Artists from around the country took part in the project, which sees Pikachu saying thank you in forty different ways.
Five years after Japan was struck by the tragedy of the Great East Japan earthquake, people in the Kumamoto region were also hit by quakes, displacing many in the area. Organisations and businesses around the country have been supporting those affected with a number of collaborative projects and campaigns, and now Japan’s popular messenger app Line, which was actually developed in response to the 2011 disaster as a way to communicate in place of damaged telecommunications, is working to help children in affected regions with a new set of charity message stamps, featuring the adorable image of Pikachu.
Released on 2 August, the Pokemon Thank You Stickers include forty different designs, created by illustrators from different areas across the country who were asked to draw images of Pikachu that would convey a feeling of thanks and gratitude to friends and family. As a result, some of the images contain messages using local dialects, like “Ookini”, which means “Thank you” in the Kansai region, which includes areas like Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto.
▼ The heart-tailed Pikachu in the top row is saying “Ookini” while dressed in a kimono as the Kyoto mascot.
Designed to show the unified support of the country, the forty illustrations selected to appear as official Line stamps in the series were chosen by Junichi Masuda, general manager of Game Freak, the video game development company responsible for the Pokémon series of role-playing video games. With so many adorable artworks to choose from, a selection of other candidates that missed out on selection are being displayed on the official online campaign page.
The stamps are available to download from the Line store for 120 yen (US$1.19) or 50 coins, with revenue from sales going towards “Chance for Children”, an organisation that provides help to children in devastated regions through educational assistance.