Created in 1996, Game Freak’s smash hit turned pop-culture phenomenon Pokemon is one of the most successful video game series in the world. A monster-collecting RPG published by Nintendo and gracing all of their handheld systems since the original Game Boy, Pokemon has become the fourth best-selling video game franchise of all time, lagging behind only Mario, Tetris, and FPS juggernaut Call of Duty.
Going hand-and-hand with its equally successful anime, Pokemon’s cutesy style and inventive monster designs lend themselves very well to fan-made art adaptations. These pieces represent a multitude of styles, ranging from nostalgic retro sprites to uniquely incredible Pokemon latte art. A recent Pokemon fan art now pairs the longstanding monster-collecting franchise with one of the most successful anime films of all time.
Spirited Away, created by the famed Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is widely considered to be one of the greatest animated films ever produced. Released in 2001, it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Beloved by many fans around the world, Spirited Away’s iconic gorgeous art style is certainly well known across the globe and is perfect for a fan-made Pokemon art crossover.
Reddit user artsy_fart has produced a wonderful re-creation of a scene near the end of Spirited Away in which the protagonist Chihiro hugs the dragon form of her friend, Haku. In artsy_fart’s re-creation, rival trainer N from Pokemon Black and White is seen hugging his legendary Pokemon, Reshiram. The post has been a massive success with Reddit’s Pokemon community, earning nearly 18 thousand upvotes as of writing and over 200 comments. Other users are praising the post and wondering why there hasn’t been a Pokemon and Studio Ghibli crossover yet.
Fan art has become an increasingly popular way for adoring followers to express their feelings for a particular property. Artists are able to put their own personal spins on adaptations of their favorite properties and characters. With Pokemon’s distinctive creature design and character art, the franchise is often found to be an inspiration for aspiring artists.
Of course, Pokemon isn’t the only video game series that manages to capture the imagination of its devoted fans. The Borderlands series’ striking visual style or Mass Effect’s cherished characters are also commonly used in various art pieces made by fans. Still, there is something about Pokemon’s sprawling monster roster that keeps artists busy creating content. It’s easy to see why when looking at a crossover of Pokemon and Spirited Away.