Would Pikachu look better with epicanthic eye folds? This South Korean clinic seems to think so.
Cosmetic surgery can be a polarizing practice. In many societies, for every person you’ll find who’s in favor of using medical science to control his or her appearance, you’ll find someone else who feels the concept is vain and the results unsettling unnatural.
South Korea, though, is famously accepting of cosmetic surgery, attaching comparatively few stigmas to straightening a nose or slimming a chin. It’s particularly common for actors and other entertainers to have some work done in order to hold onto their youthful looks, so ordinarily it wouldn’t be too strange for before/after photos to surface of a celebrity who’s been working in show business for 20 years.
Except this time, that celebrity is Pikachu.
The Apgujeong Seoul Plastic Surgery clinic recently posted pictures of the famous Pokémon mascot, showing how he looked before surgery, after one round of operations, and finally after a second batch of procedures. Aside from giving the Pocket Monster such Asian supermodel ideals as double-folded eyelids and a taller nose, the clinic also gave him fuller lips and a pointier chin. Oh, and they also repositioned and reduced the size of his cheek circles, which we’re guessing is a Pikachu-specific option that’s not offered to human clients.
The clinic says the pictures are part of a legitimate marketing agreement with the character’s rights holders, but that claim seems dubious, given how discerning Nintendo and the Pokémon Company are with their licensing agreements. There’s also the fact that the “before” Pikachu doesn’t appear to be one of the official Pikachu plushies or costumes, which further suggests the “endorsement” is something Apgujeong Seoul Plastic Surgery cooked up on its own.
As we mentioned, cosmetic surgery tends to be a love-it or hate-it sort of thing, but we can’t imagine too many people being taken with Pikachu’s “after” pics. Honestly, we just saw the Pokémon star a month ago, looking as cute as ever, so we’d argue he’s aging quite gracefully without any surgical help.