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Anime / Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice

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"Sword of Justice"? So does that mean Keldeo got his powers from that other guy?

Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice (known in Japan as Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! The Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo) is the 15th movie entry in the Pokémon film franchise. It marks the anime debut of the legendary Pokémon Kyurem (as well as Kyurem's two new Formes introduced in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Black Kyurem and White Kyurem) and the Legendary Musketeer Pokémon trio, consisting of Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion with their charge, the eponymous Keldeo (as well as Keldeo's Resolute Forme, also introduced in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2). The movie follows Ash, Iris, Cilan, and their Pokémon as they arrive in the middle of an arising conflict between Keldeo and Kyurem, coming across the other Musketeers in the process.

The film was released in Japan on July 14th, 2012. It aired in the United States on Cartoon Network on December 8th, 2012 and in Canada on YTV on the same day. The English trailer can be viewed here.

Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice features examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Heroism: The Swords of Justices' dislike of humans and their battles against them to protect Pokémon (as mentioned in Pokémon Black and White) are absent here. In fact, the games never even call them the Swords of Justice.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The musketeers/Keldeo and Kyurem have nothing to do with each other in the games, yet here defeating Kyurem in battle is what Keldeo must do in order to become a full member of the Swords of Justice.
  • All There in the Manual: A Japan-only pamphlet reveals the abandoned mine where Kyurem lives in to be named Full Court. This is never stated in the actual movie.
  • Animation Bump: The anime already looked pretty good, but this cranked it up.
  • Anti-Villain: Kyurem is relentless in its pursuit of Keldeo and is adamant they finish their battle, but ultimately Keldeo was the one who ran away and challenged Kyurem to begin with.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Kyurem isn't exactly evil, but he did defeat Keldeo in his new form in the rematch.
  • Badass Adorable: Keldeo.
  • Badass in Distress: The Musketeer Trio are held in a frozen prison for most of the movie.
  • Barely-Changed Dub Name: The dubbers were seemingly unaware of the Colorful Theme Naming among the musketeers, as instead of "Co-BALL-ion" (as in "cobalt") and "Vir-RIZZ-ion" ("viridian"), they're pronounced "Co-BAIL-yin" and "Vir-RISE-e-in".
  • Big Bad: Kyurem, the first true Pokémon Big Bad in the series since 2001. Ironically, he's not actually evil, just wants to finish the fight and test Keldeo.
  • Blood Knight: Kyurem loves a fight, and is really intent on finishing one. He's also happy that Keldeo has unlocked his true power and is able to actually challenge him.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Literally. Keldeo decides he is ready to pick a fight with Kyurem and barges into his lair to fight. It went as well as you would expect.
  • The Cameo:
    • Team Rocket doesn't meddle in the plot at all in this movie, only getting some short scenes without any dialogue.
    • Two Trainers named Kanata and Misaki get one in the Roshan City Pokemon Center where they battle each other. Despite having names and official artwork, they contribute absolutely nothing to the movie; not even a single line.
    • All Pokémon up to Meloetta appear in the intro, including the otherwise Exiled from Continuity Porygon line and Kadabra.
  • Casting Gag: In Poland, Keldeo is voiced by the same person who voiced Naruto Uzumaki. This makes all the Double Teamnote  make more sense.
    • Meanwhile, in English, Keldeo's voice is provided by Vic Mignogna, who is also responsible for the voice of a certain other amputee.
  • Character Shilling: The elder in Iris' flashback claims Kyurem is the strongest Dragon-type Pokémon while Iris later goes on to declare him the strongest Pokémon. You can tell that Ash has never mentioned anything about his run-ins with the Dragon Legendaries of Space, Time, and Antimatter or meeting the Creator god Arceus back in Sinnoh.
  • Collapsing Lair: Unlike most cases, Kyurem isn't a villain and wasn't defeated, but the combat causes the buildings to fall around and forcing everyone to leave. Kyurem proceeds to freeze the remainder of the buildings and creates a castle of ice for his new spot to chill out.
  • Colon Cancer: The full Japanese title of the movie is Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! The Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Aside from Nurse Joy, there is nobody shown in the city Kyurem attacks.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Keldeo's first fight with Kyurem. Kyurem shrugs off everything he throws at him and beats the poor guy down with ease, even breaking his horn.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Even though he still won, Kyurem considers Keldeo a good opponent and leaves on good terms.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Keldeo's Resolute Form and Secret Sword attack. Unlike most cases, this merely evens the odds instead of making beating Kyurem a cakewalk, and Keldeo still loses once Kyurem gets serious but does earns the Ice Dragon's respect.
