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6 Pokemon References Detective Pikachu Needs To Include

Detective Pikachu‘s trailer showed it has the potential to be a good film, despite it being one of lesser celebrated games of the Pokemon franchise. The flick appears to be a solid adaptation of the game, but it’s possible it’ll have some nods to other popular Pokemon games and shows in order to appeal to a broader audience. With that said, here are some of the things I think need to appear in Detective Pikachu to truly “electrify” audiences.

A Gym Battle

Gym battles are a way of life if you’re a Pokemon Trainer, but Tim Goodman’s dream to be a trainer never worked out. Still, he seems to follow competitive Pokemon battles rather loyally, as seen by the bedroom littered with posters that promote Pokemon League events and high profile battles between Pokemon. There’s also a short clip in which a Charizard is in a caged arena, which could mean a gym battle will take place.

That said, a Pokemon battling doesn’t necessarily mean a gym battle is underway. Pokemon gyms usually have a little more style than steel cages, and that Charizard doesn’t seem to be taking orders from any trainer in the abbreviated scene. Furthermore, some of the posters on walls tease matchups between Pokemon, rather than trainers. It’s almost as though these battles are more Pokken Tournament than traditional trainer battles, which is still cool, but not as cool as a gym battle.

Officer Jenny And Nurse Joy

What would a Pokemon movie be without two of the franchise’s most loyal civil servants? Most all areas in the world of Pokemon have both, and they all look the same as the ones in other towns. In the anime, it’s explained that each characters’ doppelgangers are actually cousins, hence their near-identical appearances. It’s a silly excuse, albeit one that an anime created to promote a video game can get away with.

It’s also something Detective Pikachu could get away with, provided they have two actresses willing to play the part in multiple locations. Perhaps an officer on the scene in Leaventown is seen in Ryme City, or two identical nurses provide care to Pikachu at a Pokemon center? It wouldn’t even need to be directly referenced considering most Pokemon fans would pick up on it, but a witty remark from Ryan Reynolds’ Pikachu wouldn’t hurt to really sell the joke.

Jigglypuff Needs To Draw On People’s Faces

One of the original Pokemon anime’s iconic running gags involved a Jigglypuff who would always appear at inopportune times and entertain folks with a song. As Pokemon fans know, the creature’s voice is capable of putting people to sleep, which would then leave the Jigglypuff wildly offended at the presumed rudeness of its audience. As revenge, the Jigglypuff would use a black marker and draw on the sleeping people’s faces.

This reference seems likely to happen, as the Jigglypuff briefly shown in the Detective Pikachu trailer is exhibiting the same aggravated body language of the one in the anime. There’s also a man sleeping right next to it, which could mean he fell asleep due to being serenaded by the puffy and pink Pokemon. If the microphone it’s holding with the green windscreen isn’t actually a microphone, it’s a safe bet someone’s face is getting drawn on!

Classic Pokemon Music

Detective Pikachu already teased fans with a wonderful slowed-down mix of the original games’ opening theme, so it stands to reason more songs from the Pokemon games will be heard throughout. If that’s the case, it’s a very exciting time to be a Pokemon fan, as a video game score with cinema-level quality is something any gamer will appreciate.

As for other tracks that would be great to hear, the “Battle Theme” from Pokemon Red and Blue feels mandatory. A reworked version of that would sync wonderfully with that Charizard sequence. A notable artist performing the “Poke rap” would also be an awesome Easter Egg to include, although it wouldn’t make a ton of sense to have a song about 150 types of Pokemon sung in a movie where Ryme City is confirmed to have multiple generations of creatures.

A Criminal Syndicate

Audiences should certainly prepare for some trouble to befall our two heroes in Detective Pikachu, but should we assume there will be double the trouble? Whether it’s Team Rocket, Aqua, Magma or Galactic, there’s usually one crime organization running the show behind all shady operations in the Pokemon universe. The disappearance of Tim’s dad could be the work of one of these outfits or someone else involved in shady dealings.

Specifically, an appearance by the iconic bumbling Team Rocket cronies Jesse and James would be fantastic. While the team doesn’t have a role in the game narrative of Detective Pikachu, they do have a talking Meowth which would blow the mind of Ryan Reynolds’ Pikachu. As cool as that would be, the film will probably stray from direct references to those characters and perhaps instead pay homage to the Team Rocket brand with some simple graffiti on a city wall.

A Familiar Face

As mentioned previously, the Detective Pikachu franchise is its own thing in the Pokemon world, so viewers shouldn’t expect constant references to other bits of Pokemon media that were never a part of the original game. Having said that, this may be as good as an opportunity as the franchise could ever get to launching a full-blown Pokemon cinematic universe, so the introduction of a familiar face would be welcome.

Ash Ketchum would be the obvious choice, and a mere mention or tease of one of the franchise’s most popular non-Pokemon characters could pave the way for a spinoff. Even if it was just a short after-credits scene completely disconnected from the central plot of the film, I think audiences would love it. Provided Detective Pikachu is a hit, a scene with Ash could be that moment that turns a modest Pokemon film into the “PCU.”

Detective Pikachu is in theaters Friday, May 10, so there’s still plenty of time for fans to speculate on all the Pokemon references it may or may not make. For more on the movie, be sure to check out this breakdown that showcases all the major Pokemon appearances in the first trailer.

 

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