Pokemon anime scrapped talking Pikachu plans

Pokemon anime scrapped talking Pikachu plans
Images via the Pokemon Company

Written by 

Tom Chapman


14th Mar 2023 12:53

Whether it's Samus, Star Fox, Kirby, or the big man himself (Mario), Nintendo has a whole Princess Peach's Castle full of mascots. However, the big one for many is that electric mouse, Pikachu.

While Red is the protagonist of the first Pokemon game and chooses either Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle, the Pokemon anime is what helped blow the franchise up - with Ash Ketchum and his adorable Pikachu.

The Pokemon Anime nearly had a talking Pikachu

Ash and Pikachu Pokemon
Click to enlarge

Although we've had 26 good years with Ask and Pikachu, get the tissues ready because the end is near. Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series wraps on March 24, and with it, the dynamic duo is bowing out. As their time comes to an end, we've got a shocking revelation.

Long-time Pokemon anime director Kunihiko Yuyama told Animedia magazine (translated via Serebii forum user Dephender) Ash's Pikachu was originally supposed to talk - similar to how Team Rocket's Meowth became known as a blabbering chatterbox. 

"At first we actually toyed with the idea of having Pikachu talk just like the Rocket Gang Mewoth does," says Yuyama. "However, we talked about how it would be both more realistic and more interesting if they had to communicate non-verbally, so that’s the way it ended up."

Agreeing it might've seemed a bit odd, Yuyama added, "I think it'd be really difficult to find a pair of humans that can understand each other as near perfectly as [Ash] and Pikachu can, but I hope we managed to depict a duo everyone can look up to."

Wait, Pokemon already had a talking Pikachu

It's true that while most Pokemon blather their own language but can understand each other, there are few who've been able to talk to humans. Lapras can use telepathy, Legendary Pokemon like Darkrai and Entei have used human speech, and right near the start, we even had a talking Ghastly.

Beyond that, Detective Pikachu cast Ryan Reynolds as a talking Pikachu. Although some didn't think it would work, we can't imagine the upcoming Detective Pikachu 2 working without him. Also, as much as you'd want to forget it, Ash's Pikachu has extended his vocabulary from the generic "pika pika." 

In one cringeworthy moment of 2017's Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You!, Pikachu refused to get back in his Pokeball and told Ash, "It's because I always want to be with you." It's something the franchise is still mocked for, but just imagine if Pikachu had spoken this entire time - perish the thought. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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