Back in October, Japan's Saga Prefecture announced that it would be recruiting "real life Team Rocket members" via its promotional Sagaprise! project website. The project's end goal was to ambitiously recruit 10 million people, but also to celebrate the 1,000th episode of the Pokémon anime series, which aired on November 9th as a Pokémon Sun & Moon episode. The recruitment process included promotion at elementary school campuses, and even the governor of Saga prefecture cosplaying as Team Rocket boss Giovanni (Sakaki in Japanese, which ties to the pun Sagaki).

One other challenge of the "Meowth Balloon Saga Invation!: Searching in Balloon Town! 10 Million Team Rocket Members!!" was to create a giant Pikachu formation out of 1,000 Team Rocket Members, visible from none other than the official Team Rocket Meowth Hot Air Balloon. 1,000 Team Rocket Members assembled early in the morning on November 26th in color-coded clothing to form a giant Pikachu, and the Meowth Hot Air Balloon sailed November 1st-5th at the 2017 Saga International Balloon Fiesta.

Along with a stamp-rally event and a chance for a commemorative photo with Meowth, many elementary students were happy to get up early in the morning and work together to make a giant Pikachu.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.