Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions (known in Japan as Pocket Monsters Diamond and Pearl the Movie: Phantom Ruler Zoroark) was the 4th and final movie in the Diamond and Pearl saga of Pokémon.A new sports game called 'Pokémon Boccer' is having its world cup tournament held in a place called Crown City. Excited, Ash and his friends decide to travel to Crown City to watch. Everyone is very excited to see the game, especially because the three Legendary Beasts of Johto are going to be playing, led by businessman Grings Kodai. However, everything falls apart with that idea, since the evil PokémonZoroark stowed away on Grings Kodai's ship, controlling the beasts and making them wreak havoc across the city, causing everyone to evacuate.At least until Ash finds out that Zoroark is Zorua's mother, and that she's only doing these things for Zorua's sake. Ash takes it upon himself to return Zorua to Zoroark, and to find out just what it is that Grings Kodai is up to. Which is further complicated by the appearance of the real Legendary Beasts that have come to stop Zoroark.
Adult Fear: Zoroark knows her child is in danger, then sees him being tortured right in front of her. Both times, she just can't get to him.
Badass Adorable: Zorua tries to be this, he really does. Unfortunately, he is very small and only knows one move, and hasn't actually been able to prove his worth yet.
Despite that, he still ultimately ends up setting off Kodai's downfall by biting his wrist in their brief struggle. Turns out, he broke Kodai's illusion canceller in the process, setting the stage for the man's humiliating defeat. Probably not on purpose, but still.
He was also able to hold his own for a brief moment against Kodai's Shuppet and Mismagius by transforming into a Tangrowth. He only lost that time because of Kodai's illusion canceller.
Berserk Button: Kodai decides it's a good idea to hurt poor little Zorua right in front of Zoroark. Zorua ends up crying out for his 'Meema' before getting knocked out. Cue 'Meema' breaking out of her prison and going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
Big Bad: Grings Kodai. In terms of evil, he's up there with Hunter J and the Iron-Masked Marauder for being the most monstrous Pokémon [anime] antagonist ever.
Big Damn Heroes: There are several. First in the opening scene, Zorua finds himself cornered against a cliff by a mob of angry Vigoroth he accidentally angered while escaping from Kodai, but thankfully the group manage to arrive just in time to bail him out. Next, he, Piplup, and Pikachu end up cornered by another, more varied mob of Pokémon, but Celebi flies in and smooths things out. Later, Kodai finally catches up with him and Celebi and Zorua, despite his best attempts, is powerless to stop him, but thankfully Ash and company arrive in time to rescue them. The last two belong to Zoroark, who arrives just in time to save an extremely outnumbered Dawn and Brock from Goon, Kodai's Dragon, and take him out. Her last one comes when she arrives at the stadium just in time to stop Kodai from absorbing the Time Ripple; though at first it seems to be a subversion, as he stops her by holding Zorua hostage, it is Double Subverted when she traps him in an illusion and sets off his Humiliation Conga.
Chekhov's Gun: Zorua biting Kodai's wrist in their fight, which seems completely useless; it turns out that he happened to clamp down on Kodai's illusion canceler without him realizing it, and guess what Kodai needs for his plan to work?
Clear My Name: Subverted, kind of. Zorua averts Poor Communication Kills by quickly explaining to Ash and company that Zoroark is his mother just trying to protect him and Kodai is the real Big Bad. Everyone else still seemed to blame Zoroark though. Played straight with the Legendary Beasts, who have to be convinced that Zoroark is the good guy.
Curbstomp Battle: Almost any battle Zorua is in ends up this way, though it's mainly because, despite him trying as hard as he can, he's still just a baby and only knows one real move, plus his illusions were pretty much useless against Kodai because of the villain's illusion canceler. However, Zoroark delivers one in a Big Damn Heroes fashion by rushing in and saving the outnumbered Dawn and Brock from Goon and taking out all his Pokémon with little effort.
In spite of being a legendary Pokémon, Celebi gets defeated once after one attack by a regular Pokémon, and a second time by a human using only his bare hands.
