24 years ago today (February 27th, 1996) the Pocket Monsters franchise was unleashed upon the world. Since its original release for GameBoy in Japan, the Pokémon franchise has gone on to be the highest-grossing multi-media franchise of all time and showing no signs of slowing down. That’s why starting a few years ago February 27th was dubbed “Pokémon Day”, and its something that The Pokémon Company has been taking pretty seriously. Throughout the day today in Japan, we saw a number of announcements that touch on different entries in the franchise, and we’ve gathered them all up below for easy reference!
Pokémon Sword & Shield: New Mythical Pokémon, Zarude
Previously teased in Japan with a silhouette appearing in CoroCoro Magazine, the new Mythical Pokémon which will debut in the upcoming Pokémon The Movie: Coco and coming later this year in Pokémon Sword & Shield as part of the expansion pass has been revealed. Zarude (Zarudo in Japan) is a Dark/Grass type Rogue Monkey Pokémon with the ability “Leaf Guard”. No additional information has been revealed about how you’ll encounter this new Pokémon, but the trailer released with the announcement at least shows it in action:
Pokémon Sword & Shield: Mewtwo Max Raids
Starting with the latest entry in the mainline video games, Pokémon Sword & Shield saw a shift for what you can encounter in the wild area max raids. Starting today and running through 11:59 PM March 1st UTC you can encounter level 100 Mewtwo in max raids. This Mewtwo is incredibly powerful, so you’re going to need an equally strong team to stand a chance against it. Upon defeating this Mewtwo you are not given the option to catch it as you are in other raids in-game, but the rewards you can receive are much more valuable from the usual fair with coveted Bottle Caps & Ability Capsules up for grabs.
Pokémon Sword & Shield: Kanto Starters Max Raids
Much like with Mewtwo, the original 3 starters from Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow can also be encountered in max raids starting today. In addition to Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur you also have a chance of encountering their 2nd level evolutionary forms Charmeleon, Wartortle, and Ivysaur. Unlike Mewtwo, these are regular encounters and defeating them grants you the chance to catch them. Just like any other max raid Pokémon, there is a chance for them to be Shiny and I’m sure if you dig around on Twitch or Twitter you can find someone hosting shiny raids. Each of them also has a chance to drop special items such as EV lowering berries, and special held items for use in battle.
Daniel Arsham x Pokémon
Although this wasn’t posted on any of the official Pokémon accounts today, the announcement is still a rather significant one. Shared on Instagram today by NANZUKA Gallery (located in Shibuya, Tokyo), visionary New York-based artist Daniel Arsham will be teaming up with Pokémon for an exhibition of some kind this spring. The video below shows off some pieces featuring Pokémon sculpted in the style of his iconic “Eroded Relics” series. Out of all of the announcements today this is the one I’m honestly most excited about as I love the direction that The Pokémon Company has been taking the franchise in as of late when it comes to working with influential contemporary artists and designers (such as with their THUNDERBOLT PROJECT collaboration with FRAGMENT DESIGN). I can’t wait for more details to come out about this and I’m really hoping this is an exhibition I can go experience first hand.
Pokémon GO: Party Hat & Clone Pokémon Take-over
Although this was announced previously, starting today and running through March 2nd you can encounter several Pokémon wearing party hats in the wild including Pikachu and the Kanto starters. Each has the potential to be shiny as well. In addition to them, to celebrate the international release of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution on Netflix, various clone Pokémon will appear in the wild and Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, and Armored Mewtwo can be encountered in 4 & 5-star raids. Clone Pikachu can also be encountered as a snapshot “photobomb” encounter!
Pokémon Masters: Red Joins The Battle
A trailer was released today introducing Champion Red to the world of Pokémon Masters.
Red & Charizard will appear in the game as a Poke Fair exclusive Scout.
In addition to Red’s introduction to the title, players will receive 3,000 gems as a gift to celebrate Pokémon Day. A new game mode, the Battle Villa, will also be opening for players to challenge. A trailer for this new content, as well as upcoming content, has also been released:
Pokémon The Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution
Much like the Pokémon GO event for the day, this was announced a little while ago. Starting today Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is available for streaming on Netflix in all regions except for Japan and South Korea. Of significant note, this is the first Pokémon movie released internationally that offers the option to watch with original Japanese audio and subtitles.
Pokémon Of The Year
Last month The Pokémon Company and Google teamed up to let fans participate in a limited voting period to decide the Pokémon of the year. The results were revealed in a YouTube video today!
If you don’t want to sit through the whole video to find out who won, here are the top 10:
Pokémon The Movie: Coco
A trailer has been released for the next Pokémon movie in Japan titled Pocket Monsters Coco. It hits theaters this July and as mentioned earlier will feature the new mythical Pokémon, Zarude.
Pokémon Shirts by Original Stitch
The collaboration between Pokémon and Original Stitch is continuing with new shirts being made available for preorder focusing on the Pokémon found in the Jhoto region from Gold & Silver. 20 new designs are available for order now, with the other 80 Pokémon from generation 2 coming soon. A children’s line has also been announced as a part of the collaboration as well.
There was already a lot to look forward to if you’re a Pokémon fan leading into 2020, but all of these new announcements in one day should keep fans and players busy while we wait for the release of the next movie, and for the expansions to the Galar region coming in Summer & Fall. I’m not going to lie, I kind of wish they would have teased a Generation 4 remake along with everything else today but even I can acknowledge it’s probably too early. We still have E3, Gamescom, and Tokyo Game show to look forward to this year so I’m sure there’s more excitement on the horizon!