Pokemon

Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Even though it’s been a week since we made the trip to downtown Yokohama to see the packs of roaming Pikachus, and we’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, warm and fuzzy is also an apt description of the lovable pocket monsters’ plush yellow coats, which brings up a concern.

Cuddly softness is all fine and good when Pikachu is handing out hugs, but what about when he goes back to his regular duties of fighting other Pokémon? Shouldn’t he be wrapped in something a bit more durable, like his own custom set of samurai armor?

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“Jibanyan, I choose you!” Does Yo-kai Watch have the power to topple Pokémon?

“Jibanyan, I choose you!” Does Yo-kai Watch have the power to topple Pokémon?

Pokémon is a long-running global megalith: a multi-platform media franchise like no other. Millions of kids grew up watching the anime, wearing the T-shirt, and of course playing the games. Here in Japan, Pokémon characters are everywhere – and none more so than Pikachu. Go to the mall and there’s a giant fluffy Pikachu to meet and cuddle. At school lunch, chances are a bunch of kids’ mums have made their onigiri into Pikachu’s face for them. And a whole city was recently invaded by scores of our favourite yellow friend for an entire Pikachu festival.

There’s a new kid on the “collect-all-the-monsters” block, though, and it looks to be pushing Pokémon by the wayside. Yo-kai Watch hasn’t been released internationally yet, but in Japan the 3DS game, anime and its characters have quickly gained a ubiquitous popularity that looks like it could even overtake Pokémon. Have Pikachu and friends really had their day? Or is Yo-kai Watch merely a flash in the pan?

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Voltorb-slash-Ash?! People are sharing (bad) erotic Pokémon pics now?

Voltorb-slash-Ash?! People are sharing (bad) erotic Pokémon pics now?

What d’you mean, you’ve never read any comic-form Pokémon slash fiction? Boy, are you in for a treat, as we delve into the dark, dark depths of the internet to bring you … some sexy Pokémon time from a Japanese online message board.

(Things are about to get NSFW, unless your boss happens to be an aficionado of cartoon monsters getting it on. I’m pretty sure mine is. You’ve been warned!)

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Dozens of Pikachus make landfall in Yokohama, begin expanding their territory throughout the city

Dozens of Pikachus make landfall in Yokohama, begin expanding their territory throughout the city

It’s been about a week since we first saw the commercial for the Pikachu Tairyou Hassei Chu (“An Outbreak of Pikachus”) Pokémon event going on this month in Yokohama. And while fans are no doubt looking forward to the projection mapping show and Pikachu Café, the real draw is the promised 1,000 Pikachu that will be on hand to greet visitors to the city’s Minato Mirai bayside district.

While we’re still a few days away from the official start of the festivities, the loveable pocket monsters have already started showing up, as shown in these surreally cute photos of the assembled Pokémon hospitality corps.

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This Pikachu x Miffy figurine is far too cute for its own good

This Pikachu x Miffy figurine is far too cute for its own good

There are some pairings that are so right we couldn’t imagine the world without them. Fish and chips; Simon and Garfunkel; S&M — these combinations and more are here to stay, and it would feel wrong to have one without the other.

But when you cross something as cute as Pikachu with adorable Dutch rabbit Miffy, you’re just asking for trouble.

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How to make your own Pikachu Burgers!【RocketKitchen】

How to make your own Pikachu Burgers!【RocketKitchen】

We recently paid a visit to the Pikachu Café in Roppongi, where we dined on, among other dishes, a hamburger shaped like the electrically charged Pokémon mascot. But while we found ourselves craving seconds, we weren’t sure we felt like waiting in the restaurant’s long line again.

So instead, we decided to make our own Pikachu Burger by reverse engineering and remixing what we ate in Roppongi, and today we’re sharing our recipe with you. So join us after the break for this easy recipe and a step-by-step guide to building your own pika-tastic burgers!

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Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】

Pikachus overrunning Yokohama in the cutest rodent invasion ever 【Video】

Every summer, there are certain pests you can expect the country to become briefly inundated with. First come the mosquitos that lay their eggs in the puddles of water that form during the rainy season. Next up, the whining cicadas that serve as an aural reminder of midsummer, whether you want one or not. And last, the jellyfish, buzzkills of the animal kingdom who show up at the beach and deliver their joyless message of “Everyone out of the water!” by stinging swimmers.

But this year, there’s finally some good news, as the city of Yokohama is about to be overrun by Pikachus!

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Pikachu’s dramatic decline in popularity captured in photos

Pikachu’s dramatic decline in popularity captured in photos

Back in the day, Pikachu was just the best. He was cute, bold and dangerous all at the same time, had a cute voice and said nothing but his own name. People the world over loved him. Then Pokemon got like 5,000 other collectible monsters and Pikachu kind of took a backseat to the cooler new kids in class.

For a while, Pikachu clung to his fame like an aging Hollywood star exhibiting a little too much potbelly and affinity for sub sandwiches, but now, like a DJ part-timing as a kid’s birthday party clown, he’s stooped to new lows – showing up for any random appearance with five to ten audience members and the promise of some Tauros meat.

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Pikachu, we eat you! – A visit to Tokyo’s Pokémon restaurant

Pikachu, we eat you! – A visit to Tokyo’s Pokémon restaurant

In the almost 20 years since the first Pokémon title was released for Nintendo’s Game Boy, the franchise has grown to include toys, anime, and even clothing. But while we’ve played, watched, and worn Pokémon, earlier this month we found out we’d be getting a chance to eat it as well, when we heard about a Pokémon restaurant opening in downtown Tokyo.

Curious to see if the most famous Pocket Monster tastes as good as he looks, we paid a visit to the Pikachu Cafe to see for ourselves.

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Japan’s kids love game series Yo-Kai Watch, and one fan says it’s because grownups don’t

Japan’s kids love game series Yo-Kai Watch, and one fan says it’s because grownups don’t

As someone who never completely outgrew his love of animation and video games, I try to at least keep up with what’s popular with kids in Japan. I can identify Pikachu, Squirtle, and a handful more of the cute cockfighting stand-ins from Pokémon. If I visit my in-laws and my nieces are watching an episode of PreCure, I know that it’s about a team of friends who fight evil with their magical powers (even if I have no idea how one of the girls got stuck with “The bursting scent of lemons!” as her special ability).

Still, until recently I hadn’t heard a single thing about Yo-Kai Watch, Japan’s current megahit among the elementary school set. At first I thought this was weird, but as it turns out Yo-Kai Watch’s popularity isn’t in spite of people in my age group not knowing about it, but because of it.

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Soccer star Atsuto Uchida lends voice to Pokémon film

Soccer star Atsuto Uchida lends voice to Pokémon film

The latest cinematic addition to the Pokémon franchise is due to come out later this month, only this time it will be bringing along a little extra team spirit with it. One of the things that will make the latest Pokémon movie, Pocket Monster XY: Hakai no Mayu (Pokémon XY : Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction), special is the fact that it will be the first Pokémon movie to feature the voice of a popular athlete.

Soccer star Atsuto Uchida will be playing the part Usshi, a hotel porter, who was based directly off of Uchida himself. On top of their shared physical appearance, the all-star also serves as his character’s namesake, as “Usshi” is actually the nickname that Uchida holds in Germany, where he currently plays for the German association soccer club, FC Schalke 04.

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Artist turns adorable Pokémon into terrifying Attack on Titan-style monsters

Artist turns adorable Pokémon into terrifying Attack on Titan-style monsters

It’s easy to forget when you’ve got the adorable little Pikachu as the franchise’s mascot, but the word ‘Pokémon’ is actually a blend of the English words ‘pocket’ and ‘monsters.’ Usually people aren’t thinking about that fact as they catch as many of the cute little critters as they can in each new video game installment, but one artist is out on a different quest to remind everyone that pokémon are indeed monsters at their core.

Artist Beth Emery, otherwise known as zsparky on art-sharing community site DeviantART, is gaining attention online for her creepily brilliant drawings of pokémon portrayed in the artistic style of Attack on Titan. 

Warning: You may never be able to see Jigglypuff in the same way after seeing these pictures…

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Smooth McGroove continues to show us how he makes music with his mouth!

Smooth McGroove continues to show us how he makes music with his mouth!

Every gamer knows that good video game music can make or break a game. This is especially the case in RPGs where players spend a lot of time walking across the world; those light-hearted melodies accompany you as you perform the often tedious task of moving from town to town. Background music is also immensely important to platformers like Super Mario and Sonic. That music better be catchy because you are going to be hearing it again and again when you keep missing that third jump off the floating platform!

RocketNews24 has brought you the video game a-cappella styles of Smooth McGroove before. Well it’s been almost a year since then, what has he and his super chill cat been up to?! Among other things, turns out he’s been traveling through Kanto and the world of Pokémon!

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New Happy Meal in Japan lets you play with your food — and comes with a Pokémon toy to boot!

New Happy Meal in Japan lets you play with your food — and comes with a Pokémon toy to boot!

