Pokémon Masters from around the world gather in Yokohama in gorgeous promotional video.

Next month Yokohama, the port city 30 minutes south of Tokyo, will be hosting the first-ever Pokémon World Championships to be held in Japan. In celebration, the official Pokémon YouTube channel has released a beautiful anime promo video created by none other than CoMix Wave Films, the animation studio best known for producing Your Name, Suzume, and the other movies of Makoto Shinkai.

The Pokémon World Championships will bring together the best players on the planet for the Pokémon collectable trading card game, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Pokémon GO, and Pokémon Unite. In keeping with that, the video shows an international cast of challengers gathering and forging friendships through Pokémon battles.

You might be assuming that the dramatic layout of the city seen in the video, with a gigantic tower, a skyscraper that looks like a sail or wave, and a Ferris wheel, is some whimsical creativity by the animators, but it’s all actually a faithful recreation of the real-life skyline of Minato Mirai, the Yokohama harbor district where Pacifico Yokohama, the convention center that will serve as the venue for the world championships, is located.

And yes, Minato Mirai does have a big grassy area, Rinko Park, which is a rarity for a downtown area of a major Japanese city (and also the site of one of the real-world Pikachu outbreaks).

The video, titled Challenge to the World in English and Kimi ni Aeta (“I Met You”) in Japanese, was directed and storyboarded by Asuka Dokai. Character designs and animation direction are by Maho Takagi, who’s got quite the impressive resume with animator credits for Weathering with You, Suzume, When Marnie Was There, Belle, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time, Kill la Kill, and One Punch Man.

▼ The video’s Japanese-narration version

The 2023 Pokémon World Championships will take place from August 11 to 13, and even if you’re not competing, Yokohama’s massive Pokémon card public art displays are open to one and all.

Images: Youtube/ポケモン公式YouTubeチャンネル
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