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Anime / Pokémon: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel

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Things are starting to heat up, and it's going to be MEGA amounts of trouble.
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The nineteenth Pokémon movie, following Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, and the final film for the XY saga of the anime. As the title says, this movie stars Volcanion and Magearna — the latter debuting ahead of its appearance in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

While on their journey, Ash and friends are surprised by the Mythical Pokémon Volcanion falling from the sky. Though the human-hating creature tries to leave, it and Ash are bound together by a mysterious force generated by cuffs attached to both of them. Volcanion's goal is the gear-littered city of the Azoth Kingdom, where Alva, a corrupt cabinet minister, has kidnapped Magearna from the plains where it and Volcanion reside, with the intention of using the power of the Pokémon's Soul-Heart to take control. Volcanion's none too chuffed about this, and plans to take Magearna back, even if it means having a human tag along with it.

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The film was released on July 16, 2016 in Japan. Like Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, it was a box office bomb. In fact, it bombed so badly it became a temporary Franchise Killer. Since Pokémon: I Choose You! explicitly takes place in an Alternate Continuity, Volcanion and the and the Mechanical Marvel is also the last film to take place in the main continuity that began with Pokémon: The First Movie in 1998. In many European markets and the United States, the film premiered on TV, and in many cases was packaged with the first two episodes of the Sun & Moon anime. In the U.S. specifically, this marked the series' move to Disney XD on December 5, 2016.

