Ken Sugimori

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Ken Sugimori in September, 2010

Ken Sugimori (Japanese: 杉森建, born January 27, 1966) is a friend of Satoshi Tajiri and illustrator of the original artwork for Pokémon games. He also has developed conceptual artwork for the movies, and illustrates TCG cards and merchandising.

Sugimori's change of style over the years has been noticeable. Initially, he used a stiff, lightly shaded style using watercolors that was very reminiscent of Akira Toriyama's visual style, particularly that from 1989-onwards. However, his now digitally-produced drawings of people and creatures have gradually gained more muscle definition, significantly rounder corners, heavier shading, and more natural and fluid poses.

The character in the Pokémon anime, Kenji (called Tracey Sketchit in the dub), may be a homage to him, especially as both enjoy creating art. This is similar to the way Satoshi (called Ash Ketchum in the dub) is named after Satoshi Tajiri.

For a complete list of cards that Sugimori illustrated, go here.



Game Title System First Sale Date Position
Mendel Palace (Quinty in Japan) NES 1989-06-27 Character Design/Character Digitalize
Smart Ball SNES 1991-09-13 Character Design
Magical Fantastic World MD 1992-04-24 Director
Mario & Wario SNES 1993-08-27 Graphics
Pulseman MD 1994-07-22 Character Design/Artist
Pokémon Red and Green Versions GB 1996-02-27 Character Design/Pokémon Design
Pokémon Blue Version GB 1999-10-10 Character Design/Pokémon Design
Pokémon Stadium (Japanese) N64 1998-08-01 Original Character Design
Pokémon Yellow Version GB 1998-09-12 Character Design/Pokémon Design
Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions GBC 1999-11-21 Graphic Designer/Pokémon Design/Package & Manual Illustrations
Pokémon Puzzle Challenge GBC 2000-09-21 Pokémon Supervisor
Pokémon Crystal Version GBC 2000-12-14 Graphic Designer/Pokémon Design/Package & Manual Illustrations
Pokémon Party mini mini 2001-12-14 Supervisor
Pokémon Pinball mini mini 2001-12-14 Supervisor
Pokémon Tetris mini 2002-03-21 Supervisor
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions GBA 2002-11-21 Art Director/Pokémon & Graphic Design/Package & Manual Illustrations
Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire GCN 2003-05-30 Designer
Pokémon Channel GCN 2003-07-18 Supervisor
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire GBA 2003-08-01 Special Thanks
Pokémon Colosseum GCN 2003-11-21 Pokémon Games Designer
Pokémon Dash DS 2004-12-2 Pokémon & Package Graphic Design
Drill Dozer GBA 2006-02-06 Designer/Character Designer
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions DS 2006-09-28 Art Director/Pokémon & Graphic Designer
Pokémon Platinum Version DS 2008-09-13 Art Director/Pokémon Designer & Graphic Designer
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions DS 2009-09-12 Pokémon Design/Graphic Supervisor
Pokémon Black and White Versions DS 2010-09-18 Pokémon Design/Graphic Supervisor
Pokémon Black and White Versions 2 DS 2012-06-23 Pokémon Design/Graphic Supervisor
Pokémon X and Y 3DS 2013-10-12 Pokémon Design/Graphic Supervisor
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 3DS 2014-11-21 Art Director/Pokémon Character Design Director
Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3DS 2014-12-18 Cover Illustration
Tembo the Badass Elephant Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
2015-7-21 Advisor
Sega 3D Classics Collection 3DS 2015-12-23 Cover Illustration

Trading Card Game

For a list of cards illustrated by Ken Sugimori, go here.



  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorer's Guide (Original Manga by Sugimori included with Guide)


External Links


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