Series follows small town girl struggling in the big city and finding strength through rekindled love of playing original Pokémon Game Boy game.

There have been a bunch of live-action adaptations of anime and video game franchises in recent years. So with the announcement from TV Tokyo, the same channel that airs the Pokémon anime series, that it’s going to be airing the first-ever Pokémon-themed weekly live-action TV drama, you might expect a retelling of the first arc of Satoshi/Ash’s journey to become a Pokémon master, or maybe some sort of follow-up to the live-action Detective Pikachu movie.

Instead, though, TV Tokyo is going for a much more rooted-in-reality storyline for Stuff Your Pockets Full of Dreams (or Pocket ni Bouken wo Tsumekonde, in Japanese), whose main character is a woman living in real-world Tokyo, rediscovering her love of playing Pokémon, and seeing how it changes her life.

Nanase Nishino, idol-singer-turned actress and former member of Nogizaka46, will portray protagonist Madoka Akagi, a woman who quits her job at a small town fish sausage maker to move to Tokyo and follow her dream of working in a more creative field by joining an ad agency named ADventure. The transition to big city life doesn’t go smoothly for Madoka, but as she’s struggling to make things work, she receives a care package in the mail from her mom, and inside is her Game Boy Pocket from when she was a kid, plus her old copy of Pokémon Red, the very first Pokémon game that came out back in 1996. She fires it up and starts playing Pokémon for the first time in 20 years, which starts to change how she thinks about her situation.

There’s a bit of wordplay mixed in with the series too. Not only does the “Aka” part of Madoka’s family name Akagi, mean “red,” she hails from the fictional Japanese town of Masara, which is also the name used in Japanese for Pokémon Red’s Pallet Town starting area.

Nishino herself is a Pokémon gamer, and without the long break from the series that her character has. She says she’s played “almost every” Pokémon game, from the original all the way up to the latest releases in the franchise. “As someone from the generation that went from kids to adults while playing Pokémon, I’m filled with joy [to be a part of this series],” the 29-year-old Nishino commented.

Stuff Your Pockets Full of Dreams is scheduled to air on Thursdays at 12:30 a.m. (essentially in the Wednesday late-night section of the schedule), with its premier slated for October 20.

Source: TV Tokyo via Otakomu
Images: TV Tokyo
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