When the daunting task was proposed to assign a Pokemon movie from the franchise's stirling history to corresponding songs, there was only one true candidate for the job: me. As a 9-year old, freshly arrived on North American shores, I collected the playing cards religiously. As a 10-year old, I took my friends to the first Pokemon movie in lieu of a "conventional" birthday party and I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy every second of it. When you ask yourself, "Why should I trust the opinion of this stranger on the Internet with a topic that's so near and dear to me?", remember that you're dealing with a man who not only gave out Pokemon plushies for Secret Santa in grade 6, but has also played and beaten Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Silver, Crystal, FireRed, Diamond, White, Stadium, and even Snap.
The question of which pool of songs to draw from was, however, a far more daunting one. Despite what many critics decry about the state of modern music, we're experiencing a period of immense creative output. Choosing just 13 tracks was looking to be impossible--that is, until I listened to Flow-Fi's latest compilation last night. An immensely diverse production, I wondered how a compilation with so many unique elements could possibly work as a cohesive package. In the midst of this inner turmoil, the words of Meowth in Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back came immediately to mind:
"We do have a lot in common. The same Earth, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what's the same instead of always looking at what's different, well, who knows?" - Meowth, 1999
Spurred on by the philisophical ramblings of a talking, anthropomorphic cartoon cat, I attacked the task given to me with vigor.
Song: Sh?m - Resurgence
Movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions (Pokemon #13)
London producer Sh?m's name is confusing to read and that reminded me a lot of the confusion at the beginning of the thirteenth Pokemon movie. Much akin to the way Zoroark lays havoc to Crown City in this theatrical masterpiece, so too does "Resergence" play havoc with emotions.
Song: GEOTHEORY - Intimus
Movie: Arceus and the Jewel of Life (Pokemon #12)
In the twelth Pokemon movie, Ash and the gang go back in time to change the past and save Michina Town from Arceus. If I could go back in time, I would change the past so that I was wearing fewer clothes the first time I heard this song.
Song: Chris McClenney - Tonight (Youngblood)
Movie: Giratina and the Sky Warrior (Pokemon #11)
If you forget the grotesque, poorly-conceived villain of this movie, Giratina, Chris McClenny brings one image clearly to mind in his Youngblood flip. Yup, that's right, it's Shaymin shuffling in the grass.
Song: FORTUNE - Unity
Movie: The Rise of Darkrai (Pokemon #10)
"Unity" was really a no-brainer at this point. Sampling Queen Latifah's song of the same name, FORTUNE clearly intended for this song to reflect the unifying of time and space throughout this movie in an effort to clear Darkrai's name.
Song: RVDICAL THE KID - Everything
Movie: Pokemon Ranger and the Legend of the Sea (Pokemon #9)
RVDICAL THE KID's contribution to the compilation is leagues more aquatic than the rest and has all the sensual undertones that would be required to hatch a Manaphy--a cute water type pokemon and central plot element of this nautical movie.
Song: aywy. & EphRem - Adderall
Movie: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (Pokemon #8)
Just like any Pokemon movie involving Mew is automatically the best, any track with aywy. on it immediately becomes my favourite. "Adderall" was most similar to the sixth movie as opposed to the first due largely to the fact that, like Adderall itself, the sixth is a lot more frantic and focused.
Song: kuma - Fine China (Remix)
Movie: Destiny Deoxys (Pokemon #7)
The seventh pokemon movie was honestly pretty jarring. A feud between Rayquaza and space-born pokemon Deoxys nearly levels a town (twice), and a boy has PTSD from an early encounter with Pokemon, and the rampant destruction caused by Raquaza does nothing to help alleviate the child's psychological trauma. Luckily, we have the comedic antics of a pair of electric Poke-babies to take our mind off of things, and, um, yeah. I suppose that in a way you could compare them to listening to this song after a bad day.
Song: DIVERSA - Gaia
Movie: Jirachi Wish Maker (Pokemon #6)
In the sixth movie, legendary Pokemon Jirachi wakes up once every thousand years to grant one wish. If I only woke up once every thousand years, my one wish would be to hear this song before I fell asleep.
Song: ClaraLaSan - Always Yours (subdaio Edit)
Movie: Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias (Pokemon #5)
subdaio's edit of "Always Yours" was the most difficult to place, but eventually claimed the Pokemon Heroes position. The playful way that the synths and percussion interact is exactly like the way that Latios and Latias play off of each other and skim over the waters around Alto Mare.
Song: Maximus MMC x Andrea - Okami
Movie: Celebi: Voice of the Forest (Pokemon #4)
"Okami" simultaneously makes you feel like you're in a forest and travelling through time. It's so obviously paralleled by the fourth Pokemon music that even a Cubone could put two and two together.
Song: P A T H - M e n a c e
Movie: Spell of the Unown (Pokemon #3)
This song is like an Entei shaking its beard.
Song: eu-IV - Falling Down
Movie: The Power of One (Pokemon #2)
Just from the title, you can tell that eu-IV and the second Pokemon movie go hand in hand. If it doesn't conjur memories of Lugia fighting off legendary bird pokemon while an enormous airship plummets to earth, I don't know what will.
Song: AVAY x Grey Killer - RAVE
Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (Pokemon #1)
When you listen to "RAVE", you feel as though the fate of not just a single town, but the entire world hangs in the balance. For three minutes and six seconds, the forces of good and the forces of evil meet on the field of battle, clash, and, in a moment of triumph for the greater good, comprehend the gravity of conflict.
Ziad Ramley is taking requests for other movies series to rank on Twitter: @ZiadRamley