Pokemon Extravaganza | Movie 11 (Sub) Giratina and the Sky’s Bouquet, Shaymin Review

Plot: Dialga and Palkia may have reversed most of their damage from when they fought before, but residual effects are still being felt. In the Reverse World, a topsy-turvy version of our world, toxic clouds have begun to appear in response to the disturbances in space and time caused by Dialga and Palkia.

To get its revenge, the ruler of the Reverse World, Giratina, attacks Dialga and drags it and an unsuspecting Shaymin through to the Reverse World. Using Seed Flare, Shaymin makes another portal and escapes to the real world where it finds itself in the care of Satoshi, Hikari and Takeshi. While its attitude is certainly abrasive, they agree to take it to the flower garden so it can partake in the annual Flower Bearing.

However, Giratina is following closeby, and so is Zero – a man who wants to capture Giratina for malicious purposes.

Breakdown: This is another one that doesn’t seem to have a whole lot in regards to changes, so I’ll be going in 20 minute chunks.

20 Minute Mark

I would say that Shaymin’s voice in the original is less annoying than the dub…..but then I’d be lying.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I do believe this is the first time that the dub’s title animation is the exact same as the original’s. The only, obvious, difference is that the text is changed to their English counterparts and the Japanese credits are removed.

What exactly was Satoshi doing to get his hands that dirty? And doesn’t he normally wear gloves?

40 Minute Mark

Mugen Graceland was changed to Newton Graceland.

I’m just realizing how much personality Pochama has. I mean, it’s mostly a kooky klutz, but it’s still cute.

Jibacoil literally sounds like someone doing that flappy thing with your lips. Bbbbbbbbb

Wait, all of the ‘coil line basically sound like that?…..Why?

Hikari’s still getting on my nerves coddling the little brat.

It’s kinda weird to hear that woman ask Hikari if she can hold Shaymin. For most other Pokemon, this would be understandable, but Shaymin can talk. It’s like someone asking a mother if they can hold their three year old child. The kid can answer for themselves.

Yup, Shaymin’s voice doesn’t change at all when it switches to sky form. *shrug*

They’re breaking a lot of windows on that train. Who’s paying for those damages?

Hour Mark

Just to be fair to the dub, Satoshi and Hikari both point out the obvious in the scene where Brock’s explaining the glacier.

I’m just now realizing that it makes even less sense for Satoshi to suddenly become sad when he realizes Shaymin will be leaving them once they reach the garden considering that’s literally only a couple shots beyond Shaymin yanking on Satoshi’s ear to get him to fly then telling him he’s too heavy.

Shaymin says the reason it always rides on Ash when they’re running away from Giratina is so he’ll get eaten with him….Yes, such a likable Pokemon.

Hour and 20 Minute Mark

I love how, throughout this whole action scene, Takeshi is relegated to being nothing but reaction-shot-man. They could’ve designed the glider to be big enough to hold one more person. Stop giving Takeshi nothing to do in these movies.

Holy crap, Regigigas sounds so terrible in the original. Sounds like a crazy person on a rampage.

End

This is a weird thing to note, but Satoshi’s lips don’t match his words at all when goes ‘YAHOO!!’ Also, he sounds really strange saying that line. It’s just a strange moment, really.

The CGI for the flowers still looks ech.

My experience with Japanese Team Rocket isn’t vast, but even just watching 11 movies with them I can say I’m pretty sick of hearing them say “This feels bad.” They say it nearly every time they’re on screen. Granted, “Looks like Team Rocket’s blasting off again” gets old too, but for some reason “This feels bad” gets old faster.

The ending song, ‘You Are the One,’ is pretty good. It’s pretty much a tossup as to whether I like this or the dub’s ending theme better.

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All in all, the dub holds up very well. Really nothing was changed outside of the obvious things like the title screen and the credits song, and any changes that did occur didn’t alter my opinion on the movie at all. Shaymin’s still annoying, Zero’s still an idiot, and I still didn’t really have fun. Again, there’s nothing terribly wrong with it, but there’s nothing really special about it either.

Recommended Audience: Same as the dub, except they actually say ‘die’ once or twice. So jack it up about ten or twenty years.


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Pokemon Extravaganza | Movie 11 (Dub) Giratina and the Sky Warrior Review

Plot: A Shaymin is minding its own business when a nearby Dialga gets attacked by a Giratina. They drag Shaymin into the scuffle, and Giratina pulls Dialga into a different dimension – a world opposite ours called the Reverse World. Giratina wants revenge on Dialga for causing spacial disruptions in the Reverse World due to the disturbances in time and space that it and Palkia caused in the previous movie.

As they fight, Shaymin uses Seed Flare and opens a portal out of the Reverse World. Dialga follows, but not before trapping Giratina in a time loop that robs it of its portal creating powers, leaving it trapped in Reverse World.

A mysterious man named Zero monitors the confrontation, intent on capturing Giratina for his own nefarious purposes.

Meanwhile, Ash and the others discover Shaymin and help it journey to the flower garden for the Flower Bearing – a festival that the Shaymin of the area partake in to move the garden. Zero pursues them, aiming to capture Shaymin in order to get Giratina. Ash, Dawn and Brock do everything in their power to protect Shaymin, but that’s easier said than done.

Breakdown: Like I’ve stated before, we’re so far into the later parts of Pokemon that I honestly never bothered to learn too much about this movie before now. I will say that I’ve definitely seen and heard more about Shaymin in this movie than I have Giratina, and that’s just kinda weird.

Giratina is one of my least favorite Legendaries mostly due to its design. I find it to be very weird and unappealing. It’s too creepy for my tastes.

Shaymin is a Legendary I’m just okay with. I like that it can change forms, but I don’t really get the point of it. I suppose you could argue that it doesn’t need a point, many aspects of animals and nature don’t have points or major purposes, but they still have them. I just feel like maybe they couldn’t decide on which form to keep so they kept both of them.

For the record, though, I like the sky form a lot better. Land form looks like a cute-ified chia pet.

I don’t have much else to say about the movie beyond that, so let’s get into the review!

As always, you can check out the comparison from Dogasu’s Backpack here.

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We start off with a real game-changer – the world of Pokemon! Not much to note here besides I just listened to the new voice of Exeggutor for the first time – Could the VA sound more bored?

Also, Ryperior is a dork. Rhydon is much more intimidating, better designed and just overall better. I’m perfectly fine with Magmortar, even if its face is doofy, but Ryperior, go home.

Wow, they made Ash’s introduction kinda epic with that sunrise behind him.

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Out of all the Pokemon you could’ve shown Pikachu battling in the beginning, why an Electivire – a Pokemon who barely feels electric shocks?

After that, we get the opening to the real story, including the introduction of Shaymin the hedgehog.

Shaymin! It can kinda move!

Shaymin! It’s got an attitude!

Shaymin! It’s the most annoying hedgehog alive!

The most annoying hedgehog alive!

Dialga soon shows up – HEY! Dialga! You already got your own movie! Go home! Shoo!

Giratina, hailing from a parallel dimension called the Reverse World, causes a dimensional shift which thrusts Dialga, Shaymin and Giratina into a vortex leading into the Reverse World.

Giratina and Dialga battle in the Reverse World because two Legendary Pokemon cannot share the same space without duking it out. Shaymin, getting caught in the battle, gets so panicked that it also causes a dimensional shift and escapes Reverse World. Dialga, after fending off Giratina, follows Shaymin through the same rift.

The rift closes, Giratina tries to make its own to follow Dialga, but finds that it can’t enter the rift it created. Due to Diagla, it is now caught in an infinite time loop in Reverse World.

The title animation this time around isn’t bad, per se, but it is confusing. We see a bunch of exploding snowflakes, water, the Sprint logo, lines that turn into shapes that turn into water Pidgey, then we get more water followed by the title card. Lots of water for two Pokemon who are, in no way, based on anything relating to water.

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No theme song in this movie, by the way. I’m really starting to miss it.

Back with Ash and co., Ash apparently needs to be reminded to wash his filthy-ass hands before eating because his mother thought it was more important for him to change his underwear incessantly than to teach him proper hand hygiene.

Cue all the Pokemon being let out for meal time, yay!

Shaymin arrives behind their backs and starts eating the pancakes Brock made for the humans in the group.

*watching Shaymin eat the pancakes*

Dawn: “What is it?”

Brock: “A Pokemon!” No shit, Brock. Everything that is not an inanimate object is a Pokemon…..and some inanimate objects are Pokemon!

It acts like a little shit, destroys Brock’s grill, sucks up the smoke from the grill and….explodes.

Can I say I’m glad Shaymin’s finally talking? Because it was incredibly annoying just saying ‘Min!’ over and over.

Also, Shaymin’s a dick even when it can talk. Lovely.

Dogasu noted this behavior as being refreshing given the overtly saccharine cute Legendaries we’ve gotten over the years, but I wholeheartedly disagree. You can have a good personality without being an overly sweet Pokemon. A jackass personality is still annoying to watch. You can make the argument that, as a character, Shaymin gets better, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still incredibly irritating either way.

Shaymin has a fever so they bring it to the Pokemon Center.

Nurse Joy: “It’s Shaymin – the Gratitude Pokemon.” Pft, don’t you mean Shaymin – the Irony Pokemon?

This Nurse Joy wears old lady glasses for some reason. Hope that fact enriched your life with knowledge.

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Ya know…..It’s been 11 years at this point….is anyone else bored to tears of Brock’s ‘Hit on a girl then get dragged away by someone’ shtick?

Shaymin is brought out and continues to be a little shit.

Shaymin: “Oh please! I never need healing! But I do get hungry!”

Ash: “That sure doesn’t sound like gratitude to me.” I like when we agree on things, Ash.

Nurse Joy reveals that Shaymin has the ability of Seed Flare – it intakes polluted air, such as the smoke from Brock’s grill, turns it into light and water and expels it from its body.

Dawn: “Shaymin! You’re really something, aren’t you?”

Shaymin: “I am, aren’t I?” Rrrgh.

Nurse Joy further reveals that the more the air is polluted, the bigger the explosion. A Shaymin once sucked up so much polluted air that the resulting explosion destroyed an entire forest. Wow…..that power kinda sucks a little, doesn’t it? Imagine if, when Suicune purified water, a nuke went off immediately after. Kinda negates the point, doesn’t it?

Oh and Shaymin expects to be thanked for not causing a bigger explosion, by the way…..It’s going to be a long movie, isn’t it?

I don’t really know why Dawn is so jazzed about this little grass stain.

Shaymin demands to be taken to the flower garden for the Flower Bearing – a gathering of Shaymin that happens once a year where the Shaymin migrate from one flower garden to a new location to create a new garden. No reason given as to why they do this – it’s just a thing they do.

Team Rocket grabs Shaymin, but, as they make their escape, they’re dragged through another dimensional rift to the Reverse World. Dawn and Ash get sucked in as well, leaving Brock as the only one left on the other side.

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Dawn and Ash are suddenly targeted by Giratina, who is seemingly after Shaymin. A strange man named Newton Graceland appears and helps them escape. Side note, part of this world is low gravity, and I found it adorable that Piplup was flapping its wings and acting like it could fly. Poor flightless bird.

Newton is a researcher investigating the Reverse World. He explains that the Reverse World is a dimension just like ours only opposite, which really makes zero sense because it’s pretty much exactly like our world only warped like a funhouse mirror with a weird sky and funny physics. Also, there are no people or Pokemon besides Giratina, who acts as the master of this realm.

That being said, the Reverse World is pretty nicely designed.

Newton states that disturbances in Reverse World started cropping up more often when Dialga and Palkia started fighting, believing their territory was being impeded upon for some reason. Ash then….recalls that happening….and Dawn brings up…Alamos Town….

Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa……whoa….wait….This movie….is a direct sequel to Movie 10?

I know that seems like a stupid statement, but the movies seem to exist in their own little canon, even separate from each other. The fact that this movie is not only acknowledging a previous movie but also building its plot from it is….pretty much unheard of. This isn’t a complaint, it’s a very interesting turn of events, but it kinda threw me for a loop.

The disturbances are actually toxic clouds of gas, and Giratina was upset at this pollution of its world, so it traveled to the real world and captured Dialga to take its revenge. Shaymin’s little freak out allowed Dialga to escape, so now its in Giratina’s crosshairs too.

Giratina attacks again, this time grabbing Shaymin.

YAY!

But it turns out to be Substitute, and Shaymin’s fine.

Booooo!

Newton leads them to a portal that leads to the real world and they make their escape.

Shaymin: “Thanks to me, you’re all safe and sound. Aren’t you grateful I’m around?” What the shit did you do to help them get out of there? Ash is going to bring up that Shaymin’s the reason they were ever in danger in the first place in a minute, but really, what did Shaymin do to help them escape? Newton’s the one who lead them back to the portal.

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Also, Shaymin has this incredibly irritating running gag shtick of jumping on Ash’s head and yanking him in various directions as he tries and fails to tell him which way the flower garden is. It’s not funny. It got old real fast. They keep doing it.

Zero shows up and—I’m just now realizing, this character named Zero has a massive zero on his shirt………Okay.

Zero sends his Magnemite, Magneton and Magnezone army after the group in order to capture Shaymin. They manage to escape on a train, and then we interrupt the plot for Shaymin to be an annoying little compost heap again complaining that he’s hungry.

Ya know, Dawn’s irritating me almost as much as Shaymin in this movie because she’s constantly coddling it and ignoring it’s bratty behavior. I wouldn’t be as bothered if not for the fact that I know she wouldn’t be doing all of this if Shaymin weren’t a super ~kawaii~ Pokemon.

Anyway, let’s stop the plot some more by talking to some randos on the train about how wonderful Shaymin is. Whoopee.

One of the randos has a bouquet of gracidea flowers, which are nearly identical to the flowers on Shaymin. People give them to others when they want to show gratitude because it’s so similar to the supposed gratitude Pokemon. Upon sniffing the flowers, Shaymin transforms into its sky form.

The only real thing from the comparison that I feel compelled to note at this point in time is the fact that Shaymin has two voices in the dub whereas, in the original, it has the same voice throughout. The sky form clearly has a boy’s voice while the land form is girlish.

I don’t really have anything to add to their comments, so I’ll just copy/paste this segment.

Dogasu: “Ignoring the whole “cute little things are girls, brave adventurous types are boys” sexist BS for a moment, the reason the voice change doesn’t make any sense to me is because Shami doesn’t actually talk. It’s using telepathy throughout the entire movie. So why, why, would it suddenly start thinking in a young boy’s voice (or, as some have pointed out, Zoey’s voice) because it changed form(e)s? Wouldn’t it just do what the Japanese version does and just think in the same voice regardless of any transformation?”

I would like to hold on the sexist BS for a second though, because that is totally sexist BS.

On the upside, though, the voice change is actually fairly welcome because it doesn’t matter if Shaymin’s telepathically speaking on doing the Pokemon shtick of saying its name (which is only the ‘Min’ part usually, by the way, which somehow makes is even more irritating) Shaymin’s land form voice is like a cheese grater made of chainsaws on my ears. At least sky form is more pleasant to listen to, even if it’s still a brat.

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Hmmm…..I can’t really add this to the sexism because it’s not the dub’s doing, but why is Shaymin so much braver and battle-ready in sky form than it is in land form, where it’s basically a wimp?

The Magne-army finds them and they start battling.

If there was one set of Pokemon that was crappy to have constantly get beaten by Ash and co, it’s the Magne-line. They’re Iron and Electric, but here they are dropping like flies to an Electric type, a Grass type and a Water type…..

Just for the record, Magnezone is fugly.

Shaymin: “It’s ‘Thank Shaymin’ time!” I’ll thank you if you leave this movie.

Now they’ve moved onto a boat for the other leg of their journey. Brock talks about how the river they’re on was created by a glacier that eroded the—

Ash: “A glacier?”….Yes….A glacier.

Dawn: “Looks cold!” Yes…..glaciers are…..very…cold….So you guys never went to school, eh?

Enter about five minutes of dicking around.

At least some of the visuals are nice. They got the water CGI really nicely done this time around.

Brock mentions that Shaymin will be leaving them when it gets to the flower garden, and Ash suddenly looks sad…..for some reason. Apparently he’s going to miss the obnoxious little turd he’s done nothing but fight with this whole movie. What? Did the whimsical dicking around change his tune about it?

He does switch gears and says it might be a relief, but he’s clearly covering.

Back with Zero, we see old video footage that shows that Zero used to be Newton’s assistant. They wanted to harness Giratina’s power to move freely between the Reverse World and the real world.

A portal to the Reverse World suddenly appears in the water next to the gang’s boat, because the portals appear on reflective surfaces because…Reverse World I guess. They get sucked in, Zero follows suit, and Giratina confronts them in the Reverse World.

I guess Shaymin does get a personality change when its in its sky form because instead of cowering and pushing them to run away, it actually attacks Giratina first and challenges it to a battle.

Ash: “You go, Shaymin!” Yeah, you go with the challenging the massive scary Legendary Pokemon who wants to EAT YOU to a Pokemon battle you clearly can’t win! Whoo!

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With the help of Pikachu and Staravia, they try to take it down, to no effect, but the sun sets, causing Shaymin to revert back to land form since the sun needs to be up for it to maintain sky form. Also, because it’s land form now, it’s a weak wimp again.

Also, because they’re stupid, Giratina’s now more pissed than ever.

Shaymin: “Give. Me. FOOD!” Forty minutes until the movie is over. Dunno why I suddenly checked that.

They manage to escape with the help of Newton again. However, Shaymin is kidnapped by Zero and the others are restrained.

Zero: “This place is beautiful….but people destroy it.” He says while looking at one of the toxic clouds made because of damages to time and space made purely because of Dialga and Palkia going at it – the non-human Pokemon who aren’t homo sapiens. I swear to god if we get on another ‘man is evil’ stint in this friggin’ series, I’m walking out.

Zero directs one of the toxic clouds to the gang and brings Shaymin over to it. They act like Shaymin is sucking in the poison to save them, but Shaymin has shown time and again that it will automatically suck in polluted air without thinking about it, so they really could’ve just put Shaymin in the cloud without trying to kill Ash and the others and it still would’ve worked.

He’s trying to force Shaymin to use Seed Flare in order to release Giratina into the real world, and it works. Everyone gets sucked in through the portal back into the real world and Giratina is set free.

Brock: “That’s a glacier!” Yes. Brock. Thank. You. This movie has been sponsored by The International Glacier Foundation.

Newton reveals that Giratina never wanted to eat Shaymin at all – in fact, it was trying to save it from the Magne-line and was only pursuing it in the first place to get it to use Seed Flare to allow it to escape to the real world. Soooo….is that supposed to be Giratina’s redemption or something? Because it was still trying to kidnap it and force it to do something against its will.

Zero uses a massive machine thingamajigger on his airship to kidnap Giratina. His scanners reveal that Giratina has regained the ability to move freely between the real world and the Reverse World because coming to the real world somehow ended the time loop Dialga put him in.

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I should’ve asked this earlier, but how does a time loop stop you from moving between dimensions? If we’re dealing with moving between dimensions, interdimensional spaces, if you will, wouldn’t a better enemy to focus on be Palkia, the master of space? The Pokemon that has been shown to have power over interdimensional portals? Why choose Dialga for this? It makes no sense.

Also, how does ending a time loop restore those powers?

How was Giratina caught in a time loop when, outside of losing its portal powers, it didn’t have any other issues behaving normally?

Newton reveals that he designed that machine. He originally intended on using it to harness Giratina’s power and gain the ability to move freely between the real world and the Reverse World, but he deleted all of his work when he realized the only way to accomplish it would be to sacrifice Giratina. Newton was vehement against doing this, but even though he deleted his work Zero seemed to remember the specifications of the machine and built it himself.

Zero: “It won’t be long before the Reverse World is all mine. And I will rule there like a king! Muahahahahahahaha!” Yes, that almost entirely void of life world that’s filled with a bunch of weird physics and is built like a MC Escher painting will be all mine! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Your motives are dumb.

Newton, Ash and Dawn take Zero’s hover-glider thing that he left behind for some reason to confront Zero and save Giratina. Shaymin transforms into sky form since they arrived at the garden without realizing it and it follows them to the ship.

Ya know, if nothing else, the cinematography in this movie is really good.

Also, Pokemon being held in a force-field cage – here’s hoping Ash reprises his habit of tackling force fields here!

A battle in the air commences with the Magne-line until they reach the ship. Newton infiltrates the ship to stop Zero while Dawn and Ash combat the Magne-line on the deck.

I know that they can’t destroy the force-field, but can they not destroy the arms that are generating it?

Newton reaches the control panel, racing against the clock before Giratina’s power is…sucked up or whatever this machine is doing to it. It just says it’s scanning, so I don’t get how it’s killing it. He forces me to recall that painfully stupid scene from NCIS where Abby and McGee are both typing on the same keyboard by upping the ante by typing on a keyboard and also having four robot arms type with him.

Newton’s hack works, stopping the scan at a dramatic 99%. The force field starts to wane, but whatever he did to stop the force field also caused the ship itself to fail. The ship starts falling out of the sky.

Newton: “I’m sorry. To shut down the system, I had to shut off the engines too.”

Ash: “So what does that mean?” Okay, come on, even without schooling, you can’t be this dumb.

They escape from the ship on the glider thing, but Giratina falls off into the waters below. Zero makes his escape in a little….vehicle thing that dives into the water, and the ship crashes into the mountainside.

Giratina emerges from the water but topples over, seemingly on its last legs.

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Ash: “Giratina, come on!” He’s not saying this in a sad, pleading manner – he’s yelling this like he’s scolding Giratina for dying.

Shaymin tries to help Giratina by using Aromatherapy and yelling ‘SHAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY” about thirty times, which is even annoying in its sky form voice.

Anyway, Giratina’s fine. Yay. There wasn’t a lot of tension there because if they really wanted us to think Giratina was killed by the power scan…absorber thing, they wouldn’t have shown it being able to get out of the water under its own power.

Zero’s little plane thing emerges from the water, and, after a Power Rangers-esque kinda shitty quality CGI compared to what we’ve gotten for the rest of the movie cutscene where the plane kinda transforms, Zero attacks Giratina for some reason then escapes into the Reverse World.

He somehow managed to get enough information from the scan to utilize Giratina’s power, clone it and put it in this little emergency plane thing even though the scan only got to 99%, Newton hacked the whole system to make it impossible to do anything afterward anyway and he somehow managed to do all of this in the time it took for the ship to crash.

This whole thing reeks of them being unable to write themselves out of a hole once they stopped the machine and saved Giratina. ‘Uh oh, there’s still 20 minutes left in the run time – give Zero the portal powers anyway.’

He starts attacking these little real world bubbles that are all over the Reverse World. Damaging them damages the real world, even though it pretty much just seems like all that happens when you destroy one is a small explosion occurs.

Why is he doing this? I. Don’t. Know. It was never established that Zero wanted to destroy the real world, only that he wanted to rule Reverse World. He’s pretty much just pulling villain shit out of his ass and running with it.

He claims he’s destroying the real world because the real world is destroying the sanctity of the Reverse World and dammit, I told you not to go down the route of ‘man is evil’! Dialga and Palkia caused the disturbances in Reverse World, come on!

His shenanigans cause Regigigas to awaken. Oh boy, only 85% into the movie and we get a random other Legendary appearance. I remember reading it was in this movie, but I honestly couldn’t give less of a shit about Regigigas. It’s one of my absolute least favorite Legendaries.

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Zero’s purposely trying to break apart the glacier in the real world to….Uhm….destroy the nearby village….which will….accomplish….something……I guess.

Dawn: “If this keeps up, it will destroy the flower garden!” Why does that matter? They’re just flowers. They’re not important. And wasn’t the flower festival thing a ceremony where they move the flower garden anyway?

Giratina and Ash try to take down his plane while every Pokemon able to do Ice moves in the real world are trying to slow down the glacier’s descent, to little success.

Regigigas appears with a massive herd of hilariously CGI’d Mamoswine, and they all try to physically stop the glacier from advancing.

Meanwhile, Zero has taken down Giratina and is about to finish it off, but Ash intervenes.

Ash: “Hey! You stop destroying this place, Zero!” Or I’ll tell my mommy!

Zero: “If anything is destroying this place, it’s the real world!”

So, let’s just go over some things. The real world and the Reverse World are co-dependent, one cannot exist without the other. Zero knows this. To protect the Reverse World, he’s destroying the real world, which will supposedly cause the destruction of the Reverse World.

In short, Zero’s an imbecile.

At least Giratina attacking Dialga made a little more sense. Dialga actually was one of the parties responsible for the toxic clouds. I’m not exactly sure why they’re still appearing so rapidly if Dialga and Palkia basically ctrl+z’d the damage, but they were the ones who started this.

Come to think of it, when he realized Shaymin could purify the toxic clouds, why didn’t it occur to him to use the Seed Flare powers to help Reverse World?

Dawn: “You can do it, Regigigas!” Yeah, only you and not the thousands of Mamoswine trying to help it.

Shaymin sucks up a toxic cloud in an effort to save Ash again, and it uses Seed Flare to open another portal. With the help of Giratina, they knock Zero into the real world and he crashes his ship, damaging his system. Dawn’s Bunneary and Swinub as well as all of the Ice move knowing local Pokemon freeze Zero’s ship. Zero’s systems start failing entirely, and he’s unable to save the data on Giratina, meaning he can’t remake his portal machine. The moral of the movie is – always backup your data.

Seriously, how did he have the time to transfer that data to the plane thing within the ship but didn’t have any mode of backing it up?

Zero: “All of my glorious plans, ruined.” All of my glorious plans of ruling an empty hellscape and destroying one world which would inevitably result in the destruction of the world I was trying to rule, ruined.

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Shaymin enters the portal and transforms back into land form because–

Shaymin: “I’m really not good with the cold!” *shrug* Also, if you’re not good with cold, why did you put your flower garden so close to a glacier?

Giratina starts magically fixing the damage in the Reverse World…..It can do that, I guess, and fixing the damage stops the glacier from advancing. Giratina, Ash and Pikachu re-enter the real world through another portal.

Chalk this up to another movie where Ask flies on a Legendary Pokemon, but I am forever sad he didn’t try to tackle something that would throw him across the room.

Is there any purpose to Giratina’s two forms if both of them can fly? Is it just that the dragon/serpentine version is more aerodynamic?

I love how Ash casually ignores the Regigigas. He’s seen so many Legendaries he doesn’t even care anymore.

Giratina spends a minute with the group before flying off, supposedly to go find Dialga again….Uh…is that not still a problem? Guys? Hello?

Ah, who cares? More Shaymin are arriving, and it’s time for the flower festival thinger.

Shaymin: “Ash, I must say, I’m grateful to you too.” Is it ‘emotional redemption for the annoying pissant character’ O’clock already?

Shaymin makes its tearful goodbye, and the festival starts. They create the sky bouquet together, flying in a spiral and making a tornado of the flower petals from the garden. All of the Shaymin fly away, off to create another garden.

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Ash starts—I know you’re not starting to cry, Ash. Because then I’d have to shank you. All of the Pokemon you’ve said goodbye to, all of the friends who have left, you don’t cry for, but Shaymin, a Pokemon who’s been a snotty little brat to you for most of the movie, you start getting teary eyed over. Rrgh.

Not even Dawn’s crying, and she always liked Shaymin.

The movie ends with the gang all looking to the sky with smiles as they watch the Shaymin head off into the sunr—are we seriously not going to bring up Giratina’s bloodlust for Dialga again? That could cause some major problems. Is this ever followed up on in another movie? Hello? Guys? What about the toxic clouds in Reverse World? Are we ever going to bring those up again? I thought they were a threat to the stability of the realm, thus also threatening our world? Hello? Writers? Is anyone paying attention?

The credits roll and there’s not much of note in the background animation besides three things. 1) The gang all send gracidea flowers to their parents. I thought that was sweet. 2) A bunch of Aron and Lairon are eating Zero’s ship, I guess to ensure the audience that the machine won’t be found and used by someone else. 3) Zero got arrested, and Newton, for some reason, happily lends him a hand to get out of his plane, and Zero kinda smiles back….is he supposed to be redeemed now? That was not earned if he is.

The song for the credits is ‘This is a Beautiful World’ sung by Aaron Brotherton. It’s a pretty nice song. Definitely grows on you, even if it’s a little repetitive.

And, yes, the whole credit reel rolls without seeing Giratina at all. For all we know, the fabric of time and space will come crumbling apart when Giratina finds and murders Dialga and Palkia. The end.

—————————————–

This is one of those times where I have to vehemently disagree with Dogasu on their evaluation of this movie. Even though I’m only up to the 11th movie, I’d find it difficult to say it even makes my top ten favorite Pokemon movies list.

Our Legendaries this time are a little brat of a hedgehog with an annoying voice and a somewhat ugly Pokemon with fairly unimpressive powers who may or may not be an asshole. I grew to like Giratina as a Pokemon a bit more through this movie, but really only design-wise. Its main notable power is making portals to and from the Reverse World, which is a barren wasteland of a world that looks like someone put a blender filter on our world. Palkia’s more impressive than that – it can move freely between all dimensions.

I still can’t believe they ended Giratina’s role in this movie by saying it’s probably going to go find Dialga. That’s not a good thing! Why is no one concerned?! They should have ended with Giratina returning to the Reverse World and attempting to clean up the damage and maybe, somehow, get rid of the toxic clouds.

The plot this time around is also….boring. We absolutely have to get Shaymin to the flower garden to be in the festival. Oh wait, we really don’t because there are plenty of other Shaymin who can do it. The only thing that will happen if it’s not there is it will be disappointed that it missed the festival. I’m quite certain it can find the new garden location and partake next year.

The main plot with Giratina was also nothing special. I greatly respect that they tied in this movie to the last one. They’ve really never done that up until this point. Granted, Dialga all but vanishes after the first act, but, still, the fact that they even built a plot around the repercussions of the previous movie’s events is well-appreciated.

However, Zero’s motivations make—here comes an awesome joke, are you ready for it? I’m brilliant. Here it comes – ZERO sense!

He wants to capture Giratina and scan it to obtain its power to move freely between Reverse World and the real world. This will, for some reason, kill Giratina. He got the power even without a full scan or killing Giratina.

His REAL plan was to gain this power in order to become ruler of the Reverse World – a mostly empty warped version of our world.

Then his REAL-REAL plan is to go there and destroy the real world by destroying parts of the Reverse World in order to save Reverse World because he thinks the real world is what’s causing the toxic clouds even though he knows full well that it was Dialga and Palkia who did it and that destroying the real world destroys the Reverse World and he has to basically destroy the Reverse World in the first place to destroy the real world and–

It’s like they were making up his motivations as they went along, and they never reached a point where he was making sense.

I’m also shocked that they left the issue about the clouds alone. Are we meant to believe Giratina stopped them when it healed all of the damage from Zero? Because if it can do that, why attack Dialga? Why is this even a problem?

Then there are minor issues like Brock getting a grand total of absolutely nothing to do this whole movie besides make pancakes. I nearly went this entire review without mentioning him because he is constantly being left behind. They even point it out in the movie. He gets left behind the first time they go to Reverse World, then he gets left behind when Newton, Ash and Dawn leave on the glider, and he clearly shows that he’s disappointed he keeps getting left behind. What do the movies have against Brock?

Team Rocket also could’ve been completely omitted from this movie and nothing would’ve changed, but that’s par for the course for them.

Speaking of pointless, Regigigas. Yes, it held back the glacier, but it came out of nowhere with absolutely no explanation of why it was here and left just as suddenly without a word. It’s like they wanted brownie points for getting another Legendary in the movie, like Kyogre in Movie 09. But, hey, at least I like Kyogre.

The action was decent, and the fun whimsical moments were alright, but they weren’t really up to snuff when compared to the other movies. The action wasn’t as good as Movie 10, the dicking around scenes weren’t as visually interesting as the dicking around scenes in Movie 09, the ending of ‘Pokemon doing mystical stuff’ scene wasn’t as nice as Movie 02, 04 or 05 and even the tearful goodbye wasn’t nearly as emotionally impacting as Movie 03, 04, 06 or 08.

