Plot: Myuutwo (Mewtwo) was a clone created from the legendary Pokemon Myuu (Mew). Uncertain of his purpose in life, he rebels against the scientists who created him and Sakaki (Giovanni) who betrayed him. He wants revenge, he wants a purpose, he wants his life to have meaning…And no one will get in his way.
Breakdown: I am actually excited to be reviewing this. My views on the first movie in terms of the dubbed version have been so tarnished. My nostalgia goggles weren’t removed for that review, they were stomped on and eaten by goggle-eating sharks, which breaks my heart. As much as I like to nitpick and rage at the TV series, I can still enjoy many episodes because it has that charm and relative harmlessness to it. It’s not teaching bad lessons (usually?), it’s not mean-spirited, it’s just….stupid sometimes.
However, the movie (dubbed) was a complete train wreck. Despite it trying to give a good message, it was being way too overly preachy about it and didn’t seem to realize that the message it was trying to give was completely hypocritical given the show they were using. There were too many errors that couldn’t be forgiven, the side characters they introduced were complete throwaways and they supposedly changed the entirety of the script and story; including Myuutwo’s motivations and overall goal.
The original version is supposedly entirely different and much better.
Before we start, I want you to look at that Japanese poster……It sucks. Badly. I mean, wow, in addition to no effort it’s also got messed up focus. First of all, what is Satoshi doing with his other hand? Is that a ballet move?
Second of all, Pikachu’s in it twice. Once on Satoshi’s (Ash) shoulder, another down below. Despite this movie being called Myuutwo Strikes Back, look at how small Myuutwo and Myuu are in this poster. I didn’t even realize where they were when I first glanced at it.
Third, wow, that’s really the best shot you could use of Kasumi (Misty) and Takeshi (Brock)? Come watch Myuutwo Strikes Back to see Kasumi and Takeshi eating lunch!
Next, why are Gallop (Rapidash) and Dodorio (Dodrio) in silhouette at the bottom? One of the other trainers has a Gallop, but it does quite literally nothing over the course of the entire movie but stand in the corner. And there’s no Dodorio whatsoever so I have no clue where that even came from.
Finally, why does it look like Zenigame (Squirtle) and Fushigidane (Bulbasaur) are flying? I know their clones fly off at the end of the movie, but these are the regular ones.
Compare that to the dub’s poster which, while being simplistic, is much better. It showcases a good chunk of Pokemon in back because they’re trying to promote the fact that they’re the 150th and 151st Pokemon. Mewtwo and Mew are huge on it and looking towards each other (Hell, Ash and the others aren’t even on it) and the only reason that Pikachu’s on it is to promote the short that came with the movie. I don’t usually pay much mind to movie posters, but damn Japan, you dropped the ball. You dropped all sorts of balls. And they ended up on Myuutwo’s fingers.
We start off…..wondering if I put on the right movie….Why are we in the jungle? Oh hey, explorers. Oh hey Myuu, so it must be kinda related. Wait, the running time is longer too. What’s going on?
Oh yeah, in the original American theatrical release and my version (the VHS), this entire ten minute segment is removed. You may recognize it, though. It was released quite a few years later as a short called ‘The Uncut Story of Mewtwo’s Origin’ that was released alongside Mewtwo Returns. Two minutes of the short apparently stayed for the first American VHS release, according to the Wiki, but I call BS on that since my copy of the movie starts immediately after the short ends. *shrug*
The point is, American/English speaking audiences didn’t get to see this segment of the movie for years due to reasons never explicitly stated. I guess I might review the dubbed short later on in its own review too, but I would like to know why this was removed to begin with. Sure, keeping this segment in means it’s a whopping 20 minutes until the title screen shows up as opposed to the already long 10 minutes, meaning we also don’t see Satoshi and the others until 20 minutes in too. This isn’t even counting the time for the Pikachu’s Vacation short, which means it’s technically over 40 minutes until we get to our title. Yikes. That’s like Kingdom Hearts 2 levels of waiting for the title screen.
Maybe 4Kids thought this was too boring or maybe they wanted to save time, maybe they could only get so much time allotted for the theater to run it…..or maybe, and this is just my theory, maybe 4Kids erased this part because it really showcases that Myuutwo has a kind heart, was actually a child at a point and is just really confused about various aspects of life. They wanted to make Mewtwo an evil world-taker-over so they can’t make him too likable. Plus, they could always release the segment later as a stand-alone short and make bank off it. It may sound farfetched (hah, Pokemon pun) but would you really put it past them?
Anyway, a bunch of researchers/explorers are walking through a jungle as Myuu watches over them. They discuss the various legends surrounding Myuu; how it can supposedly cause huge floods, produce crops on barren lands and is supposedly immortal. However, since there have been no confirmed Myuu sightings in recent years, it’s believed to be extinct (The extinct immortal Pokemon!)
