Pokémon has taught many people plenty of values and has brought a ton of positive experiences over these past two decades with its games, anime, & trading cards, and still does even today. But what I wanted to highlight are the live action Pokémon commercials, specifically the ones that have been released throughout 2016.
(Personal Note: I’ ve loved Pokémon ever since I played the original games on my special edition GameBoy Color. I’ve had at least one game of every generation and it has helped bring a lot of positive experiences to my life, so it’s very special to me.)
Rewinding back to this past February, the first of these commercials was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokémon, in which it shows footage of various kids and adults playing different Pokémon games, and the nostalgia they’ve given so many people throughout their 20 year run. It shows kids of all different ages playing the various games and enjoying trading, battling, and catching Pokémon with their friends. Many viewers responded that this commercial made them nostalgic, and may have even put a tear in their eye. At the end of this commercial was the announcement of the seventh generation games, Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon.
A bit later on in the year, the first live action commercial centered around Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon was released, which tells the story of a young Japanese Pokémon fan named Shohei moving from Japan to Hawaii, which the new Alola region is based off of. It shows how moving to a different place can be a scary experience for a kid, but with his love of Pokémon and his mom’s help, Shohei tries to adjust to his new environment. He notices other kids playing Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon and wants to go talk to them, but is too shy due to just starting to learn English and runs away. Later on at school, after he introduces himself to his new class as well as he can, a native Hawaiian kid named Hoku, who noticed him earlier, stands up and applauds, and the rest of the class follows by example. They later become friends and are shown starting Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon together and have quite a positive bonding experience. Lessons shown this commercial include but are not limited to: not being afraid to try new things, and trying to be open & kind to people who look like they need help, because you never know where positive actions will take you.
These two kids return later in another commercial, where they have a Pokémon battle against each other. Hoku gloats about his victory after Shohei loses, which really upsets the latter and causes him to run away. Some time after their falling out, they gift each other a Minior, teach each other how to say shooting star in their native languages, and apologize for the way they acted. The lesson here is that attitude matters, and nobody likes a gloating winner or a sore loser. This also teaches us to apologize when we feel there has been a disconnect due to our behavior.
In the next commercial, some older kids take over their secret base, so they decide to Pokémon battle for it. They lose, but take the time and effort to train hard and come back stronger. In the end, they get their base back and even become friends with the older kids. Shohei moves back to Japan, but sees Hoku online at the same time as him, and they trade each other’s version legendary Pokémon , highlighting the time difference. This final commercial shows how even if you fail, if you get back on your feet and keep trying hard then you’ll eventually find success. It also shows how you can become friends even after a misunderstanding. The final lesson shown is that no matter where you are in the world, true friendship can’t be measured by distance, and brings a satisfying conclusion to Shohei’s brief adventure.
I hope everyone enjoys Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon, and that people continue to be positively inspired by the franchise.