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Friday, March 1, 2024

Pokémon Concierge overview: an attractive reminder to take a while off

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Most TV exhibits set on this planet of Pokémon concentrate on trainers and their magical pets ripping and operating from one region to another in pursuit of changing into legendary battling teams. However combating for glory is the very last thing on anybody’s thoughts in Pokémon Concierge — Netflix’s new stop-motion animated series from Dwarf Animation Studio and director Ogawa Iku.

As a substitute, Pokémon Concierge imagines a tropical paradise the place people and pokémon alike would wish to get away to for some much-needed downtime, and the present does such a stellar job of bringing its dream island to life that it’d go away you hankering for a trip of your personal.

Set on a lush island the place the famed Pokémon Resort welcomes pocket monsters of all sizes and shapes to relaxation and recharge, Pokémon Concierge tells the story of how a younger lady named Haru (Karen Fukuhara) turns into the Resort’s latest worker. After being dumped by her boyfriend, fumbling the ball at her workplace job, and realizing that she merely isn’t pleased with the trajectory of her life, Haru is aware of she must shake issues up. Understanding that about herself is what makes it simple for Haru to stop her {old} job and transfer when she’s introduced with a possibility to affix the Pokémon Resort as its latest concierge.

Like most individuals coping with (roughly) quarter-life crises, Haru isn’t solely positive what she desires because the collection opens. However the mere likelihood of having the ability to discover some objective and luxuriate on the seashore is sufficient to persuade Haru that upending her life to turn out to be a particular sort of pokémon caregiver is completely the best transfer. Considerably just like Pokétsume, the all-too-real existential work dread that places Haru on her path to the Pokémon Resort makes Pokémon Concierge really feel prefer it’s chatting with an grownup viewers who grew up loving the franchise.

However as a lot as older viewers would possibly be capable to see themselves in Haru’s seek for a Burn(out) Heal, Pokémon Concierge’s narrative beats, its lovely manufacturing design, and its theme tune by city pop legend Mariya Takeuchi give the present a playful lightheartedness that can attraction to youthful viewers. However Pokémon Concierge seems like one of many first instances in years that the corporate’s landed on one thing actually impressed — largely due to how Dwarf and character designer Tadahiro Uesugi have crafted the collection to really feel like an intricate, clay-and-felt-filled diorama lovingly delivered to life.

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Basic Pokémon like Pikachu, Psyduck, and Dragonite have been operating round in individuals’s minds for many years. However Pokémon Concierge highlights small particulars just like the wooliness of an Eevee’s fur or how mild bounces off a Mudkip’s pores and skin so successfully that it makes the present look like it has captured their essences in ways in which wouldn’t be doable in one other medium.

A lot in the identical approach that Pokémon Concierge’s aesthetic simplicity belies the production’s technical complexity, its tales about shy, insecure, and harassed pokémon needing somebody to assist them unwind might sound too low stakes to make for fascinating tv. There’s an intentionality behind the present’s small scope although, and its concentrate on slowing all the way down to take pleasure in easy pleasures makes every of this season’s episodes really feel like reminders about how necessary it’s to take breaks from the every day grind all of us often really feel so beholden to.

At simply 4 episodes, Pokémon Concierge feels each completely compact for a breezy watch, and much too quick due to how totally pleasant the entire thing is. However with the Pokémon franchise doubtlessly being at one thing of an inflection level with the most recent generation of mainline games seemingly coming to a close, there’s an opportunity we might wind up again on the Pokémon Resort in a method or one other in the end.

Pokémon Concierge additionally stars Imani Hakim, Josh Keaton, and Lori Alan. All 4 episodes of Pokémon Concierge at the moment are streaming on Netflix.



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