Darker and Edgier: Compare this movie to many of the movies before it. The antagonist Grings Kodai is so evil that he strangles Celebi, tries to kill Ash and his friends, and near the end, threatens to kill Zorua in front of its mother. In fact, all of this earned this movie a PG-12 rating in Japan as opposed to the G rating that the movies typically get.
In the English Dub, Zorua gives up and submits himself to die at the hands of Kodai.
Dark Is Not Evil: Zoroark and Zorua are both Dark-types, and Zoroark is rather frightening looking, but they're both rather heroic. Also applies to Joe's Mightyena, which is a Dark-type as well but just acts like a Big Friendly Dog.
Deleted Scene: In the Cartoon Network premiere of this movie, the beginning sequence before the title card is cut out entirely. There really isn't any information cut out that the viewers don't get later, barring one exception. Grings Kodai makes a comment that Zorua is adopted.
Determinator: Zoroark, even more so than Ash in this movie, made better by the fact that the only noises she makes are screams, and they sound just like another well known determinator due to sharing the same seiyū.
Must run in the family, kind of. Zorua isn't nearly as strong and gets beaten much more easily, but the little guy just keeps trying until he's finally nearly killed by an electric shock that is ultimately used to kill his mother.
Disney Villain Death: Subverted. Kodai is tricked by Zoroark's illusions to trip off and fall from a balcony in the stadium, a rather large height, and lays motionless on the ground below. However, he was just knocked out, not killed.
Played straight in the manga, where Zoroark's illusions instead take the form of vines trying to kill him, causing him to take a fall off the very top of the stadium to the arena far below. Since he doesn't appear again, it's implied that he died.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Zorua and Zoroark, big time. Unlike in some other movies where Ash and company do all the work, they end up being the primary characters instead. They have to fight Kodai at practically every single turn, and get tricked, battered, and electrocuted. Zorua tries his absolute hardest to protect his friends, only to be repeatedly defeated, while Zoroark has to fight the Guardian Olympus Mons of Crown City singlehandedly, defeat The Dragon and all his Pokémon, and finally die protecting her son. Thankfully, Celebi returns the favor to Zorua for the little guy protecting it by restoring Zoroark to life. At the end, when you see them nuzzling each other arriving back home, you know they went through heck to get there.
Electric Torture: Kodai's method of choice, though he only uses it like this once on Zorua to get his mother to back down. And it actually subverts Harmless Electrocution, as Zorua is clearly badly injured from it and in agonizing pain.
For the Evulz: Just to prove how sadistic he is, Kodai electrocutes a baby in front of its mother, who had already given up the moment she saw he had her son, with a smile on his face. He then quips that he thoroughly enjoyed it.
Glamour Failure: Zorua's human guises all show his tail. It doesn't happen when he turns into fellow Pokémon. He is just a baby, though, so he probably hasn't had enough practice with it yet. Zoroark has no such problem.
Maybe because she has no tail?
Glass Cannon: Kodai's Pokémon both are. They're very powerful but both go down extremely quickly once someone actually gets a shot at them.
Go Through Me: the collective Pokémon of Crown City pull this on the Legendary Beasts to protect Zoroark.
Zorua tries his hardest to stand in front of and protect Celebi, but is just blasted out of the way and knocked out. At least he tried, though.
Genre Savvy: Kodai has shades of this. He was smart enough not to risk his entire plan on a Pokémon battle (despite having quite powerful Pokémon) and even disables Ash before he could even send out his Pokémon. He was also Genre Savvy enough to assume that Zoroark had broken out at some point and is on her way, so he makes sure to take her son after defeating him instead of just rushing off to his destination. However, he's stopped from being Dangerously Genre Savvy by his choice to go into Evil Gloating after seemingly winning and not thinking that his illusion canceler could be broken at some point.
Harmless Electrocution: While electric attacks play this straight as always, this is subverted by Kodai's weapons. No one he uses his wrist claw's shock on recovers quickly, and it even kills Zoroark.
