One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.
Today we’re going to be looking at another pivotal character of Pokémon: Sword and Shield: Chairman Rose, the… [SPOILERS… obviously???] main antagonist of the game’s climax. Even more so than Lusamine, Rose spends a lot of the game being obviously suspicious but never actually doing anything untoward that we can see, until suddenly he flips out and does something completely ludicrous that I am probably going to spend the entire duration of generation VIII trying to puzzle out. Exactly what he does is swathed in some weird deep-lore $#!t that I don’t think we have the full picture of, even from our vantage point at the end of the game, and anyway I’m going to talk more about it when I cover Sonia’s storyline, and eventually when I review the relevant legendary Pokémon. For Rose, I think it’s more important that we look at who he is and what his motivations are.
Perhaps the darkest part of Detective Pikachu is that, despite generally depicting a relatively utopian society, the Pokemon world apparently still has unpaid interns.
You hear that, Ryme
City? This is the dark side of your
“corporate utopia”! Down with
capitalism; hang the parasites!
I don’t think Lucy ever says
she doesn’t get paid, and I don’t know what the norm is in the media sector
in the real world. She says she writes
listicles, so maybe she gets paid for each piece she publishes, but doesn’t
have a traditional salary (still a pretty precarious position)? In any case, though, I think it’s an intended
facet of Detective Pikachu’s tone that Ryme City is not the
utopian society it presents itself as.
The ideals it was founded on are not enforced, and the man who defined
those ideals… well, he turns out to be not such a good dude. Pokémon normally likes its cities to be
bright, shiny and cheerful, which is what Ryme City looks like in the
game. The movie has a noir aesthetic
that makes its version of Ryme City… well, not outright pessimistic, it’s still
a Pokémon story, but it’s certainly grimier than anything we’d see in
Alola. The fact that a city founded by a
billionaire CEO, and apparently built from the ground up by his company in the
space of ten years, might turn out to have skimped on social programs and/or be
somewhat exploitative of its low-level workers is… well, I wouldn’t exactly
call it a glaring inconsistency in the worldbuilding, put it that way.