Pikachu's Passion for Fashion
A Nintendo mainstay since 1996, the Pokemon RPG franchise has become the second bestselling video game series in the world (behind only the same company’s Mario Bros. blockbusters), moving nearly 300-million units and not a single one because of the characters’ sartorial splendor.
After nearly two-decades in the buff, however, pocket monster icon Pikachu – mouse-like, bright yellow, barely one-foot tall, with a lightning-shaped tail – donned some duds in last fall’s one-two 3DS releases, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.
Exclusive to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Cosplay Pikachu is earned during in-game Pokemon Contest Spectaculars, presenting as a female, level-20 critter with random nature and lightning rod ability. Its tail, is uniquely marked by a heart-shape, and it comes with five prêt-a-porter outfits, each with its own special move: Rock Star Pikachu demonstrates Coolness style and the Meteor Mash move, while Belle Pikachu has the style of Beauty and is armed with the Icicle Crash move; then there’s Pop Star Pikachu with the style of Cuteness and special move, Draining Kiss; there’s PhD Pikachu who’s style is Cleverness and its special move is Electric Terrain; and Libre Pikachu’s style is Toughness with a Flying Press move.
Cosplay Pikachu switches costumes by engaging the Pokemon breeder and Hoenn Region Giorgio Armani in the Contest Hall’s green room. No word yet on whether the series protagonist Ash Ketchum will ever go hipster and chuck that cursed shark mouth, double-brim trucker cap for a crisp Newsie or a fetching Fedora.
Last Christmas, the Pokemon Center issued a limited-edition set of five plush Cosplay Pikachu stuffed animals, which promptly sold-out.