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Anime / Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew

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Our fellow Mew returns, but meets a guardian of the aura within.

Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, known in Japan as Mew and the Wave-Guiding Hero: Lucario, is the eighth Pokémon film, and the last to be dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment before they lost the rights to the series.

In ancient times of Rota Town in the Kanto region, two armies warred against each other, threatening the safety of all the people who lived there as well. Because of this, a Knight named Sir Aaron, who could use a mysterious power called Aura, and his apprentice, a Pokémon named Lucario, were sent by the queen of Rota to quell the fighting. On their way, Sir Aaron told Lucario that he's leaving the kingdom and never coming back, before sealing Lucario away in his magic staff. Sir Aaron stopped the war and was proclaimed a hero, but no one ever knew what happened to him. Flash forward to the present where Ash Ketchum and friends are visiting Cameran Palace in the middle of Rota Town for a Pokémon tournament. Being The Hero and all, Ash naturally wins, and so is presented with the Staff of Sir Aaron. Because Ash wore a costume identical to Sir Aaron's clothes and Lucario sensed an Aura coming from him, Lucario escaped from the staff, only to wind up distraught by his new surroundings and distrusting of humans. Later that night during a party, a Mew enters the Palace, seeming to want to play, but is then attacked by a mysterious thief. While fleeing, Mew accidentally takes Pikachu (and Meowth) away to a nearby landmark called the Tree of Beginnings. So it's up to Ash and friends, along with Lucario's help, to rescue Pikachu.


The film is generally considered among the best of the series, as it makes a breakaway from the mostly derivative plot of the many Pokémon movies by featuring much more engaging characters and story. As of September 2020, it has the highest IMDb rating of the film series, 6.9/10 from over 3900 votes.

