6 reasons why Pokémon GO might make a comeback, according to P.K. Sanjun

Our Japanese-language reporter thinks the worldwide phenomenon could rise to popularity again soon.

Pokémon GO might have been the biggest mobile game of 2016. More people downloaded the game from the Apple Store in the first week of its release than any other mobile game in history. It was so popular in Japan that it even helped disaster-stricken areas recover thanks to a surge in tourism by players, although some places banned it completely because it brought too many inconsiderate gamers to the area.

Sadly, the hype didn’t last long, and for one reason or another many players seemed to lose interest in the game. Niantic, the creator of the game, has made multiple efforts to bring back players, or at least to maintain their current players, by updating the game and adding new features regularly, and our Japanese language correspondent P.K. Sanjun thinks their efforts are going to pay off.

P.K. was one of those whose enthusiasm for the game reached a peak shortly after its release; he even created a hands-free playing device along with some of the other members of SoraNews24’s Japanese team. But when his Pokédex started getting pretty full after about six months of dutiful play, his excitement started to wane, and even though new Pokémon were added, he didn’t open the app again for about a year.

When he kept hearing,Pokémon GO is even better now!” from his friends and colleagues, this past March he decided to pick it up again. To his surprise, the game was actually really fun! He’s convinced that it’s going to become popular again, and here are six reasons why:

1. There are way more Pokémon

There were probably a lot of players like P.K. who filled up their Pokédex quickly after the game was released and then ran out of things to do. If you were one of those people, there is a lot for you to do now! There used to be only 150 Pokémon available in the game, but now it’s been extended to three generations and 380 Pokémon. You probably won’t have to worry about running out of Pokémon to catch for a long time.

2. It’s not just about the Pokédex anymore

Even if you manage to fill up your Pokédex, you won’t get tired of catching Pokémon because now there are Shinies in the game. P.K. used to be someone who didn’t care much about Shiny Pokémon, but Shinies are super rare and finding them is based wholly on chance, so there’s something really thrilling about catching one. They’re worth it for the major bragging rights, and that’s why P.K. thinks they’re a great new feature.

3. Raid Battles are actually pretty fun

If you’re unfamiliar with this newer feature, Raid Battles are when a super strong Pokémon randomly appears in a Gym, and up to 20 people at once have to work together to take it down. In Tokyo, Raid Battles with rare Pokémon attract crowds of people who have come for the chance at taking it on. It’s a challenging collaborative effort that, if successful, rewards players with items and a chance to catch the rare Pokémon.

P.K. firmly believes that the Raid Battles, which were introduced in July 2017, revolutionized the game. He says that after the Raid Battles came into play, Pokémon GO became a totally different game; it’s now not only a collecting game but also a battle game.

4. There are tons of events

Nowadays Pokémon GO holds special events all the time, and thanks to those events, it’s a lot easier to find rare Pokémon. Interestingly, there are a lot more events now than there used to be, and it’s not unusual to find lots of people gathered in areas where events are taking place.

“Community Day” is one really great example. On Community Day, rare Pokémon appear for three hours, and in Tokyo you wouldn’t believe how many trainers suddenly appear to catch them! Local regions often hold events like Pokémon Safaris, like the one in Tottori a few months ago which drew tons of trainers who were able to catch lots of rare Pokémon. Thanks to events, you probably won’t ever get bored with Pokémon GO again!

5. The game is genuinely evolving

The current version of Pokémon GO has put a lot of attention into the small details. For example, when trying to catch Pokémon, players have always been able to throw berries at them to make them easier to catch, but now there are many more varieties of berries with different effects.

Plus, there’s now a “Field Research” function, where players help a Pokémon Professor learn more about Pokémon and the area by completing missions. It’s easy to use and gives the game an additional sense of purpose, so it’s a nice new feature.

6. A lot of people have already played it

While P.K.’s reasons are related to why he thinks people should go back and play Pokémon GO, perhaps this is the most convincing reason as to why it might make a comeback. The reality is that millions of people have already played the game, and those people already know how it works. Since they experienced the Pokémon GO fever of 2016, their passion is probably lying dormant somewhere, where it could be reignited by even the smallest spark.

In other words, it’s possible that many of those former players could be inspired to come back to the game for the simplest reason, like someone talked about it, or they read about it in an article, or they saw a friend playing it. And if those players play even once, P.K. thinks they will keep playing, because they already loved the game before it evolved into the better version it is today.

