I don’t think there are many people left in the world now that doesn’t know about the ginormous success of one of Japan’s biggest national and international success stories. I’m talking of course of Pokemon and though you may know about Pokemon from watching the show or movies or playing the computer games or the trading card games or more recently the crazy popularity of Pokemon GO. Whether you are new to Pokemon or a veteran you may not know about the crazy Pokemon Centres in Japan. So sit back and relax as we take a deep dive into one of the worlds biggest fandom’s.
What is Pokemon?
Let us assume that the most popular anime or animation in the world is known by most people but for those of you who don’t know much about it or are completely new to it let me just give you a brief description before we go into the madness and frenzy that is it’s legacy and formation of the Pokemon centres.
It was created in the mid nineteen nineties, in Japan, of course, and centres around powerful creatures known as Pokemon. Humans, or Pokemon trainers, catch these creatures and train them and enter them into battles. Simple premise, no? Well, that’s the basic answer but you’ll soon learn there’s a lot more to it than that. Read on.
The Pokemon Centres
After the MASSIVE success of the TV series and original computer games and subsequent tonnes of other Pokemon products (which you will learn about shortly) The Pokemon Company had an idea on which to showcase these products to their fans and allow them to buy them all in one place. So, then was the birth of the Pokemon Centres. It is as simple as that, a place filled with anything and everything that is related to Pokemon all under one roof. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say one roof as there are now eleven stores in Japan alone. One in almost every major city and two in the capital city of Tokyo. Not to mention the online store which ships worldwide to a staggering amount of fans each year.
If I was to list all the products that carry the Pokemon brand I would have a list as big as an encyclopedia. There really is that many. You can purchase the video games, the anime series, the anime movies and the literature that follows on from that. You can also buy actual Pokemon figurines in various sizes and a particular fan favourite is the ones that come with their own Pokeballs. This is just the tip of the iceberg because not only can you dress yourself in Pokemon attire and go to work with Pokemon stationary and your lunch in a Pokemon lunch box all safely sealed away in a Pokemon back pack but you can also find Pokemon wall decorations so now your house can look like a Pokemon haven too. I’ll leave you with this on the product side of things, you can also buy Pokemon branded foods and snacks.
Tokyo Mega Centre
I have no doubt in my mind that this centre in Tokyo is the one most Pokemon fans all over the globe would want to visit. This is the only store in the world that has this much related products under one roof the only place you’d find more is on the Centres website. It truly is astonishing and to fans of the whole franchise it is seen as a kind of pilgrimage to visit this store at least once in their lives.
This store opened in late two thousand and fourteen and had thousands of fans waiting outside its doors for the opening. This is one large investment by the Pokemon Company that most certainly paid off.
There is, of course, the existence of one of the largest fan bases in the history of the world that existed prior to these stores opening that most certainly paved way for the existence of them all and definitely the Mega store in Tokyo. If you are not quite sure just how large of a fandom this franchise has then think in your mind of Harry Potter, Twilight, One Direction or even The Beatles with Beatlemania in the nineteen sixties. That should give you just a slight clue about just how big it is.
It is not just a thing that people like. It is a way of life for some people. They live and breath Pokemon day in and day out. Some of these people have grown up with this franchise and like it or not would have learned valuable lessons from it. So places like the Pokemon centres have given these people an almost church like place to go to be with other people who see the world that they do and believe the things that they believe. It is something that they will carry with them for their entire lives.
Pokemon Go and World-wide Resurgence
The Pokemon centres went a little extra crazy in the last couple of years (yes even more so than usual) because of a massive upward jolt in the franchises fandom not just in Japan but all over the world. This is because of the insanely popular mobile phone video game Pokemon-Go. Pokemon-Go went straight to the best selling mobile game of all time almost instantly and saw thousands of people take to the streets trying to catch Pokemon on their mobile smart phones. Just imagine that for a second. The chance for these die hard fans to get Pokemon onto the thing they carry with them everywhere they go and get them outside actually hunting for them. Lots of minds where blown and continue to be to this very day. It was this that gave the Pokemon centres another level of almost divinity for its fans and remains to this day as popular as ever with hundreds of thousands of people visiting each and every one of these stores and the online store every year.
So, there you have it. The Pokemon Centres and the wonderful world of the franchise itself. Whether you are new to the franchise or not seeing one of these centres is truly a magnificent experience. Feeling the love and passion people have for something is beautiful and should be celebrated by us all. Because, after all, wouldn’t we all want to be that passionate and enthusiastic about something in our own lives? And who knows you may come out of the store with a few items yourself and new found love for Pokemon. Happy shopping.
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