The Pokemon Anime Is Bringing Back The Distortion World Even As BDSP Ignores It

Pokemon Journeys’ two-part winter special is airing in Japan next week, and a recent trailer revealed that Ash and Goh will be joined by Diamond & Pearl’s Dawn for another showdown with Dialga and Palkia. While Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl players may have been disappointed that Platinum’s Distortion World didn’t show up in the remakes, fans of the anime are getting an unexpected treat as Ash returns to the iconic locale, known as the Reverse World in the Pokemon movies, for the first time 12 years. While the plot is still unknown, the upcoming special seems to have a strong connection to three of the best Pokemon movies of all time.

If you’re not familiar with the Diamond & Pearl trilogy (or as I like to call it, The Godkiller Trilogy) it’s a series of three movies that took place during Gen 4 that explored the Pokemon universe’s creation myth. The first movie, Rise of Darkrai, featured a fight between Dialga and Palkia that threatened to tear reality apart. Dialga and Palkia control the dimensions of space and time, respectively, and are never supposed to meet. Due to circumstances we become privy to in later movies, the Legendaries end up in a battle above Alamos Town, causing the city to be ripped apart and transported piece by piece to a dark dimension called the Unown Dimension. Darkrai uses nightmares to warn Ash and Dawn about the threat and help them stop Dialga and Palkia from shattering reality.

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In the sequel, Giratina and the Sky Warrior, we learn that Dialga and Palkia’s battle has grave consequences for another dimension called the Reverse World. Whenever there are disturbances in reality, the Reverse World absorbs them. Unfortunately, all of Dialga and Palkia’s existential damage overwhelmed the Reverse World and made it inhospitable for its protector, Giratina. Giratina leaves the Reverse World and attacks Dialga, prompting a villain named Zero to capture it and drain its energy so that he can rule the Reverse World himself. Ash and Dawn rescue Giratina with the help of the Mythic Pokemon Shaymin and restore balance in the Reverse World.

When the Diamond & Pearl generation ended, Dawn left the show and only made a few scattered appearances throughout the Black & White generation. She wasn’t seen again until this past summer when she appeared in Pokemon Journeys in a two-parter about Darkrai. And while Dialga and Palkia don’t appear in those episodes like they did in Rise of Darkrai, the new trailer for the winter special shows that Dawn, Dialga, and Palkia will be returning to the series next week.

The timing is perfect for Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, but it’s clear that these episodes are also paying homage to The Godkiller Trilogy – particularly when Ash, Goh, and Dawn are seen jumping through a portal into the Reverse World and find Dialga and Palkia fighting there. The show has never been good at acknowledging the events of the movies, but in this case, it seems like the connection will be inescapable.

This also gives some hints about what’s coming next in the series. With Legends: Arceus launching in January, it only makes sense that the anime will close out the trilogy with an episode that pays tribute to Arceus and the Jewel of Life, the third movie in the trilogy. There, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina returned to face off against Arceus and reveal how the battle between Dialga and Palkia started in the first place.

It will be sometime before these episodes make it to Netflix, since Dawn’s return from this Summer hasn’t been dubbed in English yet, but it’s good to know the Distortion World (and the Godkiller Trilogy) haven’t been completely forgotten by the anime – even if BDSP refuses to acknowledge it.

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