Pokemon fans have been talking a lot about the new Gigantamax Pokemon that will be available in Sword and Shield. They have spawned tons of Gigantamax memes, news stories, jokes, and even one interesting fan theory that is making fans wonder if these giants were spoiled many years before.
The Pokemon anime adaptation that began in 1997, called Indigo League after the fact, was a massive success that brought the Pokemon Red and Blue to the US and paved the way for the Pokemon TCG. It spawned several more anime and also movies, toys, and made the franchise a US staple. But not only that, it looks like the Pokemon anime of the late nineties might have also been an influence in creating the Pokemon Sword and Shield Gigantamax too.
According to some Pokemon fans on Reddit, they believe that the influence for the Gigantamax Pokemon might have begun back in June of 1997. Episode 13 of Indigo League, called Mystery at the Lighthouse, featured a giant Dragonite that was larger than a lighthouse. This giant Pokemon bears quite the resemblance to the Gigantamax Pokemon for Generation 8's Sword and Shield, and is quite unlike any Dragonite in the games. Some fans think that, maybe, this Dragonite was the Gigantamax version of the creature, which would explain why it was so massive in the episode.
There is also two other possible references to these massive monsters in the show: In epsiode 244, Misty dreams of a massive Gyarados in the ocean. A Reddit commenter on the post also mentions a later episode where a guy "with a weird crystal around his neck that looked like a Z-Crystal," but never mentions the episode.
While the Pokemon: Indigo League episodes may have been an inspiration for the Gigantamax Pokemon, it seems much more likely that Japan's long history with Godzilla-like giant monsters, or kaiju, is more likely the inspiration. Both the giant Pokemon from the anime and these Gigantamax have very similar Godzilla counterparts: the giant Dragonite, Gigantamax Drednaw, and Gigantamax Charizard all share a similar Godzilla body style, while Gigantamax Butterfree reminds many fans of Mothra.
The anime, while the jumping point for the games becoming a household name in the US, has always been a separate world from the games with its own rules. For example, the Pokedex works differently in the anime and the battles are in real-time instead of turn-based. But whether or not the inspiration came from the anime, Godzilla, or kaiju in general, Pokemon fans are excited for the release of Pokemon Sword and Shield on November 15th, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.
Pokemon Sword and Shield will launch on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.