Pokemon Legends: Arceus release date in Summer 2022: WIT Studio to animate web series

Promotional imagery for Pokémon Legends: Arceus' ONA.
What new mysteries are unfolding in Pokemon’s Hisui region? Credit: The Pokémon Company

Pokemon Legends: Arceus fans have even more to be excited about following the games’ release. Pokemon’s official Japanese website has announced an ONA that will coincide with the game set in the Hisui region which later becomes the Sinnoh region. So far, there’s no official announcement that the animation will be translated into other languages including English, but given the Pokémon franchise’s massive popularity, it’s a safe bet to assume a subbed version — if not a dub — will be released soon after.

Attack On Titan’s Wit Studio is producing the series which will appear in early summer of this year. Previously, Wit Studio produced the 2018 film Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us so they’re no stranger to Nintendo’s globally popular franchise. As of now, information about the story’s plot is unknown, but a trailer will hopefully be available before the official release.

What is Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Set in the Hisui region — in the land that later becomes the Sinnoh region where Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum begin — the world is rich in Japanese history. Many early Pokémon games have featured real locations in modern Japan such as Kanto, the real-life region of Tokyo. But Legends: Arceus switches things up by delving into the past.

Like previous Pokémon games, the protagonist is tasked with filling out their Pokédex as they explore the world, taking part in battles and discovering mysteries. The true twist is the time travel elements. The protagonist with their Arc Phone comes from the future, and by helping this region’s professor, sets out to learn if the legendary Pokémon Arceus is responsible.

Game footage of Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Like the protagonist, players experience a blast from the past as they travel the Hisui region. Credit: The Pokémon Company

Legends: Arceus also takes elements of new entries in the Pokémon series — notably Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! With effort levels in place of EVs and IVs (which are stat points in many Pokémon entries). Some other quality of life features include the ability to choose when a Pokémon levels up provided it meets a certain requirement rather than the evolution happening automatically. This is great for those who wish to keep their companions in their starter forms á la Ash’s Pikachu.

What characters might appear in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Since the plot of the game involves the protagonist meeting with wardens of the Hisui region to discover why the five noble Pokémon have gone into a frenzy, it’s likely that they will play a role in the ONA. Diamond clan’s leader Adaman and his rival Pearl clan’s Irina would be obvious picks to make a cameo, if not be dual protagonists.

Game footage of characters in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
With so many characters to choose from, it’s anyone’s guess who will be featured in the upcoming ONA Credit: The Pokémon Company

The ONA may also shed some light on factions that were only featured briefly in the game’s story such as the Ginkgo Merchant Guild. Volo, a guild member, plays a role in the plot. But perhaps merchants such as Ginter might get more time in the spotlight.

There is also this game’s villainous team the Miss Fortunes who, like Team Rocket in the past, could get their own spin-off story. Since it’s unknown whether the ONA will be in a serialized or episodic format, it’s possible that each episode could showcase the perspective of various factions in the Hisui region.  

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