BENGALURU : Pokémon Detective Pikachu released at a rather strategic point in history. Just in time, when Pokémon Go was getting stale even amongst the aggressive users; when the world had almost forgotten that its animated series even existed. Perhaps the creators of Pokémon realised that no one had commented “Who is still watching this in 201x” on the ‘Gotta Catch ’em all’ theme on YouTube for months. Maybe even those working in Nintendo had forgotten the ‘Sword’ and ‘Shield’ release this year. The movie’s nostalgia hit us dirtily, like the backlash of sand after a specially rowdy wave that grew in momentum and hit the coastal cliff. We were glad for the wave of recognisable Pokémon in their new form — live-action, yet cute in a non-disturbing way.
The recollection was only mildly tainted since it was still categorised as a children’s movie — a puerile genre, despite the volume of creativity that went into building these badass Pokémon. A positive recollection on the net, steering us to the subsequent guilty pleasure of playing the older games, memorising the evolutions of Gen 3 Pokémon, Eevee’s transformations, and like me, even clickbaited into writing code on Kaggle data to determine the features that made a monster ‘Legendary’.
The capitalist producers were quick to lap up all the attention that the universe was getting. Their response was a sales pitch which started with the Cloud Service called ‘Pokémon Home’. Although less was revealed about the service, it will be partnered with a Sleep tracking device called Pokémon Go Plus — connected to Pokémon Go. We might wake up to a new Pokémon in our bed if rested enough!
Next up (not surprisingly), ‘Detective Pikachu’, is to release on the Nintendo Switch. The developers are also working on ‘Pokémon Masters’, a mobile Battle game featuring trainers from the earlier videogames and series. Also, China is getting an enhanced PvP version of Pokémon Quest. A Sword and Shield presentation happens next week, releasing more information of the upcoming canon game for the 3DS. With the growing number of games in the offing, the phenomenon of catching them all seems to be almost as elusive as it is achievable.
Behind the screens
Detective Pikachu is based on the videogame of the same name that was released in 2016. The live-action film uses realistic visual effects to recreate the fictional creatures.
Some of the Pokémon featured in the film are Aipom, a monkey-like creature, and Charizard, a creature based on a dragon. The fight between Pikachu and Charizard had audio clips from the Pokémon World Championships 2018, an annual videogame tournament.