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Anime / Pokémon the Series: XY

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Pokémon the Series: XY (ポケットモンスターXY Pocket Monsters XY) is the fifth Pokémon anime series that ran from 2013 to 2016 in Japan and from 2014 to 2017 in America. This region has Ash going through Kalos to take part in the Kalos League. Serena, Ash's childhood friend, Clemont, Lumiose City's Gym Leader and inventor, and Bonnie, Clemont's younger sister, are his companions. Along the way, they get involved in a battle with Team Flare.

English dub:

  • Season 17: XY (Episodes 1-49)
  • Season 18: XY: Kalos Quest (Episodes 50-93)
  • Season 19: XYZ (Episode 94-140)

Japanese version:

  • XY (Episodes 1-93)
  • XY & Z (Episodes 94-140)


  • Mega Evolution Acts (Episodes 1-4)
  • Diancie Movie Prologue
  • Hoopa Movie Prologue
  • After XY Specials (Episodes 1-2)

This series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to C 
  • Adapted Out:
    • Professor Sycamore's recurring assistants Sina and Dexio didn't appear in the anime. Instead, Alain takes up the role as Sycamore's assistant.
    • AZ and the Ultimate Weapon do not appear in the anime despite Team Flare's major role in the story. As a result, Xerneas and Yveltal are Demoted to Extra since they're no longer needed to power up the ancient doomsday device. To make up for that, Team Flare instead uses Zygarde and the Megalith Stone (aka Giant Rock) as the substitute means to destroy the world.
    • Drasna is the only Elite Four member of the Kalos League to not make an appearance, not even for a cameo (Wikstrom, the only other Elite Four member to not have a major role in the series, makes a small cameo appearance in Pokémon: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, and would later make an appearance in Pokémon Journeys: The Series). She'd eventually her proper anime debut during Journeys, serving as one of Ash's final battles before making it to the World Coronation Series' Master Class.
    • The postgame in X and Y features Xerosic being investigated by Agent Looker and finding redemption with the help of a young girl named Emma. Neither of these happen in the anime.note 
    • Kiloude City in the Kalos region has never been featured, either.
    • Aquacorde Town gets nothing more than a two-second flyby early in the pilot.
  • Animation Bump: It goes without saying that the animation of XY always peaks for Gym Battles, Showcases, and any other important event in the series. It's most prominent during the XYZ series, where the important episodes are stacked back to back.
  • Arc Villain:
    • Florges serves as the Big Bad for the Wetlands Arc, the driving force behind the conquest of the wetlands, and Goomy's exile from its home. The climax of Goodra's Character Arc is to defeat Florges and make her see the error of her ways.
    • Lysandre, Boss of Team Flare, serves as the Big Bad for the majority of the XY series (and taking a more active role during the XYZ arc) and is responsible for Alain's Mega Evolution energy quest and the hunt for Zygarde, which eventually culminates in a world crisis in Kalos that everyone has to partake in.
  • Art Evolution: Coming at the heels of the well-received mini-series Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: Introduction Movie, which feature Pokémon battles with little to no speedlines or effect panels as backgrounds that the main anime was infamous for, the XY series standardized their animation style for its weekly episodes thanks to the advent of 3D backgrounds and rotating camera, which allowed the animators to focus on the foreground animation and not worry about what's happening behind. This not only led to more dynamic and visually pleasing battles (especially when it came to the Kalos League), but it also allowed more details to the character models, most notably with the addition of fingernails.
  • Big Bad: Lysandre is the main villain of the series, being responsible for the events behind the Mega Evolution Acts arc as well as leading Team Flare to capture Zygarde for his plans of world destruction during the XYZ season of the series.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • First region where Ash doesn't catch the Grass-type starter — or any Grass-type, for that matter.
    • First evolution of a Water-type starter Ash owned, as well as a Water-type Pokémon finally evolving ever since way back in Kanto when Krabby evolved.
    • First generation where Ash doesn't cross-dress. Instead, Serena cross-dresses as Ash.
    • Talonflame did not learn Flamethrower like all the rest of his Fire-types.
    • First region where all of Ash's Pokémon (save for Pikachu, of course) fully evolve.
    • First region where Ash does not reunite with an old companion from the previous region's journey. Cilan did appear, but it was in a post-epilogue episode meaning he only met Clemont and Bonnie.
  • Broken Pedestal: Serena and Sawyer start to doubt their faith in Ash during the XY&Z arc as his skills and attitude progressively dwindle. While Sawyer still trusts that Ash will bounce back in time for the League, Serena's view is shattered after Ash rudely rebuffs her attempts to comfort him.
    • Rebuilt Pedestal: When Ash snaps at Serena in the Winding Woods, they get into their first and only major argument, causing her to wonder if she's been holding him to too high a standard. Just as she starts to ponder this, Ash returns to his old self, restoring her faith in him.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Though the first two episodes establish that XY is not your usual Pokémon series, the journey through Kalos is a standard lighthearted affair akin to Diamond and Pearl. Then Sawyer is introduced, giving Ash a rival and subtly shifting the tone. Soon after, in quick succession, Olympia gives a prophecy that the region will be in great danger, Chespie falls into a coma at the end of the Mega Evolution Acts specials, Team Flare takes open action, and Alain is introduced to Ash and sets him on a spiral; all of this doesn't let up on the darker tone until after the climax of the XYZ season, when the conflict is resolved for the most part. It's notable because of just how dark the series gets and how gradual the process actually is.
  • Continuity Nod: Almost entirely averted. Ash makes next to no references to any of his past friends or adventures in this series, with the only examples being a very brief reference to Dawn's Piplup, and an equally brief mention of the Pokémon at Professor Oak's lab. As a result, the series is very self-contained compared to the others.

