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WMG / Pokémon: I Choose You!

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The movie will be Darker and Edgier than the usual anime.
Considering this will be the guesses for the movie and based off the appearance of the teaser trailer, it will be aimed at a older audience who first introduced to Pokémon by the anime. The tone will be probably closer to Takeshi Shudō's run on Pokemon Indigo League season.

The movie is the start of an Alternate Continuity a la Rebuild of Evangelion.
And this Alternate Continuity will be a more accessible, still family-friendly but deeper, more mature and more coherent retelling of the anime.
  • The second movie will introduce this continuity's Mewtwo (likely voiced by Keiji Fujiwara from Super Smash Bros.) and will draw elements from Pokémon: The First Movie and Giovanni's appearances in the main anime, maybe with a few (of the less reviled) elements from Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened while still telling its own story and putting a new spin on things.
    • If The Stinger is any indication, this may very well be CONFIRMED!
  • The team will continue producing the standard "team up with the new Legendary to save the world" movies and they will continue their annual release after I Choose You!, but every few years a "Rebuild of Pokémon" movie will take its place, particularly for Milestone Celebrations.
    • If this WMG ends up being true, it would make sense for the Johto "Rebuild of Pokemon" movie to come out the year after the first one (assuming they skip the Orange Island arc and they cover all of the Kanto region in the first movie), due to the fact that both regions were in the first anime. After that would be a perfect time to start releasing the movies every few years.
      • Since the 21st movie has been confirmed as a sequel to this one, the base WMG seems confirmed. The nods to Lugia in the 21st movie's trailer and the credits sequence of the film further point to the WMG about the sequel focusing on Johto being confirmed as well.

Something... threatened everything, and Ash Ketchum wasn't enough. He wasn't skilled enough to stop it. If only he could do it over....
  • So... Basically Ashes of the Past?
  • And the opportunity arises. This time, he'll be stronger, more independent. Traveling with Misty and Brock was fun, but he can't afford to dally. This time he's going To Be a Master.
    • And with this new self, he gives himself a new name. Red.
  • Jossed.

Serena will cameo in the movie
This will be the new origin story of the anime, replacing older stories.
  • Perhaps they can change the story and have it so that Serena never moved, but got her Pokemon first. Later in the movie, Ash will catch up with her.
  • Jossed.
    • Not quite. She doesn't cameo in the movie proper, but she (along with Ash's other previous traveling companions) appear in the closing credits. And while the movie isn't intended to replace the original canon, it is being treated as alternate universe/what-if story by the creators.
      • Also, in a blink-and-you-miss scene, in Ash's room there's a bug net. In the main continuity, Ash met Serena first as a little child, when he was a Bugcatcher roaming the Viridian forest with his bug net, and Serena got lost before returning to Kalos. Since this continuity is the same of the main one up to Ash's meeting with Ho-oh, he already met his own Serena.

An English dub will be released earlier than usual
If November 2017 counts as such. This is when it was screened in theatres here.

This movie will inspire a new round of Ash vs. Red memes
After Origins and XY heated it up again, Originsy Ash will also be compared against regular Ash.

Some elements of Shudo's original story will end up in the movie
Hopefully not any of the bad stuff but perhaps some of the salvageable bits.

Ash will capture some familiar mons, and some new ones
Kingler's cinematic debut is unlikely, though Pidgeotto and Butterfree might get a shot, as well as the starter trio. As for mons he might capture, it could be anything from a Ratatta to a Chansey.
  • A new poster for the movie shows Pikachu with the original 151 in a circle around him. Outside of the circle we have some familiar faces: Butterfree, Lapras, the Kanto Starters, and Gengar. So Ash will at least be getting Haunter.
  • Jossed. He only gets Pikachu, Charizard and Butterfree. The credits sequence also implies he's going to catch Heracross.

This movie will address who is Ash's father
What better way to celebrate a Milestone Celebration than by answering one of the biggest mysteries of the anime? Whether it be a new character or somebody we already know, the movie may show how Ash is affected by his father's absence.
  • If they were going to do this, they might as well address other things that the anime hasn't answered, such as what happened to the other 2 trainers (the ones who presumably received Charmander and Bulbasaur) who Oak said failed to collect all 8 gym badges in time for the Pokemon League, and if the above WMG about this being Pokemon's equivalent to Rebuild of Evangelion holds true, the GS ball.
  • Jossed.

