English and Japanese versions of the Pokémon cards

With millions of admirers worldwide, Pokémon is a global phenomenon that has captured everyone’s attention. The trading card game, which has been available since 1996 in Japan and 1999 in other countries, is among the franchise’s most important features. English and Japanese are only two of the numerous languages in which Pokémon cards are available. Given the sheer number of card languages, variances between them should be expected. We shall examine the variations between Japanese and English Pokémon cards in this post.

Read More: Japanese Pokemon Cards

Variations in Card Designs

The design is most likely the most noticeable distinction between Japanese and English Pokémon cards. While English cards have always had the same recognizable Blue back, Japanese cards have changed their backing since moving away from the outdated Pocket Monster design.

Color of the Border

Japanese cards include a silver border in addition to having a totally distinct backdrop; the English edition only incorporated this feature with the publication of Scarlet & Violet. Players and collectors alike are happy with this move since silver borders go better with most cards than yellow ones did.

Paper Caliber

The difference in paper quality between English and Japanese cards is most evident while holding or stacking the cards. English cards are thicker and completely opaque, with the exception of early WOTC sets. The paper used in Japanese cards is thinner.


Japanese playing cards are renowned for having unique holofoil effects that change the way the cards reflect light. Because these effects are more common on Japanese cards, some collectors favor them over English cards. Japanese cards also feel more premium than English cards since they often have a glossy texture. Special Holofoil patterns are particularly likely to appear on promo cards.

Variations in the Products

The booster packs and booster boxes represent one of the biggest differences between Japanese and English Pokémon cards. English booster packs have 10 cards and booster boxes have 36 packs, however Japanese booster packs only have 5 cards and a booster box has 30 packs. Japanese booster boxes include the full set of illustrations on the front, but English booster boxes don’t have as much appeal in that area. The box designs are also different.

The opening experience is much different as a result. On the one hand, enthusiasts claim that English items provide better value, while collectors frequently discover that Japanese products have fewer “doubles” and generate less waste from inferior cards. Ten cards are included in Japanese special sets as well.

Pull numbers

When discussing how different items are from one another, draw rates are an important topic to cover. Chase cards and top hits were increasingly difficult to pull as the series went on, and the most sought-after cards—like the rare Umbreon Vmax from Evolving Skies / Eevee Heroes—got more difficult to find. English Pokémon booster boxes DO NOT guarantee anything, whereas Japanese booster boxes guarantee at least 1 Secret Rare card, which is appreciated by collectors as it means you are at least receiving something nice for your money.

This was not the case for English Pokémon Cards prior to the introduction of Scarlet & Violet. Special Japanese sets like Vstar Universe assure at least 1 hit.

Print quantities and accessibility

Because print runs for Japanese sets are often smaller than those for English sets, and because availability tends to become more difficult over time, it could be more difficult than it first appears for those hoping to obtain their favorite card. Japanese cards are not as readily distributed worldwide as English cards.

Japanese cards are difficult to get outside of Japan and are mostly sold there. Due to the high cost and time commitment involved, collectors and players may be forced to import cards or buy them through online marketplaces.

Nonetheless, English cards are easily accessible in a number of nations, including as the US, Canada, and the UK. The majority of hobby stores, toy stores, and internet merchants carry them. This increases their affordability and accessibility for both gamers and collectors.

Pokémon Individuals

With Japanese cards, it might sometimes be difficult to locate certain cards because they are less frequent and less readily available. This implies that it will be increasingly difficult to find singles on websites like Ebay at your neighborhood gaming retailers. Because of this, English sets are significantly simpler to complete, and card stores and internet retailers will stock more of them.

Specialty Items

When it comes to creating highly sought-after unique items for Pokémon cards, Japan leads the world. Promo cards, sealed goods, and limited-edition movie card collectors frequently search for uncommon and difficult-to-find cards. Examples of this include the well-known Munch Scream Pokémon card series and the Precious Collector Box.


Pricing is also affected by the availability of Pokémon cards in both Japanese and English. In general, Japanese cards are more costly than English cards, particularly the rarer or more unique ones. This is due to the fact that Japanese cards are harder to get and uncommon, particularly for collectors who are not based in Japan.

Even with rare or unique cards, English cards are often less expensive. This is because collectors and players can get them more easily and don’t have to depend on importing or buying from unaffiliated dealers.

Which is superior?

So, which Pokémon card language is superior—Japanese or English? It all depends on what you’re trying to find. If you’re a collector who appreciates exclusivity and uniqueness, Japanese cards could be a better fit for you. They are a sought-after addition to any collection since they have more elaborate patterns, unique artwork, and are typically more costly.

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