Howard Clifford

Howard redirects here. For character of the day in A Dairy Tale Ending with the Japanese name of Howard, see Milton.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.
Howard Clifford
ハワード Howard
PDP Howard Clifford.jpg
Howard Clifford
Gender Male
Eye color Black
Hair color Gray
Hometown Unknown
Ryme City (founder)
Region Unknown
Relatives Roger Clifford (son)

Howard Clifford (Japanese: ハワード Howard) is the main antagonist of POKÉMON Detective Pikachu. Howard is the founder of Ryme City and father of Roger Clifford. He was portrayed by Bill Nighy.


As a younger man, Howard became the founder of Clifford Industries, which grew into a massive conglomerate under his visionary leadership. Despite his great wealth, however, he was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that would soon leave him wheelchair-bound. Upon receiving this diagnosis, he resigned his position within the company and passed it to his son Roger, then set out on a journey of the world in search of a cure for his condition. His research led him to the conclusion that if humans could evolve into the best versions of themselves the same way Pokémon could, it would solve such issues. When he returned, he used his vast fortune to establish Ryme City as a utopia where humans and Pokémon could live together as equals.

However, unbeknownst to the outside world, Howard's benevolent front masked far darker intentions. He secretly established the PCL and funded the research of Pokémon neurologist Dr. Ann Laurent to manipulate Pokémon evolution and mind control. To fulfill his ambitions, he hired detective Harry Goodman to track down Mewtwo, who had escaped from the Kanto region twenty years prior, so it could be experimented on by Laurent's team. Harry helped Howard's men capture Mewtwo, but discovered the truth about his plans and helped Mewtwo escape the lab. Because of this, Howard ordered Harry's assassination at the hands of his genetically modified Greninja, but Mewtwo intervened and saved Harry. Outside of Howard's notice, Mewtwo merged Harry and his Pikachu together, creating Detective Pikachu.

Harry's son Tim Goodman received word of his apparent death and traveled to Ryme City from Leaventown to place Harry's affairs in order. En route aboard a train, he and the other passengers viewed a public service video detailing Howard's history and the creation of Ryme City. Tim also read about the car accident that apparently claimed Harry's life in one of Clifford Industries' products, the Clifford Post newspaper. The next day, Tim and Detective Pikachu went to the headquarters of Clifford Industries' news network CNM, where they found Howard and Roger recording an advertisement for the city's upcoming Pokémon parade. Howard ended up in an argument with his son over the commercial's script and left the studio accompanied by his Ditto, who transformed into a stagehand to assist him.

Howard next appeared when his assistant, Ms. Norman, brought Tim and Detective Pikachu to his office following their involvement in an incident at the underground battle ring the Roundhouse. He explained his philosophy on evolution to them by evolving his Eevee into a Flareon, then revealed that he already knew about Tim, Pikachu and their research into the R gas. When they questioned how he knew these things, he revealed a holographic recording of Harry's accident that confirmed his survival but implicated Mewtwo as the culprit. Furthermore, Howard claimed that Harry was working for him on an investigation into R's source, which he claimed to have been masterminded by Roger. Howard told Tim and Detective Pikachu to find Mewtwo if they wanted to find Harry, but warned them to beware of Roger, who was supposedly in control of the city's police and news media.

After Roger recaptured Mewtwo, Tim raced back to Ryme City with Lucy Stevens to warn Howard of his son's actions, only to discover Howard wearing the neural link headband developed by Laurent. Realizing too late that Howard was the mastermind of the conspiracy, Tim was powerless to stop Howard from merging his mind into Mewtwo's body. Now empowered with all of Mewtwo's abilities, Howard revealed the truth about his plan: in order to 'cure' all of humanity of their natural flaws, he had Laurent develop the neural link and R so he could use Mewtwo's psychic powers to merge humans into the bodies of their R-afflicted Pokémon. Howard left Tim to be dealt with by Ms. Norman, who had been disguised as Roger when Mewtwo was captured, and set out to expose all of Ryme City to the R contained in the parade balloons. As he carried out his plan, Detective Pikachu appeared and engaged him in battle across the city. He was temporarily stunned by Pikachu's Volt Tackle, but recovered and captured Pikachu, admonishing Tim's partner for believing he could defeat Mewtwo in battle. Detective Pikachu countered that he wasn't trying to defeat Howard but merely stall him, causing Howard to notice Tim about to remove the neural link from his human body. He was unable to prevent Tim breaking the link, forcibly separating him from Mewtwo. His plan for humanity's evolution was subsequently rendered a failure when Mewtwo reversed the fusions he had carried out.

