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Ken Sugimori in September, 2010
Ken Sugimori (Japanese: 杉森建, born January 27, 1966) is a friend of Satoshi Tajiri and illustrator of the original artwork for Pokémon games. He also has developed conceptual artwork for the movies, and illustrates TCG cards and merchandising. All the 151 Generation I Pokémon's original artwork were all done by Ken Sugimori.
Sugimori's change of style over the years has been noticeable. Initially, he used a stiff, lightly shaded style using watercolors that was very reminiscent of Akira Toriyama's visual style, particularly that from 1989 onward. However, his now digitally-produced drawings of people and creatures have gradually gained more muscle definition, significantly rounder corners, heavier shading, and more natural and fluid poses.
The character in the Pokémon anime, Kenji, or Tracey Sketchit in the English dub, may be a homage to him, especially as both enjoy creating art. This is similar to the way Satoshi, known as Ash Ketchum in the English dub, is named after Satoshi Tajiri.
- Mendel Palace (1989) - Character Designer, Character Digitalizer
- Smart Ball (1991) - Game Designer, Story, Character Designer
- Yoshi (1991) - Character Designer
- Magical Taluluto-kun (1992) - Direction, Game Design, Graphic Design
- Mario & Wario (1993) - Character Designer
- Pulseman (1994) - Direction & Game Design, Graphics
- Pokémon Red and Green (1996) - Character Design, Monster Design
- Bazaru de Gozaru no Game de Gozaru (1996) - Graphics
- Pokémon Blue (1996) - Character Design, Monster Design
- Bushi Seiryūden: Futari no Yūsha (1997) - Graphics
- Game Boy Camera (1998) - Special Thanks
- Pokémon Stadium (Japanese) (1998) - Original Characters
- Pokémon Yellow (1998) - Character Design, Monster Design
- Pokémon Trading Card Game (1998) - Card Illustrator
- Pokémon Stadium (1999) - Original Characters
- Pokémon Gold and Silver (1999) - Graphics Director, Monster Design
- Pokémon Puzzle Challenge (2000) - Pokémon Supervision
- Pokémon Crystal (2000) - Graphics Director, Monster Design
- Pokémon Stadium 2 (2000) - Original Character Design & Character Art
- Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR! (2001) - Card Illustrator
- Pokémon Party mini (2001) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Pinball mini (2001) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Zany Cards (2001) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Puzzle Collection (2001) - Illustrator, Supervisor
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) - Original Game Staff (Graphic Director: Pokémon)
- Pokémon Tetris (2002) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Race mini (2002) - Supervisor
- Pichu Bros. mini (2002) - Supervisor
- Machop at Work (2002) - Very Special Thanks
- Kingler's Day (2002) - Very Special Thanks
- Togepi's Great Adventure (2002) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (2002) - Art Director, Pokémon & Graphic Designer
- Pokémon Box: Ruby & Sapphire (2003) - Designer
- Pokémon Channel (2003) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Colosseum (2003) - Pokémon Games Designer
- Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (2004) - Art Director, Graphic Designer, Pokémon Designer
- Pokémon Emerald (2004) - Art Director, Graphic Designer, Pokémon Designer, Package & Manual Illustration
- Pokémon Dash (2004) - Package Illustration, Special Thanks
- Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (2005) - Pokémon Characters Designer
- Drill Dozer (2005) - Director, Game Design
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team (2005) - Package Illustration
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (2006) - Art Director, Pokémon Designer & Graphic Designer
- Pokémon Battle Revolution (2006) - Pokémon Characters Designer
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness (2007) - Package Illustration
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) - Supervisor (Original Games)
- My Pokémon Ranch (2008) - Character Design (Hayley)
- Pokémon Platinum (2008) - Art Director, Pokémon Design & Graphic Design
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (2009) - Package Illustration
- Pokémon Rumble (2009) - Game-Design Advisor
- Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (2009) - Pokémon Design, Graphic Supervisor
- Pokémon Black and White (2010) - 2D Art Director, Director of Pokémon Characters, Pokémon Character Design
- Pokémon Conquest (2012) - Game-Design Advisor
- Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (2012) - Director of Pokémon Characters, Pokémon Character Design
- HarmoKnight (2012) - Adviser
- Pokémon X and Y (2013) - Character Art Director, Pokémon Characters Design (Director), Pokémon Design Coordination
- The Thieves and the 1000 Pokémon (2014) - Very Special Thanks
- Pokémon Art Academy (2014) - Very Special Thanks
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U (2014) - Supervisor (Original Games)
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (2014) - Character Art Director, Pokémon Characters Design (Director)
- Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives (2014) - Package Illustration
- Pokkén Tournament (2015) - Very Special Thanks
- Tembo the Badass Elephant (2015) - Advisor
- Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon (2015) - Package Illustration
- Sega 3D Classics Collection (2015) - Package Illustration
- Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016) - Pokémon Characters Design, Trainer Graphics Design (Lead)
- Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017) - Pokémon Characters Design & Concept, Design Art
- Pokémon Quest (2018) - Supervisor
- Little Town Hero (2019) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019) - Supervisor
For a list of cards illustrated by Ken Sugimori, go here.
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorer's Guide (Original Manga by Sugimori included with Guide)
- Jerry Girl (Original Manga by Sugimori)
- Mendel Palace - Artwork
- Sugimori's favorite Pokémon is Gengar due to its simple design.
- Another of Sugimori's favorite Pokémon is Venusaur, but he has also said its complexity makes it his least favorite to draw.
- In a Nintendo Power interview in July 2000, he gave Hoothoot as his answer, citing a childhood pet bird that stood on one leg.
- His favorite Pokémon from Pokémon Black and White is Zekrom.
- Sugimori has designed more Pokémon cards than any other artist.
- Sugimori has a Nintendo 3DS LL with a Dreamcast logo engraved on the top.