Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 3.09.16 PM

The latest cinematic addition to the Pokémon franchise is due to come out later this month, only this time it will be bringing along a little extra team spirit with it. One of the things that will make the latest Pokémon movie, Pocket Monster XY: Hakai no Mayu (Pokémon XY : Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction), special is the fact that it will be the first Pokémon movie to feature the voice of a popular athlete.

Soccer star Atsuto Uchida will be playing the part Usshi, a hotel porter, who was based directly off of Uchida himself. On top of their shared physical appearance, the all-star also serves as his character’s namesake, as “Usshi” is actually the nickname that Uchida holds in Germany, where he currently plays for the German association soccer club, FC Schalke 04.

Uchida expressed his difficulty adapting to the role of a voice actor, saying, “It was hard for me to do voice acting with emotion because it is in my nature not to show my feelings too much, and I’m not good at expressing my feelings in words.” Despite this, Uchida was thrilled to be involved in the creation of this new Pokémon movie, as he used to play various games from the Pokémon series during his youth.

Uchida is not the only celebrity to be featured in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, which will also include voice actor Koichi Yamadera, as well as TV actresses Shoko NakagawaYoshiko Mita, and Rika Adachi. Of course, in keeping with Pokémon movie tradition, Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction will feature an all new Pikachu short, titled Pikachu, Kore Nanno Kagi? (Pikachu, What Key is This?). Mayu Watanabe, who was recently crowned as the new leader of AKB48 will be lending her voice to this short, playing the role of its narrator.

The movie will hit theaters throughout Japan starting July 19. For more information on the film, you can check out the official website.

[Via The Asahi Shimbun]

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