Anime / Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages

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Pokémon decides to make its own version of Destroy All Monsters.

The eighteenth film of the Pokémon anime. During their journey, Ash and friends stumble upon the mythical Hoopa, who is on a journey with its childhood friends Baraz and Meray to Desert City in order to purify its confined powers within the Djinn's Bottle. As fate has it, however, Baraz discovers that the sealed bottle houses a violent spirit born from Hoopa's confined Unbound form, which spirals into a clash between Legendary Pokémon as the heroes race against time to calm Hoopa Unbound down.

Released in Japan in July 18, 2015. It premiered in English in Australian theaters on November 5, 2015. It aired in Canada on November 14, 2015, in the UK on December 12, 2015, and in the US on December 19, 2015.


Hoopa and the Clash of Ages provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: You might spot Arceus in the middle of the poster shown above. It doesn't make an appearance until the last few minutes of the movie where it makes everything better before promptly leaving the film.
  • Anti-Villain: Ash discusses this with Hoopa and muses that Shadow Hoopa can be reasoned with since it's angry at being sealed away for so long. Hoopa shares with Shadow Hoopa its memories after being forced into Confined Forme and how happy he was able to become despite not having all of that power. It was enough to get Shadow Hoopa to let go of its anger and perform a Heel–Face Turn and reunite with Hoopa without turning it evil.
  • Artifact of Doom: Hoopa's Prison Bottle in this continuity. It can confine its Unbound form, though it somehow acquired the side effect of confining its bottled-up anger and giving it physical form.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Dahara City, inspired by Dubai, seems out of place when you remember that it's located in the otherwise France-inspired Kalos region.
  • Award Bait Song: "Every Side of Me". The synth, the soothing notes, its placement in the credits, lyrics that can apply to many people's situations- it's all there. Its Japanese equivalent "Tweedia" is quite similar in that respect.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: The distortion of space and time consuming the tower was supposedly the result of a large concentration of Legendary Pokemon in one area. Though this may have more to do with the way the Pokémon were summoned, and not the Pokémon themselves.
  • Big Bad: Hoopa Unbound becomes the main driving source of conflict after escaping the Prison Bottle and becomes Shadow Hoopa.
  • Call Back:
    • At one point during an exposition dump, a necklace designed after Arceus is shown. Ash thinks he recognizes it.
    • Lugia is the same one from Pokémon 2000.
    • During the opening montage, the Eon Duonote  and Kyurem are seen at their homes of Altomare and Kyurem's castle mines, respectively.
    • The Space-Time rift near the end is suspiciously similar to what's happened to Alamos Town because of Dialga vs. Palkia.
  • The Cameo: Hoopa first demonstrates his power to Ash by summoning dozens upon dozens of Pikachu. Amongst them are the Cosplay Pikachus.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Hoopa loves to say "Were you surprised?" It says this over a half-dozen times throughout the movie, sometimes as an Ironic Echo.
    • "Alléhooparing!" (or "Appear!" in the Japanese original) is a secondary one done when it summons Pokémon.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In some desert shots, a herd of Hippopotas and Hippowdon are seen. Later, to recreate the Prison Bottle, the heroes need Pokémon that can generate fire, water and earth. With Braixen and Frogadier supplying the former two, Bonnie would request aid from a Hippopotas for the last element.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Justified. A lot of the fighting is not showing anyone in sight because people are actively shown to be evacuating. Egregiously, way too many places where the group goes in the city are conveniently deserted despite not being in the buildings.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: At several points Hoopa and its Unbound Forme summon other Legendary Pokémon to fight each other with.
  • Dark is Not Evil: Rayquaza, the most ferocious-looking of the Gen III Legendaries (not to mention that it's sporting its black, "Shiny" look), is one of the three (the other two are the Eon duo) Legendaries summoned by Hoopa Confined to help fend off Hoopa Unbound, protecting Ash and Hoopa numerous times during the climax. Hoopa itself is full of mischief and a bit of a prankster, but not overly malicious.
  • Deflector Shields: Mega Latias, Latios, and Rayquaza use Psychic and Twister to create a shield to protect Dahara Tower.
  • Demonic Possession: Hoopa Unbound can possess others to force them to do its bidding, which it uses on Meowth to get released from the Prison Bottle after Team Rocket steals it.
