Pokémon Art Appreciation, Day 21: Pinsir 168/167

This post is part of a series for WeblogPoMo 2024. Each day in May, I’m sharing my appreciation for my favorite Pokémon card art. View all of the posts in this series.

Today’s card is Pinsir from the just-released Twilight Masquerade set. It’s card number 168/167, released in 2024, and illustrated by Yukihiro Tada. This is it:

The Pinsir 168/167 Pokémon card from Twilight Masquerade

Yukihiro Tada is brand new to Pokémon art illustration, and this card is his first and only contribution so far. He’s a talented comic artist, though, and has worked on other kinds of illustration projects including creating the official Japanese lyric video for Lukas Graham’s “7 Years”, which is pretty awesome.

I chose this card for today’s post because I just found it in a pack of the new Twilight Masquerade set that I opened. Since the set was just released, there aren’t any nice photos of the card yet—so the illustration here is of the Japanese version of the card, which was recently released in the Transformation Mask set in Japan. The art is identical, though.

Pinsir is seen standing beside a tree in a small grassy clearing. He seems to be enjoying himself, just chilling on a pleasant day. Normally Pinsir wears a somewhat fierce expression, but here we see him much less on guard. There’s lush vegetation in both the foreground and the background, with majestic mountains further back, and an impressive triangular fluffy cloud formation above. A farm is off to the right, with neat rows of crops visible and a small building (a barn, perhaps) sitting far in the distance.

Tada’s artistic style is lovely. The juxtaposition of his hand-drawn lines with the precise halftone shading that we see on the tree and rocks is fascinating. His colors are bright and simple (to be clear, that’s not a rainbow you’re seeing in the card; that’s the holographic sheen captured in the scan of this particular card, which is not present in the actual underlying art itself). I love the sheer number of green shades in use here, between the leaves on the tree, the various types of grasses, the bushy thickets in the background, and the farmland.

Pinsir’s facial expression is the best part of the card, though. While we can’t ever really see Pinsir smile (owing to his unique mouth anatomy), his eyes are clearly showing a smile. I like to think that he’s simply enjoying a quiet moment in a peaceful location, just as any of us might enjoy doing. I’m happy for him.

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