Review of Pokemon Detective Pikachu (from someone who played the game, too!) (spoilers)

I went and saw Pokemon Detective Pikachu today. Let me start by saying it was better than I thought it would be! The Pokemon designs were integrated well and the humor, and action were pretty good. Before the movie was released I was concerned that it would have too much that lined up with the Detective Pikachu game but would change the details so much it would be weird to me, but I don’t think that was an issue. (In particular I noticed that the movie had a lot of characters who clearly corresponded to someone from the game but had a different Pokemon, but they were all different enough that it was clearly not meant to be 1:1 and really Detective Pikachu was the only character I’d say was in both the game and movie, even if Tim Goodman shared his name between them.) I liked what they did with the story, both in taking things from the game and making new plot points.

I have a friend who has been somewhat vocal about not liking the realistic designs of the Pokemon, saying they should be more cartoony like the original designs and it’d be fine just suspend your belief they’re cartoons they should look like cartoons just put ’em next to real humans! I for one am glad they went the direction they did, though. I think it looked really well–immediately I felt like those Pidgey or PIdgeotto or Pidgeot or whatever were a part of the real world, as were the Bouffalant. Bouffalant? They’re starting with later gens already, cool! It wasn’t always perfect, but it made it feel more real than Pokemon ever has been.

Now, the game had a pretty formulaic setup. It was divided into chapters, and each chapter generally ended and began with Tim going from the apartment to the police station and sometimes the cafe. (Oh, right, Ludicolo was the only other character who had the exact same role as the game. I’m a bit sad they didn’t make Ludicolo’s partner a character like in the game but I suppose that wasn’t really necessary.) Obviously the movie wouldn’t be styled like that so it makes more sense they were more on the own and apart from any authority here. The identity of the villain kind of reflects this, although in both cases it’s someone who acts like they’re helping but are actually misleading them.

Lickitung is precious and I love it. I hope the home release has an hour of deleted scenes with it.

When the original trailer released some people were like “ryan reynolds as pikachu??? how crazy!!” But it sounded completely normal as a Pikachu to me because I’d played the game where he had this super deep voice and it was way funnier. I think ultimately they made a good choice for the more serious moments–a silly deep voice works when Detective Pikachu is talking to you a lot but here I think it works. I was kind of vocal about liking the game’s voice more so this is a turn for me.

Mr. Mime was also amazing. Just make a sequel starring Lickitung and Mr. Mime. It was goofy and expressive, making it a bit more cartoony than most of the Pokemon in the movie, but given it was Mr. Mime I think that works.

The action was actually way better than I was expecting! I wasn’t expecting much action at all but I think it was done well and smoothly. This movie, being made to mimic the real world a lot more than the game, makes sense to have a seedy underbelly where there are Pokemon fights in a city where they’re not allowed. It made a lot of stuff more sinister, really–while the laboratory was clearly more of an evil operation, the laboratory in the game actually consisted of scientists doing good things, and there just happened to be one bad apple who discovered R.

One thing I actually wasn’t a fan of in the movie was the giant Torterra scene. I was talking with a friend afterwards though and I’m less harsh on it now. As much as I liked the action in the scene I felt it dragged on a little bit, but my main issue was that I felt these kaiju Torterra would BE EASILY NOTICED BY PEOPLE MAYBE?? But my friend points out it was probably Psyduck’s headache blast that woke them up, especially since they lay back down shortly after, so it makes enough sense for me to be okay with it in retrospect.

I was worried that Mewtwo was going to be made into the bad guy in the movie so I’m glad he wasn’t. (I tend to have an issue when a legendary is made the bad guy because they’re often shown as being one-of-a-kind, which means this Pokemon species is just evil. Just make it a random Pokemon like a Honchkrow or Shinx.) In the game it’s clear he had something to do with Harry’s disappearance and Pikachu’s loss of memories, but he’s just there to make sure R is all disposed of, so he’s definitely more of a presence in the movie. Also in the game R is purely made to increase Pokemon’s battle capabilities and sell it. When the dudes organizing that are stopped it’s all over, but surprise! We still don’t know what happened to Harry Goodman! But then the movie goes and introduces R as a way for humans and Pokemon to merge, which is no doubt how Harry and Pikachu merge to begin with. But the games? Well…

I have a friend who suggested that maybe they’d planned the game to be three episodes, as the full release included what was originally a separate release of the first few chapters, and that the third episode would have them find Harry and solve that mystery. Which makes me wonder–was the original plan to include this human-Pokemon merging as a plot point in the final episode of the game? Was the movie actually based on the game’s plot a lot more than it seems?

