Anime / Pokémon: I Choose You!

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Aim to be a Pokémon Master...
Pokémon: I Choose You! is the 20th Pokémon movie, revealed on December 14, 2016. Scheduled to be released in Japan on July 15, 2017, not much is known about the movie apart from the fact that it will feature the legendary Ho-Oh and the Kanto region, and harken back to the original series in some way.

Tropes that this movie provides:

  • Adaptational Distillation: As the movie is a composition of various episodes from the original series, many plot points and characters were simplified or cut out to create a smoother narrative:
    • Scenes featuring Gary and Misty were cut out from the Pokémon - I Choose You! portion of the movie, as neither of those characters had a part for the rest of the movie. Likewise, Delia Ketchum arrives at Oak's Laboratory alone rather than bringing a crowd to celebrate Ash's first step as a Pokémon Trainer.
    • The Pokédex is never seen or mentioned as Yuyama Kunihiko states that it wouldn't feel right if the legendary Pokémon that everyone is looking for was already registered in the Pokédex.
    • Butterfree's story arc is spread across the film to even the pace, and its fights with other Pokémon alludes to other episodes such as Pinsir and Fearow. Like in Bye-Bye Butterfree, Ash releases Butterfree to be with the Pink Butterfree.
    • Charizard's story arc has been streamlined quite a bit. Its previous trainer is Cross, the primary antagonist and rival for Ash in this movie, rather than Damian. Because Brock was Adapted Out, Ash personally nurses Charmander back to health, emphasizing their bond much further than the original series. And the whole disobedience after evolution subplot was dropped out entirely, ironically making Charmeleon a reflection of Ash's personality rather than Ash's skills.
    • Ash has only 3 Pokémon instead of 5-6 as he did in the show, likely to give room for Butterfree and Charizard's story arcs. Pidegotto, Bulbasaur and Squirtle were omitted altogether as they wouldn't have been anything more than background extras in Ash's team.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In this version of the story, Ash's Charmeleon actually stays loyal to him after evolving.
  • Alternate Continuity: Confirmed in an interview to be the case. The entire movie deviates rather heavily from the anime's story with many points, and is said to be inspired by all of Ash's adventures.
    • Ho-oh - having been dropped off from the main story without a proper introduction - being the focus of the journey, being from Generation II.
    • Ash having entirely different companions that aren't Misty or Brock, or any other known traveling companion
    • Generation VII having Marshadow joining Ash and his companions, with another trainer possessing Incineroar and Midnight Lycanroc.
  • Anti-Villain: Cross is a Jerkass trainer and the closest thing the movie has to a villain that wishes to see Ho-oh. Once he accidentally causes Marshadow to attack everyone for him having an impure heart to summon Ho-oh with Ash's Rainbow Feather, Cross then undergoes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Back from the Dead: After being turned into fireflies trying to shield Pikachu, Ash is revived by Ho-oh.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Though Ash receives grave life-ending injuries that kill him, he doesn't suffer loss of blood.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: After Marshadow is driven mad by the feather's corruption, he possesses wild Pokémon (and Cross's Lycanroc) to instruct them all to eliminate the children and their Pokémon.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Charmander Ash gets comes from a Jerkass trainer (this time being Cross) who thought it had no real battle potential.
    • Ash's Butterfree is let go to mate with a pink Butterfree.
    • Ash protects Pikachu from Marshadow's brainwashed Pokemon's attacks just like he did protecting Pikachu from Spearow. The massive difference is that Ash ends up vaporizing from existence until Ho-oh brings him Back from the Dead.
  • The Cameo:
    • The two trainers that are battling in TV are Neesha and Corey.
    • When Ash is late to get his first Pokémon, Gary is shown briefly receiving his Squirtle from Professor Oak.
    • Misty, Brock, Tracey, May, Max, Dawn, Iris, Cilan, Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie all appear in the closing credits sequence.
  • Canon Discontinuity: While most Pokemon movies are loose with canon at best, this movie is explicitly non-canon and is set in an alternate universe.
  • Composite Character: Cross replaces Gary as Ash's rival, while also replacing Damian, in that Charmander was originally his before he abandoned it for being weak. Which is also similar to Paul and Chimchar.
  • The Corruption: Marshadow tags along with Ash to purify the Rainbow Feather by having Ash summon Ho-oh. Unfortunately, the corruption takes a hold of the feather once the impure of heart Cross uses it instead, which drives Marshadow mad.
  • Darker and Edgier: Unlike previous movies, there are some dark themes all about: young Sorrel's Luxray dying from cold temperatures, Ash taking the brunt of attacks twice shielding Pikachu and dying (in fireflies). Bloodless Carnage still applies, though.
