Japanese fans react to the voice of Ryan Reynolds and the decision to give Pikachu so much fur.

Back in 2016, Pokémon fans were given a surprise when the release of Great Detective Pikachu-The Birth of a New Duo on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld introduced us to a Pikachu that spoke full-sentences in a deep and manly voice

Months after the game’s release, it was announced that Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment would be creating a live-action movie based on Detective Pikachu, igniting heated discussion amongst fans, particularly when it was revealed that the deal was led by The Pokémon Company International’s Don McGowan, and not anyone from the Japanese side of the Pokémon video game or anime creative teams.

Despite divided opinions over the appeal of the first-ever live-action Pokémon film, the movie barrelled ahead with its own vision of Detective Pikachu, casting Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the titular character, and firmly moving away from the familiar catch-’em-all narratives of past Pokémon classics.

Now, after two years in development, the live-action Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is coming closer to completion, with its U.S. release scheduled for May 9, 2019. On Monday, the first trailer was finally released online, and though fans were prepared for a movie featuring a very different Pikachu, nobody was anticipating a Pikachu quite like this.

Take a look at the first trailer below:

The trailer contains a number of startling moments, starting with the fact that Pikachu speaks in full sentences, rather than just squeaking out variations of “Pika”. And if that wasn’t surprising enough, the high-pitched tones of original Pikachu voice actress Ikue Otani have now been replaced with the voice of Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, whose vocalisation brings to mind a very different character: Deadpool, a wisecracking mercenary.

Still, given that the movie revolves around the Pikachu character from the Great Detective Pikachu-The Birth of a New Duo game, none of these new revelations can be too surprising for fans. What’s really making jaws drop around the world, though, is the character’s startling appearance, which shows Pikachu covered in a mass of yellow fur.

And Pikachu isn’t the only furry character in the cast, as Jigglypuff’s hairy exterior is also drawing gasps from viewers.

Thankfully not all the characters have grown a layer of fur for the film, with Pokémon like Bulbasaur and Mr Mime retaining a more familiar look for their live-action debut.

▼ Mr Mime steals the show with his comedy bit in the trailer.

While it might seem like a natural choice for an adorable, huggable character like Pikachu to have fur in the real world setting of the movie, particularly given its likeness to the furry viscacha, some fans are wondering why the creative team didn’t give us the Pikachu that appeared at the end of the Pokémon Super Bowl commercial in 2016.

If Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment wanted to create a never-before-seen-or-heard Pikachu for their upcoming live-action film, then they’ve certainly succeeded. However, fans in Pokémon’s home country of Japan had this to say about the new trailer.

“I always thought Pikachu was smooth!”
“I just can’t get used to that voice coming out of Pikachu’s mouth.
“They’ve made Pikachu look like a gremlin!”
“He looks like Ted now.”
“Maybe all that fur is meant to stand up when he generates electricity?”

“I don’t like this at all, the hyper-realism is just too creepy.”

Regardless of whether or not fans agree with the bizarre stylistic choices for the new film, the attention its generating has fans around the world curious to see what the rest of the movie will be like. So far, we know that it involves Detective Pikachu helping a young man called Tim (played by Justice Smith) to find his father, with Kathryn Newton and Ken Watanabe also starring. For more details, we’ll have to wait for the next trailer to drop…hopefully without any more furry surprises.

Source: Hachima Kikou
Images: YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures