Pokémon came into our lives over 25 years ago, and in that time, it has become, in many ways, real. From video games to anime, from iconic trading cards to even VR options, the franchise has embedded itself deeply into many people’s lives. But all this raises the question, what if Pokémon were, in fact, real? It feels like the last horizon the series hasn’t conquered. And while we do feel glad about that, we do not need actual Pokémon running around in the world, it’s still fun to imagine what realistic Pokémon would actually look like. Happily, the incredibly talented Joshua Dunlop is ready to help us out with some unique visuals. Dunlop recently completed his collection of realistic Generation 1 Pokémon artworks and is now turning them into an art book via Kickstarter. Let’s take a look at the most unique Pokémon evolutions of all—the real-world-volutions.

Joshua Dunlop

Since 2016, Dunlop has challenged himself to create realistic artworks of all 151 Generation 1 Pokémon. This project is Pokémon Zoology. The pieces involved, he shares, aim to “evoke a sense of nostalgia and bring a new perspective to the Pokémon that started it all.” And they certainly do! With the 151 pieces of realistic Pokémon art now completed, Dunlop is ready to bring them all together and create an exciting offering for Pokémon fans everywhere. From Dragonair to Bulbasaur and everyone in between, you can see some of our favorite Pokémon below as they make the leap into the real world.

This Realistic Pokémon Art Brings Fantasy and Science Together

Of course, these pieces of realistic Pokémon art do not just spring from Dunlop’s imagination. Dunlop notes that his work “encapsulates the spirit of the beloved Pokémon while grounding them in real-world biology. No detail has been overlooked in these intricate depictions, from feather textures to scale patterns. The accurate anatomy provides a fresh perspective on even the most familiar species like Pikachu and Charizard.” Ultimately, the project “bridges imagination and science in a visually striking package, perfect for Pokémon devotees, biology buffs, artists, and teachers!

The Pokémon Zoology Art Book Kickstarter

Joshua Dunlop

And that brings us to the Pokémon Zoology Art Book Kickstarter. To bring this book to life requires a group effort. But luckily, Pokémon Trainers are everywhere. Dunlop is hoping to raise $12,077 or £10,000 to give his realistic Pokémon the home they deserve. Happily, at the time of this writing, the Pokémon art book Kickstarter has been fully backed and has made over twice the amount it was looking to earn.

In exchange for pledging, backers will receive rewards digital and physical copies of the artbook, postcards, prints, and more. The Kickstarter will run until the 30th of October. You can keep up to date on Dunlop’s art and Kickstarter via  TwitterInstagramFacebook, and  ArtStation.

If you’re on the fence about pledging for this Pokémon book, just take a look into the eyes of Dunlop’s realistic Pikachu. How can you say no to that face?

Originally published on October 3, 2023.