▼ The chance to get a shiny Lugia like P.K. might be a good reason to go back…

So there you have it: P.K.’s reasoning for why Pokémon GO might be getting its second wind soon. The game does sound like it’s improved a lot, and I’ll be honest, thanks to P.K.’s explanation, I did open it up again for the first time in a long time to see what it’s like now. Right away I caught a few new Pokémon, and I did feel that familiar sense of excitement starting to bubble up, so maybe I’ll actually play it a little bit more now!

Sadly, though, the success of P.K.’s prediction may depend more on play area than anything else. I’m willing to bet that a resurgence is imminent in Tokyo, where there are already tons of players and lots of stops, gyms, and events. But if your town is like my small town in Spain, where there are all of three Pokéstops and one Gym and probably no one playing, the game might not return to its former glory.

Wherever you live, though, one thing is for sure: if the rumors are true about the upcoming Pokémon Switch game, we will definitely see a worldwide boom of Pokémon GO! We will just have to wait and see to find out.

Photos © SoraNews24
Screenshots: Pokémon Go
Reference: DMR Business Statistics

Japanese child manages to ruin Pokémon GO for his mother with one short sentence

One parent and Twitter user experiences the joy of catching Pikachu in Pokémon GO, but it’s all too short-lived.

Mothers have a hard job, not that I speak from direct experience. They certainly deserve every opportunity for a well-deserved break every now and then, whether in a good book, fine food, or maybe by catching a cute, yellow, digital pocket monster. One Japanese mother wasn’t even that lucky, since just when she managed to capture the most famous and yet one of the harder to catch Pokémon, it was ruined by their child who is either incredibly conscientious or diabolical.

‘I play Pokémon GO, and I said, “I’ve caught a Pikachu!’ to which my child says, “Mummy, that Pikachu has a mummy and daddy too.”
“Oh.”
My child goes further, “Right now, Pikachu’s mummy and daddy are probably out there looking for him.”
“Oh… ah.”
“Quick, let’s evolve it to a Raichu to hide it from its parents.”
Somehow it’s simultaneously the sweetest and cruellest thing ever.’

While Pikachu might be absolutely everywhere in Japan, including on the sides of trains and planes, when it comes to the augmented reality games Pokémon GO the bright yellow, electric mouse/squirrel is rather harder to track down. So when Twitter user @michaelsenbay finally hunted it down, all they needed was for the fruit of their loins to act like the ghost at the feast and ruin it for them.

Other Twitter users offered their condolences and advice.

‘If you set some bait you can get mummy and daddy to catch them so they can all be happy together.’
‘Maybe the parents will try to take it back by force.’
‘That made me cry.’
‘The parents are out there too? Gotta catch ’em all.’

It might be a bit harsh, but with Yokohama filling up with thousands of Pikachu every year for the Pikachu Outbreak 2018, perhaps Daddy Pikachu and Mummy Pikachu would a) probably take some time to notice they’re suddenly one progeny fewer, and b) should get off of each other for two seconds. But surely they would be happy to know that their monster offspring has made so many new friends and is getting plenty of exercise in between their high-powered business meetings.

Source: Twitter/@michaelsenbay via Hachimakiko
Featured image: Pokémon GO Official Website

The rumors are circulating: What could the upcoming Pokémon Switch game be?

Let’s GO! Pikachu? Let’s GO! Eevee? Or something else entirely?

After the thrill of something new in Sun and Moon (and the somewhat less exciting Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon)Pokémon fans have been waiting in intense anticipation for the next game in the franchise, which we know for sure is going to be the first Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo and Game Freak have been keeping everything neatly under wraps, but still netizens have been speculating that the new game (or games) could be ready for release as soon as the end of this year.

Rumors are plentiful, and now some industrious fans seem to think they know what’s coming next. An anonymous user on 4chan who appears to be in the know (though how much stock can you really put into 4chan?) apparently “leaked” information that, like other games, the next game will come in two versions, this time called “Let’s GO! Pikachu” and “Let’s GO! Eevee”.

A logo has been circulating on the Internet that certainly seems to match with the speculation, but no one knows where it comes from, or whether it’s genuine.

The theory is that, since the title includes Pikachu and Eevee specifically, the players will be offered the choice of a Pikachu or an Eevee as their starter Pokémon, and the games will be based on Pokémon Yellow. Fans seem to think that Pikachu or Eevee will be following the character around, like in the original Yellow. However, it seems that the prevailing idea is that it won’t be a Yellow remake, but instead will be either a base game for Generation 8, the next generation of new Pokémon; or a different story altogether that continues the story of Red and Blue.

