Narrative illustration (TCG)

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A narrative illustration is a card illustration that features one part of a story, and continues the story onto other related cards. These are distinct from combined illustrations, which feature one illustration split across multiple cards. Cards that form narrative illustrations are generally drawn by the same artist and released together in the same expansion, but there are instances of narratives that are collaborations between several artists or released decades apart. The Pokémon Plusle and Minun have multiple narrative illustrations featuring them.

In the Scarlet & Violet series, special illustration rare cards of Pokémon ex often form a narrative illustration with illustration rare cards of their pre-evolutions.

List of narrative illustrations

Team Rocket and Unified Minds

 
Abra
 
Elgyem
The first card depicts an Abra sitting atop a castle. The second card depicts an Elgyem sitting in the same spot.

Vending Machine cards and Unified Minds

 
Bulbasaur
 
Purrloin

P Promotional cards

 
Pikachu
 
Larvitar
The two cards depict the same scene from two different perspectives. In the scene, a Pikachu is hiding behind a hedge, telling the owner of the card to keep quiet, as a Larvitar is looking for it. Furthermore, on the first card, the Larvitar's silhouette is seen on the hedge with its horn sticking out, Likewise, the second card shows Pikachu's silhouette with one of its ears sticking out.

Aquapolis, P Promotional cards, Undaunted, and Unified Minds

 
Umbreon
 
Umbreon
 
Umbreon
 
Umbreon & Darkrai-GX
The first two cards are both prints of Umbreon from Aquapolis. These show Umbreon on the rooftops of The Town on No Map, with one depicting Umbreon awake at night while the other depicts Umbreon sleeping during the day. The artist of all four cards, Mitsuhiro Arita, stated that cat lovers enjoyed these illustrations.[1] Arita has confirmed that the fourth card forms a narrative with his first Umbreon card.[2]

Aquapolis and Unbroken Bonds

 
Growlithe
 
Growlithe

Aquapolis and Crown Zenith

 
Gloom
 
Gloom
The first card depicts a Gloom sleeping on a tree branch. On the second card, the Gloom has awoken in shock, falling from the branch.

T Promotional cards

 
Imakuni?'s Whismur
 
Imakuni?'s Loudred
 
Imakuni?'s Exploud ex

EX Dragon

 
Minun
 
Plusle

Movie Commemoration VS Pack: Sky-Splitting Deoxys

 
LaRousse's Plusle
 
LaRousse's Minun
The two cards depict the same scene from two different perspectives. In the scene, a Plusle and a Minun are seen engrossed in conversation. The first card is focused on the Plusle, while the second card is focused on the Minun.

EX Team Rocket Returns

 
Swinub
 
Houndour
In the first card, a group of Swinub are charging around a room with a tray of apples in the background. In the second card, a Houndour is shown eating one of the apples that were dropped.

EX Deoxys

 
Plusle
 
Minun
The two cards depict the same scene from two different perspectives. On the first card, a Plusle is seen posing with a Minun in the background, while the second card depicts vice vera.

EX Emerald

 
Minun
 
Plusle

EX Delta Species

 
Azurill
 
Marill
On the first card, an Azurill is seen playing in a river. On the second card, it has evolved into a Marill, and has started swimming.

EX Trainer Kit 2

 
Plusle
 
Minun

EX Crystal Guardians and Sword & Shield

 
Diglett
 
Dugtrio

Mysterious Treasures

 
Pikachu
 
Pikachu
The two cards depict the same scene from two different perspectives. In the scene, a Pikachu is standing on a tree while another Pikachu runs below. Each card focuses on one of them.

DPt-P Promotional cards

 
Chatot
 
Jigglypuff

Rising Rivals

 
Fan Rotom
 
Mow Rotom
 
Wash Rotom
 
Heat Rotom
 
Frost Rotom
Each of the cards depict a different form of Rotom being used for different kinds of housework.

