End of the line for the gamer fish that became some of the very best.

A few weeks ago, Pokémon anime protagonist Ash/Satoshi finally achieved his dream of winning the Pokémon World Championships. With this goal accomplished, some fans speculated that Ash would be stepping down as the anime’s main character, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction the series is going in.

However, there are some other world-famous Pokémon Trainer champions who will be retiring this month: the Pokémon video game-playing fish of Japanese YouTube channel Mutekimaru Channel.

▼ One of the Mutekimaru fish battling against Legendary Pokémon Kyogre

The Mutekimaru Channel first caught Pokémon fans’ attention back in the summer of 2020, when it began featuring videos of a Siamese fighting fish swimming around a tank visually divided into separate sections. Each of those sections was mapped to correspond to a button input on the controller for a Nintendo GameCube running 2002’s Pokémon Sapphire, thereby letting the fish play the game.

Over the course of the next two and a half years, Mutekimaru Channel’s team of aquatic gamers won gym badges, uncovered glitches that humans hadn’t been able to for nearly two decades, and eventually finished Sapphire, becoming true Pokémon Masters.

It’s been an incredible heartwarming ride (or swim), but now it’s coming to a close, as Mutekimaru Channel announced, appropriately, in a Pokémon Sapphire-style video.

“Oh, Mutekimaru! How ya been?” asks the elderly man to the Pokémon Trainer, with the rest of the conversation going:

“I heard you quit your job, and you haven’t been updating your YouTube channel at all. What’s the deal?…Hmm…I see…Sounds like ya came to this decision after giving it a lot of thought. So in any case, if I’m hearing ya right, you’re closing down the Pokémon-playing fish project, is that right?”


“Hmm…well, that’s understandable. You worked really hard at it over the last two years. Anything else you wanna tell everyone?”


“Hmm…I see…so you wanna say ‘Thank you everyone, for watching until now?’”


“Yeah…letting people know you appreciate them is a good thing. Anything else?”


“OK…you made an ending sequence, and you want everyone to watch it? All right. But it’s as poorly edited as all your other videos, ain’t it? Ah well, we’re coming up to the end, so I’ll show everyone anyway.”

▼ The ending sequence (despite the self-deprecating introduction, the editing isn’t bad at all)

Mutekimaru directs viewers more earnestly with a direct message during the sequence.

“I started this channel when the pandemic was really bad. I had a lot of free time on my hands living the stay-home lifestyle, and started because I wanted there to be more fun video content. I thought I’d probably shut it down in six months or so, but thanks to all of your support, I could keep going until now.”

However, Mutekimaru’s fish’s aquariums and the game-playing/video-making equipment currently take up an entire room in his home, but he’ll soon be going through a “change of lifestyle” and won’t even have space for the fish’s habitats, so he’s come to the decision to bring his YouTube channel to an end.

Don’t worry about the fish, though. They’ll be going to their new home at Mutekimaru’s parent’s house, where the family will be taking care of them and he can still check up on them when he comes to visit. He’s also posted a detailed video about the design of the system by which his fish were able to play video games, so if anyone wants to pick up the mantle he’s leaving behind, here’s how to get started.

On the plus side, while Mutekimaru won’t be posting any new videos to his channel, his old ones will remain up. He’s also planning a special farewell video, which will stream on the Mutekimaru Channel here at 6 p.m. on December 11.

Source: Direct correspondence
Images: YouTube/むてきまるちゃんねる -Mutekimaru Channel-
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