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Is it true that Gamefreak decided that Pikachu would be the mascot before the anime was made?

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If you were on chat today, you probably saw the debate about Pikachu's status before the anime was aired. It ended when Sapph said that Pikachu was the mascot before the first games were released. If you are answering this question, please cite your sources.

Arguments:
Dragon resists electric as well as the three starter types.
Counter-arguments:
In the first games, Pikcahu did not stand out at all.
Ash's starter was once supposed to be Clefairy.

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Then that would inevitably mean a lot of downvoting just because you're picky -.-
No, I'm usually satisfied with answers that have a good source. And the down-votes that my profile says I gave out were mostly to Movesetbot.
You realise that answers are by no means required to have a source right? A source is something people add by choice to give their answers validity in hopes of being the best answer. If the description is good and logical, and there is at least some evidence if it's fact based, then a source is not required to prove an answer correct.
no, I'm saying that I'm more likely to be satisfied by an answer with a good source.
But you shouldn't downvote them if they don't, because they're by no means wrong. You downvote if the answer is painfully wrong or ill written. Not if they don't have a source. You don't have to upvote them, but you can't downvote them either.

1 Answer

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Best answer

No, it isn't.

Let me break this down for you:
GameFreak makes the game, not the anime. While it obviously has its hands in it, GF is a videogame company, thus the following point will be driven by logic as your question doesn't have any factuality behind it to hold it.

• The flagship Pokémon that were chosen for the first generation were Charizard and Venusaur, so to differentiate the two cartridges and ensure both a connection and a diversification between kids who played the games.
This happened in Japan during 1996.

• A year later, always in Japan, a Special edition, containing new sprites, was released and was called Blue.
During that year, specifically the 1st day of April in 1997, the pilot episode of the anime showcased in Japan.

• Five months later, on September 12th 1998, the Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition was made accessible to the public due to the high popularity the show received.

Now, from this we should consider a few things:

As you said, Clefairy was meant to be the mascot for the anime, but due to its color and basic scheme design it was viewed as a bad marketing choice, for fear that it would only appeal to a female demographic.
Thus Pikachu who was, and still is, more neutral was deemed more appropriate, and in fact it appealed to both boys and girls.

Now in regard to the game, your question and my answer:

It couldn't be possible for the mascot to be anyone but Pikachu, since the game was based upon the anime as evidenced by the presence of Gary's Eevee, the Rocket duo with Meowth and the team they had in the anime and the unwillingness to evolve by Pikachu.

But this was for Pokémon Yellow, which was ONE game.

Game freak always releases two copies of the games, for socialization and lucrative purposes, so it wouldn't make sense for Pikachu to be the chosen one even before the first two games were released especially because it was an average electric Pokémon whom didn't stand out until it received a popularity boost thanks to the anime.

tl,dr: No, because it would create a Time-Paradox.

Got the links for you with the dates:
First Ep in Jap
Red/Green/Blue
Yellow

Hopefully this will answer your question!

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see, Sapph? I was right all along!
Torym have I ever told you how much I love your answers?
I just realized that the Pokémon anime is one big awful April Fools joke.
i know right?