I have always been into Pokémon, ever since it first aired on European television back in the day when I was seven years old. I played the games, I collected the cards and basically anything else that had to do with Pokémon. It wasn’t until last year that I downloaded the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online and actually started playing the trading card game myself. I once again started collecting cards and I still feel very excited every time I open a booster pack and discover a rare card.
I heard that they released a Pokemon Trading Card Game art book in Japan and it looked fantastic so when my friend went to Tokyo, I asked him to buy one for me because I truly am a sucker for art and throw some nostalgia in the mix and I am one happy girl. The book is a true collector’s item and is sold on Ebay for a much higher price than the actual price at the Pokemon Centers. So if you do have a friend who goes to Japan, or if you are lucky enough to go yourself, make sure to buy this. You have the option of buying it with a promo card or without. I bought mine with the promo card (which is basically the image on the cover of the book) and I also received card sleeves with the same image. In total I paid about 28 euros, which is not too bad.
This is the cover of the book. The artwork is absolutely amazing. It features Venusaur holding Charizard in its grip with vinewhip. Charizard is obviously not pleased about it. I think that in the past few years the artwork on the Pokemon Cards have really improved for the better and I love that this image was actually part of the promo card. The book is limited edition and so are the cards, so if you do have the chance to buy one, make sure you do as they will go up in value.
The book features amazing images of old Pokemon cards and new, basically showing off every single set there is and the artwork is in very high quality. Usually you don’t get to see the artwork this big, as obviously the cards are much smaller. This is a great way to see the artwork up close and actually admire all the details they’ve put into them. It reminded me of how I took my mother to the toy store every Wednesday to buy a booster pack from my own pocket money. When they didn’t have any booster packs left, I would burst out in tears. It was a serious obsession.
It’s a shame that I don’t know Japanese, because I would love to be able to read everything in the book, but looking at the pictures is very rewarding as it is. On the image above you see the very rare Charizard card that everybody wanted. Sadly I’ve never owned one. I did own the Venusaur one though, but despite him being a badass, Charizard was the real MVP.
They do not only show Pokémon cards, but also the artwork of the Trainer cards from different sets. Doesn’t the image of Team Rocket look amazing? I remember how I spent ages looking at the images because that was the main reason for me to collect the cards. I had no idea how to play the game. This did once result in me trading a Gyarados for a Tangela, which I am still bitter about, but ah, you live and learn as they say.
Pikachu has his own page(s) in the book, showing off the variety of artwork they did for him. I believe these are all promo cards, and do show the difference between the regular cards, the full-arts and the regular EX cards. I still love Pikachu a lot and he does have some of the most interesting artwork around, just because he’s been featured so many times.
The back of the book. I have to say that the back of the Japanese cards are so much more interesting than the ones in Europe and America. But let’s not complain about all of this.
If you love Pokémon and are a collector of cards or just someone who enjoys the nostalgia of collecting the cards, this book is perfect for you. Even if you are not able to read it, the artwork is more important. Do try to buy it yourself when you have the chance, because on Ebay prices range from 43 up to 75 dollars, which is much higher than the regular retail price. Now excuse me while I go and spend my Sunday looking at this book.