Pokémon Horizons’ Third Story Arc Announced With Spoiler-Filled Poster

Pokemon Horizons arc 3 poster crop

Pokémon Horizons might only have just started airing in the US, but in Japan it’s been running for almost a year now. In that time, we’ve had two story arcs released, but the second one is just about to wrap up — and The Pokémon Company hasn’t been shy about spoiling the third.

Let’s quickly go through the previous story arcs, though. The first story arc, and what’s been seen by English fans so far, is called Liko and Roy’s Departure. As the name suggests, it saw Liko and Roy depart on a journey with the Rising Volt Tacklers. We reviewed the first story arc of Horizons when it aired, and while it started strong, it unfortunately went off the rails.

Related: Review: Pokémon Horizons’ First Story Arc Starts Strong But Loses Its Way

The second story arc, Terapagos’ Shine, has been much better and much more focused. Here, we saw the legendary Pokémon Terapagos awaken, and the gang set out on a journey to reunite the turtle Pokémon with its ancient friends, all of whom were once partner Pokémon for a treasure hunter in a past age. It’s great, honestly, and we’ve seen a lot of growth all around.

So that brings us to the next story arc, which was revealed a couple of days ago but now has a proper promotional poster available for us to scrutinize. This poster has a few spoilers, though, for viewers of the Japanese series and very much for viewers of the English dub, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t scroll past the following YouTube embed for asmi’s Dokimeki Diary, the first opening theme for the Japanese version of Horizons.

So, story arc three: Terastal Debut. Bit of a strange name, given we’ve seen Terastalization at least three times in the series to date, but hey, Liko and Roy haven’t used it yet, so I guess it’s debuting for them. This is your last warning for spoilers.

Here’s the promo poster for the new story arc:

There's a lot going on here. <p>The Pokémon Company</p>
There's a lot going on here.

The Pokémon Company

There’s a lot to break down here, but the most obvious is that Liko, Roy, and Dot are all wearing school uniforms. Liko’s wearing her Kanto school uniform, while Roy and Dot are shown wearing uniforms from Naranja Academy, which is a little bit odd. I mean, Liko is shown to be actively participating in schooling, even though she’s off-campus these days, so perhaps she’s on some kind of impromptu student exchange program. Roy and Dot, while they’ve been shown to participate in remote learning, don’t seem to have ever actually attended an in-person school, so I guess they’ll need uniforms either way.

Also, Roy, Liko, and Dot all have Tera Orbs, which are usually given to students at Naranja. Other trainers have them, of course, like Friede and a couple of the Explorers, but the main way to get one seems to be enrolling in the school. We imagine there will be a lot about the Terastal phenomenon in the upcoming arc, given Terapagos’ story definitely will not have wrapped up by then.

The main takeaway, though, is that the gang are very much in Paldea now, which is what we’ve been working toward in the Japanese version of Horizons for a little while now. We also see a bunch of Paldean gym leaders, the Elite Four, best girl Nemona, and a whole host of Paldean Pokémon, just for the avoidance of doubt.

Another major spoiler here is Liko’s Sprigatito… or rather, her not-Sprigatito. It now seems to be a Floragato, suggesting an imminent evolution is on the cards, given at the time of writing it’s still quadrupedal. We expect the evolution will be right at the end of the second arc, which seems to be a couple of episodes away, but it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

Prior to Horizons, the main protagonist was Ash, and his partner Pokémon Pikachu was absolutely never going to evolve. Sprigatito evolving into Floragato isn’t particularly surprising, but it happening so soon is definitely not what we would have anticipated.

No release date has been set for Terastal Debut, yet, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on both the ending of the second arc and the start of the third and reporting back with anything interesting we notice.

Related: How And When To Watch Pokémon Horizons In Your Country