Alongside the much-anticipated live action Detective Pikachu movie, The Pokémon Company is releasing a set of limited-edition Detective Pikachu trading cards. These cards will make an excellent addition to any completionist or Ryan Reynolds fan's collection, and they also contain a number of easter eggs about the movie.
Some cards don't tell us much beyond what's been seen already in the two official movie trailers, but several hold additional clues that give fans a special glimpse into the roles their pokémon will play in Ryme City.
First up is Ludicolo, who made an appearance in the second Detective Pikachu trailer while working in a café. The card's ability and art matches up with the role we've seen in the trailer, with Ludicolo bringing food and coffee to one of the café's tables, but what about "Punch and Run?" Ludicolo's trailer appearance was brief, and definitely didn't include punching anyone.
Could this card's move indicate that the pokémon will play a more violent role in the movie than the trailer would have us believe?
Another thing to note is the flavor text at the bottom of the card. The text reads "If it hears festive music, all its muscles fill with energy. It can't help breaking into a dance." Now, this text does describe the pokémon's character from the games, but it could also be featured in the café scene of the live action movie.
Next is Arcanine, who also made an appearance in the second Detective Pikachu trailer in the police station. This card has the Ability "Security Guard", which gives us a clue about the role of the pokémon at the station. If Arcanine plays a larger role in the movie than the trailer let on, then it will probably appear as an obstacle to Detective Pikachu and Tim as they try to sneak around the station looking for clues. It's also possible the pokémon will stop someone else from entering or leaving part of the station.
Arcanine's card also has flavor text, however, it doesn't seem to have much to do with Detective Pikachu.
Greninja's role as an adversary for Detective Pikachu and company was already confirmed in the second official movie trailer, however, its Pokémon TCG card gives fans a little more information on what we can expect from the fighting frog.
The card's Ability is "Evasion Jutsu", which gives the pokémon a 50/50 chance to avoid taking any damage. The card also has the move "Furious Shurikens". From the flavor text at the bottom of the card, we can see that Greninja makes these shurikens out of compressed water, and they are thrown at such high speeds that they can cut metal (because Pokémon phsyics).
From the card's Ability, special move, and flavor text, it looks like audiences can expect a harrowing chase for reporter Lucy and her Psyduck that features lots of fast-paced, metal-shredding, froggy action.
Next up is the ultra-powerful Mewtwo, the iconic descendant of Mew created through intense genetic experiments on Cinnabar Island in Pokémon Red and Blue. From the second Detective Pikachu trailer, Mewtwo appears to have escaped captivity to launch an attack on Ryme City and its inhabitants.
However, one move from this card, coupled with details from the movie's trailer and Pokémon lore, gives Detective Pikachu fans a pretty major spoiler about where the movie is going to go. The second movie trailer depicts an Aipom aggressively attacking Detective Pikachu and Tim, which is very uncharacteristic of the fun-loving pokémon. However, the Aipom's eyes were shown to be a vibrant purple color, not their typical dark brown, which suggests something is afoot with the goofy simian.
Fans who remember the first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back, will remember that Mewtwo possesses many strong psychic powers, including mind control. From this fact, and the preceding trailer details, it's pretty safe to say that we can expect Mewtwo to be up to his typical mind control shenanigans during Detective Pikachu.
The inclusion of Ditto in the Detective Pikachu trading card set is a little more mysterious since the pokémon doesn't make an appearance in either of the trailers. However, considering its special ability to copy any other pokémon, one of the more important pokémon in the movie will probably be revealed to be a Ditto in disguise. Keep an eye out during the movie and see if you can guess which one it is!
Finally, there's the pokémon detective himself, and he has some of the biggest spoilers in the entire set. The card's moves don't reveal much, but take a look at the flavor text. According to the card, Detective Pikachu is "just like a middle-aged man", which can lead fans down a whole line of theory-building if they've paid any attention to details from the trailers.
Where Detective Pikachu Actually Came From
Both trailers feature footage of Tim's dad, Harry, being blown off a bridge and crawling from the wreckage. This bridge is the same bridge that Detective Pikachu wakes up on at the beginning of the second trailer. Detective Pikachu also wakes up wearing Harry's detective hat with his name and address on the inside, which is how the pokémon is able to find Tim.
So, Harry was a great detective, and Detective Pikachu is a great detective. Detective Pikachu just so happens to wake up at the same place where Harry was attacked. According to this card, Detective Pikachu is "just like a middle-aged man". From the second trailer, we can see that Detective Pikachu loves coffee, and who loves coffee more than middle-aged police detectives?
Also, the movie's synopsis states that Pikachu was Harry Goodman's police partner before he became a talking pokémon detective, so the two were very close prior to Harry's disappearance.
Is it possible that Detective Pikachu is actually Harry, and the pokémon detective is actually looking for himself? Is it possible that only Tim can hear Detective Pikachu because the pokémon is actually his father?
Of course, there are a few unanswered questions if this is true. For one, how would Tim not recognize the sound of his own father's voice, even if it was coming from a pokémon? No matter how estranged they were when Harry "died", it's a little difficult to believe that someone wouldn't be able to recognize their own parent's voice.
Also, according to IMDB's cast list, Harry Goodman will be played by Paul Kitson, not Ryan Reynolds.
Of course, both these questions would be answered if Harry's voice changed once he was turned into a Pikachu. But that then begs the question: why would his voice change?
Also, how would a person be turned into a pokémon? There are a few examples of such transformations happening in the Pokémon games, most notably Bill, who turns into a Nidorino in Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow. Ash himself gets turned into a Pikachu by a witch during an episode of the games' anime adaptation.
If Detective Pikachu is, in fact, Harry Goodman transformed into a pokémon, it's likely due to the same genetic science experiments that led to the creation of Mewtwo and the mysterious underground lab that appears in the trailers. Could Harry have been turned into a Pikachu in order to silence him after he delved too far into the lab's secrets? We'll have to wait until the movie is released to know for sure.
The limited edition Detective Pikachu TCG sets will be released on April 5 in special collections that can be found wherever Pokémon TCG merchandise can be found.