Platinum: Arceus

 
Kabutops
 
Omastar

Pokémon Rumble

 
Starmie
 
Gyarados
As with the other cards in this set, these illustrations are renders made using assets from Pokémon Rumble. The two cards depict the same scene from two different perspectives. In the scene, a Starmie is hiding behind a palm tree on Bright Beach from a Gyarados. The first card focuses on the Starmie, while the second card focuses on the Gyarados.

HeartGold & SoulSilver

 
Slowpoke
 
Slowbro
The first card depicts a Slowpoke climbing down a well (presumably Slowpoke Well). On the second card, it has evolved into a Slowbro, and is looking down at the water in confusion.

Unleashed

 
Turtwig
 
Grotle
 
Torterra
 
Cherubi
 
Cherrim
 
Tropius
 
Squirtle
 
Wartortle
 
Blastoise
 
Buizel
 
Floatzel
 
Manaphy
 
Magmar
 
Ninetales
 
Numel
 
Minun
 
Plusle
 
Lucario


 
Larvitar
 
Pupitar

Undaunted

 
Slowpoke
 
Slowbro
In the first card, a Slowpoke is eating from a pile of apples that have fallen from a tree. On the second card, it has evolved into a Slowbro, and is using its newly-acquired front arms to shake the tree.

Triumphant

 
Illumise
 
Volbeat

Dark Explorers

 
Plusle
 
Minun
The two cards depict the same scene from two different perspectives. In the scene, a Plusle is running on the airport runway in Mistralton City in front of an airplane, while a Minun sits on one the airplane's wings. The first card is focused on the Plusle, while the second is focused on the Minun.

Dragons Exalted

 
Ninjask
 
Shedinja

Plasma Blast

 
Sawk
 
Throh
The two cards depict the same scene from two different perspectives. On the first card, a Sawk is seen kicking while a Throh readies a punch in the background, while the second card depicts vice versa.

Legendary Treasures

 
Charmeleon
 
Swablu
The first card shows a Charmeleon accidentally burning a Swablu's wing with the flame on its tail. On the next card, the Swablu with its singed wing angrily flies away, while the surprised Charmeleon looks on.


 
Tepig
 
Pignite
 
Emboar
The first card shows a husband and wife depicted with their young son holding the family Tepig. On the next card, the family Tepig has evolved into Pignite, and the husband and wife appear to have had a daughter. On the last card, the family Tepig has fully evolved. On the left, the son has started a family of his own, while the aging husband and wife sit beside their daughter on the right.


 
Minun
 
Plusle


 
Trubbish
 
Phione
 
Empoleon
The first card shows a Trubbish left at a landfill site. On the next card, the abandoned Trubbish meets a Phione upon reaching a waterfront. On the last card, the Phione appears to have introduced the abandoned Trubbish to an Empoleon. The Trubbish appears to be enjoying itself riding on the Empoleon's back as it travels through the water.


 
Natu
 
Bouffalant
The first card shows two Natu huddled together in a blizzard, while a Bouffalant approaches in the distance. On the next card, the blizzard has abated, and the two Natu appear contently snug in Bouffalant's afro.

XY Black Star Promos

 
Zekrom
 
Palkia
 
Latios

XY

 
Illumise
 
Volbeat

Furious Fists

 
Mountain Ring
 
Slaking
 
Magmortar
 
Electivire
 
Breloom


 
Fighting Stadium
 
Battle Reporter
 
Hitmonchan
 
Machamp
 
Mienshao
 
Landorus
Mega Lucario is also shown at the Fighting Stadium on the English booster pack artwork.


 
Plusle
 
Minun
 
Scrafty
 
Machop
 
Hitmonlee
 
Makuhita
 
Thundurus
 
Lickilicky
 
Golurk
 
Beartic


 
Hawlucha
 
Flygon
 
Scraggy
Hawlucha is confirmed to be in the same location as per the English booster pack artwork.

