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"Barza"'s Model Sheets Appear! (2015/4/17)

A young man who discovered the "Prison Bottle" said to have sealed Hoopa's powers one hundred years ago.
Mary's older brother, featuring very dignified and manly facial expressions. He is played by Tatsuya Fujiwara!

"Désser City" Concept Art Appears! (2015/4/24)

Désser City (Distant View)

Désser City (Distant View/Night)

Désser City is a city located in the middle of a desert that serves as the story's setting!!
This is where Satoshi, Pikachu and Hoopa's grand adventure will unfold!

"Mary"'s Model Sheets Appear! (2015/5/1)

Mary, the girl who grew up together with Hoopa. Barza's younger sister.
She is played by Shoko Nakagawa.

"Désser Tower" Concept Art Appears! (2015/5/8)

The story is set in "Désser City", a city located in the middle of a desert.
In the outskirts of the city stands "Désser Tower", a tower closely related to mythical Pokémon!

"The Traveler"'s Model Sheets Appear! (2015/5/15)

A traveler with an incredibly majestic feel to him. He is the person that sealed Hoopa (Unbound Form) in the "Prison Bottle" when it went on a rampage 100 years ago!

Concept Art for "The Short's Setting" Appear! (2015/5/22)

Main Stage

Beast Road

This is the setting of the short "Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians"!
What kind of tale will unfold here in the forest?

Concept Art for "Arkhē Valley and its Residents" Appear! (2015/5/29)

Arkhē Valley

The Inhabitants of Arkhē Valley

This is Arkhē Valley, where Barza and Mary grew up together with Hoopa!
It's a village rich in greenery that has a very different atmosphere from the desert metropolis Désser City

The "Prison Bottle"'s Model Sheets Appear! (2015/6/12)

This the the "Prison Bottle", which was used to confine Hoopa (Unbound Form) when it went on a rampage 100 years ago. It's an important item that's very crucial to the story!

A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #1 (2015/7/14)

"Pokémon the movie XY: The Archdjinni of Rings - Hoopa/Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians" finally premieres this weekend!
To commemmorate this, we will hold a special interview with Director Yuyama about the movies' highlights, subjects, etc. There will be four parts in all!

The two first parts of the interview will focus on the short, "Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians"!

Q: The story is described as "For the first time ever! A musical performance using Pokémon cries!", so it's obvious it has a music theme. What kind of movie is it?

"Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians" is actually something I've been wanting a chance to make since all the way back when the Pocket Monsters TV series first began.
Back when the TV series first began and we decided to have all the Pokémon have individual cries, then got the voice actors to provide these Pokémon voices, I found the "sound" of the cries really interesting.
Right from the get-go, I started thinking about whether we could use these sounds to create music.

Even though the thought had entered my mind, though, I really didn't know what would be the best way to go about it.

As such, it wasn't until this year I decided to finally do this thing.
However, I couldn't really just explain to the production staff how the entire "create music with cries" idea was going to work. So we did a demo, an "initial template" so to speak, by getting the voice actors to sing Pokémon cries, then when we heard something we thought worked, we added that to the scenario.

Doing a musical that used nothing but Pokémon voices is something I really wanted to do, but seriously... being in the planning stage for over 10 years?
If you go by when I first thought of the idea, this movie has been in the works for 19(?) years now (laughs)

Q: This short has a somewhat different feel to it than previous shorts! Could you tell us some details about the production and the trial-and-error process it went through?

We made this short in a completely different way from how we've made previous ones.
First and most importantly, we had to record the voices in advance.
Usually we do the dubbing at the very end, after everything else is done, but this time we had to start off by recording the singing to first create the initial template demo, then a demonstration version. We didn't just record once either, we did it at least 3 times, then used those recordings to create the template that would be used for the demo...

This time we made songs for the short itself, ones that went with the scenario.
That meant we had to draw the Pokémon singing along to this song to get it properly lip-synced. The recording of the singing for these drawings then got split into 3 or 4 parts.
This time only the actual acting to the finished animation got recorded like normal, while the singing was recorded separately, in two or three portions.

