The marketing campaign for Pokemon: Detective Pikachu has begun, and the movie's first poster is filled to the brim with references and Easter eggs, which Pokemon fans around the world will undoubtedly have fun perusing through.
Based on the Nintendo 3DS video game of the same name - which released in Japan in 2016 and the rest of the world in 2018 - Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures' adaptation has a number of blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments from the Detective Pikachu trailer that makes it worth rewatching for any hardcore fans of the core series.
This world-building actually carries over to the official movie poster for the film, which features dozens of references to various objects, creatures, and hallmarks of the Pokemon video games, including everything from a Charizard flying up above to an Eevee salon.
Pikachu, Charizard, and Snorlax
There are several monsters from the iconic JRPG series referenced in the initial poster, although most of them are not physically seen. A lot of the creatures that do receive nods in the image do appear in Detective Pikachu's first trailer, but there are three physical beasts in the poster in particular that are worth immediately calling attention to.
- Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, is front and center (as expected).
- Charizard is up high in the sky – seemingly keeping an eye on the protagonist. Given the final evolution of Charmander's prominence in the actual trailer, it's a safe bet that there's a reason the Pokemon is featured here.
- Snorlax can be found tucked in to the right of Pikachu, seemingly catching some much-needed z's.
Lickitung, Eevee, Machamp, Magikarp, and More
Despite not being grounded in the mythology of the games, there are several nods to other Pokemon present in signs for various businesses. It makes sense that these powerful (and occasionally adorable) beings would become incredibly useful tools and companions for any aspiring business owner, and it's clear that that's exactly what has happened in Detective Pikachu's Ryme City.
- Charizard - Charizard’s BBQ sign.
- Lickitung - Lickitung Post Office sign.
- Eevee - Eevee Salon sign.
- Jigglypuff - Berry Juice, J. Puff Records, and neon signs.
- Machamp - Machamp’s Muscle Gym sign and Hoenn Sport Club poster.
- Joltik - Joltik Electric sign hanging up and to the right of Pikachu.
- Magikarp and Gyarados - Gyarados is feature behind the Magikarp lettering on a sign up and to the right on the poster.
Mewtwo, Mr. Mime, Primeape, and More
Other references, despite not being physical appearances are simple callouts to other fan favorites. For example, the legendary Mewtwo is presented though graffiti on the side of a garbage can, while some are present on posters and others are fun nods to the world that all of these Pokemon happen to inhabit. Here are all of the Poke-centric name drops and appearances in the poster:
- Mewtwo - "M2" is spray-painted on a garbage bin.
- Mr. Mime - Its name is shown on the One Night Only sign.
- Snubull - Ryme City Watch Area sign on light posts.
- Psyduck - Neon emblem located to the left of Jigglypuff's.
- Kingler and Rufflet - Ryme City Rufflets vs Kanto Kinglers poster hanging to the left of Pikachu.
- Loudred - Neon signs ahead of Detective Pikachu.
- Primeape - Hoenn Sports Club poster in the window to the left of Pikachu.
Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur
It seems as if something has happened to the beloved starter Pokemon from the Kanto region. These Pokemon Red and Blue mainstays (Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur) appear to be going missing at an alarming rate. Hopefully, Detective Pikachu can get to the bottom of this.
Pokemart, Pokemon Daycare, Hi-Hat Cafe, and More
While it's nice to see that new establishments have been able to emerge in the wake of a more fleshed out Pokemon universe, fans are understandably eager to see how true the film stays to Pokemon's canon. Despite a number of creative liberties, hardcore followers of the franchise will spot a few businesses that should seem familiar.
- Pokemart & Pokemon Day Care services appear to be present and accounted for.
- Pokemon Schools that are found in each game are also in Detective Pikachu.
- Hi-Hat Cafe, interestingly, premiered in the Detective Pikachu spinoff game for Nintendo 3DS platforms. So, while the cafe is right at home in the Detective Pikachu movie, core Pokemon fans could be forgiven for being unaware of the reference.
- Rad Rickshaw's Cycle Shop is here, which some gamers will recognize as the exact same store that appeared in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl's Sinnoh region. It looks like Rad Rickshaw has been busy franchising now that his bikes are sold in Ryme City.
- Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019