Users on another message board are guessing that the titles are real because The Pokémon Company seems to have been heavily promoting Pikachu and Eevee merchandise, with special emphasis on Eevee to help it keep up with Pikachu’s popularity (for example, sending Eevee to offices around Japan). They will also play a big role in the upcoming movie. However, it’s not an entirely convincing argument, since those are arguably two of the most popular characters in the Pokémon franchise.

▼ The trailer for the upcoming Pokémon film

Still, there’s plenty of evidence if you’re looking for it. Some think that Pokémon director Junichi Masuda dropped a hint when he recently Tweeted a photo of him holding a giant Pokéball with a stuffed Pikachu and Eevee in the background.

▼ “I found this giant Pokéball at the Pokémon headquarters this morning lol”

Netizens say that the “L” on Luigi Pikachu’s hat stands for “Let’s GO!”, and is also some kind of mysterious hint. This hovers dangerously near the level of confirmation bias, though, so it’s best to take such “evidence” with a grain of salt. However, Masuda has apparently tweeted hints about upcoming Pokémon games before, so netizens are on high alert for any sign from him that could confirm their theories.

Rumors have also been circulating that the long-awaited Switch game might be integrated with Pokémon Go, which as we all know achieved massive success after its release, although the fervor quickly petered out. Industry insider Emily Rogers wrote an enigmatic post on her blog about how Nintendo could learn from the success of Pokémon Go and use some of its attributes to improve the upcoming games, implying that the Switch game may incorporate some features of the popular mobile game.

▼ A supposed leaked screenshot of the mysterious game. If you look closely, apparently Eevee is riding on the trainer’s head.

Some netizens seem to think that this means using the touch pad to swipe Pokéballs at Pokémon, and another anonymous 4chan user suspects that the two games can be linked and players will receive rewards in Pokémon Go for actions performed in the new title. Some fans are bitter about this idea, believing that it’s merely a way to get the fair-weather fans of Pokémon Go to buy into the core game franchise, but it could be a good marketing technique on the part of Game Freak and Nintendo.

Whether it’s a Pokémon Yellow remake, the start of Generation 8, a Pokémon Go-inspired game, all of those combined, or something else entirely, Emily Rogers says we can expect an official announcement of the title at the end of this month. Though fans’ speculations have been off the mark before, Rogers says the new titles might “raise a few eyebrows”, so who knows? They might have guessed it right. Either way, we can’t wait!

In the meantime, you’ll find us eating at the Pokémon Cafe and trying out the Pokémon Escape Park to satiate our Pokémon withdrawals while we wait.

Source: 4chan via ResetEra via Hachima Kikou
Top Image: Twitter/@ino_Tweets
Reference: Nintendo Life, Emily Rogers, Pokemon Memo, GameRant

10 stalled Japanese game franchises that deserve a sequel, according to gamers

There are a lot of oldies but goodies on here!

Popular ranking site Goo Ranking is back at it again! They’ve been polling Japanese netizens on their preferences on all manner of topics. We’ve seen the top ten most iconic characters of Japan, the most tear-jerking anime, even the coolest old-guy anime voice actors.

This time they’ve ranked famous games that don’t have sequels, but should, or have sequels but have been discontinued for some time. Japanese netizens picked the top ten games they’d like to see continue in a(nother) sequel, and some of the answers might surprise you (all release dates are for Japan, and this article may contain some spoilers).

10. SaGa Frontier

An RPG from Square (before it became Square Enix), this game was released in 1997 for the PlayStation. It’s part of a longer series of SaGa games and has a sequel, SagGa Frontier 2. The first game was extremely popular in Japan for its “free scenario” system, in which fans could play one of seven characters in different plotlines, and the second game was similarly appealing. The series ended in 1999, and though it has been rereleased on the PlayStation Store, fans seem to prefer getting another sequel to simply replaying the original game.

9. Rune Factory

Rune Factory is a series of spin-off games from Harvest Moon. They’re simulation role-playing farm games in which the player plants fruits and vegetables while also hunting and collecting monsters. The series saw its first game released in 2006 in Japan, and the sixth, and last (confusingly titled Rune Factory 4) was released in 2012, but it didn’t even see a European release due to the bankruptcy of the developer, Neverland. Considering the last game was the best-selling version in the series in Japan, it’s no surprise that fans would want to see a Rune Factory 5.

