Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda was worried that Pokémon like Jigglypuff and Clefairy were “too cute to be successful in the US”

The Pokémon franchise is brimming with a plethora of adorable creatures since the very beginning. Two of the first Pokémon created that fall in this category were Jigglypuff and Clefairy, which Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda thought may have been “too cute to be successful in the U.S.”

“At first, we were told that the Pokemon were too cute to be successful in the U.S. and that we should change the design of the characters,” Masuda told USgamer via an email interview. “At the time, it wasn’t common for RPGs from Japan to be popular overseas. I remember being worried that players outside of Japan wouldn’t accept Pokemon for what it was.”

Pokémon’s original roster of 151 monsters range from “tough and cool” to “so very fluffy and cute.” While Masuda expected intimidating Pokemon like Charizard and Mewtwo to find an American audience, he was afraid the rounder, pinker Pokemon on the roster wouldn’t be accepted. “Thankfully, my worries proved to be unfounded,” he says, “and all of the Pokemon found their fans even outside of Japan.”

Masuda admits introducing the West to the Pokemon anime alongside the games was a smart move overall. “We decided to start with the animated TV series,” Masuda says, “and I think that strategy really paid off.”

“Once I arrived in the U.S., I saw just how many Pokemon products were on store shelves. There were far more products than I expected, and I remember being very surprised,” he recalls. “Seeing the sheer number of products available in the shops was probably the first time I truly realized just how big Pokemon had become.”

Source: USgamer.net

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