The first trailer for the 21st Pokemon movie just aired on Japanese TV show Oha Suta, as is the case every year. The show revealed the movie will debut in Japan on July 13th, 2018. Its full title has not been revealed yet.
The trailer depicts a silhouette of Lugia swimming through the ocean, then Ash standing on a seaside cliff. His hat (the same from the 20th film) blows off and lands next to a colorful new female character. We hear Lugia’s theme from the second movie at the very end of the trailer as well.
The art style is different than previous films: the move will be a collaboration between OLM, the typical animation studio for Pokemon, and WIT Studio, which has drawn anime like Attack on Titan. Combined with the fact Ash has the same hat as the rebooted 20th film, perhaps the Pokemon animated movies are going to be taking a different route from now on both visually and canonically? Like the 20th film, it could be some kind of rebooted retelling of Ash’s early adventures, perhaps around the time of Johto. However, Pokemon teasers are unreliable at best, so we can’t really predict the story or which Pokemon the movie will feature based on what we see here.
Going by Pokemon movie patterns, if a Pokemon Switch game is still coming out in 2018, this will likely be a cross-generational movie. If so, it would feature a Pokemon from the current generation and one from the next, which was last the case with the Volcanion film where it featured both Volcanion (Gen VI) and Magearna (Gen VII). So this movie should feature Zeraora and possibly a Gen VIII Pokemon.
Update: Trailer added above! Also, for the first time ever, a Pokemon movie will not be directed by Kunihiko Yuyama! Instead, Tetsuo Yajima is directing this movie! He’s storyboarded and directed a few episodes of the XY series. I’m honestly glad Mr. Yuyama won’t be directing, the movies have not been very good in a long, long time. We need someone with a new perspective, especially after 20 movies of the same director!