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Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Wimp: Magearna is a powerful Mythical Pokémon which is a Mighty Glacier with a unique ability called Soul-Heart that increases its already high Special Attack stat when a Pokémon faints. In this movie, Magearna is a Damsel in Distress Living MacGuffin so that Volcanion can represent a Knight in Shining Armor; and uses its signature move, Fleur Cannon, only a single time to no avail.
  • Advertised Extra: While it was the Pokémon featured in the first teaser trailer for the film, Zygarde Complete Forme only appears in the film for one minute, and none of the cast even see it.
  • Amusing Injuries: The shackle that accidentally binds Ash to Volcanion forces the latter to pull the other harshly around whenever he moves, and this lasts more than half the movie! All attempts of trying to get it off only make things much worse for Ash.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Zig-zagged with Volcanion — while it's shown it must refill his water supply (and as such it doesn't generate water naturally like most Water-types), it is able to fire off more water than its body should logically be able to hold. And there's no way it should be able to get off the ground by expelling its own water, let alone fly around.
  • Beam-O-War: Near the end of the film, Alva decides to eradicate the Nebel Plateau and all its inhabitants with a Wave Motion Gun powered by a despairing Magearna's Soul-Heart. Not ones to sit idly by as their home faces the threat of total annihilation, multiple Pokémon living in the highlands band together to try to prevent the laser from reaching its intended target, resulting in this. Though it looks like they'll eventually tire out and get wiped out in the process, Squishy/Zygarde pulls a Big Damn Heroes and assumes its Complete Forme to help the Nebel Plateau Pokémon successfully overpower Alva's attack.
  • Big Bad: Alva.
  • Brainwashed: The Mega Wave not only forces Pokémon to Mega Evolve with a Painful Transformation, but they also lose control of themselves.
  • Butt-Monkey: The heap of abuse Ash suffers while stuck to Volcanion would probably remind us of his Original Series and/or Best Wishes! days (and prepare us for his upcoming Sun and Moon days). To put it into perspective, here are some of the things he deals with:
    • Constantly slamming into Volcanion.
    • Being blasted by Volcanion's attacks.
    • Having a suit that's supposed to cushion these impacts blow up and leave him in his underwear.
  • The Cameo: There's a brief snippet of Alain and Korrina's battle, used to demonstrate Mega Evolution.
  • Chained Heat: Ash and Volcanion are tied together via some unknown force. Volcanion's pressing on with its goal anyway, damn the human-shaped baggage it's acquired.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Volcanion is allergic to the flowers Magearna can produce from its hands, resulting in a very violent sneeze. When Volcanion collapses after apparently surviving the destruction of Alva's airship, Magearna calmly walks up to Volcanion and lets it get a whiff of the bouquet. Volcanion promptly sneezes, revealing it was simply fatigued and not dead like everyone thought.
  • Clock Punk: The Azoth Kingdom is littered with cogs and gears.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens to Ash twice. Volcanion damages his normal outfit, leaving him rather dirty and unkempt. The second time was with a suit that was suppose to cushion Ash. This leaves him stranded in his tank top and boxers. Luckily, Serena was there for Ash to actually have clothes.
  • Cool Airship: Alva has one.
  • Corrupt Politician: Alva is a cabinet minister and looks Obviously Evil.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Through neo-arcane science, Alva has discovered a means to make several Pokémon Mega Evolve at once while bypassing the whole "bond with Pokémon" process. He could just patent all this and get rich of it, but as he already is a man of wealth and influence, he only thinks about using it for conquest.
  • Damsel in Distress: While it has no gender like most Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, the feminine-looking Magearna fills this role, and Volcanion is playing the Knight in Shining Armor by attempting to perform a rescue.
  • Decapitated Army: Alva's Pokémon army ditch him and his cronies once they're free of their Brainwashed states.
  • Demoted to Extra: Magearna winds up being sidelined in its own movie, as it doesn't go through much development like Volcanion does. Once Alva obtains its Soul-Heart, it becomes a mere object for the other characters to retrieve, and it isn't restored until the very end.
  • Disney Death: Volcanion appears to die near the end, but is swiftly proven to be alive. Magearna itself undergoes a Disney Death of personality (a la WALL•E) at the same time.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Mythical Pokémon Magearna makes its debut ahead of its native game, Pokémon Sun and Moon.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Team Rocket trio, being the scoundrels they are, at first ally themselves with Alva and his mission, solely in the hopes of finally stealing Pikachu. However, after Alva takes Magearna's Soul-Heart and dismisses the value of its life other than being a tool in his own plot, and Meowth hears Magearna's voice from within the Soul-Heart, the trio becomes horrified and disgusted by Alva's callous ruthlessness and turns against him, only for Alva to eject Jessie and James from his ship mid-air and take Meowth hostage to use as a monitor for Magearna's voice. The former two then spend the rest of the film trying to rescue their comrade from Alva and help stop his plans, and at the end, when everything has been resolved, the trio watches Ash, Pikachu, and everyone else in satisfaction for a while before slipping away unnoticed without bothering them.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: When Alain and Korrina use Mega Evolution, their Pokémon glow and spin before taking their Mega forms. Strangely enough, no such movement ever presented itself in the anime.
  • Expy: Alva is an Obviously Evil sociopathic megalomaniac who manipulates a boy of royal position and does terrible things to Pokémon to achieve his goals, and he also carries a staff. Sounds a lot like Ghetsis. Meanwhile, his wealth, scientific ingenuity, and flying fortress call to mind Lawrence III.
  • Fantastic Racism: In the grand tradition of the anime, Volcanion hates humans. Also in the grand tradition of the anime, it gets over this by the end.
  • Grand Finale: For the Pokémon XY film saga, and since the next film takes place in a Continuity Reboot-slash-Alternate Continuity, this is also the final entry of the main Pokémon film series as it has been from Day 1. The only characters that remain from this original continuity are Ash, Pikachu and Team Rocket.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Volcanion decides to blow up Alva's fortress with him inside it to stop it from damaging the Nebel Plateau. Despite this, it lives.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Prince Raleigh completely trusts Alva, even when he's clearly threatening Magearna not to react to Volcanion being frozen in his first scene and disagrees when Chymia warns him not to spend time with him. Ash calls him out on trying to calmly explain the situation to Volcanion even after he just froze him solid (in the Japanese version, at least. The dub version doesn't). He doesn't even question the extreme torture Alva's men inflicted on innocent harassed Pokémon and Ash! It's not until Alva mercilessly rips out Magearna's Soul-Heart, carelessly disposes of its body, and then attacks Raleigh's sister, Ash and his friends, and all the Nebel Plateau Pokémon, that the prince finally sees Alva for the manipulative monster that he truly is.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Volcanion is a firm believer of this, to the point of completely ignoring the presence of Ash and company. Not surprising, given that it lives with Pokémon abused by humans, and it's a human who took Magearna for his own ends (for which it refuses to forgive humans).
  • Jet Pack: Volcanion is able to use its arms as one to fly around. Alva attempts to use one to get away once everything swings south, but is stopped by Ash-Greninja.
  • Light Is Not Good: One of the Mega Evolved Pokémon under Alva's command is a bright-white shiny Gengar.
  • Living MacGuffin: Magearna (more specifically, its Soul-Heart) is the object of desire for both Alva and Volcanion.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: Magearna has a thing called the Soul-Heart, and Alva wants it for it.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: The movie involves "neo-arcane science" which can be described as "magic, except we're not calling it that." Aside from creating Magearna in this continuity, it's also used by Alva to Mega Evolve multiple Pokémon.
  • Magic Staff: Alva has a staff with the Mega Evolution symbol on it and a Key Stone embedded in it. Through neo-arcane science, he can induce Mega Evolution in several Pokémon at once.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: One poster depicts the XY gang with their Pokémon on the left, and Alva and his army of Megas on the right.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Despite Volcanion blowing up the falling fortress to prevent the Navel Plateau being destroyed, somehow the falling debris made doesn't pose a similar threat over a wider area.
  • Obviously Evil: Masked face, sinister staff, purple goatee, evil laugh... Alva looks very trustworthy, doesn't he?
  • Running Gag: Volcanion sneezing from Magearna's flowers, as well as Ash being magnetically (and forcibly) attracted to the electronic band on Volcanion's leg without warning.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In the third act, Jessie and James get booted out after having second thoughts over teaming up with Alva, while Meowth is tied up and used as a translator for Magearna.
  • Shout-Out: At one point in the trailer the walls outside the Gear Kingdom are shown making weird movements while Ash looks on from below, at sundown, very much like the signature scene from Attack on Titan.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: The teaser for the movie at the end of Hoopa and the Clash of Ages showcased Zygarde, in particular its Complete Forme and a Zygarde Core. It took until the second full trailer for the Complete Forme to actually appear.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Volcanion and Ash, by virtue of getting literally stuck together.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The first trailer showcases a Noivern among Ash's Pokémon... and was aired before the episode where his Noibat evolves. Whoops.
  • Weight Woe: Magearna is embarrassed at being called heavy by Clemont.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Volcanion And The Ingenious Magearna

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