Even the new world they introduced is rather lame compared to things like the Sea Temple, the Unown’s illusion world or even the Tree of Beginnings.

I hate to make a mass comparison, but when you reach 11 movies, you kinda can’t avoid it.

Sadly, unlike some of the other movies that I’ve borderline disliked, like Movies 09 and 07, there weren’t really any standout moments that made me want to return to this movie. Movie 09 might be dumb, but I love the Sea Temple, and the goofy moments can be kinda fun. Movie 07 might be poorly written, but at least it has the Battle Tower and the hilaradorable Munchlax. This movie really has nothing to put on the table.

The most I can say is that it could’ve been worse. Shaymin could’ve been more annoying. I mean, it could’ve been a crying baby Pokemon like Manaphy in addition to being a brat. Zero could’ve been more confused in his motivations or made out to be more generic, like the Iron Masked Marauder or Lawrence. And at least Dawn got to do more than May or Misty usually got to do in these movies, even if most of it is just doing whatever Ash is doing or cuddling Shaymin. That might be offset by them shafting Brock so badly in this movie that they actually acknowledge it.

Art and Animation: The CGI went back and forth between really quite good to kinda bad. The regular art and animation were better than normal with only a few odd shots here and there.

Music: Rather forgettable, but fitting and nice. I actually liked the ending song this time around.

Voice Acting: On the up side. Sarah Natochenny didn’t have to emote much in this movie, but the instant she did it was hard to listen to. Zero’s VA was quite good, to be honest. He really went for it.

Shaymin’s land form VA is all kinds of annoying, though. Whether it’s legit speaking and shouting ‘Min!’ over and over or being a little snot when it’s telepathically speaking, it’s irritating to say the very least. The sky form version is better, especially since it’s, for some reason, less of a dick, but even that form’s voice can’t not sound annoying when it’s yelling ‘MIN!’ incessantly.

Bottom Line: This isn’t one of those movies where it’s so bad I get angry at it – I’m more numb to it. At its core, it’s just a bland and lazily written movie. Most people would have little issue sitting through this movie, nor would I, but I didn’t really have fun at any point. Either Shaymin was being annoying and ruining it or whatever was happening was so stupid that I couldn’t get invested.

I can handle lazy writing and stupidity as long as they’re being fun with it, but this movie just didn’t give me fun. I can’t see myself returning to this movie for any reason.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go….watch this movie again….In Japanese.

Recommended Audience: They’re going back to being too scared to say ‘Die’ again – instead referring to it as being ‘no more’ or ‘destroyed’ and the closest they get to a death scene is far lighter than most similar scenes in other Pokemon movies. I can’t really think of anything of note. E for everyone!


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Pokemon Extravaganza | Movie 10 (Sub) Dialga Vs. Palkia: The Rise of Darkrai Review

Plot: Satoshi, Hikari and Takeshi arrive in Alamos Town – the location of Hikari’s next contest. Along the way, they meet the balloonist/musician, Alice, and her childhood friend, Tonio, who studies energy abnormalities. As they get a tour of the local gardens, they meet Darkrai, a powerful Pokemon who induces nightmares. He seems to be terrorizing the area, but they don’t know what he wants.

Little do they know that a fierce battle between two deity Pokemon, the master of space, Palkia, and the master of time, Dialga, has started in a dimensional rift. When these two massive powers clash, it’s only a matter of time before reality as they know it starts to fall apart.

Breakdown: Gauging from Dogasu’s Backpack’s entry for this movie, it seems it got away mostly unscathed, so I might not have much to talk about today, but, nevertheless, let’s see how the original Japanese version of Rise of Darkrai hits with me.

20 Minute Mark

The opening is less epic than I’d expect from a tenth anniversary movie opener, but it’s pretty good.

And, get this, they actually decided to use most of the animation for the opener in the dub opening. While they didn’t maintain the cracking animation for the initial title, opting instead to use a flash and jumping transition, the pink and blue time/space stream is kept intact. The final title card is obviously changed too, though.

Oddly, I prefer the title card that the dub created over what the original movie had because not only is the title itself better (The ‘Dialga vs. Palkia’ part makes this seem like a wrestling match) but that was a kick-ass font, color and animation they had for that title card. This one’s alright, but it seems cheesy, especially that gigantic VS.

Also, I’d like to support Dogasu’s claim that there’s a black screen after the title card instead of showing Pikachu’s shadow as it’s also on my copy. I checked some clips of it online just to make sure and it’s still in those versions too. I assume that was an error caused by the edited opening sequence and they just never bothered to fix it.

Brock’s ‘Little Blue Book of Babes’ is originally his ‘Lover Ranking Book’ That’s creepier, but less demeaning than the dub’s.

The ‘ten times ten’ thing is, strangely, in the original…..It’s not a good line, guys. I don’t know if you think it’s a joke or a clever nod to the tenth anniversary or whatever, but it’s not a good line. Satoshi is not the type of person to hear a number and instantly start wondering about mathematical equations to achieve said number.

One of the things that is always changed between versions is the theme song. In this version, we get ‘Together 2007.’ It’s a fine song but it’s terribly generic in terms of nearly everything. Not to mention that, while the song is really Pokemon-ified, it fluctuates back and forth between making sense and being gibberish.

The leaf whistle sounds the same in the original. I was hoping it’d sound better….Seriously, why would you have a part of the movie be a song so beautiful and calming that it can instantly quell fighting between Pokemon, yet have it sound like a song you’d hear coming out of a Otamatone?

40 Minute Mark

Hey, what do you want to see more than anything over a beautiful shot of fireworks over the Space-Time towers at night?…..Bunyatto/Purugly’s butt!? You got it!

I gotta say, while I wasn’t a fan of Darkrai’s dub voice….his Japanese voice isn’t much better.

Oh dear. I have to apologize to TPCI now because they were just mirroring the same lame cover name system the original had. Musashi calls herself Musashina, Kojiro calls himself Jikoro and Nyasu calls himself Nyasugo….

Man, I want a Crescent Feather necklace….

Hour Mark

This might just be the subs, but the scene with the illusion Beadaru/Bibarel makes more sense now. Musashi says ‘A super rare Pokemon!?’ Kojiro says ‘I’m not sure about that!’ and Baron says ‘It’s an illusion!’ Goes to show how much even minor line changes can make an entire exchange seem goofy.

Nice to know that, in addition to Mojumbo/Tangrowth being the worst Pokemon ever, that its Japanese voice is equally horrible.

While we’re on the subject, Lucky/Chansey’s Japanese voice is also doofy.

End

No notes until the credits where the only change is the predictable replacement of the credits music. The original has a fully English song called ‘Going Where the Lost Ones Go.’ I believe this is the first time that they’ve replaced a fully English song, but, as the comparison states, I imagine it was for licensing rights issues or something.

Shockingly, I prefer the dub’s ‘I Will Remember You’ to this song. This song just sounds like a million other duets. It’s very bland.

———————————

This movie fared very well, and most of my notes are superfluous. The dub only really hiccupped in some lines that made some things either confusing or make no sense, but they weren’t really important things. And that’s kinda made up for with the songs since the lyrical songs in the original movie are incredibly weak in my opinion. Great score, bad lyrical songs. Only mar in that area for the dub is the intrusive rap song they had for no reason.

Recommended Audience: Let’s parrot the drab ‘cartoon violence’. 5+


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Pokemon Extravaganza | Movie 10 (Dub) The Rise of Darkrai Review

Plot: Ash, Dawn and Brock arrive in Alamos Town – the location of Dawn’s next contest. Along the way, they meet the balloonist/musician, Alice, and her childhood friend, Tonio, who studies energy abnormalities. As they get a tour of the local gardens, they meet Darkrai, a powerful Pokemon who induces nightmares. He seems to be terrorizing the area, but they don’t know what he wants.

Little do they know that a fierce battle between two deity Pokemon, the master of space, Palkia, and the master of time, Dialga, has started in a dimensional rift. When these two massive powers clash, it’s only a matter of time before reality as they know it starts to fall apart.

Breakdown: Now we’re at an interesting point, because I have no clue what this movie is about – and I’ve read the synopsis several times. I definitely never got into the Diamond/Pearl era of Pokemon. I watched an episode or two here and there, but I never followed along. Thing is, I also wasn’t into watching the tail end of Advanced Generation, but I feel like I knew much more about that movie going in than I knew about this one. Maybe it was the Super Saiyan Ash thing.

It’s so odd. I always remember people mentioning little things here and there, either very good or very bad, about each movie that I hadn’t seen yet, maybe even seen an AMV or two about it, but this one I’m drawing a blank on, which is weird because this is the tenth anniversary movie.

From what I read on Dogasu’s comparison, this movie comes out as a cluster of bits and pieces of each movie so far.

Dogasu: “With this particular movie, we get an epic battle between two Pokemon (Deoxys vs. Rayquaza) in an alternate universe ruled by the Unown (Entei) who can only be stopped by a song (Lugia), a fact relayed to us by a number of flashbacks dispersed throughout the movie (Lucario). Oh, and I can’t forget about the three trainers who only exist to show off the starters’ evolved forms (Myuutwo), a forced romance that really doesn’t play out until the end (Jirachi), Pokemon-to-human transformation (Latios and Latias), and an ending that requires Satoshi to solve some puzzle in order to save the day (Manaphy).

I’m sure some of that is meant to be a sort of “homage” to the franchise’s ten-year history, but at the same time it just feels really lazy.”

I’d have to agree that it sounds lazy, particularly the ‘quelling the fighting with a song’ thing. Even before I read the comparison, I was getting flashbacks to Movie 02.

Maybe the reason I’ve never seen or heard much about this movie is based in its perceived laziness. Perhaps it’s just uninspired. It can’t be because Darkrai is unpopular, because, despite my thinking that it’s a blah designed forgettable Legendary, apparently it’s a surprisingly popular Legendary to others. As of 2016, in a Pokemon popularity poll held by The Pokemon Company in Japan, it held the 14th rank – a rank above Lu-freakin’cario! Are you kidding me? Am I not getting something?

Maybe I’ll get it after watching the movie.

——————————————–

We start out the movie with a game changer – The ‘World of Pokemon’ opener! This is a new one, showcasing every Legendary and main focus movie Pokemon we’ve ever seen interacting with each other in succession, which is really cool.

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When we get to Ash and the others, they even show a mashup of the previous nine movies behind them as they walk, which is also a cool nod to the anniversary.

Then we’re suddenly thrust into a space/time rift where we see Palkia and Dialga facing off. I never much cared for Palkia, but I really like Dialga. Something about Palkia’s design always put me off. That being said, Palkia’s cry sounds kickass. It’s robotic yet whale-like. It’s hard to describe, but it’s awesome.

Narration tells us that these powers who were never meant to meet suddenly met in the space/time rift, and they have to fight because….I dunno. The plot said so? At least with the Rayquaza/Deoxys match we could justify it for a bit with Deoxys muscling through Rayquaza’s territory. Here it’s basically ‘We were never meant to meet, so come at me, bro!’

You’d think the powers of time and space would work together in harmony.

Actually, this is more like the battle between the legendary birds in movie 02. They had a reason to fight too, but it was more petty than Rayquaza protecting its territory – they all wanted to rule over the elemental islands for some reason. Out of harmony, destruction would be imminent and a third-party Pokemon would damn near die trying to stop them…..Geez, this movie really has a thing for Movie 02.

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The narrator is a scientist named Tonio reading out of a diary owned by someone named Godey. It’s talking about how the battle between Palkia and Dialga is enveloping the world and will drag it into chaos.

They have a cool battle for a while, scattering around randomly placed Unown for some reason. Unown, sweeties, I know you’re meant to be part of this tenth movie homage thing they have going but….go home. No one likes you. You have an unappealing design, no one wants you on their team, no one wants to hunt your whole collection, your completionist shiny hunt is a nightmare and you make me crave Alphabits. Go home.

Palkia’s shoulder….gem…thing gets cracked and the awesome battle continues. Symbolic breaking of an hourglass, ahoy!

We get our pretty nice, but kinda underwhelming, title sequence, which means–!

*drumroll*

Ash and friends!

For once in a very long time, we actually get a timeline confirmation…I think. The narrator explains that they’re traveling to Alamos Town for Dawn’s next Pokemon contest, which is a nice breath of fresh air from constantly hearing ‘Ash’s next Gym battle’

They seemingly arrive at Alamos Town only to find that it’s on a plateau with no other access besides a bridge that is on an entirely different path much higher up.

I really can’t get used to Brock’s new voice. It’s so deep. I’m gonna just pretend he went through late-onset ultra puberty.

A young lady named Alice, whose hair makes me think of if Pikachu’s ears and Bunneary’s ears had a baby and it somehow was made entirely out of hair, offers them a ride in her hot air balloon.

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Also, apparently Brock now has a ‘little blue book of babes.’ He’s officially a complete sleezeball now. Before, his girl-lust quirk was annoying but kinda funny sometimes. Now, he’s just creepy. He’s disappointed that he doesn’t have Alice written down in it but…how could he? He just met her.

Ah, yes, I heard about Croagunk taking the role of Brock’s new ‘ear-puller’ by…poisoning him? Okay. RIP Brock.

Alice states that she’s a hot air balloon tour guide and a music teacher. She plays a leaf whistle for a bit, and it draws all sorts of bird Pokemon their way, including a random Pidgeotto. Be still my broken heart….

Also, this Pidgeotto sounds weird….But that doesn’t matter because it’s Pidgeotto. Love this Pidgeotto, I command thee.

This ability even has a role in her ballooning because she can use the flute to ask the bird Pokemon which way the wind is blowing. Neat……Isn’t that kinda obvious in a hot air balloon, though?

Team Rocket’s following them….in a Carnivine balloon? Is this just for this movie, or did they ditch the Meowth balloon? If so, aw. 😦

They don’t stick around long, though, because they’re quickly blasted off after pissing off some nearby Drifloom and Driflim. Don’t worry, Team Rocket, I’m sure you’ll be movie-relevant again someday.

As they fly over the city, they notice two intricately designed towers called the Space-Time towers. Using his trusty Field Guide of Everything I Guess, Brock explains that the Space-Time towers were designed by the architect, Godey, over 100 years ago. That’s also where the Pokemon Contests are held.

Ash: “A hundred years!? That’s like ten years times….”

Dawn: “Times ten.”

Ash: “Right.”

We interrupt our broadcast to clumsily shoehorn in a mention of the words ‘ten years’ so we can kinda poke at the fact that this is our tenth anniversary movie. Sources claim they don’t care whether this line seems stilted and out of place. Back to our program.

Also, watch it when drawing attention to how long this show’s been going. People will start to ask why Ash isn’t 20 years old by this point (Aw, hell, that means he should be thirty now. This is just depressing me.)

Brock continues to explain that the tower on the right represents time while the left represents space….even though they just barely look a little different.

Tycnxvtd o

Ash: “Hey, I coulda told ya that!” ….How?

They suddenly feel a surge of distortion, which is caused by Palkia and Dialga’s fighting. As quickly as it started, it suddenly stops.

As Alice gives Ash and co. the tour of the town, we get our opening credits and theme song. The song is not the typical extended TV theme we usually get, but is instead a song called ‘We Will be Heroes – The Rise of Darkrai’ which has to be one of the clunkiest song names I’ve heard in a while. You might as well call it ‘We’re Protagonists So We’ll Save the Day – Pokemon the Tenth Movie: Buy the DVD’

The song itself is just alright, but it is fully destroyed by the background vocals. For some reason, they found it to be a good idea to have this relatively low-key song be interrupted every five seconds by a group of people yelling “POKEMON” (Pronounced “Pokeymon” here) and “DARKRAI” The Pokemon part I’ve just accepted by now because they jam that word into everything, but the Darkrai part could not feel more forced if you tried.

To emulate the same level of awkwardness, try imagining any song in your head and, in five second intervals, yell out a random name like ‘KEVIN!’

They wander around for a bit when Ash suddenly bumps into three Trainers who challenge him to a match. Another Pokemon movie trope successfully checkmark’d.

This isn’t the usual trope, however, because, get this, Brock and Dawn are also being challenged. The writers remembered they exist! Yay!

Of course, Ash uses Pikachu against a Torterra. I’m not sure this was meant to be part of the homage, but the battle seriously reminds me of the Pikachu vs. Quagsire match in the opening battle of Movie 03. The way it’s choreographed is strikingly similar.

Dawn’s Piplup goes up against an Empoleon by…holding its breath?….Okie dokie.

Finally, Brock’s Croagunk battles an Infernape.

Xdgnlnii o

Thus we have the three Trainers who exist solely to show off the evo’d starters for the region.

Dawn’s battle is actually pretty good. I love that spinning water move Piplup used (the first one), and there’s quite a bit of action for an opener battle. Sadly, however, the song soon ends and the battles end off-screen. The most we got to see was 2/3 of Dawn’s match, which seemed stalemated.

After the song ends, we just cut to them continuing their tour. Alice brings them all to a garden, also designed by Godey, which, according to Brock’s Field Guide of Wow, Really? It Has Info on This Too?, was modeled to symbolize the harmony between humans and Pokemon. Alice grew up here and knows all of the Pokemon, and this prompts Ash, Dawn and Brock to let out all of their Pokemon for some fresh air. Whatever gives you screentime, guys.

Time for pointless dicking around! Is this the real homage to the Manaphy movie?

I sure am being mean to Pokemon today.

The Pokemon all start fighting after some accidental shenanigans.

A face-off between two groups of pissed off Pokemon, two of whom are smashing their faces into each other? Are we homaging the shorts now too? Because that’s very similar to Pikachu’s Summer Vacation.

Alice plays her leaf flute to calm the Pokemon, and I really wish they just had a regular flute because the leaf flute kinda sounds like crap. Sounds like someone’s playing a Casio through a garbage bag.

And everyone got along again, hooray!

Side-note: I love Ash’s backpack for DP. I wish I had that backpack.

Yia10lr4 o

A Gallade directs Alice and the others to some pillars in the garden that have been toppled and warped. A man named Baron Alberto, whose name, voice, characteristics and character design are all ridiculous, claims it was the work of Darkrai. He must’ve been Beetlejuice-summoned thanks to the theme song.

Brock explains that Darkrai is a Pokemon who supposedly gives you nightmares.

They believe they hear Darkrai in some bushes, so Alberto sics his….Lickylicky on it….Dear God, even his tastes in Pokemon are ridiculous. No one can not sound like an idiot when commanding a Lickylicky. Even its voice is stupid.

He blindly Hyper Beams the bush only to reveal it was actually Tonio and his Driflim. Tonio was investigating a space/time fluctuation in the area that lead him to the warped pillars.

Warning – Warning: Insanely clearly defined pointless love triangle detected.

Targets – Tonio, Alberto and Alice.

Prediction: Tonio and Alice get together while Alberto is consistently an idiot throughout the movie.

Suggested Action – Ignore it. It probably doesn’t impact the plot.

8geu6f6o o

Meanwhile, back in Badass Battle Land, Palkia and Dialga cause another rift, which triggers darkness to fall in the garden and Darkrai to appear.

Tonio: “It’s Darkrai.”

Alberto: *smirk* “I’d say so.”

What?….Also, I hate your face.

*sigh* Am I seriously the only one who thinks Darkrai just looks like an uninspired shadowy ghost with an emo kid haircut?

Mahhv1xi o

Alberto tries to attack Darkrai with Lickylicky, but he turns into a shadow and dodges. Darkrai uses a Dark Void orb, which hits Ash. Pikachu friggin’ screams when this happens, which surprised me because he didn’t even do that when Ash got petrified in the first movie.

Ash is transported to some dream version of the garden. We get some kinda neat visuals with Darkrai’s shadow until he shows us an icky CGI rendition of Palkia. Ash tries to battle Darkrai and throws out Turtwig’s Pokeball only to have it disintegrate when it’s thrown. Darkrai starts to vanish underground. Ash spots Pikachu in the foreground and calls o—Uh, dude? Your Turtwig was straight up vaporized. Have an emotional response to this, please.

Dreamachu gets sucked into a hole that Darkrai’s creating, and Ash rushes to save him only to get swept up in the hole as well. Oh yeah, Turtwig reduced to atoms, barely notice. Pikachu’s about to fall in a hole—OH GOD, I’LL SAVE YOU!

Pikachu wakes him up from the nightmare with a shock and he finds himself in the local…Pokemon Center? Take him to a human doctor, dammit! Why are there more Pokemon Centers in this world than doctor’s offices? How freaked out would you be if you passed out and woke up in a vet’s office?

Ew, Joy’s new voice. Ew….She sounds like Jynx.

Tonio does some investigating, and we learn the story of Alice’s grandmother, Alicia, who looks nearly identical to Alice except her hair is in one puff while Alice’s is in two.

In a nice sepia-toned flashback, we learn that Darkrai was in the garden many years ago. It was sending the nearby Pokemon into nightmares as a form of self-defense because it was very weak. It was about to do the same to Alicia, but she placed her hand on Darkrai and started playing a song on her leaf flute. Darkrai opened its heart to Alicia and lived peacefully in the garden after that.

Slgmhj1w o

Reading further into the diary of Godey, he learns that Godey learned all he needed to know about a future event from a nightmare. In order to save the world, he needed to leave oracion.

Meanwhile, Alberto’s meeting with Team Rocket, who are disguised as TV reporters. Nothing happens, but in the past ten years Team Rocket has somehow gotten even worse at coming up with cover names. Jessalina, Jameson and….Meowt? I can’t understand Meowth very well when he’s saying his, but that’s what it sounds like.

Ash and the others go into the tower to check out the contest hall and, geez, that place is way too nice to just be held for a contest hall. There’s also a huge, intricately detailed, carved Pokemon mural on the wall. The space tower holds a cool looking mobile while the time tower has pendulums like a clock.

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As they continue the tour, Alice explains that Godey is actually Tonio’s great-grandfather. Tonio’s lab, which I assume also used to be Godey’s, is in the level below the towers.

They go down to the lab, and Tonio explains what he’s found so far, including a picture of Godey and Alicia that has sheet music written on the back. Ash and the others spot some music discs, which the tower uses to play music. Dawn really wants to try some, so they walk to the top of the tower to play them.

When they reach the top, we learn more tidbits about the tower. Godey built the tower as a beacon of hope to humans and Pokemon alike, and the towers are technically the world’s largest musical instrument given their massive integrated music disc playing device. It reads divots in the discs and plays the bells in the tower according to the patterns.

This whole sequence in the tower is quite nice. The towers are beautifully designed, even if the CGI’s a little distracting, and the fact that they’re a giant musical instrument is really cool.

After they exit the towers, the three Trainers from before suddenly reappear and challenge Ash and the others to a rematch. Just when you think someone’s slammed the brakes on the plot, another rift occurs. Dialga’s kicking Palkia’s ass, and Palkia is running to the Space-Time tower to get away.

Darkrai appears again, and Alberto, believing himself to be filmed by Team Rocket, ‘heroically’ calls out his Lickylicky (See? You can’t not sound stupid saying anything with that name) and attacks. Darkrai sends out many Dark Void orbs, hitting several nearby Pokemon….and none of them being Licklicky. Booooo!!

Also, I get that Darkrai’s seen as this horrifying Pokemon, but all it does is put you to sleep and give you a nightmare. You’re not hurt or anything. You wake up just fine afterwards. I mean, I wouldn’t want to have a nightmare, but there are much worse things.

Ash faces off with Darkrai, but is interrupted by Baron Alberto. It’s a short-lived battle resulting in Lickylicky getting Dark Voided.

There’s a weird image of a Bibarel, one of the Pokemon who got Dark Voided before, floating around them after Darkrai leaves.

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Jessie: “An ultra rare Pokemon!?”

James: “That flies through walls?”

Alberto: “It can’t be real.”

Yeah…it’s not like there are…..Ghost Pokemon….or anything……..

Suddenly, Lickylicky starts to glow, then Alberto glows….and then….he morphs…..into a weird Lickylicky/Alberto hybrid…..

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Well, good job, Darkrai. That will certainly give me nightmares for the rest of my life.

Back at the Pokemon Center, which is now overflowing with Pokemon who are trapped in nightmares, Tonio concludes that the real world and the dream world are merging, causing images of the Pokemon to appear in the real world as they’re having their nightmares. Alberto asked what happened to him, and Tonio states that Lickylicky probably dreamed of being him, so he turned into Lickylicky….

Uhhh….Few things.

1) Why are just the images of the Pokemon and not the nightmares themselves merging with the real world?

2) Why does Lickylicky have nightmares about being Alberto?

3) Why is Lickylicky the only Pokemon with a nightmare that isn’t being chased by something?

4) If Lickylicky’s nightmare is about being Alberto, why did Alberto turn into a Lickylicky instead of an image of Lickylicky as Alberto appear?

Also, Pikachu woke Ash up from his nightmare with a shock – why doesn’t he just Thundershock the whole building?

The three nameless Trainers arrive again and break the news that they’re trapped in the town by some sort of weird fog. It can’t be lifted with Pokemon abilities such as Defog, and running into the fog just returns you back to town.

Alberto blames these oddities on Darkrai (and licks Jessie…..I couldn’t not point that out) and rallies the Pokemon Trainers together to destroy him.

After Alberto and the Trainers leave, Alice pipes up and says she doesn’t believe Darkrai is behind this. Tonio even offers an explanation as to why he too believes Darkrai is innocent……..So….you just let those Pokemon Trainers go off on a witch hunt, intent on ‘destroying’ Darkrai, before you decide to try and clear its name? Nice.

A flashback shows us that, when Tonio and Alice were children, Alice fell off of a cliff while she was playing. (Let me rephrase that. She stupidly ran around a cliffside with her eyes closed, running backwards at a point, too, and stupidly fell off the cliff like a stupid person.) Tonio tried in vain to catch her, but Darkrai appeared and caught her. He set her gently on the ground and quickly vanished. Alice always believed Tonio was the one who saved her, but now Tonio believes it was Darkrai who did it. That evidence coupled with the story of Darkrai opening its heart to Alicia leads them to believe that Darkrai isn’t evil and isn’t the one behind all of these strange occurrences.

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Or you could go the obvious route and point out that Darkrai only has the ability to create nightmares and can’t alter reality, but whatever.

Alberto licks Jessie again. It’s not in a perverted manner or anything, he does it whenever she calls him Baron Lickylicky, but it’s still insanely weird.

Pbbbbt Darkrai looks a thousand times more ridiculous when you give him long dancer’s legs.

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Tonio looks back through video footage captured by his Driflims over the past few days and discovers that Palkia entered the real world through the rift that occurred while they were playing music at the top of the tower.

Meanwhile, Darkrai’s getting piled on by the Trainers of the town, but it soon Dark Voids them all. I love this shot of Ledian sleeping. It can’t close its eyes, so it just looks dead.

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Alberto even tries to take advantage of his Lickylickiness to battle, but Darkrai just sends him and Team Rocket blasting off. I love how much of a point these four have in this movie.

Tonio shows Ash and the others the footage. They realize that the Pokemon in the video is Palkia and that Darkrai has been trying to warn them of what was about to happen this whole time, since he’s the only one who could see them.

Darkrai has been telling Palkia to not come to their dimension and to go away, but the others thought Darkrai was talking to them.

Ash points out that Darkrai was trying to warn him of Palkia inside of his dream by simply…showing him an image of Palkia. Darkrai, you can communicate verbally. If you wanted to warn Ash about an impending doom, don’t be vague. Just tell him. So many plots in movies would be solved in minutes if people learned to communicate.

Palkia has been hovering about the Space-Time towers, invisibly, trying to heal from its wounds, but Darkrai finds it and starts attacking it. Palkia does some kickass effects to the sky and suddenly the Dark Void effects are all ending on the Pokemon and Alberto.

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Tonio reveals that the sky has changed due to Palkia transporting the entire town into another dimension, meaning the nightmare effects wore off. The battle between Darkrai and Palkia rages on, and, again, the battle’s pretty intense. Dialga suddenly interrupts and lays the smackdown on Palkia to the point where parts of the town are literally disintegrating.

As Dialga and Palkia beat the crap out of each other, Tonio points out that Godey had a nightmare about this battle, which he wrote about in his diary.

Alice is a dumb idiot of stupid and runs out to yell to Dialga and Palkia to stop fighting, only to put her in the line of fire. Darkrai saves her, though.

After unsuccessfully trying to Dark Void Palkia and Dialga, Darkrai gets the full force of both of them and falls out of the sky.

Darkrai has a slight moment with Alice and the others in the garden before it vanishes into shadow form again.

Tonio does some scanning of the town and discovers that the fight between Dialga and Palkia is causing the town to literally break into pieces and be lost to alternate dimensions. If they don’t act soon, the town and everyone in it will disappear into another dimension.

He remembers an entry in Godey’s diary which explains that the nightmare prompted him to leave oracion for the future. Alice recognizes the word and explains that it’s the title of a song written on the back of the photo of Godey and Alicia. However, doing it on a little leaf whistle isn’t going to cut it. They need to use a sound disk of the song and play it through the Space-Time Tower.

Tonio knows for a fact that the song ‘Oracion’ is not in the collection of sound disks in the lab, so they go to a much larger collection stored on the walls in the lobby. However, there are so many that they don’t know where it could be.

She has a flashback to her grandmother teaching her the song. Alicia tells her that oracion means ‘prayer’ and to always remember it. From this, she’s able to deduce which disk it is, but, really, she just matched the symbol on the photo to the one on the sound disk. I don’t get how she correlated the prayer thing into it.

By the way, this is a horrible way of storing these disks. They’re not organized at all and you need two people to spin the massive wheels they’re on to get the right one.

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The Trainers of the town try to stop the attacks of Dialga and Palkia, and Croagunk straight up punches one of their attacks away like a boss.

As Ash and the others ascend the tower in the hot air balloon (She really needs Chimchar to heat the balloon? Even Team Rocket has an actual burner…) a bunch of slightly unnecessary stuff happens like Piplup nearly falls to its death (it’s saved by Staravia) and Dawn nearly falls to her death (she’s saved by convenient ledges and a misunderstanding of physics.) and Ash falls off (saved by the same logic as Dawn’s, but less so because he was able to slow his descent).

As Tonio and Alice struggle to get by the attacks in their damaged balloon, Tonio falls to his death, and Alice is saved from an attack by Darkrai sacrificing itself. Alice manages to land safely, being saved from falling off the bridge by Lickylicky of all things (ew, by the way), but it can’t hold her. Tonio, having dodged death on his Driflim…..that he should’ve been utilizing this whole time, saves her instead.

Ash, smartly, utilizes Aipom and Turtwig to divert attacks from Dialga and Palkia while he and Dawn climb the tower. As they climb, they reach a dead end because part of the towers is vanishing. Dawn releases Buneary and Buisel to make a bridge with Water Gun and Ice Beam (Wouldn’t Ice Beam make the bridge by itself? Eh whatever.)

I have to say, it’s not a whole lot, but I love how everyone’s Pokemon are getting to do things in this movie. They are terrible at being consistent with utilizing the Pokemon they have on them, but when they actually remember them it’s really great.

Also, I forgot Buneary has a crush on Pikachu. N’awww.

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The town Trainers use their Pokemon to attack the withering edges of the town and it actually slows down the disintegration process…..I have no clue why they’d think that’d work nor the logic behind this, but good job!

It’s nice that the nameless side character Pokemon get stuff to do too.

It’s all for naught, however, because Tonio’s readings indicate that their dimension will be destroyed if Dialga and Palkia collide one more time. Darkrai won’t stand for this, and, while I’ve been ignoring the pink v. blue titan battle a la Mewtwo v. Mew, it’s hard to not notice that Darkrai obviously does a sendup to the first movie by jumping in the middle of two energy blasts yelling ‘STOP!’, seemingly sacrificing himself. It doesn’t immediately die, in fact it uses its power to stop the forces from colliding, but it’s only a matter of time.