    Tropes D to F 
  • Deconstruction:
    • Alain is one of To Be a Master. He obsessively pursues strength to the point of misery, as it causes him to push away his loved ones for fear of hurting them (only hurting them more in the process) while losing all his enjoyment of battle, causing him to become easily manipulated by the Big Bad Lysandre.
    • During the XY&Z arc, Ash's own status as The Ace gets deconstructed as well. The pressure of all his friends looking up to him starts to get to him, causing him to obsess over power in a similar vein to Alain. It's reconstructed after Ash rediscovers himself and returns to his previous attitude.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The first two episodes (initially aired as a one-hour special premiere) establish the XY series to be quite different from the previous series, especially the Black & White series:
    • "Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!" showcases the first Pokémon battle between Ash and Clemont, using Pikachu and Bunnelby respectively, which sets the style of future XY Pokémon battles to come. The Speed Stripes that characterized Pokémon battles in previous series are gone, replaced by a 3D battlefield background and a rotating camera.note  It also establishes Ash and Pikachu, who had previously suffered a Reset Button in Black & White, to be smarter and more powerful than they ever were before in the past series, with the highlight of them turning Bunnelby's powerful ears into an opportunity to maximize the damage potential of Electro Ball.
    • "Lumiose City Pursuit!" features Ash calming down a rampaging Garchomp on the Prism Tower, watched on TV by everyone, including an awed Serena. This sets the action-packed and darker tone that the series would be well-known for, while also establishing Serena's recognition of Ash Ketchum on TV, starting up a romantic subplot with Ash on a level not seen since Misty's less-than subtle interactions with Ash during the Orange Islands arc.
  • Everyone Can See It: Much to her embarrassment, Serena realizes that her feelings for Ash are very obvious to just about everyone (except for the boys, of course) they meet on their adventure. Alexa, Miette, Bonnie, Shauna and Nini have noticed it; Miette even pretends to be a romantic rival to help push Serena into confessing, while Shauna rolled her eyes when she sees that Serena wants to keep Ash in the dark about it. Bonnie noticeably doesn't try to pair Serena up with her big brother Clemont despite doing it to every other girl they meet and snickers that both Ash and Clemont are oblivious to the obvious.
  • The Fat Episode: In "An Appetite for Battle", Chespin gets a Balloon Belly from eating lots of macarons and becomes slower from the excess weight, so Clemont tries (and fails) to build an exercise machine. Chespin wanders away in the middle of the night when he smells something good in an elderly couple's house, causing Clemont to think Chespin is angry with him.
  • Foul Medicine: In "A Rush of Ninja Wisdom!", Sanpei gives Froakie a pill made from an Energy Root when Froakie is injured. Froakie eats it and gets Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises from the realization of how awful it tastes before jumping up and yelling.
    Sanpei: When the medicine is bitter, you can be quite sure that it's going to work. (chuckles)
  • Funny Afro: Whenever Clemont's inventions explode, they usually give anyone caught in the blast a sizzling afro.

