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Netflix's Pokémon Concierge - What We Know So Far

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Gotta relax 'em all?

"Pokémon" has been a pop culture mainstay since the creature-collecting game series first debuted in the mid '90s. What was once thought to be only a passing fad among schoolchildren ballooned into the highest-grossing media franchise in the entire world, expanding outwards from the video game market into television, film, books, trading cards, merchandise, and more. Even more than 25 years on from "Pokémon's" inception, the series is still finding new ways to surprise fans, including one particularly intriguing new project.

The annual Pokémon Day celebration in February 2023 brought with it the announcement of a brand-new "Pokémon" TV series. Titled "Pokémon Concierge," the show is the result of a collaboration between The Pokémon Company and Netflix. It also looks to be a major departure from what's come before, uniquely centering upon a scenic resort getaway for Pokémon and employing an ambitious stop-motion animation style. Here's everything we know about "Pokémon Concierge" so far.

When will Pokémon Concierge be released?

At the time of publishing, there is no set release date or release window for "Pokémon Concierge" on Netflix. During its reveal on February 27, 2023, however, the project was announced to be "coming soon," so it may not be a very prolonged wait. As Minyoung Kim, Vice President of Netflix Content in Asia, concluded the announcement: "We can't wait to share more with you."

It's worth noting that "Pokémon Concierge" employs stop-motion animation, a process which is notoriously very time-consuming due to manually compiling each scene frame-by-frame. As a point of reference, the 2009's "Coraline," one of the most beautiful stop-motion films out there, took well over a year just to film. Animators were estimated to have only completed roughly two to six seconds of new footage each week, with the final product running for 100 minutes. Of course, Dwarf Studio has extensive experience with stop-motion animated productions already, and the total runtime of "Pokémon Concierge" is unknown, so it remains to be seen how soon the project reaches the finish line.

What is the plot of Pokémon Concierge?

"Pokémon Concierge" is based off of the popular "Pokémon" intellectual property. As a broad narrative strokes of the franchise go, humans live in a world filled with fantastical creatures known as Pokémon. There's over 1,000 recorded species of these monsters, and each can be befriended, captured, and trained to battle against one another in sports-like competitions.

Per an official press release from Netflix, "Pokémon Concierge" tells the story of a girl named Haru who works at a seaside resort that Pokémon can rest and relax at. Haru's job as a concierge leads to her crossing paths with all sorts of different Pokémon and their owners who are staying at the resort.

While "Pokémon Concierge" is ostensibly an adaptation of the "Pokémon" video game franchise and exists within its world, the narrative for this new series is completely original. Show lead Haru is a new "Pokémon" character who has never appeared in any other forms of media — games, anime, manga, trading cards, or otherwise. Similarly, the concept of a Pokémon resort has shown up sporadically throughout the franchise, but hasn't been the complete focus of a production until now.

Who is developing Pokémon Concierge?

Information on showrunners, directors, and producers isn't available yet for "Pokémon Concierge." However, the major creative forces that are in charge of the project have been revealed. The production is a joint venture between Netflix's Content in Asia division and The Pokémon Company, which is owned by "Super Mario" publisher Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and Game Freak. "We have a group of experts here in Japan who are passionate about finding and developing original stories from Japan that can excite audiences all over the world," Netflix exec Minyoung Kim said during the series' announcement.

Perhaps the most intriguing development force behind "Pokémon Concierge," however, is the animation studio bringing it to life. Stop-motion animation team Dwarf Studio is spearheading the project. The production company has previously worked on numerous similar ventures, including the 2009 film "Komaneko: The Curious Cat" and the Netflix series "Rilakkuma and Kaoru." It is also the creator of Domo, the popular brown monster mascot of Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Is there a trailer for Pokémon Concierge?

The announcement of "Pokémon Concierge" in the February 2023 Pokémon Presents presentation was also accompanied by the very first teaser trailer for the project. At just over 20 seconds long, it's not exactly an exhaustive look at what the series will entail. Nevertheless, it offers an intriguing taste of what's to come, including the first glimpse at the show's unique stop-motion animation style.

The teaser depicts a serene tropical beach, completely undisturbed save for a trail of human footprints in the sand. That is, until a Psyduck (reminiscent of the one Misty from the "Pokémon" anime has) waddles onto the scene and looks confusedly at the camera, leaving behind its own trail of duck-shaped footprints. Meanwhile, an unknown narrator — presumably Haru — introduces the basic concept of the Pokémon Resort. The end of the trailer features a look at the show's stylized logo, while the initial presentation version follows up with a still shot of Haru standing next to Psyduck and the tagline: "I'm happy when you're happy."

Where to watch other Pokémon productions

"Pokémon Concierge" may be a bold new venture for the "Pokémon" universe, but it's far from the first time that the franchise has been adapted to the realm of film and TV. Most notably, there's the premiere "Pokémon" anime, which has been running since 1997 and features the journey of 10-year-old Ash Ketchum as he aims to become a "Pokémon" Master. There's also a series of animated movies, a live-action theatrical film, several web streaming anime miniseries, and more.

It's tough finding a major streaming platform that doesn't offer at least some Pokémon content, though it's even tougher to find one that has all of it. Netflix is streaming the first 52 episodes of the first season of "Pokémon" along with new episodes of the more recent "Pokémon Journeys" seasons and several movies, but it's missing quite a bit from the middle of the series. Amazon Prime Video hosts even more content and some it is even free-to-stream for subscribers, but much of it must be digitally purchased to watch. Other services face similar issues.

All told, the best all-around option for content is Pokémon TV. This completely-free streaming service is available on most major devices and exclusively hosts "Pokémon"-related content. While the service doesn't feature every single installment from the series' history, it has a nifty rotation schedule that periodically cycles through different seasons, specials, miniseries, and movies.

Is Pokémon Concierge canon?

For those that find the previous information on where to watch the pre-existing abundance of "Pokémon" film and TV content daunting, rest assured — none of those legacy shows or movies are necessary to watch before "Pokémon Concierge." The established "Pokémon" timeline is a pretty loose fixture, and while a lot of general lore has stayed consistent throughout the franchise's various entries, there's plenty of contradictions when it comes to more granular story elements.

"Pokémon Concierge" is canon in the sense that it takes place in the Pokémon world, but it doesn't appear to share a specific canon with the games, the main anime, or anything else. Like most projects in the franchise, it's a self-contained story that doesn't rely on any pre-existing content. "Pokémon Concierge" should be an accessible watch both for enthusiasts and for those with only a passing knowledge of the franchise.