18 Pikachus dressed up for Halloween

Pikachus on parade

Pikachu's been around the block a few times. He's been a cartoon character, a World Cup mascot, even - unofficially - a symbol for Hong Kong's Occupy Central protests. But you might not know that Pikachu's also, officially, a Halloween fan.This year Pokmon kicks off the 2015 Halloween Parade, offering a fine selection of Pikachus dressed as other, spookier, Pokmon. So if you ever wanted a plush of Pikachu as a blood-sucking vampire bat or cartoon reaper, this is your year.

But Halloween isn't the only time Pikachu plays dress up. The Pokmon Center released a themed Pikachu every month during 2015, and dressing Pikachus in costumes played a major role in Pokmon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Between them, costumed Pikachus are becoming a tradition. And that constant need to find new costumes has led to someunusual choices. Like, really unusual. So in honor of Halloween, let's run down some of Pikachu's cutest, zaniest, and most unnerving wardrobe changes.

Duskull Pikachu

Leading the Halloween Parade is Pikachu dressed as Duskull, a Pokmon that "loves the crying of children," and likes to kidnap misbehaving kids. Which is pretty disquieting, especially when you factor in that Pika's wearing a skull for a hat.

You have to give the Great Yellow One credit though - his costume's top-notch. Duskull's a natural choice for Halloween: he's a ghost, looks like the grim reaper, and has a sweet coat. Throw in that it's a coat with tails and Pikachu's the best-dressed trick-or-treater in the neighborhood.

Gengar Pikachu

But dressing up as death wasn't enough for Pikachu - not nearly - which is why he's also dressed as the malevolent shadow Pokmon Gengar. If your Pokdex knowledge is a little rusty, that's the one who lurks in house corners and kills wanderers in the mountains.

This plush is incredible, but not as incredible as the promotional art, where Pikachu's clearly enjoying being a shadow creature. He's hunched forward like a predator, all claws and wicked grin. In fact, he looks a little too into it - like a kindergartener who shows up dressed as a vampire and then bites another kid on the playground.

Golbat Pikachu

Speaking of vampires, for his next costume Pikachu chose Golbat, a vampire bat who sucks blood so greedily that he can't even fly afterward.

Okay, am I the only one seeing a pattern here? I know it's Halloween - the one time of year it's ok to hang fake body parts on your porch - but I never suspected Pikachu had a dark side. To be honest, I find it alarming that three of his costumes are Pokmon with a history of feasting on humans.

And yet: that hat. It's delightful. Not only that, it creates a shockingly accurate image of what Pikachu would look like if he joined a Rocky Horror cast.

Mismagus Pikachu

Finally, a Pikachu who doesn't want to eat us! Instead, he's dressed as Mismagus, whose words torment the hearer with headaches and hallucinations. And let's be honest - we've all had that guest at our Halloween party. Seems normal enough.

What's fantastic about this costume is that the designers reverse-engineered it. Mismagus is supposed to look like a Halloween costume-style witch, so they turned around and made a witch costume that resembles Mismagus. It's the cuddliest postmodern deconstruction you'll see today.

PumpkinChu

It's better not to ask how a pumpkin became Pikachu-shaped. Let's just assume it's like those square watermelons Japan invented a few years ago. Instead of thinking too hard about it, let's sit back and bask in PumpkinChu's huggable glory.

Look, I'm going to be 100% honest here: there's not a lot to say about a Pikachu pumpkin. Either you don't care about it, in which case I'm wasting breath, or you've already opened a new tab and are buying one on Amazon. Let's move on.

Spooky Party Pikachu

Part of Pokmon's 2014 Spooky Party campaign, this uh, Halloween-party-king-Gourgeist-guitar Pikachu (I guess?) is ready to jam into the wee hours, putting a curse on everyone who hears his sweet guitar riffs. Though, do people really play guitar at Halloween parties? There aren't usually paper crowns involved, either.

You know what? Japan only started celebrating Halloween a dozen years ago, and it isn't exactly the same over there. Let's chalk this one up to cultural difference.

Pilot Pikachu

It's impossible not to love this little guy in his double-breasted jacket and peaked cap. Pilot Pikachu's definitely ready to hit the street parties, stealing hearts and collecting phone numbers into the wee hours of November 1st.

One problem though - Pilot Pikachu's only sold at Japanese airports. In fact, he's kind of everywhere; he used to even be on the planes. There's almost a sense you're going to glance in the cockpit while boarding and see him looking back at you. And look, he's cute and all, but I don't know if I'd trust Pikachu to fly a plane. Has he logged enough hours in large-body aircraft? Is he able to communicate with the tower? What about the risk of electrical malfunction? I'm concerned about flying at cloud height with a walking EMP at the controls.

Flight Attendant Pikachu

Um, okay, Flight Attendant Pikachu seems marginally safer I guess and way, way more adorable with her neckerchief and little purse. (By the way, flight attendants in Asia really do still wear neck scarves.)

Sure it might be annoying when an electric-generating mouse tells you to turn off your cell phone for takeoff, but admit it - you'd actually watch the in-flight safety briefing if a Pikachu were conducting it. Plus, she's so darling. In the inevitable Halloween costume contest, Flight Attendant Pikachu gets my nomination for 'cutest'.

Pikachu Belle

One of Cosplay Pikachu's many outfits from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the Pikachu Belle outfit shows the all the refinement and grace of a rodent stumbling randomly through Scarlett O'Hara's wardrobe. And I kind of love it.

But what, I wonder, is Pikachu Belle like? Does she welcome guests with mint juleps and peach cobbler, or is she a cold-hearted debutante that ruins reputations with rumor and insinuation? (Here's a hint: her signature move is Icicle Crash.) I get the impression that Pikachu Belle might not TP your house Halloween night, but she would convince a friend to do it.

If that happens, remember - Sherman-type attacks are Super Effective against Pikachu Belle.