It’s hard to be a parent and not learn about the world of Pokémon, whether your kids trade cards, play the video games, or learn everything about the characters. Personally, I love walks with my 8-year-old where we play Pokémon Go and capture critters.
And while the Pokémon TV series — featuring Ash Ketchum and his iconic yellow pal Pikachu — has been going strong since 1997, there’s a new series coming that looks absolutely adorable, especially for kids who like the creature more than the battles.
This week, Netflix announced a new Pokémon cartoon that sets itself up as being super different from the other offerings; it’s a gentle TV option for kids (and maybe also adults?) that seems soothing, low-stakes, and cute as heck. It’s a tranquil, chill show that is a far cry from Pokémon battles and just focuses on just how cute these creatures are. And maybe sprinkles in a life lesson here or there?
Pokémon Concierge centers on main character, Haru, who is the newest concierge at a tropical hotel that caters to Pokémon creatures of all shapes and sizes. And she’ll be learning a lot as she navigates her job of making sure that everyone has a great time on their vacation.
In the trailer, we see her training, meeting a wide array of clients, and having fun at her job and in paradise. In the background, "Have a Good Time Here" plays, by pop star Mariya Takeuchi, completing the amazingly lovely atmosphere. Eevee, Dragonite and Magikarp are just three creatures we can see during the clip, in various states of being on vacation.
The whole thing is a delightful mood. Maybe the best part is the animation — which looks to either be stop-motion or heavily inspired by stop-motion — that makes you just want to reach out and hug all of the characters.
The series is directed by Ogawa Iku with a screenplay by Doki Harumi, and the episodes clock in at a brief 14 to 20 minutes each. It’s the first collaboration between The Pokémon Company and Netflix, and is created by Dwarf Studios, who also make the very relaxing Rilakkuma and Kaoru series.
Pokémon Concierge will debut on Thursday, December 28, perfect for bingeing between Christmas and New Years, maybe snuggling under a blanket with your kids and some good snacks.