Despite his cherubic good looks and smooth, unlined face, Pikachu isn’t as young as he used to be. The first Pokémon video game was released in Japan in 1996, and considering that the franchise’s most famous pocket monster was ready to go into battle right away, theoretically he must have already been a few years old by that time.
What we’re saying is, Pikachu isn’t a kid anymore. It’s time he entered the workforce and became an economically self-sufficient member of society, which is just what he’s poised to do in his new, suit-wearing plushie form.
While Japan, like most western countries, celebrates the solar new year in January, spring is really considered to be the start of most people’s annual lifestyle cycles. It’s when the school year begins, and also when the vast majority of Japanese companies have their new employees start working.
That’s why this new stuffed Pikachu is decked out in business attire.
Dressed in a suit jacket (buttoned, as is the norm in Japan), collared shirt, and neatly knotted necktie, Pikachu is all set for a day at the office. He’s also totting a business bag sporting a Poké Ball logo, and his thick-framed glasses give him the sort of intellectual air that will have human resource managers everywhere saying, “Pikachu, I choose you…to go to the regional sales conference!”
Of course, any respectable businessman in Japan needs business cards, and each stuffed suit Pikachu comes with one of three designs, all bearing his likeness.
The white-collar Pikachu went on sale March 21 at Pokémon Center stores across Japan. It’s also available for 1,728 yen (US$14.50) here from Amazon Japan, where it’s currently the best-selling item in the online retailer’s toy department.
But this is only the first installment of a whole year of special Pikachu designs. Every month, the Pokémon Company will be rolling out a new, seasonally appropriate stuffed animal.
▼ From April 11, Pikachu celebrates Boys’/Children’s’ Day with the helmet and carp streamers that homes are decorated with for the holiday.
ポケモン公式ツイッター (@Pokemon_cojp) March 21, 2015
Best of luck with the new job, Pikachu! And congratulations on finding a company so laid-back that apparently under its dress code, pants are optional.