Pokemon

I see dead Pikachus! Fashion magazine reader comes up with dark take on freebie Pokémon pouch

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.

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Pikachu puts on a suit, hopes hiring managers will choose him as a business formal plushie

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.

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Japanese illustrators’ Pokémon mashups are probably the coolest thing you’ll see all week

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.

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Artist helps “entrepreneurial” Pokemon with clever business logos and concepts

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!.

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Yo-kai Watch’s Jibanyan meets the governor of Hawaii, global domination imminent

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!

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Gorgeous Zelda and Pokémon ceramic plates will add a touch of class to any gamer’s dining room

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.

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Was Katy Perry’s Super Bowl flame dress inspired by boob-headed Pokemon?

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.

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Things get awesome (and very strange) when 32 fans re-animate the Pokémon opening scene

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!

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Friends too busy to go to the Pokémon Cafe? No problem! Pikachu himself will sit with you

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.

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Gotta buy ‘em all! Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toys have taken over Pokémon Centers in Japan!

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!

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Facing obscurity, Pikachu smuggles himself in a Youkai Watch UFO catcher bag

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!

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Pikachu gets hauled away, hopefully to a farm with lots of room to run around in

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…

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Pokémon Dream Tomica arrives just in time for Christmas

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).

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Pokémon fans’ heads exploding over guy’s classic Game Boy makeover video

There was a time not too long ago when smartphones didn’t exist and the best and only way to game on-the-go and/or avoid actual social interaction with your peers was to lug around a slightly clunky, black-and-white-only Game Boy that sucked down ungodly amounts of batteries and played just-below-NES-standard games.

Of course, the Game Boy remains a fond memory for most gamers that grew up on it, despite the fact that the device itself looked ancient even back in its heyday and had a massive library of games, many of which were really bad. But for fans of Pokémon – one of the few franchises spawned on the console – the Game Boy is like some kind of holy relic.

So imagine the head-explosions that must be happening all across Pokémon fandom following a netizen’s brilliant video of his Pokémon Game Boy makeover.

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Latest evolution of Pokémon cafe to open in Shibuya this January

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.

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New Pokémon Center opens, resellers snatch up thousands of dollars of limited edition plushies

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.

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Pikachu meets Godzilla: 6 Pokémon get the kaiju movie monster treatment

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.

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Hopping Bulbasaur! Pokémon favorite found squatting in the wild

While Yo-kai Watch is basically the new Pokémon for the younger generation, it doesn’t mean that Pokémon is done and gone! While all the cool kids may be focused on Jibanyan, it looks like nature might be a bigger fan of Pokémon–just look at this photo of “Bulbasaur!”

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Gotta stack ‘em all! Collect and play with these adorable stackable pokémon

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!

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8 surreal mash-ups by Pokémon fans who think Marshtomp is creepy

If you’ve been playing Pokémon Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire, you’ll be familiar with cute little critter, Mudkip, one of the three starter Pokémon in the new game. Mudkip may start life as an adorable water-munchkin, but many Japanese fans felt that things take a turn for the worse when he evolves into Marshtomp.

Gone are the big doe-eyes and baby features, replaced by a glassy-eyed stare that Japanese Twitter users are calling “too scary for words”. Obviously, the only thing to do was to start Photoshopping Marshtomp’s head onto things. What else is the internet for?

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