‘Pokemon: I Choose You!’ Movie 20 Summary!

With a huge thanks to Alex Aniel, we now have a summary for the 20th Pokemon movie! Alex was able to attend the world premiere screening at Japan Expo in France today. The movie will be released in Japanese theaters on July 15th.

The movie disregards all canon. It is loosely “inspired by” Ash’s adventures in Kanto but is a completely alternate storyline. The season one events in the film play out in different ways and some new characters replace the functionality of old ones. Brock and Misty are not in the film except for brief cameos in the end credits.

The Pokemon Company probably made an alternate storyline because their priority is to using Pokemon films to market whatever is currently going on in the franchise. This movie had to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the anime, promote the second generation (because of Pokemon GO and the upcoming G/S Virtual Console releases), appease old fans, and it also had to introduce Marshadow. With all these “marketing elements” in mind, it would not have been easy to make a film that is merely a retelling of Ash’s adventures in Kanto. So the film is its own thing!

Alex is a casual Pokemon fan who has seen all the original movies. As I was working with him on the summary, he stated that he thought the film was “lacking” and “underwhelming.” He thought the two movie characters were boring and that the story’s pacing was rushed. But he thought the bad guy, Cross, was an improvement on Damian (Charmander’s owner in the TV show who Cross takes the place of in this movie). He also really liked certain scenes, such as the ending when Ash gets separated from Pikachu.

However, that is just one person’s opinion, and everyone’s tastes differ. Who knows how you’ll like it when you see it! Also note that this summary is missing details, as it’s always hard to remember a whole movie after only one viewing. But this should give you an overall idea of the plot.

Update: Makoto is from Twinleaf Town, not Azalea Town. Future D/P remakes or sequels confirmed! :p

The 20th movie starts out just like the first episode. Ash is watching a battle on his TV in Pallet Town, but the battle is with Blastoise against Venusaur and Gengar. Ash wakes up the next morning and is late to picking his Starter Pokemon, so he’s unable to get the Squirtle he wanted from Professor Oak. Gary, who appears only for a split second, picks Squirtle, and the other two Pallet Town Trainers get the other two Starters. Ash ends up with Pikachu, who dislikes him at first, but eventually comes around when Ash protects him from the Spearow attack. After Pikachu repels the Spearow, Ho-Oh appears in the sky and drops the Rainbow Feather. This entire first part lasts about 15 minutes and is nearly the same as the first episode. Delia is also present, but not Misty or her bike. The movie’s logo and intro song then play.

Ash and Pikachu continue their journey. He catches Caterpie, and then challenges Erika at the Celadon Gym. He earns his third badge after beating her. (Yes, she is the third Gym Leader in this continuity.)

In a forest Pokemon Center, Ash encounters a trainer whose Vaporeon was defeated quickly and easily by Entei. Ash goes after Entei and meets a girl with a Piplup named Makoto (from Azalea Twinleaf Town) and a guy with a Lucario named Soji (from Veilstone City), who aspires to be a Pokemon Professor. The three encounter Entei together and try to capture it, but to no avail.


Ash and Makoto begin traveling together and avoid an Onix at one point. Marshadow appears, although the characters never see it. It can walk through walls and continues to make minor, stealthy appearances throughout the movie.

Ash encounters a Charmander in the rain. Charmander’s trainer, Cross, believes in power and has abandoned Charmander after deeming it too weak. Ash and Makoto take Charmander to a cave where they revive it. They re-encounter Soji in the cave, and here he explains his goal to meet the three Legendary Beasts Entei, Suicune, and Raikou, who were brought back to life by Ho-Oh. Ash talks of his goal to meet and capture Ho-Oh with the Rainbow Feather, and thanks to a book Soji has, the three learn that Ho-Oh lives at Mount Tensei. They decide to head there.


Ash’s Caterpie evolves into Metapod during a battle with a wild Pinsir. Charmander also evolves into Charmeleon. And then Ash encounters Cross again. They battle with Charmeleon vs. Cross’s Incineroar, but Cross wins. Ash is very hurt by the loss and gets into an argument with his friends, including Pikachu. Ash even tells Pikachu, “I should have chosen Squirtle or Bulbasaur instead!” Ash has a flashback dream that night where he is in a classroom and runs out to find that all his friends are gone. (Interestingly, Gary isn’t in the classroom flashback.) Ash realizes he was acting poorly and apologizes to Pikachu, giving him a big hug.

