The Artist Behind the Pokémon Trading Card Game: A Spotlight on Shinji Kanda

Filed under: Card Games, Games, Pokémon TCG, Tabletop | Tags: pokemon, pokemon cards, Pokemon TCG, Shinji Kanda, Sword & Shield


This week’s Pokémon Trading Card Game Artist Spotlight focuses on the up-and-coming artist: Shinji Kanda, who brought to life the monster hit card, Giratina V Alternate Art.


Over the years, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has featured a variety of incredible art styles. As the hobby has been around for more than 25 years, we’ve seen the artwork of Pokémon TCG cards elevated by daring new artist choices as well as veteran illustrators who have been with the game since its 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 shine the spotlight on Shinji Kanda – a name that any Pokémon TCG fan should know.

Shinji Kanda cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Shinji Kanda is a relatively new artist to the Pokémon TCG scene. Their initial contributions with two cards in Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, showed a unique style that played with form and color in interesting, innovative ways with cards featuring Sawk and Magmar. With the release of the second-most valuable and coveted chase card of the entire Sword & Shield era, Giratina V Alternate Art from Sword & Shield – Lost Origin, Kanda’s style went from interesting to phenomenal. This mind-bending card sees Giratina in its Origin Forme, flying through its home dimension: the Distortion World. Kanda’s depiction of this world successfully depicts a realm so intricate and alien that it’s almost hard to look at, but one can’t help but be mesmerized by its beauty. Since its release, this alternate art card has set at high value and has become a collector’s item. 

Shinji Kanda cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Shinji Kanda cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Shinji Kanda has gone on to contribute more iconic illustrations since the release of Giratina V Alternate Art, demonstrating a desire to create memorable artwork. Kanda’s Galarian Moltres Illustration Rare was featured as a SWSH Black Star Promo for Crown Zenith tins, and Kanda’s Magikarp Illustration Rare from the Scarlet & Violet – Paldea Evolved set was one of this set’s most desired cards. With such a solid start, I believe that Kanda will undoubtedly have a prominent place in the hobby.

Be sure to check Bleeding Cool every day, as we continue to cover the Pokémon Trading Card Game in-depth. We will delve into the game’s past, present, and even its future with upcoming set reveals.


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