In Pokémon Detective Pikachu, former Pokémon trainer Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) discovers a Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) with a special power – it/he speaks English (we’re talking about the Pikachu, not Tim)! If you’re a Pokémon fan, you’ll know why that’s amazing, because Pokémon generally can’t speak English. Pokémon communicate with each other by repeating their name again and again (kind of like Groot), so Pikachu generally goes “Pika pi” or some other variant.

Ardent viewers of the Pokémon anime will know that there is one exception to the rule – but did you know that there are at least five different Pokémon who can speak English? That’s right, not all Pokémon communicate by saying their name again and again. Here’s a list of all the English-speaking Pokémon across the different movies and series. Have you caught (or at least battled) them before?


1. Team Rocket’s Meowth

In the Pokémon anime, Ash and friends often find themselves having to thwart the schemes of the villainous Team Rocket duo Jessie and James, as well as their Pokémon, Meowth. But what sets their Meowth apart from all the other Meowths is that their Meowth can speak English. Yes, this is the exception to the rule we were referring to earlier.

By the way, dork tidbit: Meowth refers to the race of Pokémon, as well as that specific character. We know, it can get confusing sometimes.

But why can Meowth speak? Well, there’s a sad story behind it. You see, in his youth, Meowth tried to court a female Meowth. However, she callously rejected him because Meowth was poor… plus she had a thing for humans. As a result, Meowth went to embark on a quest to learn English and walk upright – just like a human being (or at least, English-speaking human beings).


2. Entei

Legendary Pokémon Entei is another English speaker, which is reasonable given that he’s a Legendary Pokémon. That means he is pretty rare, and therefore does not frequently communicate with other Entei a lot. An Entei is said to be born whenever a new volcano is created, and they reproduce in a rather convoluted way. You see, whenever an Entei roars, a new volcano is created. And every time a new volcano is created, an Entei is born. So in a way, an Entei’s roar is kind of how it reproduces.

Being a Generation II Pokémon, Entei has made many appearances in the Pokémon series, but his first appearance was in the movie Spell of the Unown: Entei. His apperance was the result of a wish that the Unown Pokémon granted to a human.


3. Arceus

Arceus (the “c” is pronounced with a hard “K” sound, not an “S” sound) is not just any Pokémon – he’s the God of all Pokémon (although he can be caught in Generation IV and later games). Since he’s the God of all Pokémon, it makes sense that he can speak, right?

Arceus debuted in the Pokémon movie Arceus and the Jewel of Life, where Ash and friends got into some time travel hijinks (they couldn’t face Arceus head on, after all). He’s made sporadic appearances since then, which befits the creator of all Pokémon.


4. Volcanion

Pokémon The Movie: Volcanion And The Mechanical Marvel. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Pokémon The Movie: Volcanion And The Mechanical Marvel. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Volcanion doesn’t actually spew lava, despite what his name might signal. He first appeared in 2016’s Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel (the Mechanical Marvel was Pokémon Magearna, by the way), as an enraged Mythical Pokémon who wanted to destroy all humans. Fortunately, Ash and friends were there to help save the day, and Magearna too.

In the film, Volcanion speaks (how else would he express his hatred of humans?), but eventually manages to make peace with Ash and company.


5. Detective Pikachu

Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) in yPokémon Detective Pikachu. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) in Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

And finally, we have none other than the mascot of the Pokémon franchise himself – Pikachu! Now, you might remember him going “Pika pika pika!” in the anime series. But here, in Pokémon Detective Pikachu, we find out that Pikachu can actually speak English – with a catch. Only Tim can hear him. To the rest of the world, Pikachu is just going “Pika pi pi pi pikachu!”

But that’s good enough for us though. Especially since Pikachu is voiced by the irrepressible Ryan Reynolds.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

In Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Tim stumbles upon the English-speaking Pikachu and discovers a shocking secret – this isn’t the first time that Pikachu has had contact with Tim’s family! Together with ace reporter Lucy (Kathryn Stevens), the duo uncover a threat that can doom all of the Pokémon world. What exactly is this threat? Why can Tim understand Pikachu? Does the “Detective” in Pokémon Detective Pikachu mean that Pikachu only investigates Pokémon-related crimes, or does it just mean that Pikachu is a Pokémon who happens to be a detective?

Solve these mysteries for yourself by watching Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Pika pi!


Are you a Pokémon fan? We’ve got other Pokémon articles for you, and you just gotta catch ’em all!


Credit: Golden Village Cinemas


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