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Rosalyn Lim 林惠美

Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) Poster

Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) at a glance

Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) is the twelfth theatrically released Pokémon film and final for the Diamond & Pearl trilogy. It features the legendary Pokémon Arceus, who is known as The Original One which possibly have created the entire Pokémon universe after creating the creation trio and lake guardians.

Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) Trailer

Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) Synopsis

A Tale Untold. A Legend Unleashed. Get ready for Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life! This final installment in a three movie story arc reveals that the Legendary Arceus is at the center of the recent disruptions in the Pokémon World. First the epic battle that threatened to tear a hole in the space-time continuum took place between Dialga and Palkia. Then Giratina, the sole defender of the Reverse World, had to take action to protect the precarious balance of its home and the Pokémon World. Now, Michina Town is at the heart of the action. The town has a long history and checkered past in relation to the mighty Arceus—after Arceus granted the townspeople some of its power as the Jewel of Life, they betrayed the Pokémon!

Ash and his friends, accompanied by their new companion Sheena, travel in time with Dialga’s help to right the mistakes of the town’s ancestors before the world crumbles under the power of Arceus’s rage. Will they be able to fix the mistakes of the past? What really happened in the past—did Sheena’s ancestors truly betray Arceus? Watch the stunning finale to the trilogy when all of the secrets of the previous two movies will be revealed!

Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) Review

Giratina and Dialga, still fighting with each other since the last film.
Giratina and Dialga, still fighting with each other since the last film.

Note that for all movie reviews, I try not to be overtly critical and write too long because they are not intended to be a movie analysis and there are so much more that I have not share about! I have seen Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) long before and it was pleasant but I wasn't as analytic and critical towards film as I am today. So how does it fare with me today? No matter how it goes, let it be a common knowledge that there is no one film that is perfect and that all of the people in the world would love it.

Honestly, despite there are some flaws, this animated feature is actually entertaining. However, that may come unconvincing to some as Pokémon films are not exactly consistent in what they deliver before and especially when they also have a specific target audience but you can trust me on this because I am reviewing based on what I see and the genre!

Dialga using the Roar of Time.
Dialga using the Roar of Time.

That being said, I guess I could safely say that these anime films based on video game since the beginning of the Diamond & Pearl trilogy films are quite good as their efforts are evident and they are quite tolerable even though you are above 18 of age. Started with The Rise of Darkrai (2007), followed with Giratina and the Sky Warrior (2008) and concluded with Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009); these are in fact some of the better films in years!

This is one animated feature that shows how selfish, cruel and stupid some human can be. Ash Ketchum did not save the day all by himself again, which is great and I thought I should mention this just in case those of you who anti him are interested to know. Anyway, what's more entertaining are the legendary Pokémon themselves. Each of them live in their own dimension and have their unique stories but too bad we will never know fully about them through the films. I think of among the four featured in Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009), I like Giratina most and for the first time, I find Dialga so lovely!


Let's talk about what may be perceived as the flaws of Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009). Although the effectiveness of the time travel concept here can be subjective, I think it's another clever time travelling story by the franchise! I know the alteration and correction of history may be different from what we usually expect but it's distinctive! I was actually impressed that they attempted to correct history in a gentle way!

Then, it is also a little over a decade when this animated feature is first released and in a few more years it will be their 20th anniversary but theatrically released Pokémon films still have the same main character and similar plot; where Ash Ketchum with his Pikachu are always at the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right time, depend on how you see it, with new Pokémon and travelling companion every new generation.

Brock, Pikachu, Ash, Piplup and Dawn.
Brock, Pikachu, Ash, Piplup and Dawn.

Instead of labeling or criticising Pokémon films as bad due to the repeated pattern, I would prefer to comment those as one of the theatrically released Pokémon film's style or Kunihiko Yuyama's style; just like how the Earth view always appear at the beginning of the film. They may however, could also be the Pokémon franchise's self-imposed limitation but they are also what makes these films different, isn't it? We can't change that but good news is, they are always improving themselves and these trilogy films may delight the general audiences!

(Pikachu short is also one of their style although note that it wasn't there for a few years. If you are academically or professionally writing about auteur theory or Pokémon film analysis, there you go, some of your homework is done if you are lazy to watch them all yourself.)

