"Imakuni?" (イマクニ??), is a name of a costumed character played by Tomoaki Imakuni and created for the promotion of Pokémon series related products and services. Imakuni? appeared in many promotional live events conducted in Japan between 1997 and 2002, although his appearance in front of public has declined since. His name is also credited in many of the Pokémon series songs, which can be found in the more than ten releases of CDs. In one of the releases in 1998, Imakuni? participated as one of the trio members of a one-time session group dubbed "Suzukisan", in which he sang together with popular enka singer Sachiko Kobayashi and Raymond Johnson. Imakuni? also appears sometimes as an enemy with his own personal trading card devoted to him in the Pokémon Trading Card Game series.
While less "live" exposure is found today, Imakuni? continues his activity through a blog run by Creatures Inc., a creative and designing company mainly engaged in games, card games, 3D graphics and others.
In 2003 he performed in the non-Pokémon related song Koi no Sube-Sube Manjū Gani (恋のスベスベマンジュウガニ?), with animation produced by Creatures for NHK's Minna no Uta. Like most of the Japanese Pokémon songs up to that point (including anime opening and ending songs), this was composed by Hirokazu Tanaka.
Over the years, he has had several costumes, all which have round, Mickey Mouse style ears.
- Round ears, black costume with "イマクニ？" embroidered on the front. (1996–early 2000s)
- Curly round ears, black costume with "イマクニ？" on an LCD screen on the front of his costume. This costume had the LCD screen on the front change to match what Pokémon he was saying in Pokémon ierukaNEO?
- Round curly ears, silver costume with "イマクニ？" on the front of his costume. He looks like he is wearing a shaggy bathroom rug on his chest and back.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
- "Amazon search on CD and books crediting Imakuni?". Amazon.co.jp (in Japanese). 2002-04-11. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
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