We've never done anything like this ever before!

Every time you try something for the first time, you end up fumbling around not really knowing your way around.
Week in and week out, we noticed things that needed to be done, started working on that material, and then as we were doing so, we'd discover something else that needed to be done as well.

To be continued in part 2!<

A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #2 (2015/7/15)

We are interviewing Director Yuyama about "Pokémon the movie XY: The Archdjinni of Rings - Hoopa/Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians", which premieres this weekend!
In this second part, we ask him about production secrets regarding "Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians"!

Q: We heard that because this is "Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians", almost all the music is made up of the sounds of Pokémon voices?

For that reason, the movie doesn't have a score, yes.
For the title sequence, we got LGM (Little Glee Monster, performers of the theme song) to sing a cappella, so while this is the only scene in the movie with a score, the score here is nothing but voices too, consisting purely of a chorus.

Since the Pokémon are "Musicians", there are parts where they each act as specific instruments, though if we think of their cries as singing, it turns into song. Or rather, vocal percussion.
It's all voices, all through the entire movie.
There's sound effects, though.

Q: What kind of story is "Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians"?

The story concerns a concert being held in concurrence with "Berry Blossoming", this harvest festival-like celebration they have in the Pokémon's forest. However, various trouble occurs, so this quick little story plays out before "Berry Blossoming" can start.
Songs get sung throughout the tale, so it can be enjoyed as a musical.

Q: This short seems packed with new things you're trying out, and it's really something to look forward to. Can you say a few words to the audience that are going to be watching "Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians" in the theater?

The Pokémon are all happily singing together, so I'd like you to sing and dance along in the theater as well.
The Narrator, Mizuki Yamamoto, sings along too.
It'd make me very happy if I made the children in the theater suddenly burst into song together.

Since even we, the people who made this short, couldn't picture how it would turn out, the audience won't really be able to either. What does Pokémon singing sound like? You're in for a fun surprise at the theater.
Lots of nostalgic Pokémon will appear in the short too, so there's something else to look forward to!

In part 3, we'll ask about the highlights of the feature film, "The Archdjinni of Rings: Hoopa"!

A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #3 (2015/7/16)

Only two days remain until the movie premieres! We're interviewing Director Yuyama about the movies' highlights and subjects, and in this third part, we'll be asking about the feature film, "The Archdjinni of Rings: Hoopa"!

Q: What kind of movie is the feature film "The Archdjinni of Rings: Hoopa"?

First and foremost, it's a movie where lots of legendary Pokemon appear.
You could call this the ultimate concept for a Pokémon movie, and it's what I used as the starting point for this year's installment.
We were going to have all these legendary Pokémon that have starred in earlier movies appear all together, so figuring out what we were going to have them do was actually really difficult.
What made it all possible was this year's star Pokémon, Hoopa.
It has this power to retrieve asolutely anything from faraway places using its rings.
This power was a perfect fit for gathering an entire lineup of legendary Pokémon.

Q: So this star Pokémon with this special power, Hoopa, what kind of Pokémon is it?

While its natural form is the giant "Unbound Form", it's been deprived of its power thanks to this item called the "Prison Bottle" and turned into the cute, small "Confined Form".
As such, both the big Hoopa and the small Hoopa are, in fact, the same Hoopa.

The big Hoopa went on a rampage in the past, but rather than it being out of malice, it was more like it was a child that got egged into doing something that escalated way out of control.
So when such a Pokémon got turned into its current form, one that feels the same but is so much smaller, it may be a prankster, but it also has this really innocent and honest personality and loves simple fun.

Q: However, what's been confined in the Prison Bottle, the "Unbound Form" of Hoopa, acts as Satoshi and his friends' enemy, right?

What's been confined in the Prison Bottle is Hoopa's true power.
This power has built up a lot of "anger" due to its confinement.
So this other... Hoopa that's taken the shape of Hoopa, it's sort of like Hoopa's anger that's taken physical form.
And then Satoshi and the real Hoopa fight it, setting up this huge confrontation.

