It is Pokemon’s 20th anniversary, and this month, the Japanese franchise is set to release its new movie, Pokemon: I Choose You. The movie will serve as a retelling of Ash Ketchum’s adventures in the Indigo League and will be based on the original anime series. However, fans would be disappointed to know that Ash’s two firm friends would not be accompanying him on his adventures.
According to Kotaku, Brock and Misty, Ash’s first cohorts in the original anime, are both absent from Pokemon: I Choose You. In their place are two random children named Makoto and Souji, who would be accompanying Ash on his hunt for Pokemon.
As this movie is meant to be a celebration of the series’ 20th anniversary, Brock and Misty’s absence didn’t go down well with Pokemon’s longtime fans. GameRant reports that not all established characters from the Indigo League era were replaced in the movie. Pokecenter’s mainstay Nurse Joy, who appears largely unchanged from when she first appeared in the series, is still in the movie, but it looks like the boy Souji would not be making a pass at her, which is what Brock became known for.
Earlier this year, promotional artwork for the movie was released, and fans immediately noticed that Misty and Brock seemed to be replaced by two new characters. Back then, they expressed fears that the two strange kids were “replacements” for Ash’s friends, and it seems they were right.
Aint it supposed to be a classic movie? Replacing Brock and Misty with those 2 unknown peeps aint a nice move at all.
— Tim Legdeur (@TimLegdeur) July 6, 2017
I agree. Misty and Brock were there from the jump. They needed to be there.
Also calling attention to 20 years and Ash is still 10.
— Josh Knighten (@KhakiBlueSocks) July 9, 2017
Comicbook reveals that while Ash earns gym badges, captures Pokemon, and searches for Legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh, he does appear to be traveling most of the time with Souji and Makoto. Misty is even replaced by Makoto in one iconic scene from the original anime where Ash and Pikachu fight off a flock of angry Spearow after leaving Viridian City.
Producers have not revealed the reason behind Brock and Misty’s absence in Pokemon: I Choose You. Reports say that it could be because of “merchandising” since Makoto and Souji have partner Pokemon that are more popular than Brock and Misty’s. On a less cynical assumption, Comicbook says that it could also be the producers’ way to make it clear that this movie exists outside of the show’s continuity.
Meanwhile, Brock and Misty still make a cameo appearance in the movie as they are featured during the end credits in a montage of all of Ash’s other companions through the years.
Pokemon: I Choose You comes out in Japan this month, and it will be released in the U.S. and Europe sometime in the fall.
[Featured Image by Getty Images]