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Art / Realistic Pokémon

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Pokémon has developed a huge following ever since the late 90s. We've played the games, watched the cartoons, bought the merchandise and totally annoyed our parents by never shutting up about it. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself what the weird little creatures would look like if they were brought into the real world (and no, not like that)?

One RJ Palmer (known on DeviantArt as "Arvalis") did, and decided to illustrate it.

Sure enough, "Realistic Pokémon" was born. While RJ was likely not the first person to make realistic renditions of Pokémon, he was definitely the most prolific, to the point that many other realistic Pokémon artists have admitted to being inspired by his work. In some of his works, he even includes a biological explanation for what the Pokemon is like. Be warned, though: Not all of his Pokémon designs are meant to be taken seriously (Vanilluxe and Mime Jr. for example).

The pictures can be found here on RJ's Deviantart.

    List of Pokémon RJ has rendered realistically 
  • Abomasnow (also features Snover, Chingling, Delibird, Sawsbuck, Froslass, Mr. Mime and Mime Jr.)
  • Aerodactyl (also features Archen and Cranidos)
  • Aggron (also features Aron, Lairon, Geodude, and Durant)
  • Arcanine (also features Growlithe and Turtwig)
  • Blastoise (also features Squirtle, Wartortle, Magikarp, Tynamo, Shellder, Krabby, and Staryu)
  • Bulbasaur (also features Ivysaur, Venusaur, Ninjask, and Nincada)
  • Charizard (also features Charmander, Charmeleon, and Caterpie)
  • Dragonite (also features Dratini and Dragonair)
  • Druddigon (also features a very dead Deerling)
  • Eevee (also features Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Umbreon, Espeon, Leafeon, and Glaceon)
  • Feraligatr (also features Totodile, Croconaw, Sirskit, and Shuckle)
  • Flygon (also features Trapinch, Vibrava, Cacnea, Scrafty, Sandshrew, and Dwebble)
  • Garchomp
  • Gengar (also features Gastly, Haunter, Zubat, and Rattata)
  • Giratina (also features Vanillite, Vanilluxe, and Crobat)
  • Grimmsnarl (also features Morgrem, Impidimp, Sinistea, Morelull, and Spritzee)
  • Groudon (also features Torkoal, Magmar, Magby, Slugma, Magcargo, and Larvesta)
  • Gyarados (also features Magikarp, Relicanth, Shellder, Cloyster, Tentacool, Clamperl and Gorebyss)
  • Honchcrow (also features Murkrow, Wurmple, and Venipede)
  • Kyogre (also features Frillish, Jellicent, Tentacruel, Omastar, and Sharpedo)
  • Kyurem (also features Raikou and Piloswine)
  • Lugia (also features Qwilfish, Corsola, Seadra, Clauncher, Mantine, Remoraid, and Luvdisc)
  • Meganium (also features Chikorita, Bayleef, Celebi, Paras, and Foongus)
  • Mewtwo (also features Mew and Ditto)
  • Nidoking (also features both the male and female Nidoran and Pikachu)
  • Ninetails (also features Vulpix, Litwick, Lampent, Trevenant, and Honedge)
  • Noivern (also features Zubat, Noibat, Woobat, Swoobat, Joltik, and Excadrill)
  • Rayquaza (also features Emolga, Pidgeot, Braviary, Skarmory, Altaria, and Talonflame)
  • Reshiram
  • Scyther
  • Steelix (also features Onix, Sableye, Haxorus, and Heatran)
  • Tyranitar (also features Larvitar)
  • Tyrantrum (also features Tyrunt and Bastiodon)
  • Typhlosion (also features Cyndaquil, Quilava, Combee, Vespiquen, and Oddish)
  • Yveltal (also features Latios, Latias, Swellow, and Salamence)
  • Zapdos (also features Magnemite, Magneton, Raichu, and Voltorb)
  • Zoroark (also features Zorua, Natu, Xatu, and Diglett)


