Pokémon/Ghibli Fan Art Is the Ponyo/Gyrados Team-Up We Didn’t Know We Needed

Ponyo takes a ride on a Gyrados in an adorable piece of crossover fan art that combines the imaginative worlds of Studio Ghibli and Pokémon.

A new piece of mashup fan art pairs two unlikely characters from the worlds of Studio Ghibli and Pokémon.

Several photos of the 11×8 gouache painting were posted by the artist Maieth on Reddit and features a smiling Ponyo riding atop a Gyrados with multiple Magikarp splashing in the background. According to the creator, they are considering painting a follow-up piece that will see Studio Ghibli’s Porco Rosso “sharing the clouds with Lugia.”

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Ponyo was released in Japan in July 2008 and in the United States in 2009. The story follows the titular character, a goldfish who wishes to be a human child, and Sōsuke, the young boy who saves Ponyo from being trapped in a glass jar. The film went on to earn over $200 million at the global box office, making it one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time alongside other Studio Ghibli classics like Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises, Spirited Away and The Secret World of Arrietty.

The Pokémon franchise kicked off in February 1996 with the releases of Pocket Monsters: Red and Green, which were later rebranded as Pokémon Red and Blue. As a first-generation Pokémon, Gyrados features in these early titles. By 1998, over 10 million copies of the Red and Blue had sold in Japan alone, and there are currently over 120 video games in the franchise, counting both mainline entries and spinoffs.

There have been recent developments for both Studio Ghibli and Pokémon beyond adorable fan art. Notably, Miyazaki has come out of retirement and is working on a new Ghibli movie entitled How Do You Live?. An official release date for the project has not been revealed. Moreover, this year’s Studio Ghibli Fest is in full swing, and along with Howl’s Moving Castle, Only Yesterday and Spirited Away, Ponyo is part of the lineup.

In terms of Pokémon, two new games are expected to drop later in 2022, introducing players to the franchise’s ninth generation of creatures. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will showcase a new, Spain-inspired region and an open-world style of gameplay with Arceus. Images of the starters — Fuecoco, Sprigatito and Quaxly — were released online and fans have been quick to express their excitement for the new Pokémon, describing how difficult it is going to be to choose just one as their partner.

Many of Studio Ghibli’s movies are currently available to stream on HBO Max. Several of the Pokémon anime series can be streamed on Netflix.

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