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Ken Sugimori (Japanese: 杉森建 Sugimori Ken; 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. The original artwork for all 151 Generation I Pokémon was done by 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 following is a list of Pokémon designed by Ken Sugimori.
There are 968 cards illustrated by Ken Sugimori, look: Illus. by Ken Sugimori.
- 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)
- Giga Wrecker (2017) - Adviser
- Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017) - Pokémon Characters Design & Concept, Design Art
- Pokémon Quest (2018) - Supervisor
- Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! (2018) - Creative Supervisor
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) - Original Game Supervisor
- Giga Wrecker Alt. (2019) - Adviser
- Little Town Hero (2019) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019) - Supervisor
- New Pokémon Snap (2020) - Very Special Thanks
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus (2022) - Supervisor
- Pokémon Scarlet and Violet (2022) - Concept & Visual Studio Supervisor
For a list of cards illustrated by Ken Sugimori, go here.
- 1998-07-18 Pikachu's Vacation (Character Concept Art)
- 1998-07-18 Mewtwo Strikes Back (Character Concept Art)
- 1999-07-17 Pikachu's Rescue Adventure (Character Concept Art)
- 1999-07-17 The Power of One (Character Concept Art)
- 2000-07-08 Pikachu & Pichu (Character Concept Art)
- 2000-07-08 Spell of the Unown: Entei (Character Concept Art)
- 2001-07-07 Pikachu's PikaBoo (Character Concept Art)
- 2001-07-07 Celebi: The Voice of the Forest (Character Concept Art)
- 2002-07-13 Camp Pikachu (Character Concept Art)
- 2002-07-13 Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias (Character Concept Art)
- 2003-07-19 Gotta Dance! (Character Concept Art)
- 2003-07-19 Jirachi: Wish Maker (Character Concept Art)
- 2004-07-17 Destiny Deoxys (Character Concept Art)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorer's Guide (Original Manga by Sugimori included with Guide)
- Jerry Girl (Original Manga by Sugimori)
- Mendel Palace - Artwork
- 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.
- 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.
- Gifford, Kevin (April 7, 2008). "COLUMN: 'Game Mag Weaseling': Just Checking In" (archive). GameSetWatch.
- (2001). ゲーム・マエストロ〈VOL.4〉デザイナー/イラストレーター編 (English translation by Shmuplations)
- Interview with Yomiuri about Pikachu's creation (page 5)
- Creator Profile: The Creators of Pikachu - Pokemon.com (archived)
- (July 2000). 『ポケットモンスター』開発スタッフインタビュー (ページｂ)。 Nintendo Online Magazine (N.O.M). No.23.
- "What It Takes to Create a Pokémon." Interview with Ken Sugimori in Pokémon Ultra Sun & Pokémon Ultra Moon Edition: The Official National Pokédex, p. xiii-xxi
- Interview with Yomiuri about Pikachu's creation (page 1)
- Nintendo Power Vol. 134, July 2000, p.78-79 (excerpt)
- Harris, Craig (February 24, 2009). "Pokemon Creators on Platinum [sic]." IGN.
- (July 2000). 『ポケットモンスター』開発スタッフインタビュー (ページｆ)。 Nintendo Online Magazine (N.O.M). No.23.
- Nintendo Dream Volume 84, February/March 2003 (English translation written by Jacob Newcomb and commissioned by Dr. Lava)
- Go-Pokemon.com - Pokémon Creators, Artists at the World Championships
- Nintendo Dream Vol. 201, January 2011 (Translation by Dr. Lava)
- Nintendo Dream Vol. 205, May 2011 (Shellspider's blog (Japanese), Translation by Dr. Lava)
- How Pokemon Get Made, 1up.com (Archive)
- Archive of deleted tweet by Keiko Moritsugu, explaining which Generation V Pokémon she had designed
- Ken Sugimori got 'artist's block' during Pokemon X and Y development. Official Nintendo Magazine (published on October 24, 2013) (archived)
- Nintendo Dream Vol. 204, April 2011 (Shellspider's blog (Japanese), Translation by Dr. Lava)
- What is your favourite Pokémon? - Pokémon Black and White interview (archived)
- What is Ken Sugimori's favourite Pokémon? (archived)