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Pokémon’s new live-action trailer is a little too relatable

Nostalgia as a coping mechanism

An adult woman and a child playing Game Boys together Image: Game Freak, The Pokémon Company/Tokyo TV
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

The new Pokémon drama won’t look anything like the existing games or anime — instead, it’s taking Pokémon into live-action. The upcoming TV show, which translates to Cram Adventures Into a Pocket and is more casually called Pokétsume, got a new trailer on Thursday, showing a bit of what viewers can expect.

The drama stars Japanese actress Nanase Nishino, who plays Madoka Akagi, a new grad who starts an advertising job in a new city. The Pokétsume trailer shows Akagi struggling to adapt to the new life, until she gets a care package from her mother, who sends over Pokémon Red and a yellow Game Boy Pocket. Akagi boots up Pokémon for the first time in decades, and it looks like her nostalgia for the game is somewhat of a coping mechanism (there’s a scene where she appears to take on a digital version of her boss in a battle), but, crucially, it’s also a positive force in her life, connecting her with others.

No Pokémon show up in the new trailer, so don’t expect the show to look much like Detective Pikachu. Still, Pokétsume looks to be a playful take on Pokémon, celebrating the way the Pokémon has impacted its fans’ lives. The show is expected to debut in Japan on Oct. 19, and there’s no indication it’ll get a global release.