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Anime / Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai

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The Dark Is Not Evil concept gets taken to the extreme.

Somewhere between time & space...a legend is born.

Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai, known in Japan as Dialga Vs Palkia Vs Darkrai, is the tenth film in the Pokémon franchise, and the beginning of a trilogy of Diamond and Pearl films.

Set in Alamos Town, two deity Pokémon, Dialga and Palkia, are fighting. Ash and his friends take the time to visit the city, but little do they know that a Mythical Pokémon, Darkrai, lives there. Assumed to be a threat, Darkrai defends himself from all the trainers as they try to stop the fighting between Dialga and Palkia.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version had "I will be with you" by Sarah Brightman.
  • Air Jousting: Apparently, when Palkia's pearl is damaged, high-force collisions cause damage to space in general. Guess what makes up half of Dialga and Palkia's combat.
  • All There in the Script: The three coordinators who each have one of Sinnoh's fully evolved starter Pokémon. Although they weren't referred to by name in the dub, Poké has since released their names as Kai, Allegra, and Maury.
  • Androcles' Lion: Why Darkrai was loyal to Alicia and Alice, because of the former's kindness towards him.
  • Animorphism: Baron Alberto is transformed into a Lickilicky. Actually an illusion caused by Darkrai's nightmares brought to life by Palkia's actions.
  • Answer Cut: After finding out Palkia was behind the strange occurrences happening around town, we have this:
    Dawn: But that means Palkia is here!
    Brock: But where is that?
    (cuts to Darkrai)
    Darkrai: HERE!
  • Attack Hello: Before Palkia even knows he is there, Dialga fires with Draco Meteor, flies in, and tackles Palkia straight to the ground the second time they meet.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: This movie is the very first Pokémon movie to ever be rated PG in the United States even though some of the earlier Pokémon movies had their own share of disturbing factors yet were still rated G.
  • Back from the Dead Darkrai is disintegrated by Dialga and Palkia's attacks, but due to Palkia restoring the city, he comes back.
  • Bad Vibrations: The power waves released from the Space-Time Duo's power in the Unown dimension causes violent vibrations in the real world.
  • Beam-O-War: Lots between Dialga and Palkia — and because they have Reality Warper powers, each one causes Los Alamos to disintegrate.
  • Blackbead Eyes: Tonio has small, beady, black eyes. Especially noticeable since he's the only main human character in the whole movie who has them.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Literally. In the Japanese version, Ash (Satoshi) yells at Palkia at the end of the movie for everything that had happened, going so far as to call Palkia an idiot.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Darkrai screams "DAAAARK VOID!" whenever he uses his signature move.
  • Cassandra Did It: Darkrai is trying to warn everyone about Dialga and Palkia but gets mistaken for the cause of the dimensional distortions.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The song Oración is introduced during a relaxed scene early on as calming a bunch of wild Potémon. It later turns out to be the key to stopping Dialga and Palkia's battle.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The three coordinators who battle Ash and Dawn have this. Allegra is red, Kai is blue, and Maury is green.
  • Clock Punk: The technology used by the residents of Alamos Town in the movie seems to be a combination of this and Steampunk.
  • Clock Tower: Subverted as the Time and Space Tower. It still tells time, however.
  • Continuity Nod: The area where Dialga and Palkia start fighting could be the place where Professor Hale got sucked into in the third movie, due to the clouds of Unown swirling around.
    • Dawn's Lunar Wing charm shows up in a later episode featuring another Darkrai.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Darkrai has bright blue eyes and is seen as creepy due to giving people nightmares, though he's ultimately not a villain.
  • Creepy Good: Darkrai is a quite scary-looking wraith, and he gives people nightmares, but he's just trying to protect the town.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Darkrai is, for the most part, on the receiving end of this trope, which shouldn't be surprising since he is up against literal gods. He holds off for quite some time, and even seemed nearly evenly matched when he was battling Palkia alone.
  • Damsel in Distress: Alice has to be saved by Tonio and Darkrai a couple times.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Darkrai is a dark type, black in color, and fades into shadows. He's not the villain people think he is.
  • Determinator: Darkrai keeps getting up and trying to protect Alamos town from Dialga and Palkia no matter how many times he gets knocked down, eventually sacrificing his life to buy everyone just a little more time.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Ash's nightmare reveals the presence of Palkia in Alamos Town. In the past, Godey dreamed of the future, catastrophic battle between Palkia and Dialga and built the Space-Time Towers before said event.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Time-Space Duo's red eyes turn orange and glow when using their powers. Especially noticeable during their first battle in the beginning. Darkrai also does this at the very end.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: After deciding that Darkrai is the cause of the anomalies, Baron Alberto leads the town in trying to bring him down.
