Kusube Aya Pokemon Card Art Spotlight

Today I’m going to introduce you to Kusube Aya Pokemon card art. She has made Pokemon card art for over 20 years, and recently passed over 120 cards! That’s a ton!

Of course, Kusube Aya is also famous for a few Pokemon children’s books, themed like this:

Kusube Aya Pokemon Card Art

And here we get one of Kusube’s main artistic themes… Cute darkness.

Especially with Gengar, Kusube Aya Pokemon Card Art is enormously fun.

So, for this article, I’ll focus entirely on Kusube’s art for the dark, ghostly, spooky characters. She’s done plenty of art for cute or cool characters, but this is the best of the best when it comes to the purple and black of the Pokemon lineup.

Starts out cute, but so many dark colors. Then that Gengar is absolutely sinister! I love it!

She really specializes in ghost Pokemon. The balance between cute and creepy, the dark colors and odd poses… She’s right at home.

Even when Kusube Aya doing other types of Pokemon, she still keeps that same ghostly spooky spirit alive, too.

There’s just something special about Kusube Aya and her awesome creepy-cute Pokemon. Especially that Haunter.

There was a bit in there where she seemed to be rounding out her style a bit. As we’ve seen with nearly every Pokemon Card Art Spotlight so far, there was this period around 2010, 2015 where all these artists’ unique art styles were converging a little. It sorta went away after that though, as newer Kusube cards are back to the same black shading and neat designs.

That Chinchou is among the coolest ever.

She’s still releasing lots of cool cards to this day, and is still THE artist to make Gengar shine.

But, I’m gonna tell you, this Reshriam is my absolute favorite. It’s really experimental for a card released in 2013–a black-and-white pencil piece, extremely dark with a flat pose and abstract shapes everywhere. It doesn’t even really fit the Reshriam vibe… And that’s what makes it so much better.

Of course, for all the mischief, all the darkness, Kusube Aya’s still perfectly capable of making absolutely adorable and colorful cards…. Like my kid Swablu right there:

We should never forget that.

Read more of my Pokemon card art articles.

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