Initially both Pikachu and the Pokémon Clefairy were chosen to be lead characters for the franchise merchandising, with the latter as the primary mascot to make the early comic book series more “engaging”. Pikachu Pokemon face mask However, with the production of the animated series, Pikachu was chosen as the primary mascot, in an attempt to appeal to female viewers and their mothers, and because it was believed that Pikachu presented the image of a recognizable intimate pet to children. Its color was also a deciding factor, as yellow is a primary color and easier for children to recognize from a distance, and with consideration to the fact that the only other competing yellow mascot at the time was Winnie-the-Pooh. Though Tajiri acknowledged that the character was relatively popular with both boys and girls, the idea of Pikachu as the mascot was not his own, with the company responsible for the production of the animated series OLM, Inc. giving the suggestion to utilize Pikachu’s potential to Game Freak, and stated he felt the human aspect of the series was overlooked by Japanese children who embraced Pikachu by itself more readily. Pikachu was originally going to have a second evolution called Gorochu, which was intended to be the evolved form of Raichu.
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