Pidgeot and maybe Butterfree will be addressed.
Considering that this movie was created with the original series in mind, and assuming it is not a retelling of the original Kanto saga, it's possible that they will finally address Ash's promise to come back for Pidgeot some day. This movie is obviously catered to the fans of the original series, and one of the biggest issues that have bothered many fans was how Ash never came back for some of the Pokémon that he promised to revisit some day. As such, this movie will take advantage of its very premise to show Ash coming back for Pidgeot and maybe even Primeape if we're lucky. It might also briefly show Butterfree, since Butterfree was the first Pokémon that Ash ever caught, but considering it has a family it is less likely to outright return in any significant fashion.
  • Jossed. Pidgeot doesn't appear, and Butterfree's complete story arc is retold in the movie.

The movie will introduce the multiple-worlds concept from the games.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire indicate that the video game remakes take place in a parallel universe from their respective original games; it would make sense for what looks like a movie remake to reveal that the current anime is actually a parallel universe to the earliest episodes.
  • Jossed. While obviously set in an Alternate Universe, the movie never indicated such a scenario was in play.

This movie takes place in an Alternate Universe.
Ash finds a Rainbow Wing dropped from Ho-oh when he first sights it. Team Rocket and a few gym leaders will be omitted either because of flat plotlines, regional sensibilities (mainly concerning the female-only Gym, and Ashley) or because Team Rocket caused Ash to get those badges originally.

Ash will get cocky with Pidgeotto fainting Geodude in a head clash (which causes Pidgeotto to strike the sprinklers), as a result, Ash doesn't power up Pikachu and winds up complacent. when he fights Lt Surge, Pikachu won't have an evolution crisis however he would wind up mostly roughed up which prompts a Training Montage. His final team would be Pikachu, Charizard, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Haunter and Pidgeot. Since Team Rocket was trimmed from the movie, Primeape will be seldom-mentioned. Giovanni however would have Mewtwo, but this would be an alternate universe where Mewtwo's creator didn't lose a daughter thus never became aware of the fruitlessness of life.

The Legendary Birds will be shoehorned into the plot, maybe Zapdos around Muk's capture. Moltres would be awakened during Blaine's fight, causing Ash to chase after it. Victory Road would be a Mountain in this strictly Kanto universe where he bumps into Articuno, by the time he reaches the Pokemon League, then he will encounter Ho-oh. maybe they could even give a chance for Mega Mewtwo X to shine, they'll definitely use the importance of Ho-Oh's 7 lights as some sort of Touched by Vorlons thing for Pikachu. There was datamined Headwear Pikachu in Sun/Moon, i'd assume they'd use Pokemon Special's plot thread with Ash not being aware that defeating the Legendary Birds causes the Rainbow Wing to be charged up. having the now Powered Hat is what lets Pikachu invoke the Pikashunium Z-move, 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt, in the eventual Pokemon D/P remakes would the Pikachu be able to swap out hats, including a 7th hat that's directly related to the movie.

Unless a theoretical event just simply hands out random Pikachu hats, or generations 2-6 Hats only be from Pokemon Go.

  • I'm going to assume that the Haunter you're talking about would be the one he befriended; if he was to catch it, it would make sense for him to get some other Pokemon that he befriended but never caught (i.e., Larvitar, Riolu) in movie adaptations of other regions.
  • CONFIRMED: about a 7th Pikachu Cap. OP of this WMG. as of June's issue of Corocoro, it is mentioned that you can get a promotional Ga Olé puck from seeing the movie in Japan, but its QR code can only be scanned in Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon, it's based on the cap Ash wears in this movie. the Pokemon GO functionality with the main games are still unused however.
  • Confirmed by director Kunihiko Yuyama.
  • QR codes for Ultra Sun/Moon were also handed out in North America in November 2017.
  • QR codes for Ultra Sun/Moon were also handed out in Europe in November 2017, at the theater along with a TCG Card.

The movie is a story that an older Ash is telling to his own kid(s).
This likely isn't going to be true, but still it's a fun guess.
  • For a bonus, their appearances are heavily inherited from Serena, implying that she's the one who married Ash even though she wouldn't make a cameo.
    • Alternatively, they'll reveal that Ash became a professor himself and is telling his experiences to some promising trainers and reveal that he has a wedding ring on one of his fingers, and have something else around to imply who he ended up choosing. If the above "Rebuild of Pokemon" WMG is true, he'll have written all his adventures down in journals, and at the start of each movie, he'll take a journal off of the bookshelf, along with a special item related to the region connected to said journal (i.e., a badge, a hat if it's for one where he changed his outfit), with the first item or two being an indication as to what his favorite moment during his journey in that region was, whereas everything else will hint as to what girl he chose, leading to said girl being revealed in the movie retelling the adventures he had in the region that journal retells the story of.

Ho-Oh will be important to the plot
Because why wouldn't it be?
  • Confirmed.

