Don’t be alarmed, he poses no threat outside of Pokémon stadiums.

It’s the oft-quoted slogan of Pokémon that one has gotta catch ’em all, but few have strived to do this in Pokémon GO as earnestly as our writer P.K. Sanjun. And when we say “all” we don’t just mean every species, but each of their different-colored shiny forms in differing male-female forms where applicable, and with limited-edition clothing.

▼ Pikachu alone has over 50 different costumes

The four pillars of collecting Pokémon are capturing, training, battling, and trading, and when getting to the level that P.K. is at, the last of those becomes the most important. Trading among a circle of friends certainly has its benefits but when you’re looking for the rarest of the rare, you’ll have to do what P.K. calls “wild trades,” in which total strangers are approached for potential trades on the street.

It could be considered the ultimate challenge for Pokémon GO trainers as it requires people skills, the art of negotiation, and, in the case of foreign events, language and diplomacy skills. Luckily, P.K. is a very outgoing guy and has found a lot of success this way, but as his pool of needed Pokémon gets smaller and smaller, his wild trades get harder and harder.

▼ Of course, you’ll have to get the shiny version of each Unown that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet

It was at the Pokémon GO Fest in New York last year where P.K. found inspiration in the form of a weird guy with a sign on his head. The sign indicated that he was open for trades but he was looking for extremely rare shiny versions of Ponyta, Elekid, and Lapras with the special costume item from each team leader.

▼ New York

When P.K. saw the sign at first, he thought there was no way it would work, especially because all the guy was offering in return were non-shiny, region-exclusive Pokémon like Farfetch’d, Hawlucha, and Comfey. However, the next time P.K. saw the man, the crossed-off Pokémon on his sign indicated that he had made the seemingly unlikely trades he wanted. It turns out that in the wild, there’s always a chance of finding that perfect trade partner if you just put yourself out there.

▼ Anyone in Japan would scoff at these birds

So, at Pokémon GO Fest 2024 in Sendai, that’s just what P.K. did. Instead of carrying his trade list around in his pocket as he usually does, he fastened it to his chest and back for everyone to see.

The Pokémon he was looking for were all very rare shiny costume versions and in exchange, he had some relatively scarce ones to offer, but he’d readily admit that they were nowhere near as rare as the ones he wanted.

And yet, on the first day alone, P.K. had gotten five of his target Pokémon. He felt a little bad and repeatedly asked the people “Are you sure? The one you’re giving me is 10 times rarer!” But each time they had no problem and thanked P.K., having happily made the trade. Our reporter was surprised to see the different values people placed on their desired Pokémon, which is what makes trading the most powerful technique to collect them all.

It was a powerful evolution for P.K. as a trainer and even though he ended up drawing a lot of stares from everyone on the street, in the wild trade game the shiny Pokémon go to those who shine the brightest.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]