8. Pokémon Snap

A unique addition to the Pokémon series, Pokémon Snap for Nintendo 64 got a lot of attention worldwide when it was released in 1999. The game, in which you act as a Pokémon photographer and try to capture unique and interesting photos of Pokémon in their natural habitats, was a lot of fun for Pokémon fans, although it was extremely short and only featured Pokémon from the first generation. We suspect fans would appreciate a longer and maybe more challenging game in the same style, with more Pokémon and habitats, and that’s probably why it’s earned a spot on this list.

7. Onimusha

Who doesn’t love an epic samurai game? This series of games by Capcom told the stories of famous figures in Japanese history with the fun addition of supernatural elements. There were six of these action-adventure games released between 2001 and 2006, and the first game was a huge hit. A browser game was released in 2012, with an additional mobile and PS3 version, but fans seem to be looking for an updated version of the original games in a more traditional style.

6. Bomberman 64

While the Bomberman games have continued uninterrupted for decades, it seems that Bomberman 64 holds a special place in fans’ hearts. It was available for the Nintendo 64 in 1997 and was the first Bomberman game to be played in 3-D with platform levels. Though the Bomberman 64 arc didn’t seem quite hit the popularity of previous versions released for SNES, Saturn, and PC Engine, the Bomberman 64 quartet and its predecessors are still considered to be a high point in the Bomberman series, which might be why some fans want to see a continuation.

5. Mega Man Battle Network

Called Rockman.EXE in Japan, this Mega Man spinoff series, which started in 2001, takes place in an alternate universe where computer technology advanced and robot technology didn’t. Instead of fighting real-life robots, Mega Man transports himself into the world-wide web to fight monsters and save the world. With a unique story and a different type of gameplay, fans seemed to enjoy a new kind of Mega Man experience, which after decades of Mega Man games, might be just what fans are looking for again.

4. Goemon

This series, also known as Ganbare Goeman, Mystical Ninja Starring Goeman, or Legend of the Mystical Ninja, is very popular in Japan. It has only released five games overseas, but dozens of installments and spin-offs came out in Japan between 1986 and 2005. In this game you play as the noble thief Goemon, who navigates a cartoon-like, magical version of feudal Japan. The innate and sometimes almost silly Japanese-ness of the game must have appealed to Japanese players, but sadly, it’s now been reduced to being used as a theme for slot machines, so fans are hoping for it to be restored to its original glory.

3. Kirby Air Ride

For gamers who loved Kirby and racing games, Kirby Air Ride, released in 2003, was like a dream come true. It’s more or less without a plot, but players have three fun modes to zoom around in, in both solo and multiplayer. The game was especially popular for its City Mode, in which you had a limited amount of time to race around a city and try to become stronger than everyone else. Its unique racing style and, of course, cute Kirby-ness were big hits, but it was the only one of its kind, and fans have been hoping for a sequel for years.

2. Suikoden

Based loosely on a classical Chinese novel, Suikoden was a massively popular RPG series that started in 1995 and continued on for five core games until 2006. The first game was almost unanimously praised for its original story and simple fun, although the second game is the biggest fan favorite and ranks among the best games of all time. Fans seemed to love the expansive lineup of characters, changing combat systems, and beautiful soundtracks that came with each installment of the series.

Unfortunately, the shift from 2-D to 3-D in Suikoden III was jarring to many fans of the game, and the next sequels didn’t sell as well, which might be why the series ended with Suikoden V. Nevertheless, the nostalgia for those early games is strong, and fans are clearly looking for that kind of gaming experience again.

1. Wonder Project J

Overseas gamers may not be familiar with this title, as it was never released outside of Japan. Nevertheless, the Osamu Tezuka-inspired art and cute storylines of this raising sim have obviously kept fans smitten since its initial release in 1994. Doubtless fans loved raising the robot boy named Pino and teaching him to be more human-like, and perhaps they also enjoyed the game’s references to popular folk tale Pinocchio. A sequel was released featuring a robot girl two years later, which was a continuation of the first game with a slightly more complex story. Sadly, the game ended with this installment, clearly leaving fans wanting more.

Since a lot of these are classic games, it might be fun to see them come to life with a new story and with the more advanced gaming systems we have today. Some fans, however, may prefer to let sleeping dogs lie. After all, there are reasons why these series have stopped, and like it or not, one of the reasons may be that the games have already done what they set out to do.

