Check Out Asako Ito’s Adorable Crocheted Pokemon

Everyone has their favourite Pokemon cards. I’m not talking about the best cards with the most overpowered VMAX attacks, but the designs that make you feel all fuzzy inside. The alternate art Eevees from Evolving Skies are understandably popular, but best boi Jolteon was a little underwhelming for me, Jolteon’s biggest fan. I love the creepy vibes of the classic Sabrina’s Gengar and the sleepy Tyranitar alt art from Battle Styles. But most of all, I love anything that Asako Ito designs.

Asako Ito has crafted 30 beautiful card designs to date, with an Altaria latest coming in the forthcoming VSTAR Universe set. However, Ito doesn’t illustrate her cards like a regular artist; instead she carefully crochets traditionally cute Pokemon in a style known as amigurumi. Amigurumi is specifically 3D crochet, and usually involves making spheres that become the bodies of adorable stuffed animals. If you didn’t know who Asako Ito was before now, I don’t doubt you’re smiling to yourself and remembering her Litwick or Luvdisc.

You can check them all out on Serebii, but my personal favourites are Phanpy – because I love Phanpy and this makes it even more adorable – and Goomy, because who doesn’t want to look at a crocheted blob of purple ooze? Let me pet the ooze. Please.

There’s nothing about Asaka Ito online. She’s an amigurumi enigma. Rumour has it that her name is a pseudonym, as some Reddit theorists believe Ito can be translated from Japanese to mean ‘thread’ or ‘yarn’. But her work is magical, and her cards never fail to make me smile when we see them. It seems like a long and difficult process to create the cards, but it’s still a shame that there aren’t more of them. We’ve got Goomy, but where is Goodra? Amigurumi Eelektross would be great. Could she rise to the challenge of crocheting a Salamence to evolve from her Shelgon?

I know I’m asking a lot here, but I’d love a full deck of Ito’s cards, trainers and energies and everything. It doesn’t have to be good, only playable in the most basic sense of the word. I’m way past my time as a competitive TCG trainer, so let me have a fully crocheted deck, Pokemon! Pay Ito whatever she wants, let her design a whole set of the Pokemon she finds the cutest.

I’m being a little unserious here, but I do think Pokemon should embrace the weirder designs. I loved the Mega Pokemon cards with their comic-esque Japanese writing popping in bright colours over the monster design. Yuka Morii designs little clay Pokemon for the TCG, which are nearly as adorable as Ito’s crochet creatures. Check out Sandshrew, Trubbish (yes, Trubbish), and the EX Delta Species range of Ditto if you need reminding.

We shouldn’t relegate these innovative and interesting designs to irrelevant Pokemon though, or already cute monsters. The new Altaria that Ito has designed is what reminded me to write about her, but what if the Pokemon Company used one of her designs for a VMAX Pokemon? Or let her redesign a meta staple like N? Don’t try to tell me you don’t want to see a crocheted N. You’re lying.

Pokemon collectors can get bogged down in the best first edition cards or the biggest hitters for the latest meta deck, and can often forget what collecting is all about: getting cards you like. I know that’s the case for me, at least. Asako Ito’s cards might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the Pokemon Company should take more risks with its designs and have fun with different media whenever it can. With the number of alternate art cards ever increasing, too, there’s nothing to lose.

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