On the last weekend of February, a Japanese media franchise that began as two videogame titles on Nintendo’s original Gameboy gaming handheld, celebrated its silver anniversary. That was “Pokémon,” a multimedia experience revolving around catching adorable wild creatures with incredible powers in order to battle other trainers in various league competitions to be the very best, like no one ever was. “Pokémon” hit its stride in popularity with the long-running anime series adaptation (1997-present). It then became a social phenomenon in 2016 with the “Pokémon GO” mobile game. Celebrating 25 years of the franchise were not only the gaming community, but some recording artists too.
Quite a number of special events celebrating “Pokémon” in its 25th anniversary were covered by IGN over the weekend. The official Pokémon YouTube channel uploaded a slick 5-minute special that is a retrospective of all things “Pokémon” since the Gameboy games. Getting a rundown on every important milestone of the franchise from its electronic entertainment roots, to its anime juggernaut to its mobile social phenomenon, is very helpful to newbies even now, who want to get just what makes wanting to “Catch ‘Em All” the generation-spanning experience that it is.
But it is not just Nintendo and The Pokémon Company tooting their horns. They got some star power to go as well, thanks to rapper and singer-songwriter Post Malone. He headlined a short virtual concert experience, where he was rendered in 3D graphics similar to the current generation of “Pokémon” videogames. Some of his songs in the concert were remixes that blended in some recognizable “Pokémon” game soundtracks, like his cover of “Only Wanna Be with You” by Hootie and the Blowfish. The concert was born of collaboration between The Pokémon Company and Universal Music Group as part of #Pokémon25, with more surprises still coming.
Said surprise is “Pokémon 25: The Album,” a collection of songs inspired by the 25-year-old franchise from recording artists. Post Malone is being joined here by Katy Perry and J. Balvin, among others. Each song will also get music videos and related Pokémon merchandise pertaining to the respective artists, while the album itself will come out later in the fall. A number of new “Pokémon” games were also announced, ranging from spinoffs to a remake of the Nintendo DS titles “Brilliant Pearl” and “Brilliant Diamond.” All in all, 25 years of “Pokémon” are shaping up to be the very best.
Image: Pokémon Asia YouTube page