    Tropes K to O 
  • Kids Hate Vegetables: Bonnie does not care much for carrots, as is typical for kids her age in anime.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Lysandre and his organization, Team Flare. His cameo at the end of the first Mega Evolution Acts episode is already enough to inform the audience that Alain's story is going to be Darker and Edgier than Ash's, and Team Flare's proper debut in the main series marks a gradual transition in tone from the typical League quest to a world crisis where nothing else matters.
  • Laugh of Love: In the episode "Under the Pledging Tree", when Ash asks Serena what gifts she's planning to get while she's thinking that the two of them are on a date, she quickly replies "I'm not sure yet!" while chuckling nervously.
  • Maybe Ever After: XY ends the same as all other seasons end before it, with Ash and his companions taking different paths. Serena, while she hasn't changed her mind about going to Hoenn and parting ways with Ash, makes it clear that she hasn't given up on her feelings for him, hoping to "become a more attractive woman" when they meet again, and it's subtly implied that Ash finally reciprocates. Noticeably neither of Serena's successors have any kind of real Ship Tease with Ash with Lillie being a clear little sister figure to him and Chloe primarily being Goh's friend rather then Ash's.
  • Messiah Creep: Ash is hit by this hard, as his ability to inspire others is heavily played up in this series. He gradually becomes more messiah-like until becoming a full-on Messianic Archetype for the Team Flare arc, complete with betrayal and a Crucified Hero Shot.
  • Mind-Reformat Death: In order to deactivate the devices that place the legendary Pokémon Zygarde under Team Flare's control, Clembot has to be plugged into the Lumiose Gym in order to do so, but the shut down procedure will wipe out its memory in the process. Gym Leader Clemont is hesitant at first, but Clembot acknowledges that its sacrifice is necessary to save the city. After Team Flare is defeated, Clembot is repaired, but with none of its memories.
  • Mirror Universe: Ash travels into one in the episode "The Cave Of Mirrors". As expected, the inhabitants have opposite traits of their normal selves (i.e., Ash is timid and is shown to be a crybaby, Team Rocket are heroes who supported Ash from behind, Clemont is athletic and is into magic, etc.).
  • Myth Arc: Based around the phenomenon of Mega Evolution, its origins and the characters who utilize it in the present day, and Team Flare desiring to use the energy of Mega Evolution and the Legendary Pokémon Zygarde to wipe out most of the world's population and preserve its "beauty". This arc not only progressed through many episodes but also through four "The Strongest Mega Evolution" side-story specials starring Alain (who would later become Ash's friend and rival in the actual anime) and concluded at the very end of the series.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A Fletchling wakes Serena up at the beginning of the XY series, just like in Pokémon X and Y when a Fletchling wakes up the Player Character.
    • Ash Ketchum's XY character model is trifled with references, thanks to the XY series director and long-time Pokémon fan, Tetsuo Yajima, who personally designed it:
      • His Kalos outfit is a fusion of Calem's default outfit and Red's FRLG outfit; the overall design being primary based on Calem with the incorporation of Red's hat, shorter sleeves, sneakers and T-shirt into the mix.
      • Ash's new hat that is red with a white brim and a white semicircle across the front, reminiscent of Red's hat from FireRed and LeafGreen with only minor cues from Calem's hat. Noticeably, Ash tends to adjust his hat more often than flipping it backwards, something that his game counterpart Red is known to do during battle.
      • Ash's sideburns are now overlapping his ears like Red's rather being tucked behind like in the other series. This was confirmed by Yajima to be taken from Red's design.
    • In "Showcase, Debut!", Serena gets her Important Haircut and changes into her new outfit to not only reflect her Character Development in that episode, but also highlight the fact that Pokémon X and Y games first introduced Character Customization, including haircuts.
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    • The evil Malamar and its associates plan to use the devices they had stolen to alter the entire Earth into a paradise they can enjoy. Said paradise is a toxic wasteland that would be harmful to any other creature except the Malamar species.
    • Team Flare, like in the games, plan to wipe out entire populations of humans and Pokémon that are not worthy by their standards in order to clear the living space and start anew. Instead of Xerenas or Yveltal, however, they capture Zygarde (specifically Z-2) instead and use Mega Evolution energy to amplify its contempt for humanity into a full-blown misanthropic rampage upon Lumiose City. And if that doesn't work, they have a Megalith Zygarde aimed towards the Anistar Sundial which would cause a world extinction event should the two ever collide.

