Shawn Wasabi mashed up a list of his favorite songs and sound effects to create the original track “Marble Soda.” Wasabi uses a Midi Fighter by DJ Techtools to assign 153 different sounds used during the song. Among them are “Fushizen Na Girl” by Perfume, “PONPONPON” by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, “Prelude” from Final Fantasy VII, and Pikachu’s iconic “Pika!”
Half-way through April, all of the cherry blossoms are gone from the Tokyo area, and while it’s good to know that they’ll be back in 12 months’ time, it’s always kind of a bummer to see them go.
Thankfully, though, there’s plenty to look forward to as the weather starts to heat up. For example, traditional festivals and amazing fireworks displays take place all across Japan during July and August. Plus, it looks like there’s a new annual summer event now, as the city of Yokohama is going to once again be overrun by Pikachus this year, and this time it sounds like all 1,000-plus of the unbearably cute Pocket Monsters have come down with dance fever!
Seeing as how Japan is the franchise’s home market, and also where corporate parent Nintendo is headquartered, it’s not surprising that Japan gets the lion’s share (or Pyroar’s share), of cool Pokémon stuff. After all, this is the country where people have been able to attend Pikachu parades, dine at Pokémon Cafes, and even purchase business-suited pocket monster plushies.
But one thing Japanese fans haven’t had, though, is a Japanese Facebook page for the Pokémon franchise. At least, not until this week, when Pikachu and pals made their Japanese Facebook debut accompanied by a short but sweet cherry blossom party video.
We’ve talked before about some of the cool extras that’ve come bundled with girls’ manga anthologies in Japan, but they’re not the only publications that dangle the offer of freebies to help drum up sales. In Japan, fashion magazines for adults also occasionally come with promotional items, such as day planners, scrunchies, or other goodies they think their readers might be interested in.
Women’s fashion magazine CanCam recently ran a special feature on Pokémon-related apparel and accessories, so the publishers thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to package the issue with a Pikachu-shaped fuzzy cloth pouch. To make it seem extra special, they decided to pass on his usual vibrant canary yellow and instead produce a chic monochrome version of the series mascot.
But “unique” doesn’t always mean “good,” at least according to one reader who came up with a morbid interpretation of Pikachu’s lack of color.
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.
We all know the truth about cats and dogs. They’re secretly plotting our demise with adorable antics that keep us distracted from our lives, both online and in the real world.
But what about wild animals? Usually the subject of serious documentaries, nature’s fauna seem to have a more mature approach to life than your average piano-playing cat or yoga-loving dog. But that doesn’t mean they’re not adorable!
Meet six of the cutest wild animals you’ve seen, all hailing from the cold upper reaches of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. From fluffy carnivores to a genuine Pikachu lookalike, these little critters will melt your heart!
If you’re a Pokémon fan who’s feeling blue over missing your chance to eat at the limited-time restaurants based on the series that previously appeared in Yokohama and Tokyo’s Roppongi neighborhood, cheer up. Until the end of February, the Pokémon Cafe is back again, this time in the trendy part of Tokyo called Shibuya, and looks to be cuter than ever.
Unfortunately, when you combine food and cuteness in one of the busiest cities on earth, you also get long lines. Helping to make the wait worth it, though, is the possibility of having a meal while sharing your table with a very special dining companion, Pikachu.
We’ve talked a lot recently about how Youkai Watch has now definitely overtaken Pokémon in the popularity stakes, at least among Japan’s young’uns. With Youkai Watch replacing Pokémon as McDonald’s yearly calendar stars and with Pikachu himself being shunted into the background on anime convention posters in favour of Jibanyan and pals, 2014 really hasn’t been a good year for all things Pikachu. Still, with Pokémon’s legion of worldwide fans and entertainment-world pedigree, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Pikachu would be taking this all on the chin. Instead? He’s exposed himself as a desperate has-been, clinging on to relevancy by whatever devious means he can turn a paw to, and that includes smuggling himself into some unsuspecting kid’s life by disguising himself as a Youkai Watch product! For shame!
The Kyaraben trend is still going strong in Japan, and even though winter has prompted some to make the temporary switch to deco-nabe, the demand for adorable packed lunches shows no signs of abating. Today we’d like to take a look back over the best of the past year’s Kyaraben. What can we learn about 2014 in Japan from studying these perfect works of edible art?
