Of all the Pokémon movies I've seen, I'd say this one was just... okay. It looked very nice and had an interesting, steampunk sort of setting. But I felt like they weren't totally in touch with the lessons this movie was meant to tell--or even just the potential for what lessons it could tell.
I expected there to be more of a focus on the forced mega evolutions. I know it is something that's touched on in the anime itself a few times, (at least I seem to remember a few episodes with that plot) and so it wouldn't be entirely new, but one thing they
did really focus on was how all the Pokémon in that valley had been abused or abandoned at some point and now distrust humans because of it. Mega evolution is meant to be this big thing that only works if the bond between trainer and Pokémon is strong enough, so it should have tied in pretty easily. But there was only, like, one line shouted out in the midst of the big battle about how they're fighting back against it, and then we've moved on to something else.
Even more so, though, I was expecting there to be some big lesson about the difference between machines and living creatures... maybe how the people living in that city are so used to working with machines that they've grown insensitive to the needs of their more animalistic Pokemon? And that's why they don't see a problem with forcing the mega evolution? Because it's like overriding some function on a machine? I don't know; there are a lot of things they could have done with it, instead of the super generic, "I'm going to use and abuse this pure-hearted being's power because I'm the bad guy" plot that they went with that's already been done a million times. I just feel like this movie didn't live up to its potential.
It's been over a decade since I've watched a pokemon movie in the theatre - and it was great!
The story is your typical bad guy does something and it's up to Satoshi (Ash) to stop them - but I found it refreshing in that this time, Satoshi is inevitably dragged along to help Volcanion instead of following his own will - well, at first anyway. The plot was sufficiently long and engaging as our heroes overcome challenge after challenge; to be honest I was a little weary after the fifth hurdle or so. Although the happy ending was predictable as this is Pokemon,
I still found it enjoying overall.
Honestly, the animation and art was AMAZING. I'm kinda jealous that other good anime titles don't have any art/animation as good as Pokemon's. I thought that there would be more stil shots like in your typical anime - but nope, there were absolutely no still shots in the entire movie. Everything felt... alive.
I liked all the insert songs - they fit the story perfectly and the theme songs' lyrics were very attuned to the mood/setting at each moment. There's nothing to criticise about the sound at all; you could tell every pokemon's feeling just by the voice.
Every character that had a line had a role, and every bad guy had their 'moment of glory' where they take on Satoshi and/or his allies. I'd even say that every pokemon had a distinct personality.
Except for the little weariness I mentioned earlier, it was very enjoyable! As expected, the Japanese theme song feels more fitting than the English ones I have watched in the past. Given the high ratings on other review sites (4.1/5 as of now), I'm glad that everyone seems to enjoy it as much as I do! I'd recommend this movie to anyone who is in Japan right now - you won't regret it!
The start of this movie confused me. Could this one actually be good? Pokemon movies have degraded throughout the years and are now known for repetitive plots and themes. One of the reasons for this throughout the last decade was the constant reuse of situations and assets used to create locations. The key phrase here is the last decade. Indeed, some bad Pokemon movies older than that used to be bad in diverse ways, and while some newer outtings still were bad in interesting ways, they're increasingly falling in a rut. Even neutral elements that used to be a backdrop or pure fluff feel tired
now, as we've seen them so many times before. In this movie I rolled my eyes as characters did things they do in every fucking movie. I rolled my eyes when I saw houses identical to those in previous movies and show. Not all of it was bad, but it all felt tired. Again, again and again. Is this what dying of old age feels like? Maybe, but I believe a more appropriate phrase is feeling dead inside. Yes, that's how a lot of elements in these movies make me feel. Yet, as I watched, the first half an hour kept me puzzled. We have yet another kingdom and yet another anachronistic mix of history and technology. But could it be that this time it's going to be different, actually interesting?
What gives hope are some interesting ideas that sound too baffling to not be further explored. The movie deals with Magearna, a mechanical Pokemon created by an alchemical genius 500 year ago. This is constantly repeated. Not only that, but the core component of this Pokemon is named the soul-heart. That's interesting. We may be in yet another themepark city, this time with gears, but alchemical and supranatural components are everywhere. Throughout the movie I was grasping at straws, seeking for explanations and lore, trying to make sense of this. But there was nothing to find.
The biggest problem with the movie is that the plot's essence is an exploration of the very concept of soul, life and divine revelation. But in the end none of those elements get even a lip service. The whole thing was not thought out at all. I'm reminded of Mewtwo's lamentations and invocation of God upon his birth 19 movies ago. How far have Pokemon movies degraded since?
In any case, now that we've established why the very concept of this movie is a trainwreck in itself, lets look at the characters. We've got the standard team; Rocket are annoying and useless and Ash's team is there for exposition purposes. We've also got two major new characters; Magearna and Volcanion. Both are mixed bags. Magearna, especially early on, is interesting. Unfortunately, the way they decided to treat her later on was terrible. She ended up seeming as a worse reboot of Diancine from a few movies ago.