  • Dream Sequence: After a bad argument with his companions, Ash dreams of a world that is technically real life with no Pokémon and he lives a normal life as an ordinary student...who keeps hallucinating Pikachu.
  • Dub Name Change: Makoto to Verity, Souji to Sorrel.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: Proving some things happen In Spite of a Nail, Ash and his friends (Verity, Sorrel, and Cross) go their separate ways at the film's end.
  • For Want of a Nail: The movie diverges from the original timeline due to Ho-oh dropping a single feather.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: A variation. After their first battle against Cross ends up in failure, Ash berates Pikachu and angrily tells him he should have picked Bulbasaur or Squirtle instead and storms off for a while.
  • Jerkass Ball: After being defeated by Cross, Ash tosses a tantrum and wishes that he started with Squirtle instead of Pikachu (who didn't even participate in the battle) to intensify the drama.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Cross's complaints about Charmander being weak come to bite him real hard when it evolves into Charizard and ends up taking down his Incineroar.
  • Mythology Gag: Already present in the first preview, considering the nature of the movie.
    • Ho-Oh, who appeared in the first episode, has been shown prominently.
    • The title of the movie is the title of the first episode of the anime.
    • Ash is wearing a slightly modified version of his Indigo League attire. The symbol on his cap is a mix of his Kanto and Alola caps, and the original symbol can be seen on his backpack.
    • An old man appears in the second trailer, wearing a cap and jacket very similar to those worn by Red in Pokémon Red and Blue.
    • The trailer music is a remix of "Mezase Pokémon Master", the first Japanese opening.
    • Ho-Oh resurrecting Ash references the legend of Ho-Oh in the games, as it originally resurrected the three legendary beasts of Johto: Suicune, Entei, and Raikou.
    • The ending theme however is Oración's Theme ~Let's Walk Together~, which is based on Oración, an instrumental piece from Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai, the tenth Pokémon film and the first for Generation IV.
  • Retraux: An odd example, in that the movie returns to the artstyle of the XY saga (which is essentially an evolution of the art style that the series had used from the beginning), rather than going with the unique style of the concurrent Sun & Moon anime.
  • Revisiting the Roots: The first trailer is heavily based on the Indigo League season of the anime.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Sorrel's Luxray saved him from dying in the cold during a skiing accident when he was little, at the cost of Luxray's life.
  • Something Completely Different: This movie breaks away from the formula from the previous movies. In particular:
    • It doesn't take place in Alola with the current cast, as previous movies "fit in" with the concurrent season airing at the time.
    • It doesn't feature the either of the current generation's cover legendaries. Since the third generation, the first movie to follow a launch of a new Pokémon generation had one or both cover legendaries as a major focus.
    • While it does feature Marshadow, a Mythical Pokémon (Pokémon that can only be gotten from real-life events) from the current generation, it is not the main focus of the movie.
  • Suddenly Voiced: As he dies from his wounds, Ash is called by Pikachu, except Pikachu speaks actual words, telling Ash that he will always be with him forever. It doubles up as a One-Scene Wonder that isn't brought up later.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Verity and Sorrel to Misty and Brock. The movie makes some efforts to give them their own backstories to distinguish them from Ash's original companions, but their roles in the story and their personalities are clearly filling in for the older characters.
  • Tragic Monster: Marshadow ends up being the main villain of the movie as a result of an impure heart being like Cross summoning Ho-oh with the Rainbow Feather, which results in Marshadow going berserk and deeming humans unworthy. Marshadow would have avoided all this had Ash been the one summoning Ho-oh instead. In the end, Marshadow comes to his senses.
  • Truer to the Text: As a modern adaptation of the first episode and more, the movie integrates a few details from the newer games:
    • Erika's design in this movie is directly taken from FireRed and LeafGreen, complete with black hair and a kimono. An ironic contrast to her main anime counterpart, who has blue hair and a plain dress.
    • The Pink Butterfree has dark scales at the bottom of its wings, confirming its gender to be female and indirectly confirming Ash's Butterfree to be male.
  • What If?: Word of Saint Paul posits that this entire film is a What If? story, with the nail branching it from the original show being a single Ho-Oh feather.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Of the three of Ash's Pokémon that appear in the movie, two are Pikachu and Charizard.

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