Rica Matsumoto, the voice actress for Satoshi (Ash) in the Pokemon anime, appeared on The First Take to sing “Mezase Pokemon Master,” which was the show’s very first opening theme song. Aside from voicing the main character, Matsumoto also frequently sang openings for the Japanese version of Pokemon. As of the time of writing, the video on The First Take has garnered over 575,000 views.
You can watch the “Mezase Pokemon Master” video here:
Though she does not appear, there are some cameo voice lines from people like Ikue Otani (Pikachu). This is part of the original opening, which featured Pikachu and Professor Oak interjecting at certain points of the Pokemon anime’s theme song. It’s unclear if the “with my friends” part of the opening refers to them, the back-up singers, or the collection of Pokemon plushes behind Matsumoto during the performance.
The First Take is a YouTube channel focusing on popular or famous singers performing songs in a single take. Other singers who have previously appeared on it include LiSA, Hoshimachi Suisei, and Stray Kids. The First Take likely invited Matsumoto to sing the first Pokemon opening due to Ash leaving the show to make way for the new series.
You can watch Rica Matsumoto sing “Mezase Pokemon Master” on The First Take.