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October 16, 2013


If there's another thing I like about the Pokémon fandom, it's also that artists can get very creative with Pokémon. What I'm saying is that one of the most seen type of pictures that play with Pokémon is the gijinkas. (All the pictures I use here belong to DeviantArt artists, except maybe one or two, so I'll give credit.)

A gijinka form of Lucario. This
picture belongs to RadenWA
on DeviantArt.
What does "gijinka" mean? It's the Japanese term for "humanization". Or, at least that's what the Know Your Meme website says. When you type that word in a fan art site's search bar, you end up looking at pictures of non-human characters depicted as humans. Not, not anthropomorphic animals, really humans, 100% humans, who just so happen to have some attributes of the character. The result is a human character with maybe weird hair, weird clothes, little details that let us recognize the character or species depicted on the image. The end result is basically as if someone drew the picture of a cosplayer disguised as that character or species. Of course, that description is what I think is most appropriate for a gijinka; in most cases, the 'human character' depicted will still have, who knows, maybe the ears or the tail of the original species. Which basically makes gijinkas anthropomorphic animals very far at the 'more human than animal' scale of anthropomorphism, but not at the very end of the scale.

In the end, the character is a human, but there's a lot of details to recognize the original creature. Here are two more examples.
Yep, that's Banette. Artwork by TheArtMonkey.
And that's Absol. Artwork by MageKnight
Of course, the art of Gijinkas isn't kept only to Pokémon; anywhere there are non-human characters who are closer to animals, you're bound to see Gijinkas of the non-human characters. I wouldn't be surprised if there were such pictures for the Digimon creatures, as an example.

I also saw some works that played around with the idea of Gijinkas. On the Brawl In The Family forums, there's this Choose Your Own Adventure comic with Pokémon Gijinkas. It's weirder, because the characters are the Pokémon as humans, but they've kept their abilities... And when they embark on a quest, it's basically like the Pokémon game, except the characters befriend other Pokémon Gijinkas, battle in Gyms against a team of Gijinkas, meet wild Gijinka Pokémon, and even the rival is a Gijinjka. The result? A crazy story, but for some strange reason, you want to see what happens to these characters. Here's the link if you're interested. For info, the main characters are a female Gastly, a female Zubat and a male Shroomish. All the art is done by Ame-Nami in that thread.

Oh, and don't forget, this Friday is a review of Pokémon FireRed, a remake of the first generation's games!