What would you say, non-Japanese gamers? Would you like to see continuations of these games, or are you content to let games like Final Fantasy and Pokémon be the ones to continue on into eternity?

Source: Goo Ranking via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/Video Detective

Shocking news! Star Pokémon Pikachu’s design isn’t based on a mouse

Original designer reveals that the real inspiration for the “electric mouse” was a different animal altogether.

Perhaps my strangest experience with learning Japanese has been having to remember two sets of names for Pokémon species. For example, the Pocket Monster called Magikarp in English versions of the game/anime? In Japan, he’s “Koiking,” since he’s essentially a koi (“carp”) with a crown-shaped fin on his back. Slowpoke? Over here he’s “Yadon,” a syllabic jumbling of doya, which refers to a sort of blissful cluelessness.

But Pikachu’s name is the same around the world. As a matter of fact, the franchise mascot is so famous that even most non-Japanese speaking fans know that his name comes from a pair of Japanese onomatopoeias: pika, referring to a flash of light, and chu, the squeaking sound mice make. It’s the perfect name for a character that’s essentially an “electric mouse,” right?

Except, it turns out that Pikachu’s visual design wasn’t based on a mouse at all.

▼ “Whaaaaat?”

Ken Sugimori, head of Pokémon video game developer Game Freak, and Atsuko Nishida, an illustrator who contributed monster designs for the series’ original Pokémon Red and Green installments in 1996, recently reminisced about Pikachu’s origin. The only specific guidelines Nishida was given were that the character should be cute, use electricity-based powers, and be able to evolve twice.

Aside from those criteria, Nishida was free to do whatever she wanted in terms of design. So she turned to the animal kingdom for inspiration, and took design cues from…a squirrel!

▼ Pika?

So why did the character end up being called Pikachu instead of Pika-whatever-squirrels-say-in-Japanese? Probably because there’s no set onomatopoeia for a squirrel’s cry in Japanese. As a matter of fact, squirrels themselves aren’t nearly as common in Japan as they are in rural and suburban communities in America, and if you live in a Japanese city, you could easily go several years without seeing one, even in parks. Odds are when Nishida showed her design to the rest of the staff, the reaction from many was “looks like a mouse,” making the name “Pikachu” a perfect fit.

But wait, what about the stipulation that the character be able to evolve twice? Pikachu can only evolve once, into Raichu (though later games added in the diminutive Pichu as the lowest level of the evolutionary path). Sugimori and Nishida don’t explain why the two-evolution requirement was dropped, but it’s pretty easy to imagine it was a result of Pikachu’s design being unbelievably adorable. Consider that in 20-plus years of anime adventures, human protagonist Ash has never evolved his Pikachu into Raichu, and the same can be said for many Pokémon gamers. In the case of Pikachu, even one evolution is one too many, so why waste time designing a second evolution that no one is ever going to use?

Source: Livedoor News/Yomiuri Shimbun via Jin
Photos ©SoraNews24

Gotta escape ’em all in real Pokémon game “Escape from the Amusement Park of Wind”

Finally, a real-world Pokémon adventure where you don’t have to worry about getting hit by a car.

Many of us have probably dreamed of going on a real-life Pokémon adventure, befriending little weaponized critters and throwing balls at their faces. For a time it seemed Pokémon GO was the answer to those prayers, but only until very recently it seemed their idea of an “adventure” was months of aimless repetitive tasks.

So perhaps this upcoming escape game utilizing Nintendo’s library of pocket monsters will fill that wanderlust in the hearts of all Pokémon fans. Named Escape from the Amusement Park of Wind, it will be held in Tokyo an Osaka and lets players lose in real amusement parks.

According to the game’s website, players take the roles of participants in the Wind Festival, a yearly event that attracts legendary Pokémon. However, Team Rocket has also been drawn to the festivities and are up to no good.

After a series of strange incidents, the fairgrounds are sealed off and you must solve mysteries to unlock the blockades and escape. Along the way there will be many pokémon whom you can catch and have aid you in your sleuthing.

The Tokyo game will be held at Tokyo Dome City Attractions from 14 July to 24 September, and the Osaka edition will run from 18 July to 17 September at Hirakata Park. In either case tickets can be purchased in advance and will allow players to get their hands on an advance play guide to help them prepare.

▼ This event is a tie-in with the upcoming movie Pocket Monster: Everybody’s Story, which also features a Wind Festival.

