‘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.

PokéBeach's news commenting system is completely integrated with our forums! , you can reply to this story's forum thread directly on this page with all of the forum's functionality!

  1. HA559 Aspiring Trainer


    Basically they didn't know how to fit the newer characters and pokemon in to the original story so they just made an alternate universe.

    Generations retold the pokemon game story with the inclusion of newer features here and there and that series was really good. I'm gonna go and watch it again now.
  2. SuperHoopa Aspiring Trainer


    Where's Necrozma? Wasn't he in the thumbnail for the movie, or was that something else?
  3. Water Pokémon Master I like Pokemon more than you. :D
    Water Pokémon Master

    Webmaster News Head Activities Head Elite Member Advanced Member Member

    No, Necrozma was never in this movie. He'll probably be in the next one with the Ultra Beasts if they don't delegate them to the anime.
    SuperHoopa likes this.
  4. SpunkyBandy Aspiring Trainer


    No teaser for the 21st Pokemon movie? Silvally and the Ultra Beasts?
  5. The-Kaiser Starfleet Captain and Pokemon Trainer


    So i guess in this canon AU he meets Misty and Brock some other way?

    Wonder how he met them in this AU and what adventures they had.
  6. DatGreninjaGuy Aspiring Trainer


    Can't be more hyped! :) 8 days!
  7. benson lu superultimatep
    benson lu


    Waow this was a really nice summary.
  8. precita Aspiring Trainer


    Did people seriously think the writers cared about Misty/Brock? After the original Kanto season ended, the writers didn't even care about Misty/Brock much when they were actually still on the show.

    Considering it's also been nearly 15 years (!) since Misty was permanently dropped from the anime way back in 2002, it's rather obvious they weren't going to go back to her after nearly two decades of her being absent from the series. However what they should have done is had Leaf the female character from FR/LG as Ash's companion, and not create this new girl with the Piplup.
  9. Weedle_McHairybug Aspiring Trainer


    Charizard took about six years since his last appearance. And besides which, they waited ten to thirteen years for Jessiebelle to make a reappearance. By your logic, they should never have returned, period, because it took so long for them to do so.

    Also, I might as well point out that the fact that she got merchandise sold like hotcakes last year and even this year with those Gachapon preorders shows that she was marketable as well, meaning that even if the writers didn't care for her, they are obligated by sales to showcase her nonetheless.

    And besides which, it's the 20th anniversary, they clearly marketed it for the audiences who would have been old enough to remember the first episode, and then pulled a fast one there, that's a jerk move regardless of whether the writers liked her or not. Heck, both Misty and Brock, alongside Serena, even made the top three characters people want to see return in a certain Japanese poll, which took votes from both 10-19 year olds and people from their 20s, meaning both people who were actually getting started on Pokémon and those who were there since the beginning, and everyone in between, meaning there were plenty of fans, both old-school fans AND younger fans alike, who wished to see Misty and Brock return (in fact, Brock ranked first place, and Misty ranked third). Heck, I also heard that even the Japanese fanbase was outraged at the writers omitting Misty and Brock and took to Twitter to express their displeasure (and in fact, this is I believe the second time they've done that in recent history, the first being the infamous Kalos League results).

    Let me put it another way: Dragon Ball: The Path to Power, the 10th anniversary dragon ball film, did something similar, where they retold Goku's first journey. They included all of the old Dragon Ball Gang from the time of the original journey, even Yamcha, who is infamous for basically being the resident punching bag of the group (and it's pretty clear the writers have no care for him since they generally depict him as a weakling). In other words, even if they didn't care about Misty or Brock, they could have at least been respectful of their audience enough to include them all the same. I know if I were the writers, even if I didn't care about Misty or Brock as you claimed, I'd STILL include Misty and Brock in the movie regardless of my own personal feelings precisely BECAUSE I know the fans want them and it is appropriate to use them due to it being the 20th anniversary, and I'd even know they have market potential.

