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Pikachu Was Originally Supposed To Speak Like Meowth In Pokemon Anime




You'd think after 25 years of following Ash and Pikachu around various regions that we would know just about everything there is to know about the pair. Well, apparently not. Turns out Pokemon's creators once debated whether Pikachu should actually be able to speak. Not just “Pika-pika”, but full words and sentences like Team Rocket's Meowth.

Pokemon anime director Kunihiko Yuyama revealed the early idea for what would have led to the creation of a very different Pikachu while speaking with Animedia magazine (thanks, Nintendo Life). “We actually toyed with the idea of having Pikachu talk just like the Rocket Gang [Meowth] does,” Yuyama revealed in an interview that has been translated from Japanese.

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Curiously enough, the team behind the show ultimately decided Ash and Pikachu's connection would be stronger if the Pokemon wasn't able to verbally communicate with his trainer. “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. 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.”

an angry-looking pikachu preparing for battle
via Pokemon

If you have any knowledge of Pokemon whatsoever, let alone if you've been a fan for more than two decades, trying to imagine a Pikachu that can talk is pretty difficult. Figuring out what it might have sounded like, and whether the English-speaking version of the Pokemon would have inexplicably had a crude Brooklyn accent like Rocket's Meowth. Needless to say, Yuyama and the team made the right call having Ash's Pikachu communicate like a normal Pokemon.

Ash and Pikachu's final run rolls on as the latest episode in the series appears to have shown Team Rocket going their separate ways after all these years. Pokemon has really been amping up the hype in Japan, where the final episodes are currently airing, by running an ad in a train station that shows every Pokemon Ash has ever caught along his 25-year journey.

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