Benji Samit helped to bring to life a new world of Pokemon in Detective Pikachu with the world of Ryme City as a co-writer on the screenplay for the first live action feature following the world of battling monsters. While you can see the inspiration present from many different Pokemon characters and storylines present in its run time, you may be surprised to learn that inspiration came from an unlikely place, the anime series' saddest episode, "Bye Bye Butterfree".
In our discussion with Samit on our podcast, "A Wild Podcast Has Appeared", he detailed how this specific episode helped in setting a tone for the movie and laid out the groundwork for how the world would be portrayed:
"I think of an episode like Bye, Bye Butterfree, or Goodbye Butterfree, which is like an extremely emotional episode of the show and that, I think that for a feature film that's the kind of emotion that we really wanted to bring into it. I think what's so wonderful about Pokemon is the idea that it's not only your pet, it's not only your partner, it's your best friend, it's all of those things in one, and these creatures have magical abilities, wondrous abilities, that you wish you could go into the forest and if you walked into the right forest on the right day maybe you would see a herd of Bulbasaurs walking and that would be the most magical moment of your life."
Clearly, this episode meant a lot to Benji and it certainly had a number of viewers by the heart strings in portraying Ash Ketchum losing one of his favorite Pokemon. In the episode, Ash has to say his goodbyes to Butterfree as the moth-like Pokemon decides to join a clan of Butterfrees out in the wild. It's a difficult goodbye for Ash to say, but it was a necessary part of Ketchum's journey as a Pokemon trainer and realizing that each of these creatures may not be human, but they are his partners.
Was "Bye Bye Butterfree" the saddest episode of Pokemon that you can remember? Did you feel that Detective Pikachu was able to hit the same emotional levels? Let us know in the comments or feel free to hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics and anime.
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is currently in theaters. The official synopsis for the film 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.