Q: The small Hoopa meets Satoshi and they have an adventure together, so what's the relationship between Satoshi, Pikachu and Hoopa like?

Hoopa is this really innocent little kid. However, it's unable to regain its original, true power.
So Satoshi shows up and, true to himself, instantly develops this really straight and uncomplicated relationship with it. It's very unlike "Kyurem VS the Sacred Swordsman Keldeo", where Keldeo had a strong sense of duty and went to Satoshi for encouragement, treating him as his elder; here instead, Satoshi's relationship with Hoopa is much more spontaneous and feel kind of like an extension of them just playing together.

For Hoopa, the events that unfold are not about duty, but instead about doing something together, overcoming difficulties together, building this very straightforward friendship between it and Satoshi.
Hoopa is able to make anything and everything "Appear!" from its rings, and while it can use this to make people happy, one of the big themes in the movie is the discovery of important things that can't just be summoned from these rings.

One of these important things is its relationship with Barza and Mary, which has developed over all the years they've been living together.
Another of them is Satoshi and his friends.
You'll get to see whether Hoopa manages to find something important when you watch the movie in the theater.

In part 4, we will ask for details about the movie's setting and the battle between legendary Pokémon that unfolds there!

A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #4 (2015/7/17)

We're interviewing Director Yuyama about the movie's highlights!
Tomorrow is finally the movie's premiere day!
The big highlight of "The Archdjinni of Rings: Hoopa" is the "Legend VS Legend" concept!
We'll now be asking questions regarding this battle between legendary Pokémon and the place where the battle takes place!

Q: Since the movie is set in a desert city, you went scouting in Dubai, but what kind of place is this Désser City?

The core concept is a place in the middle of a desert filled with hyper-modern skyscapers.
That's the kind of place I wanted to have the legendary Pokemon rampage through.
We started looking for places to base it off, and since Dubai is a hypermodern city in the middle of a desert full of skyscrapers, we decided to go there for our scouting.

Dubai isn't just a modern city, lots of older parts of the cityscape still remain there as well.
The movie goes into the particulars of the great rampage Hoopa went on in the past, giving us a story that spans an entire 100 years, so we designed Désser City as a place where different time periods intermingle, making it a part historic and part modern place for legendary Pokémon to appear in.

Q: And what is the city's iconic building, Désser Tower, based on?

Well, you see there's this giant ring on the top of the building, right?.
It's not based on any particular building in Dubai, but instead on... a certain Pokémon.
You'll find out when you watch the movie.

Q: Can you tell us the highlights of this intense battle being referred to as "Legend VS Legend"?

Legendary Pokémon appear in the middle of this city filled with skyscrapers we've modeled after Dubai and a battle beteen them and Satoshi's side unfolds.
We constructed the city they battle in entirely in 3D, and then you get Satoshi flying through it riding on Latios' back, taking part in this huge dogfight. This battle scene is the one part of the movie we put the most effort into and its absolute highlight.

There's also this sandstorm blowing during this scene.
During our scouting, we went to the top of the Burj Khalifa (*the world's tallest building, at 828 meters), but when we looked down from it, it looked extremely foggy, almost as if a sea of clouds was hanging below us.
It turned out this was a sandstorm blowing through.

It was evening then, and as we were watching the sun go down, I thought it'd be really cool to have the legendaries flying around the scene we were now watching.
I think the finished movie scenes that resulted from that carry a real impact.

Q: Finally, can you say a few words to the audience that are going to be watching the movie in the theater?

This year we have a movie that features a battle between a lot of the legendary Pokémon that have starred in earlier movies on their own, so it's a real big-scale movie.
As such, in a sense it's the culmination of the 18 years' worth of Pokémon movies I've been making, and I'd like you to look forward to how that aspect gets across.
I'd like you all to go watch and enjoy the movie in the theater.

Pokémon the Movie XY: The Archdjinni of Rings: Hoopa/Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians finally premieres tomorrow, Saturday July 18th!

Summer means Pokémon!
Go on an adventure with Hoopa, Pikachu and Satoshi in the theater!