Double Crisis

 
Team Magma's Groudon-EX
 
Team Aqua's Kyogre-EX

Roaring Skies

 
Exeggcute
 
Exeggutor
The first card shows an Exeggcute that is being harassed by a Spearow. On the next card, the Exeggcute has evolved into Exeggutor and takes its revenge on a flock of Spearow.


 
Meowth
 
Inkay
The first card shows a Meowth overjoyed at finding a Berry, while an Inkay watches from a distance. On the next card, the Inkay has ambushed the Meowth with a spray of ink and made off with its Berry.

Roaring Skies and Ancient Origins

 
Gligar
 
Golett
 
Golurk

BREAKthrough

 
Chespin
 
Snorlax
The first card shows a Chespin climbing a tree in an attempt to reach some Razz Berries, while a Snorlax sleeps below. On the next card, the Snorlax has awoken and is readily dashing to catch the Chespin that is falling from the tree.


 
Froakie
 
Frogadier
The first card depicts a Froakie trying to run on water, presumably being coached by a Frogadier. On the second card, the Frogadier is demonstrating his technique to the Froakie, who watches in awe.


 
Marowak
 
Flabébé


 
Magnemite
 
Magnemite


 
Axew
 
Axew


 
Chespin
 
Chespin


 
Remoraid
 
Remoraid


 
Doduo
 
Doduo

BREAKthrough, BREAKpoint, and Fates Collide

Main article: Parallel Worlds (TCG)
 
Xerneas
 
Yveltal
 
Noctowl
 
Staraptor
 
Sigilyph
 
Rattata
 
Raticate
 
Raticate BREAK
 
Burmy
 
Mandibuzz
 
Seel
 
Omastar
 
Lucario
 
Aerodactyl
 
Chaos Tower
 
Panpour

BREAKpoint

 
Hypno
 
Clefairy
The two cards depict a story where Clefairy is going on a safe trail and encounters a Hypno next to a broken sign, who confuses Clefairy and leads it astray on a dark, unsafe path.

BREAKpoint and Fates Collide

 
Chikorita
 
Fennekin
The first card shows a Chikorita seeing a Fennekin in the rift hole torn between the twin worlds. On the second card, the twin worlds are unified and remade, with both Fennekin and Chikorita playing together in the unified world.


 
Shellder
 
Solosis

Generations

 
Charmander
 
Charmeleon
 
Charizard
The first card shows a young boy being teased by his mischievous Charmander. On the next card, the boy is now older, and his Charmander has evolved into Charmeleon. The two have forged a close friendship and are engrossed in discussion. On the last card, the boy is now a young man, and his Charmeleon has evolved into Charizard. Their tale of friendship continues, with Charizard shielding the young man from snow.

Fates Collide

 
Grumpig
 
Minccino

SM-P Promotional cards

 
Chikorita
 
Litten
 
Meowth


 
Litten
 
Chespin
 
Inkay


 
Psyduck
 
Eevee
 
Pikachu
 
Mimikyu
 
Rowlet
All five cards are parodies of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. When placed in collector number order, the Pokémon of each card appears in silhouette on the next card. (Psyduck is first, so Haunter and Gengar are on its card. Rowlet is last, and does not appear as a silhouette.)

Shining Legends and SM Black Star Promos

 
Latios
 
Latias
 
Latios

Shining Legends and Unified Minds

 
Mewtwo-GX
 
Mewtwo & Mew-GX
The first card shows a Mewtwo confined within a laboratory enclosure. On the next card, Mewtwo and Mew appear together, in front of the shattered glass of the now-destroyed enclosure. Both cards were illustrated by Mitsuhiro Arita, who suggested that Mew has helped Mewtwo escape the enclosure.[2]

Team Up and Unified Minds

 
Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
 
Coach Trainer

Unified Minds

 
Lucario
 
Garchomp & Giratina-GX
 
Meloetta


 
Kangaskhan
 
Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX
 
Drifblim


 
Dwebble
 
Ekans
 
Hoothoot
 
Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX
The first three cards depict a Dwebble, Ekans, and Hoothoot each witnessing the legendary birds. The fourth card depicts all of legendary birds together.

