One throwaway comment in Detective Pikachu may help to set the film within a timeline.
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In the film, a scientist doing experiments on Mewtwo mentions that the Pokemon left the Kanto region 20 years prior.
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Since Team Rocket is responsible for the creation of Mewtwo, this means that the team has been active for at least that long.
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The key link here? Team Rocket leader Giovanni: who oversaw this experiment and is a major part of the events in Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow.
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Those games first released in Japan in 1996, which set Detective Pikachu in 2016 – the same year that Pokemon Sun and Moon released.
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Does this mean that Red has already been roaming the world of Detective Pikachu for years prior to the event of the film?
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Only time will tell, but that mention of Mewtwo has larger implications than may initially have seen.
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