Two new Trainers take a walk through 20 years of Pokémon protagonists in a glistening nostalgia trip.

With 20 years of Pokémon anime TV episodes and nearly two dozen theatrical features, a lot of Japanese musicians have had their work featured in the franchise. In that light, the absence of J-rock band Bump of Chicken has long seemed like a bit of an oversight.

Much like Pokémon itself, Bump of Chicken has been consistently popular since the late ‘90s and boasts a fan base with a wide range of ages. The four-member unit also has an open fondness for video games and anime, so it seems like Pokémon and Bump of Chicken should make a perfect combination…and this beautiful anime music video finally proves that to be true.

Featuring Bump’s signature style with a wistful opening that steadily builds to an unabashedly positive finish, the video starts with a pair of Pokémon Trainers, a listless boy with a Pikachu and a much more energetic girl with an Eevee, starting their days.

But before long, the trainer/Pocket Monster duos get mixed up, prompting a search to restore the original partnerships. Along the way, we’re treated to a montage of decades’ worth of Pokémon protagonists from the franchise, all rendered in fresh and striking style by anime studio Bones. There’s even a salute to Professor Oak, whose Japanese voice actor, Unsho Izuka, passed away in 2018.

The video itself is titled GOTCHA!, a play on words on how the Japanese-language versions of the Pokémon anime/video games use the English word “get” to mean “catch,” with the song’s title being “Acacia.” If the whole thing feels ever so slightly familiar, it might be because it reunites much of the team from this lovingly animated video for Lotte-brand chocolates, which also featured music by Bump of Chicken, animation by Bones, character designs from Yuki Hayashi, direction by Rie Matsumoto, and Genki Kawamura, one of the producers for Your Name, serving in that same capacity here.

Though the video was posted to the Japanese official Pokémon YouTube channel, the song has available subtitles in nine different languages (English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, Korean, traditional and simplified Chinese, and Japanese), all accessible by clicking on the video’s settings button.

With the Pokémon anime and games almost exclusively focusing on elementary school-age heroes and heroines, some long-term fans are no doubt happy to see young adults, or at least teenagers, get a bit of the spotlight in the form of the video’s two new Trainers. However, GOTCHA! isn’t a preview of a new spinoff Pokémon project, just a musical love letter to the series and its fans. When there’s this much love on display, though, it’s hard to complain.

Source, images: YouTube/ポケモン公式YouTubeチャンネル
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Follow Casey on Twitter, and he promises to sing at least one Bump of Chicken song if you ever go to karaoke together.