    Tropes S to W 
  • Shipper on Deck: Those who notice Serena's feelings for Ash also try to have her act upon them before it's too late. Miette by playing herself to be a romantic rival who would steal Ash's heart if Serena does nothing; Shauna by openly discussing it with Serena; and Bonnie by not proposing Serena to be her brother's keeper and would later give her a fist bump after Serena finally kisses Ash on the last episode.
  • Sigh of Love: In one of many Ship Tease moments between Ash and Serena, in the episode "The Cave of Trials", the group has a photo taken, with Serena standing really close to Ash. Serena is later seen looking at the photo and sighing happily before Ash calls for her.
  • Skeleton Government: The episode "Awakening the Sleeping Giant!" shows that Kalos has monarchs present in the form of the Princess Allies of Parfum Palace and Lord Shabboneau of Shabboneau Castle. However, there is no evidence of them holding any sort of governing power. Other characters with royal titles have appeared plenty of times in the series but again, nothing about politics is mentioned.
  • Starter Villain: The evil Malamar from "A Conspiracy to Conquer!" serves as the first recurring antagonist for the early days of the XY series, hypnotizing people to do its bidding and later conspiring with other evil Malamar to alter/destroy the world to best suit their needs. Despite having similar goals to Team Flare, there are no connections between these groups.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The introduction of Mega Evolution greatly affected how the story of XY was going to play out.
    • In the games, Mega Evolution is powerful, but only a select few Pokémon benefit enough from it. The mechanic as a whole is balanced out by the fact all Mega Evolved Pokémon (except Rayquaza, who was so powerful, Smogon had to ban it from their banlist) have to give up their held item to hold a Mega Stone. In the anime, where held items are nonexistent, Mega Evolutions are a free powerup, and the only Pokémon qualified to fight them are other Mega Evolved Pokémon, the above-mentioned Legendaries, and Ash's Pikachu. This sheer level of power is the reason why series director Tetsuo Yajima believed that a regular Greninja would not stand out and thus asked Game Freak for a solution. Said solution led to the creation of Ash-Greninja, which is listed below as its own example.
    • Ash-Greninja, the unique Mega Evolution-like transformation exclusive to Ash's Greninja. It provides a power boost on par with a Mega Evolution, perhaps even stronger, and allows Ash to see the battle from Greninja's POV, which is an immense tactical advantage. At first, Ash and Greninja still had some trouble with it and tended to pass out from fighting too hard. However, as their proficiency with the form improved, they were able to challenge Diantha to a close fight, and upon completing the forme, not even Wulfric's Mega Abomasnow, which had a massive Type Advantage, had much of a chance. The only real drawback is that Ash shares Greninja's pain, but even this becomes manageable after mastering the form. Near the end of the XY anime series, Ash releases Greninja so it, alongside Squishy and Z2, can destroy the out-of-control vines left in the wake of the Kalos crisis.
  • Super Mode: Since Generation VI introduced Mega Evolution, the XY series is filled with showcase episodes of Pokémon Mega-Evolving into their new, more powerful forms. There's even four special Mega Evolution Acts episodes dedicated to Alain trying to beat every Mega-Evolved Pokémon with his Mega Charizard X. The anime goes further with the concept by introducing Ash-Greninja, a unique and powerful form that is achieved when Ash and Greninja's battle bond synchronize completely.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In "Battling At Full Volume!", Jimmy wants to have a Pikachu vs. Pikachu battle with Ash. Ash is sick and sleeping, so Serena dresses as Ash to battle in his place.
