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Detective Pikachu has a surprised expression on his face. Image: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company

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The Polygon staff tries to draw Detective Pikachu from memory

If you have a problem, yo, he’ll solve it

When there’s a mystery to be solved, sure, you can go to the police. Or you can go to the one electric mouse who is guaranteed to turn over every stone, no matter the cost. (Presuming, of course, you’ve given him coffee.)

This week, we’ve challenged the members of Polygon’s staff to draw Detective Pikachu, from memory, in all his yellow glory. That means no one was able to look up reference images of the sparky wonder and his iconic deerstalker cap. How did it all turn out? We’ll let you be the judge.

All of the artists are listed below, along with statements on what inspired them to create such masterworks.

Susana Polo

“Lady Detective Pikachu is a strong independent woman and a responsible steward of the law.”

Simone de Rochefort

“I’ve been practicing My Art a lot so I felt pretty empowered when I drew Detective Pikachu this week. My confidence was not misplaced! Compared to my previous efforts, this is frankly incredible work here. I ran into a problem when I gave Detective Pikachu enormous disgusting rabbit feet. Fortunately I was able to hide these by breaking out a Sharpie and putting him in a cardboard box which is entirely too tall for him.”

Ryan Gilliam

“I set out to build something I’ve seen thousands of times in games, anime, a feature film. I’ve used Pikachu as my Electric type since I was a child. I wanted to do justice to my Pikachu: fat Pikachu. The ears, tail, cheek-electricity things needed to be perfect. So I put pen to paper, and threw everything I knew out the window.

Forgive me Pikachu. You gave up your life to protect the streets, and all you got in return are these Akira Toriyama eyes.

But I don’t regret putting him in this super creepy duster; a shocking new look for everyone’s favorite electric mouse.”

Russ Frushtick

“One of these days I’m going to stop drawing these on my phone using my finger. And then you’ll all be sorry. But that day is not today.”

Petrana Radulovic

“I apparently remember lots of details about Detective Pikachu — including his love of coffee! — except for how Pika-feet work, so I gave him a fashionable jacket and called it a day.”

Matt Patches

“I drew this while on the phone with the screenwriter of Braveheart.”

Nicole Carpenter

“This is definitely more Detective Pikachu cat toy than movie character, but the key features are definitely there.”

Patrick Gill

“I just wanted to draw a very tired Pikachu.”

Karen Han

“I was thinking of going by the book and drawing a normal Detective Pikachu, but decided that would be boring. I pivoted to trying to go a more noir-movie-poster-ish direction, hence the face, the gun, and the title card.”

Emily Heller

“Detective Pikachu loves you.”

Chelsea Stark

“I wanted to use charcoals for a gritty, noir theme. Really set the mood as Detective Pikachu goes deep into crime’s seedy underbelly. But then I realized that charcoals are impossible to erase if you can’t decide whether to draw your subject facing forward or in profile. Alas.”

Charlie Hall

“Last time I lucked out with Cloud Strife, which allowed me to just draw a big sharp sword instead of a human form. An adorable critter like this is way over my head, so I called in a secret weapon — my six-year-old daughter. Our styles blend very well together, I think.”

Brian Gilbert

“Did I switch to a digital medium just so I could use a stock image to flesh out the background? I’ll never tell.”

Cass Marshall

“I never saw Detective Pikachu but I basically assume this is the movie. Personally, I would not trust a Pikachu to lead a murder investigation.”

Maddy Myers

“This was my first Polygon Draws. Did you know, reader, that there is a 15-minute time limit for submissions? For me, that was more than enough time to try to draw Detective Pikachu from memory. In fact, it was enough time to draw him three times. This was my third attempt. I thought that if I kept trying, I would improve. The previous two attempts look almost identical to this one. I think this shows something about the nature of truth, and also, my unshakable conception of what Detective Pikachu looks like.”

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