In Japan, anything can be pokemon-themed.
The COVID-19 outbreak has been an economic disaster for people all over the world, but it has also meant a boost in online shopping. We can't help it, can we? If all you want to do while you stay home and practice social distancing is ogle some adorable pikachus and moon over some exclusive Japanese products, we've got you covered.
Pokemon x Chiharu Sakazaki
On February 8th, a new line of products went on sale via the official Pokemon Store on Japanese Amazon, called "Pokemon Nonbiri Life" (Pokémon のんびりライフ), implying a sense of carefree fun. The theme of the goods stands in pretty stark contrast with the reality of life since February, but seeing the little 'mons hang out without keeping their 6ft/2m distance is refreshing.
Quite a few of the products feature Piplup, an unusual choice at this point, but there might just be a reason for choosing the penguin pokemon - the Pokemon Nonbiri Life series is being made in collaboration with Chiharu Sakazaki, illustrator behind the Suica Penguin seen on the transit smartcards used on trains throughout Japan.
When press released were released earlier this year, Pokemon were clearly promoting products that made great souvenirs - tins of pokemon-shaped cookies, tote bags, stuffed toys - but at this point, I'm far more interested in things I can use while I live my #stayhome life (which seems like it will last until the end of time).
Is it already too warm to necessitate cozy slippers? Yes. Do I still want them? Also yes.
Pokemon Store on Japanese Amazon
Pokemon at Uniqlo & GU
Always an exciting moment for nerdy t-shirt wearers, Pokemon released a new line of Uniqlo UT t-shirts in late April. It didn't stop there, though. Altogether, April brought two different lines of Pokemon t-shirts at Uniqlo, plus a collection of casual home-wear for children, a part of their monpoke children's brand.
As if that wasn't enough, at the same time Pokemon released a whole 51-item collection of clothing and accessories at GU, Uniqlo's fast fashion sister brand. The trendy styling of the GU/Pokemon t-shirts, pajamas, and accessories meant that almost every item sold out within a day of going on pre-order. They were unprepared.
Especially popular items, like this Snorlax pajama set, are now being resold for double the original price. I am both frustrated by scalpers and also sorely tempted.
Pokemon at Uniqlo 1
Pokemon at GU
Pokemon at Peach John
Popular Japanese lingerie brand is known for making cute, frilly underclothes and sleepwear, and now their products are getting an extra dose of cute in a collection released in early May.
With our schedules ruined and our circadian rhythms thrown off, it only seems right to let Jigglypuff lull us all to sleep.
Pokemon at Peach John
Asoko x Pokemon
A little wacky and off-kilter, "ASOKO de POKÉMON" is a line of products sold at Asoko stores throughout Japan from January. Asoko is what's generally called a "zakka" (雑貨) variety store in Japan, so their Pokemon goods include a wide variety of items: notebooks, pens, phone cases, umbrellas, tote bags, etc. etc.
- Quite a few of the products feature the Japanese names of the pokemon, which is both entertaining and very slightly educational. We're all using this time during quarantine to study, right???...?
Which new Pokemon products have you been lusting after? The Japankuru team wants to hear on twitter, instagram, and facebook!