Howard was last seen having been apprehended by the police and escorted away in his wheelchair.

Moves used as Mewtwo

Using Shadow Ball
Move First Used In
Psychic POKÉMON Detective Pikachu
Shadow Ball POKÉMON Detective Pikachu
A shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.


On hand


Ms. Norman
Ms. Norman is a Ditto. It is Howard's Pokémon and his personal assistant. It was genetically modified to be able to take the form of both Pokémon and humans at will, regardless of whether the individual it is impersonating is nearby or not.

Having transformed into Roger, Ms. Norman released the Greninja at the PCL to attack Lucy and Tim. It also successfully captured Mewtwo who had revealed itself to Tim and Detective Pikachu.

Ms. Norman's only move as a Ditto is Transform; however, it gains access to other moves when assuming the form of another Pokémon, such as Hyper Voice when impersonating a Loudred. Like Duplica's Ditto, it cannot transform its eyes, meaning it must wear sunglasses when assuming a human form.

In its human forms, it is portrayed by Suki Waterhouse, Chris Geere (when Transformed as Roger) and Kathryn Newton (when Transformed as Lucy).

Debut POKÉMON Detective Pikachu
Voice actors
Japanese Wakana Kingyo
Eevee → Flareon
Flareon was first seen as an Eevee when Tim Goodman arrived at Howard's office. It was briefly seen walking around before evolving into Flareon, after which it approached Detective Pikachu.
Debut POKÉMON Detective Pikachu
Voice actors
Japanese Wakana Kingyo

Experimented on

Greninja (multiple)
Multiple Greninja were genetically modified and put in chambers. They were used to chase after Harry Goodman, and also Tim and Lucy when they broke into Howard's facility.

Their only known move is Water Shuriken.

Debut POKÉMON Detective Pikachu
Torterra (multiple)
Multiple Torterra were genetically modified for their growing. Many normal-sized Torterra live in the facility, but gigantic ones, who are as big as mountains, lay dormant nearby.
Debut POKÉMON Detective Pikachu


Main article: Mewtwo (Detective Pikachu)

Mewtwo was a Pokémon captured and experimented on by Howard. He also briefly transferred his mind in its body, but it was eventually freed by Tim Goodman.

Debut POKÉMON Detective Pikachu

Voice actors

Language Voice actor
Japanese 中博史 Hiroshi Naka
Indonesian Eric Zhanov
Polish Grzegorz Wons
Brazilian Portuguese Carlos Gesteira
European Spanish Mario Gas
Thai โฆษิต กฤตนันท์


  • Howard's Ditto, Ms. Norman, may be named after Keith Norman, a character who appeared in the game that the movie is based on. Ms. Norman's role is similar to Keith's, wherein they act as the main henchman for the true mastermind of the R conspiracy.

Characters in the Detective Pikachu series
Detective Pikachu Tim GoodmanDetective PikachuEmilia ChristieMike BakerFrank HolidayAmanda BlackstoneMeiko OkamotoPablo MillanDorothy FisherFrederick HartfieldCarlos HernandoWallace CarrollRita PartridgeNina O'HaraEthan GrahamRoger CliffordJohn WaalsRose MiltonLouise MulliganMax WarholOlga EllisonHiro MorganBrad McMasterGino FarinaAlexander WildeSimon YenMilo GreenWalter EckhartKeith NormanCarina MitchellMewtwoHarry Goodman
Detective Pikachu Returns Tim GoodmanDetective PikachuHarry GoodmanIrene GoodmanSophia GoodmanRachel MyersHoward MyersEmma MyersWill ButlerFrank HolidayBrad McMasterSanjeev DenisClaudia DenisBrandon BarnesLarry TurnerPablo MillanJessica MillerCharles MerlochQuiz professorChris HonorTrevor GordonEmilia ChristieKeith NormanGrowlitheDarmanitanLuxrayPangoroMewtwo
POKÉMON Detective Pikachu Tim GoodmanDetective PikachuLucy StevensLieutenant Hide YoshidaHoward CliffordRoger CliffordDr. Ann LaurentSebastianJackMewtwoHarry Goodman