This Pokémon GO 3D billboard is why we invented the technology

A 3D billboard for Pokemon GO showing Galarian Meowth reaching out from the screen.

screenshot: Niantic / Kotaku

All advertising is of course evil. But sometimes it can still be extremely entertaining. This latest 3D billboard outside Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station is perhaps the best application of this optical illusion technology I’ve seen, and it’s cross-advertising Pokemon GO and, uh, world cat day.

We’ve covered the amazing 3D billboard before, oddly the last time it appeared to be hosting a cat. Clever use of a two-story curved screen that wraps around the corner of a building creates anamorphic optical illusions that are impressively effective. In this case as discovered by Nintendo lifeit’s supposed to appear to crush poor Pikachu and then be chased off the screen by a series of Pokemon cats. You can watch the full loop here:

Pokemon GO Japan

So you have Meowth, Alolan Meowth, Galarian Meowth, Skitty, Purrloin, Litten, Espurr, Glameow and, um, Vanillite? Obviously someone wanted to make a whole frozen thing and then realized that ice cats don’t exist!

The effects are just fantastic. The Poké Balls, which fall down to fill the room and then appear to flow out in front, must have people below with their arms up to protect their heads. But creepy old Glameow’s moment is by far the most effective, as she appears to float completely off-screen.

So much about it is the fake framing of the billboard, particularly the mocked scaffolding bits at the bottom, which allows the characters to go beyond the confines of the screen. I could look at it all day.

This is apparently just the first in a series of Pokemon Ads to appear on the billboard through September 5th, this first of which inspired by today’s International Cat Day. No seriously, it is one thing. Probably organized by cats.

Seems worth keeping an eye on Pokemon GO Japan’s YouTube channel during the month as they upload videos of the billboard there. This Pokémon GO 3D billboard is why we invented the technology

Curtis Crabtree

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