The annual Pikachu Outbreak event held in Yokohama, a Japanese city south of Tokyo, had extra significance this year with the release of Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! coming up on Nintendo Switch in November. It should come as no surprise then, that the games' mascots Pikachu and Eevee were front and centre, involved in a number of themed public parades, musical skits and plastered onto event-exclusive merchandise.
This year's centrepiece of the week-long festival was 'Synchronicity' - a multimedia presentation utilising the city's harbour and displaying cutting-edge digital technology. Things kicked off on Friday (10th August), and we were there to document festivities for your viewing pleasure.
First port of call was the Pikachu parade, as they marched in line going in and around one of the city's main shopping malls.
Next, it was a water and electronic music-themed 'Super Soaking Splash Show', featuring an augmented reality video wall, energetic dance routines and a few light showers to cool off.
It was then the turn of the Pikachu bus boats to do their rounds and greet the thousands of visitors around the harbour.
The Eevee parade came in the afternoon, and there was a wide open space for them to strut their stuff.
As dusk fell, a new gang of Pikachu donned their funky shades and neon-lit outfits for a dance show to old school electronica.
Finally, it was time for the night time show, featuring digital displays (including Yokohama’s iconic carousel showing various Pokémon themed designs), fireworks, some impressive water jet based acrobatics and cool futuristic light effects.
Despite the heat and the crowds, it’s difficult to not get taken in by the cuteness and grand spectacle of all things Pokémon, especially with the amazing atmosphere at an event like this.
How much Pikachu is too much?! Would you go to an event like this? Which other Pokémon deserve their chance in the spotlight? Let us know below!