THE ART OF POKEMON
thought for a change I’d do a piece about the actual art on the cards.
Everyone’s done their top ten “cards” to death, but I’ve yet to
see anything on the artwork. Below is a brief look at the first three Neo
sets with the best AND worst of what they have to offer! I have only
looked at Pokemon cards, not Trainers
(or indeed Energy).
this was a VERY hard to one to judge as there is much here that is
defining. Ken Sugimori contributed no less that 48 of the 81 cards in this
set. He’s rarely less than brilliant… and having been the designer
behind most of the pokemon, it’s no wonder he gets them spot on. The
whole look of Pokemon as we know it was created by him and his work on
earlier sets was the standard we came to expect. However after much
deliberation the top five cards I propose are:
by Ken Sugimori: Putting the character off centre to a beautiful
background really complements the holographics of this card.
by Ken Sugimori: Dramatic background and aggression making this look
like one MEAN pokemon.
by Hinorobu Yoshida: Atmosphere and character beautifully executed.
by Hinorobu Yoshida: Great framing and background, simple yet
by Ken Sugimori: Hard to choose the fifth place with so many worthy
cards, but the atmosphere in this one is stunning, as is the point of
light effect on Sneasel’s claw
there were not too many poor cards in this set, but the pick of the worst
were fairly dire:
by Tomokazu Komiya: Oh dear…. What more can I say. Poor old ‘poke
gets a raw deal whenever he appears.
by Miki Tanaka: A combination of horrid drawing with sick colours. I
am astounded they continue to employ Miki.
by Miki Tanaka: and here Miki is again, ruining one of the best
pokemon. By the way there’s a great Elekid card on PokemonZeo. Check
by, you guessed it, Miki Tanaka: Now why couldn’t we have had the
art from the coro-coro promo wooper?
This is tragic.
by Shin-ichi Yoshida: While I really like some of Shin-ichi’s work,
this is really poor. Again, the promo Murkrow of Ken’s would have
suited the set so much better.
don’t know about you lot, but I was SO disappointed by the look of this
set. A real mess of inconsistent artists worked on this and no Ken
Sugimori cards in sight. At least there were a couple of gems amongst the
by Atsuko Nishida: At last, butterfree gets a good card (playable) and
a good picture too! AN’s style is very cutesy, but when it works it
REALLY works. This is one of his/her (I don’t know?) best to date.
(holo) by Kimiya Masago: The style is more adult and photo-realistic,
but this is a truly beautiful holofoil with those stunning gold bands
on Umbreon. Character and class combined.
by Atsuko Nishida: As I said above, AN goes for the sweet and flaaffy
end of the market, so what better subject than the electric sheep
by Hironobu Yoshida: Very much in the style of Ken Sugimori (MIA), a
bold design that really works… and SO much better than the Smeargle
by Kimiya Masago: Now I know that a lot of people really like this
picture and would place it higher. I’m not such a fan. It’s
good, but the style is so alien to pokemon. Still, I rate it simply
for the beautiful execution of background and water. A really
the worst…. Well, so, so, so many to choose from. Let’s see. How
by Miki Tanaka: I mean…. What IS that???!!!!
by Aya Kusube: Not as obviously BAD as some others but just a really
depressingly POOR picture of Eevee, who is, after all, so
by Miki Tanaka: I’d take a pin to that balloon. Iggly is fairly ugly
at the best of times. Yet Miki makes it that bit worse.
by Yukiko Baba: Now, I know… Dunsparce is the UGLIEST pokemon and
the biggest waste of space. But it can be drawn well. Take a look at
the Japanese promo Dunsparce if you don’t believe me. However this
is just terrible.
by Yukiko Baba: Oh no! Not again! WHY can’t we have nice woopers?
It’s such a cool character and yet the two cards are so poor. Give
the guy a break and do an English version of the coro-coro promo.
Ken is back and we have another stunning set of cards to feast our eyes
on. Revelation has some consistently good artwork and, on the whole,
unites as a set. Lots to choose from here, but my top five are:
by Mitsuhiro Arita: MA is one of the main and best pokemon artists
with a really beautiful painting style. The colours and atmosphere of
this card win it the top award.
by Kimiya Masago: A nice subject matter always helps but KM has really
pulled this one off. A perfect Holofoil card with movement and power.
Gyarados by Ken Sugimori: It would be really disappointing if the
“shining” cards were crud artwork (Charizard anyone?). So thank
God they asked Ken to do this one. A real masterpiece.
by Hinorobu Yoshida: as with ND Smeargle HY has a style very in
keeping with the look developed by Ken Sugimori.
This card is crisp and simple in its design but all the more
effective for it.
by Atsuko Nishida: to be honest there were a dozen cards that could
fill this 5th space. But I think AN has created a beautiful
card here, with the sun filtering down through the water. After all,
Chinchou ain’t a looker!
every set is marred by a few turkeys and Revelation was no exception:
by Yukiko Baba: Vile beyond measure. Poor old Stantler.
by Yukiko Baba: Now come on. A child of eight could do better.
by Masako Yamashita: Or is that I-am-a-shit-a(rtist)?
by Tomokazu Komiya: I think it’s the insipid acid yellow grass that
ruins this one for me.
by Miki Tanaka: This spot would have been filled by Delibird but for
the fact that in a modern art way, it has something going for it. This
on the other hand does not. A more boring card has not yet been
there you have it. It is all personal opinion and therefore unlikely to
find agreement with everyone. The point of this all is to show that
presentation is important. I’m sure I am not the only one who is
disappointed to see a badly drawn card in an otherwise excellent set. I
beseech the powers that be to think about this when commissioning for
next week we have Destiny to look forward to. From what I’ve seen,
it’s a really mixed bag. But the Dark Typhlosion is way cool…..
comments and disagreements to: