There’s a balancing act involved in creating snack foods in the image of a beloved children’s character. Take too few cues from the original design, and your customers won’t be able to recognize the character, thereby missing out on all the fun. On the other hand, go too far in the opposite direction and you end up with something like these cutlets from Korea, which make it look like you’re literally eating the flesh of Pikachu.
There’s a unique art to making video game background music. It has to be engaging enough to produce an emotional response, but not so much that it becomes a distraction from the gameplay. Each piece has to quickly establish its tone, but can’t be so simplistic that it becomes repetitive on the many occasions where the music loops around for a second play during the hero’s journey across the map or epic boss fight.
For years, the Pokémon franchise has been hitting the nail on the head with its soundtracks, and if that musical accompaniment adds a special something to your quest to catch ‘em all, why can’t it do the same to a late night of studying or your commute to work? So not only will a new app let you play Pokémon music on your smartphone, it’ll even give you a regular batch of free listens.
If you have a penchant for eating right, you’re no doubt familiar with the importance of a balanced diet that includes all of the major food groups. But even if you’re making sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, have you got the Pikachu food group covered?
Sure, you already know how to make a Pikachu burger, but if you’re looking to up your Pokémon intake (and skip having to do any real cooking yourself), you can now buy quick, convenient, and adorable Pikachu ramen.
Pokémon Centers have announced that a new line of merch based on the infinitely adorable Eevee will be unveiled soon.
We’ve been seeing online chatter in Japan this week about reports, originating from a French website, that an American church says the characters and storylines of Pokémon caused homosexuality in teenagers in the late 1990s.
The “phallic appearance” and even the names of individual pokémon were designed to encourage gay feelings in teenagers, apparently.
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!
Adapting video game stories into live-action feature films is a really hit-or-miss business, and while we all have our own movie preferences, I think the majority would be in agreement that many game-gone-movie titles ended up as a bust. In fact, most of those titles listed over at IMDb barely squeak past a five- out of ten-star rating.
But the success of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph (while not a movie adaptation of a video game per se), got us wondering, what with those pretty cool character cameos, why not ditch the live-action remakes and go animated instead? Some really amazing artists also seemed to have that idea in mind when they created their own character renditions of some of their favorite video game heroes (and villains)!
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.
Japanese users of Twitter have an instant advantage over English speakers, because the Japanese language is much more efficient in its use of characters. Take the word “book” for example. Write “book” in a tweet, and you’ve used up four of your characters. In Japanese, however, the word for book (本 “hon”) only takes up one character, so a 140-character tweet written in Japanese gives quite a bit more breathing space to the writer.
This, combined with the fact that Japanese doesn’t have spaces between words either, means the wonderful world of Japanese Twitter has another feature that’s not so common among English-language users: absurdly-long hashtags, like #1番目にリプがきたポケモンと2番目にリプがきたポケモンをフュージョンさせる (“reply to this with Pokémon and I’ll make a mashup combining the first two”), the hashtag being used by Japanese illustrators on Twitter recently. The results are glorious visual mashups of our favourite Pokémon – with some other shows’ characters sneaking in too.
Have you ever wondered what comes next for Pokémon after they’ve evolved to their final stage? Some of them, according to one graphic designer, have ventured away from their Poké-world and entered the small business world.
Pictogram, a graphic design company headed by Sebastiaan de With, created business logos for a variety of Pokémon. Each Pokémon’s “company” is also somehow related to its abilities and comes with a back story. Aside from the amusing concept, the logos themselves are top-notch, so along with us and check them out!.
We’ve talked a lot before about how Yo-kai Watch has overtaken Pokémon as the phenomenally popular kids’ franchise of choice, and a lot of it is down to its loveable orange ghost-kitty mascot, Jibanyan. With the people behind Yo-kai Watch gearing up to bring the insanely popular series to the West (and believe us, there will be no escape), Jibanyan’s starting to get even busier lately.
Recently, he met up with the governor of Hawaii for a promotional campaign to get Japanese kids excited about having a holiday in Hawaii (as if that wasn’t exciting enough!). But we suspect that Jeeby’s trying to get in with the right people in order to satisfy his plans for complete global domination!
Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve probably seen, and can recognize, what’s known as the Willow pattern. A mainstay of European ceramic tableware since the 1700s, the design takes cues from Chinese porcelain and features a characteristic blue and white color scheme.
Given its long history, even modern examples of Willow pattern dishware tend to feature quant depictions of trappings of life from a bygone era. Sailing ships and windmills are common subjects, but one artist felt the Willow pattern would also be an appropriate platform for showcasing the video game art of yesteryear, and created these plates featuring old-school artwork from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon.
Ever since she fired whipped cream from her boobs, the world has been aware that Katy Perry isn’t afraid of crazy costumes. Compared to that, her outfits for her half-time performance at the Super Bowl XLIX were actually comparatively tame. And yet, dancing sharks aside, one in particular has still sparked interest online with people spotting similarities between it and a multitude of other unexpected things.
You might remember the Moon Animate Make-Up! project that brought over 250 artists together to recreate the opening scene of anime classic, Sailor Moon. It featured a mishmash of artistic styles that gave viewers a visual feast of creative talent. Now Pokémon fans are in luck because a similar project was just released online, featuring Ash, Pikachu, and the rest of the gang as seen by 32 different animators!
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.
Whenever someone mentions Pokémon, the first thing that pops up in my head is Pikachu. And then there’s Charmander and Squirtle and Bulbasaur…and Jigglypuff and Snorlax… and that’s about all the Pokémon I can name among the 700 over monsters in the multimedia series.
With more than 700 characters, one would think that fans would be spoilt for choice shopping for character goods at the Pokémon Center, but as it turns out, the Pokémon Centers in Japan have been taken over by the Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toy (Elfuun no Migawari Nuigurumi) and fans are rushing in to grab them by the basket!
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!
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…