'Detective Pikachu': Who is Greninja?

One of the presumed villains in Detective Pikachu might be a mystery to more casual Pokemon fans.

Earlier today, WB and Legendary Pictures released the first trailer for Detective Pikachu, a new live action movie starring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of a talking Pikachu who solves mysteries and Justice Smith as his human partner Tim. One of the big surprises in the new movie is the appearance of a trio of Greninja in what appear to be a villainous role. In one scene, two of the Greninja appear to confront Detective Pikachu and Tim in a hallway and prepare to throw a water shuriken at them.

The Pokemon franchise is over 20 years and now has over 800 Pokemon. Older fans of the franchise who haven't played a Pokemon games in a few years might not recognize Greninja at first glance. Greninja is a Water/Dark-type Pokemon and is the fully evolved form of Froakie, the Water-type Starter Pokemon in Pokemon X & Y.

Greninja is one of the more popular new Pokemon, in part because of its ninja abilities. In addition to being able to throw water shuriken, Greninja can also climb walls and move at incredible speeds. And yes, Greninja does use its tongue as a scarf, which looks awesome but is super disgusting.

It shouldn't be a surprise that the Pokemon anime played up Greninja's abilities, with Greninja utilizing moves like Double Team and Cut to resemble Naruto and other famous animated ninja. The frog Pokemon has also appeared in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and was a featured Pokemon in the Pokemon Trading Card Game.

Detective Pikachu also stars Kathryn Newton as junior reporter Lucy who is also investigating the mystery, and Ken Watanabe as Lt. Yoshida. Karan Soni, Bill Nighy, Suki Waterhouse, Chris Geere, Rita Ora, and Omar Chaparro will also appear in the film.


Directed by Rob Letterman, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu's script was co-written by Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu hits theaters on May 10th, 2019.