Pikachu Outbreak 2018: World’s first Eevee march to join Pokémon summer celebrations in Japan!

Because the only thing better than seeing 1,500-plus Pikachus is seeing a squad of Eevees at the same time.

Ever since 2014, Japan’s second-largest city of Yokohama has been coming to life every August as hundreds of Pikachus overrun the area in an annual celebration called the Pikachu Outbreak.

▼ Each year’s “Outbreak” runs under a different theme, and this year’s theme is “Science is Amazing“.

One of the highlights of the roughly week-long festivities is the chance to see daily Pikachu parades around the Minato Mirai harbour district, where over 1,500 Pikachu mascots strut through the streets, get wet and wild, and bust out dance moves amongst crowds of adoring fans who come from around the country to catch a glimpse of them.

Now in its fifth year, the organisers have decided to add some extra excitement to the Pokémon festivities by introducing a world-first to this summer’s instalment: an Eevee march!

While the exact number of Eevee mascots in the parade is being kept under wraps for now, the organisers are describing it as “the world’s first big Eevee march“, which means we can expect to see a large group of cute and cuddly brown-furred creatures on display.

Given that Eevee’s been hard at work recently, visiting offices around Japan as part of the Eevee Company Visit project, we’ve got a bit of an idea of what she’ll look like on the day.

While the Pikachu parade route runs from Queen’s Square Yokohama to the Grand Mall park area, those looking to get a wave from Eevee should head to the Shinko Central Plaza in the Red Brick Warehouse district during the festivities.

▼ The Red Brick Warehouse district will also be the site for the Soaking Wet Splash Show, where visitors can cool down with Pikachu.

While the Eevee parade will only be held during the day, for the first time this year, the Pikachu parade will also be held after sundown as well, when a procession of electric Pokémon will appear in flashing-light costumes.

▼ And there’ll also be a Pikachu parade on the sea, with a digital splash show featuring other Pokémon as well!

This year’s Pikachu Outbreak event will run from 10-16 August, so don’t forget to don your Pikachu glasses and pack your Pokémon soda because this event looks set to be their biggest one yet!

Source: @Press
Featured image: @Press
Insert images: @PressPR Times

Little-known Pokémon fact: Pikachu originally planned to become more adept at human speech

The most famous Pokémon was supposed to become disturbingly eloquent.

When Pikachu broke tradition and actually uttered a line of intelligible dialogue during a defining moment in the Pokémon movie I Choose You! it certainly took the world by surprise. And with the new Pokémon Switch game confirmed to be released this year, the chubby rodent’s linguistic ability has once again become the talk of the town.

But according to Japanese Twitter user @MOROMORO315 not many people know that Pikachu’s creators originally intended for it to slowly become more capable of speech.

▼ Pikachu blew our minds back then, but that was its original intent.
(Translation below)

“Traveling with Ash, Pikachu was initially planned to slowly gain the ability to speak like Meowth, but Ikue Otani (Pikachu’s voice actress) did such a stellar job that they abandoned the idea. I didn’t think they would implement it in the movie after 20 years. *cries*”

This little-known fact was confirmed in a reply referencing a 2011 special two-hour TV segment by the name of Onegai! Ranking Gold where the most respectable voice actors in the industry were ranked.

The TV program revealed that Otani was so good at expressing a myriad of emotions with Pikachu’s trademark “pika” that plans for speech were promptly scrapped.

▼ She was ranked the sixth most respected voice actress of all time.
(Translation below)

“People are now discussing about Pikachu speaking in I Choose You! but as a matter of fact, the producers actually intended for it to talk in the anime TV series.”

The fact that our cute yellow buddy still runs around uttering “pika” or “pikachu,” and doesn’t have awkward discussions about the weather with Ash, is actually a testament of Otani’s remarkable talent.

And if you think that saying the same lines over and over again would be a walk in the park for a professional voice actor, it’s surprisingly challenging considering the wide range of emotions Otani has to produce off of two words.

Source: Twitter/@MOROMORO315, Twitter/@RomancedawnBono via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso

Pikachu engagement and wedding rings let you tell the love of your life “I choose you”【Photos】

Wedding rings for men and women, plus an awesome Poké Ball box for when you pop the question.

As any fan will tell you, choosing which Pokémon to send into a battle is an extremely important decision. Choose poorly, and you’re on your way to strife and sadness, but make the right decision, and good things are sure to come.

Actually, those are things you could say about choosing a spouse as well, and so it’s fitting that Japanese accessory maker U-Treasure has a new line of Pikachu engagement and wedding rings.

When you’re ready to pop the question, U-Treasure’s Pikachu engagement ring (officially listed in its catalog as the Pikachu Electric Motif Ring) features the beloved series mascot holding a compact melee diamond in his paws. The wave-like line of the ring is designed to help make your fingers appear slender, and wrapping around the front of the band you’ll find a lightning bolt.

Five choices of material are available. Pictured above is a mix of platinum and 18-carat yellow gold, but you can also opt for two-toned white and yellow gold, or monochrome platinum, white gold, or yellow gold (shown clockwise from top left below).