If there's one positive in the movie worth mentioning, it's Volcanion. I believe most people who like the movie like it because he basically carried it. Movie puts him and Ash into the center and their interactions are generally good enough to keep the viewer engaged at least a bit. Unfortunately, even in Japanese, his voice actor is servicable at best and the way he's been directed is painfully generic.
Music was generic Pokemon movie fair except this time the main theme remix was exceptionally weak and unsatisfying. Visually, it looked how you'd expect a Pokemon movie to look this generation. I don't care to even mention the plot or antagonists. If you've ever watched an unsatisfying Pokemon movie before, you know what to expect. If not, it's generally bad and stupid. By the way, shoutout to another fucking flying castle! I hope we never see one again in these movies, but I have no faith in the movie team. I hate it.
There's just one more thing I want to talk about before wrapping the review up. Ash's disgusting self-righteousness. As if directly from the Mewtwo 2: Electric Boogaloo movie, Ash is on a friendship spree. By that I mean, he's pushing friendship talks onto everyone he meets. Except this time he goes too far. At one point in the movie Ash does everything he and a wild group of Pokemon were trying to do. All is wrapped up, everyone should go their own way. The wild Pokemon are grateful to him and all is well. Or is it? In a jarring move, Ash, after realizing that even though they're grateful, these Pokemon still don't trust humans in general, starts shouting at them - how dare they don't like humanity after he helped them? He lets both them and us, as an audience, know that he's the ambasador of humanity and if you don't trust humanity after he's done with you, you're the problem. Thanks, Ash. Go die in a fire.
All in all, plot is one of the worse ones out there, somewhere between the Celebi and Keldeo movies. Characters are generally unlikable with an exception of Vulcanion who keeps you from wanting to kill yourself when watching. There are moments that hint at greatness that was thoroughly sabotaged at every point possible. To rank it, I'd say it's less annoying, but more offensive than Hoopa. With X&Y movies behind us, it seems the Diancine movie will stay foreverially the only one warranting a recommendation of any kind.
Cyn: Hello there everyone, it's Cyn and lately Britt's been getting all the Pokemon action, so here I thought, "let me join in as well". Personally reviewing is a pain in the butt for me, but this time I managed to pull through with a short review of Pokemon Movie #19: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel. This movie features, the mythical pokemon Volcanion, and Magearna and deals with Volcanion attempting to save Magearna throughtout the majority if not the whole movie. I will add a synopsis below, now let's begin!
Disclaimer: Yeah, I'm not into plagiarism that synopsis is not mine. It is the official
"A mysterious force binds Ash to the Mythical Pokémon Volcanion when it falls from the sky. Volcanion can't get away, and Ash is dragged along as it continues on its mission." (Pokemon Official Synopsis)
Out of 10 the movie plot was a solid 6.2. (6.19999 if you wanna get technical).
The re-mixed version of probably the best Kalos English opening theme (Be a hero) gets a 8/10.
The ending theme (if not for the interruption during the video I watched) gets a 8.3/10.
Overall presentation was good. There were a few awkward moments from an animation standpoint, such as, whenever Ash would change clothing, or put on the protective suit and the metal band stuck around his waist tightly would appear outside his clothing as if it were easily removable when that simply was not the case. I could tell the plot was slightly rushed and it was supposed to be a tear jerker. Although I didn't even have water in my eyes (no I'm not heartless). The music was great, they just need to work on improving their plots, making them a tad more exciting, suprising, or suspenseful. Overall, when including music it the movie is about a solid 7/10.
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely. I enjoy recommending Pokémon movies especially one as pure hearted as this, but the plots of Pokémon movies tend to be slightly repetitive from time to time and this movie has that kind of "Rise of Darkrai" feel to it. Where a Pokémon from the past is involved that had a connection with a human descendent (a female one). There is also the recurring theme of hating humans amongst Pokémon or the distrust of humans amongst Pokemon. Magearna also has a calming song such as that leaf flute song. The differences are there's someone to point a finger to in this movie (a clear protagonist). There's a kinship between two Mythic Pokémon that may even imply there may be some sort of "love" between them (a close friendship). This movie is a based a bit more on technology it's what the plot centers around. Another huge difference is the lack of two legendary Pokemon duking it out in a dimension that is located in the middle of no-where. As well as other differences here and there, but then again I did not say they were identical movies. They both just seem to have a similar air about them. I do recommend the movie though, I liked the relationship between Magearna and Volcanion had with one another it was...'adorable'.
Side Note: Can't wait for an Alolan movie with that new animation style though, wonder how this is gonna look like.
If you have any comments please leave them below, and I might reply (I probably will). Tell me what you thought of the movie if you have seen it, and if you haven't, comment on if you're planning to or if you've had enough of Pokemon movies and are ready to moo-vie on...see what I did there.