Back with Ash and Dawn, the tower is still vanishing, and Ash and Dawn nearly fall, only to be saved by Buizel’s Water Gun. It was just a tiny moment, but for some reason I was really happy when that happened.

Darkrai’s power starts to wane.

Dawn: “Ash, come back!”

No! Ash, keep running! Why would you tell him to turn around to watch Darkrai’s powers fail and then see him get blasted out of the sky? He’s doing this to buy you time. You have no time to spare to just watch something happen – RUN!

Darkrai gets disintegrated, and Dialga and Palkia return their attentions to each other.

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Ash and Dawn reach the top of the tower, but the sound disk won’t fit in the system. Dawn, connecting the symbols on the disk and the system, tells Ash to try the slot in the middle….Wow…..that was a pointless ‘puzzle’. Not to mention, we’ve already done the ‘match the symbols’ “puzzle” like ten minutes ago. It’s not that difficult. And, really, Ash sees that there are numerous slots in the machine for disks and instead of checking to see if it will fit in any other slot he just analyzes the front side of the disk like an idiot.

They insert the disk and pull the lever, but are shocked to discover that the power is out. Really? With the black sky outside they didn’t notice a power outage in a building? Where is the light coming from?

Being fair, it makes sense that the power is out considering the whole place is disintegrating.

Dawn calls out her Pachirisu and Ash uses Pikachu to power the machine. Wow, Pikachu sharing the electric limelight with another? It’s a Christmas miracle.

The song plays and it instantly culls the fighting. It even stops the disintegration. The song really is quite lovely when played on bells.

Pikachu and Pachirisu are unable to hold their attacks any longer, but the tower seems to have gained it’s own magical power and doesn’t stop the song. Far from it, in fact. It glows a golden color and the tower starts to transform into a beautiful design that encapsulates the symbolism of space and time respectively.

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The tower then grows massive golden wings of light….which I think is a bit excessive, but alright. Palkia’s jewel gets healed, and Dialga and Palkia share a small glance before Dialga leaves.

However, all is still not well. Ash and Dawn beg for Palkia to return the town back to normal.

Ash: “Palkia, can’t you see what you’ve done!? You’ve destroyed the whole town….All the….Pokemon….”

Uh….First of all, while Palkia’s not blameless here, Dialga’s the one who forced Palkia here and started this whole thing.

Second, the whole town is destroyed, to a degree, and your one thought is of the Pokemon? Not the people who probably vanished too?

Third, wait, we didn’t see a damn thing happen to any Pokemon outside of Darkrai. Why not just say Darkrai?

Also, Dogasu was right, Sarah Natochenny cannot emote through Ash worth a damn.

Palkia decides to clean up the mess, so he restores the town and returns it to it’s rightful space.

Hehe, get it? I said space.

Everything’s okay now…..but of course we have to have the overly dramatic death fakeout.

Oh no.

Darkrai disappeared from the effects of Palkia’s power. But Palkia reversed everything.

Oh no.

Oh dear.

Oh my.

Certainly the Dark of Rai is dead. Let us have a clipshow to sad, dramatic music (not kidding – they put this in the movie. Even Ash didn’t get a clipshow when he “died.”) to remember his valiant sacrifice…..

This whole scene is ridiculous and hard to sit through if you have a few brain cells. It’s not just the typical ‘ahhh, we know he’s still alive’ death fakeout. This death fakeout makes zero sense before they even start the damn clipshow. We have to sit through the clipshow, the music, the crying, the overly dramatic declarations from Ash, the solemn walk away – all of it – when every bit of logic is screaming ‘HE’S NOT DEAD. HE CAN’T BE DEAD. UNLESS PALKIA’S A MASSIVE DOUCHE AND LOCKED HIM IN ANOTHER DIMENSION, HE’S OKAY.’

Admittedly, revealing him as a giant shadow on a mountainside was pretty cool, though.

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His overly dramatic whooshy physical reveal ruined it a little, though.

Then we get a closeup of Darkrai and it just ends….No reunion, no wrap up, just Darkrai’s glowing eye.

Credits time!

It’s mostly random shots of places we went in the movie, then we get a series of stillframes showcasing Dawn’s contest….Anyone wanna put in their two cents if this is canon? Because Dawn loses.

Also, two of the three nameless Trainers were participating in the contest – the guy with the Empoleon and the girl with the Infernape. The girl won.

Team Rocket appears, and I completely forgot they were even here to begin with again.

Ash, Brock and Dawn say their farewells to Tonio and Alice….I just realized that Brock let off on Alice when Tonio came into the picture. Is that character development?

Some more random shots, then Dialga heading off to his…dimension? And Palkia doing the same. Ash and the others continue their journey….

The credits songs are ‘I Will Remember You’ sung by Kirsten Price, a song I actually like quite a bit. It’s definitely one of the better movie songs they’ve had in recent years…..and then we get “Living in the Shadows” by Chris “Breeze” Barczynski – an intrusive rap song. Guys, it’s 2007 by this point. Stop it.

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The end.

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I liked this movie a hell of a lot more than I thought I would. It gave me a better appreciation for Palkia and Darkrai, and while I can definitely feel the throwbacks to the previous movies, the references only seemed a little on the lazy side. Probably the laziest was the Unown. They are literally just thrown into the movie because….alternate dimensions is something Unown do…And we couldn’t think of another Movie 03 reference, so…….here we are.

The song aspect wasn’t as rip-offy in the end as I feared. Alice didn’t save the day with her leaf and the music playing through the bells of the towers was cool. I’d definitely say the references ended up feeling more like an homage rather then just lazily cobbling together a plot from old plots.

The excuse to have Dialga and Palkia fight was practically non-existent, but I don’t care because their fight was awesome.

Alice was….a somewhat boring CotM. Tonio was much more interesting.

Dawn and Brock kinda got stuff to do, and everyone’s Pokemon got to do a little something. Not to mention that hug Brock gives Happiny near the end was adorable.

I enjoyed the aspect of the dimension breaking apart, and I also loved how they handled the visuals of the dimension crumbling. The video distortion whenever a rift was occurring was a great touch – it really made you feel like reality was coming apart.

Darkrai’s plot is very understandable. It must be difficult for a Pokemon whose main power is creating nightmares to not be an outcast. I would’ve liked to have seen him and Alice have a moment after his reappearance, however. It felt like it resolved on a somewhat hollow note.

Ash was not the main forefront in this movie, which was more than welcome. It was very much a team effort, even if Ash was the one who orchestrated the resolution to the conflict. However, I can’t stress enough how much Baron Alberto didn’t need to be here. He was an annoying waste of space. He wasn’t a threat to Alice and Tonio’s budding relationship (Hey, wait, they didn’t even resolve that part of the plot), he wasn’t an antagonist and he wasn’t interesting. He seemed like he was there for terrible comic relief and to give Team Rocket an excuse for being there, which was, in itself, extremely flimsy.

The visuals were very well done this time around. The CGI was not that great, but it wasn’t nearly as bad or distracting as it was in Movie 09.

The music was quite good barring the stupid rap song. If you want to keep giving homages to past movies, that was a great flashback to the tonal whiplash of the first movie’s ending songs.

There were some moments that bothered me, but maybe I was overreacting on some of those because I just didn’t have much to talk about for this movie.

Recommended Audience: I can’t really think of anything worth noting beyond the typical ‘cartoon violence’. 5+


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Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 09 – Pokemon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea: Manaphy (Sub) Review

Plot: Satoshi, Haruka, Masato and Takeshi stumble upon a water-based circus troupe while traveling and join them for a bit while they perform their shows. However, they’re soon caught up in a web of trouble. The troupe is actually a family of descendants of an ancient race called the water folk. They’re being escorted by the Pokemon Ranger, Jackie, to deliver the egg of the Legendary Pokemon, Manaphy, the prince of the sea, to the mysterious sea temple. He’s meant to protect them since they’re being pursued by Phantom – a sea captain who wants Manaphy for himself so it can show him the way to the sea temple, which houses the legendary sea crown that he’s been pursuing for many years.

Things get even more complicated when Manaphy imprints on Haruka as its mother, making its inevitable departure increasingly difficult as they grow closer.

Breakdown: Despite the movie itself being goofy, there apparently aren’t many significant differences between the English and Japanese versions. For the sake of brevity, we’ll be slicing the movie cake into 20 minute pieces.

20 Minute Mark

Pokemon Movie 09 Screen 1

Interestingly, Jack Walker’s name is the same in the original. He even has the same nickname, Jackie.

I really don’t understand the title animation for the Japanese version. First we get a crystal for some reason, a kaleidoscope effect, then we get god awful looking lava, a storm, the storm clearing, then we dive into the ocean, some…DNA….or cells? Or something….making up little lightning balls which go to water and then the title jumps out of the water?

I watched this opening three times just to see if I could make sense of it, but I’m lost. The only connection to the movie that I’m getting is the water. Other than that, the best I can speculate is that they’re trying to depict the elements (the crystals are ice, the lava is for fire, the storm is water and lightning, the storm clearing is air) but what does that have to do with this movie?

It didn’t click before, but the big water orbs that Masato just drank from are made from a Nyoromo/Poliwag or a Nyorobon/Poliwrath’s Water Gun. So my logic about never really being out of water because they always have at least a couple of Water Pokemon on hand holds true.

Lizabeth’s original name is Hiromi. Meredith, Lizabeth’s mother, is originally named Minamo, and Kyle, Lizabeth’s dad, is originally named Kai. Ship keeps his name. Interestingly, this shows that Hiromi’s family originally had a water theme to their names. Ship is obviously referencing ships, Hiromi means ‘wide sea’, Minamo means ‘water’s surface’ and Kai means ‘sea’.

This theme might translate a little because Meredith’s ‘mer’ prefix is theorized to be ‘sea’ in French, but Lizabeth doesn’t mean anything related to water (from what I can gather, it means something along the lines of ‘God is my oath’) and Kyle was just given that name because it sounds like Kai. Most of the meanings of Kyle have nothing to do with water, but in Scottish and some other languages, it can be translated as a strait. I’m not sure if I want to give that to them.

Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s a little rude to suddenly pick up Ash and the others with those water orbs. Hope that PokeGear is waterproof and that they have nothing that can be damaged by water in their pockets.

As much as I don’t understand several aspects of this water show, I can’t deny that I would love to see that kind of thing if it was real. I’d love to be a part of it, too. It looks like a lot of fun.

40 Minute Mark

Pokemon Movie 09 Screen 2

Minor quibble, but Jessie’s hair, as seen from above, looks 1000x more ridiculous than it normally does.

In the original, they downright confirm that Haruka and, by extension, probably Masato, are people of the water. Takeshi even states that the memory of the temple must be encoded in their DNA. It’s not a ‘chosen one’ cliché, but it is still insanely convenient and hard to swallow – especially considering it’s never mentioned or explored outside of this movie. Again, this type of storyline would be more suited to Kasumi.

I really want to believe Manaphy just put the dream in her head, but they’re fighting that theory quite a bit.

Nyasu as Musashi is much more entertaining in this version for some reason. Just her mannerisms and expressions coming through Nyasu’s body are so goofy.

Nyasu being damn near giddy to skip along in Kojirou’s body is also much funnier than the dub for some reason.

Why didn’t Satoshi use his Ohsubame/Swellow when they were flying away? Seems like Jackie only did that to reveal that 1) He’s Jackie and 2) He’s a Pokemon Ranger.

They’re told that the item in that canister is important and absolutely cannot be damaged, so Pikachu, instead of waiting for Onidrill to land and safely handing it off, jumps from Onidrill’s back around 40 feet in the air and hopes Satoshi catches him.

Even in the original, Manaphy is still only described as being notable for living underwater and being rare.

The fact that Phantom can jump down from huge heights and not die is explained away later by his mechanical exoskeleton. However, unless he also gave one to his grunt, that guy should at least be dead.

Even explained away by the mechanical exoskeleton, the CGI in the rock-throwing scene is still appalling.

The joke about the vitamins is an untranslatable….’pun’? I don’t even get it with the subtitles, to be honest. Jackie says ‘What is this? Wanriki? No – Kairiki!’ The notes say that he’s talking about wanryoku, which means physical or brute strength, but he meant to say kairiki, which is superhuman strength. Even reading the Dogasu explanation for this joke doesn’t make much sense to me, except mentioning that kairiki is also Machoke’s Japanese name, and I still don’t get why that’d be funny. If someone can explain why this is a joke, please tell me because I don’t get it.

It didn’t occur to me before, but is this another movie/event in which Satoshi and the others forget they have Pokemon outside of Pikachu? Or at least forget them in situations where they’d be, ya know, useful?

Manaphy is much less annoying crying in its original Japanese voice, but it’s still bloody annoying.

Since I brought up Kasumi earlier and her relationship with Togepi briefly in the dub review, this whole imprinting thing does bring something important to light. This is completely unrelated to the movie, more or less, so feel free to skip if you want.

Pokemon Movie 09 Screen 3

Kasumi had Togepi for a couple hundred episodes or so and yet it never really matured or became independent. It was entirely reliant on Kasumi and Pikachu, and the other Pokemon acting as babysitters whenever needed. Here, Manaphy is very baby-like, but within the time frame of, say, a week or so, it’s leading an army on its own and taking its place as prince of the sea.

This isn’t the only instance of a much faster maturing baby Pokemon either. Didn’t the baby Larvitar Ash had for a bit mature much faster too?

I almost want to say Togepi would’ve matured a lot quicker if Kasumi and Pikachu didn’t coddle it like a baby all the time. Kasumi has even acknowledged that Togepi could battle once, but until Kasumi returns way down the line in Advanced Generation, it does damn near nothing besides be a walking Metronome Deus ex Togepi. Look at its bio for each generation. Half of them amount to ‘it does nothing’ and the other is ‘he does Metronome a billion times then finally evolves into Togetic’.

……..Ramble over. Movie continue.

Thank God they can sacrifice that plainly drawn trailer and not the bus they clearly spent ages designing.

Why does Haruka get pissed when Masato says ‘It’s hard to be a mother’? She didn’t seem to be bothered by that title a moment ago.

I still find it way too convenient, even by Team Rocket standards, for them to have crash landed on that temple.

I don’t get Team Rocket’s original plan. They were going to get in good with Phantom AND take Manaphy? If he ever found out they took Manaphy, he’d hate their guts.

There’s very obviously a door in that wall. You can clearly see the lines. If this was meant to be hidden, they sucked at it. Also, a very conspicuous red button right next to the door outline just further shows that it’s a door.

Still bothers me that they never explain how Phantom knew the lock’s ‘combination’.

Phantom should’ve realized that they were water folk merely from the fact that they knew their way around and knew how to open the door.

The underwater shots of Manaphy annoy me a bit because it doesn’t seem like it ever displaces water. It looks like it’s just flying through the air.

Small detail, but I like that Ship, Minamo and Kai thank their Pokemon for giving them a ride before recalling them. However, I don’t like that no one else does.

Another instance of a foreign-sounding word being replaced with a foreign-sounding word, Samaya, the sea temple, was originally called Akusha. I honestly can’t remember if they ever said Samaya out loud either.

Hour Mark

Pokemon Movie 09 Screen 4

They needed Water Pokemon to get to the shrine, but now they suddenly have boats from nowhere.

I know I said this before, but much of the CGI really looks bad. It ruins some scenes with how clunky and poorly integrated it is. We’re supposed to be marveling at these Whaloh/Wailord as they pop up around the boat and all I’m thinking is ‘I wish the ocean would finish rendering. Someone should tell Nintendo that the Wailoh escaped from the Nintendo DS.’

And then they follow it up with a scene on a reef that looks very beautiful. It’s weird.

Uhhh…..who hired the barbershop quartet to do the music for the emotional ‘Jackie nearly died as a kid’ scene?

I’m gonna sound like a total buzzkill right now, but, Satoshi, hopping on that railing and jumping off into the water is very dangerous. You’re setting a bad example for the kids at home.

Seriously, someone please stop the ‘dooododeedododo’ acapella music. Even outside of that flashback, it does not mesh with Pokemon or this scene.

I love the way Buoysel swims.

Oh yeah, keep that music going in the also-supposed-to-be-emotional scene where Haruka tells Manaphy that she loves it.

Thank God the Lapras are traditional animation. Though, what’s the logic on the decisions on what’s CGI and what’s not?

Hour and Twenty Minute Mark

Pokemon Movie 09 Screen 6

The diamonds and pearls stuff is in both versions, so both versions can bite me.

May’s bandanna comes out of the water bone dry. Not really a note, but I just noticed that.

Manaphy’s voice doesn’t change at all between when it’s underwater and when it surfaces….I’m low on material in this section.

Even the second line about diamonds and pearls is in the original? Double bite me.

Seeing it in action a couple of times, is anyone else a little bothered by stylus ‘capturing’? While traditional capture is very similar, stylus capturing seems like it mind controls the Pokemon being captured.

If Lizabeth’s family wants to keep the traditions and culture of the water folk alive, why has she never been taught their language?

End

Upon second viewing, the climax is actually better than I gave it credit for the first time around.

The original obviously doesn’t have the dumb vitamin joke. Jackie just points out that the mech suit was the trick behind Phantom’s great strength.

The music during the finale where everyone’s Super Saiyan is also fantastic.

The original ending theme is very beautiful as well.

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While this movie still shares about 95% of the problems that enraged me in the dub, I can’t deny that, upon second viewing in the original Japanese, this version resonates with me better….at least in the end.

The first hour and ten-ish minutes is basically the same experience to me, but the climax just feels…better. Maybe I had a better appreciation for the action and visuals the second time around, maybe it was because I wasn’t as angry this time, but the climax seemed more epic, at least in style, than I felt it was in the dub. Even the goodbye with Haruka and Manaphy was much more emotionally impacting than it was in the dub, though that might be because Manaphy just says ‘Goodbye Haruka’ instead of saying May’s name and then calling her Mama.

……And I’ll admit that at least 2% of that problem solving comes from the lack of that vitamin “joke”. I don’t know why that makes me so angry, but…..just…urgh.


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Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 09 (Dub) Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea Review

Plot: Ash, May, Max and Brock meet a girl named Lizabeth and her family who are all performers who put on aquatic shows in floating spheres of water. The group learns that the performers are secretly protecting and transporting a Manaphy egg to a legendary sea temple with the help of Pokemon Ranger Jackie. May accidentally hatches the egg, and the legendary prince of the sea assumes May is its mother. As May and Manaphy bond on their way to the sea temple, a greedy pirate named Phantom stays hot on their tail, ready to follow them to the sea temple and steal the priceless sea crown.

Breakdown: Ah, our first venture into PUSA dubbing territory, as well as a movie I know really nothing about outside of it having a Pokemon Ranger and Manaphy.

I’ll admit, I’m kinda worried about what this has in store. I do like the concept of Pokemon Rangers (I’ve played a couple of the games and enjoyed them fine) but I don’t like Manaphy really…..at all. Hopefully this movie will change my mind, though from what I’ve heard of this movie from Dogasu’s comparison, it’s a laughably stupid movie at several points. So much so that they suggested this movie be up for the LittleKuriboh treatment.

Well, I guess the only way I’ll know is if I try.

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We start off with the typical ‘World of Pokemon’ spiel with the return of Rodger Parsons as the narrator! Welcome back, dude! I failed to note this, but Mike Pollack had taken over narrator duty for movies 06-08 after Rodger left for a hiatus during season six, but returned when PUSA took over. In regards to the opener, it’s all much of the same, but I will mention we see Ruby again (Yay!) battling Rebecca from Movie 07….so that’s kinda random. And, of course, when we get to Ash, we sing his praises and then follow up by him just ‘being joined by his friends.’

After that’s said and done, we get to the movie where we see a Manaphy egg being poorly animated through a whirlpool. It continues to flow through the ocean, but I really can’t get over how awkward this egg looks. It looks more like a CGI balloon somehow flying around underwater than an egg floating around through the water.

The Water Pokemon festival we’re treated to is suddenly halted by the intrusion of a Playstation 1 cutscene as planes fly overhead, focusing their searchlights on the egg. Back underwater, all of the Pokemon are again spooked by a giant underwater tank thing that I could swear was designed by a Final Fantasy villain.

The Playstation 1 cutscene continues as they grab the egg with an extendable arm on the tank. The tank/sub thing surfaces and—okay, just please stop with the bad CGI. Outside of the human characters, everything in these shots so far has been either regular CGI or cel-shaded CGI. The cel-shaded shots don’t look bad, but the regular CGI is just awful. Please stop.

And to be completely honest, CGI of this caliber after they’ve been showing increasingly better work over the course of the movies is just unacceptable. Did their budget get slashed or something?

The team of pirates and their Pirate-Captain-y leader marvel at the egg with the captain stating that it will fulfill his desire of a sea crown. One of his crew reveals himself to be a spy named Jack (Nicknamed Jackie) Walker and takes the egg away from him.

He has belts on his beard because reasons.

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Very Late But Necessary Edit 4/3/2022: When I first wrote this review, I didn’t really explore anything involving the switch from 4Kids to PUSA/TPC nor the complete change in cast. I pretty much just noted that the cast had changed and gave my opinion on the new voices. I now realize that I should have gone much more in depth about this, because this whole fiasco behind-the-scenes is pretty important and involves the ever increasing problem of treating voice actors like shit.

None of the original voice actors were happy about being dumped by the new company, even though Maddie Blaustein took it in stride. Eric Stuart said they were driven by greed and even implied that this would be the death of the show, even though we now know that was an incorrect prediction, Veronica Taylor stated PUSA cares nothing about quality and that it’s ridiculous for them to claim it will be identical when they’re gutting everything 4Kids and the original VAs did to the show, and Rachel Lillis was pissed, she straight out said so, especially towards someone I’ll address in a second. In fact, they were all blindsided by both the fact that they were all being ‘fired’ AND the fact that 4Kids lost the rights in the first place. No one told them anything, they just they were being replaced and moved on.

So why were the original cast members shafted anyway? According to Eric Stuart, Veronica Taylor and Rachel Lillis – it was all just to save money. It was cheaper to hire a cast of “sound-alikes” than it was to keep the new cast on board, and they thought the fans would be too stupid to notice or wouldn’t care because, again, voice actors are treated like shit. But, of course, the fans DID notice and DID care, but by that point it was too late.

None of them asked for more money. They all would have worked for the same amount 4Kids was already paying them, which, by implications, was already not that great, but PUSA never negotiated for their contracts or invited them back. They just showed them the door.

To make matters worse, one of the PUSA voice actors, Bill Rogers, the new voice of Brock, made a post on Serebii.net that Rachel Lillis did not take kindly to at all because he made off like the original voice actors’ old contracts had a clause that made it so they couldn’t come over to the new company and could never be involved in future Pokemon projects. According to Rachel Lillis, no such clause existed whatsoever and he had “no idea what (he) was talking about.” and said all of this was incredibly shady.

And she was right to think that way because some of the original cast were eventually invited back to play bit parts and reprise some of their roles (none of the main cast) briefly, barring, oddly enough, Veronica Taylor of all people, and Eric Stuart. Taj Productions, which was originally 4Kids’ dubbing partner and was PUSA’s dubbing partner for a bit, went out of business in early 2008 and was replaced by DuArt Film and Video. They made the decision to bring in some of the old voice actors, although to what end I really don’t know. None of them reprised big parts, except Dan Green who got to reprise Mewtwo, and Ted Lewis, who got to reprise Giovanni, and the parts they got that weren’t reprisals were kinda insulting (the last two roles they gave to Rachel Lillis before she left were voices of Pokemon….) The biggest roles the old cast seemed to land were Erica Schroeder, who originally voiced Nurse Joy, voicing Bianca in Black and White, and Jason Griffith, who really only had CotD/CotM parts in the original series, eventually voicing Cilan in Black and White.

So, yeah, let us all welcome PUSA with a finger….or two…..right in the middle of each hand. I won’t sit here and say PUSA is worse than 4Kids. I can imagine if the roles were reversed 4Kids also wouldn’t give a flying fuck and would just do their own thing. That’s pretty much what they do to the original Japanese anime companies all the time. And they also don’t tend to give a crap about their audience anymore than PUSA seems to. Sadly, this isn’t the first nor will it likely be the last time I’ve seen pretty much this exact same thing happen. Let me drive this home – voice actors are treated like shit.

I am heartbroken that I never knew this. I don’t know why I never really thought to look into this either. The transition between 4Kids and PUSA did happen during a time where I wasn’t really into watching Pokemon much anymore, but I’d think I would have heard about this discourse over the years, especially as I’ve gotten back into Pokemon (well, in terms of current-rewatch, I’m back into Johto…..give me time, okay? It’s a long series, and I’m horrendously scatterbrained) Now, I have had my criticisms of the 4Kids voice acting over the years, but I will admit that it’s some of the most memorable voice acting in all of English dubbed anime. These characters and actors were a huge part of my childhood, and I felt very disappointed when I heard that they were all being replaced. I don’t deny for a single second that all of these actors care deeply about these roles and this show and were crushed when the rug was pulled out from under them after nearly a decade of playing these characters.

That being said, that doesn’t mean that this situation is a free pass to shit all over the new PUSA crew. I don’t know exactly how any of them feel about this situation besides Bill Rogers, and we already see how he was either blatantly lying or horribly misinformed and made the mistake of publicly discussing contracts that weren’t his. It’s possible this was just something PUSA fed him to make it so if he blabbed to anyone it wouldn’t reflect badly on them, but I can’t know for sure. As for everyone else, I dunno. I feel like many of them just saw it as another job. They probably had no idea how shafted the original cast was – it was a role, it was a paycheck, it was a job. Maybe they even feel different about it now, but dammit all if there’s nothing they can do about that.

As sad as it is, we have to continue on. Bear in mind, the following notes beyond the break were all written long before I knew any of this. My opinions were not painted by these revelations. I just learned of them while I was cleaning up blog posts and felt like I had to edit this in here. Thank you for reading. Enjoy the rest of the review.

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Already, the voices aren’t that good. The pirate captain’s okay, but he can’t sound angry at all and Jackie is going the opposite direction by hamming it up. Oh and he can also run on walls and bend steel bars with a single kick like they were made of play-doh. I just thought I’d mention that.

Jackie continues to get away because bumbling goons were never good at chase scenes. They seemingly corner him with the captain releasing his Pinsir and Parasect to attack. Wow, guys. We’ve found the second character to ever use a Pokemon from the Paras line. Give him a round of mild applause.

Jackie uses his capture stylus to wrangle up a nearby Mantine and uses it to escape.

We then get our title screen, which is animated better than the previous sequence, but it’s hard to tell because it’s so dark, so little is going on and I still have to mark it down for being flooded with a dark urine color motif.

Now to our heroes who….I wish would stop talking. To everyone open to watching anime dubbed in other languages besides Japanese, do you know that feeling when you watch a show and like it in one version but then you watch it in another and, despite being fine, it just sounds really wrong? Those times where you’re so used to it being in Japanese or English or some other language that hearing it in a completely different language, no matter how well it’s done, you just can’t get into it? I hope that’s what’s going on with me right now as I transfer from 4Kids to PUSA.

This seriously is, outside of a few scenes here and there of Diamond and Pearl, the first time I’m really sitting down and listening to these new voices. I have never followed Pokemon beyond about mid Hoenn. I never thought the day would come where I would be yearning for 4Kids, but dammit I’m so much more used to their dub. I’ve been watching that dub since I was nine. It’s really difficult to work around.

And I’m going to be completely biased here and give my breakdown on the voices of each character.

Ash – Veronica Taylor → Sarah Natochenny. Sounds, surprisingly, more realistically boy-like than Veronica Taylor’s portrayal, but she also sounds a hell of a lot raspier. It’s a toss-up.

Brock – Eric Stuart → Bill Rogers. Why is he so nasally, and why does he sound like he’s doing a bad Butch impression?

May – Veronica Taylor → Michele Knotz. Fine voice, but not fitting for May. It belongs more with some ultra-big-eyed moe character – not quick-tempered May.

Max – Amy Birnbaum → Kayzie Rogers. Now that I’m listening to it fully instead of the snippet I listened to after dub Movie 08, I guess it’s fine for him to have such a dorky voice, but it really is higher pitched, nasally and mostly unpleasant. Plus, half the time he loses the dorky sound and sounds more like an energetic old lady.

These voices may grow on me. I may just be experiencing the jarring shock everyone else went through when this first happened back when PUSA first took over, but I never did since I mostly stopped watching around that time. Hopefully I’ll adapt just fine.

We’ll move on to Team Rocket later. For now, onto the movie.

Ash and the others are, surprise, lost again. How…new…They’re all baking out in the harsh sun and now they’re out of water. Ash and the others spot some weird floating orbs of water and find a Trainer and her Politoed training Pokemon within the orbs.

So, instead of asking what the hell is going on, Max immediately asks the girl if they can have some water. She agrees, and the others run up to introduce themselves when we see that the reason the orbs of water are floating is because of her Medicham and Meditite psychically maintaining them.

Brock magically deduces that this girl’s name is Lizabeth, and she’s the star of the Marina Underwater Pokemon Show, because he creepily knows everything about even semi-famous women. This seems like they’re directly ripping off from the last movie when Brock gushed and prattled on about Kidd. Unless this is just something Brock does overall now.

Lizabeth introduces them to her family – her grandpa, Ship, her father, Kyle, who sounds like he’s doing his damnedest to make his voice as low and emotionless as possible, and her mother, Meredith.

They load up on water, which I still don’t quite understand. I don’t remember where I brought this up, but I have mentioned in the past that it doesn’t seem possible for the group to ever be out of water as long as they have Pokemon who know Water Gun. Yeah, it’s a little gross, but it’s better than dying.

Lizabeth’s Buizel runs up to a loft and turns on the light for a small container, revealing the Manaphy egg from before. May gives it a quick glance and Kyle quickly closes the curtain and walks away. Great place to hide things you don’t want others to see – In plain sight in a small area where you’re inviting strangers.

Ash asks what they do in their show, and Ship says it’s better to show them, which triggers our opening credits. No theme song again. 😦

They show the….show, which is kinda like a mix between a circus and a water ballet. Also, we see a guy in a Sharpedo costume ‘swallow’ a bunch of Remoraid in floating water orbs and then ‘poop’ them out as Wooper. Stay classy, Pokemon.

By the way, it’s obvious that the Psychic Pokemon aren’t helping the humans move here yet they can somehow jump out of the water like they’re dolphins.

They bring Ash and the others into the water orbs to be part of the show (How are they all breathing in there?) and with one Psychic burst of the orbs, the show ends.

At least I can say this is a more original opening credits sequence than the usual battles or doing practically nothing.

Buizel steals the egg and hands it to May who again wonders what it is before a clown grabs it and gives it back to Lizabeth.

Now for Team Rocket’s voice analysis.

James: Eric Stuart → James Carter Cathcart; known better as Jimmy Zoppi, voice of Weevil (Yu-Gi-Oh) Tarb (Mew Mew Power) and yes, Gary. James is now voiced….by Gary.

I will be fair here and say Mr. Cathcart has plenty of range as I never would’ve guessed James was using a voice anywhere near Gary’s or any other role of his……but, my god, James sounds horrible. Eric Stuart was not the absolute original English voice of James. That honor goes to Ted Lewis, who used a more suave and serious take on the character. Fitting because that’s basically what he was in the first handful of episodes, the only ones he dubbed.

Eric Stuart brought a great mixture of sounding suave when the time called for it but also having a fairly good ‘goofy idiot’ voice.

This version is full blast ‘I’m a complete moron.’ I listened to his voice in this scene several times wracking my brain because I knew he reminded me of something so much but I couldn’t place it. Then it suddenly hit me.

Holy crap, he sounds like a slightly more energetic Droopy Dog.

Listen to him in this scene and watch a Droopy Dog clip. Tell me I’m hearing things.

Jessie: Rachel Lillis → Michele Knotz. Because I guess they’re keeping up the tradition of multiple main roles per one voice actor, Michele Knotz is voicing both May and Jessie. I have to say, she does a much better job voicing Jessie instead of May, but, like May, she still makes Jessie sound a bit too nice.

