Pokémon Travel Show With A Pikachu Bus Coming To Japanese TV

Pokémon Travel Show With A Pikachu Bus Coming To Japanese TV
Driver's side visibility looks very, very bad. (Image: ©TV Tokyo・Pokémon・ShoPro ©Nintendo・Creatures・GAME FREAK・TV Tokyo・ShoPro・JR Kikaku ©Pokémon)

This April, a new Pokémon variety show is coming to television in Japan. The live-action program is called Poké Doko: Pokémon to Doko Iku?! (“Where’s Poké: Where Are You Going With Pokémon?!”). It features Pikachu bus.

The concept is that the variety program will visit Pokémon fans and go on trips. Considering how the regions in the Pokémon games are based on real places, this could be an interesting show. Perhaps, the program will interview folks from the Pokémon Company to show these connections? We’ll have to see how the program actually does things, though.

Give the person who designed this logo a raise. It's fantastic.  (Image: ©TV Tokyo・Pokémon・ShoPro ©Nintendo・Creatures・GAME FREAK・TV Tokyo・ShoPro・JR Kikaku ©Pokémon)Give the person who designed this logo a raise. It’s fantastic. (Image: ©TV Tokyo・Pokémon・ShoPro ©Nintendo・Creatures・GAME FREAK・TV Tokyo・ShoPro・JR Kikaku ©Pokémon)

Pikachu-shaped kindergarten buses are not that uncommon in Japan. My eldest son road a choo-choo train bus and desperately wanted to ride a Pikachu bus. He was crushed when his kindergarten didn’t buy a Pikachu bus until after he went on to first grade and, like most elementary school children in Japan, was required to walk to school.

The official name of the vehicle is the Dokoikokkaa, which a word play on the expression Doko ikou ka? (Where shall we go?) and a Japanese word for car (kaa). So, I guess this is a car and not a bus. Judging by the tires in the above artist’s rendition of the vehicle, I’m not actually sure if this bus can actually drive or is just a studio prop, but I’m interested in finding out!

Who could it be?? (Image: ©TV Tokyo・Pokémon・ShoPro ©Nintendo・Creatures・GAME FREAK・TV Tokyo・ShoPro・JR Kikaku ©Pokémon)Who could it be?? (Image: ©TV Tokyo・Pokémon・ShoPro ©Nintendo・Creatures・GAME FREAK・TV Tokyo・ShoPro・JR Kikaku ©Pokémon)

Poké Doko will star Ryogo Matsumaru, who was on the previous Pokémon variety show, as well as Shoko Nakagawa, who is entering her 16th year on these sorts of Poké programs. She’ll be the navigator, while comedian Abareru-kun will be the show’s driver. There will be another host — a woman celebrity — who has yet to be revealed. Whoever could it be?

The live-action variety shows air on Sunday morning and are supposed to complement the on-air Pokémon anime. Since the current program is Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series, a travel-themed Pokémon variety show makes perfect sense. So, where you want to go on the Pikachu bus?

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