PokéTsume: Bridging Generations and Work Life with Pokémon's Timeless Lessons


In a small rural town, an ordinary person harbors dreams of becoming a master. As they reach the age of maturity, spring signals the commencement of their journey to pursue this dream. Leaving behind their mother and hometown, they step into a world brimming with new experiences and hidden wonders.

Surprisingly, this journey is not about becoming a Pokémon Master; it's about entering the workforce!

The Pokémon franchise, born in 1996, has undergone a phenomenal transformation from a simple game created in a home office to a cultural phenomenon surpassing the combined success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Harry Potter, and Nintendo's Mario. Over 25 years since its inception, Pokémon has become a multi-dimensional brand, expanding from anime and merchandise to card games and Hollywood blockbusters.

In the post-pandemic era, the popularity of trading card games like Pokémon has surged, and despite concerns about quality, recent generation titles have broken sales records, solidifying the franchise's enduring appeal.

PokéTsume, the recently premiered live-action TV series in Japan, epitomizes Pokémon's evolution into a way of life. The show follows Madoka Akagi, played by Nanase Nishino, a recent graduate pursuing her dream of becoming a creator in the bustling city. Drawing parallels between the challenges of working life and the journey to become a Pokémon Master, the series weaves a narrative that resonates with both childhood nostalgia and adult realities.

While PokéTsume may have moments of whimsy, its heart lies in its genuine representation of a series crafted with love. The incorporation of characters' sprites from Pokémon Red into the series and the use of familiar tunes like the Pokémon Center theme showcase the creators' dedication.

To understand the significance of PokéTsume, it's essential to trace Pokémon's journey from a video game to a way of life. In 2006, facing a decline in sales, Game Freak launched Pokémon Garden, an online interactive experience, diversifying the brand's appeal and laying the groundwork for future successes like Pokémon Go.

The exploration of new storytelling avenues began with Pokémon Origins, a spinoff series produced by external partners, marking a departure from the traditional anime. Subsequently, various web series set in different Pokémon regions, short films, and music videos emerged, contributing to the franchise's dynamic evolution.

Beyond entertainment, Pokémon expanded its reach into communities, particularly after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The establishment of the Pokémon With You Foundation aimed at providing support and relief efforts showcased the brand's commitment to social responsibility.

Merchandising efforts like monpoke for infants and Pokémon Shirts for adults reflected the aging demographic that had grown up with the franchise. Pokémon became ingrained in modern life, exemplified by the global success of Pokémon Go.

In 2023, the Pokémon World Championships in Yokohama transformed the city into a Pokémon haven, demonstrating the franchise's ability to bring together generations of fans. The Pokémon Company's record profits and revenue in recent years underscore the enduring popularity of the games, anime, and trading card game.

PokéTsume, though primarily a promotional tool, symbolizes Pokémon's evolution into a series for everyone. No longer confined to a specific age group, Pokémon now promises something for every generation. It's not just a virtual journey; it's a lesson that resonates in our daily lives, showcasing the franchise's transformation over the past 15 years. PokéTsume, in essence, brings the feeling of living in a Pokémon world to the screen, reminding us that the stories that shaped us in our formative years continue to guide us in adulthood.

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