Hero of his own feature film, “Detective Pikachu”, broadcast this Wednesday evening on TF1, and world icon of pop culture, Pikachu was not yet supposed to be the face of Pokémon. Explanations.
Today, it seems impossible to dissociate the world of Pokémon with the adorable face of Pikachu, whose first live adventure, Detective Pikachu, is broadcast this Wednesday evening on TF1. But we tend to forget that originally, it was not Pikachu who was to play the role of Pokémon ambassador around the world, since this role was reserved for … Melofee!
Remember the first version of the video game, released in 1996 on Gameboy: in the red and blue versions, Pikachu – Pokémon # 25 – is a creature like any other, seen on rare occasions and hardly put forward. than a Nidoran or a Racaillou, unlike for example the three starting companions: Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur.
At the time of launching the animated series, it is therefore Mélofée – another rather rare Pokémon – which is chosen, in particular for its cute side which could seduce children and be declined in derivative products. Only, against all odds, surveys then reveal the popularity of a completely different Pokémon: Pikachu. Praised by both male and female audiences, the yellow mouse was chosen as the face of the franchise, and as the companion of the hero of the series launched in Japan on April 1, 1997.
The following year, a new version of the video game was born: the yellow cartridge, an exact copy of the previous two except that the starting companion is a Pikachu and that the latter is the only Pokémon to pronounce its name ( the others being satisfied with simple rudimentary cries). Since the story is known: now an interplanetary star, Pikachu has become not only the face of the Pokémon brand, but also of Japan, as evidenced by his appointment as Japanese ambassador for the Osaka World Expo. from 2025.
Pokémon: do you remember the names of the first 150 creatures?