Can you imagine how much one man earns most in Japan?

Tadashi Yanai, president and chairman of Fast Retailing, which develops UNIQLO, and Masayoshi Son, president and chairman of SoftBank Group, are said that they earn about 10 billion yen annually, including compensation from the company and dividends on shares. It's a great number, but this is about the limit for a Japanese manager to earn by himself.


In fact, there are some amazing guys in Japan who have earned over 6 trillion yen in total over the last 20 years. However, he is not human ...


The name is "Pokemon". Pokemon started as a software "Pokemon Red and Green" for Nintendo Game Boy released in 1996. Characters such as "Pikachu" are very popular, and the total global market size, including sales of games and related products, is expected to exceed 6 trillion yen. Since it is the cumulative market size of characters, it may be difficult to compare it with the reward of the manager, but you should be able to understand the greatness of Pokemon.


There are many other Japanese characters such as "Super Mario", "Gundam", "Yo-Kai Watch" and "Hello Kitty", but there is no doubt that Pokemon is the "strongest" in earning power. Pikachu is one of the most well-known characters in the world, and its rival is now known as Disney's Mickey Mouse.


Data supporting its popularity of Pokemon was announced on November 20th. According to the game magazine "Famitsu", the estimated domestic sales of the latest game "Pokemon Sword Shield" reached about 1365,000 sales in the three days (first week) after its release on November 15. It is said that the number of software for Nintendo Switch sold in the first week surpassed "Super Smash Bros. Smash Bros. SPECIAL (Smash Bros. SP)" to become the number one in history.


Due to the popularity of Sword Shield, sales of the Nintendo Switch itself are also strong. According to Famitsu, the number of units sold (including Nintendo Switch Lite) during the release week (November 11 to 17) was about 180,000. Cumulative sales have exceeded 10 million units, and one of the driving forces is Pokemon.


"We expect further sales growth for Sword Shield and Nintendo Switch for Christmas and the New Year holidays," said a Famitsu representative.


The suggested retail price of the game is 5980 JPY (excluding tax). It is also sold overseas and supports a total of 9 languages ​​including English, Spanish, French and Chinese. You can also choose the style and characteristic of the main character, and there are patterns for both male and female each with different hair, skin, and eye colors.


Recently, the game industry is the only field where Japanese companies can demonstrate their power to the world, and Pokemon is expected to play an active role here.


Along with games, anime has supported the popularity of Pokemon. The TV anime series has been running since 1997, and the new chapter started on November 17th on TV Tokyo channel.


The title of the series has changed together with each release of a new video game, and the previous chapter is "Pocket Monster Sun & Moon". It was thought that the new chapter would be the same title as "Sword Shield", but it came out to be the same "Pocket Monster" as when it started in 1997.


As the title symbolizes, this time we are returning to the origin, aiming for something that not only fans so far but also those who see it for the first time can enjoy. In addition to the "Galar region" for the "Sword Shield" stage, all the regions that have appeared in the previous versions of the game, such as the "Kanto region" for  "Red / Green" and the "Johto region" for "Gold / Silver", are set as the stage. All our favorite Pokemon are likely to be in the game  of course including nostalgic ones.


The main characters are the most familiar “Satoshi” and the 10-year-old boy “Go”. Became the first double hero, the story is introduced as follows.


"Pokemon. The mysterious creature of this star. You can see them in the sky, in the sea, in the forest, in the city, everywhere in the world. This is the strongest in Pokemon battle. It is a story of a “Satoshi” who wants to be the strongest and a “Go” who has a dream of collecting all kinds of Pokemon. With many Pokemon such as Satoshi's partner Pikachu and Go's partner Scorbunny, now to the endless Pokemon world Adventure begins "


The new character “Go” aims to get the phantom Pokemon "Mew" that he met when he was young. Making a new character with a different personality, skin color, and eye color from Satoshi as the double hero, it seems to be aimed to gain a wider range of fans overseas.