The movie is an Author's Saving Throw.
The movie will be a retelling of the original series, but with adjustments made to fix issues that fans have been complaining over. Changes will be from minor to major, including but not limited to:
  • Ash not releasing so many Pokémon.
    • I'd like to point out that Ash only released three Pokémon that he had actually caught and kept for a long time in the original series. That's not 'many' if you compare the captured/released Pokémon ratio even of just the original series.
  • Ash evolving all of his Pokémon (not named Pikachu).
  • Charizard's disobedience (particularly him falling asleep during the Pokémon League)
  • Removing or improving hated characters such as Ritchie and Snap.
  • The Eevee brothers treating their younger sibling with more respect.
  • Ash not earning badges outside of proper gym battles.
  • Ground consistently being immune to Electric-type attacks.
  • Ash actually winning the league.
    • All jossed. The movie follows an alternate story that only has some elements from the original series.

This movie will get a theatrical release in the West.
Even after 20 years, the original era of the anime with Brock, Misty and the original 151 Pokémon is still what the vast majority of people in the West associate with the franchise, so a movie built around it could make a lot of moneye, particularly after the success of Pokémon GO. This movie could also be a test run for the success of the proposed live-action Pokémon movies. After all, if a movie specifically throwing back to the one aspect of the franchise that everyone recognizes underperforms at the box office, what chance does Detective Pikachu have?
  • Confirmed. It will receive a two-day limited release in November 2017.
    • In some European countries, like Italy, it got additional days (but without the TCG Card distribution) because of huge amount of people attending.

Veronica Taylor and Rachael Lillis will reprise their roles as Ash and Misty/Jessie in the English dub.
If they're retelling the first episode, it wouldn't make sense to have Sarah Natochenny and Michele Knotz voice them. Wouldn't sound right.

And if Brock is in this as well, Eric Stuart will also come back as Brock/James. They'll just have to keep Meowth's current actor, since Maddie Blaustein is no longer with us.

  • It helps for Brock's case that Eric Stuart did come out of retirement to voice Kaiba in the Dark Side of Dimensions film.
  • Sadly, jossed. The current VAs will reprise their roles for the English dub.

Ash wins the league at the end.
Calling it now. If the Alternate Continuity rumours are true, then maybe they'll give the Ash the win he truly deserves. I don't care if it's an Alternate Continuity in the first place; if it's anything, it'll wash out the bad taste of Alain beating Ash in the Kalos League.
  • Alternatively, maybe they'll finally have Ash challenge the Elite Four in a region for once; it's the only thing he's never done, and it's been confirmed that the Elite Four does exist in the universe of the Pokemon anime.
    • Either or, really. What we need is to have Ash win the league for once.
  • Jossed. Ash doesn't challenge the league in this movie and is mostly focused on finding Ho-Oh.

This movie is actually set after the Sun & Moon anime.
A bit of a longshot, but the first pages released of the manga adaptation of the movie show SM Ash and Pikachu in Poni Island facing the Totem Kommo-O (the last trial faced in the game) while reminiscing of how his adventure started, a far cry from the current anime status quo where Ash hasn't even started the Akala trials. Maybe this movie is set some time after the current series is over, before the hypothetical Gen VIII one? Movie manga adaptations can deviate greatly from the source material, but I feel it's still interesting food for thought.
  • Ash was daydreaming in the frame story: either manga!Ash was the one of the movie continuity, or Ash daydreamed a world in which Ho-oh gave him his feather instead of just passing by.

The two trainers with Ash are the other two that started their journey the same time as Ash and Gary.
This could show the other two trainers rather than them being unseen.
  • Jossed. Makoto/Verity is from Twinleaf Town and Souji/Sorrel is from Veilstone City, both in the Sinnoh region.

The reason the story diverges from the original series' events.. because Ash does something odd near the beginning of the movie, altering history.
  • Jossed, the main divergence point is instead Ho-Oh dropping a Rainbow Feather when Ash sees it.

The English version of the film will use a remix of the first (English) Pokémon theme
To compliment the use of Mezase Pokémon Master in the original Japanese version.
  • Confirmed.

The film will borrow elements from Pocket Monsters: The Animation (the light novel)
Or at least, the darker elements from the book. The light novel did shed some light on the anime's canon, and give us more info on how the world worked, and it would certainly compliment the Darker and Edgier WMG.

The movie is a prequel to the Sun & Moon anime.

Ash was shown dropping five Poke Balls off at Oak's at the beginning of SM, and a staff member has stated Sun & Moon is "not a continuation of XY&Z, but a completely new Ash & Pikachu's adventures".

