Netflix And Pokemon Are Teaming Up For The First Time Ever

Pokemon Concierge is a Netflix original series that in a first for the franchise, is stop-motion and doesn't focus on a Pokemon trainer.

By Sean Thiessen | Published

Netflix is out to catch ‘em all. As reported by Deadline, Netflix unveiled its latest collaboration with a major IP with Pokémon Concierge. The stop-motion animated series is the first of its kind in the Pokémon franchise, shifting focus from trainers like Ash Ketchum to following Haru, a concierge at a Pokémon resort.

On February 27, an announcement at 2023 Pokémon Day broke the news of the Netflix Pokémon series. Pokémon Concierge follows Haru as she serves Pokémon relaxing at a resort and interacts with visiting trainers. The show’s teaser trailer promises a tranquil take on the action-packed franchise.

The brief teaser lays out the show’s premise in a succinct, relaxing voiceover as an anxious Psyduck waddles along the beach. In just 30 seconds, the trailer conveys a peaceful tone and an adorable animation style for the beloved creatures. Netflix released a poster alongside the teaser for Pokémon Concierge, giving a first look at the bright-eyed Haru. The tagline for the series reads: “I’m happy when you’re happy.”

27 years after the release of the first Pokémon video game, Netflix is breaking new ground for the franchise. Historically confined to trading cards, anime, and video games, Pokémon Concierge tells a unique story with a fresh style. Minyoung Kim, Vice President of Netflix Content in Asia, said Pokémon Concierge offers “an entirely new visual and storytelling experience … in close collaboration with The Pokémon Company.”

A release date has not yet been announced for the Japanese-language series, but it is expected to hit Netflix in 2023. It will land on Netflix next to other Pokémon titles like Indigo League, and Mewtwo Strikes Back. France’s Dwarf Studios developed the series.

pokemon netflix pikachu
Detective Pikachu

The announcement of the Netflix Pokémon series follows the news that Ash Ketchum, the Pokémon protagonist since 1997, will leave the series. Pokémon trainers Liko and Roy will lead the show beginning in 2023. Though fans will be sad to see the long-time ten-year-old depart, the move reveals Pokémon’s strategy to freshen and expand its future.

The Netflix series also comes after the 2019 release of Detective Pikachu, which starred Ryan Reynolds in Pokémon’s first live-action outing. A sequel to that film is rumored to be in development, though the cast has not been confirmed to return. Detective Pikachu is wrapped up in a self-contained manner, but the expansive world of Pokémon offers endless possibilities for a sequel.

The fan response to Netflix’s Pokémon Concierge has been positive, with many excited for the wholesome fun the series promises. The fanbase has supported Pokémon through nine generations of lovable and powerful creatures, which populate an impressive 122 different games.

As the Pokémon Company charts its future, the franchise has big changes ahead. How those adjustments go over with purists is to be determined, but if the Netflix collaboration is any indication, the future of Pokémon seems to be on the right path. The franchise has endured across four decades, and just like the characters it serves, the Pokémon world must evolve to survive.