Sunday - November 16th, 2014 @ 11 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Pokemon in South Korea

To celebrate Se Jun Park’s victory as the Pokemon Video Game World Champion, South Korea held a “Pokemon Champion’s Day” this past weekend in Seoul. Several Pikachu visited and Junichi Masuda even made an appearance.

On the schedule was a series of eight Pokemon parades at Dongdaemun Design Plaza to celebrate Park’s victory. But according to the South Korean news website Star, things didn’t go quite as planned. Droves of people began showing up, quickly filling the plaza beyond capacity, and event organizers were forced to cancel the remaining parades due to safety concerns. Talk about PokeMania!

Eight parades to celebrate someone winning at Pokemon? In my day the 12 year olds would have crucified you where you stood for all the children on the playground to see. :p Glad South Korea has its priorities straight!

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Monday - March 31st, 2014 @ 9 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Google has announced a “Pokemon Challenge” for their Google Maps app. If you participate in the challenge, Pokemon will begin to appear all over the map: your goal is to find and capture all 150 of them. The Pokemon Trainers who capture all of them by April 2nd will be invited to Google HQ to battle other Pokemon Trainers for the job title of “Pokemon Master,” as explained in the video below.

To begin the challenge, open the Google Maps app and hit “Search,” where you’ll see a “Start” option with a Poke Ball icon. Pokemon sprites will begin to appear all over the map and you can begin to capture them. Like the real games, you can track your progress with a built-in Pokedex.

So who’s going to capture all of them, defeat all Trainers invited to Google HQ, and then score a “Pokemon Master” job at Google? Will it be you?! Unfortunately it won’t be anyone, as this is Google’s annual April Fools joke (the job part, that is). :p

Google Maps Pokemon Challenge Google Maps Pokemon Challenge Google Maps Pokemon Challenge
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Monday - October 1st, 2012 @ 10 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Never thought this would be a news title.

As most people know, when Electric Soldier Porygon aired in Japan during Pokemon’s first season, many children experienced seizure-like symptoms because of a quick succession of flashing red and blue explosions in the episode. This incident knocked Pokemon off the air for several months. In fact, Pikachu’s Goodbye was created in the interim and aired when the show came back to help brainwash remind children how much Pokemon meant to them. The animators also went back and lowered the frame rate of some scenes in previous episodes as a precaution (if you ever wondered why Pikachu’s lightning zaps at like one frame a second in the first episode, there you go).

Well, it seems the incident also inspired the army to come up with an idea for a weapon that could “blast [enemies] with electromagnetic energy until their brains overload and they start to convulse.” This according to a new Wired article that explains how the weapon would affect 100% of the population. It’s a rather interesting read, if not absolutely terrifying. Luckily such a weapon is only theoretical!

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Saturday - May 26th, 2012 @ 10 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

If you watched Cartoon Network between 1997 and 2008, you undoubtedly know what Toonami is. For those of you who don’t, it was a popular programming block on Cartoon Network that would show action-oriented Japanese anime like Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Outlaw Star, The Big O, Rurouni Kenshin, Inuyasha, YuYu Hakusho, Naruto, and even Pokemon, as well as American cartoons like Justice League, Powerpuff Girls, and Teen Titans. It was an “anime hub” for Americans and one of the few places you could go to watch anime on television.

Unfortunately, in the mid-2000s, Cartoon Network decided that it wanted to move away from foreign-produced anime and focus more on its own original programming (more $$$ for them). There were also complaints from parents that Toonami’s shows were too “loud” (action-packed and violent). Thus, in 2004, Cartoon Network moved Toonami from weekdays to Saturday nights and refocused its target demographic to a much younger audience. However, its ratings slowly declined and it was ultimately cancelled in 2008.

On April Fools Day, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim revived Toonami for the night and showed many of the block’s past anime. Toonami’s CGI host, TOM 3.0, was re-rendered for HDTV and his original voice actor, Steven Blum, reprised the role. There was a huge online response to the event, and the following day, Adult Swim posted to its Twitter, “Want [Toonami] back? Let us know.” A few days later, they posted, “We’ve heard you. Thank you for your passion and interest – stay tuned.” Then on April 8th, Adult Swim aired a few bumpers stating “we’re listening” and “we’re looking into it.” Finally, on May 16th, Adult Swim announced on its Facebook that Toonami would be returning on May 26th (which is tonight!).

