made by Niantic and was launched in 2016, the game promised immersive gaming experience because it requires going to different places to capture a Pokemon. The game uses GPS and is a Augmented Virtual Reality game. Using a smartphone, people can use their camera and a Pokemon will appear as if it is really there. People can even battle each other when they want to. Since its release, the game had many updates for improvements, and even added new Pokemons to the list.