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Peeled Pokemon Are Breaking The Internet

With over 65,000 followers and three full generations of Pokemon under its belt, viral Twitter account @peeled_pokemon has been horrifying Pokemon fans for a little while now. The account specializes in peeled Pokemon, or Pokemon who have had their external features — like fingers, ears, and sometimes fur — removed via illustration software. And fans love it.

The results vary, with Pokemon sometimes retaining their cuteness and sometimes becoming eldritch terrors. Pikachu, for example, looks mostly the same as its original version, but is missing its classic lightning bolt tail and rosy red cheeks. Reactions varied to these new creations, especially as @peeled_pokemon worked through the original 150 Pokemon. Twitter user @daily_pikachu simply asked, "why," while another helpful commenter called it "peelkachu."

The @peeled_pokemon account is making its way through the Pokedex, and is currently working on Generation 4.

On the Peeled Pokemon official website, an FAQ page explains that the artist behind the project uses a Wacom tablet to "peel" features away from Pokemon. The whole process only takes about 10 minutes for the most difficult Pokemon. According to the website, the project initially started as a joke between friends. "I just posted them to twitter to have a place to store them all because I routinely clean my computer, and I just decided to do it in Pokedex order this time around." they said, explaining the order of the project.

Because @peeled_pokemon posts each Pokemon according to its Pokedex order, finding your favorite should be easy and painless — though you might not enjoy the result of each tailless, fingerless, sometimes eyeless Pokemon.

For the most part, fans have gone wild for these strange creatures, and have responded positively. One commenter on a Kotaku feature discussing @peeled_pokemon praised the project, stating, "I like that this reveals the unity of the art style and the clarity of design – I scrolled through something like a hundred Pokemon, and I could instantly recognize all of them for what they were." Another fan tweeted about a peeled Hippowdon, exclaiming, "I really don't like this one! Please never stop!" Some of @peeled_pokemon's followers seem to have an intense reaction to the featureless creatures, both finding them alluring and disgusting at the same time. 

With Pokemon Legends: Arceus on the horizon for Pokemon fans, there's no telling what sorts of Pokemon might be peeled next. Perhaps even some more of the most powerful Pokemon will make the cut. In the meantime, the internet is simply having way too much fun with @peeled_pokemon to turn back now.