According to Pokemon Inc, the company that manages the Pokemon brand, the TV anime was broadcast in 169 countries and regions as of the end of March this year. It is expected that the new chapter will become more popular overseas.


"This time, people who are playing Pokemon GO on smartphone and video games can also enjoy."


At the preliminary screening on November 15, Rika Matsumoto, a voice actor who plays the role of Satoshi, said:


The smartphone game "Pokemon GO", the game to collect monsters while walking, has been distributed since 2016 and is a big hit all over the world including the United States. It is said that millions of fans are playing, and many users have never seen an anime version. To bring in these people, it can increase the number of anime fans.


Looking at the new animation reminds us of the power of Pokemon that attracts many people. In the first episode, the story before Pikachu met Satoshi for the first time was drawn. "Pichu", which is the form of Pikachu before evolution, experiences a certain encounter and parting, and becomes Pikachu.


As we all know, Pokemon basically doesn’t speak. Pikachu and Pichu each just says "Pikachu" and "Pikachu". Even so, emotions can be conveyed with skillful images and the acting ability of voice actor Ikue Otani. It is incredible that Pichu, who was alone, overcomes his sadness and evolves into Pikachu.


Such impressions are easy to understand even if you do not know Japanese, which is advantageous when expanding animation overseas. The pronunciation of Pikachu, such as "Pika Pika", may now be a universal language.


At the preliminary screening event, Matsumoto, who has been playing the role of Satoshi for 23 years, talked about the evolutionary episode of the first episode to the Pikachu costume next to the stage as follows.


"I didn't know this for 23 years. I thought Pikachu was Pikachu from the beginning. I don't know, he didn't tell me."


Of course, Pikachu couldn't reply, but the venue was filled with laughter.


For Pokemon, new characters are added every time the new game is released. From early ones such as Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle to the latest Scorbunny and Yamper.  Many of them are based on actual creatures such as animals, insects, and fish, and the total kinds of pokemon has now increased to more than 800 types. Moreover, each Pokemon has its own attributes and evolves. By introducing new characters and evolving, fans will never get bored.


The TV anime series in which such characters play an active role is exceptional in the anime world. The voice actors who participate are also gorgeous, including veterans such as Matsumoto and Megumi Hayashibara. This time, Kana Hanazawa will appear for the first time as Koharu, who is a childhood friend of Go (cast by Daiki Yamashita). He is a popular voice actor who played the main character in many other anime. At the preliminary screening event, Hanazawa talked about her joy when she passed the audition for Koharu.


"When I heard the news that I made it, I was waiting at the intersection in Hibiya, but I said" I did it. "I've always liked Pokemon and have been watching it since I was little. Together with Satoshi I've grown up, so I'm really glad I was alive now. "


Hanazawa first started seeing Pokemon at the age of 8 when she was younger than the 10-year-old hero Satoshi. It seems that the joy of co-starring with Satoshi, who she admired, was special.


"Since I met Satoshi as Koharu, I just thought,'It's is real Satoshi!'"


At the preliminary screening event , she talked to Matsumoto with excitement, and she followed herself with worry, saying, "Am I unpleasant?"


Marie Iitoyo, an actress who is an official supporter of anime, appears as a guest voice actor in the first episode as a child of Pokemon's "Kangaskhan".


"It's so much fun to play Pokemon's voice. The first anime I liked was Pokemon, and it was like a dream to meet Matsumoto."


Matsumoto also reiterated her enthusiasm for the new chapter that returned to the origin.


"I'm excited & thrilled and I'm facing Satoshi with the same feelings as everyone else. Through Satoshi, I have a sense of responsibility to do my best to make everyone smile."


TV animation will be broadcast on TV Tokyo channel from 6 pm every Sunday (different in each region). In the second episode, the story of Satoshi and Go, who are heading for an adventure, unfolds. There are scenes in the sky and underwater, so it's powerful. Together with the game, the popularity of Pokemon is likely to accelerate further.


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