This Pokémon GO 3D Billboard Is Why We Invented Technology

A 3D billboard for Pokemon GO, with Galarian Meowth seeing to reach out of the screen.

Screenshot: Niantic / Kotaku

All advertising is evil, obviously. But sometimes, despite this, it can be extraordinarily entertaining. This latest 3D billboard from outside of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station is maybe the best use of this optical illusion tech I’ve seen, and it’s cross-promoting Pokémon GO and, er, World Cat Day.

We’ve covered the amazing 3D billboard before, funnily enough the last time it appeared to house a cat. Its cunning use of a two-storey curved screen that reaches around the corner of a building creates anamorphic optical illusions that are impressively effective. In this case, as spotted by Nintendo Life, it’s to have poor Pikachu seemingly squished, then hounded off the screen by a series of Pokémon cats. Here, you can watch the full loop:

Pokémon GO Japan

So you’ve got Meowth, Alolan Meowth, Galarian Meowth, Skitty, Purrloin, Litten, Espurr, Glameow, and, um, Vanillite? Clearly someone wanted to do a whole frozen thing, and then realized there are no Ice type cat-likes!

The effects are just fantastic. The Poké Balls cascading to fill up the space, then seeming to spill out the front, must have people below putting up arms to shield their heads. But creepy ol’ Glameow’s moment is by far the most effective, as she appears to entirely float out of the screen.

So much about it is the fake framing of the billboard, especially those mocked up bits of scaffolding at the bottom, that allows characters to appear to reach beyond the boundaries of the screen. I could watch it all day.

This is, apparently, just the first of a series of Pokémon ads that will be appearing on the billboard between now and September 5, this first one inspired by how today is International Cat Day. No, seriously, it’s a thing. Presumably organized by cats.

It seems worth keeping an eye on Pokémon GO Japan’s YouTube channel over the month, as they’re uploading videos of the billboard there.

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