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Pokémon Live! is, in simple words, The Musical stage show based on the Pokémon anime. It ran late in 2000 and is one of the first Pokémon-based productions made entirely in America. It's not canonical to the anime it's based on, but the story does seem to fit the bill of a Musical Episode. The soundtrack was made of songs from the Image Song album 2.B.A. Master, as well as a few songs from the later album Totally Pokémon and some exclusive musical numbers not heard anywhere else.

The story begins with a mysterious Gym Leader challenging all trainers to battle him for his one-of-a-kind Gym Badge, the Diamond Badge. Ash Ketchum, protagonist of the anime, is determined to win this Badge. However, he is also put through a dilemma of sorts; his friend Misty is upset that he never made good on his promise to take her to the movies for her birthday three weeks ago, which she points out is an example of him focusing so much on his Pokémon training that he is ignoring his friends.

What Ash doesn't realize, though, is that the mysterious Gym Leader is in fact Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket. He has been using the Diamond Badge as bait to make trainers unwittingly come face his new super-robot Pokémon, MechaMew2, based off of the powerful Mewtwo he used to own. MechaMew2's ability is that it can learn and copy the attacks of its challengers, thus making it unstoppable. By a strange coincidence, the only two techniques it hasn't yet learned are Thundershock and Thunderbolt, two abilities possessed by Pikachu. Thus, Giovanni once again sends his Terrible Trio, Jessie, James, and Meowth, to capture Ash's Pikachu (which, surprisingly, they actually manage to accomplish!). During this, he also kidnaps Professor Oak and Ash's mom, Delia.

If you'd like to know how it ends, you'll have to check the full transcript on this site; this show's tour was only for a few months. Or, I guess you could go watch the whole thing on YouTube starting here.


This musical contains examples of:

  • Artistic License: MechaMew2's PoisonPowder knocks a trainer's Venusaur out in one hit, despite the truth that PoisonPowder isn't a damage-dealing move and Venusaur is immune to it.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Misty, to Ash.
  • Chekhov's Gun: MechaMew2 learning Selfdestruct.
  • Contrived Coincidence: MechaMew2 has learned every single move... except for Thundershock and Thunder. This gives Giovanni the perfect excuse to have Jessie and James kidnap Ash's Pikachu for him. Keep in mind that Giovanni keeps referring to the total amount of moves as 251, which it is in the second generation. This means that MechaMew2 has somehow learned the signature moves of two legendary Pokémon (Lugia's Aeroblast and Ho-oh's Sacred Fire) but is yet to meet one that uses either of the two rather common Electric-type moves.
  • Dawson Casting: The characters are pre-teens. The actors... aren't. Kind of inevitable, really.
  • Deus Ex Machina: The original Mewtwo shows up and saves the day, using his telepathy and Ash's heart to give MechaMew2 a Care Bear Stare.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Delia
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The Professor and Delia are portrayed by Patrick Frankfort and Dee Roscioli (the latter of whom went on to star in Cats and later became world-famous as Elphaba in Wicked). The fact that the actors were dating in real life leads to an Actor Allusion in which Ash tells Oak "Don't bring my mom home too late!"
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Giovanni gave MechaMew2 the ability to "learn", which results in it "learning" the difference between good and evil in the end; Giovanni almost ends up with it taking him with it.
  • Idiot Hero: Ash comes across as this since he is solely focused on obtaining the Diamond Badge, oblivious to Misty's feelings, and seemingly obsessed with Pokémon. However, in "I've Got A Secret", Ash sings about how he must move on from Pikachu's "departure" to follow his dream and become an adult. He gets over his idiocy by the end of the musical.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Well, not really, but it is revealed here that Giovanni used to date Ash's mom.
    • The audio commentary on Spell of the Unown" mentioned that in the first draft of the live show, The Reveal would be made that Giovanni was Ash's dad.
  • Momma's Boy: Delia sees Ash as this, although he wants to get out of it and be a man. It turns out Delia wants Ash to remain like this in order to protect him from Team Rocket.
  • Nakama: Ash considers Pikachu, Misty and Brock his best friends for life ("My Best Friends").
  • The Other Darrin: None of the human characters are portrayed by their anime voice actors. This is averted with the costumed Pokémon. [1]
  • Parent Service: During several of the songs, there were dancers in the background wearing skin-tight leotards.
  • Team Rocket Wins: To date, this is the only time Jessie and James have ever actually brought Pikachu to Giovanni, and they suffer no consequences for it either.
  • Vague Age: Ash, Misty, and Brock - who are all less than 16 on the show - are played by 30-year-olds here. This especially makes some Narm out of Giovanni calling Ash "little boy".
  • Villainous Lament: "The Best at Being the Worst"
  • Villain Song: Giovanni's "It Will All Be Mine" and his Dark Reprise of "You and Me and Pokémon". Also, Team Rocket's "Double Trouble".
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "The Best at Being the Worst" is Team Rocket doing this to themselves, except they twist it around to make it sound like they're great for sucking so much and how it's their claim to fame.

Notes

  1. Except for Mewtwo, who was voiced by someone who didn't do the voice for either movie Mewtwo appeared in. Also, it is extremely likely that only Maddie Blaustien contributed a new performance, as the rest only said their names during the show, just like the cartoon.
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