Many Pokemon are actually based on real-life animals or at least come through inspiration from some animal, and the same is the case with Pikachu. But, fans have a hard time believing that such a cute animal really exists in the real world.
Pikachu is actually inspired by a real animal, but that animal doesn’t shoot electricity as Pikachu does. But which animal is it? Is it a mouse, a rabbit or a squirrel? Read on to find out!
Pikachu is an electric-type Pokemon which was Ash Ketchum’s first partner in the Pokemon series. It’s the most famous Pokemon in the world and also one of the most successful merchandise mascots. It is one of the biggest mascots for Nintendo.
It is also a mouse-type Pokemon but it also resembles a rabbit. Its electric yellow in color with two red spots on the cheeks and an electric bolt-shaped tail. It has two-three brown stripes on its back and long ears with a black tint at the end.
What Animal Pikachu is based on?
While the Pokedex does say that Pikachu is a mouse-type Pokemon, Pikachu doesn’t much resemble a real mouse. The closed mouse-type Pokemons are Ratatata and Sandshrew, and Pikachu doesn’t resemble them at all.
So, is he really a mouse-type Pokemon? The answer is yes and no. Yes because it has Mouse-type affinity according to Pokedox, and no, because the creators say so.
While Pikachu does seem like a hybrid of a rabbit and a mouse, it’s actually something really different. Pikachu actually resembles chinchillas more, it’s actually from species relatives of squirrels.
Atsuko Nishida was the graphic and character designer for the game Pokemon Red and Green. She revealed in an interview with Yomiuri(ht – Siliconera) that the initial inspiration for Pikachu in Pokémon Red and Green was a squirrel.
Nishada stated that she was particularly interested in squirrels at the time. Thus, he wanted the character to have round cheeks and a tail. He thought squirrel tails are adorable and the perfect choice but because he wanted the character to have a lightning element, he made it like a lightning bolt.
The Pikachu was classified as a mouse because of its terminology and the way he squeaks. Remember those squeaks of Pikachu? “Pikachu and Pika-Pika“.
However, Pikachu was classified as a mouse-type Pokemon following the selection of its name. As per Nishada, the name Pikachu ended up sticking for their primary character. The word is a combination of the Japanese words “pika,” which refers to the sound of an electric spark, and “chu,” which is a mouse sound.
Since it has a sound of a mouse in its name, the designers opted to classify the Pokémon as a mouse-type in the series encyclopedia.
With this clarification, a long-standing dilemma among the fans was also cleared.