  • American Eagle: Parodied. The description for Braviary's shared entry with Rayquaza states that Braviary is the national bird of Unova.
  • Amphibian at Large: Dragonite is shown as a gigantic winged salamander.
  • Apocalyptic Log: What Lies in the Cerulean Caves is presented as the POV of a doomed trainer's camera.
  • Author Appeal: RJ loves dinosaurs, and so many of his Pokémon designs are based on them.
  • Bat Out of Hell:
    • The Gengar line is portrayed as such.
    • Noivern was already this, but RJ makes it terrifying.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Bug type Pokémons are obviously portrayed as such, but more surprisingly, Giratina is depicted as a massive arthropod, Celebi as a medium-sized insect, and Frosslass as a large mosquito-like bug.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Many of the Dragon-types are depicted as dinosaurs, including Haxorus (though it's already based on dinosaurs), Druddigon, Reshiram, and, if you choose to get technical, Altaria.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Some Pokémon's abilities are given realistic, or at least Techno Babble-ish, explanations, such as Zoroark's apparent shapeshifting being due to it excreting a hallucinogenic chemical. Others just don't get explained, however. This is also the reason Ghost-types aren't portrayed as actual ghosts in the series— RJ claims it's impossible to do this with ghosts.
  • Fan Art: Realistic Pokemón is a series of fanmade digital artworks of Pokemons that aim to be realistic. Not in the sense of toning the fantastical elements down but in the sense of Speculative Biology. And that the rendition is as detailed and lifelike as possible.
  • Giant Flyer: Many flying types are shown to be this, but Rayquaza and Yveltal take the cake. Subverted with Lugia, which is seen as one of these, but turns out to simply levitate with psychic abilities.
  • In a Single Bound: RJ's explanation for Dragonite's flying abilities, seeing as its "wings" are too short to carry its bulk.
  • Master of Illusion: Zoroark is an interesting portrayal, as it's depicted as secreting a sort of hallucinogenic liquid.
  • Monster Clown: A tongue-in-cheek invocation — Mime Jr. is depicted as a tadpole that makes itself look "as grotesque as possible" to scare off predators. Its evolution, Mr. Mime, is depicted as a pretty normal looking (if pretty huge) frog.
  • Monster Whale: Kyogre is depicted as one.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: Subverted with Vulpix and Ninetails, as their extra "tails" are actually massive dreads of matted fur, and these only appear in wild specimens; in domestic Ninetails, daily brushing transforms the dreads into a six-foot train of fur that resembles an opulent gown.
  • Not Quite Flight: Lugia and Dragonite are depicted as a psychic levitater and a super high jumper respectively.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Charizard is portrayed as a winged lizard, Dragonite as a giant salamander (since Dragonair and Dratini look like tadpoles), Reshiram as a feathered dinosaur, and Garchomp as on unholy shark/dragon hybrid.
  • Panthera Awesome: RJ's take on Arcanine has much more pronounced feline features than the canon version, being a tiger/lion/dog cross. Raikou is also depicted as a saber-toothed cat.
  • Poe's Law: RJ has noted that some of his designs really aren't meant to be taken 100% seriously (indeed, some of them appear to be Take Thats to Pokemon whose designs he's not particularly fond of). This hasn't stopped detractors from attacking said designs for being "inaccurate".
  • Prehistoric Animal Analogue: Not only do the Fossil Pokémon make appearances (so far Tyrantrum, Tyrunt, Archen, Bastiodon, and Cranidos, plus non-dinosaur Aerodactyl) but several PokémonS that aren't (or at least not entirely) based on dinosaurs are also depicted this way.
    • Druddigon and Abomasnow are portrayed as being therizinosaurids and are closely related.
    • Magmar (and Golduck, apparently) appear to be raptor-like theropods that have ducklike beaks.
    • Groudon resembles a mix between an ankylosaur and a theropod.
    • Yveltal looks like a giant version of Yi (a dinosaur with pterosaur-like wings) in its wing structure. Word of God confirms that this was his main inspiration.
    • Reshiram is based on a primitive bird, like Archaeopteryx.
    • Aggron is portrayed as a ceratopsian, even being alluded to as a relative of Bastiodon.
    • Scyther looks like a generic theropod, though seeing as the canon Scyther looks kind of like a raptor, this kind of makes sense.
    • Haxorus and Tyranitar are portrayed as this as well, though they were already based on dinosaurs in canon.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Several Pokemon species are described as having sharing evolutionary ancestors with each other, such as Poutegeist and Trevenant.
  • Sea Monster: Kyogre (depicted as resembling a whale) and Gyarados (portrayed as a huge, serpentine fish).
  • T. Rexpy: Subverted by Tyranitar; you'd think it would be a tyrannosaur too, but it's actually shown as a strange, bipedal ankylosaur, complete with armor.
  • Tentacled Terror: Trevanant, weirdly enough, is depicted as a terrestrial octopus that uses hollowed-out trees to protect its fragile body. Additionally, the Tentacruel line is depicted as squids rather than jellyfish. The Sinistea line is likewise depicted as this, being specifically described as being related to the Trevanant line.
  • Threatening Shark:
    • Garchomp, a hammerhead shark mixed with a T. rex.
    • Sharpedo, a great white shark that traded in its tail for jet propulsion.
  • Uncanny Valley: Some of RJ's Pokemon look really disturbing when brought into reality, but Mewtwo stands out the most here, as its origin story makes it very likely that RJ went for this effect intentionally with it.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: A few Pokemon, but most notable is Dragonite, which has wing-like protuberances on its back despite being flightless. Subverted with Crobat, whose extra wings are depicted as modified legs, and what appear to be vestigial legs on its hindquarters are actually two small tails.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: A different variant—the series explains the illogical concept of Remoraid (a fish) evolving into Octillery (an octopus) by positing that larval Octillery simply mimics the appearance of actual Remoraids to seek protection from Mantines. Given the fact that there are real octopodes that employ similar tactics, this actually makes sense.
  • Voodoo Shark: RJ refuses to make Ghost-types actually ghostly because "ghosts aren't realistic", yet his fire-types still breathe fire, his electric types still shoot electricity, his water types still shoot impossible quantities of water, and his psychic types still have psychic powers.

Alternative Title(s): Realistic Pokemon