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Pokemon’s Special Music Video Is A Nostalgic Treat

It’s no secret that the Pokémon franchise has a nostalgia pull so powerful it may as well be a second force of gravity. As a series of games, a long-running TV show, and so much more, the pocket monster franchise has been living rent-free in fans’ heads ever since they inevitably grew up with the series in some way. Pokémon’s latest music video supplies a generous helping of that nostalgia, showcasing the old and new games together.

Officially titled “GOTCHA!”, the music video premiered on the 29th, celebrating the upcoming launch of Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Crown Tundra expansion as well as the series as a whole. Beautifully animated by studio BONES and set to “Acacia” by BUMP OF CHICKEN (a song which just so happens to be two minutes and 31 seconds, or 151 seconds in length), the video is the first ever to feature every single game protagonist. It’s also chock-full of lovingly crafted references.

With a slow transition out of pixelated GBA-style graphics into more modern animation, the music video opens on four boys walking along railroad tracks. Why? Because that’s actually one of the first things mentioned in the original games – it’s what’s on your room’s TV. We see the video’s protagonists growing up alongside the Pikachu and Eevee that act as their partner pokemon before setting off on a journey, passing collages of every Gym Leader and Elite Four member, sorted by type.

The music video takes us through so many of the games’ most iconic moments, from stand-offs with the first generation rival to the confrontation with N. But perhaps the most touching thing about it is the way it brings the old and new generations together. The way Sonia joins the past games’ professors on the monitor in the end, the gorgeous jump cut from Hop to Leon in their battle uniforms. In the end, both of the video’s protagonists walk off side by side with hats – one with the classic red hat, and the other with Leon’s black hat. This isn’t just a video about what Pokémon was. It’s about what it is today.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the release of the first Pokémon game. In just one stunning video, many were reminded of exactly why the franchise has lived on so long in fans’ hearts.

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