The Pokémon X Y Z cartoon aired a new episode yesterday morning in Japan, and it was, by most accounts, fairly average. Ash Ketchum and his gang of trainers met up with some other trainers; various Pokémon hung out with each other; friendships were challenged and solidified. Just a regular day in the Pokémon world.
That is, until you get to the end of the episode. Instead of playing the show’s regular ending theme, series mascot Pikachu took center stage for a special solo, leading viewers on a condiment-filled journey they won’t soon forget.
Longtime fans of the Pokémon TV show — now in its 19th season and with 931 episodes having aired in Japan — will recall that Ash’s unique Pikachu is a fan of ketchup. That may be putting it lightly: The little guy is pretty much addicted to the stuff, sucking it straight from the bottle at any chance it gets.
Without that context, the video above might seem ... strange. Even a Pokémon fan who’s willing to suspend disbelief and buy into the series’ lore may find Pikachu’s special song odd, though. Where is this ketchup island? How did Pikachu get there? Why are there so many other Pikachu there? What is Pikachu even singing, anyway?
We don’t have answers for these questions, and we likely never will. What we do have is the cutest Pokémon-related video we’ve seen in quite some time, though — one that just radiates pure, earnest joy. Pikachu brightens throughout the one-minute, 21-second song as it dances with friends, frolics among ketchup bushes and watches a tree bearing ketchup bottles shoot up from the ground.
If there is a lesson to take away from this clip, it’s this: Even the very best of us can only hope to love something, or to be loved, as much as Pikachu is enamored of ketchup.