They continue their journey. Metapod evolves into Butterfree during a fight with a pack of Primeape. And then they encounter a pink Butterfree being harassed by a Fearow – Ash’s Butterfree saves the pink Buttefree and they begin a romance. Ash eventually lets Butterfree cross the sea with his lover and have babies, which makes Ash feel incredibly sad.

Makoto runs into Suicune, and eventually they all run into Raikou as well. They also encounter an old man, Bonji, a researcher who has been looking for Ho-oh for 20 years.

The three kids and Bonji arrive at Mount Tensei, where they encounter Cross again. Ash has Charmeleon battle Incineroar again, and wins easily after Charmeleon evolves into Charizard. Cross regrets the loss and steals the Rainbow Feather, which he uses to try to call Ho-Oh. Cross says he saw Ho-Oh as well, which is why he thinks it’s his right for him to summon it.

For reasons Alex can’t remember, Marshadow appears and possesses the feather and some wild Pokemon, and then begins attacking the humans. Marshadow even possesses Cross’s Lycanroc. It nearly kills Cross with an attack, but Charizard blocks the attack. Cross then has a change of heart and begins helping everyone. But they are all overwhelmed by the wild Pokemon, who attempt to attack Pikachu with a combined attack. In a move resembling the Spearow scene from episode 1, as well as the Mewtwo movie, Ash blocks the hit to protect Pikachu and appears to die.

Ash’s body vanishes, leaving just his hat. Pikachu fires a huge Thunderbolt at Marshadow and mourns for Ash, who in the meantime has appeared in an alternate reality (like the afterlife). Ash sees Pikachu back in their world and tries to run toward him, but to no avail. In a touching scene that moved the audience, Pikachu speaks directly to Ash in Japanese and tells him “I want to be with you forever.” Eventually, they reunite thanks to Ho-Oh and the Rainbow Feather, recreating the legend in which Ho-Oh grants life to the dead. Ho-Oh calms all the wild Pokemon, Marshadow calms down, and things go back to normal.

Ash challenges Ho-Oh to a battle using Pikachu. Pikachu loses very easily, but it’s a good battle. Ash takes Pikachu back to a Pokemon Center, while old man Bonji remains in the wilderness. Ash, Soji, Makoto, and Cross go their separate ways. Makoto goes home to her mom (she looked like Cynthia in the flashback but it’s probably not her) and Soji vows to find Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres. Ash continues his journey to be a Pokemon Master.

In the end credits we see brief shots of Ash’s old friends — Brock, Misty, Tracey, May, Max, Dawn, Iris, Cilan, Serena, Bonnie, and Clemont.

Team Rocket was also in the film, but had little interaction with the cast as usual.

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  1. ronangorski Aspiring Trainer


  2. BrandonHappened Ghosts and Fairies are kinda my jam


    I've never been less excited
  3. TrainerRoninSenpai Aspiring Trainer


    Wish it was Ash's adventure in Kanto revisited, but this doesn't sound all that bad to me for real. I'm curious about the ending when Ash 'dies' and the Pikachu speaking part as well.
  4. Jonathan Johhson Aspiring Trainer
    Jonathan Johhson


    So what moves did Pikachu, Charizard and Butterfree used in this movie?
  5. Halsall24 Aspiring Trainer


    So if they do a flash back at the end of all the characters, should we assume sun and moon is Ash's ending ?
  6. Lanstar The Funny Fairy Bug


    It's official: Ash is now the Anime equivalent of an American Superhero. Rather than finally create a true ending for his story, the writers instead pander back to the beginnings, with lots of different 'adjustments', shall we say - just like all the different versions of Marvel/DC superheroes. One could say the different generation story arcs already did this, but a true alteration of his past events... That pushes the boundries over the top.

    I fear that this movie is proof that Ash's story will never have a true ending, and will be milked and milked to death for all eternity. It's a sad way to abuse a very good character. >.>
  7. brahminsteak Aspiring Trainer


  8. aschefield101 is behind you !


