Huge Pokémon Announcement: Piplup to be the new mascot!
After five regions and nearly 700 episodes, today it was finally announced by Nintendo and creator Satoshi Tajiri that Ash and Pikachu would be hanging in the towel for the fifth generation of Pokémon. In their place, Dawn and Piplup will be taking the role of mascot for the Pokémon franchise. Though Tajiri claimed it was an incredibly hard decision to make, it was ultimately made to ensure the universe would continue for quite some time. At first it was originally decided that there would be a new protagonist and mascot for Pokémon in each generation. This was to ensure that the show would have a fresh feel to it and allow viewers to take a liking to new Pokémon easily. With Pikachu’s enormous success the studio only felt it appropriate to keep him (and Ash) as the lead characters in order to please the viewers. Until now, this theory worked out quite well, with the show and the games doing just as well as when they first began.
Unfortunately for Pikachu, during the Sinnoh region a new star rose to the top, and this is none other than Piplup. This cute, energetic and “bubbly” bird took the audience by storm and they demanded more. In the past the shows formula had been to replace the female lead with each generation change, this time Ash is out and Dawn is in. Tajiri and Nintendo both agreed that change is a good thing and can only be expected with such a long show. While Pikachu is still incredibly popular, the studio realized that in order for the series to survive they would need to change things up a bit. The same formula can only work for so long until things get boring. Whether or not Brock will be kept is still up in the air and Tajiri himself wasn’t quite sure. One thing is certain though; with Pikachu being taken out of the picture nobody is safe. Let’s hope for the sake of the show that Piplup will make an excellent mascot.