Pokemon Train To Thunder Down the Tracks in Japan
Japan further feeds its kids' Pokemon obsession by extending it to public transportation.
Editor's Note: I've posted the concept art in a gallery.
According to Eurogamer and various other web sources, Japan Rail is going all-out with a Pokemon-themed train that will start service on December 22 in the Tohoku region of northern Japan. The article says it will feature Pokemon decor all throughout the cars, interior and exterior, including "seating, curtains, carpets and wall friezes". One car will be dedicated to a play area featuring Pokeball-style beach balls and a forest motif.
Eurogamer speculates that even train conductors may be dressed as Pokemon, but given the likely limited use of the train and conductors' shifts on various trains throughout the day, I consider that unlikely.
There are already individual trains and train cars throughout the country in Japan that offer themes such as Hello Kitty, Anpan-man and Pokemon; but none so far has taken the concept and run with it to this extent. I have ridden in an Anpan-man themed car myself, and the decor and sounds on the train ran with the theme, but there was no play area and no Anpan-man conductors. So instituting this play area idea will likely be a shock even to Japanese riders.
What do you think? Would a theme such as this improve your own country's public transportation experience? I think it would help if the US would start by implementing some reliable train service throughout the country.
(Credit to Eurogamer for gallery, header, and thumbnail concept art)