  • To be fair continuity in the anime is a...tricky thing. Honestly a lot of Japanese media jumps between continuities a lot more readily than Western media. Compare Star Trek and Gundam for example: both are comparative culturally (and both had a 2000's slump period and a first series that wasn't all that super well received at first for example), but note just how many different continuities that series has compared to the two, maybe three, Star Trek is (if we count goatee Spock universe as a separate one given there is material set in it). Super Sentai also has a lot less solid continuity between it's series than Power Rangers tends to have, and other Japanese franchises like Pretty Cure and Yu-Gi-Oh can run the gauntlet on canon, and that's not even touching Zelda.
  • That staff member was a voice director, not a writer, director, executive, or some kind of continuity keeper.
  • It might be treated that way in Japan, but can't say with American broadcasts.

Bonji is both Marshadow and Red
My theory is that Red and Ash is the same person. though because of minute differences in timelines, Red and Ash doesn't have the same father and the families has been in contact with Oak's. the initial universe is similar to the events of Red & Green, Red becomes champion, Team Rocket goes into hiding and so forth. eventually a Ultra Beast attack occurs, unlike Anabel, this Red has been wandering Ultraspace for far longer than anyone in history, winding up in a universe, displaced years before the start of the series. this Retgons Red from this movie's universe.

He has forgotten his name, and he takes up the mantle of Bonji. in Japan, they refer to Siddham script as Bonji (Buddhist Script), since Bonji is an author of a Book about Ho-Oh, and that the goal of the movie is to reach Ho-Oh (and Mount Tensei, again, Tensei is japanese for Rebirth), it's logical that Bonji's appearance in the movie was deceptive, and in reality is actually for a flashback of some kind. Bonji presumably dies, but because of how he dies, his former fighting spirit has been reincarnated into a new form; Marshadow. coincidentally, Marshadow's Z-crystal attack is called Soul-Stealing 7-star Strike, you would say that it's just a standout number, but it's also the number of main chakras as well as the current number of generations. strangely enough, one of the Rivals has an Incineroar, they could totally sideball and have it apparent that it's part of a secondary trio of starters in a Poke-india like the Kanto starters were in Kalos.

Eventually, Marshadow remembers what memories Bonji lost, eventually Wandering the Earth, Marshadow eventually conceives the Spectral Thief technique, with a Z-Crystal it discards and draw it for Soul-Stealing 7-Star Strike. it may be possible that this Universe lacks Mega evolutions, but Z-Crystals may share an origin between the games and the anime; the possibility being irradiated by Ho-Oh's lights.

  • Jossed. Bonji is alive in the movie proper, and there's no mention of Ultra Space or reincarnation.

Ash has captured and used Marshadow within the movie.
But like Pikachu, it prefers to be out of its ball. Ash will then release it by the end of the movie.
  • Jossed. Marshadow follows Ash and monitors his progress throughout the story and becomes the final antagonist after Cross taints the Rainbow Feather.

This movie will not be dubbed.
Instead, it will be release worldwide subbed in the respective languages.
  • While it hasn't specifically been stated, it's reasonable to assume that this is jossed. The series continues to be dubbed, so too will the movies.
  • Fully jossed. The dub staff have begun talking about working on it prior to its release, and Mike Pollock has said he has a role in it.

Ash skipped Lt. Surge's gym.
How was that the Rainbow Badge was Ash's third badge and not the forth like it should have been in Pokémon Red and Blue? Well, Pikachu has Iron Tail to go against Brock's gym, Pikachu has an advantage against Misty's gym, but none of its attack is effective against the Electric-type gym (at most, it has to spam quick attack). Not helping is that his other Pokémon is a Caterpie.

Veronica Taylor will voice...

Pikachu during the Suddenly Speaking sequence. There was a campaign to have her reprise her role as Ash in this movie that she clearly supported, and while it's been confirmed that Sarah Natochenny will be returning to voice Ash, if they include Taylor in some capacity, this might make the most sense.

  • Jossed. Kate Bristol, who voices Togedemaru in the dub as well as Nurse Joy for most of XY, voices him instead.

Misty and Brock don't appear in the movie because the writers didn't want the movie to overshadow/be made redundant by their guest appearance in Sun & Moon.
  • Possibly confirmed. If anything, their appearance in this movie would've indeed been pretty redundant.

Cross is from Alola.
Just a guess since his both of his Pokémon are native to that region.

Verity, Sorrel, and Cross will be carried over to the main series
Either they have counterparts in the main series who haven't yet been seen before, or the movie versions fall through an Ultra Wormhole into the main continuity.

The clues are all there. She's from Twinleaf Town, which is right next to the lake, and she is the daughter of Cynthia, who would obviously be quite interested in the lake, due to its ties to Sinnoh's mythology.

Verity's mother is not Cynthia herself but her sister.
Since Word of Saint Paul said that her mother isn't Cynthia and she is said to have a sister it wouldn't be too unreasonable to assume that Cynthia's sister would look very similar to her.