Cosmic Eclipse

 
Mawile
 
Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX


 
Teddiursa
 
Nosepass
 
Skrelp
 
Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX
The first three cards depict a Teddiursa, Nosepass, and Skrelp finding ancient statues of Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia, respectively. The fourth card depicts the three statues together.

S-P Promotional cards

 
Sobble
 
Pikachu
 
Milotic

SWSH Black Star Promos

 
Scorbunny
 
Grookey
 
Sobble
In the first card, a Scorbunny finds a pile of Berries, while a Grookey and a Sobble take notice from a bush. In the second card, the Scorbunny has made off with a handful of Berries, while the Grookey inspects of what's left. The last card shows the Sobble crying because the Grookey took the entire pile.


 
Eevee
 
Umbreon
The first card depicts an Eevee playing with a puddle of water at nighttime. On the second card, the Eevee has evolved into an Umbreon, and is running across the puddle.


 
Eevee
 
Espeon
The first card depicts an Eevee about to fall asleep on a bench surrounded by flowers. On the second card, it has evolved into an Espeon, and has woken up.


 
Eevee
 
Glaceon
 
Leafeon
The first card depicts an Eevee observing a budding flower in the Winter. On the second card, the flower is starting to bloom, and a Glaceon is seen protecting it. On the third card, it is now Spring, and the flower has fully bloomed, with a Leafeon running towards it.


 
Eevee
 
Sylveon
The first card depicts an Eevee running around a playroom playing with a ball. On the second card, the Eevee has evolved into a Sylveon, and is sitting on a cushion, holding the ball with its feelers.

Sword & Shield

 
Hitmonlee
 
Hitmonchan

Vivid Voltage

 
Arrokuda
 
Cramorant
The first card depicts an Arrokuda swimming underwater with a Cramorant diving in the background. On the second card, the Cramorant has caught the Arrokuda in its beak.

Battle Styles

 
Pignite
 
Tyranitar V

Battle Styles and S-P Promotional cards

 
Tepig
 
Tepig

Chilling Reign and SWSH Black Star Promos

 
Passimian
 
Passimian


 
Blitzle
 
Blitzle
The first card shows a Blitzle standing on an iceberg. On the second card, the iceberg is starting to melt, with the Blitzle looking down worryingly.

Evolving Skies and Fusion Strike

 
Smeargle
 
Meowth
 
Eldegoss
 
Mawile


 
Sewaddle
 
Raichu
 
Rotom

Celebrations

 
Cosmog
 
Cosmoem
 
Solgaleo
 
Lunala
The first card shows Lillie playing with Nebby, her Cosmog. On the second card, Nebby has evolved into a Cosmoem, and is shown sleeping next to Lillie. The next two cards seem to split into two different timelines. In the first timeline, Cosmoem has evolved into Solgaleo, and is accompanying Lillie in a field. In the second timeline, it has evolved into Lunala, and is flying next to Lillie, who is standing on a rock near the seaside.


 
Kyogre
 
Groudon

Fusion Strike

 
Araquanid
 
Mudkip
 
Sandygast

Fusion Strike and Brilliant Stars

 
Octillery
 
Basculin

Brilliant Stars

 
Magmortar
 
Electivire

Brilliant Stars and SWSH Black Star Promos

 
Charizard V
 
Charizard V
The first card depicts a Pokémon battle between a Charizard, and a Venusaur. The second card takes place afterwards, with the both of them resting in the forest destroyed by them battling.

