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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI
After Mr. Shudou's original idea for a film was rejected, he had to go back to the drawing board.
During various story meetings that followed, ideas to bring back fan favorites like Mewtwo and Lizardon were floated around
Eventually, Mr. Shudou thought back to the radio drama The Birth of Mewtwo and the character Ai. The clone girl was originally called Mii but had her name changed to Ai during production. The theme here was simple:
I, Me, My.
Ai, Mii, Mai.
"Mii" was seen by Mr. Shudou as being a much more self-assertive name than "Ai" and so he designed Mii to be a bit stronger than Ai was. He also states that his daughter's nickname at the time was "Mii" which is another factor in him choosing that name.
Mr. Shudou was 45 years old when his daughter was born. She was two or three years old when Mewtwo Strikes Back hit theaters. Will he be an old man when she turns into an adult? Will he even be alive then? Mr. Shudou then thought about how there are plenty of movies out there about the bond between mother and daughter but that there aren't that many about the similar bond between father and daughter. And there are almost no movies about fathers who are 40 years older than their children. Mr. Shudou's previous girlfriends would always talk fondly about their mothers but when it came to their fathers the most they would ever say was that "he exists" or what his job was.
Mr. Shudou thinks of the third movie as a quiet little present to his future adult daughter. Of course, he says, nobody else who worked on the movie knew about any of this during its production.
Shudou Takeshi spent so much time worrying about the various relationships in the movie - the relationship between Hanako and Satoshi, her only son; the relationship between Satoshi, whose father isn't present, and his mother; the relationship between Mii and Satoshi's mother; etc - that he didn't really make any progress with the actual plot of the movie. He was late in turning in his first draft of the film, causing a lot of trouble for the movie's production staff. He was instructed to just ignore the feelings between Satoshi and his mother and to focus on the father and daughter part of the story and the climatic battles against Entei and the Unknown instead.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shudou's health continued to deteroiate. The climatic battle at the end of the movie, he says, was actually completed by him dictating what happens while his wife dutifully transcribed everything down. At the time, Mr. Shudou's wife commented that there wasn't enough in the movie about the relationship between Satoshi and his mother. Mr. Shudou agreed but acknowledged that there wasn't anything he could do.
The first draft was faxed to the office. Mr. Shudou was hospitalized shortly afterwards and things got so bad for him that he really thought he was going to die right then and there. He got better, fortunately, and was able to receive a phone call from the movie's director Yuyama Kunihiko a few days later. Mr. Yuyama noted that there weren't any scenes in the movie of Satoshi's mother realizing that she'd been kidnapped. He probably had other notes for the screenplay writer as well. By this point Mr. Shudou didn't feel up to attending the meetings needed to fix the script, both mentally and physically, so he appointed someone to finish the movie for him. He eventually chose Sonoda Hideki since he was a regular writer for the series, had worked on the Pikachu shorts in the past, and had children of his own and would therefore have a similar idea of where to take the story.
Mr. Shudou didn't collaborate with Mr. Sonoda during the rest of production. In fact he only knew of the changes that had been made to his script when he saw the final product. He says that the overall plot was more or less the same as what he wrote but that the action scenes seemed different from what he remembered.
The big difference he noticed, however, was during the end credits; who was that woman standing there with Mii and her father? Mr. Shudou requested a copy of the final draft of the script to find out (her relationship to the other characters is never stated in the acutal film itself) and was surprised to read that this woman was Mii's mother who had been in the hospital throughout the whole movie! Mr. Shudou's own mother passed away in the hopsital after battling a terrible illness but he says that if she was still alive and he was in Mii's shoes he wouldn't have kidnapped somebody else's mother the way Mii did. He would have just visited her in the hospital like a normal person. Mr. Shudou felt that the fact that Mii acts the way she does even though her mother's still very much alive in a hospital somewhere shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the story he was trying to tell.
Mr. Shudou decided he was done. The movie production process had clearly taken a toll on him both mentally and physically and he just couldn't take it anymore. He stuck around to do a TV special and a few more episodes of the TV series but by the end of Jouto he left Pokemon altogether.
Mr. Shudou passed away in 2010.
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