This movie provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: During the ballroom scene, any dancers not in the immediate foreground are very obviously CG (to the point of being early Playstation 2 game-level graphics).
  • The Ace: Kidd. To quote Brock: "Kidd Summers has set a world record for setting the most world records ever a~~~nd, she's soared higher, dived deeper, and space-traveled farther than any human being in history. Kidd's also a surfing expert, a gourmet cook, and a badminton champ. To call Kidd Summers a superwoman is the understatement of the century! She's super-duper!". The only reason Brock knows all of this is because he's her "biggest fan".
  • Advertisement:
  • Action Girl: Kidd again.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Kidd.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Time Flowers.
  • Arc Words: "The Aura is with me."
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Max offers Lucario some chocolate. Lucario is a canine Pokémon, and in real life, chocolate is poisonous to dogs.
  • Aura Vision: Taught to Lucario by Sir Aaron.
  • Beam-O-War: Lucario's Aura Sphere vs Regirock's Hyper Beam. The Aura Sphere wins, but it barely slows Regirock down.
  • Beast of Battle: As one might expect from various Fridge Horror posts (and common military sense), the flashbacks to the war Lucario and Sir Aaron were in show humans and Pokémon fighting side-by-side.
  • Berserk Button: Do not insinuate that Ash would abandon Pikachu.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Lucario sacrifices himself to save the Tree but is shown to be reunited with Sir Aaron in the afterlife and is recognized as a hero in the kingdom.
  • Broken Bird: Lucario.
  • Breakout Character: Lucario. He is the first non-Legendary Pokémon note  to have a feature-length film. After the film's success...well, just look at Super Smash Bros. for its impact on the franchise.
  • Broken Pedestal: Lucario's present opinion of Sir Aaron. He learns the truth later.
  • Call-Back: To the first movie. They are the first two of three movies set in the Kanto region Where It All Began, both contain a Mew as one of the main characters, and both involved Ash dying.
  • Casting Gag: With that familiar pose when charging Aura Sphere, no wonder Goku's American VA was cast for Lucario. Ditto for the Japanese version, where Lucario uses a mystical power similar to the Force, and his Japanese VA is the dub voice of Anakin Skywalker.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Time Flowers again.
  • Chronoscope: The Time Flower.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The ending credits shows Kidd visiting Forina, the setting of Jirachi Wishmaker, and meeting Butler and Diane.
    • Also two in the Diamond and Pearl seasons of the anime: Ash's Aura abilities come up in the Riolu special, and he is able to recognize Aura Spheres on sight.
    • Listen closely to the song played by the Lapras music box that Mew is playing for Meowth and Pikachu. Recognize that tune? It's Jigglypuff's song.
  • Covers Always Lie: Ash's never wears that red variation of Sir Aaron's outfit.
  • The Cynic: Lucario's experience with Sir Aaron apparently abandoning the kingdom in its greatest hour of need and then trapping him in his staff for seemingly no reason makes it one of this, even picking a fight with Ash by telling Ash that he would have abandoned Pikachu in a second if he felt threatened. Ash does not appreciate this opinion.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Ash's hat is what was left of him after he gets devoured by the Tree of Beginning's defense mechanism.
  • Disney Death: The human cast end up being "eaten" by the Tree's self defense mechanisms. When Mew sees how sad this makes the Pokémon, it reverses the process, bringing everyone back.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A standard for Pokémon movies, Lucario, Bonsly, Mime Jr., and Weavile all appear in this movie, quite some time before the first Generation IV games would introduce them properly.
    • The concept of a war in which Pokémon and humans fought alongside each other in organized mass combat would reappear later as a major story element of Pokémon X and Y
  • Expy: Riley in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum appears to be an expy of Sir Aaron, complete with Lucario and the ability to use Aura. Either that or Sir Aaron was based off early concept arts of Riley.
    • This in turn has led several fans to believe that Riley is a direct descendant of Sir Aaron, further helped by Riley wearing a necklace in the shape of the pattern on Sir Aaron's gloves.
  • Failed a Spot Check
    James: Meowth? Never to be seen again?
    Jessie: We're the ones who are supposed to be doing all the stealing.
    James: Did you miss the "never to be seen" part?
  • Famed in Story: Sir Aaron is celebrated as a hero in the present day, though Lucario views him quite differently, due to the fact that the last time he sees Sir Aaron is him apparently abandoning the kingdom in its hour of need. Turns out to be a case of All Myths Are True.
  • Fanservice: "May in Bikini" scenes.
  • Final Speech: Lucario is able to hear Sir Aaron's final words through the Time Flower, culminating in Aaron calling Lucario his friend as he dies and hoping they can meet again someday.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Lucario, though no actual time travel is involved.
  • The Force: Aura is generally an equivalent to this concept, with it existing in all things animate or inanimate, being rarely usable in humans, and Lucario being the only Pokémon capable of sensing and using it.
    • A little bonus can be found in that Sir Aaron, one of those humans who could use Aura, was a knight while he was alive.
  • Four Is Death: The four Time Flowers the gang finds. The first shows Ash falling down the mountain after grabbing it, the second shows a vision of the stampeding armies and Lucario being sealed in the staff, the third shows Sir Aaron giving Mew his Aura, and the fourth delivers Sir Aaron's final words.
  • A Friend in Need: This, along with The Power of Friendship, are the driving forces of the movie.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Everyone at the party. May chooses a pink Pimped-Out Dress with Girlish Pigtails, and shows off with a Girly Skirt Twirl and a curtsy.
  • Guttural Growler: Lucario in the English dub.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Averted, in that while Lucario does end up with dirt in his eyes, he can still use his Aura Vision to see and fight.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Both Sir Aaron and Lucario give their lives to stop a war/save Mew's life, respectively. Ironically, Mew sacrificed its own life to save everyone else.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Golem Trio are the protectors of the Tree of Beginning, and only pursued Ash and company after they "invaded".
  • Hot Springs Episode: Well, without the antics, anyway.
  • Identical Granddaughter: Apparent with Lady Ilene, to the point where Lucario mistakes her for her ancestor Lady Rin.
  • Implacable Man: The Regis. They're virtually unfazed by the many attacks thrown at them and continue to pursue the heroes until Mew saves all the trainers from the Tree of Beginning. Especially impressive is the fact that they do this despite Lucario attacking them with Aura Spherenote  every time they show up.
  • Intellectual Animal: Lucario, like some of his other movie Pokémon companions, can communicate with humans via telepathy.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Lucario's Aura Sphere, of course.
  • Killed Off for Real: Sir Aaron in the flashbacks and Lucario at the end.
  • Late to the Punchline: During the festival, Brock is wearing a pastor's outfit.
  • Lucario Is About To Fire An Aura Sphere At You
