Mewtwo Strikes Back






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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | Movie 01

Pocket Monsters Movie #1
Pocket Monsters Mini-Movie #1
ミュウツーの逆襲 
("Mewtwo Strikes Back")

"Mewtwo Strikes Back"

ピカチュウのなつやすみ
("Pikachu's Summer Vacation")

"Pikachu's Vacation"






Main Film Basic Synopsis

While on a journey to become a Pokemon Master, Satoshi and his friends receive a special invitation.  However, what they don't know is that this invitation is really a trap planned by Mewtwo!

Satoshi and his friends cross the ocean during a terrific storm to reach the "Pokemon Castle" (ポケモン城) where they're greeted by Mewtwo, a pokemon who claims to be both the world's strongest pokemon and the world's strongest Pokemon Trainer!  Mewtwo plans to capture everyone's pokemon and use them to make superior copies in a plan to get revenge against humans everywhere
.

Satoshi and his friends are no match for Mewtwo's great power!  After a great battle, Mewtwo's "Mewtwo Balls" (ミュウツーボール) chases after our heroes' pokemon.  Just as things get really bad, the legendary pokemon Mew appears!  A battle between Mewtwo's copy pokemon and the pokemon belonging to Satoshi and the others rages on.  The greatest battle in Pokemon history is about to take place between Mewtwo and Mew!  Who will come out victorious?!  This first movie was made with dreams, hope, and love in order to make your Pokemon Fantasy come true!


Pikachu Short Basic Synopsis

This is Pokemon Square (ポケモン広場), a place where pokemon come to play, and Pikachu and its friends have come here to spend their summer vacation.  Just as everyone is finally able to get Togepi to sleep, four pokemon walk by and wake it up by laughing loudly!  The four pokemon - Raichu, Karakara, Bull, and Marill - begin to fight with Pikachu and the others when they start yelling at them!

A race between Zenigame and Marrill, Pikachu and Raichu running side by side...during all this commotion, Lizardon's head gets stuck in a pipe!  What will everyone do!?  This music fantasy shows off the friendship between Pikachu and its friends!

Promotions for the Movie

The Birth of mewtwo First Trailer
A radio drama called The Birth of Mewtwo was created to help promote the movie Mewtwo Strikes Back.  You can find out more about the radio drama here.
An early trailer for the first movie contains a number of confusing characters and scenes, none of which ended up being used for the actual movie.  You can check out an in-depth analysis of that first trailer here.
CoroCoro Coverage
Behind the Scenes
How was CoroCoro Comics covering the movie back in late 1997 / early 1998?  Take a look at this fascinating time capsule of a very different era in this franchise's history. Check out behind the scenes artwork and stories from the cast and crew of the movie here.

The Kanzenban

To prepare for the movie's North American debut, a special edition of the movie known as The Kanzenban was created.  This version of Mewtwo Strikes Back features touched up animation, new special effects, and a ten minute animated adaptation of The Birth of Mewtwo radio drama.

The Kanzenban

You can find out more about the Kanzenban here.

Notes

The movie's Japanese title, Myuutsuu no Gyakushuu (ミュウツーの逆襲) and its given English title, "Mewtwo Strikes Back," is most likely an homage to Sutaa Woozu Teikoku no Gyakushuu (スターウォーズ 帝国の逆襲), the Japanese title for "Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back."  The title may also be an homage to Gojira no Gyakushuu (ゴジラの逆襲), released in the U.S. as "Godzilla Raids Again" and Meka-Gojira no Gyakushuu (メカゴジラの逆 襲), released in the U.S. as "Terror of Mechagodzilla," both of which were released by the same movie studio (Toho) as the Pocket Monsters films.

The film reportedly had a budget of 350 million yen.

The Pokemon Shock incident essentially ruined all the plans the staff of the television series had made to promote the movie in July.  For example, "Rival Showdown!  The Orchid Laboratory!," the Kanto episode that shows Mewtwo breaking out of the Rocket-Dan headquarters, was supposed to air
before before Mewtwo Strikes Back hit theaters and serve as the introduction to the movie's titular character.  On his blog, Shudou Takeshi reveals that the movie was originally going to start with that first scene of Satoshi being challenged to a battle by that pirate-like trainer but decided to create additional scenes at the start of the movie to explain who this Mewtwo character was.  The new scene was written after Ichimura Masachika was cast as Mewtwo.