Half of this review is just me explaining differences in the game and movie and throwing out fan theories I guess. But ultimately I give this movie the approval of both an old Pokemon fan and a player of the Detective Pikachu game. They leaned into the Pokemon references without going so far that it got annoying. (Although I still think having Looker appear played by David Tennant would have been amazing.) It had decent action and humor and some good silliness here and there.

Now I hope they make a sequel where Detective Pikachu gets married and has a kid and then that kid gets merged with Pichu accidentally and it’s called Pokemon Detective Pichu! Make it happen, whatever company made this movie! I don’t remember!!

Game Review: Detective Pikachu

Wow, this game is a lot newer than the last one I talked about! It’s only been what, a month? Well, I finished Detective Pikachu and the Case of the Coffee Cup, or whatever, so let me say a few things about it. SPOILERS AHEAD

(more…)

Odemon #477

The name’s Noir.
Dusknoir.
I’m a private eye. By which I mean, I have one eye, and it’s private. It sees things. Lots of things. Things you wouldn’t believe. Things you wouldn’t be able to see, and since seeing is believing, QED. My eye sees things in the spirit world. And it’s private about it. Anything I see, I won’t go blabbing about. I’m a private eye like that.
I’m also a private investigator. I look into things. I keep it secret. Sometimes, though, I’m also a conductor.
You see—Well, take the instance of this one dame. She was a legend at this point, a 2000 year-old legend. But she was tired of it. She was ready to move on. But she’d been waiting, waiting these 2000 years for her lost lover. It’s an old story, really. A 2000 year-old story. I’d heard it hundreds of times. It’s always the same. He went off to fight in some war and never returned. But she waited for him. Waited through death, waited for 2000 years.
I figured she’d waited long enough. I took the case.
Had to go halfway across the whole world to do it, too. But I finally got a trail. This big-shot Jellicent saw the man. Lucky her she hadn’t dragged their crew under the waves those centuries ago or I’d have had to deal with her, but she pointed me down the right path.
In the end, I found the old spirit, far from his home, far from his lived mind. By now he remembered almost nothing of his life as alive, but he’d been haunting some neck of the woods this Mismagius dame looked over. With what I knew of the spirit’s story, she was able to whip up some magic to remind that old army spirit of his old life. Once he had his memory back, I stuffed him in my gut—seriously, I’m like a taxi service here—and took him home. Once he and his old flame were back together, I led them to the spirit world. Those two kids could finally be together. And hey, fewer spirits around here to worry about.
Still, there’ll always be others. But I don’t mind.
After the ending, I make happy epilogues.

-Odemon #477 Dusknoir

New Wandering Fortunes chapter up! Chapter 10: A Place for the Placeless

Here’s chapter ten of Wandering Fortunes! This brings us to the end of the first quarter of this story and about halfway through the first part. This chapter introduces a lot of new friends! With a place to stay found in New Zhopolis, Alden, Top, and Ropak meet their new housemates. Some ignore them, some are enthusiastic, and some are mysterious. Also, one of them says memes. You’ve been warned.

As it turns out, three of the characters introduced in this chapter are inspired by characters of my friends Paperlanty, Devon, and Darvo “Cthulhuigi” Prower. (Sheesh.) Try to guess which ones! Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.

Also something new with this chapter is a new design for the chats between Duth and Wally. Instead of having their name followed by a colon and then what they say, their text is on a separate paragraph. Not sure how good it looks online, but it looks a lot better in regular text.

Final work on completing Darmenzi has begun. It’ll still be a little while before I’m done, but I’m hoping to be able to release this book in December. You know, so people can buy it for Clichemas. Obviously. As a reminder, not only do patrons of my Patreon get the serialized chapters half a month early, but when Darmenzi releases you’ll get a copy of the ebook. Not only that, but if you give $3 or more you’ll receive a copy of the ebook a whole month in advance! Then you can see how amazingly it has improved from what I posted online last year.