Pokemon TCG players shocked by “hilarious” Bonsly card

Scott Baird
Pokemon TCG once had an incredibly creepy Bonsly card

A beloved Gen 4 Pokemon had a surprising debut in the TCG with card artwork that probably wouldn’t fly today.

The Pokemon franchise has faced a lot of censorship over the years, and the TCG is no exception. This tends to be more about removing religious imagery and risque content over violence or bloodshed.

Nowadays, it’s almost unheard of for Pokemon cards to be censored, as The Pokemon Company is an international entity, so efforts are made to ensure nothing inappropriate or offensive to any specific culture slips through.

However, some elements of the Pokemon TCG haven’t aged well. Case in point: the original Bonsly card, which was the only one for the Pokemon for many years outside of Japan.

Fans online have discussed how the pose, the tears, and certain elements of Bonsly’s design make the image come off far more disturbing than intended.

Those who only play the Pokemon video games might not be aware that Bonsly has a hole in the bottom, which is meant to evoke a plant pot (as it’s based on a Bonsai tree). This is more obvious in the anime, as Brock used a Bonsly during the Gen 4 era, so it had a prominent role during his time as Ash’s companion.

“It was a different time,” one user wrote, while another said, “And that is how Seedots are made.” We can’t really quote anyone else in the thread, not if we want to keep things PG.

It’s also amusing that this was only the Bonsly card outside of Japan for the longest time, so those who wanted to use it had to whip out the creepy crying card in games. Luckily, Sudowoodo has always been a Basic Pokemon in the TCG, so Bonsly was never needed for an evolution.

It took 16 years, but Bonsly would receive a second Pokemon TCG card in 2023 as part of the Obsidian Flames set. This card features Bonsly walking along happily, possibly because its horrible old card can finally be banished to Distortion World where it belongs.