Pokemon Go One Piece event adds special Pikachu

Pokemon Go is getting a collaboration with one of Japan’s biggest manga franchises, the pirate manga One Piece. The Pokemon Go One Piece collaboration event starts next week and will allow players the chance to catch a special Straw Hat Pikachu.

The official One Piece Instagram account revealed the collaboration in a recent post. The announcement confirms that the Straw Hat Pikachu will appear in the game worldwide from July 22 to July 29.

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Started by Eichiro Oda back in 1997, One Piece has grown to be Shonen Jump’s biggest ongoing manga franchise. The series stars Monkey D. Luffy, captain of the Straw Hat Pirates as he explores the Grand Line searching for the titular One Piece – a legendary treasure that earns its finder the title “King of Pirates.”

Luffy’s crew gets its name from the straw hat given to him by his mentor Shanks. This straw hat has become an iconic item in its own right, featuring in various merchandise and, of course, crossovers such as this collaboration.

The collaboration celebrates both Pokemon Go‘s third anniversary as well as One Piece‘s 22nd anniversary. Both franchises launched in July after all, with Pokemon Go initially arriving in July 6, 2016. On the other hand, Shonen Jump ran the first issue of One Piece back in July 22, 1997 (hence the July 22 start of the collaboration).

Additionally, the collaboration will also help support Kumamoto City’s efforts to rebuild. The city suffered an earthquake in January of this year, just barely three years after another ‘quake rocked it in 2016. To accomplish the this, the collaboration will see a One Piece statue placed in Kumamoto City. This statue will come with a special PokeStop that features art by One Piece creator Oda.

Of course, as this it meant to drive tourism to the city, the art will not appear anywhere else. Players in the rest of the world will have to content themselves with the Straw Hat Pikachu.