Home Film & TVAnime Ken Sugimori Reveals the Secret to Designing Starter Pokémon

Ken Sugimori Reveals the Secret to Designing Starter Pokémon

by Neil Bui

Lead Pokémon designer Ken Sugimori explains that he and his team follow specific rules during the creation of starter Pokémon each generation.

“We always divide the roles for the three starter Pokémon, by which I mean we assign each of them a distinct personality. For example, we make a cool one, a serious one, and a funny one. When we agreed on the concepts for Tepig and Snivy, we decided Tepig would be the funny one, and Snivy would be the cool one. So we know Oshawott would have to be the serious one, which how he ended up with the facial expression you see in his final design.”


By going through each Generation, let’s see if these rules by Ken Sugimori can be seen in application:

? Cool

? Funny

? Serious

Generation Grass-type Fire-type Water-type
I – Kanto ? Bulbasaur ? Charmander ? Squirtle
II – Johto ? Chikorita ? Cyndaquil ? Totodile
III – Hoenn ? Treeko ? Torchic ? Mudkip
IV – Sinnoh ? Turtwig ? Chimchar ? Piplup
V – Unova ? Snivy ? Tepig ? Oshawatt
VI – Kalos ? Chespin ? Fennekin ? Froakie
VII – Alola ? Rowlet ? Litten ? Popplio
VIII – Galar ? Grookey ? Scorbunny ? Sobbie

Let us know which of our matchups you agreed and/or disagreed with! It got tough in the middle with the Hoenn and Sinnoh region starters, and pretty much felt like anime sudoku!

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