Silver Tempest

 
Togedemaru
 
Dedenne
 
Morpeko
 
Pikachu
All four cards are part of two combos of attacks that can be executed consecutively. The first card shows only a Togedemaru and has the Toge Dash attack, starting the combo. The second card also shows Togedemaru, necessary to use the Dedenne's Dede-Short attack. The third card shows both Togedemaru and Dedenne, both of which are required to use Morpeko's Peko Blaster attack. The fourth card also shows Togedemaru and Dedenne, which strengthen Pikachu's Pika Strike attack.

Crown Zenith

 
Electivire
 
Magmortar

Crown Zenith and SWSH Black Star Promos

 
Charizard VSTAR
 
Mewtwo VSTAR

Throughout the Sword & Shield series

 
Wooloo (Sword & Shield 152)
 
Grubbin (Rebel Clash 16)
 
Vullaby (Rebel Clash 119)
 
Larvitar (Darkness Ablaze 86)
 
Gothita (Darkness Ablaze 73)
 
Kakuna (Vivid Voltage 2)
 
Tynamo (Vivid Voltage 57)
 
Snom (Shining Fates 29)
 
Spoink (Battle Styles 55)
 
Galarian Mr. Mime (Battle Styles 34)
 
Rufflet (Evolving Skies 136)
 
Ralts (Chilling Reign 59)
 
Ribombee (Evolving Skies 79)
 
Marshtomp (Fusion Strike 63)
 
Lotad (Evolving Skies 32)
 
Stufful (Fusion Strike 150)
 
Bunnelby (Fusion Strike 214)
 
Milcery (Brilliant Stars 70)
 
Shroomish (Brilliant Stars 3)
 
Litleo (Lost Origin 28)
 
Dewott (Astral Radiance 42)
 
Komala (Lost Origin 149)
 
Golbat (Silver Tempest 104)
 
Unfezant (Pokémon GO 63)
 
Emolga (Silver Tempest 54)
 
Fennekin (Silver Tempest 25)
 
Solosis (Silver Tempest 76)
 
Kricketune (Crown Zenith GG2)
 
Peaceful Park (S-P Promo 316)

Scarlet & Violet

 
Ralts
 
Kirlia
 
Gardevoir ex
The first card shows a young woman and her husband moving into a house with their Ralts. On the second card, the Ralts has evolved into a Kirlia, and the woman appears to have since given birth to a baby. On the final card, the Ralts has fully evolved, and the couple are now elderly, with Gardevoir caring for them.


 
Mabosstiff
 
Arven

Paldea Evolved

 
Sprigatito
 
Floragato
 
Meowscarada ex


 
Fuecoco
 
Crocalor
 
Skeledirge ex


 
Quaxly
 
Quaxwell
 
Quaquaval ex
The first card depicts a Quaxly looking at itself in the mirror with many haircare products sitting on the sink. On the second card, the Quaxly has evolved into a Quaxwell, and is busy styling its pompadour. On the third card, the Quaxly is fully evolved into Quaquaval, and is looking at itself proudly in the mirror. The soap dispenser in each card's illustration "evolves" along with the Pokémon, being based on Poliwag, Poliwhirl, and Poliwrath respectively.


 
Tinkatink
 
Tinkatuff
 
Tinkaton ex
In the first illustration, a Tinkatink is gathering resources and settling into an underground crystal cave. In the second illustration, the Tinkatink has evolved into Tinkatuff, who is hard at work building her hammer. The scene concludes on the final illustration, where the Tinkatuff has evolved into Tinkaton, and has finished building her hammer.

151

 
Bulbasaur
 
Charmander
 
Squirtle
 
Ivysaur
 
Charmeleon
 
Wartortle
 
Venusaur ex
 
Charizard ex
 
Blastoise ex
Each of the cards depict the Kanto First partner Pokémon exploring some sort of biome, and evolving the further they go. In the Bulbasaur card, it is exploring a forest, culminating in it finding a field of lushious plants upon becoming a Venusaur. On the Charmander card, it is climbing a volcanic canyon until it eventually evolves into a Charizard, and is able to fly above the canyon. Finally, on the Squirtle card, it is seen exploring the beach, is seen swimming underwater as a Wartortle, and manages to reach the depths of the ocean as a Blastoise.


