April Fool’s day came and went yesterday, and people pulled no punches with their jokes. NFL player Emmanuel Sanders pretended to be traded, and the streaming service Roku “introduced” socks that work as remote controls. However, the most entertaining prank of them all could be Team Rocket hijacking POKÉMON’s official social media accounts.

Team Rocket launched their takeover early Sunday morning. POKÉMON fans noticed something was fishy when Pikachuthe face of POKÉMON’s official Twitter accountwas replaced by the infamous Team Rocket “R” logo. Soon after, they launched a video aiming to recruit new members to help kidnap Ash’s beloved Pikachu.

Prepare for Trouble…

For those who may not know, the now-legendary POKÉMON franchise started off as a pair of video games. Satoshi Tajiri, the franchise’s creator, designed the game with a simple premise: be the strongest trainer in the Kanto region. The player accomplished this by catching wild creatures known as Pokémon and leveling them up through battles. People were obsessed with the design of each Pokémon, and this popularity spawned trading card games, video game sequels, and many anime adaptations.

The anime adaptations follow the adventures of Ash Ketchum, a young Pokémon trainer determined to be the strongest trainer in the world. Ash travels across many different regions to collect gym badges, which he obtains by defeating gym leaders. Once he collects all eight badges, Ash qualifies to challenge the Pokémon League in that region. For the most part, Ash has a nice, stress-free life. He travels the world with his different friends and strengthens his bond with Pokémon.

Unfortunately for Ash, Team Rocketa villainous organization dedicated to stealing Pokémonpursues him wherever he goes. Team Rocket grunts Jessie and James recognize Ash’s Pikachu as a strong Pokémon and want to use it for their own sinister purposes. Jessie and James disguise themselves and even pilot giant robots in their attempts to capture Pikachu. Team Rocket has tried every trick in the book, but never succeed in capturing Pikachu. It only seemed fitting that they try to recruit more people to their cause, and they took to social media recently to try and increase their numbers.

The infamous Team Rocket!
The infamous Team Rocket! | Image: Athena Posters

And Make it Double…

Team Rocket unveiled their grand scheme early on April Fool’s Day. Unsurprisingly, they wanted to capture Ash’s Pikachu, and they sought to do this in a myriad of ways. POKÉMON’s temporarily “hijacked” Twitter posted some silly gifs of Jessie’s Pokémon Wobbuffet and asked followers which disguise would be best to get their mitts on Pikachu. Team Rocket settled on a Meowth-designed Pokémon balloon and even captured Pikachu at one point. Unfortunately for them, Ash’s Charizard thwarted their efforts. This forced Team Rocket to post a video announcing they failed but promised to return in the future.

Team Rocket didn’t just take over Twitter and Facebook though. they hijacked the official POKÉMON website as well. They posted “performance evaluations” for several Team Rocket members that appeared in the POKÉMON RED and POKÉMON BLUE video games. The website’s featured Pokémon section showcased notorious Team Rocket Pokémon such as Meowth and Wobbuffet as well.

The POKÉMON TV app joined in on the fun too by spotlighting some of Team Rocket’s most entertaining episodes.

Team Rocket’s Blasting off Again!

Team Rocket was once again unsuccessful, but it was a blast watching them try to capture Pikachu again. It brought long-term POKÉMON fans, myself included, back to their childhoods as they watched Team Rocket cook-up another silly plan. Personally, I was a little disappointed the mobile app POKÉMON GO! missed out on the action. Instead, they swapped out 3-D assets with 2-D assets. The game mirrored the graphics from the early POKÉMON games and looked awesome, but I would have loved to see Team Rocket-themed events occur in the virtual world as well.

In any event, it was great seeing POKÉMON have some fun with April Fool’s Day. Hopefully, we’ll see some similar misadventures in the future!

Featured Image courtesy of Pokemon.com.

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