  • Third-Option Adaptation: Pokémon X and Y has no third version to reconcile whether Team Flare was going after Xerneas or Yveltal, so the anime instead has Team Flare only target Zygarde and not bother with the cover legendaries. It also serves to debut new forms for Zygarde ahead of Pokémon Sun and Moon.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show:
    • The evil Malamar are wicked villains with no sense of humor when they show up. Since they only appear for the first half of the XY anime, where the journey is light-hearted with no serious stakes, the episodes featuring them stand out from the rest.
    • Team Flare, of course. If not for capturing and torturing Z-2 for their schemes, then certainly for unleashing the enraged Zygarde upon Lumiose City and causing massive devastation in its wake. Lysandre in particular is a serious, nihilistic villain who stands out in the XY series, even among his Team Flare cohorts. He is never Played for Laughs even once, unlike his five main scientists, and his actions carry out the gravest consequences as poor Alain finds out in the climax.
  • Villain Decay: After their huge upgrade in competence Best Wishes, the Team Rocket trio maintain some of their menace in earlier episodes, but increasingly lose by humiliating bad luck rather than offering much of a fight. By the final half they lose pace with the twerps anyway, and revert back to a Goldfish Poop Gang. By XYZ even trainers that seldom battle like Serena and Bonnie can blast them off with no effort at all.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Discussed. At the start of the series, Team Rocket retained some of their menacing streak from Best Wishes and could routinely keep pace with the twerps. As Ash and co. bulked up however and Team Rocket gained no new Pokemon, things gradually returned to the usual Curbstomp Battles. When their final scheme is inevitably squashed by Ash and Alain, they lampshade they really didn't stand a chance against two league finalists and lay low for the remainder of the series.
  • Warts and All: Played with and ultimately subverted. When Ash reaches a low point in Snowbelle City, Sawyer and especially Serena wonder if Ash was really as great as they made him out to be, but he bounces back quickly and restores their faith in him. By the end of the series, both of them admit that they're simply not on his level, but aspire to be one day.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Serena's crush on Ash is so prevalent throughout this series that the question on everyone's mind (In-Universe and out) is whether or not she will confess her feelings to him instead of keeping it to herself. Many episodes tease on the possibility of Serena having a romantic moment with Ash, only for something to go in-between them before she can actually do so. By the final episode of the XY series, Serena only confesses to Ash that he is still her goal before they have to part ways. At the very last minute, she finally musters enough to courage to give her first kiss to him, pleasantly surprising our Chaste Hero.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Ash's Greninja is capable of attaining a Super Mode that is as strong as (or possibly stronger than) Mega Evolution, but the exact mechanics (apart from involving a form of Synchronization between Ash and Greninja) are unexplained. It's an alien concept that didn't exist in the games (save a unique Greninja that comes with the Sun and Moon demo, meant to emulate the anime), and many people In-Universe wonder if it counts as a Mega Evolution or not.
  • The Wrong Way on the Escalator: Serena does this in the finale before departing to Hoenn so she can give Ash her First Kiss.


Video Example(s):


Battling at Full Volume!

While Serena takes care of the ailing Ash, a rock star trainer shows up to challenge Ash to a Pokemon battle with their respective Pikachus. Knowing that Ash will accept the challenge if he wakes up, despite being in no condition to do so, Serena disguises herself as Ash so that she can battle in his place.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / SweetPollyOliver

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