It sounded a little farfetched (No, not Farfetch'd) at the time. Back in late 2013, reports surfaced that Pikachu would don a detective cap and solve mysteries on 3DS in what would be something of a departure for the Pokemon series. Even as a spin-off, it was a little hard to believe. But today, a Japanese trailer revealed that Detective Pikachu is indeed a reality and he'll be hitting the Eastern nation next week.
The full title is "Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo," and sees a Pikachu (not the Pikachu) and his human partner/trainer solving a series of mysteries. What's interesting about this idea is that Detective Pikachu appears to have a full mastery of the human language and both he and his partner work in conjunction with one another to get to the bottom of cases. The contrast between Detective Pikachu and his fellow yellow counterparts is quite clear at the end of the newly-revealed trailer when he's spotted talking to a regular Pikachu, who only replies with "Pika! Pikaaaaa!"
Is Detective Pikachu a strange idea? Even for a spin-off, that answer is yes. Is it unprecedented? No. Detective stories have found their way into the Pokemon anime in the past. As for the games, Pokemon X & Y actually had a post-Elite Four story that saw players working with a character named Detective Looker to get to the bottom of a series of strange cases. The Pokemon Company does have a certain affinity for detective tales, so this turn may not be as strange as it sounds.
Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo is set to release next week in Japan, but with The Pokemon Company continuing to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary, don't be surprised if this game hits North American and European shores at some point in the near future.