Meowth: Maddie Blaustein → James Carter Cathcart, whom I’m just going to refer to as Jimmy Zoppi since that’s what I know him best as. Again with the dual role tradition, James and Meowth are voiced by the same person. I have to say Jimmy Zoppi does a much better job voicing Meowth than he does voicing James. He does a pretty good job here overall, but no one will be able to replace Maddie Blaustein as the true Meowth voice to me.

After spying on May and the egg, James shows Jessie and Meowth a Team Rocket Gazette, which I guess is a magazine that updates all of the Team Rocket grunts on special items and Pokemon that are wanted at the time…..Criminal mastermind Giovanni is. He explains that a man named Phantom, the pirate captain from before, and by the way what a beautifully cliché name you have, is pursuing the egg, and Team Rocket wants to call Phantom with the tip in hopes of getting a reward. Yeah, because Giovanni wouldn’t want that egg. Oh no sirree.

Wait…..Why are Jessie and James and their Meowth balloon in this magazine? Why are they not in the least bit focusing on the fact that they’re being given a spot in this magazine? Why is there a small child in this magazine? What is this thing!?

They call him and drop the tip as the convoy moves on.

Lizabeth, really wanting to keep the egg safe and secret, puts it on a table behind a curtain….again. Guys, curtains are not the pinnacle of security or secrecy. Try a safe, a lockbox, a cookie jar, a cardboard box – anything but an easily movable somewhat translucent curtain.

Later that night, Buizel gets the egg again because curtains.

He presses the little button on the canister which makes it glow again, but this time it glows much brighter, throwing May into a vision. I’m going to guess that this movie is skewing main characterness to May like Max was kinda the protagonist of Movie 06, right?

In her vision, May floats around under (pink) water with a bunch of Water Pokemon when she sees a huge underwater tower that is later revealed to be the titular sea temple. Manaphy shows up and swims all around her before going to the temple. She tries to call it back to her, but May suddenly wakes up.

Later, at lunch, May tells everyone about her dream. Lizabeth and her mother explain that Lizabeth has had that same dream before since they’re from a nearly wiped out civilization called ‘the people of the water’. The group clamors and says that’s amazing even though they haven’t been told what the people of the water even are yet.

Meanwhile, back with Team Rocket, they break into the RV and try to steal the egg.

Meowth: “Not anudda egg!” Am I missing something? A) This is the egg they were looking for. B) What first egg is he talking about and why is he upset over it?

They all touch the canister, causing it to glow, and when the light dies down they find they’ve all switched bodies. Because we haven’t done that trope in Pokemon yet, so why not? And of course make their own voices come out of each others bodies too because that never made sense.

Meowth is in James’ body, Jessie’s in Meowth’s body and James is in Jessie’s body.

Back with the group, they explain that the people of the water were basically aquatic nomads who lived alongside Water Pokemon. As a show of gratitude to the Water Pokemon, they built the sea temple that their people see in these mysterious dreams. They assume that May, and by extension Max, might be descendants of the people of the water because she had the same dream, but I think we can all conclude that she had the dream because Manaphy put it into her mind.

The gang spots Team Rocket as they return from lunch and they do their (different?) motto. They then fly away with the egg on their pedal-powered balloon thing. Ash tries to shoot it down with Pikachu, but the clown from before, who reveals himself to be Jackie, tells him not to out of fear of the egg being damaged. Instead he ‘captures’ a nearby Fearow to follow them. Ash sends up Pikachu with Fearow, and he successfully grabs the canister while Fearow does what all Flying Pokemon are meant to do – pop Team Rocket’s balloon.

I know I’m out of the Poke-loop, but why do Ash, Max, May and Brock know what a Pokemon Ranger is? It’s a bit understandable that Team Rocket knows, but how do Ash and Co. know?

Jackie explains that the canister is holding a Manaphy egg, a Pokemon that is only described as being very rare and living underwater (hoo boy, we’re really getting creative with these Legendaries). He’s been protecting the egg until it hatches with the help of the Marina group so he can bring it to the sea temple. Suddenly, Phantom and his Playstation helicopters show up to take the egg. They run off, and a Beedrill very nearly gouges Ship in the face, holy shit, and Phantom jumps down from his helicopter and dies….Oh excuse me. He’s fine and chases after them on foot.

Tell me how Ship doesn’t have a new hole in his head right now.

Jackie and Ash pull a switch right in front of Phantom’s face (gee, why did Jackie suddenly take the time out to cover the egg with a cloth? Why did they both go behind that huge rock? And where did that other boy go? Oh well, get back here with that egg you totally have, Jackie!) and we get some slapstick a la Phantom. Because nothing says ‘tension’ like a pirate villain who partakes in slapstick.

Phantom can somehow lift a giant (horrible) CGI boulder above his head and throw it 50 feet through the air with Jackie on it. It doesn’t do anything to him, but he does that.

Back with Ash, who has met back up with May and Max, they are confronted by another grunt and his Beedrill. Ash has the egg knocked out of his hands by the Beedrill’s Sludge Bomb, but May catches it, making it her responsibility now.

Phantom confronts May because I guess Jackie lost sight of him somehow (he was still right in front of Phantom even after he threw the boulder) and after a struggle, the lid pops off of the container, sending the egg flying. May catches it again and Manaphy hatches.

I like this shot of May because the way her mouth is drawn reminds me of Sapphire (May’s Manga counterpart) since she has a single fang.

Manaphy starts bawling because babies. Congrats everyone – we now have a replacement Togepi. Whoohoo.

By the way, I’m not really a fan of how Manaphy looks. Not only is it yet another small and cutesy Legendary, but the ‘eyelashes’ and shape are just weird to me. And of course the high-pitched voice and crying….

They manage to escape Phantom and his cronies, and May is able to calm Manaphy as they ride in the trailer. Manaphy starts to sleep so Merideth asks if she can relieve May for a bit. She agrees, but uh oh. Not the mama!………Did I seriously make a Dinosaurs reference? One that works? Do I get a badge of honor now or something?

After all of 1.5 seconds of trying to quell Manaphy’s cries, and by that I mean saying “No, not again! Stop! Please?”, Merideth passes Manaphy back to May. Boy, you must’ve been one hell of a mother to baby Lizabeth.

Back for more Togepi-ism, it’s revealed that, since May was the first person Manaphy saw when it hatched, it’s taken May to be its mother.

Phantom shows back up and tries to stop the convoy with cables attached to the helicopters. They jump to the truck and release the trailer, sending the trailer careening over the edge of a cliff and losing Phantom.

It’s at this point where you seriously realize that, yeah, this pretty much is the arrangement of Movie 06 – just replace Jirachi with Manaphy, Max with May and the brother/best friend bond with that of a parent-child and it’s the same thing.

Back with Team Rocket who somehow landed right on the building that the group was headed to, they wake to find they’re back to normal again. Why did they do that switch and what caused them to turn back? Being too far away from Manaphy?

Also, I guess I never really got to this part in the series. I remember James getting a Mime Jr., but now he’s a comic relief Pokemon who bursts out of his ball without warning to…..just mimic people? And holy crap, he does not need to be imitating another comic relief Pokemon (Wobbuffet). This is further compounded when James and Jessie put Wobbuffet and Mime Jr. away at the same time. It’s like it’s a subtle acknowledgment that this shtick is incredibly old.

I never thought about this before either, but if Mr. Mime and Mime Jr. are supposed to be mimes, why do they talk?

I’m just now noticing that even the 2D art and animation for this movie is lower than it usually is. Certainly not even touching what they accomplished in Movie 08. I’d even go so far as to say, at times, it’s worse than the TV show. Especially when they focus on Team Rocket.

The group makes it into the ancient building, somehow not noticing that the helicopter and Phantom are hot on their tails. Using his magic ‘people of the water’ bracelet, Ship activates a glowy combination lock for a hidden door in the wall. Following soon after, Phantom uses a broken bracelet he somehow has and also activates the lock. However, they don’t show him actually putting in the combination and there’s no way for him to have known one, so how he really got in is beyond me.

Using their Water Pokemon, the group travels through a waterway to another part of the building. After some crazy flat voice acting by Ship and Merideth as they recall their Pokemon, the group enters a beautiful cathedral-like area. Lizabeth and her family explain that the sea temple is called Samaya, and that it is perfectly hidden from those not a part of the people of the water due to the fact that it blends in perfectly with the water.

And dear god, I swear Kyle is getting worse and worse with his voice acting by the minute.

The sea temple holds an item called the sea crown that many people have tried and failed to steal. Many years ago, the temple broke away from it’s original resting spot and started traveling with the tides, making it even more difficult to find. However, the temple is said to be made visible during a full eclipse.

In order to actually find it, you need a Manaphy. The Manaphy of the world have taken the sea temple as their home, and every Manaphy is born with the innate ability to find it. That’s why Phantom is after Manaphy. He doesn’t really want Manaphy – he wants to find the temple and steal the crown.

Ash: “So who is that guy?”

Jackie: “Phantom the pirate. He’s one mean dude.” PUSA: they’re one bad writing staff.

After Team Rocket pathetically grovels to do the lowest of grunt work for Phantom, we see that Phantom has utilized high-tech scanning equipment to analyze the building. They reveal that there are many water routes underneath the building that they may have used to escape, and it’ll be very difficult to find which way they went. Phantom doesn’t care because he’s already set a trap for them wherever they’ll end up and claims it’s just a waiting game now.

We actually get one kinda funny scene when Team Rocket, having overheard the conversation, starts clamoring over the sea crown. One of Phantom’s cronies and his Chatot (because he’s a pirate and needs a parrot) glare back at Team Rocket as they laugh and they awkwardly go back to work. It’s not the most hilarious scene in the world, but I have frequently questioned why no one ever seems to hear Team Rocket when they say suspicious things like that, and it was nice to have a scene where they joke about it.

Back with the group, Jackie thanks Ash and co. for their help so far, but says once they get off the boat they’ll be leaving them behind because bringing Manaphy back to the sea temple is a Pokemon Ranger’s job and he doesn’t want them getting any more involved than they already are. Even though you’d think leaving would be ill-advised given that Manaphy is greatly attached to May. But I guess it doesn’t matter too much since Manaphy will part ways with May soon enough anyway.

Sure enough, when they get out of the tunnels, Ship gets his boat out of dock, and Lizabeth and her family as well as Jackie take Manaphy and proceed to set sail. I should mention that three older guys take care of Ship’s ship while he’s traveling and they seem like complete fanboys of his for some reason. *shrug*

As predicted, Manaphy starts wailing as soon as they leave port, and May feels an odd feeling in her heart as she watches the boat leave. Are they seriously playing her up as being one of the people of the water or are they establishing some mystic motherly link between her and Manaphy?

The three nameless fanboys encourage May and the others to follow them anyway, and they agree. Thanks for serving some purpose that kinda wasn’t needed because this whole scene seems like padding, nameless fanboys!

As they run towards the boat, Manaphy starts flipping out and glows. It touches one of its weird head tentacle things to Jackie’s head and the other shoots red lightning through the water and onto the dock where Ash steps on it. After it dies down, we see Jackie and Ash have switched bodies.

I’m sorry, is there some point to this power? Like, at all? Because it just seems like an excuse to stop the plot, pad the movie some more and try to make weird jokes that don’t work.

Jackie explains that this power is called Heart Swap and that it uses it to escape danger…..How…does switching people’s bodies….make it escape danger?

Case and point – the very first example of this happening was Team Rocket switching bodies. That didn’t prevent it from getting kidnapped because the three people switching bodies were all people that wanted to steal it.

In this example, sure, I guess it prevented it from getting separated from May, but that’s really only because A) Lizabeth and her family were polite enough to decide to get Ash and Jackie back to normal by bringing everyone on board and waiting out the effects and B) They don’t know what happens when two switched people are extremely far apart. Though, if my guess on what happened with Team Rocket was right, they’d just switch back. If they wanted to, they could just say ‘sucks to be you, Ash and Jackie. We’ll run to the temple and back and you’ll probably be back to normal after some time.’

I guess Ash could try jumping off the boat with Manaphy so they have no choice but to turn back, but without his Corphish, I don’t think he’d be able to get away very well. He doesn’t know how to use a Ranger Stylus to capture a Pokemon to help him either. Plus, that might put Manaphy in danger for literally no other reason than ‘we wanna go have an adventure.’

Also, Lizabeth suddenly blurts out that Manaphy are known as the prince(s) of the sea. Thanks for that clunky dialogue/exposition, Lizabeth.

After cuddling with Manaphy, it suddenly reveals that it can mimic some words with its first word being ‘Happy,’ and it quickly mimics even more words from Ash, Brock and Max. So, its two main impressive abilities are causing people and Pokemon to switch bodies temporarily and…..talking.

I’ve already pointed out how disappointed I am in the former, but the latter…I know it’s not a legit ‘power’ but so far that’s one of the only things this Pokemon can do that most others can’t. But it’s not impressive in the least given that, despite not being the norm, many other Pokemon can talk.

Getting the obvious example of Meowth off the table, and that’s more impressive given that he’s a regular Pokemon who struggled through hell to learn how to do that, most Legendaries can talk or otherwise speak through telepathy (Mewtwo, Lugia, Entei, and Jirachi) and there are other Pokemon, mostly featured in movies, that aren’t Legendary and can talk in this same manner, such as Slowking and Lucario. Hell, this very movie features a Chatot – a parrot Pokemon who has been mimicking human speech this whole time.

I was disappointed enough with Jirachi and his ‘I steal shit’ “wish-granting” ability. Please tell me Manaphy has more impressive abilities than this.

Kyle walks out and—dude, seriously, someone fire his voice actor. I couldn’t sound as bored as this guy if this movie was about watching rocks erode in real time.

He stops the boat and explains that it’s time for Manaphy to be released into the ocean so it can choose its own path. May agrees and releases Manaphy into the water. Manaphy happily jumps through the water and the group continues…..their….

Pokemon movie 09 screen 1

….jour……

Pokemon movie 09 screen 2

……………Ash….buddy…..

Pokemon movie 09 screen 3

……you okay? You look….kinda spacey……do you need to sit down?…..Ash?

Pokemon movie 09 screen 4

……….Okay then, you probably just need a minute. A quick segue into the next scene should make you feel better.

Lizabeth and her family take Ash and the others down to the hull where they reveal a glass viewing port to watch the Water Pokemon and Manaphy.

We cut through dusk, night then the next day without any plot advancement, but I do have something to say during Jackie’s para-sailing scene – Ms. Natochenny, please tone down the deep raspiness of Ash’s voice. I feel like you’re going to blow out a vocal cord.

Really, the past three minutes or so is nothing but dicking around in the water with Water Pokemon. If this was any other movie I’d say it’s to show off the CGI, but oh god why?

Ash: “Hey, so why’d you become a Pokemon Ranger in the first place, Jackie?”

Jackie: “I was a kid.” ….Most people were, Jackie. Maybe start off this story with the less awkward “When I was a kid….”

Jackie explains that he got caught in a terrible snow storm up in the mountains as a child. He managed to find a cave to take shelter in, but was still so cold that he feared it was the end of him. Suddenly, a bunch of migrating forest Pokemon such as Swablu and Furret gathered around him to keep him warm. He wanted to be a Pokemon Ranger ever since.

Wait, that doesn’t really explain why he specifically wanted to be a Pokemon Ranger. Also, Jackie pronounces Pokemon ‘Pokeymon’…..That has nothing to do with anything either, but it’s irking me.

More dicking around in the water.

The next night it becomes painfully obvious (no pun intended?) that we’re getting to the peak of May and Manaphy’s friendship when she teaches it to say ‘I love you.’ Seriously, it’s a little annoying how blatantly this is trying to rip-off the Max/Jirachi friendship from Movie 06 (And it’s also a little paranoia-ly funny that this movie, 9 is 6 upside down.) Gee, I wonder if May is soon going to come to the realization that she’s going to need to part ways with Manaphy and someone will give her a pep talk about it.

LAPRAS! ❤

…..*cough* Sorry….I love Lapras.

Another scene that is basically just dicking around. I know they’re really meant to show how attached May and Manaphy are becoming, but you can do that without constant *Manaphy being cute* *May/Manaphy cuddles* wash, rinse, repeat stuff.

Not like there’s any tension anyway. We know Phantom isn’t following them because Jackie’s been on constant lookout for helicopters. It’s not like Phantom stated he had a trap laid for them already, nor has it been established that Phantom has easy access to an underwater tank thing. Not like Jackie was on it when he was undercover or anything. Not like they have sonar that, while following Manaphy, should also easily detect the sub. No sirree.

May overhears Jackie asking Ash to help separate May and Manaphy because he worries Manaphy won’t go home if he gets too attached to May. May comes into the room and says not to worry about that, but Jackie asserts that the separation must happen. Manaphy is the prince of the sea, and it’s his responsibility to lead all of the Water Pokemon at the sea temple – What? Since when?

From the way you guys were talking earlier, it sounded like there were a bunch of Manaphy at the sea temple. Why is this one specifically destined to be leader? Where are Manaphy’s real parents? Did it just spawn from nothing? Why wasn’t the egg anywhere near the sea temple to start out with? Where did this thing come from?

It now makes perfect sense that they gave Manaphy the ability to talk. What better way to juice some more emotion from this forced separation than having Manaphy keeping parroting ‘Happy’ and ‘Love you’ over and over?

May runs off crying at Jackie’s words and seeing Manaphy swimming around outside of the glass. Lizabeth tries to console her by saying in a totally not caring voice ‘I know it’s hard.’ Then May completely breaks down sobbing in her arms.

Hey, what do ya know? They are being followed Phantom in his underwater tank thing. Who woulda thunk?

That night, they stop for a while, and Manaphy starts singing on a rock, calling the Water Pokemon of the sea to gather around him…..It’s not a terrible song, but it’s definitely not giving off the striking beauty I imagine they wanted from this scene. Manaphy’s voice just sounds a bit too whiny for that. I know during the singing parts that they’re using Manaphy’s Japanese voice, but that doesn’t change my opinion.

Lizabeth then gives May her bracelet, which is actually a mark of the people of the water. I feel like this movie would’ve fit better if Misty were still around. Who better to be a pseudo person of the water than someone who strives to be a Water Pokemon Master? Then again, her having two baby Pokemon who grew attached to her as a mother through imprinting might be incredibly redundant.

The next day, Manaphy comes up from dicking around in the water to eat lunch and it starts looking for May. As a way to keep them separated, Ash lets out all of his Pokemon so they can dick around in the water with Manaphy. *sigh*

May tries to put her bandana on, but it flies off with the wind. Manaphy, seeing this, goes after her bandana, even though it keeps getting carried away by various Water Pokemon. And because the most intelligent thing you can do with a baby Pokemon who is leading you to a legendary sea temple that hardly anyone ever gets to see while you’re being pursued by a bunch of criminals who want both Manaphy and the sea crown that is at said sea temple is lose sight of him for hours on end……..they lose Manaphy for hours on end. They decide that they have to find him with a submarine.

May blames herself for Manaphy’s disappearance, claiming it probably ran away because of how she was treating it….Uh….huh? Treating it how? Last time she saw Manaphy, she ran off crying. Last time Manaphy looked for May, Ash distracted it. She never once yelled at it or pushed it away or anything.

Phantom begins to make his move, and Manaphy manages to finally retrieve May’s bandana. Ya know, May doesn’t seem too attached to that bandanna. She loses it, doesn’t say anything about it and walks around like nothing happened.

After some nauseating CGI Pokemon shots and May crazily talking to a window, Manaphy somehow manages to find them. However, they quickly get caught in a riptide. Lizabeth loses control of the submarine and radio contact with Ship, Kyle and Merideth. Manaphy, who has no problem in the current, directs them away. Not like that matters because Lizabeth clearly said she lost control of the submarine, meaning she can’t direct it anywhere and they can’t follow Manaphy.

So they follow Manaphy and make it safely out of the riptide. *cough*

Because they managed to time this right as a lunar eclipse was occurring, Ash and the others vanish underwater. As the eclipse starts, the moon turns red, which somehow turns the water purple…..oh I get it….red plus blue equals purple…..

The sea temple is revealed to all, and they finally notice that Phantom is following them.

I don’t know why, but everyone’s VA is being just terrible in these past ten minutes or so. They’ve actually been pretty decent (major exclusion being Kyle’s VA) up until now. I don’t know what happened.

They arrive at the pretty-but-not-that-unique-or-fantastical sea temple where they realize that they can both exit the water within it and breathe the air, despite still being extremely deep underwater.

They make their way into the temple and Manaphy starts singing. The temple seemingly sings back and May’s bracelet and Lizabeth’s necklace start to glow in response. The cascading waterfalls which were blocking a pathway then open, allowing them to pass.

Phantom arrives and follows closely after the group, taking the time to laugh maniacally. Team Rocket, having stowed away in an empty tank, emerge to follow him.

Jessie: “Treasure….”

James: “Diamonds and pearls….”

Meowth: “Let’s get through this season first.”

Ya know, I let the earlier utterance of ‘diamonds and pearls’ go because, despite being blatant plugging for the next generation, it still fit the lines of treasure and whatnot. So you decide to not just push the plug button again, but this time you’re so unabashedly blatant about it that you’re breaking the fourth wall to drill it into our heads that Pokemon Diamond and Pearl is what you’re really talking about?

Bite me.

Not only is this stupid and unnecessary, but how terrible of an idea is this from a writing perspective? “This movie/season/generation in general is such a chore to get through that we feel compelled to remind the audience that this will be ending soon and the totally much better Diamond and Pearl will be starting up in the near future.”

Back with Ash and the others, they make their way to some room with a big plaque in it but can’t decipher what it says. Suddenly, Phantom appears behind them, stating that he can read it just fine, and that it’s pointless to stop him because, even combined, they have no chance….Uh, why? I mean, this isn’t an advisable place to have a Pokemon battle, but, together, they have a hell of a lot of Pokemon and Phantom has like three.

He reads the plaque, which says that the door can only be opened by someone with the mark of the people of the water. Behind the door lies the sea crown, and anyone who wears the sea crown is the king of the sea.

He reveals his mark of the people of the water, and all he says on how he obtained it was that he went to a lot of trouble to get it. Okie dokie.

He uses the mark to reveal the lock and somehow knows the combination to get in.

Back on the surface, the eclipse is ending so Jackie and the others lose sight of the temple.

Phantom and the others reach the sea crown, which is a big cluster of crystals about 15 feet high encased in suspended water….How do you wear that?

Manaphy happily jumps from May’s arms and into the water to swim around. However, when Phantom tries to pull some of the crystal out of the sea crown, he sends Manaphy, now trying to protect it, flying out of the water and onto the floor, causing it to start crying.

Gee, I sure hope that screwing around with this ancient mystical treasure doesn’t trigger some massive terrible event.

So the massive terrible event starts with the water that was encasing the sea crown suddenly bursting. More water juts from the walls, nearly knocking everyone over the edge of the platform they’re on. From the outside, Jackie, having captured a Mantyke, observes the temple coming back into view with odd beams of light shooting around it.

After Max nearly falls to his death, Lizabeth convinces Ash and the others to leave the temple, essentially leaving Phantom to destroy the crown and the temple, much to the dismay of Lizabeth.

Insatiable greed leading to the certain doom of our enemy? You spoil me with clichés, movie.

Ash and the others make it back to the submarine where they meet up with Jackie who proceeds to go take down Phantom while they escape. Jackie starts taking crystals from Phantom and putting them back into the sea crown, but Phantom manages to corner him as they fight over one of the crystals. More water bursts from the walls, causing Jackie and Phantom to lose their balance and fall into the water. Phantom goes down one underwater tunnel while Jackie has no choice but to be sucked into another. Phantom loses the crystal down a water chute and cannot follow after it.

As they’re about to leave, Manaphy decides to make one final effort to save the sea temple. It lunges from May’s arms, swims up the waterways and attempts to return the crystals back to the crown, though it can barely lift any of them. Ash and May jump in to help only to find that, once all of the crystals in the room were replaced, one was still missing.

Phantom and Team Rocket wrestle for the sub, but end up getting waterlogged, blasting Team Rocket off and showing that their role in this movie was more pointless than usual. Jackie, who has amazing balance to be standing on the edge of a dome like that, jumps onto Phantom’s sub and takes it, along with his Chatot.

Ash and May get lost trying to find a way out of the somewhat ironically sinking sea temple and end up conveniently stumbling across the final crystal. Ash grabs it before the place floods some more, and they also conveniently stumble upon the tank Team Rocket was in earlier. He puts Manaphy, May and Pikachu inside of it, claiming he has to return the crystal and save the sea temple.

Uh….Ash….I applaud you for your bravery and selflessness. Really, I do….even if this is just you forcing yourself to take the reigns as hero during a movie where another character is technically the main protagonist again. However, I have to ask….you’re really going to seemingly sacrifice your life…for….this? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful building that is important to a near extinct culture who doesn’t get explored much, and a bunch of Water Pokemon, I guess. Still, we don’t know why it’s such a literal life or death situation to save this place outside of it being something important to a handful of people.

Yeah, Manaphy can’t take his rightful place as king of the sea without the sea crown, for some reason, but we never know why that’s so necessary anyway. Really, the only consequence is one Jackie explained earlier.

Jackie: “Remember that Manaphy is the prince of the sea and destined to become leader of all the sea temple Pokemon.”

Got news for you, buddy. There are no sea temple Pokemon. In this whole huge temple, there are no Pokemon at all. The only Pokemon we see here outside of ones owned by the characters are ones outside of the temple, and there aren’t even that many of them. If those are the Pokemon he’s talking about, they seem to do fine without Manaphy.

Ash: “Alright, time to go die for the sake of ancient architecture that almost no one can find, see or visit.”

I also feel compelled to ask the obvious….What does it matter….if an UNDERWATER SEA TEMPLE sinks? The sea temple is encased in an air bubble, but are you seriously telling me that the people of the water made an underwater sea temple that couldn’t handle being flooded?

It might mess up some of the décor, but I don’t see why it’d be so damaging. People don’t even go there anymore, and the Water Pokemon who are supposedly so reliant on it would be able to access it with no problem even if it was entirely flooded because they’re Water Pokemon. Actually, now that I think about, many Water Pokemon wouldn’t be able to enter the sea temple unless it was flooded because they can only travel in the water. Ash and the others could just give one of their Water Pokemon the crystal and tell them to put it back after they got back to the sub or boat, fixing the problem and keeping everyone safe.

There is no logical reason whatsoever that Ash feels the need to basically die for this.

Just to get on another stupid rant, that tank doesn’t look like it can be controlled, is motorized or even looks like it would float. May and Pikachu might be as good as dead in that thing anyway. To prove my point….it doesn’t. Yeah, the next few times we see them, the tank is just sitting underwater. I guess it could be that he put them there to keep them safe until he got back but;

1) He has no plan for getting them back to the boat even if he does survive and get back to the tank,

2) Does he think this thing won’t move?

For all he knew, he just put his friends in a tank that may have rolled off of the temple and sank to the bottom of the ocean where it would be crushed by the pressure.

Ash makes his way to the sea crown, and here’s something 4Kids would never keep – the shot of Lizabeth obviously praying. Though I have to wonder what deity the people of the water worship.

Ash wastes all of his air and energy trying to get the crystal freed after it gets stuck in a little nook. He falls unconscious and starts drowning while the crystal falls even deeper into the depths of the temple. May keeps hoping for Ash to be alright, and suddenly Manaphy demonstrates another power – makeshift telepathy. It places one tentacle on May’s head and another on the tank to somehow transmit May’s thoughts through the tank and the vast amounts of water between them to Ash, somehow waking him up and prompting him to swim to the surface and get a breath.

Manaphy a deus ex machina? Holy crap, you totally are a new temporary Togepi.

Ash gets a breath, the last one he’ll be able to get considering the space available above his head, and he rushes down to the crystal, back up to the sea crown and replaces it all in one go. Geez, Ash. Screw being a Pokemon Master. Go into professional swimming. You’ll clean up at the summer Olympics.

With the sea crown whole again, the temple glows and starts correcting itself – draining the water and floating back up. A bunch of golden tentacles grab the tank that May, Manaphy and Pikachu are in.

The temple, for some reason, surfaces even though it wasn’t on the surface before the crystals were removed. I will admit, in this one shot, despite the still incredibly questionable CGI, the temple looks pretty awesome.

The golden tentacle was nice enough to put the tank on a flat spot on the temple. May states that Ash must’ve saved the temple, but then they all start getting upset under the belief that Ash died in the process. Uh, if you know that Ash succeeded in replacing the crystal, why assume that he’s dead? I mean, sure, he could’ve drowned anyway, but the temple was draining water pretty quickly and surfaced even more quickly. If Ash has Olympic swimming chops, I’m pretty sure he’s fine.

Phantom pops back up (literally) and takes Manaphy away again, claiming that as long as he has Manaphy he can always find the temple again and get the crown…..which is stupid because he knows screwing with it causes it to sink. I suppose he could prep up in scuba gear and get it, I don’t know.

And here we are at what is supposedly the big scene of the movie. What the fans have coined as ‘Super Saiyan Ash.’

Let me back up. When the sea crown’s final crystal was replaced, it imbued Ash with the title of king of the sea….because….doing that is equal to wearing it? As a result, he was cloaked in a golden aura, given the ability to breathe underwater, to swim incredibly fast and even, to a degree, fly. Which is another pseudo-theme in these movies.

Think about it – Ash is usually flying either through magic or riding on a Legendary Pokemon through many of the movies. Mewtwo’s psychic abilities in 01, Lugia in 02, (Charizard might count a little in 03), Celebi’s psychic abilities in 04, Latios in 05, half-counting Flygon in 06, Deoxys’ psychic abilities in 07. The only movie I really can’t count is 08.

Ash and Phantom have an….’epic battle’ which is really just Ash chasing Phantom through the water as Phantom goes around in circles on his little metal jetski thinger that can also go underwater. Dude, just move away from the temple. You’re outrunning him pretty well. Just make your way to shore where he can’t touch you with these powers.

Phantom is suddenly faced with a ton of Water Pokemon when Kyogre pops up and pushes him back above water. Oh shi – did I mention Kyorge’s in this movie?! He’s appeared totally randomly in two shots and now he’s trying to be a part of the plot. Isn’t that cute?

Ash snatches Manaphy away from Phantom and he crashes into the water. It seems like they’re home free, but somehow Phantom managed to land directly on top of his big underwater tank sub thing. It’s now gunning for the sea temple, and the Water Pokemon are all trying to stop it. The tank uses its synthetic Supersonic, which confuses the Water Pokemon and shoos them away.

Manaphy breaks free of Ash and starts singing and glowing again….somehow calming all of the Water Pokemon down….I know I said I wanted Manaphy to have better powers, but it’s really just pulling stuff out of its ass at this point.

Manaphy sends the Water Pokemon off to charge the tank, slowing it down, nearly knocking Phantom off and cutting off their power supply.

Kyogre, under command of the riding Manaphy, uses Hyper Beam to blow apart the tank. It’s weird to see Pokemon attacks do things like that sometimes because it makes for a lot of fridge horror. Like if that Hyper Beam can rip apart a tank, what would happen if it hit a Pokemon in a battle?

Just when you think Phantom might finally be done, he reveals that he is strong enough to hold up a falling part of the tank with his mecha exo-skeleton they just decided to reveal under his clothes.

Okay, I guess that explains why he was strong enough to lift up a boulder with a person standing on it and throw it through the air….but….why have something as cool as a super strong mecha exo-skeleton and not only not visually put any focus on it but also not imply much with it? Yeah, he threw a big rock with a person on it, yeah he stopped falling steel from crushing him…..But that’s not doing nearly enough with that fairly unique-to-the-series dev—Oh nevermind, it broke and the steel ended up crushing him comically anyway. Whatever, movie.

Oh and upon the reveal of the mechanical exoskeleton that they can fully see and acknowledge by the way;

Jackie: “Wow, I didn’t think a guy like that took vitamins.”

