Pokémon Art Appreciation, Day 10: Plusle 193/182 & Minun 194/182

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 we continue our recent theme of “people and Pokémon,” this time with a bonus double-card edition featuring Plusle 193/182 & Minun 194/182 from Paradox Rift. Both cards are illustrated by OKACHEKE, who also illustrated the Bulbasaur card we covered on day five. Here are the cards:

The Plusle 193/182 Pokémon card from Paradox Rift The Minun 194/182 Pokémon card from Paradox Rift

The reason for including two cards today is pretty obvious, even at the quickest of glances. These two cards form two halves of a single scene, albeit somewhat differently.

OKACHEKE’s signature style makes these cards so much fun to take in. We see Plusle on the left, very clearly happy and in a celebratory stance, in sharp contrast to Minun on the right, who is definitely not having as fun of a time. Seated on the couch in the background are a pair of boys, each mirroring their respective Pokémon—the boy on the left is flailing in joy, while the boy on the right is holding his head in despair.

It’s not clear exactly what happened to lead up to this, but there are many details that contribute to some ideas. We see different kinds of food on the table, including candy and some pizza. Hanging in the background are colorful triangle bunting decorations, and we can also see confetti mid-flight (including a couple of large pieces in the foreground, blurred slightly from being out of focus). A party popper can be seen on the left (the side with Plusle, who’s celebrating). Something just happened, and whatever it was, it was great for Plusle and not so great for Minun. (I suspect it was some kind of game that Plusle just won, but there’s no way to know for sure.)

Peering a bit more closely in the background, we can see some pictures on the wall that suggest that the boys might be brothers. On the left we see the pair much younger; on the right we see them posing with their respective Pokémon. OKACHEKE is pretty consistent about the color coordination throughout both halves of the scene; not only are the boys’ shirts consistently matching the color of their Pokémon (both in the present moment and in the photos on the wall), but even the bunting colors complement each (with pinks and warm hues on the left, and blues and cool hues on the right).

As we saw with the Bulbasaur card, OKACHEKE is a master of light. The lighting in this scene is superb, with late afternoon or early evening sun streaming warmly into the room. We can see where the light lands on the floor just in front of the table, casting a rich glow against the sharp edge of the table’s shadow just above. The light fills the room with warmth, softening the scene in a relaxing way.

Beside the light, the next strongest element of this piece is the motion. This is anything but a static scene, and we can see virtually everything moving in some way: the confetti floating in the air, the candy flying out of the dish, the liquid launching from the mugs, and even a slice of pizza that’s jumping up from the box. Even the table is askew, likely from the dancing/stomping Pokémon atop it.

The entire scene adds up to something wholly fun, defined by contrasts across the vertical division. OKACHEKE truly brought this moment to life, and I can practically hear the cheering and wailing happening within. What a delight!

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