Japanese users of Twitter have an instant advantage over English speakers, because the Japanese language is much more efficient in its use of characters. Take the word “book” for example. Write “book” in a tweet, and you’ve used up four of your characters. In Japanese, however, the word for book (本 “hon”) only takes up one character, so a 140-character tweet written in Japanese gives quite a bit more breathing space to the writer.

This, combined with the fact that Japanese doesn’t have spaces between words either, means the wonderful world of Japanese Twitter has another feature that’s not so common among English-language users: absurdly-long hashtags, like #1番目にリプがきたポケモンと2番目にリプがきたポケモンをフュージョンさせる (“reply to this with Pokémon and I’ll make a mashup combining the first two”), the hashtag being used by Japanese illustrators on Twitter recently. The results are glorious visual mashups of our favourite Pokémon – with some other shows’ characters sneaking in too.

These aren’t amateur works of art either. Illustrator Tokiya Sakba, who is arguably the king of these Twitter Pokémon mashups, actually provided the artwork for the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Let’s start by taking a look at some of Tokiya’s creations.

▼ What do you get when you cross Miltank and Dratini? A Miltini!

▼ Luxray and Scolipede make a colourful combination.

This next one is way cuter than we expected…but a bit disturbing.

▼ It’s Diglett and Audino! ‘Diglino’!?

▼ Tokiya even fuses Yokai Watch‘s Jibanyan with Pikachu in this clash of the rivals image.

▼ What about if you mix Ditto with oddball cutesy character Omochi Alien? You get this purple squishy alien girl, of course.

Tokiya is not the only illustrator having fun with the hashtag challenge, though. Another popular creator is Baa-cham, who’s given us these equally adorable images.

▼ It’s Cofagrigus and Furfrou!

▼ Altaria and Dedenne! Caption: “It can’t fly and it can’t run, but it can feel the wind blow!”

▼ Altaria and Dedenne: alternative version.

▼ Dedenne again, with Shellos this time.

And last but by no means least, we have this contribution from mandamsan.

▼ Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

Well, most of them were cute, anyway.

Sources: KAI-YOUTokiya Sakba, TOKIYA Twitter, baa-cham Twitter, mandamsan Twitter
Featured image: baa-cham via Twitter