In light of the new pokemon announced, and the just colossal amount of fakes there were in SuMo, here's an "how to tell fakes" page!

As a foreword, this is by no means exhaustive and foolproof. Some things may still fool you (and me!), and some things may seem fake but aren't. With that, let's continue!

(For extra information that may come in handy on identifying styles, check the Sugimori look-alike page! The Art directory page (or "the atlas") may also come in handy.

"Very off-style"

Take this image of an Litten fake that fooled a lot of people, as well as two others from the same set (which hopefully I don't need to debunk because they really don't fit at all with the style of pokemon overall!) (Sourced from here.)

This one is going to be more obvious that it's fake. The style doesn't fit at all with the Sugimori style; Sugimori tends to try and draw them in an way that shows as much of their body as possible (which tends to be 3/4 view).

What do you see first? It may be different from what I see, but for example, I see that the fire doesn't fit. Sugimori fire isn't anywhere nearly as "uniform" (orderly!) as what is here. It is curvy, and spiky, and very simple in coloring, and there certainly are pokemon that have this kind of fire (Charizard X's official art, for example).

But it's not very good at being the 3/4 view, and the anatomy is all sorts of off. To show you what I mean by anatomy, here's an picture of Liepard, then one of Mightyena, then finally one of Houndoom, in quick succession. (All sourced from Bulbapedia).

It's too slender and too close to an "real life" creature. That's not to say it's not inspired by it - a lot of pokemon are - but it doesn't hold true to the pokemon style, and it shows off an horrible amount of the pokemon itself, which isn't the aim of sugimori art.

Another detail is that the faces are often in full view (exceptions are everywhere, of course), or easily inferred what the other side is like, if only one side is shown (examples: Pidgey, whose face is to the side in an 3/4 view). This is aysmmetrical and it doesn't work.

(Examples of asymmetrical pokemon are Zangoose and Clauncher. As said, they tend to have the face in full in 3/4, as well as enough of the body that it's clear, if they're asymmetrical. Staryu counts here as well; the only asymmetrical part of it is the little gold ring that loops around one of its legs, and that is clear in its pictures.)

As always, there are exceptions, but this tends to be a pretty consistent thing.

"Sort of?

Moving on.... Here's a picture that's a bit harder to debunk, and one of the most damning things is that it's very jpeg. It is sourced here.

This one is a lot harder to debunk, as you can tell! However, there are slight inconsistencies already. Middle evolutionaries tend to have at least one or two features from the beginner ones that are prominent, even if they change shape a little. (Again; Exceptions always abound, but it is overall an good thing to keep in mind.)

For example, it's all 3/4 for the most part. But one problem already - or, two, in fact - are that middle evolutions hardly ever introduce more than one new color. Additionally, if things are released in a group and you can debunk one, it is very likely the rest are debunked too, like here.

Popplio here looks very fake. It adds two new colors (Red and yellow) which it didn't have previously, and adds an cape (of which it had absolutely no hints of at all on it before. "Hints of it" means little tabs or little markings on it (like, for example, Cyndaquil with its spots on its back; they constantly move and change, but they are consistent and make sense.)

The position is very good of it, but its ruff is also a little too far and too rigid (compared to the original Popplio).

Litten and Rowlet's fakes here are harder to debunk, but due to Popplio being in an group with them explictly, they are debunked.

However, Rowlet's eyebrow that is closer to us is a lot shorter than the other one (Which Sugimori art doesn't generally do--it makes things closer to us bigger/longer than the ones that are further away. (Good examples of this are Aerodactyl, Nidoking... basically anything with spines, ears, or horns in pairs.)

Litten's flames here are also a little off, and its ears are very off too - one ear is much poiniter and longer than the other; if you look at it, it looks off. It's common mistkaes that Sugimori art sometimes has, but once you notice it, it stands out and feels very "off," rather than an "pose/perspective" issue.

Almost there!

Then, finally, there's This set of fakes that's very well done, though there are lots of problems already! (Source to above three images.)

Firstly, Popplio's is basically an mishmash of Dewott and it also introduces too many colors, and introduces an new motif not seen on popplio (the shell.) Prismarina makes sense because it has the frills, as well as pearls (the nose, and ears, on Brionne and Popplio; it is a very round pokemon). A lot of pokemon are made up of the same shape used again and again, and they generally keep these consistently. (Examples of this consistency is the Tyranitar line, Charizard line, and Blastoise line - they don't derviate too much from the shapes they use. They do branch out, but it's not sudden.)

Rowlet's evolution here makes no sense - there is no little bit on Rowlet's face to imply an horn potentially growing out, and the feet are a little off. Look at Prinlup and Piplup for examples of "cutesy bird feet" and you may see what I mean.

Finally, and most damning of all-- Litten's evolution's pose here is literally traced from Espeon, with some traits from Purrloin. Unsure? Here's an picture to show it!



(both sourced from Bulbapedia.)

Other things to consider are that oftentimes the jpeg or jpg quality is to intentionally make it worse quality to hide the shaky lineart or poor coloring, or distract from other things.

Do it yourself for fun!

Here are some fun fake/leaks to look at, because the length people will go to is impressive. See if you can spot things that make it a bit clearer that it's fake!

This one, for example, has some things inconsitent with itself and there's even an nice series of three sheets (from the actual sheets of the three SUMO starters' final formes) to help compare and spot things that are off in future leaks, especially of design sheets!

There's also sources to other fakes on sites such as Serebii- and a lot of beautiful fan-made Fakemon on Deviantart. One of these groups (and some images) are actually linked on my Sugimori style page!

Want me to debunk something for you or send me something as an example to talk about here? Head to my Contact!

Back to Top
Articles - Media
Articles - Creative
Fun
Resources
Reviews