2014.06.07 paris pokemon

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!

Since the setting for latest Pokémon games were inspired by France, it only makes sense that the creators of the video game would pick Paris as their pop-up shop location. Pokémon Center Paris opened on June 4 and despite the less-than-ideal weather, the line to get in the shop was huge. While there were some younger children in the crowd, most of the Pokémon fans seemed to be in their 20s.

▼ Dedicated Pokémon superfans braving the early morning rain to make it to the front of the line

2014.06.07 paris pokemon 9Image: Twitter (Junichi_Masuda)

The biggest difference about this pop-up from the Japanese Pokémon Centers is how much emphasis is placed on the art. The art gallery features original art from the video game, fan art and even some rare development sketches. And for the amateur artist in all of us, the gallery encourages visitors to draw a picture of their favorite pokémon.

▼ Pikachu, proudly painting with the brush of French patriotism, directs visitors to the art gallery

2014.06.07 paris pokemon 5Image: Twitter (Junichi_Masuda)

▼ One of the walls of pokémon art

2014.06.07 paris pokemon 1 copy Image: Instagram (studiosushi)

▼ Another look at drawings from the pokémon artists

2014.06.07 paris pokemon 4 Image: Twitter (Junichi_Masuda)

▼ Sketches of Mewtwo

2014.06.07 paris pokemon 10Image: Imgur (Ray Quaza)

▼ Drawings from gallery visitors

2014.06.07 paris pokemon pikachuImage: Arukikata (tokuhain)

Japanese netizens who heard about the pop-up shop were surprised to see not only how popular Pokémon is in France, but just how much the French love Pikachu. It seemed like almost all of the visitors drew the cute little lightning mouse and his image was pretty much on every piece of merchandise at the store.

▼ Items for the sale at the store, notice how Pikachu seems to be everywhere?

2014.06.07 paris pokemon 6Image: Twitter (Junichi_Masuda)

▼ Pikachu macarons, could it get any sweeter?

2014.06.07 paris pokemon 2 copy Image: Instagram (studiosushi)

▼ Pikachu is the main star in this TV news program reporting on the Pokémon Center

2014.06.07 paris pokemon  on TV copyImage: YouTube (PokebipTV) 

The netizens wondered if the reason for Pikachu’s popularity, beyond his adorable face, was the fact that his voice remains the same no matter the language of the Pokémon cartoon. Since all he really has to say is “pika pika,” Pikachu is just as accessible to French audiences as he is to Japan. Whatever the appeal, Pikachu is one of those characters that has gone beyond just being some rat-looking monster from a Japanese video game to being a beloved icon around the world.

So if you are looking to get your Pokémon fix while in the City of Lights, be sure to check out the Pokémon Center in Paris before it closes on June 21. Check the information below about the pop-up and make sure to take note that Pikachu doesn’t visit on Saturdays!

Location: CRÉMERIE de PARIS (Hôtel de Villeroy)
Address: 11-15, rue des Halles – angle 9, rue des Déchargeurs 75001 Paris
Hours: 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM

Feature Image: Twitter (cyberalice)
Source: Naver Matome