…..I paused the video at this line because…it’s obviously meant to be a joke, they even pause afterward to give the audience time to laugh but….I don’t get it. He has a mecha exoskeleton….vitamins….guy like that would….not take vitamins…but…he’s clearly using a mechanical device to lift these things….not…..why would….

If I had to make some weak correlation here, Phantom is a pirate and traditional pirates were known for getting scurvy due to lack of sources of vitamin C….But…he’s a modern day pirate. He obviously gets vitamin C….and even with that weak connection that I doubt they’re really making anyway, why the hell is that line proceeding a shot of Phantom lifting steel with the help of a mecha exoskeleton!?

Wouldn’t this line have made just slightly more sense when Jackie was first facing Phantom? He….Oh wait….*rewind*

Jackie: *he and the boulder get thrown by Phantom* “Man, you’re strong Phantom. You take vitamins?”

……That was deemed funny enough for an end-of-movie throwback quip? One that doesn’t even make sense with the reveal of the exoskeleton? Hell, even if he didn’t have that exoskeleton, that line still wouldn’t make sense because why would he say he didn’t think Phantom was the type of guy who took vitamins if his first theory as to why Phantom was so strong before was that he took vitamins? You lazy unfunny non-sense-making bastards.

Later, everyone gets to go Super Saiyan and dick around in the water again because I suppose Ash can transfer the power to others or at least let them borrow it. Zooming out, we see that the many tentacles of the temple have webbed around the building to make a crown shape, what is truly the sea crown.

…..So you have to wear a building? I really am thinking about this way too much.

After the purty light show is over, the sea temple decides it’s time to go back underwater. That means that it’s also time to say goodbye to Manaphy. It jumps into May’s arms one last time, and May tearfully says her goodbyes. Manaphy sends her off by saying ‘Love you’ again but this time adding ‘May.’ She replies saying she loves Manaphy too, and then it says ‘Love you’ again, this time adding ‘Mama.’

Manaphy hops out of May’s arms and back into the water, swimming towards the temple as May looks on with a bittersweet smile saying she’s not fine now, but she will be.

Our end credits song is replaying the song we got in the middle of the movie, just with lyrics now, ‘Together We Make a Promise,’ and I still like the song just fine. As for our end credits shots, of which most are painted, which is a nice change up, we get those completely pointless Ship fanboys welcoming his return, Jackie and Officer Jenny hauling in the wrecked underwater tank thing along with a shot of Phantom and his first mate in chains, the group departing from Lizabeth and her family, then as we transition back to the animation we get….

Jackie capturing a random Zapdos and riding on it?

….Huh? Why did he capture a Zapdos? How did he capture a Zapdos so easily? How did he know a Zapdos was here? Do we just have easy access to Legendaries now? I guess that would make sense considering Ash sees at least one a year. This is even more random than the Kyogre. At least that was a Water Pokemon who kinda belonged, even if it was unannounced and came from nowhere.

We then see Team Rocket cloaked in darkness with just their eyes visible (oh you silly cartoon tropes) when they suddenly get expelled with water upwards, and we see that they were really inside a Wailord the whole time and it just shot them out of its blow hole….ewww.

Random Kyogre shot, then we see the sea temple littered with the Water Pokemon who were no where near it earlier, lead by the happy Manaphy. We get Ash and the others camping because that’s new, and an animation error that leaves the line for May’s closed smiling mouth on her face even though she’s now drinking, and then we see them walk off into the mountains.

The end.

———————————————-

First and foremost, I don’t know if I’d say this is the worst Pokemon movie ever, mostly because I still haven’t caught up and seen the rest beyond this, but it’s high up there because it’s just so incredibly sloppy.

Let’s address that title – Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. Jackie’s not a huge part of this movie, nor is any other Ranger seen but him. He does talk to some unnamed woman at the Ranger station a few times, and there is a shot of a blue haired female Ranger during the ‘World of Pokemon’ section, but that doesn’t really count.

We don’t learn much about Pokemon Rangers in this entire movie. We only learn that they protect wild Pokemon. We don’t learn about their practices, their training, why they use styluses to ‘capture’ Pokemon instead of using Pokeballs or anything. Don’t put something in the title of your movie if it doesn’t have that much bearing on anything in the movie. If you wanted, you could remove Jackie from this whole movie and it would only cause a few easily corrected problems.

Next, Manaphy, while it did grow on me, was still very annoying with its super high-pitched voice, wailing and repetitive talking. It was also incredibly inconsistent with its powers, going from a weird and seemingly useless ability to cause people and Pokemon to switch bodies to underwater makeshift telepathy and a widespread Pokemon calming ability, all of which seem to be emitted by the same light that comes from his head tentacles.

Manaphy didn’t seem to do much in the big finale. The Water Pokemon were already attacking the underwater tank thing – did they really need Manaphy almost comically yelling out ‘Manaaaa!’ with his arm pointing ahead for them to continue doing it once they weren’t caught in confusion anymore? Usually the featured Legendary Pokemon gets the final big hurrah, but this time it just seemed like it was orchestrating it.

It’s really so necessary that Manaphy become king of the sea? Really? Because when the temple goes down, no one brings up that Manaphy can no longer do this. You’d think, as the temple was sinking, Jackie would yell something like ‘Oh no! If the temple sinks then Manaphy can’t become king and (more terrible thing) will happen!’ They don’t explain what his real role is anyway, just that he is meant to be a leader to a bunch of Pokemon who, by all means, have no reason for a leader.

Phantom was a joke as an enemy. I can say he’s the worst conceived Pokemon movie villain to date. Lawrence the Third may have been omitted from most of his movie, and the Iron-Masked Marauder may have had little backstory, but at least they seemed like threats and at least they seemed interesting.

They purposely made Phantom comical so the tension was almost entirely drained, leaving him almost as minor of a threat as Team Rocket. Despite giving him something cool that could’ve been pretty great in his super strong exoskeleton, they waste it entirely. It’s almost like that was an afterthought to give him more of a threat when it was only used twice, both for completely pointless purposes.

They don’t even explain why he’s so dead-set on becoming king of the sea, or how he got that mark of the people of the water or how he knew the combinations to get into the locks throughout the temple or how he can read the language of the people of the water. I thought they’d reveal that he was a rogue descendant of theirs, but nope. If he is, they don’t mention a damn thing about it.

No backstory, no decent motivations and no threat = Terrible villain. That doesn’t have to really be a dealbreaker either, if the guy is entertaining enough, but he’s not. He’s not funny at all, he’s not crazy enough, he doesn’t have fun one-liners or even quirks. He’s just blah.

Lizabeth and her family were…fine. They’re supposed to represent the connections to the people of the water and how much the sea temple means to them, but their role was pretty weak. None of them made strong connections with the main characters. They tried to have May and Lizabeth bond a little when May started crying and when she gave her the mark of the people of the water, but it was really just one-note “Yeah, I know. That sucks” and “Here, have this bracelet.”

They also note on the Wiki that Lizabeth is one of the few girls that Brock lusts after that actually likes him back. Uh, where was that? I mean, yeah she talked about cooking with Brock once or twice, but that was about it. Lots of girls that Brock has lusted after have ‘liked’ him. Lizabeth never showed any inkling of liking him romantically.

Back to the family as a whole, they never talk about stuff from the culture of the people of the water, just that they were nomads who traveled the seas, lived alongside Water Pokemon and built a temple in their honor that works from some magic powers they somehow have but are never explained. They’re excited about seeing the sea temple, but don’t say or do much when they actually see it. Lizabeth does get a somber look on her face when she realizes they need to abandon the sea temple as it’s about to flood, but that’s it.

These people of the water just seem like madlibs entries no one built on. “And the (building) was built by the ancient (culture/race). And it’s totally important to them for (reasons).”

Brock and Max were more useless than usual this time around. They did 100% pure nothing. Just to drive that point home, I ctrl+f’d Brock’s name on this document, and the only times he’s notable enough to mention are when he explains who Lizabeth and her family are and me being confused as to why Ash and the others know what a Pokemon Ranger is already. Max nearly falls to his death and that sums up his role.

Team Rocket….I don’t even know why they’re in this movie, moreso than usual. It’s like they shoehorned them in under contractual obligation. They alert Phantom to Manaphy’s location, pointlessly swap bodies just to pointlessly display Manaphy’s pointless power, become the janitorial service for Phantom and spend about three scenes giggling about how they’ll get treasure only to be easily pushed out of the movie by the flood waters never to be seen again until the end credits.

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Now for the biggest issue – Ash completely hijacked this movie from May.

I was actually going to praise this movie for a while because, while being a complete rip-off of Movie 06, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I liked Movie 06 and how they handled Jirachi and Max’s relationship. Sure, May and Manaphy’s scenes were mostly just dicking around in the water and super gushy cutesy scenes, but they were fine. It’s understandable for May to get so attached to Manaphy and vice versa, much in the same vein as Misty and Togepi. Even though it seems like they unnecessarily crammed days worth of bonding in when, in Movie 06, the days of bonding and travel had a purpose in that they were waiting for the comet…

…..Wait, in this movie they’re waiting for an eclipse. Do you have no shame, Movie 09?

It seems all fine until we get to that climax when Ash wrestles the limelight away from her and suddenly decides to risk/sacrifice his life for the sake of the temple. Sure, Ash is self-sacrificing, but he has no emotional connection to this place nor is it really that big of a deal if he lets it sink.

If this wasn’t a life sacrificing/largely risky task, it would be more understandable, but from the way it’s presented, it seems like Ash is really going off to die in order to just possibly save the temple – and, he does nearly end up dying. The only reason he didn’t was because of Manaphy’s grab bag of powers.

Why did the focus suddenly shift to Ash to the point where we got a superhero-esque confrontation out of it? Why did it shift to him at all?

In Movie 06, Ash stayed away from the limelight because it was Max’s movie. He did do one heroic thing because main character, but he never stole the show from Max. The climax was more of a team effort with Ash, Max and Butler if anything. Contrast that to Movie 04, where one of the main negatives there was Ash stealing the show from Sam and, to a lesser extent, his relationship to Celebi. We’re moving backwards in character and storytelling abilities as we move forward in movies.

There’s no reason whatsoever why May couldn’t have been the one to go down there and fix the sea crown. Absolutely none. Given everything that has been built up until this point, it’s almost like they intended to have that happen in the first few drafts then changed it to Ash at the last second because main character.

Think about it. May has that dream about Manaphy, which Lizabeth says indicates that she may somehow be a descendant of the people of the water. It’s unfounded and unexplored, but there you go. Lizabeth also gives May one of her marks of the people of the water.

These facts seem to nudge that May would be the one to save the sea crown and become king queen of the sea.

Not to mention that she has way more motivation than Ash does. Let me rewrite this entire ending for you.

May, realizing that her beloved Manaphy will never become king of the sea without the sea crown intact and the temple back to its former glory, decides she must sacrifice herself to restore the crown. When they find the tank, she shoves Manaphy into Ash’s arms and explains what she must do. He tries to talk her out of it, but she stands firm in her resolve. Ash begrudgingly accepts this and wishes her luck before they enter the tank and lock the door.

May makes her way through the temple, reaches the crown and drops the crystal. As she attempts to retrieve it, she runs out of air and loses consciousness. Manaphy, sensing May is in danger, transfers its own thoughts to May, saying ‘Love you’ a couple of times before saying ‘Love you, May!’, which triggers her mark of the people of the water and wakes her up. She gets one more breath, grabs the crystal and puts it back in the crown. The sea crown, recognizing May’s mark of the people of the water and maybe her possible people of the water bloodline, gives her the powers of the queen of the sea.

After the crown is restored and the temple surfaces, Phantom steals Manaphy yet again. Sensing Manaphy’s in danger, due to her queen of the sea-ness, May bursts from the water with her new Super Saiyan powers and takes on Phantom, retrieving her beloved Manaphy and earning a touching reunion.

Later, after the climax, she and Manaphy say their goodbyes and she transfers her queen of the sea powers to Manaphy before he jumps back into the ocean and leaves.

That was a tiny bit fanfic-y, but it makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it? The whole flow of the movie gets derailed because Ash couldn’t help himself but be the hero when it clearly wasn’t his movie. Meanwhile, our supposed heroine gets to sit still in a tin can literally just hoping the hero can save the day. I’m glad they didn’t have her tears or something transfer to Ash too because my eyeballs practically escaped my skull from how hard I was rolling them during the finale of the temple scene.

I’m trying really hard to not put a sexist slant on this, but it’s very difficult. All May does the entire movie is react to stuff, cry and be a mama to a baby. She’s not even the one who saves Max from nearly falling pointlessly to his death – Lizabeth was. In fact, Lizabeth does way more in this movie than May does, and even she does less than Ash.

Admittedly, May does help put the crystals back in the sea crown, but that was only because she was stupidly running after Manaphy. Yeah, sure wouldn’t want Manaphy to get trapped in this sinking building….the one falling underwater…..where he’s strongest….can swim against all currents….and can easily breathe. Oh no.

Plus, as you already know, she didn’t even do that alone – Ash helped there too.

Not that this movie’s story is all that much to get excited over anyway. It could’ve been worse, but we’ve seen this same exact story several times in this movie series already. It’s like a mish-mash of several Pokemon movies with a new coat of paint, and the paint is smelly and pea colored. If you’re going to rip-off other movies, especially in your own damn universe, you have to bring new things to the table that make it unique and interesting to allow it to stand on its own.

But no. We get an annoying mix of Togepi with a cutesy Legendary, a bunch of dicking around in the water, a villain who is completely forgettable and non-threatening, side characters who are completely forgettable, a Pokemon Ranger whose character is mostly wasted, random appearances from other Legendaries to, I guess, make it more interesting, and the only things standing out being hilariously awful CGI and Super Saiyan Ash. Even the names in this movie were forgettable placeholders; Phantom, the people of the water, the sea temple, the sea crown, the prince of the sea and the king of the sea.

It’s not a huge chore to sit through, I wouldn’t even say it’s unpleasant, but if you asked me if I’d be interested in watching this movie again I’d probably say no. There’s no reason for me to ever watch this again…..even though I have to when I do the subbed version review.

I will say that the soundtrack for this movie is fantastic and that the climax was fun and impacting, but otherwise this movie is bland, boring, sloppy and disappointing. Seriously, guys, this is what you follow up Lucario and the Mystery of Mew with? I guess you were serious when you said this is something to ‘get through’ until we get to Diamond and Pearl.

Recommended Audience: Nothing happens. E for everyone.


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Pokemon Extravaganza! Movie 08 (Sub) Advanced Generation The Movie: Mew and the Wave Hero, Lucario Review

Plot: Many years ago, the land was rife with war. Two opposing factions threatened the kingdom’s safety, and a hero named Sir Aaron and his faithful partner, Lucario, were the only ones with any hope of saving it. As Lucario asked his master for guidance, Sir Aaron claimed he had forsaken the crown and abandoned the kingdom.

Baffled at this supposedly betrayal, Lucario finds himself sealed within Sir Aaron’s staff as he seems to run away when the kingdom needs him most. After Sir Aaron left, the kingdom miraculously found peace, and Sir Aaron was proclaimed as a hero for whatever he might have done to save the land.

Back in the present, in the mystical and beautiful town of Rota, lies Celeran Castle where the current Queen of the land is holding the annual festival in honor of Sir Aaron. Satoshi, Haruka, Takeshi and Masato arrive to partake in the festivities. Satoshi wins a Pokemon battle tournament for the festival and is given the title of Hero of the Wave.

He’s given Sir Aaron’s real staff to hold during the festival, but suddenly starts hearing voices from within the staff. Suddenly, the staff shines brightly and unleashes Lucario who is blindsided by the new era he finds himself in. However, he quickly remembers the betrayal of his master and is consumed with confusion and bitterness, especially in the face of Satoshi with his strong bond with Pikachu.

When Pikachu is accidentally taken away by the local Mew to the Tree of World’s Beginning, Lucario is tasked by Queen Ilene to help him find his friend. Is the truth behind Sir Aaron’s ‘betrayal’ going to be uncovered along the way?

Breakdown:

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20 Minute Mark

The original also has that ‘Before Monster Balls existed’ “error.” Though, coincidentally, this is explained through text on the screen instead of narration because, say it with me now, kids can’t read.

Sir Aaron is actually Arlon…..though, considering r and l are interchangeable in Japanese, it’s not too much of a stretch. Also, according to the Wiki, it’s surmised that Arlon’s name is derivative from the prophet, Aaron – Moses’ brother in the bible. 4Kids probably wasn’t going for that for obvious reasons, but considering the possible origin, it’s a totally understandable change.

It still really bothers me that Aaron doesn’t seem to give a crap about his crash-landed and injured Pidgeot.

Ya know, you’d think more people would gun for a Hero of the Wave costume in this festival, especially since the prize for winning the tournament is to be named Hero of the Wave for the year, but it seems like only Satoshi wants to.

New theme song this time around. It’s alright. A little catchy and pretty easy on the ears, but nothing too great to me.

Ilene says Satoshi is allowed to merely hold the staff, she doesn’t imply that it’s his. Nitpicky still, but eh.

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40 Minute Mark

The thing I find ironic about the whole ‘The Hero cannot leave his seat’ thing is that if that were the real Sir Aaron, he’d probably be allowed to get up and join the party.

If both Haruka and Musashi fall for the same guy and both seemingly have a chance, something’s creepy.

I didn’t even notice the Celebi toy box. Damn, I want that, too.

I still can’t get over how stupid Kidd’s plan is. She is seemingly such a smart and damn near perfect person yet she’s so sloppy with this.

Kojirou correctly surmises that Lucario’s been locked away for hundreds of years, not thousands.

Why does Masato instantly know what a Mew looks like but not a Lucario?

Kidd says she went there to go to the Tree of World’s Beginnings and unlock its secrets. If that’s true, why start at the castle and why try to get the tracker on Mew?……Did….she not know where it was?…..Give you a hint. It’s that gigantic tree that’s actually a mountain. I know it’s so terribly hard to see, but use your binoculars and maybe you’ll catch a glimpse.

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Hour Mark

Aura was originally called the Wave.

I’m going to revise something I said in the dub review for a minute. I didn’t realize the group was actually halted by the geysers and just decided to bathe in a nearby hot spring while they waited. Chalk it up to completely derping during watching or some dialogue change I didn’t catch, I dunno. I’m still gonna call foul here a little because I really think the car could make it around those geysers with no problem, but if they’re super hot or something it’d be too dangerous.

It’s so cute when Lucario purrs.

The whole ‘Satoshi and Aaron have the exact same wave’ thing is present in both versions. Irritating and nonsensical either way.

While Satoshi does claim that Lucario’s story is a bunch of bull, he doesn’t accuse Lucario of being the one who betrayed Aaron like Ash does.

So, even in the original version Lucario says to never abandon Pikachu specifically and not ‘any of his Pokemon’. Seriously, sometimes you have to wonder how jealousy and Pokemon rivalry doesn’t come into play more often in this series considering playing favorites is so common.

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Hour and 20 Minute Mark

It’s kinda cute when Haruka helps Masato climb up the crystals.

How the hell has no one discovered or studied this place yet? I know, the Regis and blah blah, but if a bunch of kids could get past them I don’t see why adults couldn’t. Even if they had to call in skilled Pokemon Trainers to help. It’s not like it’s in some inaccessible area. You can easily drive to it and walk into it. And it’s not like it’s hidden either, it’s a gigantic mountain in plain sight for miles with tons of legends surrounding it.

Hm….Listening closely to what Regice is saying, it really does sound like he’s saying Regi-Ice and not Redge-ice, despite how it’s spelled. Oddly, though, Satoshi still sounds like he’s saying ‘Redge-ice.’ I guess it’s the former, but it’s spelled like the latter? Please just add another I to make me feel better.

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End

I’m starting to think that, while they don’t outright say it, these gloves somehow amplify the Wave ability or somehow focus it better. Though, if so, why would a Wave master such as Aaron need them and why would he take them off near the end?

Also, Aaron must’ve had small hands if Ash, a ten year old boy, can wear them without issue.

Satoshi merely says, as Sir Aaron and Lucario before him, that the Wave is within him. Ash said that Lucario’s aura is with him. Nitpicky a little, but the original is basically honoring the sacrifices and lives of the wave users before him. The dub is basically ‘he lives in you’. Nothing wrong with the change, per se, but it is a change.

Here’s another weird thing; when Satoshi and the others are looking at the altered painting of Lucario and Sir Aaron, we get a closeup of Satoshi as he points out that they were finally reunited. In the dub, 4Kids chose to not include any dialogue here, so it’s a bit awkward to have a closeup of him talking with no sound. They really can’t make up their minds on how they feel about shots like that. Either that or they just put the song over all the credits and didn’t pay attention to the fact that there was voice work there.

Interestingly, there are shots of more talking later with Brock in the gondola, but there’s no audio from it in the original and the same is said of the dub. *shrug*

The original’s ED….is actually not as good as the dub’s in my opinion. The dub’s was similarly moderately high in tempo, but with an air of somberness in its lyrics. The original’s is a bit overly happy with no real somberness to the lyrics.

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Overall, yes, I would say, barring some minor changes and mistakes and the totally predictable ‘let’s skirt around death’ thing, this is definitely 4Kids’ best dubbing effort that I’ve ever seen from them. The music, most of the writing, a majority of the voice work, the relative lack of edits outside of those that are ‘necessary’, I’m damn near proud of those idiots.

Of course, it’s a bittersweet ending, just like the movie, because it’s yet another reminder that 4Kids had it in them all along to do solid dubbing work and they just chose to be….well, 4Kids.

It’s a shame because dubbing companies for anime aimed purely towards kids isn’t really common anymore. Nelvana’s still dabbling in a couple of shows, DiC hasn’t done an anime since Knights of the Zodiac in 2003, and that’s pretty much all the main ones that still exist to my knowledge. 4Kids could’ve been a great dubbing company for bringing anime to a younger audience in America, but they never cared about anything but money.

I’m not gonna say 4Kids didn’t at least help expose younger audiences to anime. Part of my doing these comparisons was because I used to love old 4Kids dubs like Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon. They obviously had a huge impact on many kids of the anime resurgence back in the early 00’s. 4Kids took up most of Kids WB on Saturday mornings, and they took up so much of it that it was eventually full out changed to 4KidsTV at a certain point.

Problem was, most kids didn’t realize that what they were watching was anime. It was so Americanized and filtered that most kids took it as cartoons with weird art. 4Kids never understood that these shows can have a widespread appeal without whitewashing every single thing out of it. I may never have known that what I was watching was anime without the help of a friend of mine who was actually into anime for real and pointed out Japanese versions of stuff like the Pokemon games and Sailor Moon to me.

Every time that I do a comparison with a 4Kids show, I know most of these edits are pointless and stupid, but when they actually do a great job dubbing something I get even more angry since they seem well in the knowledge that what they do to these shows is mostly pointless and stupid. I know these shows need some tampering to coincide with American laws, such as the card paint edits in Yu-Gi-Oh because of advertisement laws in kids shows, and some instances of violence, alcohol and whatnot, but to say 4Kids went above and beyond the call of duty when it came to edits is a huge understatement. They were just determined to be as kid-ified, paranoid, xenophobic and MURICA’d as humanly possible.

They weren’t even good with money and covering their ass legally what with the several lawsuits from Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh’s creators. Their greed lead to their downfall, and it’s both a good thing and kind of a waste.

Sorry for the big tangent, but since this is 4Kids final excursion, I felt it fitting to get that off my chest here. Plus, I don’t have much else to add about the movie. It’s still a great movie that I would gladly watch again. The original Japanese version is only a tiny bit better, mostly in regards to voice acting and not including the very minor changes.

But now, we have to move on from 4Kids. It’s Pokemon USA’s turn up to bat.

Recommended Audience: There’s several mentions of death and some tense moments where you think several characters have died, and a couple of characters do die. However, it’s presented in such a way that’s not horribly traumatic or anything. Still, maybe, just maybe, a parent or guardian would be nice to have around with kids watching this. Just to be safe. 7+


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Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 08 (Dub) Lucario and the Mystery of Mew Review

Plot: Many years ago, a kingdom was under threat of destruction by a war between two factions unrelated to the kingdom. Sir Aaron, Guardian of Aura, is credited for saving the kingdom and being a hero of the land. However, he sealed away his student and friend, Lucario, in his staff for hundreds of years. Lucario is suddenly released from the staff by Ash, and he believes Sir Aaron abandoned the queen, the kingdom and him all those years ago. When Ash and the others lose Pikachu to the Mew that lives in the mysterious Tree of Beginnings, they begin a journey to retrieve him with Lucario reluctantly leading the way. Is Sir Aaron really a hero? Or is he nothing but a traitor?

Breakdown: Obligatory poster babble – This poster’s pretty good, even if it does look slightly muddled. And why exactly does Munchlax take up more of the poster than May, Max or Brock, whose face basically gets sliced in half?

I will point out that Ash’s hero outfit is not purple like it’s being shown here. It’s dark blue as Aaron’s was. No idea why that’s like that.

Anyway, finally entering into mostly uncharted territory. I say ‘mostly’ because despite the fact that I have never seen this movie outright, I have seen clips and heard a lot about it. There’s a lot of praise surrounding this movie. Even some critics I watch who don’t seem to be Pokemon fans have listed this movie as one of their favorite movies or animated movies ever.

But what makes it so good? And is it really as great as many people claim?

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Our movie starts out, predictably enough, with yet another variation on ‘The World of Pokemon’ intro. However, unlike the previous intros, this one actually doesn’t mention Ash or his friends directly. Clips of him and his companions are put behind the explanation of Trainers in their entirety, which I like. It doesn’t put so much emphasis on Ash being the big hero of every story and instead allows him and his friends to just be a handful among the many talented Trainers around the globe.

Our narrator brings us back into olden times ‘before Pokeballs ever existed’. Really, movie? You’re going to make me get nerdy before the title screen? Okay, let’s do this. Ahem. Skipping ahead a tad, we see that this movie seems based roughly in medieval England-ish times considering Sir Aaron’s outfit design, the fact that he’s titled ‘sir’, indicating some knighthood, and some of the designs of the architecture. Plus, the description for the movie says this is a some hundreds of years in the past, not thousands.

There have been artifacts found in ancient times that have powers that were basically the exact same as Pokeballs – most notably in the episode The Ancient Puzzle of Pokemopolis. These artifacts were of varying designs and none of them were really similar to the modern Pokeballs we know today, but they served the exact same function.

If you want to make the argument that that doesn’t count somehow, there is also an ancient Pokeball from Pokelantis that looks very similar to the modern Pokeballs of today and served the same function shown in the episode Battling the Enemy Within. So don’t tell me this is a time before Pokeballs, movie.

We see a rather beautifully animated Lucario traversing the mountains, and he uses his Aura ability to seek out other living beings. Using this ability, he spots an army of people and Pokemon in red armor. I gotta say, while there’s no real point for a lot of these Pokemon to be wearing armor, such as Rhydon and Steelix, these Pokemon look awesome with this armor on.

Using his Aura ability again, he looks off into the other direction to sense another army, this one wearing green armor. I know it’s unlikely, but I like to think that this is a poke to the original Japanese versions of the first games, especially seeing as how there’s a Charizard on the red side. There’s a Blastoise on the Green side, if they’re making it some kind of combination reference for the original Green and later released Blue.

As a Ho-Oh flies overhead, Pokemon from the Red army start to corner Lucario, so he contacts his master, Sir Aaron, through a nearby crystal.

At a really beautiful castle on an even more beautiful barring the sickly sepia-tone-ish colors everywhere landscape, we see Sir Aaron and the queen, Rin, whose hair must weigh 70 lbs, as Aaron answers the crystal. Lucario updates him on the situation and the Queen claims that the kingdom will fall once the armies reach the castle.

Lucario fights off the Red Army Houndoom with his Aura abilities after getting temporarily blinded in battle while the Queen stands firm in staying with her people and the castle no matter if they all shall fall and perish. And yes, while they don’t say ‘die’ they do say there won’t be any survivors so….

Sir Aaron flies off towards the armies with his Pidgeot—Oh look, a Pidgeot. Isn’t that quaint not-even-born-yet-Ash?

Aaron’s Pidgeot gets badly wounded and crashes into the trees and Aaron doesn’t seem to give a crap about it. Doesn’t say anything, no visible emotion on his face, just ‘Well, that happened. Where’s Lucario?’ Pidgeot can’t catch a break.

As Lucario catches up to Sir Aaron, he reveals that he’s no longer Lucario’s master nor is he allied with the Queen or the Kingdom anymore. As Lucario tries to make sense of Aaron’s seeming betrayal, Aaron recalls Lucario into the crystal on his staff before running away. I like the added bit of the staff shaking after Lucario is inside of it. Either it’s a nod to how Pokeballs shake when a capture is in progress or it’s showing that Lucario is so upset by Aaron’s actions that he’s actually causing the staff to shake. I prefer the latter.

The two armies converge, Pidgeot appears and seems fine, so that’s good. Ho-Oh turns out to be a Mew in disguise, and Pidgeot returns Aaron’s staff to the queen. Suddenly, the Tree of Beginnings and all of the crystals across the land glow green. We then get narration by a woman who is telling her daughter a story as the scene turns into a storybook. She explains that Aaron went to the Tree of Beginnings and did….something with Mew that caused peace to fall over the land. The armies lost the hatred in their hearts, left the land, and the kingdom was restored. Sir Aaron was forever memorialized as the hero of the land.

We then get our title screen, which, despite some iffy CGI on Aaron’s staff, weird animation effects on the text and holding on shots for too long, is a pretty nice intro. I like when they showed the evolution of certain aspects of technology through time.

We’re back with Ash and the others as the narrator, the actual one, explains that Ash and his friends are currently at Cameran Palace where an annual festival is being held in honor of Sir Aaron. A bunch of awkwardly animated CGI Pokemon Trainers gather together for a competition in which the winner will be crowned Guardian of the Aura. Ash, May, Max and Brock are also planning to partake in the festivities while Mew wanders the town turning into a bunch of different Pokemon for really no reason.

Ash and the others go buy some traditional costumes for the festival, and I do like May’s outfit. She did a nice bow with her bandana and the Beautifly bow on the back is not only pretty but it suits May considering that she has/had one. Meanwhile, Brock chose clothes that make him look like a monk or a priest while Max chose an outfit that makes him look like Mickey Mouse.

Three guesses as to what Ash looks like….

Yup, he chose an outfit that made him look exactly like Sir Aaron. Well, I guess if we’ll take him out of the ‘World of Pokemon’ intro to make him feel more like an everyman Trainer we have to take the time out to purposely dress him like a real hero…who is also a storybook hero and a legend….and then later crown him as the Guardian of the Aura….essentially making him a pseudo-Sir Aaron…Hero of our story…I’m probably more bitter about this than I really should, especially since Ash has really only been a ‘chosen one’ hero in one other movie, but something about it just irks me. I do have to say, though, the costume does look pretty good on him.

Even Pikachu gets a spiffy new costume that makes him look like a court jester, and it does make him look pretty cute.

The costume that Jessie picks out looks horrendous. It’s just so busy.

At the arena, Queen Ilene, descendant of and near mirror image of Queen Rin, announces the start of the tournament where…..We get our theme song? Again? Finally?! YAY!

While this is yet another opener with a theme song overlaid on a Pokemon battle, 1) I don’t care, I’m just glad they have the theme song back and 2) Advanced Battle‘s theme song is great, so I still don’t care.

Ash is up first against an unnamed Trainer with a Breloom. I should note that the Trainer’s traditional garb costume clearly has a Pokeball symbol on it. That could just be attributed to non-accurate costumes, but considering the ‘time before Pokeballs’ line earlier, I felt like nit-picking.

Ash chooses Pikachu, because of course he does, and somehow Pikachu loses his costume between shots. One minute he’s charging up his electricity with his costume on, the next he’s landing a hit without the costume and it never returns. It was probably for the sake of making him easier to animate, but at least show him taking it off or something.

Next, we get a battle between some dude in cool looking armor and his Weavile against Not-Ash!? Opener battle showcasing someone besides Ash? Holy crap! Anyway, his opponent is someone in robes with a Tropius. Weavile wins the match.

