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Pikachu rips on guitar during Pokémon Music Festival

Other highlights include an emotional ballad from Meowth and a lot of dancing Pikachus

Pikachu playing electric guitar Image: The Pokémon Company

When Pikachu is not perfecting his Thunderbolt on unsuspecting Pokémon, he’s actually practicing guitar. The beloved Pokémon absolutely killed a guitar solo — and other performances — during the Pokémon Music Festival in Japan on Friday. The Pokémon Company put on the music festival, featuring music from the new Pokémon Horizons: The Journey and other series, in the lead-up to the new anime’s Japanese debut in April.

Pikachu lended its guitar talents to “Mazase Pokémon Master,” the opening song for the Japanese version of Pokémon: Indigo League, the very first Pokémon anime. It’s a ripping tribute to Ash and Pikachu, sung by sung by Ash voice actor Rica Matsumoto, as they retire as Pokémon masters. Never mind that the first half of his solo sounds like a saxophone. Ash, Goh, Piplup, and Eevee show up as background dancers, of course.

Pikachu also performed “Pikachu’s Song.” There’s no huge bottle of ketchup for Pikachu to climb, but there are plenty of nods to his favorite condiment. And lots of Pikachus dancing! You may remember the song from the Japanese version of Pokémon the Series: XY. The chorus line of Pikachus also performed during Japanese singer asmi’s “Dokimeki Diary,” the new opening song for Pokémon Horizons: The Series. Paldean Pokémon Fuecoco, Sprigatito, and Quaxly bopped along on stage.

Not one to let Pikachu outshine it, Meowth performed on a moonlit stage in “Meowth’s Ballad,” also from the Pokémon XY era. The moving ballad is a little rough around the edges — it’s got that Meowth growl — but clearly Meowth rivals Pikachu in guitar skills. Just as Team Rocket closed out Pokémon Journeys: The Series with one last hurrah, Meowth took to the stage for one last song.

All in all, there were about 14 songs performed from across the slate of Pokémon anime seasons — and it was a rousing success. After all, Pokémon Journeys: The Series is the end of an era as Ash steps aside for a new generation of Pokémon trainers, Liko and Roy. Even Ash’s friend Goh took the stage to help sing the Pokémon Journeys opening song “After the Rain” with Ash voice actor Matsumoto.

The Pokémon Music Festival is just the first of two special shows The Pokémon Company has planned ahead of Pokémon Horizons: The Series. The second is called Pokémon Investigation Team, and it is expected to reveal new details on the new anime, which debuts in Japan in April.

No word yet on when Pokémon Horizons: The Journeys will be released stateside — the English version of Pokémon Journeys: The Series is still unraveling on Netflix.

Most of the performances are posted on Twitter via Pokémon’s Russian social media person, if you want to watch them all.

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