They arrive at the ruins of….some place that used to exist and we see a familiar stone tablet with the carving of Myuu.
One of the researchers shows that they have discovered a fossil (which is supposedly an eyelash) from Myuu and plan to make the strongest Pokemon in existence with it. Cue the science!
Once the science is done, we cut to awwwww, wittle baby Myuutwo.
He’s wondering the same questions as the dubbed version; where am I, who am I? Etc. Outside of the test tube, the researchers are wondering why he won’t wake up. Myuutwo opens his eyes in whatever world is in his head and wonders what the noise is. A small girl replies that he’s hearing human voices.
Myuutwo doesn’t know what humans are and asks if he’s one too. The girl replies that since he can talk, he might be human or she might be a Pokemon. Myuutwo doesn’t know what Pokemon are either and damn he is too adorable. I’m serious. He has a perfect voice and he’s adorable as hell. If my theory on why 4Kids didn’t keep this segment is correct, I can really see why they’d think that way.
The girl says it doesn’t matter which one either of them are since both of them are about the same. She also says that there are many others like them in this world and we’re introduced to some more semi-familiar faces; clone-Fushigidane, clone-Hitokage (Charmander) and clone-Zenigame. They’re not the same clones as the ones seen later in the movie, however, as we’ll soon see.
The researchers outside are monitoring Myuutwo’s brain activity. They say that it’s fluctuating and seems to be reacting with the clones or communicating telepathically. A mysterious cluster of light in a test tube is apparently the girl Myuutwo is seeing; Aitwo, a clone of a girl named Ai.
Back in…wherever this is. Clone purgatory? Aitwo introduces herself and says that the one thing they all have in common is they’re all ‘twos’, so I suppose the clones are technically called Fushigidanetwo, Hitokagetwo and Zenigametwo…..That’s a mouthful. Myuutwo wonders if he’s a ‘two’ too and they all start having fun spinning around with each other.
Cut back to the lab where we learn that the only distinguishable researcher there (the one with the funky hair and made the tape that Team Rocket listens to) is actually Ai’s father. We get a flashback to a small town where we see a woman and the researcher. He states that he’s made a beautiful hologram with which he can recreate their dead daughter (how she died, I don’t know.) His wife says nothing they can do will bring her back, but he won’t listen to her.
We cut to a note left by his wife telling him that she can’t live being controlled by old memories and is leaving him. On the note is her key and wedding ring and behind the note is a picture of them and Ai, leaving the researcher with only the glimmer of hope to recreate his daughter.
…..Already this movie is a million times better than the dub. It’s given me a whole new view on both the scientist and Myuutwo and introduced me to a very interesting part of the story. Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe they cut this because it involves a dead girl, but as we’ll see in later movies, they’re not as scared of death in the movies for some reason. Also, Satoshi technically ‘dies’ in this movie, so *shrug*
Soon after, he gets contracted into doing some work in a Pokemon cloning facility where they have recently gotten the Myuu fossil and here we are now.
I can’t really reflect the mood of this next part, but back in clone purgatory, Aitwo is showing Myuutwo visions of her old home town. She shows him the sun, wind, moon and stars. But something’s wrong. Hitokagetwo starts to vanish and cutting back to the real world shows that it’s dying. Fushigidanetwo and Zenigametwo also start vanishing and dying in the real world.
Aitwo also starts to vanish.
We see the other clones tubes are now empty, and Aitwo’s light is dimming. The clone world starts blackening as Aitwo says goodbye to Myuutwo. He starts to cry, and he wonders what’s coming out of his eyes. Aitwo explains that they’re tears. Living beings shed tears when their bodies are in pain, humans shed tears when they are sad. She thanks him for his tears, and tells him to stay alive and have fun in the world before finally vanishing completely.
Myuutwo starts getting out of control with sadness and starts to activate his psychic powers. The scientists, to keep him under control, inject him with a tranquilizer in order to put him into a deep sleep. Shoulda done that when he went bonkers later on, eh?
We then see Myuutwo back in the darkness as we watch him grow up in the tubes and eventually forget Ai before we cut to where the dubbed movie started.
Wow, that was a great backstory. In 10 minutes it made me feel more emotionally invested than many shows can’t do in several episodes. Though I will admit, I wish they had more time to spend together to get more bonding in. Screw you 4Kids for not including this to begin with. I feel so robbed. Granted, I still feel a little robbed considering that Myuutwo completely forgets about her and this is never brought up again over the course of the rest of the movie.
Now that we’re back to where the dub movie started I will change it up a bit. I’m going to gloss over stuff if it’s exactly the same in the dubbed movie. It’s a bit redundant to repeat the same things. Unless there’s a major change or just something of note, I’ll just be going along at a CliffNotes rate.
