In a new interview with Pokemon director Junichi Masuda, he talks about why Pokemon say their names aloud.
Over at Game Informer, Masuda explains how Pokemon ended up saying their names aloud. The interesting thing here is that the suggestion didn’t come from within Game Freak but from OLM, Inc.
They actually had Pikachu’s voice actress, Ms. Ikue Ōtani, do a take on the voice and they showed us a clip of it and we listened to the sound of it saying its name over and over in a really cute way. We weren’t really sure about it, but it worked out.
What’s more, while Game Freak came up with the idea for Team Rocket, it was OLM, Inc. that suggested the characters be called Jesse and James.
In addition, having Pikachu become the face of the Pokemon franchise also came from a suggestion via OLM, Inc.
It wasn’t Game Freak’s decision to make Pikachu the face of the brand, he just sort of fell into it. That was a decision, or rather a suggestion, from the company that made the anime. They originally came to us with the idea that they wanted to feature Pikachu because Pikachu at the time was really popular amongst kids in school. It is a hard-to-find Pokémon, so kids knew about it.
While the latter part is somewhat already known, that Pikachu was chosen due to its rarity, the fact that OLM, Inc. is being cited here is interesting.
Obviously, with a series as large and complex as Pokemon, it makes sense that many parties would be involved in its creation. While Game Freak handled the games, the anime had its own production team too.
In any case, if you are interested in reading the full interview with Masuda then you should check out the latest edition of Game Informer magazine.