Review: Pokemon Movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions


Anime: Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions
Animation Studio: Oriental Light and Magic
Number of Episodes: 1 (movie)
Length per Episode: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes

Wow that’s a lot of colons in the title. It’s been quite a while since I’ve watched a Pokémon movie, so it was nice to get to watch the newest one.

Oh, before I start, the ETAs for the posts on my backlist aren’t guaranteed to be accurate. I have a lot of work to do since the semester is wrapping up, so those ETAs are only really “hopeful” ETAs.

The movie, as the title implies, is about the legendary Pokémon Zoroark. However, it’s also about Zorua, who’s the pre-evolution to of Zoroark.snap2

The villain for the movie wants to make use of Zoroark’s illusionary powers in order to force the evacuation of a city.

You see, Zoroark is not only able to make illusions in general, but can “transform” into any other Pokémon and pretend to use even stronger versions of their moves. I say pretend, because the moves are actually just illusions, obviously. Zoroark does have normal moves that aren’t illusions, but Zoroark only tends to use them in emergencies.snap3

Anyways, the villain wants to force the evacuation of a city because there’s something located there that he wants to acquire for himself. What that is, exactly, isn’t quite clear until later in the movie. However, the villain seems to have the strange ability to see into the future…

While prepping Zoroark for “attacking” the city, Zorua manages to escape from the plane. After landing on the ground, Zorua bumps into you-know-who.snap4

Ash/Satoshi and friends promise to help Zorua rescue Zoroark from the villain, as they head towards the town.

The last Pokémon movie that I bought and watched was the Celebi one. However, that one was complete crap, which is why I never really cared to keep up with the movies after that. Of course, nothing will match up to the sheer power that the first movie had, but it was still boring.

Which makes it somewhat ironic that Celebi plays an important part in this movie. While not as important a role as Zorua or Zoroark, Celebi is still a main character.

However, it wasn’t Celebi that made that one movie so bad. It was just forgettable. Nothing really big or important happened at all. I can’t even remember that movie in the slightest. This was a pattern that started since the first movie. It seemed like they were just making the movies to milk the legendary Pokémon.

This movie broke that chain for me.

Admittedly, I haven’t seen any movie past the Celebi one (except for that Darkrai one, but that’s because I’m going to watch the movies with Dawn/Hikari in them), but this movie was great. Not mind-blowing by any means, but enjoyable as hell. I was worried going into it since it’s about an hour and a half long, but I feel like it was time well-spent.

The key point is that I thought this movie was actually written quite well. When it started, I thought I spotted a bunch of plotholes, but it actually turns out they were just unraveling the plot slowly. I think it’s the first Pokémon movie where you aren’t quite sure of the villain’s intentions right off the get-go.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot. Of course I’m biased as shit towards Pokémon, but this is coming from someone who didn’t enjoy every movie they threw at us.

The movie was written well, and it had good pacing. The sad moment at the end also got me the closest to tearing up like the first movie did. That doesn’t mean I was anywhere close to the bawl-fest the first movie was, but it was the best attempt since.

If I had to give complaints about the movie, I’d say some aspects of the ending weren’t that great. The message by the end had managed to turn into, “NO DON’T DO THAT YOU’LL HURT THE PLANTS,” which was kind of very stupid. The legendary dogs were also completely useless. When they first show up, they get in the way because of a misunderstanding, then once it’s cleared up, all they do is stand around and look ferocious at one part. Those jerks.

The ending wasn’t terribly bad though. It had some good music, and the ending in and of itself wasn’t really bad. There were some parts that were executed quite well. In comparison, the hippie morals at the end are a minor gripe. Though they could have changed the message to something more meaningful (trust me, they had some good alternatives to choose from).

Basically, if you’re curious about the movie and have some spare time, or if you just like Pokémon, give it a shot. There are certainly a lot of worse ways you can spend an hour and a half.

RATING: 9 out of 10.

P.S. The CG fire in this movie was some of the best I have ever seen. That shit was beautiful.

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2 Comments on “Review: Pokemon Movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions”

  1. […] “Overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot. Of course I’m biased as shit towards Pokémon, but this is coming from someone who didn’t enjoy every movie they threw at us. Grade: 9/10.” – Riyoga’s Ramblings […]

  2. […] can sense his passion. While I don’t agree with Riyoga on a lot of things (for example, his 9/10 review of a Pokemon movie), I’m at least impressed that he managed to find a voice, unlike many of […]

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