It stands to reason that if your love is the kind of person who’d be thrilled by a Pikachu engagement ring, she also wants a Pikachu wedding ring (since Pokémon-themed wedding jewelry is really the sort of thing it’s hard to be indifferent about). U-Treasure has you covered on that base as well, with its women’s Pikachu wedding ring (listed as the Electric Motif Pair Ring-Women’s Version).

This more understated piece is also a wave-line ring, with a streak of lightning holding a melee diamond and Pikachu leaping for joy in celebration of your nuptials. Once again, it’s available in mixes of platinum and yellow gold or white and yellow gold, as well as solid-color platinum, white gold, or yellow gold.

Oh, and if you’re thinking you couldn’t bear to take your Pikachu engagement ring off, even after you’re officially married, worry not. U-Treasure has designed the rings to complement one another, so that you can have two Pikachus on your finger at once.

But U-Treasure doesn’t just have Pikachu wedding rings for the bride. There’s also a men’s wedding ring, with a subtle design of a lightning bolt and Pikachu’s tail, which lets the groom’s fandom fly under the radar, yet still be easily sensed by other Pokémon enthusiasts.

▼ Women’s wedding ring (top) and men’s wedding ring (bottom)

Finally, if you’re looking to propose in the most Pokémon-themed way possible, U-Treasure has a wooden Poké Ball Accessory Case, which you can use to reenact Professor Kukui’s marriage proposal from the anime’s Sun and Moon arc.

All items go on sale July 27, and can be ordered here through U-Treasure’s online store, Depending on your choice of material, the wedding rings are individually priced between 73,000 and 115,000 yen (US$650 and $1,030), while the engagement ring runs between 88,000 and 135,000 yen (with the central diamond purchased separately), and the Poké Ball Accessory Case is 12,960 yen.

Oh, and if you and your Pokémon-loving betrothed are more into Mew than Pikachu, don’t forget that U-Treasure has wedding rings based on that famous Pocket Monster too.

Source: U-Treasue, PR Times via Togech
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: U-Treasure (1, 2), PR Times, U-Treasure (3)

Pokémon Happy Meals from McDonlad’s Japan are the happiest meals of all【Videos】

Awesome Pikachu and Eevee box and goodies like a Poké Ball water pistol and Pikachu key ring have fans, adults and kids alike, craving the Golden Arches.

As the warm July sunshine streaming through our windows, we find ourselves taking a moment to reminisce about sweet summer memories of years past, such as the time we ate several Pikachu McFlurries at McDonald’s. But life is all about moving forward, and so it’s time for us to focus on the here and now…in the form of these awesome Pokémon Happy Meals which are just about to go on sale!

McDonald’s Japan has just unveiled its extensive lineup of Pokémon toys to be included with Happy Meal (or “Happy Set,” as it’s called in Japan) orders starting this week. Naturally, franchise mascot Pikachu is heavily represented, with goodies including a key chain that doubles as a tail-slapping disc shooter that lets you take down Team Rocket cutouts and a propeller toy.

▼ The disc shooter in action

Since the Pokémon Happy Meals are being offered through midsummer, it makes sense for one to be something to help you stay cool, which is the job of the Poké Ball water pistol, pictured below next to the Eevee spinning top.

▼ The Poké Ball water pistol is also billed as for target practice use, but it’s also a way to stealthily squirt your friends.

Pikachu gets one more moment in the spotlight with the Pikachu balance puzzle. The starting Pokémon of the Sun and Moon arc of the franchise are accounted for as well, with a Rowlet spinning top and disc shooters for Popplio and Litten.

▼ The adorable wobbling of the Pikachu balance puzzle

There’s even a special Pokémon-themed box, decked out with multiple Pikachus and Eevees, plus the Poké Ball motif in McDonald’s familiar red and gold, which you can fold into a flat tray (and perhaps use it as an arena for the Eevee and Rowlet spinning discs to battle one another).

The Pokémon Happy Meals go on sale July 6, and will be available for a limited, as-yet undetermined time.

Source: McDonald’s via Entabe
Images: McDonald’s

Pokémon Soda appears in Japan! But Pikachu isn’t the star?!?

The face of the franchise gets pushed aside by another beloved Pokémon and its eight evolutions.

In the past, we’ve discussed the question of which species of Pokémon would be the most appetizing to eat. Now, though, let’s turn our attention to the topic of Pokémon-based drinks.

Don’t worry, though, there are no Pocket Monsters on the ingredient list for Japanese beverage maker Ito En’s new Pokémon Soda. Instead, it’s the packaging that’s covered with frolicking favorites from the anime/video game franchise.

Nonetheless, you could argue that a different name would have been more appropriate. See, while there are hundreds of different types of Pokémon, Pokémon Soda is primarily about Eevee and its eight possible evolutions.

▼ Eevee takes a peek into Ito En’s employee fridge and is happy to see what’s inside.

Four different designs are available. First up is the original evolved Eevee trio of Vaporeon, Flareon, and Jolteon. Moon and Sun Shard-dependent Umbreon and Espeon also share a bottle.

