A wild Satochu appeared!
Like the rest of Japan, we were excited about the rumors that Pokémon GO was finally going to launch here on July 20. Sadly, when July 20 came, instead of getting to play the mobile game that’s already taking over the rest of the world, we got news that its Japanese release had been delayed.
Countless people who’d been looking forward to scouring Tokyo for Squirtles and Eevees were instead left wandering the capital’s Pocket Monster-less streets. Unless, that is, they happened to be in the Asakusa neighborhood, where there was a pair of very special Pokémon waiting for them!
To the untrained eye, that may look like two Pikachus, but in actuality it’s the even rarer Satochu and Megane (“Glasses”) Pikachu.
▼ Please ignore Satochu’s uncanny resemblance to RocketNews24 Japanese-language correspondent Mr. Sato. Biologists believe the visual similarities are a defense mechanism that developed through evolution, keeping wild Satochus safe by instilling a mixture of awe and fear in would-be predators.
These compassionate Pocket Monsters were feeling sorry for fans in Japan, whether locals or foreign travelers, who were being left out of all the Pokémon GO fun. As intelligent breeds, they’re capable of writing in both English and Japanese, and so they whipped up a sign bearing the following message:
For everyone who wishes they could play Pokémon GO in Japan but can’t, please play with me!
They then staked out a spot in front of the Kaminarimon, the gate that marks the entrance to Sensoji, Tokyo’s most famous Buddhist temple. Because Sensoji is also a major tourist attraction, there were plenty of people milling about, and it wasn’t long before some of them started snapping pictures of the Pokémon pain.
▼ Life imitates art imitates life: Instead of seeing augmented reality Pokémon GO creatures through her phone’s camera, this woman is using it to capture a picture of an actual, real-life Satochu who’s there because Pokémon GO isn’t available yet.
In short order, a crowed, several people deep, had formed a semicircle around the photogenic Pikachu sub-breeds.
Thankfully, it looks like all of the would-be Pokémon Masters were out of Poké Balls, as no one in the crowd starting throwing them in a bid to capture Satochu and his companion.
Still, it’s not every day you find a new species of Pokémon, and so people quickly started lining up to pose for photos together.
As you can see, Sensoji draws an international crowd. Satochu and Megane Pikachu were a hit with people from all over the globe.
Many of the people who asked for a picture together had already downloaded Pokémon GO and been playing the game overseas, including this guy who showed off his impressive stable filled with a variety of different Pocket Monsters.
At one point, a middle-aged gentleman who seems to live in the area came by and asked, “What are you guys doing?”
▼ If only he’d looked up just a little bit, the sign would have explained everything.
In just half an hour, Satochu and Megane Pikachu posed for pictures with 27 different groups. It seems that everyone, whether young or old, had fallen for their charms.
But while a Satochu’s smile never fades, eventually its stamina does. So eventually the pair had to call it a day, bidding goodbye to all their new friends.
Signs point to Pokémon GO launching in Japan on July 21. Shockingly, the developers haven’t included Satochu or Megane Pikachu in the initial version of the game, so here’s hoping they’re part of its first major update.
[ Read in Japanese ]