  • Deus ex Machina: Quite literally, too - just when it seems Hoopa and Baraz are going to be killed by the space-time distortion, it's suddenly halted by a golden light, with a similar glow around the Arceus charms. This allows Hoopa to get over its seal that prevents it from jumping through its own hoops,and escape certain doom. The light is then revealed to be coming from Arceus itself a minute later - who until now has never been seen or heard from in the movie itself. It then takes all the legendaries away and puts an end to the conflict before disappearing as suddenly as it came.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: At no point in the movie is stated that letting either Hoopa play too much with their ring powers to bring Legendaries to battle at the same location can cause a spatial black hole from consuming the tower where the Prison Bottle was created. It becomes much weirder when you realize the only population that evacuated the city went to that point.
  • Drunk On Power: Hoopa Unbound was entirely on control of its ring powers, until the townsfolk he dotted in exchange for food asked how strong it was. What follows is Hoopa Unbound loudly boasting about its power until it goes nuts with it. Even after being reformed, it still likes to boast its powers.
  • Enemy Without: The power of Hoopa's Unbound Forme developed a personality of its own, embittered at its imprisonment and resentful of Hoopa Confined's existence. When it is released for a second time, Hoopa successfully resists being reunified with it so its personality wouldn't get consumed by its other half. However, since there's nowhere for the power to go, it becomes its own entity and starts to cause trouble.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Hoopa's shadow chews the scenery all while destroying it.
  • Foreshadowing: As Hoopa Unbound is summoning six Legendary Pokemon, there is a brief cut to the sky where a black hole is forming as each one is conjured. This ends up being important later.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The region of Dahara City and the historical wear of its citizens is modeled after Dubai in the Arabian Desert, fitting Hoopa's modeling after djinni.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Hoopa is introduced sneakily stealing one of Serena's donuts and leaving a Tamato berry in its place. Chespin unknowingly grabs the berry, and...
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Legendary Pokémon summoned by Hoopa Unbound all sport glowing red eyes, a clear sign that they have been brainwashed by it.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The people of Dahara wished to see more of Hoopa's power, so he decided to show off by battling Pokémon he summons. Things go out of hand when Hoopa, desiring stronger opponents, decided to summon Legendary Pokémon.
  • Grand Theft Me: Hoopa Unbound possesses anyone who tries to physically handle the Prison Bottle whenever it's trapped inside. Victims include the Beraz, Meowth, and finally Ash.
  • Irony: A few of the returning Legendaries are implied to be the same ones from past movies. This being after the last time a Legendary returned, where it was a different individual entirely.note 
  • Its Pronounced Tropay: The English dub is still using the strange Ar-key-us pronunciation for Arceus.
  • Jerkass: Hoopa's pranks border on jerkassery, despite it trying to have fun. That's not to say its whole attitude.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Contains the most amount of Legendary Pokémon to date: Hoopa, Arceus, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Lugia, Latios, Latias, Dialga, Palkia, Regigigas, Giratina, Reshiram, and Zekrom. Except Ho-oh.
  • Man Child: For all its power and age Hoopa is by nature in both its formes very immature emotionally and mentally, to the extent that once sealed it took a long time for it to even understand why the destruction it caused was wrong.
  • Merchandise-Driven: A twofer. First off, the promotional material in Japan emphasizes the appearances of the Legendary Pokemon over the movie's human characters, to the point of several giveaways beyond Hoopa. Second, Lugia is the only pre-Generation III Legendary in the movie and he gets removed from the fight before anyone else, while focus is placed on newer Legendaries and any new formes they've obtained.
  • Methuselah Syndrome: The Arcay siblings' great-grandfather, who sealed away Hoopa's darkness 100 years before the movie, was still alive when the siblings were children, even though he would have had to have been around 120 years old by that point.
  • Mind Manipulation: Hoopa Unbound can inflict this on the Legendary Pokémon that it summons, in order to force them to battle for it.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Team Rocket manages to unwittingly put everyone in the city in danger when their machinations led to the Prison Bottle getting destroyed.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Braixen uses Flamethrower using her mouth instead of her wand. She has always been seen using her wand whenever using Flamethrower prior to this movie and still keeps using the wand regardless.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Done twice. The first case was a hundred years ago where Hoopa's liberal abuse in summoning Legendaries caused havoc. The second was causing a massive distortion of time and space from summoning nine Legendaries in rapid succession.