Angry Arceus.
Angry Arceus.

Nonetheless, many have mentioned that the Arceus voice in the dubbed version is weird but I find the adorable Spiky-Eared Pichu's voice much weirder in some ways. Come on, Arceus is supposed to be the first one and it is certainly ancient, he is very unlikely to have cute voice right?

The thing that's really weird is this; why does the Pokémon known to have probably created the entire Pokémon world is not highly worshiped and it is exclusive to that location? Like Jirachi's case, why won't the whole world anticipate it or go look for it? It seems like no one else know about Arceus except the movie exclusive characters!

*Okay I said I am not going to be critical so.... I should stop now*

Pikachu, Piplup, Ancient Ratata and Spiky-Eared Pichu!
Pikachu, Piplup, Ancient Ratata and Spiky-Eared Pichu!

Honestly, if you don't bother those at all, this animated feature is actually great! The creators of this animated feature are made it quite realistic as well; even if Arceus is The One, it is also prone to time and history change since the creatures that it create itself are powerful themselves too! There are several unexpected moments and it was fun to watch the angry Arceus although I thought it doesn't fit as a deity and it certainly look much less like a deity compared to Giratina, Palkia and Dialga. *lol*

Sheena has the ability to read Pokémon's heart.
Sheena has the ability to read Pokémon's heart.

What's more interesting are the people who can read and connect to Pokémon's heart. That and the ancient civilisation in Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009). I hope I didn't spoil it too much here but the adorable Pokémon are known as magical creatures in the past and there are plenty of clever historical elements as well! Can't express how much I love Pokémon stories because they are just so unique!

Spiky Eared Pichu and Pikachu.
Spiky Eared Pichu and Pikachu.

As a conclusion, Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) is not a mere supplement, it is a must-see to complete the Diamond & Pearl trilogy. Finally, with tears of joy, this is also one of the Pokémon films that I can safely say it's entertaining! If you like time-travelling stories and the genre of this film, it is quite certain that you will love this too!

PS. I promise to you, anonymous reader; there will be a Worst to Best Pokémon film post on Moviepilot next month. Love, Rosalyn.

PS2. This is currently and apparently my longest movie review for Pokémon. ;x

Who will like this?

Pokémon fans especially those who love Pokémon mythology and the Diamond & Pearl series.

Pokémon Movie Marathon

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998)
The Power of One (1999)
Spell of the Unown (2000)
Mewtwo Returns (2000)
Celebi: Voice of the Forest (2001)
The Legend of Thunder! (2001)
Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias (2002)
Jirachi: Wish Maker (2003)
Destiny Deoxys (2004)
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (2005)
The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon (2006)
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (2006)
The Rise of Darkrai (2007)
Giratina and the Sky Warrior (2008)
Zoroark: Master of Illusions (2010)
Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram (2011)
Pokémon the Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom (2011)
Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice (2012)
Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013)
Pokémon Origins (2013)
Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014)
Pokémon the Movie XY (2015)

Details of the movie

Director: Kunihiko Yuyama
Producer: Takemoto Mori, Junya Okamoto, Mikihiko Yanagisawa, Chōji Yoshikawa
Story: Satoshi Tajiri, Ken Sugimori, Junichi Masuda
Screenplay: Hideki Sonoda
Cinematography: Takaya Mizutani
Music: Shinji Miyazaki
Studio: OLM, Inc.
Starring: Rica Matsumoto, Megumi Toyoguchi, Yūji Ueda, Inuko Inuyama, Shin-ichiro Miki, Megumi Hayashibara, Kii Kitano, Masahiro Takashima, Kōichi Yamadera, Akihiro Miwa, Ikue Ōtani
Full Credit: [IMDb]
Distributor: Toho, Warner Bros., Viz Media
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese, English
Genre: Adventure Drama Family Fantasy
Running time: 95 mins
Budget: Not sure.
Box office: USD 50,673,078 est.

Official website(s)

Original post from Rosalyn's Blog.
This article is a part of Rosalyn's Animated Movie Marathon.
Rosalyn can be contacted via email and facebook.

Stay tuned for more animated features!!!


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