Detective Pikachu's Justice Smith Talks the Pokemon Anime's Mispronunciation

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu will be hitting theaters in the United States in just a matter of days, and all types of old and new fans of the franchise will be experiencing the world of Pokemon in a brand new way. But with this huge new step for the franchise, one of the more popular debates among fans is how to actually pronounce the name of the franchise itself.

Is it "Poke-uh-mon" or is it "Poke-eh-mon"? Justice Smith, who stars in the film as Tim Goodman, talked about how he when he got the role and when asked how he felt going into a franchise with a huge history, it turns out his research of the anime lead to a surprising mistake early on.

Speaking with ComicBook.com's Megan Peters, Smith recalled his early experience with the Pokemon franchise, "I was a big fan of the franchise growing up. Pokemon Gold was one of the first games I got...and I watched the anime. But in prep for this movie, I actually re-watched the anime. I went back to the very beginning, the first two episodes. In the first two episodes, in the American dub, they say 'Poke-uh-mon,' 'Poke-uh-mon'"

It seems this initial pronunciation error led to an even more embarrassing moment for Smith later on as they prepared to shoot the film, "So I went to set, told everybody 'This is how you say it, Poke-uh-mon' and everyone was like, 'Alright, dope, so we're going to shoot it from now on saying 'Poke-uh-mon.' Then Ken Watanabe comes on set one day and pulls [Director] Rob Letterman aside, and he says, 'Do you want me to say it how everyone else is saying it, or do you want me to say it right?' But it's 'Poke-eh-mon.' That was a very humbling moment."

With Pokemon: Detective Pikachu bringing Pokemon to life, fans can now rest easy knowing that every detail -- even down to the pronunciation of the term -- have been gone over with a fine toothed comb. At the very least, fans can be glad no one in the film is saying the more dreaded "Pokey-man."

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is currently scheduled for a release on May 10th. You can read out spoiler-free review of the film here. You can also find out how to purchase tickets for yourself 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."

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