English: Pokemon the Movie: Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice
Synonyms: Gekijouban Pocket Monsters Best Wishes 2: Kyurem vs. Seikenshi, Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! 2 the Movie: Kyurem vs. Seikenshi, Pokemon Best Wishes!: Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman Keldeo, Pokemon Movie 15
The 15th Pokemon movie and the 2nd 'Best Wishes!' movie. It will feature the legendary Pokemon Kyurem (appearing also in its new Black Kyurem and White Kyurem formes.) The Legendary Musketeer Pokemon-Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion-will appear alongside their newly revealed 4th member, Keldeo.
Hey! This is my first time reviewing a Pokemon movie! This just premiered and I liked it so much, I thought maybe I'd take some time out of my busy schedule to review it since I haven't done any reviewing in a while. Surprisingly this happens to be one of the better Pokemon movies! Heck, I'd even argue that this one may be one of the best in a very long while! Besides, I'm kinda bored out of my mind so I thought I'd review this to pass some time a little. The story in itself is nothing new. A Pokemon named Keldeo (the blue,
white, and red unicorn, who is oh so adorable!!) tries to become one of the Swords of Justice (pretty lame title, I know), a trio of Pokemon consisting of Virizion, Terrakion, and Cobalion. But to become one, he has to fight Kyurem, the ice-type dragon. But things go bad during battle, and Keldeo winds up running into Ash and the gang. They have to save the trio of Pokemon and in the process, Keldeo learns things about himself.
Yeah yeah, we've all heard this story before. It's old as dirt, and this movie is no different. However, I must sing lots of praises for this movie, as it's very VERY different from the other Pokemon movies. The best thing? Keldeo himself is the main character, and only he gets the spotlight! Ash doesn't hog the glory or become some sort of chosen one or dumb stuff like that! Nope nope nope! Not in this movie! Ash and his friends are just supporting characters, and the movie is basically Keldeo's character arc. None of the movies before this one pulled such a daring move, and I love it! What a breath of fresh air, as usually the main character in the show/movie always has to hog the spotlight according to the creator's wishes, which really sucks, as there's no need to focus more on the characters in the show when there's plenty of time for that in the actual show. But here? This movie's all about Keldeo, and he receives a lot of character development (and very convincing development at that) here, and believe me when I say here, he's a VERY well-developed Pokemon. Probably the most well developed in a very long while. What also makes this movie drastically different from the rest of the movies is that FOR ONCE it is NOT ABOUT SAVING THE WORLD!! There's no villain out to destroy the world, there's no prophecy, or anything like that! Kyurem may look and act like a villain, but he isn't really a villain. He's just a Pokemon just like the rest of them, and he actually has some sense! There's no pointless saving the world plot. The movie is simply about growing up, confronting fear, making mistakes and fixing them, and overcoming obstacles. It's as simple as that...and simple is exactly what this movie needed! Finally, everyone here has a purpose to serve, and they serve their purpose well!
While it definitely is great, it does have it's flaws. For me, the most jarring flaw is in its animation. For some reason, the humans' faces looked really distorted, particularly Iris when scenes focused on her. She looked like someone tried to draw a face with a paralyzed hand at various points. The CG can clearly be seen in this movie, and it's rather intrusive. Plus, one nameless character who only appears in the beginning has REALLY WEIRD hair, and it just freaked me out to no end. But that character didn't appear again, as she isn't important to the story. Yes! This is also the first Pokemon movie in which there's no movie-only human supporting character! What a huge breath of fresh air, as I was getting tired of those! But while this movie does subvert a heck of a lot of traditional Pokemon movie cliches, as its own standalone film, it's still a big cliche storm in itself, and the story it tells isn't something original. But considering that this is a huge subversion of Pokemon movie cliches, I can forgive it. Also, Swords of Justice? Really? What kind of cliche and redundant name is that?! Plus the trio themselves aren't really swords, and I don't think they should be called swords from the way they use their attacks! They're more like glowing horns!
I've recently been watching Suede, Linkara, and JewWario review the Pokemon movies on That Guy With The Glasses, and a lot of things they point out are things I never noticed before when I was a child watching them. Well, it's been a long time since I actually saw the movies, and I do have few memories of the earlier movies, so I guess that could be it. But man, they're totally right! The morals in the early movies are so ambiguous and hopelessly confused! But that's because of 4Kids Entertainment's adaptations of them, trying to make them more accessible to kids. The morals in this more are simple, subtle and aren't shoved down your throat, even though they're still there lingering in the background, the dialogue, and animation, and it didn't need some pointless and extraneous save the world from a great evil villain plot to convey these messages. Heck, this is the kind of movie we should be showing to our kids to teach them what's really important, not the earlier Pokemon movies and their ham-handed morals and messages!
