For the first time, "authentic" rescans of Ken Sugimori's iconic Pokemon art reveal the true, original vision for the Kanto and Johto-region Pokemon, and I'm shook.
As YouTuber and Pokemon archivist Lewtwo explains on Twitter, the artwork we're all familiar with depicting the Red, Blue, Gold and Silver Pokemon actually isn't representative of the original work done by Sugimori. Poor-quality scans led to inaccurate or simply blown out colors, misshapen designs, and a generally low quality image. Thankfully for us, the original art has been rescanned for the first time by a software developer going by ExcaliburZero.
For over 20 years, the Red, Blue, Gold & Silver artwork of each Pokemon across the internet had inaccurate colors, were often misshapen, and generally VERY low quality.Thanks to scans provided by @ExcaliburZero_Z, we're finally able to see how they were always meant to look. pic.twitter.com/aCTYVzC0DZApril 17, 2023
Since this is a fairly large undertaking, the process will be as follows:We're going to be removing all low-quality Red, Blue, Gold & Silver Pokemon artwork from the Asset Archive, effective immediately. Each Pokemon will then be meticulously cut out for transparency in… pic.twitter.com/dBB3xJEboXApril 17, 2023
I've long wondered why the Pokemon art from those old manuals and game boxes doesn't look like the models we've come to know and love from the anime and games, and now we know: shitty old scans, simple as that. To be fair to whoever was responsible, these were the Game Boy days were talking about, so presumably scanning tech has evolved (pun not intended) considerably since then.
The archivists at Lewtwo plan on uploading each image individually so that sites like Bulbapedia, which as you might have guessed are like encyclopedias for Pokemon, can swap out the old images with the new. But preservationists needn't worry, Lewtwo assures "the existing low-quality scans of the RB/GS artwork aren't being 'deleted from history' or becoming 'lost media,' as Bulbapedia lets you see revisions for images going back to the creation of the site. Plus, you know, the internet isn't going to just delete every copy of the old artwork.
Find out where your favorite ranks on our list of the best Pokemon games ever made.