Earlier this week, a Japanese driver noticed something strange on the highway: A truck carrying a giant Pikachu. However, the poor Pikachu couldn’t see where he was going due to his eyes being covered by a cloth. This image has led many netizens to think the worst about where that truck was heading…
Busy looking for a last-minute Christmas present for your Pokémon-obsessed significant other? Look no further! This special edition Pokémon x Tomica collaboration arrives just in time for the holiday season. Just look at the detail and that beautiful, familiar shade of bright yellow. I’m totally forwarding this article to Santa (my older sister).
To celebrate the release of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, “THE GUEST cafe & diner,” a restaurant inside the Shibuya Parco building, will mega-evolve into a Pokémon-themed cafe for a limited time starting this January. They will offer a wide variety of meals, desserts, and drinks to fully restore the HP of all Pokémon trainers and their loyal Pokémon friends.
For the most part, Japan does a pretty thorough job of separating its video games from reality. Even after decades of Super Mario Bros., the country isn’t beset with inhumane monsters stomping on box turtles for fun, and while some dude did once take a swing at me in Shibuya Station, Tokyo’s sidewalks are almost universally free of would-be street fighters.
One notable exception, though, is Pokémon, in that people who love hunting for the monsters in the game tend to also like searching for cool merchandise based on the series in real life. But while fans have a mutual respect for each other’s dedication and efforts to catch ‘em all in the game, some were a little less impressed when they showed up to shop at Tokyo’s newest Pokémon Center, only to find some covetous shoppers had bought up all of the store’s special stuffed animals, with one individual spending the equivalent of thousands of dollars on Pikachu plushies.
As two of Japan’s most well-known cultural ambassadors, it’s about time that the worlds of Pikachu and Godzilla collide. And we found some fake movies posters that do just that by combining the imagery of Japanese kaiju movie monsters with six classic pokémon. Click below to see Pikachu and five of his friends destroying cities, crushing buildings and causing quite a mess.
With the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire you might be in the mood for some merch, so we’ve dug some out for you: Have hours of fun with these adorable stackable pokémon sets!
Recently, we’ve brought you several articles detailing the meteoric rise of new franchise Youkai Watch as it continues to steal fans and attention away from the much-loved institution that is Pokémon. Die-hard Pokémon fans out there may feel safe in the assumption that Youkai Watch, being more traditionally “Japanese” in feel, will never match the success of Pokémon in the West. Be that as it may, we now have conclusive evidence that Pikachu’s time in the Japanese sun is well and truly over as new champion Jibanyan ascends his throne. Join us after the jump for proof!
Beginning on December 20, residents of Japan can participate in a special Pokémon-themed lottery campaign at participating stores throughout the country. Although the event is officially targeting young adult women, we don’t see how anyone could resist the cute goods that are just waiting to be snatched up!
What was that famous saying again? Oh yeah–“Gotta catch ’em all!”
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or two, you might have missed a significant change taking place in Japanese popular culture. What are we talking about? Why, adorable collectible monster franchise Youkai Watch, of course! The Youkai Watch series, which comprises manga, anime and video games has been steadily and skilfully easing itself onto the comfy throne once monopolized by Pokémon. Kids are going crazy for it, adults are being driven crazy over it, and poor old Pikachu and pals are being seriously left in the dust. Now, Youkai Watch has pulled off another victory over Pokémon by stealing its role as McDonald’s go-to calendar star.
There is no one – we repeat, no one – who has called themselves a Pokemon fan and hasn’t wished they could have their own Pikachu; his cute quotient is just too high. Well, Pocket Monster devotees, you’re in luck, because this 1/1 scale Pikachu plush is the closest you’re ever going to come to actually catching the franchise’s most popular character. BEAMS, the creators of almost-real-life-Pikachu, have even made him true-to-weight. Coming in at a hefty 6 kg (13 lbs), this cuddly Pikachu weighs more than the average cat!
What would you think if you came across this guy on your way to class in the morning? Perhaps if you were in Japan you’d barely bat an eyelid, but this real-life Pokemon was spotted on the campus of a Chinese university!