The staff of Gekijōban Pocket Monster Koko, the 23rd anime film in the Pokémon franchise, revealed four cast members on July 31.
The newly announced cast includes (pictured above from left to right):
- Shoko Nakagawa as Karen, a female researcher
- Kankurō Nakamura as Zarude
- Moka Kamishiraishi as Koko
- Kōichi Yamadera as Professor Zed, a Biotope Company researcher of cutting-edge technology whom Satoshi (Ash) meets when he visits Okoya Forest
The film will open in Japan this winter. TOHO had originally planned to open the film on July 10, but the staff delayed the film due to the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Japan. Tickets for the film will go on sale on August 7.
The new film’s story is set in Okoya Forest, a Pokémon paradise protected by strict rules that forbid outsiders from setting foot inside. The film centers on Koko, a boy who was raised by Pokémon and also considers himself as one, treating the Mythical Pokémon Zarude as his father. Ash and Pikachu encounter Koko during an adventure. The film focuses on the theme of a “human raised by Pokémon,” instead of the previous films’ focus of the “bond between a human trainer and their Pokémon.”
Tetsuo Yajima returns from 2018’s Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us film at OLM, and is co-writing the film’s script with Pokémon series writer Atsuhiro Tomioka. TOHO is distributing the film. Hiroyuki Kato is the animation producer. Hirotaka Marufuji (Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us chief animation director, sub-character designer) is designing the characters and is also the chief animation director alongside Yasushi Nishitani (Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us). Masafumi Mima is the sound director.
The film is the first all-new anime film in the franchise in two years since the most recent films in the franchise include Pokémon Detective Pikachu (a live-action film) and Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (a 3D CG remake of the 1998 film Pocket Monsters: Mewtwo no Gyakushū).
Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us, the 21st film in the franchise, opened in Japan in July 2018. Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, the 22nd film in the Pokémon franchise, opened in Japan in July 2019.