The 20th Pokémon movie has been touted as a big-screen remake of the anime’s very first season. Older fans shouldn’t expect Pokémon: I Choose You to keep everything exactly the same, though — based on the movie’s new trailer, it actually changes things up radically.
Between all of the classic Ash-and-Pikachu bonding are some way less familiar scenes. All of a sudden, a Piplup is hanging out with the pair, despite the Pokémon not joining the series until nearly 500 episodes after it began. There’s no Misty or Brock following Ash and Pikachu this time around, either. He’s got new friends who have much more recently introduced Pokémon.
Ash will even square off against a trainer with an Incineroar, who just made its debut with this fall’s Pokémon Sun and Moon. Cooler still is the tiny ghost Pokémon Marshadow making its first appearance; the new legendary will be seen for the first time in I Choose You.
At least we still have good old Team Rocket to rely on. They’re wearing those same outfits they’ve always had, hanging with Meowth and hunting down PIkachu ... although it looks like they’re trying to keep a lower profile this time around.
The movie seems to craft a version of the Pokémon world that is aware of all of the history that followed the first season. No longer is the Kanto region closed off from every other generation’s set of Pokémon, so there are 700-plus to find all at once. This all seems to make Ash’s journey a million percent more daunting, to be honest.
We’ve got plenty of other questions about the movie, based on this trailer. Does Ash actually get to fight with that Ho-Oh that inexplicably followed him in the anime’s first episode? Will Misty and Brock ever show up? And who’s that old guy in the classic trainer’s hat?
Most importantly: When is this movie out stateside? It’s due in Japan on July 15, but we’re still waiting for a localization announcement.