It’s no secret that singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is a major Pokémon nerd. He collaborated with The Pokémon Company last year for a “special performance” in Pokémon Go, recently promoted the 2022 Pokémon World Championships in London, and is a known enjoyer of the adorable water-type Squirtle. He professes to playing Pokémon Yellow and Silver on his original Game Boy Color to this day. But Sheeran and Pokémon’s bond is evolving with the release of “Celestial,” a new song that not only features Pokémon in its official video, but will also appear in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.
Sheeran released the “Celestial” music video on Thursday — after teasing it underneath a blanket of Pokémon plush toys two weeks ago — and it raises the question of whether he is OK. In “Celestial,” Sheeran is plagued by Pokémon hallucinations: He has a fry up with Charmander, who helps him make food for all his imaginary Pokémon pals; he’s nearly hit by a London cab, but is spared death by a Snorlax; and after being struck by songwriting inspiration, he hitches a ride home from Charizard. From there, Sheeran goes full anime, and seemingly dies in an explosion caused by Mew and Mewtwo battling.
Fortunately for Sheeran and fans of modern radio-friendly rock, it was all a dream. Or was it the work of Hypno?! Who can say! Regardless, the “Celestial” video is cute, thanks to the inclusion of all those adorable Pokémon and the contribution of illustrator Yu Nagaba — a frequent collaborator of The Pokémon Company — who handled the cartoonish side of Sheeran’s latest project.
Sheeran’s the latest in a long line of pop stars who have rubbed elbows with Pikachu and crew in recent years, including Katy Perry, Post Malone, J Balvin, and Vince Staples, all of whom appeared on last year’s Pokémon 25: The Album.
Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are headed to Nintendo Switch on Nov. 18.