Pokemon: Detective Pikachu wears its anime influences on its sleeve. Although Pokemon is a world famous video game franchise, it's as just of a popular anime one with stories that have managed to stick around with fans for a long time. One of the most famous is Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back, and it's found its way into the most recent Pokemon movie in a pretty surprising way that fans have to really listen in for.
Mewtwo is the primary point of interest that kicks off the film's grand adventure, and it's big role in the film is actually an extension of its actions and characterization from Mewtwo Strikes Back.
The film begins with Mewtwo escaping from a laboratory. This is not only a reference to how The First Movie begins (though fans in Japan experienced a different version of this in the '90s), but gets a more direct connection later on. During a scene in which Tim and Pikachu visit the laboratory, they stumble onto a recording that reveals the initial Mewtwo experiment.
Not only is he kept in a pod much like that first anime movie, but the lead scientist (played by Rita Ora) reveals that Mewtwo has been captured after it escaped from another laboratory in the Kanto region. This makes the reference to its origin in The First Movie more clear, and implies that this is the same Mewtwo from that film. It's actions end up reflecting this as well as it's not the destroyer it was originally presented as, but a Pokemon that wants humans and Pokemon to live in peace.
Though it's not entirely the same Mewtwo as the timelines of the two films don't quite intersect as the Mewtwo in The First Movie acts more antagonistic and flies off into the sky with his created Pokemon clones. The Mewtwo here naturally doesn't reference the original film, but with Detective Pikachu taking place in a different region of the same world these connections aren't completely out of place.
Maybe that's why we're getting a new, all-CG remake of the original film? Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is now out in theaters, and you can read our spoiler-free review of the film here. The official synopsis for Pokemon: Detective Pikachu reads as such, "The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself.
Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe."
Exciting news, Pokemon fans -- A Wild Podcast Has Appeared, the official Pokemon podcast of ComicBook.com, is here! Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
On today's episode, we talk about how playing too much Pokemon changes our brains as kids, the new Pokemon Unbroken Bonds Trading Card Game set, Detective Pikachu coming to Pokemon GO!, and more! Make sure to subscribe now to never miss an episode!