Pikachu and Poké-pals featured in amazing, adorable aerial display over Yokohama harbor.

After a long day of checking out the awesome art attractions at this year’s Pokémon World Championships, I plopped myself down in Yokohama’s harborside Rinko Park. A few years ago, Rinko Park was the site of one of the Pikachu Outbreak open-to-all shows in which adorable packs of the Pokémon mascot dance and frolic. This year’s Rinko Park show, though, called Pokémon Fantastic Live Show-We Move (held nightly between August 8 and 14), was in a sectioned-off area and required advance tickets to get into, and I wasn’t lucky enough to score one.

But as the show’s start time of 8:30 p.m. drew near, I wasn’t the only one taking a seat and looking out towards the waters of the harbor and the Yokohama Bay Bridge. That’s because the finale of the We Move show coincided with a drone sequence that created gigantic light-up Pokémon in the sky, and which could be easily seen even from outside the ticketed area.

In time, the show’s music kicked in, audible from the speakers set up in the event venue, and though those of us without tickets couldn’t see what was happening on stage, a ripple of excitement spread through the crowd. Not long after we could hear the buzz of the drones taking flight and heading out over the water, and then…

Pokémon Gen-I all-stars began appearing, one after another, with Pikachu, Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, and Mew all drawing cheers and applause as they showed up.

If you’ve never seen drone art on such a large scale before, it’s honestly impressive how steadily they’re able to hold position relative to each other. There was no wavering of the line art, and the machines’ movements were even synchronized enough to provide smooth animation, really bringing the Pocket Monster to life, especially gigantic Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh and Lugia, who gracefully flapped their wings.

Pikachu and Charizard also had cool elemental effects with crackling lightning and bursts of flame breath.

Naturally, just one Pikachu wasn’t going to be enough, so the face of the franchise was featured multiple times.

But there was still room for some of the new species to, quite literally, shine, as all three members of the youngest generation of starter Pokémon, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Fuecoco, Quaxly, and Sprigatito, said hi.

Add in an absolutely huge Poké Ball, a nice shout-out to both Yokohama locals and those visiting the city for the first time during the World Championships…

…and you’ve got a very satisfying, unforgettable show.

“I’m gonna be seeing this again in my dreams tonight!” said the little kid seated behind me, and it’s a safe bet that plenty of other fans did too.

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