Er, I mean, it’s not a magazine of illustrations that came with a card insert which happens to be in English… but… aw, here, lemme explain:
So a few months back, the March 2021 issue of the Japanese-language magazine “illustration” (イラストレーション) had a special issue dedicated to all kinds of Pokémon TCG artwork used throughout the history of the game; the cover to that particular issue is pictured on the right. Seems like a fair thing to cover during Pokémon’s 25th anniversary celebration year, especially with something like the TCG which has thousands of cards of hundreds of Pokémon each with their own unique artwork. Honestly that’s one reason why I enjoy the Pokémon TCG so much—as well as why I enjoy making my own cards!
But because I couldn’t get a copy of it myself—seeing as San Francisco’s Japantown is now a two hour drive away—this is where this story would’ve ended. But as it turns out, inside that magazine there were seven unique full art cards drawn by seven different Japanese artists of renown. Unfortunately, however, the cards only existed on the pages of the magazine itself and are most likely never going to be printed in a physical form. But fortunately for us, the Hi-Res Pokémon! account had posted on both their Tumblr and Twitter accounts managed to share both the cards and their original artwork in a, well, hi-res version:
Beautiful 2021 illustration by artist Ikegami Yoriyuki for an imaginary Lotad card published in the magazine Illustration earlier this year, yeah this means this card doesn't actually exist, unfortunately… pic.twitter.com/8t21pOWHF1
— Hi-Res Pokémon! – Rescuing official Pokémon Art! (@HiResPokemon) August 13, 2021
Now for gits and shiggles, I decided to take the full artwork shared by Hi-Res Pokémon! and turn them into English.. because, let’s be honest, it was super easy to make: no translation from Japanese necessary! I then posted them on Twitter, and the response from everyone was AMAZING!
Since all of us here know how to speak Japanese (I mean, obviously!), your friends who don't can enjoy this English version of the Yoko Kuno full art Chikorita card that doesn't exist.
— Pokémon Aaah! The Tweeting Account (@AaahPokemon) August 15, 2021
WOWZERS! So since everyone else loved the Chikorita and Lotad “Englishifications” I made, I figured I’d make the entire set in English as well… at least once Hi-Res Pokémon! released them all. And since they did… without further ado, here they are!
Oh, actually, one quick ado: I’d like to first off credit the wonderful artists who created these beautiful pieces of Pokémon artwork! (Pseudonym names will be written as is… while the actual names of artists will be written in Western order with family name in CAPS, also including original Japanese form of name.)
- 1/7: ZG Chikorita by Yoko KUNO / 久野遥子
- 2/7: ZG Grookey by AMELICART
- 3/7: ZF Delphox by Keiji YANO / 矢野恵司
- 4/7: ZW Suicune by Gemi
- 5/7: ZW Lotad by Yoriyuki IKEGAMI / イケガミ ヨリユキ
- 6/7: ZL Pikachu by Misaki KIHARA / 木原未沙紀
- 7/7: ZP Gengar by Ayako ISHIGURO / 石黒亜矢子
OK, NOW we’ll share the cards!
Pretty awesome stuff, huh? Feels like the good ol’ days too, like when I released the English translations of the Vending Machine set as the Safari Zone fake card set. (I should go back and remake the set using better scans and updated blanks!)
Anyways, my versions of the cards are slightly different and not exactly a 1-to-1 recreation. Specifically, I wanted to represent what the cards might look like if they were properly released in English outside of Japan, which means a few changes might be made in their transistion to the West:
- obviously the cards are in English
- I switched to using a Western yellow border versus Japanese silver border
- Once again, super credit goes to aschefield for his awesome and easy-to-use blanks!
- I gave it a more approrpriately Western set icon, versus the Japanese
logos they’ve been doing lately (yawn)
- that said, the set icon I used is based on the Favicon used on the Illustration website, which is that sideways pencil icon
- I wanted to use something from the actual magazine title of “illustration” (in English), but it just looked like the “Illus.” text of the actual card’s illustrator. Having two “Illus” above/below one-another just looked weird.
- I also added the “Z” Regulation Mark, even though the original cards lacked them, if only as a way to deter bootleggers from trying to reprint these cards… or at least, if they did, then potential customers could look at the “Z” Mark and maybe be clued in that this is an fake card, at least without it affecting the ambience of the card (like a giant “PA!” watermark would)
And that’s pretty much it! I tried to otherwise keep the card recreations as authentic as possible, even making sure that the same English attack names are used relative to the Japanese ones, as well as their Pokédex entry flavor text. I think the only issue I had was in trying to translate Grookey’s Seek attack, since its original Japanese name—さがしもの Sagashimono—didn’t seem to have ever been used on any other card. The German translation of the card called it “Suche”, or “Seek” in English, so I stuck with that.
So yeah, pretty awesome stuff! I hope you enjoyed it.
BUT! I’m not one with my fake card update quite yet… I still have at least one more to share with you! Well, technically two, but… lemme explain first.
So back in June I ordered another pin from Pokémon-pin maker extraordinaire, Rachel Briggs (aka @RacieBeep). I previously ordered her GLOW IN THE DARK MissingNo. pin, and so this time I ordered her “Space Phoenix” pin, which I may or may not have had a small hand in helping convince her that she should make it… but I digress. Anyways, I got the pin back in early-July, and inside it was another cute inspiring sketch from Rachel:
Oh OH, there’s NO WAY I wasn’t gonna make this into a proper fake card like the MissingNo. fake I made for her last time!
As for the other fake card; another thing happend in July: it was my best friend Teslalyte’s birthday! He’s been a part of PA! since day one back in 1999, so I just had to make him a fake card as a present too! I mean, it’s better than to just buy him an off-the-shelf birthday card, right? Afterall, a fake card would be a lot more personal and personable and an honest reflection of how much I appreciate everyone as an individual and what they are to me personally.
But uh wait a sec… it’s almost September now, so shouldn’t I have done this back in, y’know, July? Hey, c’mon, lay off… grown-up stuff happens!
AHEM. Anyways, so because of these two awesome little moments, I decided to celebrate them with my own fake cards to both Teslalyte and RacieBeep. And so, here they are!
Oops! Well, this is where the technicality comes in… I only just sent this gift off to Teslalyte, which means he deserves a chance to see the card first before anyone else does. (So shhhh! Don’t anyone tell him about this…. in fact, if your name is Teslalyte, you’re not allowed to read this post until later! …oh wait) But seriously, I’ll share the fake with everyone once I get word that Teslalyte got his card safe and sound.
But I can at least talk about RacieBeep’s “Space Phoenix” card. I tried my best to keep it as accurate to her original sketch as possible, but I kinda had to flub up some of the numbers. Still, I at least made the best fake I could given RacieBeep’s idea, so I hope she (and you!) enjoy it.
So how ’bout that? That’s NINE new fake cards for everyone! Well, more like eight for now, with the nineth one appearing later. But still, this is the most new fake cards I’ve shared at one time in a loooooooong time, but it won’t be the last time. There’s plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned for more! Huzzah, good times!