    And for the record, the writers attempted to give Misty a lot of Pokeshipping hints during the Orange Islands, and even Takeshi Shudo in his novelization included a Pokeshipping hint in there, and they even gave her plenty of opportunities to continue onward with her goal. If they truly didn't care for her at all after Kanto, why keep her at all after Kanto, much less attempt to give her more limelight and even focus up on Pokeshipping? They could have just as easily done to her what they did to Brock in the Orange Islands alongside Brock himself during that time especially if they truly didn't care about her, especially when technically, if respect from her sisters was all she wanted, they'd boot her after either Princess vs. Princess or The Misty Mermaid (both of which dealt with her actually gaining respect from her sisters). No, the fact of the matter was, most of the writers did in fact care for her. Maybe not Takeshi Shudo or Masamitsu Hidaka, but definitely most of the writers.

    What's your problem with those characters, anyway? Every time many of us are justifiably angry over the writers showing blatant disrespect over them, you make snide remarks about how the writers don't care and we should just sit back and forget about it. If I didn't know better, I'd assume you hate the characters themselves and actually are glad they aren't returning. I mean, even a lot of people who otherwise were glad Misty's doing something they consider of value by being forced into the gym are upset over Misty and Brock not returning, even saying there was no way they could have predicted this, yet you if anything are cheerfully taunting us on how the writers don't care about them at all, which suggests to me that you outright dislike them and want them erased. And for the record, I actually dislike Brock especially Johto onward where he was becoming more of a Quagmire clone, not to mention unlike Misty makes very little effort to actually focus on his goal in any way, yet even I don't have it in me to outright erase him, especially when he ultimately played a huge role in how Ash became the trainer he was today, and if anything am disgusted that the writers have such a disrespect for the show's roots.

    Anyways, going by the plotline, well, Cross might have been Damian done right, which is probably one of the few things the film gets right alongside Ho-Oh actually receiving focus. Unfortunately, most of the film beyond that was crap (Gary and Ash barely even interact).
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  10. HA559 Aspiring Trainer


    I hope the next movie has something to do with Deoxys, Rayquaza vs ultrabeasts, where Necrozema and perhaps Silvally comes in late on to help the gen 3 pokemon and the earth to defeat the ultrabeast.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  11. Weedle_McHairybug Aspiring Trainer


    We'll see. From what I could gather of the comments, there isn't even a preview of the next movie, so we can't even be sure yet whether there will be one (and it's already got enough problems even without certain controversial treatment of past characters, as it needs to do much better than the Hoopa and Volcanion movies before it at the very least.).
  12. Justine Cordovilla Aspiring Trainer
    Justine Cordovilla


    It could've been better if they just made a movie about his companions from all seasons and how they lived after parting ways with ash. I have always dreamt about that. Or maybe some separate special episodes like pokemon origins wherein they can showcase their lives. :(
  13. blaa6 Aspiring Trainer


    The montage at the end sounds promising.

    Attached Files:

  14. IAmDatOneHuman Aspiring Trainer


    I'm just happy that Team Rocket did in this movie. I'm basically obsessed with them lol. I really hope there is some sort of Rocketshipping hint because I would die if they didn't put anything significant.
  15. Weedle_McHairybug Aspiring Trainer


    Was that screencap actually from the movie?
  16. TheBigE196 Aspiring Trainer


    I fail to see the need for most of their movies, most jest revolve around the new legendaries that are going to be on the cover of the new video games/newest set for the tcg
  17. Weedle_McHairybug Aspiring Trainer


    Heh, that's odd... Dogasu indicated there was a teaser for the film (kind of, no animation for it, but just a message that it will be released in 2018). However, people on here acted as if there WAS no teaser for the movie. Oh well... Well, wonder what they're going to do for the next one? They haven't announced an eighth generation yet or even given ANY indication that there will be a new generation (I mean, we hadn't gotten any new gen Pokémon debuts in various generations early on since... what, Destiny Deoxys?), Ash hasn't even gotten halfway through his trials in SM, and there's also the no small problem about how they no longer have any Mythical Pokémon to unveil this generation (seriously, they should have waited until next movie for Marshadow to come out). They'd REALLY need to scrape the bottom of the barrel for the next one, IF there's going to be a next one, since the fact that they hadn't even bothered to animate a teaser suggests that they may not even bother with a next movie.
  18. Nahiri Never gonna be President now


