Arcanine

With the start of the Season of Legends, reports started coming in that a new surprise shiny had dropped in Pokémon GO that was most unexpected. Shiny Arcanine is now available in the wild!

Sprites

Regular Sprite Shiny Sprite

Why Arcanine?

So why exactly has shiny Arcanine suddenly appeared in game? In the Pokedex, Arcanine is described as the ‘Legendary Pokémon’. While it technically isn’t a true Legendary, each Pokémon is given a category, and for Arcanine they are described as Legendary. It is the only known Pokémon with this particular category.

Many of Arcanine’s different Pokedex entries for the main series games also describe it as a Legendary in different ways:

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  • Pokémon Yellow – ‘A legendary Pokémon in China. Many people are charmed by its grace and beauty while running.’
  • Pokémon Gold – ‘This legendary Chinese Pokémon is considered magnificent. Many people are enchanted by its grand mane.’
  • Pokémon Let’s Go – ‘A legendary Pokémon in the East. Many people are charmed by the grace and beauty of its running.’

Given the different Pokédex entries, it could be that initially Arcanine was intended to be a Legendary, but may have been dropped because the other chosen Legendaries were all birds, or they may have intended to have regional Legendary Pokémon as the entries specifically reference China and the East.

In ‘Pokémon Emergency!‘, an episode from the anime, Arcanine is depicted in an engraving alongside Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno. This is a huge teaser that potentially Arcanine was initially going to be one of the core Legendary Pokémon from the Kanto region, because why else would it be depicted alongside the birds?

It is also believed that Arcanine is based upon a Shisa. A Shisa is a traditional Ryukyuan artifact that is based upon Chinese guardian lions, and are often shown as a sort of lion and dog hybrid.

The Shisa helps to ward off evil spirits, and keep good spirits in, as well as protect from evil. Traditional Chinese guardian lions have been depicted outside of palaces, tombs and temples.

Season of Legends

So what is the significance of Arcanine being a sort of forgotten or pseudo Legendary? Well, it is the Season of Legends, with a specific focus on Legendary Pokémon, so what a fitting Pokémon to surprise us with the shiny! It nods to all the fan theories about its Legendary status, and the hints that Arcanine was initially meant to be a Legendary. Such a great little Easter egg for Pokémon fans!

It isn’t often Pokémon GO drops a surprise shiny these days, so what a fun one to drop! Not only a new shiny, but a wild, evolved shiny at that.

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