Pokemon

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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Champagne, macarons and Pikachu? Paris plays host to Europe’s first Pokémon Center

Champagne, macarons and Pikachu? Paris plays host to Europe’s first Pokémon Center

The Pokémon video games may have been created in Japan, but there is no lack of Pokémon fandom in the rest of the world from redesigning sports logos to pokéball engagement rings. And to showcase France’s Pokémon love, a pop-up Pokémon Center has opened up in Paris this month featuring original art, limited edition goods and even a special pokémon sent directly to your Nintendo 3DS.

Unlike Japan’s eight Pokémon Centers, which usually focus on the series’ merchandise, the highlight of this pop-up show is the Pokémon gallery where you can sip champagne, munch on Pikachu macarons and appreciate the amazing artwork, including some amateur fan art. Click below to take a peek inside the “Pokégallery” and find out which Pokémon is France’s favorite!

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Pikachu soccer jersey lets you represent as a lover of both sports and Pokémon

Pikachu soccer jersey lets you represent as a lover of both sports and Pokémon

In Japan, the national sports teams are officially known as the Nihon Daihyou, literally the Japanese Representatives. And while it’s true that the Japanese soccer team will be getting eve more attention than usual as it competes in the World Cup in Brazil, one could argue that Japan’s pop cultural icons, more so than its athletes, are the most prominent representatives of the country internationally.

Or, you could sidestep the debate by combing the too with a Pokémon soccer jersey.

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TwitchPlaysPokemon: Here’s one of the weirdest subcultures on Google’s video game streaming acquisition

TwitchPlaysPokemon: Here’s one of the weirdest subcultures on Google’s video game streaming acquisition

Google is reportedly in talks to buy Twitch.tv, the live video-game streaming site that has exploded in popularity over the last year, currently ranking fourth in U.S. Internet traffic, behind only Netflix, Google, and Apple.

Twitch is a site where users can view other users playing popular video games. The site is also the host of Intel’s Extreme Masters World Finals, the “Champions League” of e-sports (organized video-game competitions). More than 23 million people tuned in this year to see the world’s best players square off in Counter-Strike, StarCraft II, and League of Legends.

The Twitch phenomenon was punctuated in March by one of the weirdest online experiments in recent memory. For over three weeks, nearly 1.1 million video game players collectively beat Pokemon Red on Twitch after 390 hours of game-time.

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You don’t know Pokémon: 14 little-known facts about your favorite monster collecting series

You don’t know Pokémon: 14 little-known facts about your favorite monster collecting series

Your Pokémon has taken you from the elusive Mewtew to the equally elusive and game-breaking Missing No. You think you know all there is to know about the Pokémon series, but unless you’re one of the elite few who have literally spent the last two decades learning all there is to know about the monster collecting series, we’re willing to bet there are at least a few facts about the beloved anime and video game behemoth you’re not familiar with.

Here, in no particular order, are the top 14 little-known facts about the Pokémon universe:

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Nintendo celebrates its roots with traditional art of their most famous characters

Nintendo celebrates its roots with traditional art of their most famous characters

With global phenomenon like the Mario and Pokemon franchises under their belts, it’s easy to forget about Nintendo’s humble beginnings as a producer of traditional Japanese playing cards. This year the company goes back to their roots in their 2014 company brochure with beautiful artwork that celebrates both the old and the new.

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Gotta draw ‘em all! New 3DS game teaches players how to draw over 100 different Pokémon

Gotta draw ‘em all! New 3DS game teaches players how to draw over 100 different Pokémon

As a student, I always picked foreign language over art when choosing electives, and when it was time to select an extracurricular activity, I opted for the football team over the painting club. I don’t regret those choices. The language skills have come in handy living and working overseas, and while it’s been a long time since I had the opportunity to use any football techniques, it’s nice to have the knowledge, since you never know when you might suddenly need to tackle a tailback.

However, this means I can’t draw to save my life. Sure, I suppose I could start at the beginning by putting a basket of fruit on my kitchen table and trying to sketch it, but honestly, I could use a little more direction, not to mention a more exciting subject matter that I wouldn’t be tempted to eat before finishing my drawing.

Thankfully, Nintendo is here to help with a new 3DS game that teaches players how to draw pokémon.

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If real animals were Pokémon, the world would be a much weirder place

If real animals were Pokémon, the world would be a much weirder place

The creators of Pokémon were nothing if not brilliant when they decided to make the collectible creatures cute and cuddly fantastical cryptid-like animals influenced by – yet sufficiently removed from – the designs of real-world critters. This allows the player/collector to suspend their disbelief enough that they don’t feel too bad about enslaving a living, breathing thing to battle other living, breathing things for their amusement.

But when you make it the other way around – real-world animals made to look like pokémon – things get a little more disturbing. Are you or your kids willing to capture, for example, an actual fox with nine tails and make it battle a giant frog with a flower on its back for bragging rights? That scenario isn’t too far removed from real-life cockfighting and dog fights.

This wasn’t a question we had to ask ourselves in the early days of Pokémon. But then, of course, the Internet happened, and the Internet is uniquely capable of making us feel bad about almost anything. So, for your amusement/guilt, we present to you real-world animals if they were pokémon:

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