  • Expy: The Swords of Justice put their The Three Musketeers-based inspiration into practice here.
  • Flashback: Most of the exposition we get on Kyurem comes from Iris's flashback with the Elder.
  • Flunky Boss: Kyurem is chasing down Keldeo, accompanied by a pack of Cryogonal.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Swords of Justice as follows: Keldeo is Choleric, Terrakion is Sanguine, Virizion is Phlegmatic, and Cobalion is Melancholic.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In the games, Keldeo's Resolute Forme is a purely physical change and doesn't make it any more powerful. In the movie, Resolute Forme is treated more like a Super Mode.
    • The games show that Kyurem is only able to take on its Black and White formes after Kyurem absorbs Zekrom and Reshiram respectively. In the movie, Kyurem is able to change between these formes at will without the presence of the other two with absolutely no explanation as to how he can perform this feat.
    • Ice Burn and Freeze Shock cause target to be encased in ice, even though they cause burn and paralysis in the games.
  • Heroic BSoD: Keldeo spends most of the movie in one over his defeat at the hands of Kyurem, being reduced to trembling in fear by Kyurem's roar. It isn't until the climax of the film that he manages to break out of it.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Keldeo when he goes into Resolute form.
  • Honor Before Reason: Keldeo averts this trope at the start of the movie. Kyurem is not happy.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Inverted! Unlike most other Pokémon movies, which tend to focus on the human characters (the previous movie being a prime example), this movie mostly focuses on the Pokémon - just check out how many tropes on this page are about the conflict between Kyurem and Keldeo.
    • In fact, the human cast in this particular movie is almost small enough that you can count it on your hands.
  • Human Popsicle: The Swords of Justice get turned into this right at the beginning of the movie by Kyurem.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Kyurem doesn't use his ability to transform at all during the first fight with Keldeo, only breaking it out when the other Swords of Justice try to interfere.
    • His words, as well as the attacks he lets off after them, implies that Kyurem was holding back because he knew Keldeo hadn't unlocked his true power.
  • Implacable Man: Nothing will stop Kyurem from finishing his fight with Keldeo. Not only does he pursue him relentlessly with his pack of Cryogonal, nothing the heroes do does more than distract him. He also shrugs off pretty much everything anyone throws at him. It takes Keldeo's Resolute Form to actually hurt him, and even then it's anything but a cakewalk. And that's with Kyurem having been implied to be holding back. Despite putting up a fight, Keldeo still loses.
  • Irony: In the games, the Swords of Justice are mentioned to be rather wary of humans, even disliking them entirely at one point. In the movies, they are known to fight for Pokemon and humans and seem to be alright with them. Kyurem, on the other hand, shows he isn't so fond of the humans (though this appears to stem solely from their continued interference in his efforts at getting a rematch with Keldeo).
  • The Juggernaut: Kyurem is one of the few legendary Pokemon in the movies that displays this in terms of sheer power and being downright unstoppable.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Keldeo yields when his rematch against Kyurem leaves him on the ropes.
  • Large Ham: How does Kyurem prefer to accept a fight? He creates an arc of ice with a ring and asks you to cross through it while speaking in a deep voice. Definite trait of the Tao Trio. Though he subverts it for the most part, as he's surprisingly silent throughout the movie, though the ones he has carry a lot of weight due to said voice. Once Keldeo reappears to finish the fight, Kyurem sets up the battle ring with arc.
  • Low Clearance: Kyurem is about to experience this trope before wisely jumping off before plowing into the mountainside.
  • The Movie: The feature film for Pokémon Black and White: Rival Destinies in the US, Pokémon Best Wishes! Season 2 in Japan. In its maiden country, it was released in theaters while relegated to Cartoon Network and YTV premieres in North America.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Keldeo's told he isn't ready to fight Kyurem, but challenges him anyway. The end result is Keldeo's horn being broken, him getting easily beaten, and the other Swords of Justice being frozen solid. This, in turn, results in Kyurem's rampage, as Kyurem becomes hellbent on finishing what Keldeo started.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Keldeo received one of these from Kyurem. Though he's able to put up a bit of a fight at first, Kyurem very quickly starts overwhelming and beating on him.
  • Noisy Nature: Kyurem's roar has a bit of leopard's roar mixed in there.