  • Revenge Before Reason: At one point during the clash, Primal Groudon accidentally blasts Kyurem, both of them under Hoopa Unbound's control. A few minutes later, Kyurem intentionally returns the favor, even though Groudon had a clear shot at an opponent.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Hoopa Unbound's power was sealed in the Prison Bottle because it was being too destructive when showing off.
  • Serial Escalation: Deconstructed in Hoopa's backstory. One of the villagers goaded Hoopa into battling other Pokemon to prove his power and he did just that by curb stomping fully-evolved ones like Dragonite. It was when he decided to conjure multiple legendaries that things got out of hand.
  • Shell Game: During their first meeting, Hoopa summons a large number of Pikachu and tests Ash if he can tell which one among them is his partner. To Hoopa's surprise (and disappointment) Ash makes a correct guess almost instantly.
  • Spanner in the Works: Team Rocket indirectly causes the second half of the movie to happen for once.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: This movie is more kind to Ash than the rest of the humans of the cast by putting him right in the middle of the clash. Even before then, the focus was more on him than Baraz and Meray, Hoopa's childhood friends.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Inverted for some of the returning Legendaries; while it's implied that they're the same individuals as in earlier movies (where they had full voice acting), they have no dialogue in this one beyond a few roars.
  • Shirtless Scene: Ash gets a lengthy one early on in the movie when the gang first meets Hoopa miles away from a pool.
  • Shown Their Work: Hoopa is basically a pokemon djinn. At the beginning, the demonic-looking Hoopa is stopped by a stranger bearing a symbol of Arceus who he claims is the source of his powers and sealed away in a bottle. This is the general story of how Djinns got sealed into their cans for the same reasons.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: By virtue of Hoopa coming to terms with his inner darkness. Oddly, enough, Hoopa's doing it while his darkness was possessing Ash.
  • Third-Person Person: While Hoopa calls others by their actual names or nicknames, Hoopa refers to Hoopa as Hoopa. This seems to stem from Hoopa's speech combining Talking Pokémon with Pokémon Speak.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Hoopa's favorite food is doughnuts, presumably because they're shaped like rings.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailers for this movie lied about Ash looking up to Shadow Hoopa Unbound and the moment where he's supposedly possessed by it and flashing a very scary Slasher Smile to his friends. He does get possessed, but it only lasts about a minute near the end.
  • Uniqueness Decay: Zigzagged all over the place.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Hoopa summons Lugia to help fight off and distract Shadow Hoopa long enough to recreate the Prison Bottle. When Shadow Hoopa sends it back to the ocean, Hoopa summons Latios, Latias, and Black Rayquaza. In response, Shadow Hoopa summons Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Kyurem, Giratina, Dialga and Palkia to have a numerical advantage. While it seems that Shadow Hoopa has the advantage, he didn't foresee the trio Mega Evolving...
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Meray has a ponytail that resembles Hoopa's and when she's older has tied her longer Girlish Pigtails in rings that resembles the ones on Hoopa's horns.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Latios shows up here, and it's hinted that it's the same Eon Duo from Altomare despite Latios having performed a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight. Averted. The cityfolk quickly are aware the fighting between legendaries and begin evacuating.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The Arcay sibling's great-grandfather locked away Hoopa's ability to pass through its portals. Unfortunately this prevented Hoopa from escaping and almost died.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Since Lugia gets removed from the battle long before Hoopa's reform, Lugia is still probably trying to make its way back, not knowing that by the time it returns, the conflict will already be over.
    • The other village kids who were friends with the Arcay siblings in the past (from the opening short) are nowhere to be seen in the present of the movie proper, despite some of them being quite developed in their own right.
  • The Worf Barrage: Following Shadow's defeat, the space-time around the prison altar starts breaking and imploding. None of the legends, even the two responsible for keeping space-time in check are capable of slowing the destruction down. It takes a literal Deus ex Machina in order for Hoopa to escape.

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