    There's a placeholder for the Pokemon Switch game on a French website (and Canadian BestBuy, iirc) that all but confirms the Switch game will be Gen 8 and that it will presumably debut next year ("Orders shipped by December 31, 2018" where December 31 is a placeholder as well) Not to mention that Reggie Fils-Aime included Pokemon with Kirby, Metroid, and Yoshi with the "2018 is gonna be great for Nintendo!" post-E3.
    BestBuy Description
    He's at Akala. He's literally about to fight Olivia.
    There is. It was a text-only teaser confirming a movie for 2018.[/quote]

    Attached Files:

  19. Weedle_McHairybug Aspiring Trainer


    How can we even be sure that is teasing Gen 8? For all we know, that could just as easily be teasing the Generation IV remakes especially considering the fact that the two characters in the film were blatantly shilling for Generation IV. Until there's an explicit announcement that there will be a Generation 8, we can't say that there is going to be one, as the new Switch game could literally mean anything. And Remakes were considered a pretty big thing among Pokémon (after all, Generation III's remakes of Generation I received quite a bit of fanfare, as did Generation II's remakes in Generation IV.). There is no mention whatsoever of a Generation 8, not even a brief teaser (and believe me, if Nintendo can post a teaser for Metroid Prime 4 at E3 as well as a full-fledged trailer/announcement for Metroid: Samus Returns, since you mentioned that franchise, they can most certainly post a similar teaser for Generation 8). The only thing we know with absolute certainty is that it's Pokémon related, that's it. Besides, considering that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is going to be released this November, it's going to be way too soon to actually get to Gen 8 anyways. Heck, that could even easily be an Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon teaser as well that simply didn't get updated. I checked my Best Buy website, and it makes absolutely no mention about a Pokémon Switch game at all, much less lead to that page you put up. And even IF that was an actual game for Gen 8, that DOESN'T mean that the anime will cover it. The Mario series stopped trying to cover new games in animated TV shows since Super Mario World.

    Woah, that fast? Still, he needs to go through all the Trial Captains as well. Then again, the anime did indicate that it would be a whole school year, so...

    Yeah, I know that, my prior post literally mentions that in the first sentence within the parentheses. However, most Pokémon films actually have an animated teaser that gives an indication as to what the film could be about. In fact, this is the first time that I can think of where they DON'T have an animated teaser at all, which is definitely unusual.

    Besides, just because they plan to release a film in 2018 (which, BTW, the fact that they haven't released an animated teaser, not just a text message about it being released, but a few-second teaser for the new movie, suggests that they don't have big plans for it) doesn't mean that they actually will, especially if Movie 20 turns out to be an utter bomb based on what some people are saying, both among Japanese critics and the whole twitter outrage among the Japanese, and thus they end up not being able to make it due to the studio pressuring them not to due to Pokémon being a money loser in the film industry (I've seen it happen before). Don't forget, that Joel Scumacher guy planned to make another Batman movie, Batman Triumphant, that dealt with Harley Quinn and Scarecrow. However, due to the horrible reception Batman and Robin had, they quietly cancelled it. Another example is the Austin Powers series, which ended with Goldmember despite it pretty clearly setting up a sequel, and also the Chronicles of Narnia series after the release of Voyage of the Dawn Treader due to both legal issues and the fact that, compared to the prior films, the film wasn't much of a success. Something similar also occurred with various TV shows and other mediums, with it being prevalent enough that there's even a trope name for it: Cut Short. Also franchise killer is something similar.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  20. GoldenYungoos A shiny Yungoos appeared!


    In my opinion this movie will suck, Ash is a poorly designed character as well, @Halsal34
    I hope so and if you're wrong, I have one message: READ THE MANGA