  • Not Quite Flight: Keldeo can use Hydro Pump to shoot water from his hooves to propel himself, except Keldeo's not so great at controlling it.
  • One-Winged Angel: Kyurem's Black Kyurem and White Kyurem formes.
  • Slow Walk: Kyurem makes use of this when stalking his targets. It really adds to the fact he's an Implacable Man.
  • Super Mode: Keldeo's Resolute Form.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Kyurem is hunting down Keldeo and is willing to go to the ends of the Unova region to do it.
  • Tempting Fate: Keldeo really should have just left Kyurem alone in his mine up until the moment he was considered ready to fight by the Swords of Justice.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: When Keldeo does engage in the battle, this how Cobalion acts. All three are in agreement on this in the second match when Keldeo is in Resolute form. Even Keldeo himself refuses to have any intervention in his rematch.
  • Traintop Battle: The protagonists meet Kyurem for the first time on the top of a moving train, with it ended with the classic tunnel. A good thing too given it was rather one-sided.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Kyurem attacks the gang twice in public: once on a train and in the city, where the former was showing people and the latter was swarming with Cryogonal. Additionally, Iris takes a blimp that was on a museum display for a ride to distract said Dragon while Cilan does the same with a train cart. Nobody apparently took notice a freaking legendary was roaming the city, even after it goes so far as to wreck a few buildings and freeze over several city blocks.
    • You'd really think that another (sort-of) legendary Pokémon showing up at a Pokémon Center with the crap beat out of it would at least attract a small crowd, or the attention of a local news station. Or if not that, than the fact that said Pokémon was conversing telepathically with a bunch of kids in public, in broad daylight, with other people present. But no. All of this even manages to slip under Team Rocket's radar, somehow.
  • Versus Title: The second occurrence in the Pokémon film franchise (and the first in the English version), following Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai (featuring the subtitle of Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai in Japan). However, in this case, the second term differs between the English and Japanese titles. The Japanese title ends in "vs. The Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo" (directly identifying Keldeo as a combatant) while the English title ends in "vs. The Sword of Justice" (likely an indirect reference to Keldeo).
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Inverted. Keldeo (The Hero) starts off the plot by instigating a fight with Kyurem (The this context).
  • Weapon Stomp: How Kyurem wins his second battle against Keldeo, by bringing his foot down on the latter's horn, referred to as Keldeo's sword.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Early on, Cobalion implied they were intending to fight Kyurem sooner or later and sounded like there might have been some reason. It was uncertain if this was part of their duty as Swords of Justice and wasn't touched upon as to why it was Kyurem that Keldeo was to fight.
  • Worthy Opponent: Kyurem considers Keldeo this after the rematch.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Keldeo's first fight with Kyurem ends with his horn being snapped in half. Since his horn is directly identified with a sword by the dialog, this was obviously the image they were going for.
  • You Are Not Ready: Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion to Keldeo about battling Kyurem. They're not wrong, even when Keldeo gets his Super Mode going.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Kyurem VS The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo, Pokemon Kyurem VS The Sacred Swordsman, Pokemon Kyurem VS The Sacred Swordsmen, Pokemon Kyurem Versus The Sword Of Justice