A moving moment…for more reasons than one. 

If there’s one thing you should know about our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun, it’s that he’s a massive fan of Pokémon Go.

Hooked from the very beginning — when he created the innovative hands-free “Poké-Han” gaming accessory and compared Pokédexes with the world’s first Pokémon Go master, Nick Johnson — P.K. is still religiously playing the game to this day, and now he’s teaching his daughter the ways of the Pokémon too.

So when he opened the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on New Year’s Day and saw a massive two-page spread honouring the fifth anniversary of his favourite game, he felt tears spring to his eyes. The ad featured illustrations by five talented artists, which P.K. had never seen before.

P.K. then found out that a Pokémon Go Giant Digital Advertising campaign would be held right near work, at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, from 10 January. So he headed down there yesterday to take a look, and found himself blinking back tears in public as he stood in front of the giant display.

There were a couple of things about the display that moved P.K. to tears. First of all, there’s the special 5th Anniversary Video, “Adventures Go on!“, which plays out on portions of the super-long screen. This video was uploaded to Pokémon Go Japan’s official YouTube channel in September last year, but surprisingly, it’s only had around 58,000 views since then, so feel free to take a look if you haven’t already.

Pokémon Go trainers might want to have the tissues close by for this video.

The two-minute-long clip captures everything P.K. loves about the game. It tracks the trajectory of Pokémon Go from the very beginning to today, and features trainers from America, Italy, IndiaAustralia, France, Chile, the U.K., and Japan, highlighting the global community that P.K. is so proud to be a part of. 

As a diehard, committed Pokémon Go trainer, P.K. couldn’t help but tear up at seeing these smiling faces of fellow trainers from around the world. And he also couldn’t help but wonder how many of these trainers he’d defeated and lost to in the game.

Seeing these images on such a large scale was far more overwhelming than watching the video on a laptop or phone screen, making P.K. feel even more emotional than he normally would. But then he felt himself crying for a different reason altogether.

This huge ad space in the world’s busiest train station must’ve cost the company a lot for its scheduled week-long run. It was a moving tribute to the game and its players, but P.K. suddenly found himself thinking — wouldn’t it have been better to spend that money on trainers, by offering some freebies or discounts on things like raid passes in the game?

▼ The amount P.K. has spent on in-game purchases over the years might’ve paid for a second or two of ad-time on the screen.

So P.K. cried for more than one reason that day when he stopped to watch the screen at Shinjuku Station. And then he cried once more, this time for the man he was five years ago, when he discovered his first Pokémon in the wilds of Tokyo. That young man was more open-hearted and less cynical about trivial details like in-game purchases.

P.K. sighed, thinking about how quickly time flies — like a Pidgeot, fast and relentless. But then again, he’s achieved a lot during that time, adding accomplishments like Spider-Man Japanese dub voice actor to his resume.

That’s when P.K. felt a glimmer of his young self return, as he recalled all the fun and achievements he’s had in Pokémon Go. From travelling to Chicago for Pokémon Fest 2019 to catching the Polynesian-exclusive Pokémon Relicanth in New Zealand and even interviewing staff at Niantic about the game, Pokémon Go has certainly brought a lot of joy to his life over the years. And he’s sure it will for many more years too!

Related: Pokémon Go official website 
Top image © SoraNews24
Insert images: c2017 Niantic, Inc. c2020 Pokemon. c1995-2020 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK inc., Pokemon GO (iOS), YouTube/Pokémon Go Japan
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[ Read in Japanese ]