I just read the M20 spoilers and...wow. After reading your posts I was curious and thought 'surely, this is an anniversary movie with a lot of build up, it can't be THAT bad', but from what I can tell they were trying to cram in too much instead of focusing on a decent plot. Between trying to promote both the second and fourth gen, introduce new pokemon/companions, and celebrate the 20th anniversary, it's no wonder everything's all over the place.
Yeah, the plot just sounds… convoluted. And that on top of just plain weird/questionable decisions, like Gary appearing for .2 seconds (talk about a slap in the face), Team Rocket just being /there/ and not even meeting or interacting with Ash, and Pikachu fucking /talking/ (I know the scene is supposed to be emotional, but the concept is way too outlandishly schmoopy for my tastes), the whole film is shaping up to be a hot, disappointing mess.
And this should’ve been /easy/. No, seriously. Other franchises that are doing anniversary films right now are absolutely killing it. I keep pointing to Yu-Gi-Oh! in my posts, but I’ll do it again. Their anniversary film brought back all the original DM characters for an original story, with their original seiyuus (even the fuckin dub got the original VAs back), had Yugi and Atem briefly reunite, and even had a super fucking satisfying conclusion with Yugi and co. graduating high school and pursuing their dreams. It was an awesome tribute to the series, it tied up loose ends, it did pretty much everything fans could have wanted and more.
I would’ve liked to see Misty and Brock come back one more time. I would’ve liked to see Gary again, or, at least, I would have liked to see more than the back of his head. There’s no fucking excuse, especially because Misty’s seiyuu still posts about her on Twitter and I would bet money she would have loved to come back and voice Misty one last time.
But even so, being a fan of this series for as long as I have been, I expected not to see them and for the focus to purely be on Ash and Pikachu, and I would’ve been fine with that and enjoyed it… but instead, they introduced a multitude of characters we’ve never seen before and quite frankly don’t give a goddamn about (I mean, really, how many of us truly love and appreciate one-off movie characters? I don’t even remember most of their names), expect us to accept them as his new BFFs (even though the series has in the past emphasized the value of Ash’s previous companions to him, making these new folks a giant middle finger to that. True friends throughout the ages, amirite?), and then produce a general mess of a plot with too many legendaries.
I mean, I LOVE pokemon and always will, and I’ve been willing to look past a lot of the anime’s faults, but this movie frustrates me to no end. The fans deserve better. This franchise deserves better.