  • Hope Spot: As Dialga uses Roar of Time and Palkia uses Spacial Rend, Darkrai gets in the middle of them and surrounds itself with a shadow orb to take the hits. The orb surrounds all three of the legendary Pokémon and traps them inside for the time being. Just when you thought Darkrai would be able to hold them off, both dragons break free and fire at the defenseless Pitch-Black Pokémon, killing him.
  • Jerkass: Baron Alberto. Hits on the uninterested female lead within the first twenty minutes of the movie, and can't seem to take a hint.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Baron Alberto blaming Darkrai for the catastrophic events has some understandable logic given the circumstantial evidence. Darkrai's aggressive behavior, trapping people in nightmares, and cryptic comments didn't help his perception as the bad guy. Even Ash and Co. were skeptical of Darkrai until they heard Tonio's story.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: When Palkia and Dialga casually "kill" Darkrai near the end after Darkrai used up all his energy to halt the duo's battle for some time.
  • Laughably Evil: Baron Alberto may be a Jerkass Smug Snake, but he's still pretty hilarious.
  • Left Hanging: It was never explained why Dialga and Palkia are fighting in the first place, until the 12th movie reveals that it was because Arceus was awakening that the domains of time and space are overlapping, which led both to think the other was trying to forcefully invade and take over their territory.
  • Light Is Not Good: Both Dialga and Palkia are actually given villainous roles in the film.
  • Little "No": Alice after seeing Darkrai die.
    Darkrai, no.
  • Love Triangle: Tonio/Alice/Baron. Of course, being the Jerkass he is, Baron loses to Tonio.
  • Magic Music: The Oracion theme causes the tower to glow a golden color and sprout wings.
  • Meaningful Name: Kai's name means Ocean in Japanese which is fitting since his only Pokémon Empoleon is a Water Type.
  • Męlée ŕ Trois: it's in the Japanese title, after all. (Dialga vs Palkia vs Darkrai)
  • Mood Whiplash: Each time the scene changes from the protagonists' perspective to the perspective of the Space-Time Duo's battle. Especially during the beginning.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: The Oracion melody has this effect on Pokémon. It becomes integral to the plot when Ash and co realize it can be used to stop the fight between Dialga and Palkia.
  • Named After Somebody Famous/Shout-Out Theme Naming: Tonio and his grandfather, Godey, are named after the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.
  • Never Trust a Title: The English title would have you believe that Darkrai is the villain of the movie. Turns out it just wanted to stop Dialga and Palkia destroying Alamos Town, despite the fact that everyone thought it was evil. Obviously the Japanese title subverts this.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Besides Palkia's shoulder injury, the Time-Space Duo don't seem to receive a single scratch from their heavy attacks against each another, and neither of them seem the least bit fatigued during their ongoing battle. Heck, even Palkia's wounded shoulder, which is implied to be one of its lungs, doesn't seem to hinder its battle against Dialga. Maybe Justified for Dialga since he does seem to be Made of Diamond. When they do get hurt, it's usually Only a Flesh Wound.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Jessie really admires Darkrai and his Nightmare Weaver powers.
    Jessie: (after seeing Darkrai using Dark Void) That move was simply...LOVELY!
  • Nightmare Fuel: Invoked. Darkrai is the incarnation and bringer of nightmares.
  • Nightmare Weaver: Darkrai has the ability to give people nightmares and communicate via nightmare.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Nearly all of Alamos Town had been either destroyed or disintegrated by the Time-Space Duo, yet there is no mention of death and those who had been shown to have died end up coming back.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Palkia and Dialga. Both thought the other was threatening its home and instinctively attacked. Alamos Town was dragged into the picture when Palkia escaped and hid there in order to hide itself from Dialga. Once found, they continued to fight, oblivious to the destruction around them.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Darkrai is thought to be a villain but turns out that he's actually trying to warn everyone about the dangers of Palkia and Dialga fighting. He just does it through nightmares.
  • Otherworldly Communication Failure: Darkrai tries to warn people that Dialga and Palkia are going to trap their city in a dimension that they will slowly destroy with their fighting. Unfortunately the way he communicates is by limited telepathy and giving people nightmares, which leads to Darkrai being seen as the villain.
