Initially announced on Pokemon Day, POKÉMON CONCIERGE is the first ever stop-motion animated Pokemon series, which diverts from its 2-D animated counterpart. This series marks the first collaborative production between Netflix and The Pokémon Company. Pokemon Concierge is produced by critically acclaimed dwarf studios known for Mr. Osomatsu (TV Series) and Rilakkuma and Kaoru (stop-motion ONA).
The series expands on the Pokémon world and follows Haru, a concierge at the ‘Pokémon Resort,’ and her interactions with Pokémon and their owners who visit as guests. Currently, there is not much information that has been released on the series itself.
During Netflix’s From Japan to the World panel at Anime Expo 2023, it was revealed that NON will be voicing Haru. NON is a voice actress and musician from Japan. She is known for portraying Suzu in the 2016 critically acclaimed animated film “In This Corner of the World,.” In 2017, she founded her music label, “KAIWA (RE)CORD.” and released her debut single, “Ohirome Pack,” along with her debut album “Superhero’s” in 2018.
NON INTERVIEW – Experience Voicing HARU
During Anime Expo this year, I had an opportunity to ask NON about her experience voicing HARU,
Krystal: Can you speak on your experience voicing HARU for this unique Pokemon series?
NON: When I was working on Haru, I was told there would be many scenes where Haru is kind of struggling, trying to figure out what she should do. They asked me to ‘DO THAT’ in a gesture by using my body language, so I was dropping my head, doing those various movements to try to express how she was having a hard time. I was also told that they would film my movements and they would utilize that in the stop-motion animation, and that was a very fun thing to be a part of! Once I saw the final, complete, finished scenes, they were really different from what you usually see in 2D/3D CGI animation.
The footage that I saw was stop motion animation, and the movements are totally different from 2D/3D animation. I thought, ‘Oh, this is how you can also enjoy Pokemon in this format, this art form”. I found Haru’s movements very interesting, and it’s done perfectly, and it’s shot frame by frame; when you see that in action, I thought that it was totally believable and it was convincing.
The Production Team
The series is directed by Iku Ogawa (Rilakkuma and Kaoru) and written by Harumi Doki (Cyborg 009 Call of Justice, Ultraman, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045) with character design by Tadahiro Uesugi (Coraline, Big Hero 6, Luca). The series is set to be released this December, with no exact date currently unavailable.
Take a look behind the scenes with NON, as she explores the POKÉMON CONCIERGE set at dwarf studios,
Will this series resonate with Pokemon fans? Perhaps. As NON stated, this is a different way to enjoy Pokemon. Although not all Pokemon fans will be onboard, we do not think the series will underperform, especially with the incredible talent behind its production and the magic of stop-motion animation. Watch the official teaser below,
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