Last week, All Nippon Airways (ANA) unveiled its first Pikachu themed jet for its budget airline Skymark Airlines.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

The 747-400D plane, titled the Soratabu Pikachu project, was unveiled 21 June. It has ten Pikachus holding multicoloured balloons painted on the outside. Yet this is not the first Pokémon inspired jet design.

nose of the new ANA plane
| © Jiji Press

After the release of Pokémon in 1998, also known as Pocket Monsters, the much-loved game created by Japan for Nintendo, ANA decided to fuel the craze by painting their planes with Pokémons and creating a much-loved novelty to date.

ANA’s first two Pokémon-esque planes were both released in 1998. One being Boeing 767-300 and the other being Boeing 747-400 ’98, this was later followed by a ’99 version. All three flying domestic routes. Its follow up, the Boeing 747-400 U.S version was created specifically for international flights – with all four planes featuring a collection of pokémons: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Psyduck, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Clefairy, Togepi, Mew, Mewtwo, and Snorlax.

side of the new ANA plane
| © Jiji Press

Sadly, the latest edition will mainly operate for flights to and from Okinawa via the Haneda-Naha route, making it another domestic plane – however this will still be great for tourists and local business.

The Pokémon Effect

The Pikachu theme indeed continues inside the plane with Pikachus displayed across each respective headrest, on paper cups and branded Kit Kats.

inside of the new ANA plane
| © Jiji Press

But the Pokémon effect does not stop here. In Japan, the Pokémon effect has certainly transpired across the country. This includes dedicated Pokémon centres for Pokémon merchandise (such as figure collections) and Pokémon style cafés, such as The Pokémon Café in Tokyo. This Café is located in Nihonbashi, near Tokyo station and sells a selection of delicious Pokémon styled burgers, bentos, and Pikachu dessert boxes to name a few. Great for avid fans who want to make Pokémon-styled memories.

the pokemon cafe in Tokyo.
| © Google

Taken together we see that ANA continues to surprise us with its innovations – their new edition to the Pokémon fleet will definitely spark interest in fans alike, for it’s a Saga that transcends both date and creation.

Featured image: | © Jiji Press

How many times did I mention the word Pokémon…? But seriously how cool is the new Pokémon themed plane? Comment down below!

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