This is a relatively laid-back escape game as well, with no time-limits and groups of one to whatever able to join. There’s also an optional simplified kids course for the tykes or adults whose attention spans have eroded from decades of playing Pokémon.

As with most escape games, there aren’t many details. How players interact with the Pokémon is the biggest mystery and really the crux to how cool this game will be. Still, it looks promising, and even if doesn’t live up to expectations, you’re still at an amusement park and can perk up your spirits with a brisk merry-go-round ride or karaoke on a Ferris wheel. You can’t lose!

Event information
Escape from the Amusement Park of Wind / 風の遊園地からの脱出
● Tokyo
Tokyo Dome City Attractions / 東京ドームシティ アトラクションズ
Tokyo-to, Bunkyo-ku, Koraku 1-3-61
東京都文京区後楽1-3-61
14 July – 24 September
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Weekends / Holidays
3 p.m. – 8 p.m. Weekdays
Tickets from 3,300 yen (U.S.$31)
Website
● Osaka
Hirakata Park / ひらかたパーク
Osaka-fu, Hirakata-shi, Hirakatakoen-cho 1-1
大阪府枚方市枚方公園町1-1
18 July – 17 September
Times vary throughout season
Tickets from 3,300 yen
Basic game-only tickets available for 800 yen at the entrance
Website

Source: Escape from the Amusement Park of Wind
Images: @Press

New Pokémon movies first extended preview continues split with the TV anime【Video】

Ash has a whole new set of pals for Everybody’s Story, but his old friends are nowhere to be seen.

With the cherry blossoms now completely fallen from trees in the Tokyo area, it’s time to start looking forward to Japan’s next annual event: the release of this year’s Pokémon movie. While we got our first tiny peak at the 2018 Pokémon theatrical feature back in December, distributor Toho has put together two new previews that shed more light on the story and setting of the franchise’s latest theatrical installment, and also revealed the movie’s title: Pokémon: Everyone’s Story.

The first full-length trailer gives us some nice, sweeping views of coastal Fura City, where the architecture seems to be half San Francisco and half Dubai, with its own equivalents for both the painted lady hillside rowhouses and Palm Islands.

Last year’s I Choose You Pokémon movie went all the way back to the very beginning of Ash’s journey to become a Pokémon Master, retelling the first arc of the anime TV series but replacing pals Brock and Misty with franchise newcomers Makoto and Soji. But while Makoto and Soji are nowhere to be found in the trailer for Everyone’s Story, neither are any other of Ash’s TV anime travelling companions, so it looks like the Pokémon movies now exist in their own separate space from the TV anime, sort of like what happened with the Slayers franchise in the late 1990s.

Sharing the screen with Ash this time are Sara, a rainbow-tressed teenager with no prior Pokémon-catching experience who’s asked to catch a Pocket Monster by her hospitalized younger brother…

Kagashi, a cantankerous fast-talker…

Torito, a researcher with no self-confidence…

Hisui, an elderly woman who hates Pokémon (and who’s voiced by Masako Nozawa, the voice of Dragon Ball’s Goku, proving once again that she’s absolutely tireless)…

…and Largo, a mysterious girl who lives by herself in the woods and has a connection to Zeraora, which makes its anime debut in Everyone’s Story.

▼ Zeraora almost has a bit of a Sonic the Hedgehog thing going on in its design.

The movie takes place during Fura City’s annual Wind Festival, when the legendary Pokémon Lugia appears to grant the blessings of the wind upon the townspeople, which explains why the cityscape features so many windmills.

▼ Despite all the new faces in the film, Pikachu, of course, is still here…

▼ …as are the members of Team Rocket.

While Everybody’s Story doesn’t look to be quite the unabashed tearjerker that I Choose You was, it’s definitely aiming for an emotional message, with each of the new characters seemingly having to overcome a deep-seated sadness or otherwise achieve personal growth. Interspersed with clips from the film, text flashes on-screen during the trailer, saying

What’s important for us to do is to stand up, even if we’ve been hurt.
With a single step, everyone can change the future.

Not that the characters will have to do these things on their own, though. “Even if we can’t do it alone, if we try together…” says Ash as the trailer ends, voicing the theme of togetherness implied by the movie’s title.

▼ The movie’s shorter, 30-second preview

Pokémon: Everyone’s Story premiers in Japanese theaters on July 13.

Source: Pokémon: Everyone’s Story official website
Top image: YouTube/ポケモン公式YouTubeチャンネル
Insert images: YouTube/ポケモン公式YouTubeチャンネル (1, 2)