How the cute Pikachu is a chocolate milkshake for the brain

This article by Joel Frolich originally appeared in Aeon

Similarly, Pikachu’s baby-like features might exceed those of real infants, making the character a supernormal stimulus: unbearably adorable, but without the high maintenance of a real baby. Needless to say, our ‘sense of cute’ did not evolve to nurture faux animals such as Pikachu, but our brains have been hijacked nonetheless by the unnaturally big eyes and childlike features of such cute characters.

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