  • Made of Explodium: Regirock blasts something with Superpower? Explosion. Lucario uses Aura Sphere? Explosion. Grovyle and Corphish use Bullet Seed and Bubblebeam? EXPLOSION.
  • Mistaken Identity: When Lucario is first set free, he initially believes Ash is Sir Aaron because their Aura is the same. Not knowing this at the time, Ash believed the mistake was due to wearing an outfit similar to Aaron's.
  • Mood Whiplash: After a tense moment where Ash and Lucario fight, we are reminded that Ash was thrown into the water when he starts sneezing.
  • Never Say "Die": Played straight with a human and then immediately averted with the 'tree' and Pokémon.
    Kidd Summers: You'll end up destroying yourself!
    Ash: If I don't do this, the Tree will die, and so will the Pokémon who live here!
  • No Antagonist: Team Rocket doesn't really do much this time around, and the entire rest of the plot is set in motion by well-meaning characters who are just spectacularly poor at communicating.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: It's Bon-sly, not Bon-slee. Pokémon USA were reached for comment after the movie was premiered at a convention and confirmed that 4Kids were doing it wrong.
    • Also, Regice's name makes it look like it should be pronounced Reg-ice, not Reg-i-ice. Although it is pronounced Reg-i-ice in the Japanese version and in most later appearances of the character.
  • Not So Above It All: Grovyle, usually the serious one in Ash's Hoenn roster, eagerly joins in the "party" Mew throws for the Pokémon in the castle's attic. And then, at the climax of the movie, he is not sparing any tears when Ash seemingly gets eaten.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: lampshaded during the ballroom scene, where James suddenly finds himself as May's dance partner, and he repeatedly and frantically avoids eye contact, thinking that (for once) he might actually get recognized, which only confuses her.
  • Poor Communication Kills: They could have called this Poor Communication Kills: the Movie. The whole ordeal is set into motion by Kidd and co., none of whom had any ill intent and all of whom know when to leave major natural phenomena alone as soon as they know they should, but just came off as a bit too aggressive at first. Note that Mew, being psychic, probably would have been able to sense this had it not been busy getting walloped by a pair of overenthusiastic Weavile. Mew, who keep in mind is a kleptomaniac, runs off with Pikachu and Meowth in a panic — and neglects to bring them back or let anyone know they're okay at all. Ash, who at this point has every right to fear the worst, stages a rescue attempt that triggers a Diabolus ex Machina that eats most of the cast. Said Diabolus's reversal nearly kills everyone, and does cause one of the only real deaths in the series — someone who was totally innocent of the fiasco.
    • Additionally, when Sir Aaron sealed away Lucario, he failed to properly explain why he did so, leading Lucario to believe that he'd betrayed the kingdom and causing Lucario to distrust humans until he eventually finds out about Aaron's Heroic Sacrifice. This however was intentional, as he didn't want Lucario to come and experience the same fate as he did.
  • Posthumous Character: Sir Aaron.
  • The Promise: When Ash tries to console Lucario after it believes it was abandoned and asks if he can help, it only wants him to do one thing: Promise he will never abandon Pikachu. Ash swears he will not.
  • Red Herring: Kidd is set up as an antagonist, but she actually turns out of be an ally to Ash and friends.
  • Rescue Arc: Although, ironically, Pikachu wasn't in any real danger until the cavalry arrived and set off the traps. Plus, even with the Tree's defenses the humans are the ones in any real danger, not the Pokémon.
  • Ret-Gone: Inverted. A painting displayed in the palace shows Sir Aaron alone. During the end credits, when the heroes return to the palace, they find that the painting now shows Lucario standing next to Sir Aaron.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Kidd, in knight costume. In-universe as well, seeing how Ash and company reacted when she took her helmet off.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Sir Aaron seals Lucario into his staff and leaves him there. Flash-forward to the present, and Ash's aura allows him to be released.
  • Seeker White Blood Cells: The orange blobs within the tree are described as its equivalent to white blood cells. They specifically home in on any nearby humans.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Kidd is introduced to the main characters as a pleasant stranger who turns out to be a well-funded, thrill-seeking member of a secret organization whose very interested in the Soul Tree and some of the local Pokemon. Ultimately, that interest turns out to be harmless, and she and her mysterious boss never do anything villainous.
  • Shout-Out: the fact that the two warring armies are Red and Green is a direct reference to the original two Pokémon games.
  • Spider-Sense: Lucario senses Regirock's presence shortly before it attacks.
  • Spy Catsuit: Kidd's outfit.
  • Synchronization: Mew and the tree seem to be linked together in this way, as disabling the tree's Seeker White Blood Cells seems to disable his own immune system, causing him to become sick almost instantly which in turn causes the tree to start dying.
  • Tagalong Kid: the wild Bonsly, which had no relevance to the plot whatsoever.
    • Chekhov's Gunman: In the end credits, Bonsly is shown playing with Mew, implying that Mew has a new friend that it can play with without, you know, kidnapping one.
  • Talking Animal: Zigzagged with Lucario; it doesn't truly "talk", but can communicate with humans via telepathy. Still, it's one of the few Pokémon that can do this in any way.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Max earns Lucario's trust by offering him some chocolate. He is seen at the end of the movie sharing some with Sir Aaron. And thus Chocolate became Lucario's Trademark Favorite Food. At least in the fandom.
  • Tears of Remorse: After the Time Flower reveals Sir Aaron's supposed betrayal of Lucario, Ash realizes his past behavior (tackling Lucario after he insults Ash's friendship with Pikachu) was wrong, and tearfully apologizes.
  • Teen Genius: Kidd.
  • Teen Superspy: Kidd.
  • Together in Death: A platonic example with Sir Aaron and Lucario.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ash is at his best in this movie, considering that he almost made a conscious Heroic Sacrifice to save all the Pokémon living under the Tree of Beginning - only to be stopped by Lucario.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: This movie led to chocolate being seen as this for Lucario. In one episode of the Diamond and Pearl saga where the group arrives in Veilstone City and meets Maylene. After seeing Maylene's Lucario dissatisfied with her, Team Rocket tries to tempt Lucario into joining them by offering it a chocolate bar.
  • Victory Is Boring: A humorous example where Ash wins the festival tournament, but would find out that he has to sit out the rest of the celebrations because of it, to his lament.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: May calls Ash out after his argument and fight with Lucario.
    May: That was so uncalled for.
    Ash: So what. It shouldn't have said Pikachu ran away from me.
    May: Well, you say some pretty terrible things to Lucario too.
    Ash: Hmm...Yeah.
  • When Trees Attack: Oh dear God.
  • World Tree: The Tree of Beginning.


Video Example(s):


Lucario and the Mystery of Mew

Ash and the gang choose clothes for the Cameran Palace competition while Pikachu encounters a transformed Mew.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / GorgeousPeriodDress

Media sources:

Main / GorgeousPeriodDress