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Team Rocket is getting ready to blast off into the skies above Saga Prefecture.
The prefecture’s Sagaprise! project opened a full website and revealed the details of its collaboration with the evil Pokémon-stealing organization on Wednesday. A press event and livestream was also held for the announcement on Wednesday.
The project is part of the celebration for the Pokémon television anime series reaching a total of 1,000 episodes. The episode of Pokémon Sun & Moon that will be the franchise’s 1,000th television anime episode will premiere on November 9. Therefore, Team Rocket is looking to recruit 10 million people in Sage Prefecture to join its ranks. (The way “10,000,000” is written in Japanese utilizes the number “1,000.”)
Although Saga Prefecture only has a population of about 820,000, Team Rocket is hoping to hit its recruitment goal by attracting people from all over Japan. The collaboration with Saga Prefecture, titled “Nyasu Kikyū Saga Shūrai! ~Kikyū no Machi de Sagase! Rocket Danin 1000 Mannin!!~” (Meowth Balloon Saga Invation!: Search in Balloon Town! 10 Million Team Rocket Members!!), is being held from October 25 until November 26.
Yoshinori Yamaguchi, governor of Saga Prefecture, is serving as the “boss” of the prefecture named Sagaki for the campaign. The leader of Team Rocket, Giovanni, is known as Sakaki in Japanese, and Yamaguchi’s role references the villain. Yamaguchi appears in the video above and on the collaboration website with the Alolan version of Persian, the Pokémon who always lurks by Giovanni’s side.
The real-world version of Team Rocket’s trademark Meowth hot air balloon will return to the 2017 Saga International Balloon Fiesta, which will be held from November 1-5. The collaboration’s teaser website had hinted that the project would involve the event.
In addition, the collaboration includes a stamp rally that will guide prospective Team Rocket members around the city of Saga. A Twitter campaign is offering fans who tweet with the designated hashtags a chance to win Team Rocket T-shirts. People will team up in a group of 1,000 to form a giant Pikachu shape on November 26 as part of the project. Team Rocket-themed lights will also go on display at the Saga Light Fantasy 2017 event, which will be held from October 31 to January 8.
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