Pokémon Trading Card Game Artist Spotlight: Narumi Sato
Throughout the years, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has featured a variety of incredible art styles. Now that the hobby has been around for more than a quarter of a century, we have seen the artwork of Pokémon TCG cards elevated by daring new artist choices as well as illustrators who have been veteran contributors since the very first releases. Let's take a journey through the eye-popping, mind-expanding history of Pokémon TCG artwork by exploring some of the hobby's most interesting and unique artists. Today, we will spotlight Narumi Sato.
Narumi Sato is relatively new to the Pokémon TCG but is already prolific. Sato has been contributing since 2021's Shining Fates, showing their soft, seemingly colored pencil-inspired touch on cards like Manaphy from that debut set, Marowak from Sword & Shield – Battle Styles, and Ralts and Delibird from Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign. A strength of Sato's that I immediately notice is how they paint scenes that tell stories. Manaphy looks like it's wading out of the ocean toward beach-goers, looking up at these humans with curiosity. Ralts seems to be a young Pokémon, looking on with awe as flowers blow in the wind. Delibird is going full Santa in its Chilling Reign card, so excited to deliver gifts that it is dropping them.
This talent for creating fun and nuanced scenes makes Narumi Sato the perfect candidate for the Sword & Shield era, because this era saw the Pokémon TCG trying new things with card types including Alternate Arts, Character Rares, and Art Rares. Sato's first such card was the Glaceon V Alternate Art from Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies which showed the Ice-type Eeveelution relaxing on a frosty bench, observing flowers breaking through the snow below. Sato would go on to illustrate the Sandaconda V Alternate Art from Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike showing the Pokémon warming up in front of a radiator, the popular Beedrill V Alternate Art showing a swarm of the evolved Bug-type flying over a meadow of flowers, and many more awesome cards from modern sets.
Be sure to check Bleeding Cool every day to follow our in-depth Pokémon TCG coverage as we explore the hobby's past, present, and even future with upcoming set reveals.