The schedule for Toonami is as follows. As when Toonami was last on Cartoon Network, it will only air on Saturday nights for now.

Toonami Returns

  • 12:00 AM: Bleach
  • 12:30 AM: Deadman Wonderland
  • 1:00 AM: Casshern Sins
  • 1:30 AM: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • 2:00 AM: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
  • 2:30 AM: Cowboy Bebop
  • (schedule repeats from 3:00 to 6:00 AM)

This past week, Jason DeMarco, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim’s recently promoted vice president of strategic marketing and promotions and Toonami’s former producer, stated on his Twitter that “Something you should know about THIS Toonami: We have very, very little $$. This experiment will need ratings success to receive more funding for new shows, more Tom animation, etc. I’m thankful for the $$ we’ve gotten, but it isn’t a lot.” He also stated “We will not be showing Naruto, DBZ, etc for now. The rights to those shows are owned by our competition or are out of our price range.” He hinted that they are looking into bringing other anime to the block, such as Garterbelt, Fairy Tail, and Inuyasha: The Final Act, but this will of course depend on Toonami’s success. So if you love anime, you should support it by watching Toonami again!

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Thursday - December 15th, 2011 @ 2 AM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Been meaning to post this and some of the above TCG updates for over a week now, just been too busy until now.

After Presidential candidate Hermain Cain quoted Pokemon 2000 in his resignation speech earlier this month, Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, as usual, commented on the hilarity on their popular Comedy Central shows. Stewart’s starts at 3:27 while Colbert’s starts at 0:55.

As a side note, the last bit of Stewart’s commentary, in which he says “Look it up,” seems to be a reference to Fox’s House referencing Pokemon in a November episode (in which House said Arceus created everything and responded to a colleague’s confusion by saying to “Look it up”). Perhaps one of the writers on Stewart’s show follows Pokemon news? :p

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Monday - December 5th, 2011 @ 10 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

During his closing arguments in a Republican debate last August, GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain quoted a line from Pokemon 2000‘s “Power of One” song, stating, “A poet once said, ‘life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it’s never easy when there’s so much on the line.'” Unfortunately, he did not attribute the quote to its original source at the time, citing a nonexistent poet for the line.

On Saturday, after essentially resigning from the GOP Presidential Race, he finally acknowledged where the quote came from to the joy of Pokemon fans everywhere: “Let me leave you with this, and I believe these words came from the Pokemon movie. The media pointed that out. I’m not sure who the original author is, so don’t go writing an article about the poem. But it says a lot… ‘Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It’s never easy when there’s so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference.’ There’s a mission just for you and me.”

So there you go, Herman Cain knows what Pokemon is and Pokemon somehow made its way into American politics! Too bad he didn’t clear up some more pressing issues of his before resigning from the race…

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Thursday - August 4th, 2011 @ 11 PM PST -  By: Water Pokémon Master

Echo-chan, the Pikachu ripoff

What happens when a Japanese city tries to create a mascot to promote recycling and eco-friendliness but can’t think of its own original character concept? The answer is to recycle popular mascots already in existence!

Meet “Ecoha-chan,” the official mascot for the city of Ube in Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture. Look a little familiar? Ecoha-chan first debuted in costume last October upon the opening of the city’s new “Ginten Eco Plaza,” but when its photo was posted on the city’s official blog on Monday, visitors began to note the similarities between it and everyone’s favorite Pokemon, Pikachu. An unknown amount of the city’s own staff even expressed concern over the similarities between the two when Echo-chan’s costume was first drafted last year, but that apparently didn’t dissuade the city from using it and even copyrighting the character.

Though the photo was quickly removed from the blog on Monday, the city still remains adamant over its ownership of the character as well as its originality. Following Monday’s drama, a city representative stated, “[Our] original illustration [and the character of Pikachu] are different, and we consider copyright not to be a problem.” In response, the Pokemon Company stated, “We will gather more information about the situation, and then we will want to consider our options for how to respond.”

So what will happen to Pikaleaf? Will it be recycled into spare cloth? Will Pikachu get a green brother or new Forme in the sixth generation games? Will TPC allow the city to use Pikachu to promote their environmental agenda? Who knows! Thanks goes to Anime News Network for translating this story!

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