No narrator on this scene. Instead we hear Myuutwo asking where he is and we see the scene underwater. He says he keeps having dreams of a strange world but has no memories of it. As he sees a Myuu swim by, he asks who it is, but Myuu won’t acknowledge him and just flies away. As we fade out, we hear Myuutwo saying he’ll never forget that dream world with the strange flying creature.
Back in the lab and citrus Crystal Light, we see Myuutwo as he’s waking up. He asks where he is and who brought him there before losing consciousness again.
He starts to awaken once more and asks the same questions. He states that he is just there, that he wasn’t born into the world. He asks who he is again before using his psychic powers to break the tube.
The scientists explain what he is and who he is as well as his origins like the original, but it skews from the original after that. Myuutwo asks if Myuu is his father or mother, but the researcher says it’s neither yet both. He was created from Myuu and made even stronger. Myuutwo asks if he wasn’t born then was he created by God? The researcher says only God and humans can create new life (…..I’m assuming he means new life out of essentially nothing, because breeding is creating new life and basically every living thing can breed.)
Myuutwo is outraged by this. As the scientists congratulate one another, he stews in anger. He starts activating his psychic powers and getting out of control.
Myuutwo blows up the island and we see Sakaki arrive. Myuutwo asks if what he has done is a show of his true power and if he truly is, as the researcher stated, the strongest Pokemon in the world, even stronger than the legendary Myuu from which he was created. Sakaki says basically the same thing about how Myuutwo needs to control his powers, but he also says that Myuutwo may be the world’s strongest Pokemon but humans are powerful still, and combining the powers of humans with Myuutwo will give them the power to take over the world.
Myuutwo agrees and gets outfitted with the focusing armor. Sakaki gives him the orders to simply fight and take care of anyone who gets in their way.
We cut to the montage of ass-kicking where Myuutwo fights Foodin (Alakazam), a herd of Kentauros (Tauros), Rarecoil (Magneton) and of course, Shigeru (Gary)’s Nidoking and Windie (Arcanine). All the while he continuously asks “Who am I? Why am I here? For what am I fighting for?”
Cut back to Myuutwo in his little storage area where he’s wondering why he lives. Sakaki arrives and gives the same speech about how, since he’s a Pokemon, his purpose is to serve humans and nothing else. Oh good, for a second I thought Sakaki was smarter than his dub counterpart. *phew*
As he destroys the place, Myuutwo states that despite the fact that he was made by humans, he’s not a human, but he’s not a Pokemon either.
He blows up the place and escapes, landing on the island on which he was created. He asks himself the same questions about his existence before stating that, and this part’s important, that ‘not as an attack or a proclamation of war; against those responsible for his existence (he)’ll strike back.’
We get our title screen, which is arguably cooler than the dubbed version’s, but it’s a tossup kinda.
And we all know what the title screen means! It’s time to see everyone’s slightly better versions of the characters that annoy me usually, Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi! They’re preparing their lunch in a meadow when the bandana’d trainer shows up.
Oh goood…..ahahahahahaha! He’s American. I knew this going in, because I saw a very short clip online before, but every line he says clearly has a thick American accent and he sprinkles English words into almost every sentence. What’s really great is that it actually sounds like the VA is a native English speaker and this isn’t one of those times when a Japanese person is just speaking broken Engrish to act like an American (*coughyugiohcoughtokyomewmewcough*).
He states he’s looking for some trainer around who supposedly has eight badges. Ahah! So it is before the Indigo League. I’d relish this victory of solidifying when the movie takes place, which is more or less a mystery in most of the movies, but I keep forgetting that several hints are given in the anime….Pbbt.
The battle commences and we get the Japanese theme song over the battle, of course. I’ve always been kinda ambivalent towards the Japanese theme, Mazase Pokemon Master. It’s alright, but I much prefer the dub’s. Plus the original’s is kinda annoying at times.
The scene with Kairiki (Machamp) and Zenigame is perfectly fine, as expected. And wouldn’t ya know it, the scene’s a lot better and doesn’t look like it was edited by a blind hamster.
The scene that I watched of this, by the way, is the very ending after Pikachu’s attack. The opponent yells out “OH MY GOD!” and it is just hilarious.
Cut to the Rocket-dan (Team Rocket), and even though I’m using the Japanese names for mostly everyone else in the Japanese movie reviews, I’ll just say ‘Team Rocket’ when referring to them. It just seems more natural. They’re talking about getting Pikachu and how hungry they are, big surprise.
Cue the Onidrill (Fearow) and the first shots of Myuutwo’s island where Nurse Joy (That is her Japanese name as well) sends out Kairyuu (Dragonite) out to give the invitation to Satoshi.
Still no ‘Wow, A Kairyuu!’ but whatever. It delivers the message and, here’s something odd – it actually is inviting all of them as ‘promising Pokemon trainers’, which is weird because Kasumi and Takeshi didn’t battle so how does Myuutwo know this?
Kairyuu starts to leave, Team Rocket sees the reply card and we cut back to Myuutwo making his storm.
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