Hero Antagonist: The real Legendary Beasts to Zoroark when they show up to protect the city...after she's stopped attacking it, and is only trying to reach her injured son and take revenge on Kodai for making her attack the city in the first place. They make it up later, though, by helping her defeat Kodai.
Averted in the manga, they don't fight Zoroark and have come simply to stop Kodai.
Heroic Resolve: For once, not Ash; Zoroark gets this after spending a few hours trying and failing to free herself from her prison (cage encased in an outer coating of steel that badly shocks her whenever she touches it). Then she hears Zorua cry out for help and proceeds to tear her way out. After that, she's completely unstoppable, proceeds to pull two Big Damn Heroes moments (One by saving a heavily outnumbered Dawn and Brock from The Dragon and his Pokémon, then another by arriving in the nick of time to stop Kodai from winning), and fight to a draw against three Olympus Mons. By the time she's finally saved her son, she's sustained so much damage she actually dies, though she gets better.
In-game, Zoroark's defensive stats are sub-par at best, so that makes this Zoroark's rugged determination even more impressive.
He's Dead, Jim: The writers/animators really went all out to show that, yes Zoroark is dead and not just Only Mostly Dead like Celebi and Ash in previous movies, what with her falling to the ground in extreme slowmo and Zorua and Ash's extended futile attempts to wake her up.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Kodai uses his TV network and the televisions placed throughout the city to broadcast an 'apology' to Crown City for Zoroark's 'controling' his Legendary Beasts and order an evacuation. At the end of the film, the group uses the same network and system of televisions to broadcast his Evil Gloating and reveal him.
I Have Your Son: The entire reason Zoroark does anything Kodai says is that she believes he's got her son and will hurt him if she doesn't. He doesn't, but she doesn't know that. However, he pulls this again at the end when he really does have Zorua.
Karmic Defeat: Kodai is defeated by Zoroark using her illusion powers on him to trick him into falling off a stadium balcony and knocking himself out; when he comes to, his Evil Gloating is broadcast on the television network HE owns! And he's surrounded by the entire populace of Crown City, including the police force.
Master of Illusion: Zoroark transforms into Entei, Raikou, and Suicune during its search for Zorua, and also Pikachu at the end. Zorua, on the other hand, changes into a number of creatures.
Medieval Stasis: Averted. Twenty years ago, Kodai's extendible claw was clunky and glaringly obvious. Now it's merely a string with a claw at the end of it that can be hidden in his sleeve.
Missing Trailer Scene: EVERYTHING. The very first teaser of Ho-Oh and Lugia, as well as Zoroark transforming into a darker version of Ash. Zorua does that, but it's in a different scene, which is brief and has no real plot relevance.
A later trailer included a scene where Zorua wakes up all alone in the middle of a forest in front of the Time Ripple, different scenes for the destruction of Crown City by the Legendary Beasts, a scene where Kodai is talking to himself behind a window, a scene where Celebi is chased by Ninjask, and finally a scene where Zorua shouts "maa~" on top of an old building and summons Zoroark. This trailer once again showed Zoroark turning into a dark version of Ash, this time in front of the real Ash, Brock, and Dawn before taking her real form.
Moment Killer: Almost literally. Zoroark and Zorua are moments away from finally reuniting when Kodai decides to break up the touching reunion by trying to kill Zorua, with Zoroark ultimately Taking the Bullet for her son and suffering a Disney Death.
Mortal Wound Reveal: After being badly shocked by Kodai, Zoroark manages to drive him off with the help of the Legendary Beasts and appears to be fine. However, after he's out of the scene, she collapses and barely lives long enough to bring Kodai down with an illusion. She Gets Betterthough.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Legendary Beasts, who are the guardians of Crown City, but believe that Zoroark is attacking the city (which she was, when they started off towards the city) and attack her...stopping her from reaching her injured baby who is in dire need of help.
