As cutesy-cuddly as Pikachu looks in the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie, it turns out he’s much more than that. This Pikachu is an adult — or, at least, a Pokémon with the word “hell” as a regular part of his vocabulary.
Toward the end of the movie’s latest trailer, a caged Pikachu barks at his sidekick Tim, “Get me the hell out of here!” It’s a show-stopping moment for us, the Pokémon-loving viewer; this is historically a family-friendly franchise. What the hell is Pikachu doing out here, saying “hell?”
Pikachu would never say hell I can't believe this I'm traumatized. pic.twitter.com/HmjrrAhECJ— Masahiro Sakurai (@Nin_SmashBros) February 26, 2019
Pokémon errs on the side of kiddy in video games, anime, movies, and elsewhere. So to hear Pikachu curse is off-putting — albeit perhaps not out of nowhere in the Pokémon universe Detective Pikachu seems to have established.
The rest of the trailer suggests this is a far more “mature” version of the series than previously seen. Aside from this coffee-loving Pika-dude, we saw a trainer with a chest tattoo of a Charizard ... while standing next to said horrifying Charizard.
This, and the hell moment, take place in an underground fighting ring — as if a reference to the fact that Pokémon is basically dogfighting made acceptable because of how cute and fun it all looks on the outside. But Detective Pikachu doesn’t look so cute and fun. Its ring looks, well, hellish.
There’s also the first appearance of Aipom, a purple monkey Pokémon with a sneering grin in its official art. The way that Warner Bros. Pictures has translated that into its realistic Pokémon world is by giving Aipom a full set of chompers.
And what of Mewtwo, the seeming villain of Detective Pikachu? Let’s just say that we understand it’s a much fleshier Pokémon than most, but there’s something especially ... adult-like about how it’s rendered in the movie.
Detective Pikachu is in theaters May 10, giving us several more weeks to replay Pikachu saying “hell” until we slowly come to accept that this is our new reality. (Now, just imagine if it was Danny DeVito speaking Pikachu’s lines like you all wanted.)