Pokémon fans of all ages will delight in the island vacation vibes of Pokémon Concierge and wish it was a real place after binge-watching the series on Netflix. The stop-motion animated show is a gem that makes the world of Pokémon feel even more magical with funny and heartfelt mini-stories. The colors and textures in the character design make the artistry a sight to behold—and also explain why there are only four episodes clocking in at 19 minutes each, since stop-motion takes pretty long to shoot.
The collaboration between the Pokémon Company and Dwarf Animation Studios is endearing, hilarious, and an inspired concept. It’s well-executed, taking the beloved game and anime property and putting it into a clever and soothing medium. If you’re a fan of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing and comedy vibes in a resort setting like White Lotus (but minus the murder), Pokémon Concierge is for you. The show follows Haru (Karen Fukuhara of Suicide Squad and The Boys), a new arrival at the Pokémon Resort who needs a fresh start after a quarter-life crisis. She signs up to be a human concierge to Pokémon to help them enjoy a restful break from battles or enjoy vacations with their owners.
Each episode is an affirmation that you can start over at any age and find the courage to discover more about yourself through Haru’s journey and the Pokémon she helps. She starts off as an overthinking, socially awkward, millennial-coded main character whose asides revealing her inner thoughts made me feel so seen. The core of the show, which makes it work so well, is Haru meeting Psyduck and finding common ground with the anxiety and headache-prone Pokémon. And seeing Psyduck finally get more moments to shine as the show’s main pocket monster protagonist with burgeoning powers (as well as being the funniest ever) was a joy. It’s so cute and feel-good!
Through simple stories like episode three’s “I Hope I Can Evolve Too…”, which centers on a Magikarp who is super attached to their pool float ring due to a fear of sinking in the water, the show explores little life-lesson nuggets; in this case, it’s that sometimes we need to let ourselves into the deep to evolve. Pikachu also appears, of course—which is not to spoil anything, since the icon’s appearance is the crown jewel of the series. Pokémon Concierge is bite-sized brilliance we need more episodes of, nestled in a cute Pokémon hug—even if the humans are there to meet the needs of the pocket monsters. Not going to lie; at one point, I did glance over at my Ewok-looking dog and asked if he was satisfied with my service as his human concierge. He just gave me big anime eyes and tilted his head.
Watch Pokémon Concierge on Netflix now.
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