From the vast oceans of Hoenn to the mysterious ruins of Johto, the Pokemon series has taken players to a multitude of exciting, beautiful regions over the years.
For so many of us though, Kanto will always hold a special place in our hearts as the land where our love of catching ’em all began.
Those of us of a certain age will never forget the thrill of leaving Pallet Town for the first time and creeping through the tall grass with our new starter Pokemon (Charmander, obviously) onto Route One to begin the adventure of a lifetime.
Kanto might not be the biggest or most exciting region the Pokemon franchise has ever offered up, but it remains the most iconic for good reason. Its towns, caves, routes, and secrets will be forever embedded in the minds of an entire generation as one of the most remarkable video game worlds of all time.
That’s why these new paintings from games artist Simone Mändl will pack an extra punch for anyone who grew up with Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow. Her new series offers up stunning recreations of some of Kanto’s key locations.
The route to Mount Moon, the bike shop in Cerulean City, the Pewter Museum of Science, and more have all been re-imagined in glorious detail, depicting the memorable locations not as blocky areas in a video game, but as properly lived-in breathing towns, cities, and caves that just so happen to be inhabited by Pokemon.
Kanto was always a place I would have given anything to explore as a kid, but Mändl’s work makes it look like the perfect place for a road trip – a world where nature and man-made structures live together in harmony.
Looking through these pieces, I can’t help but think how wonderful a Pokemon game using this painterly style would be. While I’m a big fan of the anime-style look the games have rocked over the years, adopting an entirely new art style might help breathe new life into the two series, which is fast approaching its 25 anniversary.
I don’t really know how to put it into words, but there’s something about Mändl’s work that just nails the essence of the original games – maybe it’s the blending of the mundane, grey cities with the vibrant nature and wild Pokemon?
Whatever the case, I fully recommend you check out the rest of her work over on Instagram, because there’s plenty more to see.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.