Fans of the Pokémon anime have been blessed in 2020. Pokémon Journeys, Pokémon Twilight Wings and Pokétoon all deliver spectacular animation and new takes to the Pokémon series.
Adding to this line-up is a new music video produced by Studio BONES and the legendary team of Rie Matsumoto and Yuki Hayashi, with music by BUMP OF CHICKEN. If this team sounds familiar, it's because they all worked together two years ago to create the romantic Baby I Love You Daze music video, a short commemorating confectionery company Lotte's 70th anniversary. Just like that film, this video is chockful of tributes and homages that will make Pokémon fans teary-eyed and excited.
The short begins with a shot referencing the '80s film Stand By Me, which in turn was referenced in the Pokémon games when players click the TV screen in their room. The television describes the scene you are watching as "four boys walking on railway tracks," which directly borrows from the Stephen King story. Following this, it blazes through the childhood of a male and female trainer as they grow up with their Pokémon. The male character has a Pikachu with the cutest fingers and the female an especially ecstatic Eevee.
Both characters leave on a journey, as the background flashes through all the gym leaders by type. There are quite a few easter eggs here, like how the Dark-type gym leaders appear on the borders of the screen when the Ghost-type gym leaders show up. In the foreground, the video interchanges between the male and female trainer and their Pokémon. This montage implies both trainers battle through these leaders on their adventure, as the female trainer's Eevee gets frozen by the Ice-type gym leaders Glalie and the male trainer gets smacked by a bin from the Steel-type gym leaders.
Next, the trainers enter a city with shadows of Legendary Pokémon on the walls, alongside silhouettes of all the evil organization leaders, before transiting to showing the Pokémon champions and their Pokémon. Then we get some shots of partners and trainers throughout the games, with the cut from Hilda in Black and White to Nate in Black and White 2 with Cheren and Bianca side-by-side being especially touching. The music video features many great transitions between the male and female player characters, with the best of these cuts being the stunning switch-up between Victor and Gloria against Leon's Gigantamax Charizard.
The stand-out animated scene has to go to the re-enactment of the Gold vs. Red battle at Mt. Silver by renowned animator Yutaka Nakamura. Red's Blastoise against Gold's Tyranitar followed by Gold switching in Ampharos for some super-effective Electric-type attack is hyper-active and pure excellency.
During the trainers' journey, their Pikachu and Eevee get switched until they bump into each other near the end. As they reunite with their clingy Pokémon, a screen above them showcases the Galar region Legendaries, followed by all the Pokémon professors and then all the starter Pokémon. The two trainers walk down a path with billboards of the Battle Subway and Battle Chateau. Prior to this, there is a cut of Red's cap falling onto the female trainer, and Leon's onto the male, suggesting the two have become champions and are now carrying on with some post-champion battling. The music video bookends with the two trainers walking along the same railroad as from the Stand By Me shot earlier, a perfect way to end their coming-of-age journeys.