Beginning in the late 1990s, Pokémon captivated a whole generation. Many fans recall fondly watching the anime, playing the games, collecting the cards, and owning other products. For whatever reason, many fans in this age bracket also recall Pikachu having a black-tipped tail. The tip of Pikachu’s tail is yellow. Many ’90s youngsters claim they saw Pikachu’s tail with a black tip. Some have even created Photoshop renderings and fan art depicting what they imagined the tail to look like. There are several possible causes for this false memory and various additions that contribute to it. Here’s a deeper look at the facts and hypotheses to help you understand what caused this misconception of everyone’s favorite Electric Mouse.
How Does Ash’s Pikachu Look?
Ash’s Pikachu has the same appearance as any other male Pikachu: beady black eyes, long, pointed, black-tipped ears, and round, red cheek pouches. It has two brown horizontal stripes on its back, and its lightning-bolt-shaped tail has a brown base. The remainder of its features are intended to mimic those of a mouse. If any of these features could trick people into thinking there was a black-tipped tail, it would have to be the black-tipped ears. There have undoubtedly been some Pikachu features that have vanished over time. For one thing, it used to be much bigger. However, it has shrunk in subsequent generations. It also used to have a white muzzle, albeit this was more visible in products sold outside of the anime. In other photos, its tail was likewise narrower and more jagged. None of these features, however, would lead fans to assume Pikachu has a black tail.
Was Ash’s Pikachu Ever Known To Have A Black Tail?
Pikachu’s tail was never completely black. It was sometimes observed with shadow on its tail, but it was never completely black. Except for an area of brown near the base, it was usually totally yellow. The only time this did not apply was when Pikachu was a Pichu. Pikachu’s tail should have been black at this point since Pichu’s tail is normally entirely black. However, Pikachu was not portrayed as a Pichu until Pokémon Journeys premiered in late 2019. Even if this contributes to current myths, it doesn’t explain why youngsters in the 1990s assumed Pikachu had a black tail.
What About Cosplay Pikachu?
Cosplay Pikachu is a variant of Pikachu that debuted in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in 2014. They were female Pikachu with unusual clothing and moves that Pikachu couldn’t typically learn, like Icicle Crash and Flying Press. They were created for game competitions, so they can’t be moved to other core series games. Aside from the clothes, Cosplay Pikachu has a distinct tail that distinguishes it from other Pikachu. It features the heart-shaped notch that all female Pikachu have, but it also has a distinguishing black tip. Still, since Pikachu didn’t appear until 2014, it can’t be blamed for ’90s youngsters’ misconceptions.
Why Are So Many People Convinced That Pikachu Has A Black Tail?
The Mandela effect is commonly blamed for Pikachu’s apparent black tail. This phenomenon is where numerous people, maybe thousands, remember a historical event that never occurred. Consider it a shared false memory. People often believe Darth Vader stated, “Luke, I am your father,” whereas the proper sentence is “No, I am your father” in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Pikachu’s black tail is one possible outcome of the Mandela effect. If that idea is correct, it is possible that the misconception was perpetuated collectively. One child who mistook Pikachu for having a black tail may have “confirmed” his suspicions with a buddy with the same misconception. Eventually, large groups of people would start to believe that.
Off-brand toys are another possible source of the misconception. Companies hoping to capitalize on Pokémon’s fame may offer Pokémon-like toys with inaccurate color palettes owing to a lack of intricacy or quality control. Changes like a purple Aerodactyl or a black-tailed Pikachu are examples of such transformations. Pikachu’s sprite in Pokémon Red and Blue might have contributed to the misconception. Pikachu, like Raichu, has a long, black tail with a lightning bolt tip in these games. Years later, that may have been misinterpreted as a black-tipped tail by ’90s youngsters.