Pokémon Trading Card Game Artist Spotlight: Ryuta Fuse

Today's Artist Spotlight takes Pokémon TCG fans on a visual history through illustrator Ryuta Fuse's work, beginning in Alola.

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 Ryuta Fuse.

Ryuta Fuse cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Ryuta Fuse cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Ryuta Fuse had their debut in the Pokémon TCG with Sun & Moon – Cosmic Eclipse, the final expansion of the Alola-themed Sun & Moon era. Earlier credits appeared as SM Black Star Promos, so it's hard to track which card was actually the first one contracted. Cosmic Eclipse included Fuse's Hakamo-o and N's Resolve, while the SM Black Star Promos included a Tapu Fini pre-release card for the previous direct set, Sun & Moon – Unified Minds. The most popular Ryuta Fuse card to come out of the Sun & Moon-era was Misty & Lorelai Full Art from Tag Team GX All-Stars, the final high-class set of Japan's Sun & Moon block that was unfortunately never adapted to English.

Ryuta Fuse cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Ryuta Fuse cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Ryuta Fuse continues to work for the Pokémon TCG in the Sword & Shield era. Somme of Fuse's most memorable cards are the Nessa Full Art from Sword & Shield – Vivid Voltage, Rayquaza V Alternate Art from Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies, and Elesa's Sparkle from Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike. During the final years of the Sword & Shield era, Ryuta Fuse ended up moving beyond the airbrush style of coloring we initially saw and rather to a detailed, highly rendered style that makes Pokémon cards look like scenes from major anime films. The Rayquaza V Alternate Art is a major example of this, pairing the Trainer Zinnia with Rayquaza for a mysterious and emotionally impactful single-image story.

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.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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