Studio: OLM, Wit Studio
Directed By: Tetsuo Yajima
Running Time: 98mins (1hr 38mins)
Format: Blu-Ray, DVD
Licensed By: Manga Entertainment UK
Ash and Pikachu have arrived in Fula City, for the annual Wind Festival. Here they meet many other interesting characters, all on their own journeys. From a struggling athlete, a compulsive liar, a shy researcher, a bitter old woman and a little girl with a big secret. Team Rocket isn’t too far behind either, but can everyone put their differences aside when disaster strikes at the festival? Will they still be able to summon Lugia or is this going to be the end of this coastal town?
It is kind of unbelievable that the Pokémon series has been on-going ever since 1997, with this film: “The Power Of Us” being it’s 21st animated film in the franchise! Now Ash and Pikachu have been the main lead characters for over 20 years, this film however follows several characters’ stories and rather well. It’s a fresh take on a classic formula, and one I rather enjoyed. Ever since the First Movie, I have truly enjoyed seeing what comes next and this film – went past my expectations. We all know Ash’s story, so it was fantastic to see that the production team gave ample time to introduce each new lead character within this film. It was all spread out and perfectly timed. The execution was flawless.
Yes yes we all know Ash and Pikachu, as well as Team Rocket. But wait until you meet Risa, a teenage athlete that is struggling to get back on the track again. At a request from her younger brother, she sets off to Fula City to catch her first Pokémon. It’s not too often that we meet characters such as Risa, that have taken a separate path from setting off on their own journeys at 10 years old and becoming a Pokémon trainer. It makes you wonder, just how many actually do go down the same path as Ash, and what became of those that even Ash went to school with? We meet ‘Granny’ Harriet, known for her temper and dislike of Pokémon. Unfortunate for her, a chemical pheromone spills on her and Pokémon soon gather around her. She seeks out our shy Pokémon Researcher Toren for help, who struggles even looking a person in the eyes, let alone public speaking. Toren seeks out the boisterous Callahan, a man unafraid of the limelight, but is also a compulsive liar. Lastly we have Margo, the Mayor’s daughter. A young girl, with a great love for Pokémon and one that will do anything to protect the mysterious Zeraora. A Pokémon that got hurt, whilst saving her life one day.
The Wind Festival is a celebration of the towns’ connection with Lugia, a Legendary Pokémon that visits the town every year to bring the wind. A valuable resource to the town, as the wind powers the entire city. As part of the Festival, there is a Pokémon Catching Contest in which Ash and Callahan compete in. With some impressive battles and the inclusion of a raging Tyranitar, the contest had some worthy action scenes. All of this happens well before the main event and disaster strikes Fula City.
Now the collaboration for this film has been an interesting one. We have the ever present OLM, who have been producing the show ever since the very first episode. Wit Studio was brought on board to co-produce and animate the film. Now this studio should sound very familiar to you, as they also produced Attack on Titan and The Ancient Magus’ Bride. So it’s no wonder this film has a fresh take to it from previous releases. Hopefully they will revisit this partnership again in the future.
You can watch this film now on Netflix, or buy the physical release from Manga Entertainment UK. Who has it available on both DVD and Collector’s Edition BluRay. The BluRay would be my choice, as it comes with some really nice extras.
Perhaps we are now heading into a new direction of storytelling in the Pokémon franchise, it’s time to start shaking things up a bit. Let me know in the comments below if you did or didn’t enjoy this film. Overall: 9/10
Perhaps we are now heading into a new direction of storytelling in the Pokémon franchise, it’s time to start shaking things up a bit. Let me know in the comments below if you did or didn’t enjoy this film.