Beginning in 1998 (or 1996 if you lived in Japan) and proceeding right up until today, Pokemon is a rite of passage for kids across the world. Whether they collect them for the card game, play obsessively on their Nintendo DS, run down their phone battery with Pokemon Go, or watch the shows and films, the “pocket monsters” are an inescapable part of childhood. Sure, they might not inspire the same frenzy that took America by storm in the late ’90s — when places like Burger King were hosting tournaments and desperate parents paid way too much money for a Charizard from a smug teenaged Pokemon broker — but as a culture we can’t shake them. Nor do we want to, if the success of Pokemon Go is any indication.
With hundreds of Pokemon to choose from, a few perennial favorites stand out. Pikachu is the obvious choice as his yellow fluffy potato body is perfect for cuddling. But Charizard, Snorlax, Mew, and the many evolutions of Eevee are close behind. Then there’s Magikarp. Poor, dumb Magikarp who is completely useless and yet, so lovable. Somehow Magikarp maintains a place in the hearts of Pokemon fans the world over, perhaps because we see something of ourselves in him. The little fish is just trying his best in a world he isn’t made for, flailing about and praying he doesn’t die. Then, if he’s very lucky, one day he transforms into a Gyrados and makes everyone pay for laughing at him. It’s a very recognizable fantasy. Hell, I even have the t-shirt.
But I never thought I’d see the day when Magikarp took the spotlight. In the video above, which is an officially sanctioned Pokemon song, what sounds like a young girl sings the virtues of Magikarp. And by “virtues,” I mean this poor Pokemon is being negged by a child for almost four minutes. But it’s catchy as heck, so get ready to be singing this for at least the next few days.
Now you might be asking yourself “Why does this exist?” and that’s a valid question. The best answer I can come up with is the video is paving the way for Magikarp’s new mobile game Splash! Magikarp. First announced back in February, little was known about the game. Other than this landing page, Nintendo kept the details under wraps. From the pretend newspaper, we know the game is releasing in “Spring of 2017” in Japan and will feature an actual adult protagonist. Or a kid with a goatee. Either way.
But now, if you click on the Magikarp in the lower-left corner, it takes you to an extremely kawaii website. There you can learn the Magikarp dance, watch a video of the gameplay which seems to show the point of the game is to battle your six Magikarp against the rest of the roster of Pokemon unknown reasons that may have to do with cooking(?), the history of Magikarp, and an extensive fishing tutorial. It looks like Select Button, Inc is close to finishing the game. No word yet if Splash! Magikarp will come to North America, but as the other games from Select Button Inc. are internationally available, it’s a good bet we’ll all be catching Magikarp schools of our own very soon.