Is this signature real? (Ikue Ōtani)

I recently bought an Ikue Ōtani signed Pikachu, and it arrived today. For those who don’t know, Ikue Ōtani is the voice actress of Pikachu (as well as a few other Pokémon in the Japanese anime like Goldeen, Corsola, Oddish, etc.). My friend concerned me about the legitimately of the signature however, and I’m kinda doubting myself as well. So, I figured I’d just ask some experts here. :blush:

Here is a picture of the Pikachu with signature:

Unfortunately I couldn’t really find a lot of Ikue Ōtani’s signatures, except for these two:

EDIT: Found another one:

As you can see, the way the “k” in Ikue is, and how the line of the top part of the “t” in Ōtani kinda diagonally underlines Ikue is different for all three. The bottom two I found online do look more alike than the one I received however, hence my concerns.

I do know that some people have very similar signatures all the time, and other vary a lot. She could have been rather busy, and made the signatures pretty fast, or she just has a style of writing signatures that differs a lot. I know my own signature can vary sometimes quite a bit, mainly because I almost never have to put my signature on anything. Since I can barely find any signatures of her online, it might be the same for her? Then again, being the voice actress of the mascot of Pokémon does seem like a pretty good reason to write autographs fairly often (if someone recognizes her of course).

So, two main questions:

  • Does anyone have any other pictures of her signatures?
  • What do you think about the signature of the Pikachu I received? Real; fake; or don’t know?

Off-topic, but this is a rather interesting article about her.


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Bump. If no one has pictures, I’m also ok with just opinions.

@smpratte You are fairly knowledgeable when it comes to autographs I guess? Although most likely mainly Ken Sugimori and Arita Mitsuhiro…
@japanime You own the Pikachu in the picture above, don’t you? Do you have any opinions about the Pikachu I own?


The first signature looks different than the others, but I don’t have much experience with her.

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Ive been to some day long signings and by the time they start to when they finish they can look wildly different(hand cramps,etc…) you really need to find an expert on her. Hope it’s real that’s one of my fav pika artworks.

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Not an expert … but the writing style of the individual characters between those original examples and yours seems totally different. One thing that stands out to me is the originals have a lot more curve in the characters (eg. the 2, the R, the 5’s) while yours has no roundness/curve to the characters. It looks like a totally different writing style :confused:

Again no expert and yeah if it was an all day signing session the signature might look totally different at the end of the day, which could explain the loose more rushed feel I get from your one.

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Looks different to me also. I just don’t know why anyone would forge Otani’s signature so it’s probably real.

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People sign ‘different’ all the time, they can also change their signature sligthly throughout the years. That other example you posted is from 2004 while yours is from 2015.

I wonder if it’s possible to get in touch with her or maybe some of the Japanese members here have similar signatures from her? I can understand your concerns, but as Gary said I’d be so surprised if someone actually faked this… Good luck. :blush:

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@smpratte @maverick75 @pierce @garyis2000 @poken00b88 Thanks for all the replies thus far. I’m still 50-50 regarding its authenticity. It doesn’t look like the other ones, which is my main concern, but as some have stated: it’s more than 10 years later and she might have autographed it in a rush. Since I’m against the phrase “real until proven otherwise” (pretty common phrase for alien enthusiasts), I’ll do the reverse for now: “fake until proven otherwise”.

I’ve been able to find her Facebook, so hopefully she’ll respond herself. What better way to ask if an autograph is real or fake than to ask the person who the autograph is from.
I’ve also contacted the seller, so perhaps (s)he could provide some additional information about it. Like whether (s)he got it signed by Ikue herself, or bought it from somewhere else. And whether there was some kind of Pokémon event on this particular date (December 15th, 2015).

Will keep you updated when I know more.


I wouldn’t worry to much about it. Not that I am highly experienced with Pokemon autographed cards, but in MTG you get loads of different signatures from the same artist.

These two cards for example, were autographed by Mark Poole, a popular MTG artist and weird as it may seem both signatures are authentic:

Not saying that yours will be 100% authentic, but I don’t think the differences between them invalidate their authenticity.

I rmb I had to take an art module called beauty in symmetry and graphology. The biggest tell is how a person writes their vowels and numbers 0,5,6,9. Followed by thickness and punctuation of stroke.

Judging just by the 2 samples, she puts extra weight on her curves. This is a common indicator that the author writes slowly and their penmanship is generally neat. Her circles are the biggest giveaway; from the way she writes ピカ and the writing in the shirt. It is habitual to write the number “0” with “o”.
Also, a 3 stroke “5” and a 2 stroke “5” is breaking the habit. I’m sorry but its very dubious.

She must be suuuuuperr, like suppppper frantic in signing the card without a back or scribbling it to have such deviation in habit.

Graphology is pretty laughable but its just my two cents in all this pseudoscience.