"Barza: Young"'s Model Sheets Appear! (2015/7/31)

Barza grew up in Arkhē Valley together with Hoopa after its true powers had been confined.
Here we're presenting the model sheets for him at that age.

"Mary: Young"'s Model Sheets Appear! (2015/8/7)

Mary grew up in Arkhē Valley together with Hoopa after its true powers had been confined.
Here we're presenting the model sheets for her at that age.
She even plays pranks on others together with Hoopa, which she sometimes gets scolded for!?

Read It All in One Go During Obon Break! It Will Make You Want to Watch the Movie Once Again! A Special Reference Guide to the Pokemon Movie Channel! (2015/8/12)

The currently screening movie "The Archdjinni of Rings: Hoopa" is a huge hit!
These are our recommendations for both those who are wondering whether to go see the movie or those who can't make up their mind if they want to see it again or not!

Here is a presentation of the reading material currently published in the "Pokémon Movie Channel" that will make you enjoy the movie even more!

#1: A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama

A personal interview with Director Yuyama about the movie's highlights.
He goes deeply in detail about both this year's movies' thematics and the less glamorous bits of their production.
Recommended reading material for the kind of people that want to enjoy every single bit of a movie.

A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #1
A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #2
A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #3
A Special Movie Pre-Premiere Interview with Director Yuyama #4

#2: The long-running serialization with a total of 14 parts! The Dubai Location Scouting Report!

This year, material was gathered on Dubai for use as the model for the movie's setting, "Désser City".
This is a status report from that location scouting!
If you've already watched the movie, you might find scenery that feels somewhat familiar!?
And if you didn't travel anywhere during Obon Break... this can put you in the traveling mood, if only in spirit!

Part 1: To the Desert City!
Part 2: Baptism by Fiery Heat and the Marble Mosque
Part 3: The Persian Gulf and Arabian Life Now and Then
Part 4: Gold Coffee and the Water of Life
Part 5: To Old Dubai!
Part 6: Arabian Surprises
Part 7: Souks! Souks! Souks!
Part 8: Prayer and Sunset
Part 9: Into the Desert
Part 10: The Desert of the Red Sand
Part 11: The Burj Khalifa and World Records
Part 12: The Fjords of the Middle East
Part 13: Palm Jumeirah and the Valley of Buildings
Final Part: The Location Scouting is Done

#3: Various event reports focusing on the guest voice actors

The Pokémon movie has a variety of guest voice actors creating an extravagant lineup this year as well!
We have lots of detailed reports from the events that hyped up the Pokémon movie, such as the pre-premiere and the premiere day stage greetings! Those of you who didn't attend, make sure to check these out!

Summer Means Pokémon! A Report from the Premiere Day's Stage Greetings: Part 1
Summer Means Pokémon! A Report from the Premiere Day's Stage Greetings: Part 2
A Report from the Pre-Premiere
An Account From the Public Dubbing

#4: Have fun looking at the model sheets!

We've presented model sheets for the movie in "Appear! Movie Information"!
It's a good idea to take a second look at the model sheets after you've watched the movie, too!

"Barza"'s Model Sheets Appear!
"Barza: Young"'s Model Sheets Appear!
"Mary"'s Model Sheets Appear!
"Mary: Young"'s Model Sheets Appear!
"The Traveler"'s Model Sheets Appear!
Concept Art for "Arkhē Valley and its Residents" Appear!
The "Prison Bottle"'s Model Sheets Appear!
"Désser City" Concept Art Appears!
"Désser Tower" Concept Art Appears!
Concept Art for "The Short's Setting" Appear!

The Pokémon Summer is still not over!
The currently screening double feature "Pokémon the movie XY: The Archdjinni of Rings - Hoopa/Pikachu and the Pokémon Musicians" is a huge hit!

"The Aged Traveler"'s Model Sheets Appear! (2015/8/14)

Barza and Mary's great-grandfather.
He's the person who sealed Hoopa's true power in the "Prison Bottle" when it went on a rampage in Désser City 100 years ago, but his story continued after that!


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