Pokemon Day (February 27th) is fast approaching, and the franchise could not be more active. Yesterday it was revealed that there will be a short, five minute Pokemon Direct (a Nintendo Direct dedicated entirely to Pokemon) at 7 AM PT which will feature some “big Pokemon news,” though no actual information was divulged. Speculation is everywhere. Could it be the reveal of the long anticipated and entirely hypothetical Pokemon Z, a sequel to X and Y? Or would the Direct be somewhat simpler, reminding players of what to expect from Pokemon Day and the rest of the year? Was all of the hype building up to something silly, like a US release of Detective Pikachu?
Then, today, the titles and logos for two potential Pokemon titles were trademarked in Europe according to NeoGAF. While Pokemon has trademarked placeholder titles before, this is the first time that logos associated with the titles were trademarked simultaneously. While this could ultimately end in a brutal derailing of the hype train, it is hard not to fit two pieces of a puzzle together and infer that the Direct tomorrow will be in some way associated with this news.
While over speculation is futile, especially since there are fewer than twenty-four hours until the Pokemon Direct, there are some possibilities worth considering before speculation and expectation get out of hand. To begin, this does not confirm in any way that there is no sequel coming to Pokemon X and Y. Pokemon defied expectation by giving us direct sequels to Black and White in the form of Black 2 and White 2 instead of a singular remake version with new features, like Pokemon Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, and Platinum. Not to mention that back in October of 2014, in an interview with Gamespot, game director Junichi Masuda, when questioned about “Pokemon Z,” stated “if after Black and White we came out with grey, people would have been expecting that. Same thing with X/Y and having a Z straight afterwards. So we’re always trying to surprise players.” Mr. Masuda, let me go on record by saying that you killed it in terms of surprise with the follow-up to Black and White. So how do you follow up that bombshell?
This interview, of course, led to more speculation. Was “Z,” or the conclusion of the sixth generation of Pokemon getting skipped? Was “Z” going to be a home console game instead? Was it possible we’d see Generation 6.5 with more new Kalos Pokemon previously unavailable? People went as far as calling the recently announced Magearna the first Generation 6.5 Pokemon! But, in light of Masuda’s interview, isn’t this entirely possible? I don’t mean to add fuel to any fires, and I wouldn’t go as far as predicting a whole half generations worth of new Pokemon, but aren’t Pokemon Moon and Pokemon Sun potentially the “Z” we’ve been waiting for? Wouldn’t a complete renaming and who knows what else defy expectation? And taking color in to consideration, wouldn’t Y‘s red, dark type mascot, Yveltal fit pair well with Pokemon Moon (which has a blue color scheme), and X’s blue, fairy type mascot, Xerneas be match up with Pokemon Sun (with a red color scheme), so that even the color schemes defy expectation? It’s worth mentioning that the moon logo is awfully reminiscent of the Dark type logo from the trading card game.
Obviously, we’ll know in a few short hours whether we are looking at “Pokemon Z” or even potentially looking at Generation Seven. One thing seems pretty certain, in light (pun intended) of the fact that Masuda tweeted a picture of the Moon and said something seemingly offhand about the Sun and the Moon being in the sky at the same time, Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon seem to be anything but a hoax. That suits me just fine since the names and logos are absolutely brilliant. The hype and anticipation couldn’t be more real. So, enjoy the Pokemon Direct tomorrow and the celebration of Pokemon 20.