Sure, we know we’re not supposed to play with your food, but the temptation can be great when there are gadgets around like the Direct Food Printer that lets you draw and write as you choose directly onto food. But now, for a limited time starting this week, McDonald’s Japan will be offering a new menu item that allows you to draw directly on your food using … chocolate sauce! It’s the “Oekaki Happy Hotcake” (Draw and Happy Hotcakes) set, and if you think drawing on hotcakes with chocolate sounds like fun, we completely agree! What’s even better,  the set can be ordered as part of a Happy Meal that comes with a Pokémon toy — now, what kid can resist that?

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Low standards for Pokémon virtual art in new DS game inspires fans【Photos】

Low standards for Pokémon virtual art in new DS game inspires fans【Photos】

While many people love the Pokémon video game series for its addicting gameplay, there is no denying the popularity of the hundreds of cute characters featured in the famous Nintendo franchise. Earlier this month in Japan, the new Nintendo DS game Pokémon Art Academy was released and is already inspiring Japanese amateur artists to create their own Pokémon masterpieces. But some on Twitter recently have discovered how the video game may be just a little bit too easy on these virtual artists and began sharing some of their very “special” artwork.

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Japan national football star to voice character in upcoming Pokémon film

Japan national football star to voice character in upcoming Pokémon film

Atsuto Uchida, a defender on Japan’s national football team currently playing in Brazil, is making his voice acting debut in the latest Pokémon theatrical film set to premiere next month. 

The producers of the Pokémon movies are well-known for inviting celebrities to voice supporting characters in the annual films, but this year marks the first time that an athlete will lend his voice to the production. Uchida himself has been a fan of Pokémon since he was a child, and his involvement in the movie will hopefully add even more excitement to the World Cup fervor already taking over Japan.

Read on to learn more about Uchida’s role in the upcoming film!

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Google sends winners of Pokémon Challenge ‘Pokémon Master’ business cards

Google sends winners of Pokémon Challenge ‘Pokémon Master’ business cards

Google Maps‘ elaborate April Fools joke got even better. On April 1, Google launched its Pokémon Challenge game, where users could search real world locations on Google Maps and catch the original 151 Pokémon to complete a Pokédex.

Players who successfully completed the Pokédex received a message from Google Maps to fill out a form for a “surprise.” It turns out their efforts weren’t for naught, as several players, including Reddit user “tinygrump” received a congratulatory letter from Google Maps software engineer Tatsuo Nomura and 10 business cards with the title “Pokémon Master.”

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Awesome Snorlax bed lets you be just as lazy as its namesake

Awesome Snorlax bed lets you be just as lazy as its namesake

If there’s one thing every human being has in common with some of anime’s most beloved friendly monsters, it’s a love of being super, super lazy. Mei found Totoro sleeping one off in the forest, after all, and who can forget that obviously lazy (though somewhat creepy) daikon-monster in Spirited Away?

Then there’s perhaps the most famous lazy anime monster: Snorlax from Pokémon; who I always want to call “the Snorlax” because it sounds like a Dr. Seuss character. The bear-like Snorlax is known throughout the Pokémon universe as an exceptionally lazy, docile – though voracious – creature. Heck, its first appearance in the anime was in a story that revolved around Snorlax falling asleep in a river somehow and blocking up an entire town’s water supply for months.

Now you and Snorlax can block up lazy RPG towns’ water supplies together with this exceedingly comfortable-looking Snorlax bed!

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Netizens across the world duped by Pokémon jet hoax

Netizens across the world duped by Pokémon jet hoax

Only a few days ago the internet was abuzz when a tweet popped up claiming that the Japanese national soccer team arrived in Brazil in a Pokémon jet. Naturally, Pokémon and soccer fans around the world were envious of the sweet ride, and even big-name news agencies, including USA Today, The Toronto Sun, and CBS Sports, all reported the fun fact. However, much to everyone’s disappointment, it has just been revealed that the tweet was nothing more than a prank.

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Japanese airline rolls out its summer 2014 Pokémon-themed travel deals!

Japanese airline rolls out its summer 2014 Pokémon-themed travel deals!

Pikachu invites you to create wonderful memories with your family this summer as part of All Nippon Airways (ANA)’s 2014 Pokémon-themed travel campaign! The summer campaign has proved popular with families with small children in the past (and with the adults, too…), and 2014 promises to be no exception. Some of the notable features include the chance to fly in a one-of-a-kind Pokémon jumbo jet, a special in-flight animated video, hotel rooms decked out in Pokémon paraphernalia, and other cool surprises! If you’re a Pokémon fanatic, this might just be the perfect vacation plan for you.

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