Next battle is someone I can’t see with a Misdreavus against a Ninetales! Awesome! We hardly ever get to see a Ninetales do anything. Not that it matters, because it ends up losing, I believe, by a rather cool attack from Misdreavus.

We get a quick montage of battles with the tournament bracket overlaid on the scenes, but they don’t put names or pictures on the brackets and animate it to show a passage of time, they just increasingly zoom in on the ‘final’ part. Obviously, Ash is a finalist and he’s actually facing off against the armor guy and his Weavile. Nice consistency, movie!

Pikachu, of course, ends up winning the match through a gigantic, dangerous to the spectators and Trainers, Thundershock.

As Ash is crowned the Guardian, the armor guy shows up to congratulate Ash and reveals that he’s actually a girl named Kidd.

Later that night, in the palace, Ash is being formally presented with Sir Aaron’s staff. Team Rocket are in the background and we see James’ outfit, which is actually pretty damn tame compare to Jessie’s. He just looks like a stereotypical 1800’s Englishman.

Nitpicky again, but Ilene says that the staff of Sir Aaron is Ash’s now….I only bring this up because the wording makes it seem like he can keep it – “The staff is yours now.” – which, since this has been a long-standing tradition with every winner getting the staff, can’t be true.

Ash accepts the staff. As he marvels in it, he suddenly hears the voice of Lucario from within the crystal asking why he was betrayed by his master.

They have a ball in Ash and Sir Aaron’s honor, and all of the creepy CGI models stiffly dance.

May dances with someone who looks twice her age, Brock dances with Kidd, Pikachu dances with the Mew disguised as an Aipom and Max stuffs his face. Meanwhile, Ash just sits on the throne watching everyone else have fun. He’s forced to do so in order to keep up appearances, and golly gee it sure is a nice prize to miss out on a party to sit in a chair and hold a pretty stick.

He lets out all of his Pokemon to have fun at the party….without asking the Queen if it’d be okay to do that. I mean, yeah, she has a Pokemon, a Mime Jr., and Pikachu and Aimew are able to be out just fine, but seriously you should ask first before letting a bunch of animals run loose in a fancy palace.

May does the same thing, again, without asking.

At this point, I have to ask….is there something different about the VA’s in later seasons (Pre dubbing company change, I mean)? Eric Stuart and Rachel Lillis sound weird for some reason.

Kidd breaks away from Brock for a second to make a call in private. We learn that she’s actually working for some strange organization with someone named Banks. She asks for blueprint information to be sent to her visor in an effort to hunt down Mew.

Meanwhile, the Pokemon all head upstairs to the attic to play with a bunch of toys. I would ask why there are so many toys in a palace attic, but I want that Suicune rocking horse and Legendary Birds mobile too much to care. I will, however, complain again about the lack of supervision for these Pokemon. Letting them out in a fancy palace is one thing, not bothering to keep an eye on them is quite another.

Kidd starts to swing around the rooftops of the palace like she’s Spider-Woman, and man, Kidd’s hair is ridiculous when she’s in her ‘stealth’ outfit. How does she get through doors?

She finally spots Mew when it transforms back at the worst time possible. There wasn’t even any reason for it to transform back into its original state. Kidd sends out her two Weavile to place a transmitter on the Mew.

The Weavile pursue Mew, freezing all of the other Pokemon besides Pikachu and Meowth because, oh god, wouldn’t want them to actually contribute or anything.

The Weavile manage to blow Pikachu away by combining their Ice Beams and creating an explosion when combined with Pikachu’s Thunderbolt. I do find it rather cute that Meowth not only catches Pikachu, but he carries Pikachu around afterward. Granted, yeah, Team Rocket wants to steal him, but I really don’t get any bad vibes from Meowth when he’s doing this. Then the Weavile dance and pose like they’re a slightly more graceful version of the Ginyu Force.

*shrug*

Max spots the Pokemon upstairs, though can’t get to them due to the ice blocking the door, and Mew teleports them away. Hey, Kidd, ya know, a good way to capture a Mew, a Pokemon that seems to love teleporting, might be with a Pokemon that knows Teleport. Then again, you seem way too surprised that Mew even could teleport.

Mew transforms yet again, this time into a Pidgeot, and flies Meowth and Pikachu away from the palace.

It should be noted that Kidd is actually angry that her Weavile were being so aggressive with Mew and the others, so her intentions don’t seem to be very bad.

Lucario pipes up again as he sees the painting of Sir Aaron, and, as Ash holds the staff up to call for the fireworks to start, Lucario releases himself. Still blind….somehow (he was blinded by dust hundreds of years ago, why did he not recover from that yet?) he believes Ash to be Aaron since he’s only using Aura to see. However, when Ash starts to talk to Lucario, he slowly opens his eyes and sees that he’s not Sir Aaron. Has he been in stasis this whole time or has Lucario never thought to try and open his eyes?

…Actually, now that I mention it, maybe he was in some kind of stasis. That would explain why Lucario hasn’t died of old age.

Lucario runs away from the party and looks around the palace, confused as to why people are celebrating when the kingdom is under attack and why everything looks odd. He flashes back to when Sir Aaron first brought him to the palace as his new home and started training him in using Aura.

Queen Ilene, Ash and the others meet Lucario in his old bedroom where they reveal the sad news to him that he’s been sealed and asleep for hundreds of years. This deeply shocks Lucario as he looks at the relics encased in glass like a museum.

In the throne room, Lucario explains what happened all those years ago, particularly why he seemed to disappear in the middle of the battle. Wait, if Sir Aaron and Lucario seemingly disappeared at the same time during the war and were partners, why not assume that Lucario also gave his life in some way to quell the fighting and save the palace? Why just believe he vanished without warning? Makes it seem like Lucario’s a traitor while Sir Aaron is the only hero. Actually, if they knew Lucario was trapped in there, wouldn’t anyone be questioning why Aaron did that?

Queen Ilene explains the legend as it has been passed on through the centuries, but Lucario argues that Sir Aaron abandoned the Queen and the palace, not that he managed to miraculously end the war and save the palace.

Ash asks why Lucario thought he was Aaron and Lucario states that the aura within Ash is similar to Aaron’s. Look, I have all sorts of questions as to how this tradition has gone on for so long without a single person triggering Lucario’s awakening and release, but I suppose I can just accept the really unlikely possibility that Ash’s aura is so much like Sir Aaron’s that it spurred/allowed Lucario’s release and that no other tournament winner ever has had an aura close to Sir Aaron’s. But if I have to accept that, everyone else has to accept that that I’ll be salty about this basically meaning Ash is another ‘chosen one’ because I hate that trope.

James: “He was locked in that staff for over a thousand years.” Err…I guess I can also accept that the Pokemon world doesn’t work on real world timelines because, given the setting they were in, it really just seemed like medieval England-ish, which was far from a thousand years ago. Then again, this is Team Rocket, so they could very well be wrong.

Max returns and relays the information about Mew, Meowth and Pikachu to Ash and the others while they catch him up on Lucario. This whole conversation showcases a really odd dynamic. Ash and the others are not surprised in the least that Max saw a Mew, only May asks if he’s sure it was a Mew and not some other Pokemon. Though I do have to ask how May even knows what a Mew is. I would say Ash and Brock know and are cool about it because of Movie 01, but they forgot about it so I’ll just stand firm in my belief that Ash and his friends are just used to seeing Legendary Pokemon now.

However, when they relay the information to Max about Lucario, Brock is prattling the info off like it’s no big deal or even something odd while Max is going ‘Whaaa?!’

Kidd is back in her ball garb because….I don’t know why. She’s explaining that she was on the roof and she doesn’t have bad intentions really so there’s no reason why she felt the need to change. Also, if you thought people pronouncing Charmander as Charminder was bad – Kidd pronounces Pidgeot as PIDG-IT. I’ve never been so badly irked so quickly. I got irk-lash.

Queen Ilene explains that it’s not surprising that Mew took them and was probably playing with them since Mew is frequently around the palace playing around and taking toys to someplace never to be seen again. This freaks out both Ash and Team Rocket….well, James anyway, as this may mean that Pikachu and Meowth are gone forever.

The Queen tells them that Mew is likely at the Tree of Beginnings, which is revealed to not actually be a tree at all but a rock formation in the shape of a tree, which might explain all the weird crystals around the city. Ash is determined to go there and find Pikachu, but Ilene warns that Mew takes on many forms and doesn’t usually show its true form to humans. However, Lucario’s abilities with Aura allow it to see Mew’s true form, so Ilene requests him to join Ash on his journey, which he accepts.

Kidd returns now in her stealth clothes….. Why’d you get back into that ball gown if you were just gonna change your clothes back ten minutes later?

She says that she wants to join Ash and his friends on their journey when Brock suddenly gushes as he recognizes her as the legendary Kidd Summers, a woman who has broken the world record for most world records broken. She’s basically perfect at everything, but that doesn’t have much to do with anything. Thanks for adding some characterization, though.

Also, I really like that Mime Jr. is mimicking Brock as he gushes over Kidd.

It is a bit strange that it took Brock this long to realize who she was, though. He keeps a book with her adventures on him at all times, he’s seen her face several times and even danced with her and he knew her name was Kidd. How could a person who is so into women that he can actually tell the Jennys and Joys apart easily not recognize that this woman was someone he seems to idolize?

It’s not like Kidd is a common name either, nor does she have a generic face. He really needed to see her in her trademark pink outfit and weird illogical hair poofs to realize it was her? I guess that explains why she needed to change back into her ball gown earlier, though. Didn’t want her backstory to interrupt the plot.

Kidd explains that the reason she’s here is to explore and research the Tree of Beginnings and Mew to unlock the mystery behind them. Uh, okay….why not just ask the Queen if you could do that? Hell, considering the Queen seems to know Mew, perhaps she could’ve convinced it to wear the tracker, like a toy or something. Why did she feel the need to sneak around in order to do her work?

Ash and Lucario meet later that night in one of the chambers. Ash thanks Lucario for helping him out with Pikachu, and Lucario asks if he’s Pikachu’s master. Ash says no, even though that is technically correct, and says they’re best friends. He asks Lucario if he’d do the same for one of his friends, and Lucario says he doesn’t have any nor does he want any friends.

Ash grumbles over Lucario’s attitude, but dude, keep in mind, he still believes the one person he thought was even close to being a friend betrayed him by locking him away in a staff for however many years while abandoning the palace and the Queen and then was hailed as a hero for it. Lucario may seem a little touchy, but he has a bit of a right to be.

Lucario leads the group through a dense fog using his Aura abilities, and I’m just now realizing that there’s no real reason why Lucario should be able to sense rocks….Aura senses energy within living beings. Plants I can buy; not rocks. And, no, I’m not counting Rock Pokemon.

While discussing the power of Aura, they basically spoil a part of the movie by deducing that since Ash’s Aura is very similar to Sir Aaron’s (how is that really possible without reincarnation being a factor?) that he should be able to control Aura too. Gee, I wonder if he’ll do that in this movie….

I guess this is one way we might be differentiating this Mew from Movie 01’s Mew – its voice is entirely different….and not in a good way. Movie 01 Mew sounded like a kitten and was really cute. This one’s voice is much lower, basically hums its one word dialogue and sounds like a baby.

The group stops for a nice lunch, and a wild Bonsly tries to steal a plate of food. Lucario takes the plate from the Bonsly and scolds it for stealing while offering a bit of fruit to the Pokemon. I could’ve skipped this part, but it really does seem like a sneak peak at a more soft-hearted Lucario.

Pikachu wakes up in the Tree of Beginnings after being tended to by Mew and Meowth. Pikachu and Mew play for a bit and, again, I see legit caring for Pikachu from Meowth. He seems elated when Pikachu wakes up, gets worried when he sees Pikachu fall and then breathes a sigh of relief when Pikachu shows that he’s fine and gets back up. Did Pikachu and Meowth bond somewhere down the line in the show and I never caught it? I know there have been some bonding moments for them, but it’s always retconned.

Meowth leans against a knot in the tree which sends him through a portal, leading him into a green room with a bunch of green floating bubbles. Pikachu and Mew follow suit, bouncing on the bubbles and having fun. At the end of the line, Meowth, Pikachu and Mew find themselves in a beautiful spot with a gorgeous view.

As the group comes to a bunch of geysers in their path, they decide to stop at a hot spring to take a bath…..Ya know, I let the lunch thing slide because they have to eat. I will not let the bath slide. Pikachu, for all they know, is injured and being held in some place where Mew keeps all its toys for all eternity. Yet they decide to stop in the middle of their journey for a bath in a hot spring.

Even if Pikachu wasn’t injured, he’s still being held in some strange place far away from his best friend/master. Again, for all they know, he’s lonely and scared. Yet they decide that it’s bath time.

Ash does bring up missing Pikachu….but dude, if you were really that eager to get Pikachu back you’d be in the car right now not bathing.

This does, however, set up another flashback for Lucario back to a time where he and Sir Aaron also enjoyed the hot spring.

Ash tries to invite Lucario into the hot spring, but he just walks away.

Ash: “Wonder what’s wrong with it?” Did you not hear the whole ‘my master betrayed me, abandoned me and the kingdom that was so precious to us’ story?

May and Ash find a flower-like crystal in the rocks nearby and accidentally pick it, causing another flashback in which Sir Aaron reveals that the flower is actually a time flower –  an object that allows you to see the past if you have the power of Aura.

Ash and the others decide to replant the time flower, which, when handed to Ash, starts to glow. So is it that it reacts to a person’s aura period or that it reacts to people who are trained in controlling Aura? Because according to Sir Aaron, aura is something everyone has but requires training to control. Yes, Ash’s aura is similar to Sir Aaron’s, but unless he’s a straight up reincarnation with Aura control simply for being like Sir Aaron, it doesn’t make any sense as to why this is happening.

When the plant responds, it shows Ash accidentally picking the time flower earlier and falling off the cliff……wow, such a useful flower showing what happened a couple hours ago….to the person holding the flower…

Hehe, it looks like Ash is holding himself.

When this happens, Kidd explains the legend of the time flower and says it reacted to Ash since his aura and Sir Aaron’s are the same. Wait, we’ve jumped from ‘similar’ to ‘the same’. How can their auras be identical to each other if reincarnation is not a factor? I guess you could surmise that Ash is a distant relative to Sir Aaron, but, to the best of our knowledge, Sir Aaron never reproduced before running off to his supposed death.

Later that night, Ash is, for some reason, recalling that Pikachu didn’t like him at all when they first met and that they became friends after Ash tried to save the wounded Pikachu from a flock of Spearow, and how Pikachu, in turn, saved him way back in episode one. Geez, that’s a hell of a distant flashback.

Also, they loyally redid the entire scene from that episode instead of just ripping the shot straight from the episode. Good on ya, guys.

…..Though….I do have to point out a gigantic problem here….Ash, why the hell are you sharing such a touching tale of friendship blooming between a Pokemon and human….when Lucario is five feet away? Ixnay on the otentiallypay urtfulhay orystay.

In response to this tale, Lucario has another flashback about Sir Aaron training him in using Aura by avoiding swinging logs while blindfolded. After the flashback concludes, Lucario angrily states that all humans are untrustworthy and starts to walk away. I have to ask why Lucario is still so loyal to the Queen if he now distrusts all humans. This isn’t even the same queen he knew back then.

Hearing this, Ash confronts Lucario stating that he is trustworthy and would never abandon Pikachu, though Lucario doesn’t believe him. In a rage, Ash accuses Lucario of lying about Sir Aaron’s betrayal and even goes so far as to accuse Lucario of being the one who betrayed Sir Aaron and abandoned the Queen. Yeah, and then he sealed himself away in Sir Aaron’s staff for hundreds of years because reasons. Good detective work, Ash.

Angered even further, Lucario surmises that maybe Pikachu wasn’t abducted by Mew and that he might have ran off because he didn’t want Ash for a Trainer.

Ash then flips out and tackles Lucario to the ground, causing them to roll down a banking and into a nearby river where they have a wrestling match, which Lucario wins. After Lucario walks away, Ash dries off and gains some clarity on his words by May. Ash feels remorseful for what he said and did. Ooh wait, I just remembered. Ash tackling Legendary Pokemon is back!

“But Lucario’s not Legendar–” *brick’d*

Later, Max meets Lucario on a hill and offers him some chocolate to cheer him up. Never having eaten chocolate before, Lucario enjoys the sweet new taste while not trying to openly show his enjoyment or appreciation to Max.

Back at the Tree of Beginnings, Pikachu, Meowth and Mew continue to enjoy themselves with neat toys like a music box that has a surfing Lapras and plays Jigglypuff’s song. However, Pikachu says that he wants to go back to Ash and the others. In an effort to make him want to stay, Mew shows him more cool toys like a noisemaker that looks like a Shuckle shell that shows the Shuckle when you blow on it and a spinning Hitmontop on a yo-yo string.

Pikachu resigns himself to staying with Mew, but sadly looks up to the sky while saying Ash’s name (Pika-pi is Pikachu’s way of saying Satoshi, Ash’s Japanese name.)

Somehow, Ash immediately wakes up in response. I know this is meant to highlight what a strong bond the two have, but it’s so instantaneous that it seems like Ash has psychic powers. He leaves the van and quietly stares at the tree before he says ‘Pikachu’ which Lucario overhears and sees.

The next day, Lucario stops in the middle of the path as he realizes that he’s at the spot where Sir Aaron sealed him in the staff. He drops to his knees in front of a time flower. I would say this is incredibly convenient, but it was established in that scene that there was a time flower nearby…..how it stayed there for that long is beyond me, but they did.

The time flower shows exactly what happened on that day. Aaron sealing Lucario away and then him flying away on his Pidgeot. However, we get even more than what we saw before as we see the two armies intersecting directly on top of where the group is now. Aw, does that mean the staff was shaking because the ground was?…..I’m still going with my theories, they’re better. *pout*

Lucario freaks out and starts attacking the illusions, only to be brought to his senses by Ash before the vision ends. I don’t really know why Lucario didn’t figure that out for himself. He’s a master of Aura, he can sense life forces. He should’ve realized the armies weren’t really there.

Brock: “You know what I think? Lucario was right.”

………..Brock….why do you always point out the obvious? Really, it seems to be a rather consistent character trait with you. Lucario’s story was right? After you witnessed the entire event unfold in front of your eyes? No way! Hey, I wonder if this HD video evidence of someone committing a crime will be enough to convince a jury that the person committed the crime.

May: “But, I don’t get it. How does that vision prove anything?”

……………………………………………May….are you an idiot? No, it doesn’t give proof that Sir Aaron completely abandoned the kingdom, but it does show pretty damning evidence that he betrayed Lucario and the kingdom because of what he said and did to Lucario, and it also shows him flying away on Pidgeot. It proves that Lucario’s story was technically right. It’s obviously an incomplete version of the story, but it’s right.

Max: “I think I know. There was a big battle, and Sir Aaron must’ve abandoned Lucario.”

YES, we know that already. Lucario said that in his story, it’s part of the legend and you just saw it before your eyes. Did you boil your brains in that hot spring?

Ash apologizes for what he said the other night in light of this vision, and he even cries about it. I know that him crying adds weight to this whole scene….but I am so tempted to hop back on my ‘Ash is completely inconsistent on when he cries and when he doesn’t’ soap box.

Lucario asks him to promise that he’ll never abandon Pikachu. Lucario, you really should be saying ‘promise me you’ll never abandon any of your Pokemon.’ Yes, Pikachu is his partner, but he still has plenty of other Pokemon that he should feel obliged to pledge that to. Ash agrees, and Lucario suddenly senses something. He pushes Ash out the way as they’re attacked by a Regirock.

Ah the Regis…….I don’t care for them…..That’s about it. I just don’t care for them. Their designs, their names, their powers, their backstories….nothing. Regirock does have a stupid voice, though.

Lucario leads them to a hidden tunnel, and on the other side is a beautiful oasis filled with Pokemon, even several fossil Pokemon that the group isn’t batting an eyelash at. I guess they’re alive because it’s under the Tree of Beginnings?

Since they’re directly under the Tree of Beginnings…somehow, I could’ve sworn they were still quite a ways away, Ash and the others rush towards the surface to find Pikachu. Meanwhile, Kidd sends out a bunch of cool little survey robots to send data back to Banks. She says this area has been isolated and protected for tens of thousands of years, but if it’s only protected by a fairly easily avoidable Regirock, I don’t see how that’s possible.

Seriously, how has this place gone overlooked by scientists for so long? It’s a place that is not only known to harbor a Mew, but has a bunch of extinct Pokemon living below it. Not like it’s easy to overlook – the damn ‘tree’ is essentially a mountain.

The robots survey the area and start lightly piercing the crystals to investigate them, but Registeel shows up to crush them, and his voice is just as weird. One of the robots ends up being consumed by a crystal after it mysteriously starts turning orange.

Banks reveals that the Tree of Beginnings is actually a living being, feeding off of sunlight, that is an active part of the ecosystem. So the tree rock is literally a tree made of rock……I feel like we’re going in circles.

Also, Banks’ beard looks like he has a huge chin that was painted gray…..That doesn’t have any bearing on anything, but it’s true.

Out on the surface, Ash and Pikachu hear each other calling the other’s name, and, as Ash rushes to find Pikachu, he comes face to face with Regice.

Ash: “AGH! REGICE!”

First, how the hell do you know what a Regice is? To the best of my knowledge, this is the debut of all of the Regis.

Second, it’s redge-ice. Not Reggie-ice. At least that’s how I’ve always said it considering the spelling. If it was Regi-Ice wouldn’t it be spelled ‘Regiice? Call me out if I’m wrong, but if I am, I feel like the spelling needs to be changed.

Also, his voice is even worse than the other two because it’s a lot higher pitched.

Lucario helps protect Ash with his poorly animated shaky ball of doom.

They realize they can’t fight Regice, even if Ash doesn’t bother trying with his own Pokemon, so they run off and get trapped in a cave where Registeel and Regirock join the party.

Man, they really did up the 2D animation in this movie by quite a bit. James is being animated like he’s in a much better show.

But jeez, Eric Stuart is really phoning in his James voice. He can’t yell or emote in the least today.

Jessie gets absorbed by a weird orange gooey Lileep while James gets absorbed by a weird orange gooey Omastar. Before he does so, however, he releases his Chimecho to save itself (Cacnea was already out, but I like to think he’d do the same for it.) Small thing, but a nice gesture. I know how much James likes Chimecho.

Weird orange gooey fossils start pursuing the others as well, so now they have a bunch of powerful weird stuff attacking them from all angles in a confined area.

Kidd analyzes the goo, and Banks tells her that the goo is essentially the equivalent to the Tree of Beginnings’ white blood cells. It’s viewing the group as a threat and is assimilating them in order to protect the tree. Hm, that’s actually a really clever idea.

As they continue running, Kidd almost gets absorbed, but Lucario takes the hit for her. However, the goo doesn’t end up absorbing him because….

Kidd: “I guess Pokemon aren’t considered dangerous.”

Whaaaat? Pokemon, of all things, aren’t considered dangerous? Have you met Pokemon? They’re pretty damn dangerous. I get that this probably means that, since it’s a haven for Pokemon, it probably refuses to absorb Pokemon as a failsafe to protect the Pokemon housed within its walls, and humans are considered a bigger threat not only to it but to the overall ecosystem, but humans train Pokemon and they can be really dangerous. It just seems like a weird way to put that.

Ash decides to stay behind and buy the others some time, and Lucario also decides to stay behind in loyalty to helping Ash find Pikachu.

Lucario: “And I know you’d do the same for me.”

D’aw.

Using Corphish and Grovyle, Ash starts his delay tactics. And damn it’s cute that Grovyle decides to carry Corphish to help him run.

Later, Brock, Max and May also get absorbed, releasing their Pokemon as well to save them from their fate. Again, really great gesture.

I also find it weird that all of the Pokemon but Forrettress walks sadly to the spot where Brock and May disappeared. It’s not like it’d be difficult to animate him going to the spot. Did they just forget?

Pikachu and Ash finally meet back up, but they’re on two different sides of a huge crevice with only the giant crystals bridging the gap. Ash and Pikachu attempt to make their way to each other while trying to maintain their balance on the slippery crystals as well as fighting off the severe winds gusting through the center.

Pikachu and Ash nearly fall into the abyss after catching each other in midair, but Kidd manages to catch them and return them to safety. And, ya know, as much as Pikachu tends to irk me, the way he nuzzles Ash’s cheek when they’re back on solid ground is endlessly adorable.

Lucario gets captured by Registeel, and Ash and Kidd get captured by the goo–

Lucario: “Ash!” I know you’ve really only bonded with Ash, but Kidd’s getting captured too. Have some courtesy.

Ash and Kidd let out their Pokemon before they’re consumed, and despite the valiant efforts of Pikachu and the others to save him (Guess screw Kidd, huh, Weavile bros?) they fail, and Ash and Kidd disappear.

Well, Pikachu and the other Pokemon are crying. Does that mean Ash and the others will come back from being consumed by gooey Pokemon shaped white blood cells?

Oh did I say the other Pokemon? I meant only Ash’s because apparently the Weavile really don’t care about Kidd as they stand there with no expression.

Geez, Pikachu is legit sobbing. Stop, you’re breaking my heart and giving me more than my fair share of Movie 01 flashbacks.

Seeing that Mew can’t cheer up the distraught Pikachu, it decides to take action and imbue its power into the Tree of Beginnings, allowing everyone to return. So…where the hell were they this entire time? If we take these things as real white blood cells then shouldn’t they have really…died? Were they stuck in some sort of rock purgatory?

At least the Weavile express happiness at Kidd’s return, though they’re probably thinking “Damn, that was our best shot at getting her millions!”

Haha, I love the way the other Pokemon dogpile Ash and Grovyle just walks up to him with his arms crossed like ”sup?” I really love Grovyle.

Meowth explains what Mew did to the tree, and Kidd surmises that the mystery of Mew’s connection with it is that the two are symbiotic – they rely on each other to survive…..That…what? How did you come to that conclusion?

All Mew did was tell the tree that the kids weren’t ‘germs’, causing it to expel them. The oasis might be helping Mew survive, though FirstMovie!Mew had no trouble wandering around undetected and safe, but how is Mew really helping the tree survive? I don’t think keeping the kids would’ve damaged it, and surely there has to be some way the tree discerns between threats and non-threats, like the human body can, to some degree anyway. Also, that doesn’t explain why this particular Mew has these strange tree powers in the first place.

Mew suddenly falls ill and the tree starts to become seemingly ‘infected’ and extremely hot. Wait, so does that mean Mew and the tree are essentially one in the same? Does that mean Ash and everyone else has been wandering around Mew’s body for half the movie?

Banks tells Kidd that the tree is going into shock due to the sudden expulsion of energy on its immune system. If something isn’t done soon, the Tree of Beginnings will collapse, as well as the kingdom surrounding it due to the various crystals from the tree covering the land. Since Mew and the tree are one in the same, this also means that Mew will not survive if the tree collapses.

The sickly Mew directs Ash and Kidd through the tunnels and into the heart of the Tree of Beginnings where Lucario finds Sir Aaron trapped in the crystals.

Curious as to why Sir Aaron is there, Ash conveniently finds a time flower right in the room which shows them exactly what happened with Sir Aaron all those years ago.

In an effort to save the kingdom, Sir Aaron called upon Mew in the heart of the Tree of Beginnings and offered his aura to Mew since they’re one in the same, making the tree thrive and somehow quelling the hearts of those in the war. I don’t quite get it as there was nothing wrong with the tree, but okay.

Since his aura is essentially his life force, Sir Aaron had to sacrifice his life for the kingdom, making him a true hero after all.

Lucario kneels before his fallen friend, deeply regretting that he had ever doubted him. While this should be a very emotional scene, Lucario’s VA does a piss-poor job at conveying the emotion. Especially when he goes ‘Ughhuh’ when he bows his head in grief and shame.

Mew tells Lucario that he can help revitalize the tree with the power of his own aura, but Kidd warns him that doing such a thing will put Lucario in the same state of suspended animation that Sir Aaron is in. While Sir Aaron’s body is indeed encased in crystal and perfectly preserved….he died. Just say Lucario will die if he does this.

Lucario tries to transfer his aura into Mew, but finds he’s not strong enough to do it. Ash, realizing he’d have to do what we all knew he’d do since they said his aura is like Sir Aaron’s, dons Sir Aaron’s gloves….that he took off and neatly placed on the crystal he’s trapped in

because they’re…..magic I guess?

and begins transferring his aura to Mew because he just knows how to do that all of a sudden without any training or instruction.

Again, he’s not Sir Aaron’s reincarnation, he just has an aura like Sir Aaron’s. Even if he was a reincarnation, like, say, Kagome was to Kikyo in Inuyasha, you usually still have to condition such powers in order to properly use them.

Kidd: “No. It’s too dangerous! You’ll end up destroying yourself!” Yeah, Ash, you might end up in the Shadow Realm!

So Lucario and Ash combine their auras into Mew. At the last second, Lucario knocks Ash away, cutting off his aura contribution, leaving Lucario to sacrifice only himself.

Lucario: “The aura is with me!”

May the aura be with you….always.

The transfer completes, and, after a beautiful light show, the Tree of Beginnings is restored back to its rightful glory. Jessie and James reunite with Meowth in a legit happy moment for the three of them, not interrupted by a dumb insult or joke, thank god. Though I do have to point out that Jessie was the only one who didn’t release her Pokemon before she was absorbed. Granted, she didn’t know what the goo was doing to her, but still.

Everything’s all fine and dandy now with Mew, and Banks congratulates Kidd on her findings, claiming it will be a media sensation. However, Kidd asks that they keep this whole thing between them to avoid tourism. Uh, they have a big festival where a bunch of tourists come together every year to honor the legend that includes the tree and you can easily see the tree as well as the copious amounts of giant crystals everywhere from the palace. How this place is not a tourist attraction is beyond me. How this place is not being investigated by scientists is beyond me. A lot of things about this are beyond me, but okay.

As Lucario starts to di—err, destroy himself, wow that sounds so much worse in this context, he activates the same time flower to see Sir Aaron’s final moments. While they do show him taking off his gloves, I still don’t understand why…

They see Sir Aaron apologizing to Lucario for sealing him away, stating that he had to do it in order to protect him since he knew he’d follow him and sacrifice himself as well. Sir Aaron gives a rather touching final speech as his time twindles down, telling Lucario that he was his closest friend and maybe they’ll see each other again some day. Lucario wants nothing more than to speak to Sir Aaron one last time, but the vision fades with Sir Aaron’s life.

Lucario also starts to fade away, despite Ash’s pleas to hold on. He holds no regrets and knows that his place is back at Sir Aaron’s side. Lucario fades away, and the auras of both Sir Aaron and Lucario meld into the Tree of Beginnings, causing it to shine yet again.

I don’t know why Sir Aaron’s body was placed in suspended animation while Lucario’s sacrifice caused his body as well as Sir Aaron’s to turn into aura light and meld with the tree, but okay.

I find it horribly tragic and a bit ironic that Sir Aaron went through all of that trouble to save Lucario from his fate and a mere two days after he’s released from the staff, Lucario suffers basically an identical fate.

Ash reunites with his friends and shares the sad news of Lucario’s passing, but his fate is not held in grief as Ash proudly proclaims that his aura is with him.

Our credits play, showing Ash and the others returning to the palace. We see that, somehow, the painting of Sir Aaron has been altered to include Lucario. Either Ilene has a friggin’ quick painter on hand and wanted Lucario in that painting for some reason, or that was magically changed to include Lucario. In which case, that’s a little dose of BS. A nice touch, but BS…Oddly enough, they show a closeup of Ash as he talks with no sound coming out. I thought 4Kids was paranoid of that…or not….do they ever make up their minds?

They say goodbye to Kidd, Mew has found a friend in Bonsly, the Pokemon who had absolutely no role until that little shot. Mew kept Sir Aaron’s gloves in its stolen toy pile, and we see the also unexplained Regis (were they guardians of the tree or parts of its immune system or what?)

