One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
So how much of the mythological capabilities of a given legendary Pokémon DO we actually believe in, anyway? (If you can’t get into that question there, get into it here! I’m curious!)
so… what I was alluding to there is that I would eventually
like to do a series on legendary Pokémon, where I look at everything we know
about each of them (core games, TV show, movies, even spinoff games and the TCG)
and decide “well, what actually are this Pokémon’s powers and how does
it fit into the world?” And in
particular, I would like to take seriously the idea that characters in the
games and anime don’t know the truth either. Because I’m not convinced Arceus
created the universe, and I’m not convinced Kyogre created the oceans,
and I’m not convinced Yveltal can destroy all life on earth, and I’m certainly
not convinced that Mew is the ancestor of all Pokémon. As far as I’m concerned, all we know is that
there are people who, rightly or wrongly, believe those things. But there isn’t a simple answer to this question,
because… well, that word “given” is important. The answer’s not the same for all of them,
because we don’t have the same information about all of them. And I don’t even mean, like, some of them
have appeared in a larger number of movies or episodes of the TV show; I mean in-universe
the sources and reliability of the information are not the same. Like, in Arceus and the Jewel of Life,
the unreliability of history and legend is a theme of the story; in my
opinion, that movie kind of invites us to disbelieve stuff the
characters tell us about Arceus, in a way that isn’t really the case for, say, Manaphy’s
role in Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, which seems pretty
clear-cut (although the nature of the titular Temple is less so). You kinda have to look at everything we know
about each one – or at least each duo/trio/quartet. And the truth is, I don’t know when I’m going
to be able to do that properly. My
schtick is the Pokémon reviews and, wouldn’t you know it, there’s gonna be a
whole bunch of them that need doing in about two months, and I feel like more
people care about those. You can see why
I might be interested in maybe coming up with a shorter format for them.
I feel like
I’ve said this multiple times already, but I really am finally on the
home stretch of generation VII now, with just four Mythical Pokémon remaining:
Magearna, Marshadow, Zeraora and Meltan.
In stark contrast to the last few Pokémon I’ve had to deal with, who
have had critical roles in the plots of the seventh-generation games, as well
as the accompanying seasons of the anime, these four mysterious Pokémon are
pretty absent from the games and don’t have much impact on our own journeys
through Alola (Meltan doesn’t even show up until we return to Kanto for Let’s
Go). With the exception of Meltan,
they do each get their own keynote appearances in movies, though, so
we’re going to be drawing fairly heavily on the events and histories presented
in those, and as usual the testimony of the Pokédex. Today we’re looking at Magearna – the
aptly-named Artificial Pokémon.
(Yes, this is how far behind I am; I’M WORKING ON IT)
Well, mostly I’m
just really excited that this is apparently a Pokémon movie that is going to
try to be a decent movie in its own right,
something that can be enjoyed by people who aren’t already die-hard Pokémon
fans and isn’t just product placement for the latest event-exclusive legendary
Pokémon (which, let’s be honest, is what a lot of Pokémon movies set in the world
of the anime tend to devolve into). Ryan
Reynolds’ performance as Pikachu seems promising too; he may not be Danny
DeVito, but he’s got a nice balance of heartfelt and snarky that I think should
serve the premise of the film well. I
like that, although the most prominently-featured Pokémon are first-generation
classics (presumably to draw the nostalgia crowd), there are a few newer
Pokémon as well, apparently focusing on the ones who are already big
cross-media stars like Greninja.
Jim the Editor
is not a fan of the fuzzy, vaguely felt look of the Pokémon in the trailer, and
I have to admit some of them are a bit disconcerting. It’s difficult to put creatures designed for
anime into a live action movie, and some level of dissonance is almost unavoidable
– I suspect there’s an argument that it’s a bad idea even to try. On the other hand, there’s still a prejudice
against animation in the West that makes it hard for people to take an animated
movie seriously or put much effort into it unless it’s pitched mainly at young
children, so that may be a necessary sacrifice.
I think we’ll get used to it, though, especially if this isn’t Pokémon’s
last foray into live-action.
Also no-one in
the trailer can pronounce “Pokémon” (learn to e-acute, people!) but that’s
kinda par for the course for English-speakers.
Honestly it’s been way too long since I saw it to comment on it in any detail. I remember liking it at the time, and I love that it gives the Unown their due as a mysterious and alien supernatural force. In retrospect the whole “crystal castle of illusions” thing, and having to confront the little girl’s neuroses in order to defeat her monsters, seems super trippy, and that’s not necessarily bad, but I don’t know if the Pokémon anime is necessarily cut out for psychological horror? Might watch it again if I ever have time.
We all know you hate Arceus and the Jewel of Life, but what’s your FAVORITE Pokémon movie? This does not count TV specials (like the Mewtwo origin) or Origins/Generations. Mine’s probably The Power of One, simply because of pure nostalgia!
Y’know, I gotta be honest, most of them are pretty dumb in a lot of ways; like, I give Jewel of Life a lot of $#!t but Rise of Darkrai gets seriously trippy in places and I’m still not sure what the point of Victini and Reshiram/Zekrom was supposed to be.
Also, in fairness, there are several I haven’t seen.
But I guess I’m a fan of Power of One too, and that probably is nostalgia to some extent, but I still feel in retrospect like the way it treated its legendary Pokémon was relatively sane, most of the characters felt like they actually had reasons to be there (even Team Rocket), and, y’know what? The whole “thus the world shall turn to Ash” thing was satisfying. Dumb. Corny. But satisfying.