On a less fun, more tragic note, Zorua has one when he realizes his mother just jumped over him and got hit with a Shadow Ball meant for him...right as they were about to reunite...
One Pokémon Army: Zoroark, though mainly when her Mama Bear side kicks in. She was powerful enough to take on the three Olympus Mons guarding Crown City, who themselves probably fit in this trope, singlehandedly, and tied with them.
Note too that she fought several Bug Pokémon, which Dark-types are weak against, and stomped them all. Of course, they kept attacking with Ghost moves, which she resists.
Pintsized Powerhouse: Karl's Bronzor, who's strong enough to psychically levitate Kodai's car into the air and THROW IT AGAINST A TREE.
Please Wake Up: After Zoroark dies from wounds inflicted by Kodai, Zorua tries desperately to wake her, crying and even making an illusion of their home and promising her they can go back. She gets better, but that doesn't make it any less of a Tear Jerker.
Police Are Useless: Subverted at the end. Both Kodai and Goon are arrested for their crimes.
Pokémon Shield: Kodai is not above using a baby as a shield to prevent said child's mother from taking her EXTREMELY justified revenge on him. Also, he was smart enough to come prepared with said living shield just in case she showed up.
Actually somewhat less; Zorua quickly dispels the belief that Zoroark is the bad guy to Ash and the gang almost instantly. And as to the Legendary Beasts attacking Zoroark, she did think her son was in danger at the time and may have been too angry and/or not had enough time to explain.
Running Gag: Zorua turning into Dawn and Dawn getting mad.
Samus Is a Girl: A lot of people who only take a passing glance at this movie assume Zoroark to be male. She's not.
Sequel Hook: Ash promising to meet up with Zorua and Zoroark again whenever he sets up his mind to go to Unova.
Shock and Awe/Psycho Electro: Kodai seems to have a thing for electric power. His Shuppet can use electric attacks, and his two favorite weapons both involve it, an iron cage surrounded by steel which is electrified and a robotic claw that can dish out a deadly electric shock. Worth noting is that, in a rarity for Pokémon, Harmless Electrocution is subverted.
Spanner in the Works: Zorua turns out to ultimately be this to Kodai's plan. Yeah, that little bite on his wrist? The one Kodai just shrugged off with little effect? Kodai finds out a good bit too late that little bite destroyed the only thing protecting him from Zoroark's illusion powers, allowing his entire Evil Plan to come crashing down around his ears and his Humiliation Conga to start.
Say My Name: A positively heartbreaking one from Zorua after his mother dies and he's tried for several minutes to revive her to no avail.
Spot the Imposter: The real Legendary beasts happen to be shiny, wheras Illusionary Legendary Beast Zoroark is not.
Taking the Bullet: When Kodai has his Shuppet fire a Shadow Ball at Zorua, Zoroark leaps in front of the attack and takes it for her son.
Taking You with Me: When Zoroark is mortally wounded by Kodai, she uses her last energy to create an illusion and send him falling off a balcony and getting knocked out before she dies, leading to his downfall. While he doesn't die and She Gets Better, it still counts.
Unstoppable Rage: Kodai hurting Zorua sends Zoroark into one of these. Let's just say that when she gets mad, standing between her and her baby is a very bad idea.
Verbal Tic: Zorua ends all of his sentences with the adorable "zo".
Villainous Breakdown: Kodai goes through both versions of this. After Zoroark tricks him with an illusion, Kodai snaps and tries to murder her and Zoroark on the spot. After Zoroark counterattacks and fries his Time Ripple absorbing claw, Kodai's behavior becomes far less composed, and he's hysterically screaming that the Time Ripple will be his.
You Can't Fight Fate: Kodai's visions will always come true, though his words imply that if one knows what they're doing, it's possible to Screw Destiny, as he claims that he can remove obstacles he's foreseen from his path.
You Shall Not Pass: Brock and Dawn hold off Goone while Ash tries to reach the time ripple.
Likewise, the Pokémon of Crown City attack Goone and Kodai while Ash's group escapes with Zorua and Celebi.