It has been a while since I reviewed a Pocket Monsters Movie. To me, the movies went downhill since the ninth movie. While I haven’t watched the Pocket Monsters Anime for a long time, I heard that the Pocket Monsters X and Y anime was well received.
As for the movies, not so much, especially with the eighteenth movie. That movie is Pocket Monsters XY The Archdijinni of the Rings: Hoopa. It bombed badly since it made only 1.35 billion yen until the nineteenth movie managed to do even worse. It’s surprising how the Pocket Monsters X and Y anime was well received, yet the movies during the series airing performed poorly. We’ll find the reasons why as I share my thoughts on this movie.
The story focuses on Satoshi and his friends relaxing at a Pokémon oenter in the middle of a desert. After he finds Citron’s Harimaron eating a spicy berry instead of the doughnut that Serena made, Satoshi discovers a golden ring attempting to steal food. Pikachu and Satoshi attempted to grab it back, but they went through the ring.
They teleported to Dahara City. From there, they met Hoopa, who can summon things through rings. Hoopa decided to summon a bunch of Pikachu (including Cosplay Pikachu). From seeing the thunderbolt from the Pikachu, Mary introduces herself to Satoshi and eventually his friends. She also explains how the Dahara City got developed and Hoopa gained its confined form.
After Barza returned with the Prison Bottle, he opens it while under its influence. Hoopa changed to its “Unbound” form and starts to wreak havoc until he sealed it back. Critron used a special device to pick up the bottle to avoid becoming possess by the dark aura. Eventually, Team Rocket decided to steal it so they can sell it. Meowth open the bottle unintentionally. Unbound Hoopa came out as a demon after failing to possess Hoopa, causing the Prison Bottle to shatter.
Serena, Critron, Mary and Barza and Eureka separated from Satoshi and Hoopa. They created a new Prison Bottle using power from water, ground and fire at a tower. While they were working on it, Satoshi and Hoopa summoned legendary Pokémon such as Lugia, Latios, Latias and Rayquazza to defend themselves. Unbound Hoopa summoned other legendries, including Primal Groudon and Kyogre.
After Barza hold up anew Prison Bottle after Satoshi protected themselves and the tower, he sealed the demon Unbound Hoopa. The bottle flew and Satoshi catches it. Shortly after, he becomes processed. Hoopa managed to break the evil aura from the bottle.
However, a void around the tower appeared and started to destroy everything. Hoopa transformed into its unbound form to allow everyone to evacuate and transformed back. Hoopa still can’t go through rings. With the help of Satoshi, Mari, Barza and Arceus’s powers, Hoopa managed to go through the ring, thus escaping the void. After that, Satoshi and his friends bid farewell to Hoopa, Mary and Barza as they continued on their adventure in Kalos.
I have to say that the story was very disappointing. It’s somewhat interesting to see Hoopa’s backstory how it got along with humans. Also, Hoopa was an enjoyable character at first when it played pranks. Sadly, it got really annoying as the movie went on, especially when it asked people if they were surprised. The voice of confined Hoopa reminded me of Minase Iori from The Idolmaster since it’s voiced by the same voice actress. Kugimiya Rie was the voice actress that done the voice for Hoopa. Not to say that is a good or bad thing, but still.
The second disappointing aspect is the film constantly pander to the fan base in the name of advertising. When Hoopa summons all the Cosplay Pikachu, it’s obvious that Game Freak is promoting Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. It gets worse from there when Hoopa (both forms) are seen summoning all the legendries (except Ho-oh and Mewtwo). They even had mega evolved form of Rayquazza, Latios and Latias along with all the Primal Regressions from the new games. With all the pandering since most enjoy legendary Pokémon fighting, it’s easy to see why I felt this way.
The biggest problem is the story. It feels superficial with the heroes try to rebuild a bottle while protecting themselves from evil Hoopa. This plot and Hoopa’s backstory is only one-third of the movie. The two-thirds of the movie focused on legendaries duking it out with each other and Unbound Hoopa. Basically, this movie is a Pokémon version of Destroy All Monsters. At least it excelled in that aspect.
In short, Pocket Monsters XY, The Archdijinni of the Rings: Hoopa is by far the worst Pocket Monsters movie I saw. It’s not because it’s formulaic, but the constant fanservice makes it feels that Game Freak is becoming despite. Fans are tired of seeing Pocket Monster movies with a half-baked story filled with legendary and mystic Pokémon. Sure, the other seventeen movies ranged from being good to mediocre, but this one is worst out of the bunch. At least with the 20th Pocket Monsters movie, at least Game Freak realized they need to do something different.
Then again, were you surprised this movie bombed this badly? No, not really.