 
Pikachu
 
Raichu
The first card depicts a Pikachu in the day, walking to the left. On the second card, the Pikachu has evolved into a Raichu. He walks to the right as the sun sets and night falls. [3]


 
Cubone
 
Marowak
The first card depicts a Cubone in a field of rocks at night. On the second card, Cubone has evolved into Marowak and time has progressed to the morning. It is smashing the rocks in the area. [3]


 
Mankey
 
Primeape
The first card depicts a Mankey hanging from a tree as the sun sets. On the second card, Mankey has evolved into Primeape and time has progressed to night. It is standing on the ground instead. [4]


 
Geodude
 
Graveler
The first card depicts a Geodude in a rugged area at night. On the second card, Geodude has evolved into Graveler and time has progressed to day. It is scaling the rocky walls. [5]


 
Magikarp
 
Gyarados
The first card depicts a Magikarp swimming up a river in the day. On the second card, Magikarp has evolved into Gyarados and time has progressed to midday. It thrashes about, creating waves in the water. [5]


 
Dratini
 
Dragonair
 
Dragonite
The first card depicts a Dratini under the water. On the second card, Dratini has evolved into Dragonair and has come up to the surface at night. The third card has Dragonite, its evolution, flying through the air during the day. [5]


 
Growlithe
 
Arcanine
The first card depicts a Growlithe bounding across a field near mountains in the day. On the second card, it is later in the day and Growlithe has evolved into Arcanine. It stands proudly on a mountain. [5]


 
Charmander
 
Charmeleon
 
Charizard ex
The first card depicts a Charmander walking through a grassy area, as its tail incidentally lights some of the plants on fire. On the second card, the field has been devestated by the flames. The Charmander has evolved into Charmeleon and stands in the center of a ring of this fire. The destruction continues into Charizard ex, with a further evolved Charizard performing some kind of slashing attack.


 
Pidgey
 
Pidgeotto
 
Pidgeot
The first card depicts a Pidgey in the branches of a tree in the early morning. The second and third cards have the Pokémon flying as it evolves, with one showing Pidgeotto in midday and the next showing Pidgeot at sunset.


 
Squirtle
 
Wartortle
The first card depicts a Squirtle diving into the water in a tropical area, at some time late in the day. On the second card, the sun has dropped closer to the horizon compared to the first card. Squirtle has evolved into Wartortle and splashes about on the coastline.


 
Spearow
 
Fearow
The first card depicts a Spearow in a tree canopy in the morning. On the second card shows a time period closer to sunset and Spearow, now a Fearow, is perched on a broken tree in a more open area.


 
Omanyte
 
Omastar
The first card depicts a Omanyte sitting on a rock underwater, but is near the surface. On the second card, the light filtering into ocean leaves the area purpleish, suggesting a shift in the time of day. Omanyte has evolved into Omastar. There is more seaweed present on the second card, perhaps either having grown between cards or moved to the area by currents.


Paradox Rift

 
Wimpod
 
Golisopod ex


Temporal Forces

 
Minccino
 
Cinccino
The first card depicts a Minccino encountering a messy, untidy room. The second card depicts the Minccino having evolved into Cinccino, and the messy room now fully cleaned.

Twilight Masquerade

 
Poltchageist
 
Sinistcha ex
In the first card, a Poltchageist encounters a child who is reading through an album, and gets matcha powder onto their hand. In the second card, the child, now fully grown, looks through the same album while the Poltchageist, having evolved into Sinistcha, lurks nearby. The album has a hand print made of matcha powder on it.

Night Wanderer

 
Duskull
 
Dusclops
 
Dusknoir
This set of illustration rare cards depict a slowly approaching Duskull. As it evolves, it encroaches upon the viewer more and more, from a sidewalk to a house's lawn to right outside the house's living room.

References


  This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.