Whether we want it or not, the live action version of the beloved Pokémon franchise, POKÉMON: Detective Pikachu, is here.
When it was first announced that … Ryan Reynolds?… would be starring in a half-animated, half-live action version of Pokémon, the one question on everyone’s mind was … who asked for this?
Similar to the recent reboot of Power Rangers, despite its significant name power, something about the Pokémon franchise just doesn’t seem like it fits in the current era of live-action versions that have been churned out by the likes of Marvel and Disney (technically the same company, but you get the point.)
However, despite how you may feel about POKÉMON: Detective Pikachu, the fact remains that the original Pokémon franchise was a massive part of the millennial childhood experience and that is something that should be celebrated.
So, in honor of Detective Pikachu, let’s take a look at the first episode of the beloved franchise.
Pokémon premiered in the United States of America on September 8, 1998, over a year after the show premiered in Japan on April 1, 1997.
The pilot episode, titled “Pokémon, I Choose You!”, sees Ash Ketchum receive his first Pokémon from Professor Oak: a famously grumpy and reluctant Pikachu.
However, following an attack from a flock of Spearow where Ash put his own safety on the line to protect the wounded Pikachu, the electric yellow mouse finally springs into action, thus forming one of the most iconic friendships in cartoon history.
Almost 20 years after the pilot first premiered in the United States, the franchise is still running strong and is largely considered to be a pioneer in America, as it paved the way for the anime genre to become more popular in the United States, and therefore the rest of the world.
In fact, the two highest-grossing anime films of all-time in our fine country are both Pokémon movies.
So, before you go all ‘get off my lawn’ on the latest installment of your favorite childhood anime cartoon, remember that it’s merely a continuation of the Pokémon we all knew and loved when we were kids.
POKÉMON: Detective Pikachu’ was released in theaters today, Friday, May 10.