Pikachu is Japan’s 2014 World Cup mascot. No, really.

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Yes, this is a thing which has actually happened in the real world. It’s easy to forget that teams even have mascots in the World Cup, but that has changed forever thanks to Pikachu lending his/her/its support to the Japanese team in an official capacity. This announcement may be ‘shocking’ (just sit back and enjoy the ride, folks) but it shows just how unstoppably massive the Pokémon franchise has become – as well as yet another sign of how videogames are slowly but surely gaining mainstream acceptance and respect in the world. Fancy a laugh? Then, behold! We give unto thee Google Translate’s interpretation of the announcement posted on the official Japanese Pokémon site:

Let us together, the game of the Japan national football team!

Throughout the country, will be held can watch the game of soccer Japan representative of the “Adidas public viewing!” The venue of some, Pikachu wearing the uniform of Japan national football team also will be coming! And formed a circle with everyone, I’ll send a cheer to the Japan national football team!
For details, Adidas “engine project” special site check!

Gotta love that last line.

What you may not know is that in the original cartoons, Pikachu can speak fluent Japanese. So will he/she/it perhaps be offering some advice from the touchlines? Or simply swearing with unsettling passion at the players giving less than the mathematically impossible 110%? Or perhaps – as the promotional images actually include several other Pokémon – the coaching staff will simply have a few trainer battles during matches? One thing’s for sure; if you want to go up against a team with Pikachu behind them, you sure must have some Pokéballs.  

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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