  • Papa Wolf: Although they're unrelated, Darkrai is this way towards Alice. Protecting her at every cost.
  • Place Beyond Time: Where Palkia and Dialga are initially fighting, before breaking through into normal space-time.
  • Pokémon of Mass Destruction: Palkia and Dialga. Their battle damages spacetime itself.
  • Power Gem: Palkia's pearls and Dialga's diamond glow when they're about to use their signature moves.
  • Power Glows: Palkia glows pink, while Dialga glows blue. The Space-Time Towers glow gold when they play Oración.
  • Punny Name: Baron Alberto. His uniform shares a color palette with his signature Pokémon, Lickilicky, whose Japanese name is Beroberto. Then he transforms into said Pokémon...
    • The English dub simply had characters call him "Baron Lickilicky" so the joke was lost outside of Japan.
  • Reality Warper: Both Palkia and Dialga count, being the masters of space and time, respectably. However, Palkia was the one who warped all of Alamos Town into another dimension.
  • Rescue Romance: Zig-Zagged. When they were kids, Alice professed her love to Tonio when she thought he saved her from falling off a cliff. He admits that he didn't know what really happened, but now knows that it was Darkrai. During the climactic battle, Tonio saves Alice for real, solidifying the romance.
  • Running Gag: Baron Alberto shouting into the air as the camera pans up to the sky or some other scenery.
  • Saved by the Church Bell:
    • Darkrai's theme includes bells that at first seem foreboding. However, as we learn that Darkrai is a misunderstood hero, the bells gradually become less ominous until Darkrai's final appearance, where the bells are downright triumphant in the face of Darkrai's miraculous recovery from his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The town of Alamos Town is saved from destruction as the bells of its cathedral toll. Simultaneously, the soundtrack switches to "Oración," which is played on the bells.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Tonio's glasses were like this at one point while reading his grandfather's diary.
  • Sequel Hook: During the credits, it shows Dialga going towards its next destination awaiting a battle with what will be Giratina, which will start the next adventure Ash, Dawn and Brock will face.
  • Ship Tease: Ash and Dawn have a moment of this when Ash saves Dawn from falling to her death.
  • Space Master: Palkia, the Spacial Pokémon.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Dialga is this towards Palkia. When the latter left their first battle due to an injury, Dialga was outraged and searched across dimensions to find and finish off his rival.
  • Taking the Bullet: Darkrai in the climactic battle. He spends roughly half the fight doing this.
  • Time Master: Dialga, the Temporal Pokémon.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Really, Alice? You really think that the deities of time and space are going to stop their ongoing battle because you told them to?
    Alice: (yelling up at a raging Palkia and Dialga in the sky) "Stop fighting right now!"
    (Dialga then bites down onto Palkia's neck and drags it down towards Alice on the ground as they fall from overhead. Alice just stands there in awe)
    • Then again, there wasn't much else she could do, and they were all trapped. Plus, it's not unusual to freeze up in dangerous situations.
  • Town Girls: Allegra is the butch, Alice is the femme an Dawn is the neither.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: The three coordinators and Baron Alberto share the same color palettes as their Pokémon. Then Baron Alberto actually transforms into his only Pokémon.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Neither of the dragons seem like it's going to calm down anytime soon. Especially Dialga after Palkia flees from their battle.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: The fight between Palkia and Dialga results in Alamos Town becoming inescapable; the bridge to escape only leads back to the beginning of that bridge, no matter which way it's crossed.
  • Versus Title: The Japanese title for the movie, Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The story begins with Palkia and Dialga fighting, and then ends with Palkia flying towards the main setting of the story, Alamos Town.
  • Watching the Sunset: The ending. Everyone watches the sunset once Alamos Town is back in shape, the Dragon Duo ended their fighting, and Darkrai is alive again. Also, Tonio and Alice are finally together.
  • The Worf Barrage:
    • A utility variant is shown with Defog. Normally, this move can be used to clear thick fog, but to show the eldritch nature of the fog surrounding Alamos Town, Allegra has her Honchkrow use Defog to clear it and failed.
    • Darkrai, who has been shown to beat a whole crowd of Pokémon with just one of his attacks, can barely mark a scratch on neither Palkia nor Dialga.
  • The Worf Effect: Palkia and Dialga do this to the Unown to establish how powerful they are. Back in the third Pokémon movie, the Unown were seen as powerful, reality warping abominations who can make the wishes of a little girl come to life. Here they are running for their lives away from the two dragons fighting in their dimension. Overlaps with Make Way for the New Villains.