Fire Emblem character designer Yūsuke Kozaki designed Pokémon GO team leaders | Nintendo Wire

Earlier this week, the Pokémon GO team leaders’ designs were revealed to massive fan approval. The trio of Candela, Blanche and Spark spawned loads of fan art and appreciation, in no small part due to how big the fanbase is. But lost in the flood was who exactly was responsible for the character designs – and the answer may or may not surprise you.

Veteran manga artist and character designer Yūsuke Kozaki designed the three team leaders. Kozaki has worked on games like No More Heroes and Puzzles & Dragons, but Nintendo fans probably know him best for his work on Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem: Fates. His involvement is a slight surprise, given that Niantic, the developers of GO, are an American company.

Pokemon GO - Banner Gym Leaders

Kozaki also developed Professor Willow’s design for the game. If nothing else, this revelation explains why Spark and Owain look so similar to one another.

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Written by Ben Fruzzetti

Gamer, writer and devourer of pasta. Whenever not letting his daydreams run out of control, he can be found writing for Nintendo Wire, playing old JRPGs, or reading sci-fi and fantasy novels and comics.

Ben Fruzzetti

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  1. Jennifer Burch

    It was probably written in the agreement between Nintendo, The Pokemon Company, and Niantic that any characters that needed to be developed/make would be drawn by an artist that all three could agree upon (which meant someone from the industry in Japan).

    It was great to get confirmation on the artist, as now we can all make as many Fire Emblem jokes we could ever want.

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  2. Shire says:

    Wich explains why Spark looks so much like Odin/Owain

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  3. Inferno_flamex says:

    Spark gonna be calling out his pokemon with things like…

    “In the name of Zapdos, Spirit of the ancient guardians, I command thou! ARISE!!!
    Minion of the Thunderous Threat; PIKATHOR!”


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