If there’s one thing I still regret about my trip last July to Japan, it’s that I never got to go to one of The GUEST cafe&diner’s themed café events. Unfortunately, even if you are lucky enough to be around Shibuya, Tokyo during one of their exciting collaborations, you’ll still need to line up for anywhere from one to three hours… And they don’t take reservations! Still, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can continue to drool over their adorable food items and exclusive merchandise from the comfort of my home in Australia. While their collaborations have usually tended toward specific characters, this time they’ve opened none other than a Pokémon Café!
The world of Pokémon has always been a slightly sinister place, from the designs of some of the Pokémon themselves (Mr. Mime for all you clown lovers out there), to Pokédex entries that reveal a darker side to the otherwise adorable little creatures. In fact, the Lavender Town tower cemetary in Pokémon Red/Blue is so infamous that it was the first example on the subject of death in Japanese popular media that Harvard professor Alexander Zahlten mentioned it at the beginning of a talk of his I went to earlier this year!
|The website plays the eery Lavender Town theme, of course…|
|“You’re so wonderful…”|
Junji Ito is famous for his twisted horror manga, including Gyo, Uzumaki, and Tomie. Regarding the Banette illustration, he says he drew a Banette that was searching for the child that threw it out. Since Banettes are born from the grudge they hold against their previous owners for abandoning them, you can only imagine how it must feel to see a child doting on a brand new toy…
I’m not sure how I was ever able to sleep at night after playing Pokémon! Junji Ito’s second illustration has yet to be revealed, but I can’t wait to see what scary Pokémon he draws next…
UPDATE: Good Smile Company has put up a listing for the Red Nendoroid on their website, which includes images of his accessories and the three starters:
Whether you call it Pokémon Battle Trozei or Pokémon Link: Battle!, there’s no denying that the eShop-exclusive match three game’s announcement back in February came as a bit of a surprise. The game’s sudden announcement and its subsequent release in all territories just a month later left this Pokémon-obsessed gal assuming that Pokémon Battle Trozei would be left to die much like poor Pokémon Rumble U. But low and behold, the Japanese release of the game has brought an onslaught of exclusive merchandise, including not one, but two 3DS XLs!
The first item revealed was this lovely white limited edition 3DS XL. It won’t be available at retail, though – it’s a prize for a contest only available to memebers of the Pokémon Daisuki club. If you happen to be a member, you need to watch three videos between March 28th and April 18th and send in your guess of how many different Pokémon icons appear at the end of the videos to be entered in the drawing. There will only be two winners, but 30 runners up will get a cute set of two sticker sheets, which will also be going on sale at the end of April.
A second Pokémon Battle Trozei 3DS XL was revealed in the Japanese children’s magazine Coro Coro, but this one will also be extremely limited – only five readers who send in entries will be selected to win the lottery. In the bottom right corner of the above image it says there are only 5 of these 3DS’s in the world, so it’s probably safe to say we won’t be seeing them elsewhere.
In slightly more accessible Pokémon Battle Trozei merchandise news, Pokémon Centers across Japan are holding a lottery for a slew of adorable limited edition merchandise until April 6th. Anyone who buy the game on their 3DS while in the store will get a voucher for one prize, and after that subsequent entries can be acquired for every 3,000 yen, or $30, spent in the store. Just like the Hatsune Miku lottery event I covered a few days ago, everyone is guaranteed a prize with every entry. Let’s take a look at what’s available to win:
The number 3 prize consists of three different sticker sheets, of which the winner can choose one.
The number 2 prize will win participants one of three different pencil cases. I wouldn’t be able to decide between the first two!
The number 4 prize is this adorable mug – winners can choose either the white or the yellow design. I don’t normally like yellow very much, but I think I prefer that one, personally.
Finally, the “special” prize, which I’m assuming is the most rare, is this very cool 65 cm by 45 cm pillow.
Unlike the Hatsune Miku lottery, the price of entry to this lottery is pretty high, but it’s great that they give people who download the game a free go. While once probably isn’t enough to win the pillow or mug, I wouldn’t mind a free postcard or sticker sheet, personally!
Unfortunately, the chances of any of us outside of Japan getting our hands on any Pokémon Battle Trozei merchandise is quite slim. Here’s hoping Nintendo decides to do at least a little something for the North American release on the 20th!
I think it’s become pretty apparent by now that one of my favorite subjects for Japan Envy posts is the Pokémon-related merchandise that never makes it out of Japan. Well, I’m happy (or unhappy, depending on how you look at it) to report that I continue to have reasons to envy Japan’s awesome Pokémon merchandise, as two of my favorite Pokémon goods series are getting new lines in the upcoming months.
First is the Pokémon Tōchi, or Regional Pokémon (literally “Local Pokémon”) series. These are designs that are limited to specific areas of Japan, and as such can only be found certain Pokémon Centers. I really like regional goods and am always interested in the unique “local flavor” each city of Japan has, so aside from that creepy Pikachu whose head is far too big for his body, I’m generally all for this kind of series. Here are the newly-released designs:
From the left to right, the prefectures represented are Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo, and Okinawa. As I mentioned before, something about that Pikachu really doesn’t jive with me, but I think the Meowth and Oshawott designs in particular are very cute. I personally have a special place in my heart for Hyogo prefecture, as that’s where I spent a year when I studied abroad in Japan, so the “weathervane-raiding sailor man” Oshawott (that’s a direct translation of the description! I can’t make this stuff up) definitely speaks to me, but my favorite overall would have to be the pineapple Meowth. Too bad it’s only available in Okinawa.
The new Regional Pokémon goods will be available at the Osaka and Okinawa Pokémon Centers from the end of April, with no end date specified. Available merchandise will include keychains, pens, and hand towels (pictured above), as well as socks, which apparently will go on sale in May.
Next we have the second line in the Pokémomo series, which is a collaboration with illustrator Momo Okada. While it’s hard to beat the first Pokémomo series, as it featured not only Snorlax, but Plusle, Minon, and Gengar, Momo Okada’s weirdly charming Pokémon interpretations just can’t be ignored, regardless of the Pokémon she’s drawing.
The second Pokémomo series will be available at Pokémon Centers nationwide starting from the 11th of May. I hope they make adult-sized socks, because I know I could totally rock a pair or two!
The craft bug strikes me often, but it’s not often that I actually finish a crafty endeavor I start. In the case of practical items, however, necessity requires me to complete them so I can actually use them, so when I decided none of the Vita cases available at retail were anywhere near cute enough for my extremely discerning tastes, I had to come up with something on my own and have it ready to go in a flash.
|Game case for size comparison/aesthetic purposes only, of course|
Now here’s a game I never thought twice about picking up before now: Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire. Not that I have anything against the game, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, my time with the GBA has been very limited. After recently becoming enamored with the beauty that is Japanese GBA box art, however, I’ve spent my fare share of time perusing eBay for import titles that catch my fancy… and catch my fancy Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire did. One look at the cover and I knew I just had to have it!
|Kecleon is such a neat Pokémon – I love that he got featured on the front of
I can’t believe how much detail is put into some Japanese GBA boxes. Not only is the GBA logo very unassuming, unlike what they did with the North American and European GBA cases, but nearly every side of the box has cute little touches, such as the Spheal and Sealeo shown above.
|And there’s a Pikachu and Pichu on the other side!|
Would you believe the inside flaps even have pictures on them? Take a look at this:
|Such loving detail!|
Let me remind you that this is a used copy of the game, but as everything that comes from Japan, it arrived in near-immaculate condition. It’s almost as if it was never opened…