There are some more random shots of Kidd and Ash and co. just doing random stuff, then we cut to Lucario and Sir Aaron in…the past? Or a heaven version of the past? If they went into the tree, they can’t be in heaven, right? Or is the tree creating a heavenly experience for them? Anyway, Sir Aaron eats a chocolate bar….I have no qualms believing there’s chocolate in tree heaven.

And the group continues on their journey.

Throughout the credits, we get the song ‘We Will Meet Again’. It’s a pretty decent little song with instrumentals that sound very similar to the BG soundtrack.

The end!

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So that’s Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, and I have to say that it’s definitely the best made and most well-written of all the movies so far. I’d definitely put it side-by-side in my top favorite Pokemon movies list as number one.

The art was amazing, the animation was fantastic, barring some issues with the CGI sometimes. The story, while having some problems, mostly in how Aura and the Tree of Beginnings as well as Mew work, was very well-written and emotionally impacting. The flow and pacing were great, and the characters were mostly good.

The music was outstanding and very fitting for the theme, and there were many more little details that I enjoyed than there were little things that irked me.

Even Team Rocket’s role, while not being at all useful, didn’t bother me. Brock, May and Max also got really nothing at all to do, but I wasn’t that bothered by it this time around, plus their absorption scenes gave them a tiny bit of spotlight.

The tone was just right, and I actually didn’t mind that the main Pokemon focus this time wasn’t even a Legendary. This story really is Lucario and Sir Aaron’s even if Ash and Pikachu take the spotlight a few times.

Mew is a part of the story, but could’ve mostly been removed without much trouble. Sir Aaron and Lucario could’ve just transferred their auras directly into the tree, though I guess having a living being personify its pain and vitality is a bit beneficial to the emotional impact of the story. The Regis were also relegated to basically being bodyguards (…literally?) for the tree, and they weren’t even really acknowledged as Legendaries.

I’m perfectly fine with the way this is because it really seems like this was one of those times where the writers had a legit story they wanted to tell and didn’t feel like writing a movie plot around a new Legendary that they were contractually obligated to make the star of the movie. Hell, Mew is an OLD Legendary at that. The Regis are new, but like I said they’re not given Legendary focus, they’re just powerful.

I also like how this movie didn’t have a big baddie. There was plenty of conflict to be resolved in Lucario and Sir Aaron, Lucario and Ash, Ash finding Pikachu, traversing through the Tree of Beginnings and saving the tree as well as Mew from utter destruction. There was no big baddie to beat, no big threat came about by some evil person; – just perils that our heroes have to survive. That’s a pretty big breath of fresh air in this series.

It’s very appreciated that they didn’t go down the terrible route of somehow just freeing Sir Aaron from the crystal and having him and Lucario live happily ever after or somehow talking to his ghost. They have Sir Aaron stay dead and Lucario follow, as it truly should be.

In addition, it was a relief that they didn’t go too far with Ash’s Sir Aaron Aura stuff. Yeah, it allowed him to easily manipulate it at the end (with the help of magic gloves? I still don’t get that) but it didn’t give him some super mega deus ex machina power to make him this fantastic hero at the end. He’s about as powerful as Lucario with no real example of true power outside of transferring it.

I do have to ask why Sir Aaron acted like he was betraying Lucario and the kingdom, though. Why not tell Lucario what he was doing but seal him away anyway? Lucario still wouldn’t have been able to escape and he wouldn’t leave the staff thinking so badly of Sir Aaron.

Why say that stuff about not being allied with the Queen or kingdom anymore? Sacrificing your life to save the kingdom is about as loyal as you get. Plus, if Lucario really did believe that Sir Aaron was a traitor, how does he make any logic out of who or what stopped the fighting back then?

I can definitely see why so many people love this movie. It’s almost hard to believe that they managed to find their way back to such quality after so many instances of blah to crap.

I also find it to be a fitting send off for 4Kids. Yes, this is the last Pokemon movie (and maybe the last Pokemon thing? It’s difficult to confirm) that 4Kids dubbed before handing over the reigns to PUSA.

Instead of being bitter buttmonkeys and making a terrible dub, they decided to actually make one of their best dubs, if not their best dub, ever. While some emotional scenes get lost in their impact due to lackluster voice acting (though I must admit, Jason Griffith did a fantastic job as Sir Aaron), and there’s the whole ‘can’t say ‘die” BS, everything is incredibly well-done. Though I can imagine that, since changes and edits cost 4Kids time and money and they likely didn’t have much to spend at that point, they probably just didn’t want to bother making too many changes either way.

RIP in peace, 4Kids. You’re….kinda….mis–….we’re sad to see you g—….Well, bye.

Recommended Audience: The death scenes are a bit heavy for younger audiences, but it’s definitely not on the same childhood scarring level as Mufasa or Bambi’s mom. E for everyone!

Final note: Here’s something to ponder – Kidd is responsible for Lucario’s death and nearly destroying the Tree of Beginnings. If she had just asked Ilene about seeing Mew or properly instructed her Weavile, Mew never would’ve kidnapped Meowth and Pikachu, and Ash and the others never would’ve gone to the tree at all. It could be argued that without her interference Lucario never would’ve found out the truth about or reunited with Sir Aaron, but I can imagine Lucario would’ve investigated on his own either way.

Also, Kidd never seems to admit to Ash and the others that her Pokemon attacked them and caused Mew to run off with Meowth and Pikachu. If she had, I can imagine Ash would be a little pissed at her. Pretty good character, kinda slimy with her methods and honesty.


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Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 07 (Sub) Deoxys the Visitor Review

Plot: A mysterious meteor lands on earth near the North Pole containing the alien Pokemon, Deoxys. It tries to take a strange stone from deep within the snow, but Rayquaza, angry at the intrusion on its territory, violently attacks Deoxys. Rayquaza seemingly kills Deoxys before returning to the sky.

Four years later, Deoxys regenerates its body and continues its search for the stone, and Rayquaza wants to take it down once more.

Meanwhile, Satoshi/Ash and the others meet a boy named Toi/Tori who suffers from a paralyzing fear of Pokemon after a traumatic experience with them as a small child. They try to help him get over this fear by getting him accustomed to Pokemon, but they find that helping Toi is a lot more difficult than they first thought.

Breakdown: This poster is definitely more dynamic than the American poster, but, being fair, the American poster is just an Englished-up version of an alternate Japanese poster, so I can’t really complain too much.

From all I can find, this movie is a very loyal translation, if not the most loyal adaptation we’ve seen so far, so I don’t believe this requires a step-by-step analysis.

Instead, let’s review this in a chunklet format – by 20 minute chunks.

20 Minute Mark

PM7SUBSCREEN1

The ‘World of Pokemon’ opener is actually the same dialogue we’ve come to know instead of trying to shoehorn in stuff about the Pokeball itself.

Just now noticing that the animation on the Jolteon in the opener with the herd of Pokemon running is so jarring I’d even say it’s incomplete.

Now I know what this opener with the awful CGI reminds me of. Pokemon Snap. Mm, I miss Pokemon Snap.

I don’t have the Japanese video track so, sadly, I can’t compare the title screens.

Tory’s Japanese name is Toi. Also, his last named is Rondo, which may be accurately-ish turned into Lund.

Status update: Munchlax/Gonbe is still adorable and hilarious.

Oh god, the little cube robots are just as annoying here as they were in the dub….

40 Minute Mark

PM7SUBSCREEN2

Satoshi tells Toi he only wants to battle as they exit the elevator whereas Ash just said ‘Wait, we just wanna…’ which makes it a little more understanding in the original as to why this guy just shoved these kids into the Battle Tower system….the system still should have recognized that Toi’s not a Trainer, though.

Likewise, Hitomi/Rebecca says Satoshi beat her to the arena, not that he cut in front of her. Wording is everything, 4Kids.

I have no idea how I got through Movie 06 without noticing this, but Masato’s/Max’s Japanese voice is terrible.

Ryu was changed to Rafe, and Shota was changed to Sid.

Satoshi actually acts like kind of a jerk when he takes the reigns in the match. Whereas Ash tells Tori not to worry about battling, Satoshi says, in a pretty rough tone, ‘I’ve had enough of this! I’ll do this alone!’ Dude, chill out. He said he’s not a Trainer and yet you pestered him to battle all because you were way too hyped to battle someone you met ten minutes ago. Is it really a surprise he has no idea what to do?

Status Update: Yup, still adorable.

Later Status Update: Still hilarious.

Okay, so we get a bit of a trade off here. Haruka is a little more rude to Shota than May is to Sid, and Takeshi is much less of a pushy controlling asshat in that one scene with Hitomi than Brock was with Rebecca.

Obviously, the insert song during the little Pokemon party is completely different from the dub’s. And….this song really is just bad. I feel like this song should be in some moe shoujo anime, not Pokemon. The melody is okay, a little toe-tapping, but the lyrics and vocals are just….gah. Not to mention, with all the talk of stars, this song seems more suited for Movie 06….

Also, the song just suddenly ends after the second chorus. *shrug*

One Hour Mark

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Nothing of note, really.

One Hour 20 minute Mark

PM7SUBSCREEN4

Haruka: “Motionless escalators feel kinda weird.”

……Excuse me, Mitch, gonna borrow a joke for a second.

Mitch Hedberg: “I like escalators because escalators can never break. They can only become stairs. There would never be an ‘Escalator temporarily out of order’ sign, only an ‘Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.’”

For the record, May merely said that she’d never take escalators for granted again.

Audrey and Catherine, Rafe’s sisters, keep their original names. Though I have to wonder why they have English names and Ryu’s is very obviously Japanese.

End

PM7SUBSCREEN5

Satoshi: “Professor Rondo, Toi’s not the only one who can save the city. I’m here too!” You really can’t let anyone else have the spotlight for five minutes, can you? This is Movie 04 all over again.

Wow, Kabigon/Snorlax’s Japanese voice is…..just awful. Just….terrible.

As expected, the end credits song is just the insert song only longer, and somehow it’s even worse in the extended version. The added lyrics are even more cutesy and lame and, while it’s not horribly repetitive, it still is as such.

————————————–

This movie is damn near identical to the 4Kids version barring some minor dialogue changes that both make the script better and worse, so it evens out. The music is worse thanks to the lone vocal song, but then again the video isn’t cropped so that also evens out.

All in all, I have the same problems with the original as I do the dub. Some problems differ due to slight script changes, but I’m ultimately just as ‘satisfied’ with the original as I was with the dub.

Recommended Audience: Same as the dub, 6+


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Pokemon Extravaganza: Movie 07 (Dub) Destiny Deoxys Review

Plot: A mysterious meteor lands on earth near the north pole containing the alien Pokemon, Deoxys. It tries to take a strange stone from deep within the snow, but Rayquaza, angry at the intrusion on its territory, violently attacks Deoxys. The legendary dragon seemingly kills Deoxys before returning to the skies.

Four years later, Deoxys regenerates its body and continues to search for the stone, but Rayquaza wants to take him down once more.

Meanwhile, Ash and the others meet a boy named Tory who suffers from a paralyzing fear of Pokemon after a traumatic experience with them as a small child. They try to help him get over this fear by getting him accustomed to Pokemon, but they find that helping Tory is a lot more difficult than they first thought.

Breakdown: Ladies and gentlemen, the last Pokemon movie I watched full out in the past before doing these reviews.

I caught Destiny Deoxys on Kids WB around the time of its release in the US, and I remember being completely unimpressed by it. I don’t like Deoxys at all. It has a weird design, especially in defense form, I don’t care for its color scheme and I find its backstory to be rather silly, even if this is the first time in a long time where we’ve revisited the concept of Pokemon aliens.

There is one aspect of this movie that I watched all the time and that was really for the song, which I’ll address later.

Before I go onto the review, that movie poster has two different versions. The one you see above which is basically a mirror image of the Japanese poster barring the text (I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened) and this version.

I honestly don’t know why this was altered like this. It’s still the same poster but the alternate forms have been removed, Rayquaza has been moved up, Max, May and Brock have all been removed, Plusle and Minun have been moved and Munchlax was added. I much prefer the original version, and I honestly don’t understand the changes to the second.

I can, however, excuse it a bit because the speed form never appears in this movie – only the normal and defense forms do.

With that out of the way, let’s start the show!

Be warned, this movie is quite a bit longer than the other Pokemon movies because it didn’t need to take 20-30 minutes off to include the short, meaning the review will also be a little lengthier.

You can find the Bulbagarden comparison here.

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We start with not-the-World-of-Pokemon opener. This time, we’re exploring the World of Pokeball. We as an audience even get sucked up into a Pokeball to finally see what it’s truly like in there. Apparently it’s a green world filled with green blocks of jello and hallucinations of various Pokemon. Hah, take that countless Pokemon message board posts!

We segue into the ‘World of Pokemon’ as we cut to tons of Pokemon running across the screen. The last time I saw so many Pokemon running in one direction, the world was ending, so, uh, you’re making me kinda nervous already, movie.

What’s up with the weird CGI Rhyhorn during this sequence? So awkward.

After that we keep going back and forth between CGI and traditionally animated Pokemon. At least most of the CGI ones go by so quickly that I can’t tell how bad they likely are, but the Arbok at the end is a little off-putting.

As the opener continues with explaining the dynamic between humans and Pokemon, we cut to Ash and the others. Then they straight up steal the shot of the equally icky CGI Suicune from Movie 04.

But they “justify” it by having a full Movie 04, Ash and Misty in their race from Movie 05 and Ash flying on Flygon in Movie 06.

Ya know, I praised the last movie and even the last short with their homages to the previous movies. Showing the Legendaries from all of the movies in fantastic and NEW shots was great. Even seeing brief shots of the locations from the previous shorts was a nice addition to the final legit short.

This is just laziness. They didn’t even pick particularly good scenes from those movies, nor did most of these clips show the Legendaries of the movies.

Continuing on with the opening, there are a lot of Pokemon on earth but there might be more on other worlds. Cut to a weird meteor in space.

We get our title sequence, and despite it being really nicely done in regards to color choice and animation, the actual graphics look flat and uninspired. The final shot itself is just a silhouette of Deoxys. Also, why are the gong sounds from my grandma’s doorbell playing at the end while lights flash in sync to it?

Onto our credits sequence, which sadly still has no Pokemon opening song again, where we cut to the North Pole. A bunch of researchers are there doing researchy things when our movie main character, Tory’s, father and his assistant, Yuko, spot Tory with binoculars as he plays in the snow and befriends a Spheal.

The same meteor starts heading for earth, right where these researchers and Tory are, to be precise. A Rayquaza is watching the meteor fall from high up in the sky. I always loved Rayquaza but apparently I’m a rarity? I’ve been in at least two forum threads asking for favorite Dragon Pokemon, and Rayquaza was treated like a leper in both threads for no given reason.

The meteor lands closeby, causing Tory to fall and the nearby Walrein to stampede around him. He’s so frightened that he ends up passing out. Tory’s father saves him, and out from the meteor emerges Deoxys. It uncovers a big colorful rock in the snow, infuses it with power and causes a light to shoot up into the sky.

Rayquaza arrives and starts attacking Deoxys for some reason. The battle rages on, and Rayquaza actually manages to blow Deoxys’ arm clean off. Uhh….by the way, parents, Pokemon the First Movie: We’re Totally Against Violence We Promise, is on sale for everyone who skips this shot. Hehe…he….Broooother, my broooooother!

But don’t worry, Deoxys is obviously from Namek and can regenerate his arm just fine. Deoxys starts fighting back, and Tory’s father and Yuko take Tory and run off.

After getting a really good throat strike on Rayquaza, Deoxys and Rayquaza start to destroy the researchers’ equipment while trying to attack each other. Deoxys manages to get the upperhand, and just as its about to finish Rayquaza off, we get a shot of Rayquaza through Deoxys’ eyes which seem to constantly have a ripple Photoshop effect on them. Deoxys stops his attack, giving Rayquaza the opportunity to strike back again, but Deoxys defends itself with its defense form.

The battle rages on….and on….and on….I don’t much mind long battle sequences, I can sit through any arc of DBZ just fine, but this battle is going on for a bit too long with me not knowing what’s going on nor who to side with or care about. Am I against Rayquaza for attacking a seemingly innocent Deoxys? Is it actually trying to protect something? It’s obviously not protecting the researchers considering it’s helping destroy the place. Does Deoxys mean harm? What was the rock? What did it do when it glowed? Does Rayquaza want the rock? Just keep pummeling each other and explain later. I have time.

Long battle short, Deoxys earns a hearty Hyper Beam right to the face and ends up being disintegrated, leaving only an oval-shaped stone much like the one Deoxys found at the start behind, sinking into the depths of the ocean as Rayquaza returns to the ozone layer.

Oh wait, is it dead? Did Rayquaza just murder Deoxys? Geez, this movie is much shorter than I remember it.

The researchers take their only non-destroyed mode of transportation, a helicopter, out of the site while carrying the rock that Deoxys picked up earlier. Tory’s dad says that the reason Rayquaza was so mad was because Deoxys entered into his territory. Thanks, I could’ve used that information sometime at the start of the battle, but better late than never.

Cut to four years late – oh now you’re not afraid to use time cards, huh, 4Kids? Couldn’t use them in the movie about time travel, but you’ll use them here? Anyway, the researchers are now experimenting on the rock. They zap it with a laser in hopes of regenerating what I presume will be a different Deoxys, but they overload the system before the regeneration can be performed.

Older Tory talks to someone offscreen, and, as the researchers leave for the day, Yuko sees the stone glowing. Meanwhile, back in the old research site location, the ice begins to crack and break apart as a water spout shoots into the sky to reveal a newly revived Deoxys who spouts a bunch of pink light from his chest. Deoxys, you fool! Don’t you know that too much pink energy is dangerous!?

We cut to Ash, May, Max and Brock riding a magnet train and enjoying the sites of Larousse City, known for its high-tech gadgetry. However, Ash is more interested in its famous Battle Tower.

Team Rocket also shows up to the city in—holy crap, that’s the Magikarp sub! Wow, they haven’t used that in ages. Anyway, they arrive by water since the city is so close to the water, and I guess they’re too cheap to take the train. Aw the sub sunk! Does that mean it’s the legit end of that now?

We see our first example of the super high-tech city when a nearby child and his Poochyena throw a bottle into a high-tech trash can where apparently it needs to scan the item and open its lid for you before you can throw the trash away. Yes, let’s promote recycling and cleaning up your garbage by over-complicating a trash can and making a half-second task take five seconds.

Now, you’d think the scanner would at least make the process more efficient. It probably only allows certain types of items or scans them to understand where to send them in regards to recycling, and it probably keeps animals and stuff out of it.

Nope, it’s just there to detect when something, anything, is there to throw away.

This is shown when a nearby pair of Plusle and Minun decide to play with it. The instant it scans Minun it opens to let it in, which, when you think about it, is even worse than an animal getting into a regular garbage can. At least in that situation the animal has a good chance of getting out on its own. This trash can closes up tight once the item is inside, meaning the animal would probably die in there. Thanks, technology!

Plusle and Minun screw around with the garbage can some more by having Plusle activate the lid while Minun is on top, launching him up in the air. They knock it over, garbage goes everywhere, they laugh and walk away. Littering is not funny, you little delinquents!

A nearby Munchlax sees this and kindly puts the trash can back up. He tries to kick one of the bottles into the trash can in a pretty funny scene, but fails and sadly walks away. Aw, I wanted him to get it in.

Back with Ash and the others, we see another aspect of the movie that stood out to me – these weird floating block robots. Now, stopping myself for a minute, I like the idea of this city, but it does weird me out that it’s such a different environment for this show. Despite several displays of incredibly advanced technology, we’ve never really had them in such a high-tech environment before. Closest they get are the really big cities, and even that’s not terribly more high-tech than your average city in the real world.

Even having this take place in a city is a new thing for the movies since most of them have either taken place in a forest, a small town, or some desolate location.

I can’t really bring myself to say it’s all that great because, despite liking them in an environment that isn’t a forest, forest, forest or, on the rare occasion, a forest, it doesn’t really wow me at all. The only major note of this city, really, outside of the magnet train are these little colorful block robots that, for some reason, remind me of Cubix: Robots for Everyone and I didn’t even watch that show.

But just because these robots are pretty unique in the show, that really doesn’t mean they’re terribly interesting or fun. In fact, they’re downright annoying with their super-high-pitched voices.

The group stumbles upon one of these robots and it suddenly takes everyone’s individual pictures, strangely enough with a camera that looks like it was taken from the 1930’s, and logs their origin data somehow. It spits out passports for everyone that are needed to give people access to pretty much everything in the city. So, yeah, not only does it randomly take your picture, but it transmits the picture back to some headquarters place, your personal data is somehow recorded by these people and they give you a passport which monitors where you go and what you do. Where’s the fuhrer of this city?

Ash makes an idiot out of himself by accidentally getting on a moving sidewalk and trying to run against it. Some locals laugh at him for this, and one of them sends out his Blaziken to help Ash get on the proper sidewalk. He pisses Ash off by saying he was making a fool of himself and directs him to the Battle Tower.

Despite laughing at him and calling him a fool, Ash decides to be friendly to the guy, named Rafe, and asks to battle. He accepts and says he’ll see him at the Battle Tower. With Rafe are his two little annoying twin sisters who basically do all the typical annoying twin things like speaking in unison, constantly agreeing with each other and repeating things others say, again, in unison. Doesn’t help that their voices are so terribly high-pitched that it hurts.

God, who does their voices anyway?…..Rebecca Honig? Hm, I don’t recognize her other Pokemon roles. Let’s see what else she’s got….Cream the Rabbit from Sonic X?! I knew that level of annoyance was familiar.

There’s also some guy named Sid, another Trainer on his way to the Battle Tower who quickly falls for May, and Rebecca, yet another Battle Tower Trainer who uses her laptop all the time and also uses it to help in her battles.

They arrive at the Battle Tower, and Ash goes off to register while May, Max and Brock go off to the stands to spectate. We get some more shots of all the gadgets in the city which, again, are not really that impressive. One of those cube robots makes a screen to create a map of the tower for guests while another doles out ice cream, which is apparently free just as long as you show your passport. Free healthcare AND free ice cream!? The Pokemon world is awesome.

Ash gets lost because that’s what Ash does. Why didn’t he follow Rafe, Sid and Rebecca? They were all going to the same place yet they seem to disappear when they get to the tower.

There’s also a library at the Battle Tower for…some reason, and Ash sees Tory walking out of it. He tries to stop Tory to ask for help, but Tory freaks out at the sight of Pikachu and runs away. Tory tries to escape in an elevator, but Ash manages to jump in just in time. He explains his situation to Tory and asks for help, but Tory is too scared to answer and runs off again when the elevator stops. The boys are both stopped by an employee at the tower who sends them on a conveyor belt track to the Battle Arena. A machine scans Ash and Tory and detects their passports, instantly registering them for the tower.

Rebecca tries to get in, but doesn’t arrive on time. She was ahead of Ash and the others, and Ash was lost, how the hell was she late?

Also, this place is so high-tech that practically everything is a gadget yet it can’t detect that Tory has no Pokemon of his own and thus wouldn’t be able to battle? And aren’t Pokemon Trainers registered in some mass system?

They arrive in the Battle Tower stadium to have a tag team battle, and Rebecca joins May, Max and Brock in the audience.

May: “I wonder how Ash got registered so quickly.”

Rebecca: “By cutting in front of me.”

How did Ash cut in line? There was no line. There is no registration line. You go down to the basement and some big guy throws you in there without even asking you any questions. The system automatically registers you once you’re already heading to the stadium and your match is set up. You didn’t get in because you arrived behind Ash and Tory for no given reason despite having a huge head start.

Ash and Tory’s opponents come into the stadium and its, predictably enough, Rafe and Sid. The announcers gives the conditions of battle – a tag team match with only one Pokemon used per Trainer – and Rafe and Sid release their Pokemon first. Rafe sends out his Blaziken while Sid sends out a Blastoise. Ash sends out Pikachu and asks what Pokemon Tory will use, but as we all have figured out two minutes ago, Tory has no Pokemon to battle with.

With no second Pokemon on their side, Ash and Tory are set to forfeit by default. Ash decides to lend one of his Pokemon to Tory with which to battle. I don’t understand why that wouldn’t be against the rules, but whatever. Tory figures he has no choice so he sends out Ash’s Torkoal to battle.

The battle begins, and Rafe starts by sending Blaziken out to hit Pikachu with a Blaze Kick. Pikachu jumps up to dodge, but Blastoise knocks it away with Hydro Pump. Sid commands Blastoise to use Bubble on Torkoal. The Bubble attack hits, and Ash tells Tory to give commands to Torkoal, but since he’s not a Trainer he doesn’t know what to do.

Blastoise does a Rapid Spin into Torkoal, sending him flying and causing everything to slow down in Tory’s perspective as Blastoise gets close to him while spinning. We flash back to Tory in the middle of the Walrein stampede, causing Tory to freeze up.

This solidifies his fear in Pokemon, allowing me to bring up a big problem with this whole scenario. Tory is scared to death of Pokemon to the point where even cute little Pikachu sends him running off like a horror movie target…..Okay…before I get to the big picture, why the hell was Tory in, of all things, the Battle Tower? That place is crawling with Pokemon, and the tower itself is meant to be a place where Trainers can come together to battle each other. Why would he go there?

Yes, there’s a library there, and Tory, being a researcher’s son, probably has a thirst for learning, but I assume with all the technology in this city and his dad having access to untold amounts of information surely there’s really no reason for him to brave a Pokemon-ridden tower to read some books. Use a Kindle….use the Internet, have books delivered to your house. You have lots of options, kid.

Next, how the hell does he get through life like this? He lives in the Pokemon world where practically everything is dedicated to Pokemon in some way. Where, if you are somehow a rarity who dislikes Pokemon, you’ll be treated like a leper and eventually have to conform and like Pokemon after being ceaselessly prodded by others. Pokemon are everywhere in this series. Friggin’ everywhere. How does he stay sane even merely leaving his house when the average person probably sees or interacts with at least one to five Pokemon per day?

Finally, really? The reason he fears Pokemon this much is because of the Walrein stampede? Granted, yes, that would probably be scary for young Tory, but he didn’t get hurt in that stampede….at all. They ran around him. Would that slightly frightening experience be so bad that he would end up being this emotionally scarred for so long? And why does it encompass all Pokemon, even small cutesy ones? Shouldn’t he just be afraid of Walrein? That’s like developing a fear of dogs after having one run past you and then being afraid of bunnies as a consequence.

Back to the action, Pikachu tries to defend Torkoal with a Thunderbolt to Blastoise, but Blaziken counters with a Flamethrower. Blastoise regains his composure and Skull Bashes Pikachu, knocking him into Torkoal and pinning him under his shell.

Ash decides to take the reigns for Torkoal too—Okay now he’s controlling his ‘partner’s’ Pokemon. Surely that is against the rules!

Apparently it isn’t, and Ash commands Torkoal to use Flamethrower. It does, but accidentally burns Pikachu’s tail in the process. Torkoal, upset at accidentally hurting Pikachu, starts crying and sending smoke everywhere. Geez, I’m embarrassed for them. Rafe finishes off Pikachu and Torkoal with Overheat and Ash and Tory are defeated.

Tory’s dad and Yuko show up to the Battle Tower. They had watched his battle on television and went to the tower to tell him how proud they were. Tory tells them not to be proud because the whole thing was an accident and runs off.

Brock gushes over Yuko and – Since when does Brock discuss Professor Ivy without becoming a depressed lump in the corner? Anyway, Yuko explains Tory’s situation with his childhood trauma and being afraid of all Pokemon because of it. Yuko believes he really loves Pokemon deep down, like he used to as a small child, but he needs to get to know them again to get over his fear. Ash, feeling guilty over pushing Tory so hard in the Battle Tower when he has a fear of Pokemon, decides to take it upon himself to show Tory how great Pokemon really are. See? I told you. You must all like Pokemon!

Back with Tory, the Plusle from earlier tries to get Tory’s attention, but he shoos him away. Plusle runs to a knocked over trash can where his brother is trapped and begs Tory to help. Again, told ya so. Despite his fears, he decides to help them out, and, just as Ash comes out to meet him, Tory frees Minun from the garbage can. Plusle and Minun happily reunite and try to thank Tory by giving him a hug, but he backs away before they can touch him and runs off.

Munchlax shows up again to pick up the trash can and tries again to kick a bottle into the can. This time he succeeds. Yay! I love that little guy.

Ash follows Tory to some garden where he speaks with the unseen being from earlier, only this time we get to see what it is.

A big sparkly glowy piece of intergalactic Flubber made of light….Yeah….yeah that pretty much sums it up.

He excitedly tells the Flubber thing about what happened with the Plusle and Minun when we cut to Deoxys. Oh right, the plot! I completely forgot about that part of the movie…..Sad thing is, I’m not even really joking. We haven’t so much as mused about Deoxys, Legendary Pokemon or anything main plot related for over 15 minutes.

Deoxys lands in Larousse City and expels all its pink energy into the sky again, creating an aurora borealis effect. And….that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed it.

As Tory continues to talk with Flubber, Ash shows up and asks who he’s speaking with. Flubber disappears in response and so does the pink light.

He badgers Tory about who he was talking to and tries to talk with him, but Tory keeps telling him to go away. He accidentally spooks a flock of Wingull, which causes him to fall down in fright. Ash runs to his side to see if he’s okay, but Tory knocks Ash down when he gets scared by Pikachu.

Angered, Ash grabs Tory by the shirt, but May arrives to calm him down. Trying to create an opportunity for everyone to become friends, Brock cooks up a fondue. Wasn’t aware Brock was a housewife from the 1950s but okay.

Seeing the food, a bunch of other Pokemon arrive. Brock gives them some bowls of Pokemon food and May and Ash try to get Tory adapted to the Pokemon. Ash even offers to have Tory pet Pikachu. He starts to try, but ends up pulling his hand away in fear.

Tory thanks the group for trying to help him and runs off. Munchlax returns again to eat the group’s lunch. Once he’s done, he jumps up 300 feet in the air, lands quietly and walks off……What the hell was that even? Why is this Munchlax so adorably funny?

The Plusle and Minun from before arrive to have some food too, and I’m just now realizing that these two are basically the Pichu Bros. They already look almost exactly like Pichu to begin with, they’re brothers and they cause a bunch of trouble. Huh.

The plot returns again, and this time Deoxys is just destroying stuff in the city. He creates the pink light again and….we’re back to Ash and the others again. Bye, again, plot!

They marvel at the lights, and Rebecca explains that they shouldn’t be able to see aurora lights since they’re usually only viewable at the North and South Poles. A bunch of awkward flirting goes on with Sid and May and Brock and Rebecca. Brock also gets really demanding with Rebecca for some reason, basically yelling at her to spend time with him.

Rafe arrives to give a few jabs to Ash for losing so badly earlier, and Ash asks for a rematch at the Battle Tower tomorrow. Rafe agrees and starts to leave. I guess he was only there to pick on Ash.

He stops when he sees Tory, who came back to share a big basket of cookies with everyone. Oh did I say cookies? Let me clarify – they’re Pokemon cookies because what else would they be?

Everyone lets out their Pokemon to have some cookies and enjoy the night, and this was the one part of this movie that kept me coming back. This is really just a scene with the Pokemon having fun and playing while Tory gets slowly closer to them, but the real reason I liked the scene was because the song, while being kinda cheesy, was also really catchy. Yup, just a moderately decent and catchy song with nothing important happening on screen was the one reason I usually stayed to watch this movie.

Apparently Rafe’s sisters also have Pokemon; a Surskit and a Masquerain. Not that it ever matters at all but there ya go. In addition, I guess the only Pokemon that Rafe and Sid have are Blaziken and Blastoise respectively.

….This scene is cheesier than I remember. The song’s lyrics are cheesier than I remember, the scenes themselves get downright dorky sometimes like the sudden quick cuts of all the Pokemon playing in the pipes, and its saturated with sugar. I don’t dislike the scene, but it’s definitely a bit of diabetes.

