GR Pick: Is This Ash from Pokemon?

By | 4 months ago 

A safety announcement video from Taipei Metro subway in Taiwan appears to use the likeness of Ash from Pokemon, as well as characters from other video games.

With the gaming industry seemingly growing in popularity year after year, it’s no surprise to see its most popular characters used in advertisements and PSA videos. For example, it wasn’t long ago, we saw David Hayter reprise his role as Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid in a Ford advertisement, and now it appears as though Ash Ketchum from Pokemon is being used in a safety PSA video created by the Taiwan subway Taipai Metro.

It’s unclear at this point if Ash’s likeness is being used in the Taipei Metro video in an official capacity, but there’s no mistaking that the cartoon character in the video is meant to be Ash. Based on his appearance in the Pokemon anime, there is basically nothing separating the design of the character in the video and Ash, except for the art style.

It’s possible that Ash’s likeness was licensed by Nintendo for Taipei Metro to use. After all, Nintendo has been looking to expand its business in recent years, which it has said will be accomplished by licensing out its characters, finally moving forward with mobile game development, and by creating movies based on its video games. Considering this, it’s not entirely unreasonable to assume that Nintendo licensed Ash to to Taipei Metro.

However, Ash isn’t the only video game character in the video. It also appears as though Sakura from Street Fighter is in it, as well as Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters. It seems like a rather random assemblage of video game characters, as each character is from a video game franchise made by a different company. From what we can tell, the only common threads are that all three of the game franchises represented originated in Japan, and in the case of Sakura and Kusanagi, they’re both from fighting games.

This seems to indicate that the video is not using the characters in an official capacity, but again, it’s hard to say for sure. The video has apparently been running on the Taipei Metro for years, but it’s only recently been discovered by the Internet, which could mean that the companies involved weren’t even aware of the video.

It makes sense for companies to use video game characters in its videos and advertisements, as the gaming industry is one of the largest entertainment industries in the world. As game companies look to find more ways to profit off the most popular characters, expect to see game characters used in advertisements on a more frequent basis.

What do you think about Taipei Metro using the likeness of what appears to be various video game characters in their subway safety announcement video?

Source: lin17tw的頻道 – YouTube (via Kotaku)