Ash has a whole new set of pals for Everybody’s Story, but his old friends are nowhere to be seen.

With the cherry blossoms now completely fallen from trees in the Tokyo area, it’s time to start looking forward to Japan’s next annual event: the release of this year’s Pokémon movie. While we got our first tiny peak at the 2018 Pokémon theatrical feature back in December, distributor Toho has put together two new previews that shed more light on the story and setting of the franchise’s latest theatrical installment, and also revealed the movie’s title: Pokémon: Everyone’s Story.

The first full-length trailer gives us some nice, sweeping views of coastal Fura City, where the architecture seems to be half San Francisco and half Dubai, with its own equivalents for both the painted lady hillside rowhouses and Palm Islands.

Last year’s I Choose You Pokémon movie went all the way back to the very beginning of Ash’s journey to become a Pokémon Master, retelling the first arc of the anime TV series but replacing pals Brock and Misty with franchise newcomers Makoto and Soji. But while Makoto and Soji are nowhere to be found in the trailer for Everyone’s Story, neither are any other of Ash’s TV anime travelling companions, so it looks like the Pokémon movies now exist in their own separate space from the TV anime, sort of like what happened with the Slayers franchise in the late 1990s.

Sharing the screen with Ash this time are Sara, a rainbow-tressed teenager with no prior Pokémon-catching experience who’s asked to catch a Pocket Monster by her hospitalized younger brother…

Kagashi, a cantankerous fast-talker…

Torito, a researcher with no self-confidence…

Hisui, an elderly woman who hates Pokémon (and who’s voiced by Masako Nozawa, the voice of Dragon Ball’s Goku, proving once again that she’s absolutely tireless)…

…and Largo, a mysterious girl who lives by herself in the woods and has a connection to Zeraora, which makes its anime debut in Everyone’s Story.

▼ Zeraora almost has a bit of a Sonic the Hedgehog thing going on in its design.

The movie takes place during Fura City’s annual Wind Festival, when the legendary Pokémon Lugia appears to grant the blessings of the wind upon the townspeople, which explains why the cityscape features so many windmills.

▼ Despite all the new faces in the film, Pikachu, of course, is still here…

▼ …as are the members of Team Rocket.

While Everybody’s Story doesn’t look to be quite the unabashed tearjerker that I Choose You was, it’s definitely aiming for an emotional message, with each of the new characters seemingly having to overcome a deep-seated sadness or otherwise achieve personal growth. Interspersed with clips from the film, text flashes on-screen during the trailer, saying

What’s important for us to do is to stand up, even if we’ve been hurt.
With a single step, everyone can change the future.

Not that the characters will have to do these things on their own, though. “Even if we can’t do it alone, if we try together…” says Ash as the trailer ends, voicing the theme of togetherness implied by the movie’s title.

▼ The movie’s shorter, 30-second preview

Pokémon: Everyone’s Story premiers in Japanese theaters on July 13.

Source: Pokémon: Everyone’s Story official website
Top image: YouTube/ポケモン公式YouTubeチャンネル
Insert images: YouTube/ポケモン公式YouTubeチャンネル (1, 2)

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he can’t completely hate Team Rocket since Musashi/Jessie is voiced by Megumi Hayashibara.