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Everything Old is New Again: How Detective Pikachu Draws From The Rich Lore of the Pokémon Universe

By Fionn Keeley

Detective Pikachu (or more properly, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu) is something of a milestone for the Pokémon franchise. It’s the first live-action adaptation to ever hit the big screen, and is almost certainly set to become a jumping-off point for several more such films. Adapting a setting as sprawling as that of Pokémon for live-action cinema is a difficult task, but Detective Pikachu succeeds quite nicely, managing to establish its own world while comfortably dodging the infamous Video Game Movie Curse. Along the way, it manages to fit in a whole bunch of call-backs to iconic – and sometimes not-so-iconic – elements of Pokémon history. How many is “a whole bunch”, you ask? Enough that it’s pretty much impossible to catch ‘em all, so we’re just going to focus on a few of the more plot-relevant ones here.

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