The third label has Glaceon and Leafeon hanging out together, while the final design features Fairy-type Sylveon, the most girlishly cute evolution of the bunch, palling around with the original Eevee.

Pikachu also has a on all the labels, because when was the last time anyone complained about Pikachu making an appearance?

This is actually Ito En’s second time to team up with the Pokémon franchise, following the PokéVege bottled vegetable juice that went on sale last year. Pokémon Soda, though, is likely to be a bigger hit with kids’ palates, with its sweeter mango flavor.

▼ Individual bottles of Ito En’s drinks are commonly available in vending machines and convenience stores, but if you’re a serious fan, special ordered 24-packs of Pokémon Soda will ship in a collector’s box.

Pokémon Soda goes on sale July 2, right about when the weather starts to really heat up in Japan. At this time of year, it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated, so it’s good to know Eevee is ready to help us beat the heat, as well as wash down any Pikachu burgers or Magikarp taiyaki sweets you eat this summer.

Images: Ito En

New vending machines around Japan dispense popular Pokémon goods with interactive Pikachu

Looking for some Pokémon merchandise? Pop by a Pokémon Stand!

For Pokémon fans, it really does not get any better than the Pokémon Center. With locations all around Japan just bursting with tons of great merchandise and cool features like a hologram Pokédex, fans of the cute, cool, and pretty creatures will think they’ve died and gone to heaven on their first visit.

For some, though, it might be challenging to get to a Pokémon Center because they’re busy with work or family obligations, or, in the case of travelers, because they just couldn’t squeeze it in during their trip. But worry no more: you might be able to get your Pokémon goods fix if you pass by one of the new Pokémon Stands, now placed in various locations in the (real) Kanto region!

The Pokémon Stands are vending machines that sell a selection of the most popular Pokémon toys and memorabilia from the Pokémon Centers. They’re oases for Pokémon fans in various ways; not only can you get some sweet stuff, but they will also serve as Pokémon Go gyms from June 15, which means you can conduct raid battles and gym battles while you choose which delightful Pokémon plushie you want to buy!

The menu is operated by a touch screen panel that features an interactive Pikachu, which calls to people as they pass by to get their attention, and appears to participate in the selection process. The menu is also available in four languages: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and English, so that lots of people can take advantage of this cute vending machine.

Those who purchase something from one of these Pokémon Stands will also get a gift code for a surprise Rotom Power that can be used in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon! Who knows what you’ll get, but it might be something good!

▼ Take a look at the vending machine in action below:

These new Pokémon Stands are currently available in four locations: Haneda Airport International Terminal general area, fifth floor; Odaiba Aqua City third floor; and the Ashigara highway service area in Shizuoka and the Ebina highway service area in Kanagawa. There hasn’t been an official announcement about whether there will be more, but with the popularity of Pokémon, we wouldn’t be surprised if they start popping up everywhere.

If you want the real experience, though, we recommend you check out one of the Pokémon Centers. Each one has its own exclusive goods, so if you have the time, you’ll want to check out as many as you can! Why not start with the newest Pokémon Center in Nihonbashi, Tokyo? It’s right next to the brand new Pokémon Cafe, so you can have a whole afternoon dedicated to Pokémon.

Source, Images: Press Release Times

Talking robot Pikachus go on sale in Japan, make Pokémon fans dreams come true【Video】

Honestly, is there anyone you’d rather have a conversation with than Pikachu?

Every year in August, a pack of Pikachus gathers in Yokohama for the annual Pikachu Outbreak. But at just about the same time as the event’s 2018 iteration, Pikachus will also be appearing in homes across Japan…and in addition to appearing, they’ll be talking.

Japanese toymaker Takara Tomy is usually in the business of making playthings for young kids, but the Pokémon franchise’s adult fanbase is sure to opening its wallets for the release of HelloPika, a talking Pikachu robot that looks like the perfect technological companion.

Pikachu responds to your voice, with his various cries of “Pika!” covering the surprising range of emotion the character is known for. Sometimes he’s cute, sometimes he’s sleepy, and sometimes he sings. He might even be feeling cranky, but he generally looks to be in a cheerful mood in the preview videos.

The beloved Pocket Monster can nod or shake his head to answer questions, and his rosy cheeks also light up. Being a skillfully polite conversationalist who understands the value of eye contact, Pikachu will also turn his head towards you when speaking.

Takara Tomy hasn’t specified the exact size of the HelloPika, but lists its packaging as being 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) tall. From that, we can judge that Pikachu himself is compact enough to clip to a pocket or bag, should you want to take your Poké-pal with you as you move around the house or step out into the outside world.

HelloPika officially goes on sale August 4, priced at 3,229 yen (US$29.50), and can already be ordered online here directly from Takara Tomy.

Source: Takara Tomy via IT Media
Featured image: YouTube/タカラトミー TAKARATOMY
Top image: Takara Tomy
Insert images: YouTube/タカラトミー TAKARATOMY (1, 2), Takara Tomy