The next Pokémon Go event is bringing one of the most popular comic book franchises in the world to the game, as a Pikachu-wearing Monkey D. Luffy's iconic straw hat from One Piece will make an appearance.
The Pokémon Go x One Piece crossover will also allow players to put Luffy's straw hat on their digital avatar in the game.
There are several reasons why the Pokémon Go x One Piece event is being held. According to Serebii, the event is intended to aid in the reconstruction of Kumamoto City in Japan, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2016. The event will also be celebrating the third anniversary of Pokémon Go and the twenty-second anniversary of One Piece.
The city of Kumamoto will also be home to a unique PokéStop in the shape of Monkey D. Luffy, which was designed by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda.
One Piece is a national phenomenon in Japan, on the same level as Dragon Quest or Pokémon. The love for One Piece is such that it's the best-selling manga series of all time, to the point where it has sold almost double the number of comics as its two closest rivals - Dragon Ball and Naruto. The fact that One Piece is published by Shueisha in Weekly Shonen Jump and Pokémon is controlled by The Pokémon Company means that these two incredibly popular franchises have been unable to crossover in the past, but it seems that the charitable nature of the endeavor is enough to allow Pikachu to don Luffy's hat, even if it is for a brief period of time.
It's just a shame that there weren't more Pokémon added to the event based on the other members of the Straw Hat pirates. A three-sword version of Doublade based on Zorro, a Hitmonlee wearing Sanji's suit, or a Stantler wearing Tony Tony Chopper's hat would have been far more awesome than just another Pikachu.
The One Piece crossover event in Pokémon Go will begin on July 22 and will conclude on July 29.