Assuming the canon is essentially the same, is there any indication as to how long (or concurrent to) after Ash's adventures the events of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu take place? Since Mewtwo is a character, it must occur at least after the Pokémon film that introduced it.

I ask because the established ethos of Ryme City seems to be entirely at odds with the otherwise cultural norms we see elsewhere in the Pokémon universe... leading me to wonder whether this was decades or more after battling Pokémon was essentially all anyone did or if this new mindset is just in Ryme City.

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    The timeline of the Pokémon anime is, shall we say, difficult to work with: Although time ostensibly passes and at least one anniversary is acknowledged, Ash Ketchum has been ten years old for the past 22 seasons. Aug 2, 2019 at 1:25
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    @RyanVeeder - Hence why he need to periodically change his companions. It's well known that Ash is a vampire, sucking the life force out of them in order to stay young.
    – Valorum
    Aug 2, 2019 at 7:03
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    I don't think there's been any indication that Detective Pikachu shares continuity with any previous installments in the franchise.
    – DanDoubleL
    Aug 2, 2019 at 12:50
  • which is why I started the question with "assuming the canon is essentially the same" :) @DaniellYancey
    – NKCampbell
    Aug 12, 2019 at 18:44
  • @NKCampbell It would seem my ideal partner in Rime City would be something smart like an Alakazam or Metagross, because I clearly need to learn to read better! X)
    – DanDoubleL
    Aug 13, 2019 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


Pokémon: Detective Pikachu appears to be set about 20 years after Ash's time, according to the voiceover explanation when Pikachu looks at the hologram in the research center (timestamp 1:02:54). It's reasonable to think that the events in "the Kanto region" were Ash's adventures.

Dr Ann Laurent: It [Mewtwo] escaped nearly 20 years ago from the Kanto region.

On the other hand, director Rob Letterman doesn't seem very comfortable talking about it, as the "live action" Pokémon universe's connections with the "main" Pokémon universe aren't precisely defined yet.

Screenrant: I liked how this movie exists in the world of Pokémon but doesn’t overstate references. But one that really stood out was Kanto, in reference to Mewtwo. Does that imply Team Rocket exists in this world, and that they’re fully functioning?

Rob Letterman: I can’t answer that question without getting into enormous trouble. You know your Pokémon well, but you’re putting me on the spot. The fact that Mewtwo is in means that Mewtwo storyline is accurate and all that stuff exists.

Screenrant: On a similar note, would you be able to comment on whether Ash or Red exists in this world?

Rob Letterman: We haven’t thought through where we land in the overall timeline of the Pokémon universe, but we’re connected in one big universe. We didn’t work out where in time we are, because this is just the first entrée into exploring the world of Pokémon in live action.

Rob Letterman Interview: Detective Pikachu, Alex Leadbeater for Screenrant, May 15, 2019

  • About battle being cmmonplace outside Ryme City or not, the filmmakers seem to use deliberately blurry language... (see here). Ryme City's different, it's a new thing, sure, but they don't talk much about the outside...
    – Jenayah
    Aug 2, 2019 at 0:02
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    It's also interesting that the film that introduced Mewtwo was released in our world about 20 years earlier. Dec 19, 2020 at 22:29

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