All in all, while it isn't anything new, it breaks away from the stereotypes associated with Pokemon movies and tells its own simple story without trying too hard, and it stands on its own hooves with gusto, and I love it for that! Also, Vic Mignogna voices Keldeo. Can you believe it?! But I think it makes him all the more adorable! He's voicing a cute little unicorn pony who shoots water from its hooves and break dances while attacking! How can you not love that?! I want to hug that little unicorn!
Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice is not insulting like some other bad Pokemon sequels. *ahem Celebi* Still, it's completely devoid of any outstanding elements. There's virtually nothing I can praise this work for.
The art quality seems to have slightly decayed since the last film. I'm not sure whether to pin this on use of unremarkable locations or if it's really true. Either way, this not-even-feature-length cartoon, boasts multiple locations we've seen before - albeit, slightly edited this time around. Train sequence in the mountains is a carbon copy of the one in Shaymin's adventure. The city has no features to distinguish it from
a dozen of other cities in the Pokemon universe. The only unique location present is Kyurem's arena - and it's not an interesting one to see. While there is some neat coreography in the final battle accompanied by some nice animation, you won't lose yourself in it for longer than a minute. Unbelievable character development and feats clearly summoned by needs of the plot will make you groan. With this faint praise out of the way and music not worthy a mention, lets move to the real problems - characters, dialogue and plot.
"This place is not meant for humans" - Kyurem, warning Ash & company to leave a human built, post industrial era, metal structure.
The biggest problem with the film is Keldeo himself. This pony is insufferable. His personality can be summed up as egoistical, rash and cowardly. The film never attempts to make us care about him, as it asumes we already do. In the same way, film asumes we'll believe in character development which never actually occured. Confession of an obvious lie with no symbolic significance isn't a groundbreaking character moment. In the same way, Ash did a half assed job at helping him, being little more than an audience stand in. He shouldn't've been in the film in the first place. The supporting ponies of justice aren't much better. Each one of them is given a stereotype and little to do except spout exposition. Kyurem himself is not connected to Reshiram and Zekrom in any tangible way and the arbitary idea of making him a traditional enemy of the brony squad seems poorly taught out.
Plotwise, the film boasts a few impressive achievements. This marks the first pokemon sequel in which our heroes trespass, blatantly destroy city property, and then steal airships and trains with no reprecussions whatsoever. It also boasts the surprising achievement of happening at night so that we see no more than three people in the whole city. Beyond that, one of my favorite continuity errors is a malfunction on air ship's engines which lead to its fall... that never occurs because five minutes later Iris is flying as if nothing happened. No explanation given, of course. Obviously, I'm mocking the film in this paragraph. I could've tried explaining the plot, but this paints the picture much more vividly than a boring plot synopsis ever could.
I could ramble on and on, but I don't feel like it. Avoid this film.
This movie falls under the categorization for me personally as a guilty pleasure rather then something amazing or well executed. Of course this has a number of notable flaws but I personally liked the themes and the story enough for it to have merit in my personal scale of standards.
The art style is where this movie really shines. The character designs are nice despite being a bit mundane but the background animation is absolutely lovely. The background animation has a lot of detail and is aesthetically beautiful. The lighting is also on point and it further amplifies the already good animation.
The story is also pretty solid and I found it to be pretty well written despite some skewed Pokemon logic and shounen cliches. I really like the almost medieval and fantasy atmosphere and that's what really gave this movie a spark. The characters are average at best, they are likeable but they range from cliche, to bland, to just plain idiotic.
The music is pretty good though not on the level of other anime OSTs. The dub is also well done though I found that some of the dialogue were very generic for shounen standards and had some holes.
In conclusion Kyurem vs The Sword of Justice is an enjoyable and decently written Pokemon movie with good music amazing visuals and a fun story and despite having notable flaws I found it to be a good but not great film.
While I haven't been paying too much attention to the current Pokemon season, when I read that Cartoon Network would be showing the latest Pokemon movie, I figured I'd give it a shot and see how it is. After seeing it, I would say that, while it's not necessarily a bad movie, it really wasn't that great either. I have seen all of the First Movie, Movie 2000, and Pokemon Heroes, and I think bits and pieces of some others, and I can definitely say that this was the least impressive to me compared to those 3. I think some of that
has to do with the story, which had little suspense. The main characters that many are familiar with are basically supporting characters in this movie as opposed to being heroes or the like. Speaking of the characters, like with the TV series itself, I'm also not enthusiastic about the new characters. They just don't have the charm that the others had, those of course being Brock, Misty, May, and Dawn.
I can only recommend this movie to fans of the Pokemon franchise. Everyone else can skip it, though I doubt they need my opinion for that. Even for Pokemon fans or casual observers, I can't give this a full recommendation. Like with most if not all Pokemon movies, this is just an opportunity for the franchise to introduce the legendary Pokemon not seen in the TV series. Unlike the other movies though, the lack of any "world in peril" or other intriguing plot keeps it from standing out or being that memorable. For all this, I give it a 5/10 (Mediocre).