Team Rocket arrives to take the food from their picnic. Oh yeah, they’ve been here the whole movie again, I just didn’t mention it because, like always, they don’t do anything but complain about food and get hurt. Only reason I’m mentioning them here is because Munchlax ruins their thieving plans by bogarting the food himself and running off, making Team Rocket give chase.

The light disappears, and Deoxys knocks some more stuff and Pokemon over. And then he……Oh okay, back with Ash and Tory again. Don’t worry, it’s not like the movie is about Deoxys or anything.

Tory tells Ash that he’s never really had fun with a bunch of friends before and believes it to be because of his fear of Pokemon. See?! Your life is ruined if you don’t like Pokemon! I am on a roll.

Pikachu offers to have Tory pet him again to prove that he’s finally getting over his fear of Pokemon. He tries again, yet Corphish butts in and freaks him out, making him run off. Way to go, Corphish. Ash calms him, but the attempt to get closer to Pokemon is again ruined.

The next day, Tory brings the whole group to his father’s lab where Tory introduces everyone to Flubber out in the garden.

The Pokemon B-Squad let out their Pokemon to meet Flubber while Rebecca tries to analyze it with her computer.

Back with the “main plot” Rayquaza is making its way to the city to confront Deoxys. Oh and apparently Officer Jenny is the leader of the security guys for this city. You’re all screwed.

Professor Lund (Tory’s Dad) tells Officer Jenny that if Rayquaza and Deoxys meet and battle there, the city will mostly likely be destroyed. He calls for an evacuation, and Jenny agrees with his request.

This is really random and minor, but when the people start evacuating a guy gets on a train wearing a dress, sways back and forth and says ‘it’s party time!’ He’s never seen or brought up again.

Ash and the others are trapped in the garden since Deoxys has been messing with all of the electrical devices in town, making the passport system not work. Professor Lund tries to get to Tory but ends up getting caught on the moving sidewalk when it reboots.

Millions of cube robots then come together to make a bridge away from the city and into a different one, which uh yeah, screw that. Everything is being disabled by Deoxys, meaning that once these robots get hit everyone on the bridge will be right in the water. Not to mention this bridge doesn’t have side rails which Professor Lund could’ve really used to keep him from falling in the water like he does.

Officer Jenny drives by in a boat the instant Professor Lund falls into the water and saves him. Really convenient considering she didn’t know where he was or what he was doing.

Deoxys makes a bunch of clones of itself and starts kidnapping people. Rayquaza shows up and starts attacking Deoxys. It puts up a force field around most of the city, somehow draining power from everything, which results in the cube bridge breaking apart and falling into the water. How many times am I going to say ‘I told you so’ in this movie? Luckily no one was on it because apparently a whole-city evacuation can occur in a minute and a half.

Rayquaza is trapped behind the force field, and we return to the group where Sid and Blastoise are trying to pull open the doors to the garden. Hey guys, you could probably save yourself a lot of trouble if you just broke the GLASS doors. Rebecca’s Metagross simply walking into them would probably break them.

Deoxys arrives at the garden and makes more clones which kidnap Sid and Blastoise as they try to protect May. Tory leads everyone to the exit while Rafe and Ash try to buy some time by defeating the clone Deoxyses….Deoxyi….clones with Pikachu and Blaziken.

Ash: “Way to go, Rafe!”

Rafe: “All in a day’s work!” Yeah, way to go, Rafe. You stood there and watched as your Pokemon did all the work after you merely gave it one command to do one attack. The skillz to pay the billz.

After they manage to unlock the passage for the underground exit, which is weird considering I thought most of the power to the city was drained, including the power in the garden which is why they couldn’t get out the front door to begin with, the group calls Ash and Rafe to follow them.

Even the Pokemon are getting taken away by the clones, but Plusle and Minun as well as Munchlax manage to hide in a pipe.

Yuko explains the full situation to the group, and its revealed that the malfunctions of electronic equipment is so widespread that even the Pokeball management system is down, making it impossible to expand, contract or open Pokeballs. Wait, that means that the main group can’t use any of their Pokemon and they’re reliant on Metagross, Blaziken, Pikachu, Surskit and Masquerain now? Do these movies do everything in their power to keep the other Pokemon out of the fun?

Also, how does Rebecca’s laptop work if everything’s so screwed that even the Pokeballs, which always seem to work no matter what, are broken because of these electrical disturbances? This whole situation raises a ton of questions. If Pokeballs need to be on some network to work, does that mean they have their own Wifi or something? Do they have towers everywhere to provide signals no matter where you are? Do Pokeballs need charging? Do they have eternal power sources? Why would you need a connection to some network to enlarge, shrink and open/close your Pokeballs? Are they tracking everything your Pokeballs do?

After an unnecessary retelling of the story with Deoxys and Rayquaza, complete with flashback clip show of everything that happened, the group hears a strange noise in their hideout. Ash and Rafe go to investigate.

They discover that it’s merely Plusle and Minun as well as Munchlax. Plusle and Minun run to greet Tory, but he runs away from them again. Ash, Brock, Rafe, Rebecca and Tory decide to leave and split up. Rafe and Rebecca go off to see where the Deoxys are holding everyone who was kidnapped while Ash, Tory and Brock go to find food. However, the food machines won’t activate in response to the passports. Pikachu decides to shock the machine to power it up, and it starts shooting hot dogs everywhere.

As they try to catch the hot dogs:

Brock: “Gotta catch ’em all!”

Gotta vomit in this bucket for that terribly forced catchphrase!

Deoxys clones come to kidnap them, but Plusle and Minun arrive to fight them off. Sadly, Minun gets captured while trying to save Tory.

They run off, and a Deoxys clone kidnaps the hot d—Noooooooooooo!! Not the hot dog cart! Do you have no mercy, Deoxys?! You monster!

Ash and the others hide from the Deoxys clones in a warehouse, and Tory tries to pet Plusle as an apology for what happened to Minun, but still can’t manage to touch it.

Back with Rebecca and Rafe, they see that the clones are putting all of the kidnapped people, Pokemon and machines into some domed building. The hot dog cart actually begs to be released, and when it runs out of power, the clone drops it into the river! D:

The next morning, the clones find the group and start breaking into their hideout so they decide to head to an underground laboratory to hide yet again. Yuko shows the group the stone that they were experimenting on and explains that it’s a part of a different Deoxys, same as the stone that fell from Deoxys’ body four years ago when it was destroyed by Rayquaza. More specifically, though the movie doesn’t mention it, it’s supposedly Deoxys’ brain.

Flubber emerges from the stone, revealing that Flubber is actually another Deoxys in an incomplete form. Rebecca analyzes the light and compares the wavelengths to those of the lights in the sky that Deoxys produced. She concludes that the lights are actually communication signals and that the green light means ‘friend’ and the pink light means ‘where are you?’

….Okay, I can swallow that she deduced that the lights were communicative signals sent between the two Deoxys, but how the hell is she translating Pokemon speak? Alien Pokemon speak! Alien Pokemon speak that is performed through lights! Just with her laptop?! They’ve been researching that stone for four years and haven’t been able to do much with it, but Rebecca and her laptop have the whole situation figured out in two minutes.

Ash and the others conclude that Deoxys does not really mean harm, its just trying to find its friend. Yuko further explains that Deoxys sees through electromagnetic signals, and all of the people, Pokemon and machines, all beings that give off electromagnetic signals, were clouding its vision as it searched for its friend so it was breaking electrical items and kidnapping everyone to clear up its sight.

The group decides to regenerate the other Deoxys so it can reunite with its friend and they can leave the planet, hopefully sparing them from a city-destroying battle between Rayquaza and Deoxys. They don’t have enough emergency backup power, which also shouldn’t be working, so they team up to generate some power. They formulate a plan to free all of the kidnapped people and Pokemon.

As they head to the building where the kidnap victims are being kept, Deoxys cuts them off. Ash tries but fails to reason with it before it clones itself some more and attacks them. They fend of the clones and start to find another way around, but Rafe decides to stay behind with Blaziken to buy them some time.

Rafe: “Just make sure nothing happens to my sisters, Ash.”

Oh yeah, those sisters who have contributed so much to the movie like………Not getting names and being annoying.

Rayquaza uses a Hyper Beam to break through the force field and get into the city. Wow, it just now realized to do that about 12 hours after the force field was put up. Super smart, Rayquaza.

The clones surround Blaziken and Rafe and they allow themselves to get kidnapped.

Meanwhile, Rayquaza starts destroying Deoxys clones while Ash and the others continue to run and execute their plan. Munchlax runs in the opposite direction, but Max has no time to get it back.

As Ash and the others meet back up with Rafe and Sid to start their plan, the clones disappear and the real Deoxys and Rayquaza meet in the flesh. Oooh, it’s time for the main event!

Ladiiiiiieeeessssss and gentlleeemeeeennnnnnnnnn!! Let’s get ready to rummmmmmmmmmmbllllllllllllleeeeeeeee!! In this corner, weighing in at 454 pounds, the Sky High Pokemon – Raaaaaaaaaaayquazaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

In this corner, weighing in at 134 pounds, the DNA Pokemon, Deeeeeeeeeeeoxyyyyyyyyyysssssssss!!

The two stare down, ready to battle and…..! We cut back to Ash and the others.

*cough*

Ash and Tory command Plusle and Pikachu to feed power into the building while Minun does the same on the other side of the door. With power restored, the entrance is opened and everyone is reunited, including Plusle and Minun.

Back to the action, *cough* Rayquaza is chasing after Deoxys, leaving a wake of destruction behind him! Oooh! Deoxys fights back and gets a good shot off on Rayquaza, but it maintains its composure before hitting the ground! The chase and destruction continue, but who will come out the victor?! Find out after a word from our sponsor.

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Larousse brand windmills: Getting blown for over 60 years.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tory and Ash go back to the lab to see how the regeneration is going as power is restored. Everything’s set to start the process, and Ash gives Tory the honor of restoring his friend back to full form. He starts the laser, but they still need 20% more energy to get it to full power. Pikachu, Plusle and Minun get on the case and their power is enough to get the laser to finally work. The other Deoxys is restored to full form. As, I guess, a means of thanking them, Deoxys releases the Flubber light again and surrounds them in teal light.

Tory asks if it wants to go find the other Deoxys, and it lifts them up with psychic abilities and flies them along with it. It also destroys the roof of the place for no reason. Good job, Deoxys.

Meanwhile, the pink Deoxys is getting its ass beat by Rayquaza again. After being slammed into the ground, the force field dissipates.

*cough*

Things are looking bad for Deoxys, and Rayquaza is ready to celebrate its victory! The referee is about to call the match, but what’s this?! Deoxys is getting back up, and it doesn’t look happy! Rayquaza shoots off another Hyper Beam, but Deoxys defends itself with a shield of rocks! INSANE! And out from the smoke comes Deoxys who body slams Rayquaza into a nearby bridge! I hope they had insurance, most preferably from our sponsor, Shay Dee Insurance company. For when Legendary Dragon Pokemon and aliens smash into your stuff; don’t trust anyone but our Shay Dee Insurance salesmen!

Rayquaza doles out another Hyper Beam yet again, but misses, and Deoxys counters by smacking Rayquaza right in the face! Rayquaza is down! And Deoxys looks ready to finish the match with one of its Psychic Boosts! A direct hit! Rayquaza is not looking good. Will Rayquaza throw in the towel?!

Ooh, Deoxys is showing no mercy even while Rayquaza is down as it Night Shades him further into submission! Deoxys is set to throw another Psychic Boost, and I think this is the last shot for Rayquaza!

An upset! The other Deoxys has shown up in defense form to protect Rayquaza from the attack! Simply amazing! I haven’t seen a move like that since the last time I saw a move like that!

*cough cough*

Anyway, the two Deoxys meet and the green stone’d one sets off its green lights while the pink stone’d Deoxys lets out its pink light. I don’t know what they’re saying, but if anyone does please enlighten me.

Everyone marvels at the pretty lights which combine as the two Deoxys get closer and start to dance around each other but–

*cough cough*

Rayquaza shoots out of the rubble looking for trouble and shoots off a Hyper Beam towards the two Deoxys! The lights are gone, and we now have a sudden tag team match, ladies and gentlemen!

Rayquaza is shooting off Hyper Beams like they’re going out of style, but the two Deoxys double Night Shade Rayquaza into a nearby building! That move can’t be legal, but the ref appears to be crushed under twenty tons of rubble!

Two small boys and an overpowered rodent nearly get hit by Rayquaza’s body, but the two Deoxys save them in the nick of time! Rayquaza’s down again, but he’s not out as he gets back up and continues his assault, even knocking over a—Nooooooo!! Not a different hot dog cart! This movie is turning into a hot dog cart massacre!

*ahem*

The city is being demolished at every turn, and the two Deoxys are doing everything in their power to restrain Rayquaza.

The Pokemon crash into some building where I think is the main terminal for the cube robots. The Hyper Beam from Rayquaza creates a sudden surge of energy which somehow turns the newly restarted cube robots red, gives them angry faces and causes them to go out of control, creating a wave of blocks over the city.

Rayquaza gets taken down yet again and gets caught up in the wave of blocks. The two Deoxys go into defense form and protect Rayquaza while Plusle and Minun return to save Ash and Tory from the blocks. Professor Lund communicates to them through a screen behind them, though I don’t know how he knew they were there, and tells the boys that they need to get to the chief block robot and present it with a passport. That should open a channel that will give Professor Lund and the others access to the hub to disable them.

And let me just say, wow, there are way too many block robots in this city. There have to have hundreds of millions of those things. The blocks are covering the Battle Tower and they soon smash into the screen that Professor Lund was talking to them through.

Tory, Ash, Pikachu, Plusle and Minun hitch a ride on—the hot dog cart! Can’t you leave that poor thing alone? As they try to grab onto some nearby towers, Munchlax emerges from the hot dog cart while eating some hot dogs. As it falls into the sea of blocks, it evolves into Snorlax. I guess, in order to evolve, Munchlax just needs a hot dog fix.

Ash uses Snorlax as a bridge to hop over to the towers, and Snorlax sinks into the blocks. Ash and Pikachu climb the tower and hop on the floating blocks to the Chief robot and Ash tries to present his passport to it, but drops it.


Tory throws him his passport, but he misses the catch.

Pikachu jumps off, smacks the card with his tail so Ash can finally catch it, but Pikachu ends up getting carried away by the blocks.

Ash presents Tory’s passport to the chief robot and it accepts the scan, allowing Officer Jenny to override the blocks and shut them down.

Everything’s all fine and dandy, Tory, Plusle and Minun observe the stopped block robots, but the brothers fall off of the gigantic tower of blocks. Tory, in his big show of getting over his fear of Pokemon, jumps off and grabs them both. Tory dies from the fall, the end.

Ahh, of course not. Deoxys….Uh one of them, I can’t see which, emerges from the blocks and flies up to save Tory, Plusle and Minun.

Pikachu emerges from the blocks as well….on top of Rayquaza’s head. But he’s plucked off of his head psychically by the other Deoxys who picks up Ash as well.

The two Deoxys and….Ray…quaza…..fly around….happily together…wait, what? Did Rayquaza really get over his insane blood lust of Deoxys just because it shielded it from completely non-lethal plastic and metal blocks?

I guess so, and then Rayquaza just leaves.

*cough cough* And everyone becomes friends, and lives happily ever after! Yes, folks, this is a pretty damn crappy ending to this fight that wasn’t even that great to begin with, but I must remind you that we have a strict ‘no refunds’ policy. If you want to cry about it, use Tear Dri tissues. Tear Dri – for when movies are especially disappointing. Now in new lavender scent.

*ahem*

As I was saying, everything’s all fine and dandy now. Tory reunites with his dad, he shows him his new friends Plusle and Minun who cuddle the crap out of his face. The two Deoxys bid goodbye to everyone with their pretty lights, Team Rocket continues to power the windmills with their stationary bike in the bushes for some reason, there is untold amounts of property damage to the city, millions of block robots lay brick’d on the ground and in several buildings, millions of people were unable to return to their homes for months, and all of this really means that they ultimately failed in protecting the city.

The end.

In terms of credits, we just get a longer version of the insert song ‘This Side of Paradise’ with a shot of Rayquaza flying, a shot of a block robot flying around the city, Ash and the others leaving Larousse City and bidding farewell to Tory, Professor Lund and Yuko, Ash and the main group riding on the magnet train with the side characters, Rafe and his sisters getting off the train, Sid getting off the train and bidding goodbye to May, Rebecca getting off the train and waving goodbye to a forlorn Brock, and then the typical shots of the group camping and walking. Though, for some reason, during the walking shot, they add the faces of the group in squares in front of the shot. Thanks to the way the dubbed movie is cropped, Ash and May’s faces are sliced in half during this.

Pikachu does some cheerleading in front of a five year old’s birthday card design, and the shot of him doing that is repeated in numerous blocks. Then all of the Pokemon in the movie do some cheerleading…I don’t know what’s going on anymore but Blastoise cheerleading is priceless. This song gets really repetitive. Not as bad as ‘Cele-B-R-A-T-E’ but still really repetitive…. End please.

Thank you.

————————————————

So…..I don’t like this movie. I don’t really have anything to hate, but I have even less to enjoy.

This movie was the first Pokemon movie to not be accompanied by a short film, meaning an extra 20 or so minutes was added to the runtime than is usually allotted for Pokemon movies, and I really don’t think they used this time well at all.

Deoxys is a side character in its own movie. Notice how much of the movie is dedicated to two things – the Battle Tower and Tory’s fear of Pokemon. The stuff with Deoxys and Rayquaza never seems like its the actual focus until the very end, and most of Deoxys’ screentime is shared with Rayquaza who is only there because of a very petty reason.

At first it was reasonable for Rayquaza to be upset that Deoxys entered into its territory of the ozone layer. The first battle, in that regard, was understandable. The fact that it somehow sensed Deoxys’ return four years later, hunted it down halfway across the globe to kill it when it did not repeat the same mistake of entering into its territory is stretching it rice-paper thin to me.

Throughout much of the movie you don’t even understand which of them is the bad guy. Deoxys destroys stuff too for seemingly no reason much of the time.

Deoxys’ story as a whole is incomplete. He came to earth to find his friend. Okay, I get that. Why is his Deoxys friend on earth? Why is it ‘dead’? Why couldn’t it regenerate after spending so long dormant in its stone form if the other Deoxys fully regenerated in four years? Why was the Deoxys’ in stone form? What ‘killed’ it? How long has it been here? Why did it take so long for Deoxys to arrive on earth to rejoin its friend? It was embedded in meteorite, meaning it must have been in there for hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. How did they get separated to begin with? Why was the green Deoxys able to turn into a light while dormant in its stone form and move about freely? Shouldn’t the pink Deoxys have had that ability too?

The movie doesn’t even touch upon Deoxys’ origins, which, according to its Dex entry, is that it was formed by the DNA of a space virus after being hit with a laser. It’s a pretty silly origin to me, even if it probably has more basis in science than most other Legendaries, but they at least could’ve worked that in there considering it’s one of Deoxys’ only forms of lore. Speaking of which, if that origin is true, how is there more than one Deoxys?

Why did Rayquaza just up and forgive both Deoxys after holding such an intense grudge? The whole battle against Rayquaza ultimately seems pointless and poorly executed. The battle itself wasn’t even anything that epic. It’s just a back and forth of Hyper Beams and Psychic Boost with Night Shade.

Touching upon the Battle Tower aspect before we get back to Tory’s plot line, this part of the story takes up quite a bit of time and yet ultimately amounts to nothing. It does introduce Tory to Ash, but that could’ve been achieved without the lengthy battle sequence, and it was already established before the battle that Tory was afraid of Pokemon.

Don’t get me wrong, I find the Battle Tower segment to be one of the more enjoyable parts of the movie. Mostly because, outside of opening theme sequences, we just don’t get to see many legit Pokemon battles in these movies. But not only was it long and had nothing really to do with anything, but the battle itself was painful to watch and awkward. Not to mention we didn’t get to see Rebecca battle at all outside of one attack near the end.

The Battle Tower did allow us to get some other Trainer side characters in a movie for a change – ones that actually get names that are said on screen and do things that matter to the plot. What a novel concept, huh Movie 01?

However, the rivalry between Rafe and Ash is never resolved. They set it up several times throughout the movie, even seemingly interrupting things to butt it into the plot. They say they’ll battle again in the Battle Tower in a legit match, but they never have one. That could’ve been at least included in the ending credits, but nope. It’s like they forgot about it.

Rafe’s little sisters, as I said, amounted to absolutely nothing. Rafe doesn’t make a big show of protecting them, they barely even talk to him, Ash doesn’t focus on protecting them for Rafe, they don’t battle or contribute anything, they’re just set dressing. Annoying….annoying set dressing. Luckily they didn’t get many lines.

Sid was a little entertaining, and I’m glad that they had May be nice and respectful of him instead of being cliché and being repulsed by him merely because he’s overweight and has a crush on her. He was nice and not really creepy with his attention to May.

Rebecca wasn’t really necessary to me. Her role could’ve easily been taken by Yuko with really nothing changed. I didn’t mind Rebecca at all and she did dole out some exposition a la laptop, but still.

Getting back to the main plot issue at hand, the actual main plot of the story being Tory’s fear of Pokemon and him spending time with Ash and the others as he tries to get over this fear. I didn’t clock it, but I’m almost certain that this part of the movie really does take up significantly more runtime than the Deoxys one.

Here’s the deal, this isn’t the first time that something like this has happened. Similar setups have occurred in Movies 04 and 06. You can have a plot line that takes focus away from the Legendary plot line and have it work to the film’s advantage. While Movie 04 had problems with this, Movie 06 ironed them out, and both movies did a pretty decent job with it overall.

This movie does not.

I really don’t have any problems with a plot point involving someone getting over a fear of Pokemon, but here it feels like it’s merely an extended plot from any average episode of Pokemon. In fact, I’m almost certain a similar plot has appeared in the show.

My problem is that I find the reason for his fear to be pretty silly. I know phobias are irrational fears by definition, and even here the fear is somewhat founded because, let’s not kid ourselves, Pokemon can be very dangerous. I also know that even if a situation doesn’t seem traumatic, it can be. But looking at it as a storyline, it’s just silly.

Walrein stampede around him as a child, he doesn’t get touched by them, kinda faints because of it and as a result of this he is scared to death of all Pokemon for years. Like I said, even putting realistic logic in there would mean Tory would just be afraid of Walrein or at most all Pokemon similar to Walrein like Dewgong, but no. It’s every Pokemon in existence, no matter how cute, cuddly or harmless.

Not to mention that it really does get old to watch him try to simply touch a Pokemon and then run off. Over and over and over.

You’re telling me Yuko and Professor Lund never once thought over the four years that he’s been struggling with this fear to help him out with this? This fear has left him with no friends and no life, and yet, like always, a group of random children have to solve the problem for the adults because it seems like they either won’t get off their asses and try or they’re too stupid to know what to do to try.

One of the bigger issues with this plot is that it has absolutely nothing to do with Deoxys. What do the more human plot threads of Movie 04 and 06, and in a different light, Movie 03, have in common?

While the plot itself may not be completely centered on the Legendary Pokemon, they are big parts of it.

Movie 03 – the Unown make Molly’s dream reality to help her escape into a world with her ‘papa’, an Entei, to protect her and stay with her since her real parents are gone.

Movie 04 – Sam is ‘stuck’ in the future because of Celebi’s time traveling abilities after protecting it from a poacher. Celebi is the only one who can bring him back home.

Movie 06 – Jirachi needs Max to act like a partner and guardian to him as his lives out his one week of being awake before returning to stone form. Max befriends Jirachi and learns about letting go.

Movie 07 – Tory is scared to death of Pokemon after nearly getting trampled by a bunch of Walrein. Ash and the others try to get him over this fear to help improve his quality of life.

Tory’s story has nothing whatsoever to do with Deoxys. Yes, Deoxys caused the disturbance which made the Walrein stampede, but I don’t even think Tory really got a good look at Deoxys back then considering it was bathed in light during this point, and that’s mostly unrelated.

Also, his friendship with green Deoxys doesn’t change things much either. Nothing would’ve really been different had Tory not befriended Flubber. It didn’t affect Tory or green Deoxys at all. It’s not like the Deoxys hated humans and Tory’s friendship with one of them quelled the destruction. They were just muddling up its vision.

He also has nothing to do with Rayquaza. It would’ve been better to have Tory nearly or actually get caught up in one of Rayquaza’s many Hyper Beams. It probably wouldn’t hurt him too much, being Pokemon, it would connect him to the Legendaries and give him a stronger reason to be so afraid of Pokemon in general.

You can’t give a Legendary top billing, give most of the movie to a human character and then not have the human strongly connected to the Legendary. It just makes the movie seem horribly disjointed.

As for Tory himself, he’s another problem to me. Tory’s dull as dishwater. His only trait is being afraid of Pokemon and being a nice kid. I suppose he also has an interesting character design, but that’s it. He’s not particularly smart, skilled or fun.

In fact, looking at it, it’s almost like they took all the possible character traits for Tory and gave them to the Battle Tower group. Rafe is skilled with Pokemon and he’s cool, Sid is fun and dorky, Rebecca’s very smart and the twins are annoying. They just forgot to leave a character trait for Tory.

While we’re on the topic of characters, May, Max and Brock barely got to do anything either. They were definitely more included than Brock and Misty were in Movie 05, but they still didn’t get to do much of anything. They help in trying to get Tory over his fear and in getting the windmills going, but outside of that they don’t get to do much. They can’t really participate anyway since their Pokemon are stuck in their Pokeballs for a good chunk of the movie, and for some reason they didn’t let any out to meet Flubber like the Battle Tower group.

Finally, I find the ending to be flat out dumb. There are really that many block robots in this city? Enough to make a city-destroying tsunami of blocks? And they really needed to make that the big disaster of the movie instead of something actually related to the plot? It comes out of nowhere.

At least in Movie 05 the big flood was somewhat foreshadowed. This was totally random and, again, has really nothing to do with our main plot. Who is afraid of a bunch of block robots with cartoony emoticon faces and six-year-old child voices anyway?

This ending also could’ve been resolved very easily with Deoxys. It’s been causing electromagnetic mayhem everywhere, right? It’s been causing power outages and malfunctions all over the city – even, coincidentally enough, disabling the block robots. So why could it not simply disable them with those same abilities instead of just becoming a shield for Rayquaza? If you really needed to do that, couldn’t you have Deoxys, preferably the pink stone one, protect Rayquaza while the green one disables the robots? Why could Rayquaza not destroy a good chunk of these blocks with its Hyper Beams?

Action! Excitement! Bureaucracy!

What, did you not want to take away from the epic ending of Ash swiping his passport to stop the robots? You know, I always thought the ending of Star Wars would’ve been better if Luke had just destroyed the Death Star by filing a complaint in to the empire.

Considering that the Rayquaza and Deoxys battle didn’t have many epic moments (Blowing Deoxys’ arm off was, admittedly, as metal as this show can get) or an actual ending, that means this movie has two lame climaxes. The only technically ‘epic’ part of the movie is when the two Deoxys meet and merge their lights, but considering we’ve been seeing these lights the whole movie and them combining really makes them less impressive in regards to color, to be honest, it’s really not something to write home about.

Even the credits were slightly disappointing because the movies usually use that time to let the art department have some fun by putting the main group in a bunch of detailed and quite visually appealing environments that we typically don’t get to see them in, but here they spend most of the credits on the train. We get one detailed shot of them camping and then the rest is weird cheerleading by the Pokemon in front of a cheesy 90’s-esque background.

Art and Animation: Better than the series, but I still noticed quite a few bad shots such as this.

What is up with James’ face?

The animation is on par with basically all of the movies, and despite my poke at the CGI in the opener, the rest of the CGI with the robots is pretty decent. I can thank God that they didn’t make Rayquaza CGI. They did make Deoxys CGI a few times, but that was it, and it wasn’t bad. Also, I should mention that the cinematography in this movie is really great. Nothing breathtaking, but some shots were wonderfully lit, had great angles and created really good atmosphere.

I will mention one part during the evacuation where the people are walking up a ramp to get on a plane and they’re very obviously simple CGI walk cycles being slid across the ramp.

Music: Outside of the insert song, which is also the ED, nothing really stood out to me here as particularly good or bad. Though ‘This Side of Paradise’ does get very repetitive at the end and is a huge ear worm. I catch myself singing it all the time. They kept the Japanese soundtrack to my knowledge, but it’s just okay. Also, I really do miss the Pokemon theme songs as the openers.

Voice Acting: Everyone’s on par with the TV series, and despite Rebecca Honig’s dog whistle of a voice, she didn’t get many lines with which to annoy me. Lisa Ortiz was using her much more reserved voice, which is definitely a step up from her more frequently heard raspy screech.

By the way, Tory is voiced by Tara Jayne, who does a lot of ‘young boy’ voices for 4Kids, most frequently in Pokemon but most recognizably as Mokuba in Yu-Gi-Oh. She is doing absolutely nothing here to change her voice from her typical one, leaving Tory with even less identity. However, the main problem I have is that Tara Jayne also voices another prominent movie character…Sam. And they sound exactly alike. Distractedly so.

Bottom Line: Unlike the other Pokemon movies, I really cannot see myself ever going back and watching this movie again. The main plot leaves a lot of unanswered questions, what plot is there is pretty weak, the thing with Rayquaza really seemed forced during the second half and is poorly resolved. The side plot is not worthy of reaching ‘side plot turned main plot’ status for the movies, and it has nothing to do with the Deoxys plot. It’s an average Pokemon episode plot stretched out to fit a movie.

There’s even more filler with the Battle Tower, even if that is a nice change of pace from our normal non-battling movie plots. The tower itself is nicely designed and looks like a lot of fun, but this is also a plot line that just kinda stops without resolution.

Tory is not an interesting movie character or even an interesting character period, but the side characters were another welcome change to the typical movie formula, and they did a lot to pick up the slack. They got personalities, names, Pokemon, and things to do, and I really respect this movie for finally getting that right – at least with everyone but the twins.

Team Rocket was useless and barely there the whole movie. Brock, May and Max didn’t get much to do, but they didn’t seem like they were absent the whole time, so that’s something.

All in all, it’s not incredibly stupid or bad like some of the Pokemon movies. It’s just very much broken and average at best. I feel like this movie didn’t really know what it wanted to be so it tried to be a few different things (human focused, Legendary focused, and battle/Pokemon/leisure focused) and couldn’t get any of them to be much good. I don’t dislike Deoxys as much as I did going in, but I still don’t care for it much. I can be thankful they didn’t make either Deoxys or Rayquaza talk, though.

The most entertaining parts of this movie are the amusing Munchlax and whatever this movie has against hot dog carts. I really did laugh out loud just at the fact that the hot dog cart was being trashed this whole movie.

I completely understand if people enjoy this movie for their own reasons, and I didn’t feel like I lost anything going in, but I also feel like I gained anything either. In a lot of respects, that’s worse than it being ridiculously bad. At least ridiculously bad movies with nonsense plots are usually fun to watch.

This is just bland. It borders on boring. The fact that the big climax of the movie is something that shows up as a threat in the last ten minutes of the film and has little to nothing to do with the Legendaries or anything plot related, and the fact that it’s brought down by a passport of all things, with an amputated battle with Rayquaza and Deoxys, is underwhelming to say the least. I didn’t find much enjoyment in it at all. I had to make my own fun in this review. I fully understand anyone liking this movie, but, personally, I can’t find much to recommend here.

Seeing as how this is supposedly a very loyal dub according to Dogasu, I can’t imagine the Japanese version is any better or worse.

Recommended Audience: Deoxys does get its arm blown off and hit by a Hyper Beam so powerful that he essentially dies, but neither involves blood (just particles of light) and Deoxys is eventually regenerated and brought back to life. Outside of that, really nothing. 6+

Final note: No idea what destiny involves Deoxys. *shrug* They should’ve called it Deoxys: Friendship is Magic.


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