    Meh, I fail to see the need for this film, other than a cashgrab from them :(
  9. Lord o da rings ♕ The Queen ♕
    Lord o da rings


    Yet another disappointment...
  10. Yumeka Animation fan, Pokemon trainer


    The movie doesn't sound bad - at least it's not the typical Pokemon movie plot of some evil person trying to capture/control legendary pokemon and Ash and co. have to save the day. But I still feel like The Pokemon Company could have made this movie without completely changing the anime's continuity like this. For example, it could have been about adventures with Ash, Misty, and Brock that we never saw in previous episodes/movies that could have easily focused on Gold/Silver pokemon, Marshadow, and whatever else they want to promote right now. If you use the premise of "these are stories of Ash's Kanto adventures you never saw," that leaves the movie open to do pretty much anything without any need to change the established characters and events. Old fans would enjoy seeing their favorite nostalgic characters in new adventures, and new fans would enjoy learning about Ash's origins as well as seeing pokemon they're familiar with. Both groups of fans would be appeased, but by totally changing the continuity like this, they're going to alienate a lot of older fans.

    I know that with nearly 1,000 total episodes, 20 movies, and numerous specials, the continuity of the Pokemon anime definitely has holes, but they felt like mistakes on the writers' parts while this just screams "we don't care about continuity at all." Again, I'm not saying the movie is bad because of this - heck, I'll probably like it when I get around to watching it. It just bothers me that they had to change it this way when, as I previously mentioned, I feel like they could have worked their current franchise promotion agenda into it without having to toss continuity out the window.
  11. ZMonsBRUH Darkrai


    This is an interesting movie, I wonder what it will sound like when Pikachu talks in English, will it be in English or still in japanese, this movie will be a movie where some people will love it, and some people will hate it.
  12. Pollybean Aspiring Trainer


    I hope it is. Honestly, I'm sad and tired of seeing Ash in every single series, and the continuous plotholes just to fit him in the timeline. Just let him be in my childhood :(
  13. Hmm sounds kind of disappointing to me to be honest, but I guess when it plays on Disney XD I'll see for sure.
  14. BrandonHappened Ghosts and Fairies are kinda my jam


    I feel the need to weigh in again. Ho-oh dropping the feather? Cool. Gary picking Squirtle because Ash was too late to get it? Fantastic, the show could've done with that. Imagine that rivalry? Ash having to see his rival with the Blastoise he didn't get because he was late? What a drive.
    But, changing characters, giving a trainer from Johto a Piplup, and COMPLETELY re-writing the canon is just darn ridiculous. I can kinda get adding newer Pokémon, they have Gen 2, 7, an anniversary and a mythical to promote. But how about just keeping everything the same but with minor changes that add to/bulk out a story that's already there?
    This was also a GREAT chance to make the "eternal youth from Ho-oh" theory canon which they missed spectacularly. I'm not saying the movie will be terrible as its own thing, but it's the worst thing to happen to the canon since the franchise started.
  15. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    So no Pidgeotto? It was Ash's most important Pokemon and one that cared for him deeply.
  16. Mr. Rhyperior The Drill Pokemon. An evolve form of Rhydon.
    Mr. Rhyperior


    They even forgot Gen 7 Companions

    1. Okay! I get the story, thanks who spoil it.
    2. ;( because No Decidueye or Primarina. HUHUHUHU!!!
    3. Gen 2 spoiled in the story.
    4. So Marshie is the bad guy, right?
  17. yammark Aspiring Trainer


    Is there any preview for the next movie(Pokemon Movie 2018). Every Pokemon movie always have preview and leave a hint of mythical Pokemon that will be mascot in next movie. Since Marshadow is the last Pokemon of Gen 7. I'm really curious for how next year movie might be. Is there a sign or little hint for next mythical Pokemon. :eek:
  18. TheRealBro..


    Why the harsh reactions, of course it will be a bad movie, its a Pokemon movie, but a pretty nostalgic one if I read things correctly so in my book it is already better than most that came before.
  19. Djndfjnd Aspiring Trainer


    This doesn't sound too bad. I hope that it will be better than the XY Series of movies.
  20. AshCo "An Excellent Profile Picture"


    No drying pans? This movie really is a disappointment and a a half.
    GoldenYungoos likes this.