Video shows first appearance of unexpected political dynamo Slowpoke.

While udon noodles are popular across Japan, just about everyone agrees that the very best udon, by far, is found in Kagawa Prefecture. Udon is so strongly connected with Kagawa that a few years back it went so far as to start calling itself “Udon Prefecture” in tourism promotions, leading to the development of projects such as a cross country race where participants alternate running and eating udon, as well as a program to convert udon into electricity.

However, on April 1 Yutaro Goja, head of the Kagawa Tourism Department, said that it was time for a change. Standing at the podium, he thanked his audience for their continued support of the Udon Prefecture initiatives, but also said “even the freshest noodles eventually start to become soggy. So with an aim to push for further development of our prefecture, we hereby declare that Udon Prefecture is henceforth called Slowpoke Prefecture!”

Following the proclamation, Pokémon Slowpoke was introduced as the new prefectural governor, being led into the conference room as cameras flashed to photograph his rise to power. So how did the laziest of all Pocket Monsters end up in the highest political office in Kagawa? Largely based on his name, since in Japanese versions of the Pokémon video games/anime Slowpoke’s name is Yadon,” which is close enough to “udon” to give Slowpoke the political clout he needs with this constituency.

Showing the unhurried pace he’s known for, Slowpoke eventually makes it to the podium, where the MC (whose skill at annunciation is on par with any Pokémon superpower) asks Kagawa’s new leader to say a few words. However, like most Pokémon, Slowpoke is only capable of saying the syllables that make up his name. Showing a cagey understanding of the political game, he decides to curry favor with the public by adopting the persona of a strong, silent type, letting the MC do his talking for him.

Slowpoke further displays his commitment to promoting the prefecture by lending his likeness and endorsement to a number of traditional Kagawa products and handicrafts, the most eye-catching of which is Slowpoke Udon, featuring the same pink color as his cuddly soft body.

However, as referenced in the video’s title, An announcement from Udon-ken(April 1, 2018), the announcement was made on April Fools’ Day, and as of this writing, the Kagawa Prefectural Government website still lists human being Keizo Hamada as governor. Whether this is due to Slowpoke’s appointment as governor really being an April Fools’ joke or because Hamada has used lobbyists and political cronies have managed to once again seize power is something we’ve yet to confirm, but for the moment, it seems that Slowpoke’s administration has come to a premature end.

Not all hope is lost, though. Even if the Slowpoke Udon noodles were originally meant as a gag, pink noodles (made with plum extract) aren’t unheard of in Japan, and a special Slowpoke version seems like it’d be a sure hit among traveling Pokémon fans shopping for souvenirs in Kagawa. And as for Slowpoke’s future political career? Japanese elections generally require voters to write in the name of whoever they’re casting their ballot for, which means that even without the backing of a major party, Slowpoke still has a shot when the next gubernatorial election rolls around.

Source: YouTune/うどん県 via Anime News Network
Images: YouTube/うどん県

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