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Why Does Pikachu Sound So Straight in ‘Detective Pikachu?’

Was Pikachu always this … bro-y?

On Tuesday morning, the trailer for the upcoming film Detective Pikachu dropped, and it’s pretty amazing. Check it out for yourself, before we go on:

The whole thing looks great, but here’s a question that lingers: Why are we OK with Pikachu being a classic Ryan Reynolds bro type?

Here’s why this comes to mind. In the past, on INTO, I was featured in a video about why all Pokemon are queer.

I still stick by everything in that video. Clefairy looks like a circuit queen. And Cubone and Charmander are clearly soft mama’s boys. But, as many people asked in the comments, why do we have to make everything queer? Isn’t Pokemon just a children’s cartoon? Do they have a sexuality?

While some people might seem to have a problem with Squirtle and Jigglypuff embracing their inner queer selves, I have just as much of a problem with Pikachu being given a straight rewrite. Does the trailer explicitly say Pikachu has a sexuality? No! But, there’s something about hearing the bro-yness of Ryan Reynolds coming out of Pikachu’s mousy frame that feels like a violation — just as much as the time Pikachu spoke English to Ash in one of the anime films.

Ryan Reynolds, famous mostly for continually flopping until he starred in a B-list Marvel franchise, has a frattiness about him that not only seems inconsistent with Pikachu, it creates a Pikachu persona that literally no one wants. If Pikachu can’t be queer, then he can’t be Ryan Reynolds, someone whose overwhelming hetero-ness has led him to star in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder and de-queer the very pansexual Deadpool.

I love Pikachu, but if I have to hear his voice, this electric mouse needs to be femme. And that’s not Ryan Reynolds.


Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew is a staff writer at INTO. His work has appeared in Mic, Slate and Complex. He loves "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Flannery O'Connor and female rappers and is working on a memoir.

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