According to that same blog entry, Mew was going to be able to talk in the first draft of the script just like Mewtwo does, but Shudou Takeshi was convinced by director Yuyama Kunihiko to change it.  Mr. Yuyama figured that it would be more impactful if Mew just flew around Mewtwo without saying a word rather than drone back at it about the meaning of life the was it apparently did in this first draft.  Mr. Shudou went into the second draft of the script and replaced all of Mew's dialogue with cries of "Mew."  Mewtwo's lines, ironically enough, didn't really change that much between drafts.

According to that same blog entry, the scene where Satoshi goes into the cloning machine to save Pikachu was added by director Yuyama Kunihiko because it was felt that the movie didn't have enough action scenes.

In yet another blog entry, Shudou Takeshi reveals that there were plans to have an episode where Satoshi and Mewtwo actually meet before the Pokemon Shock incident messed everything up.  The two weren't going to battle but they were going to at least cross paths.  Shudo Takeshi was set to write the episode.

Shudo Takeshi was originally asked to write the script for Pikachu's Summer Vacation as well but declined due to the extra workload it would have caused.

And, according to this blog entry, Ichimura Masachika seems to have been the first person the movie's producers had in mind to play Mewtwo.  Mr. Ichimura was basically unknown in the world of movies (his only other film credit at the time was in Nightmare Before Christmas) but was a superstar in the world of Japanese musical theater.  His performance in Phantom of the Opera is what really brought him to the director's attention.

Shudou Takeshi read up a lot on DNA and cloning since that was such a huge topic back in the late 90s.  In his blog he specifically mentions Dolly the Sheep making headlines at the time.  He also talks about how that even though Mewtwo is supposed to be a clone of Mew the two of them actually don't look that much alike.

According to the book This is Animation Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" "Pikachu's Summer Vacation," about one year passes between the time Mewtwo escapes from the Rocket-Dan's base and the moment when Satoshi receives the invitation to go to New Island.

The fact that the professor in the movie is named Fuji-Hakase and is working for the Rocket-Dan, information that's obtained from The Birth of Mewtwo CD drama, are never actually mentioned in the actual film itself, the "Birth of Mewtwo" animated short, or in any of the promotional material / guide books for the movie.  Fuji-Hakase is simply referred to as hakase (博士), or "professor," and Sakaki's meeting with Mewtwo after it destroys the lab in which it was created is treated as nothing more than a chance encounter.  Though most fans would consider The Birth of Mewtwo CD drama as canon with the animated movie, none of the official sources even acknowledge its existence.

Though music from Mewtwo Strikes Back was released on CD, none of the background music from the accompanying Pikachu short, Pikachu's Summer Vacation, has ever been made available.

Release/General Information

Japanese Premiere Date July 18th, 1998 (original theatrical version)
July 8th, 1999 (Kanzenban)
American Premiere Date November 10th, 1999
Runtime
("Mewtwo Strikes Back")
75 minutes (original theatrical version)
85 minutes (Kanzenban)
Runtime
("Pikachu's Summer Vacation")
23 minutes
Opening Theme
("Mewtwo Strikes Back")
めざせポケ モンマスター '98
(Aim to be a Pokemon Master '98)
Ending Theme
("Mewtwo Strikes Back")
風といっしょに
(Together with the Wind)
Performed by Kobayashi Sachiko
Opening Theme
("Pikachu's Summer Vacation")
なつやすみファンクラブ
(The Summer Vacation Fan Club)
Ending Theme
("Pikachu's Summer Vacation")
ピカピカまっさいチュウ
(Pika Pika-in-the-middle-chu)

Home Releases

Mewtwo Strikes Back and Pikachu's Summer Vacation have seen eight home releases between the two of them.

mewtwo Strikes Back

Main Staff
"Mewtwo Strikes Back"

Opening Credits
Original Story
原案
Tajiri Satoshi (田尻 )
Superviser
スーパーバイザー
Ishihara Tsunekazu (石原恒 和)
Animation Supervisor
アニメーション監修
Kotabe Youichi (小田部羊一)
Publication
掲載
Monthly CoroCoro Comics
(月刊コロコロコミック)
Supplemental CoroCoro Comics
(別冊コロコロコミック)
Shougaku Ichi-Nensei (小学一年生)
Shougaku Ni-Nensei
(小学二年生)
Shougaku San-Nensei (小学三年生)
Shougaku Yon-Nensei (小学四年生)
Shougaku Go-Nensei (小学五年生)
Shougaku Roku-Nensei (小学六年生)
Mebae (めばえ)
Kindergarten (幼稚園)
Educational Kindergarten (学習幼稚園)
TV-kun (てれびくん)
Ciao (ちゃお)
Production
製作
Kawai Tsuneyoshi (河井常吉)
Tomiyama Kantarou (富山幹太郎)
Sakamoto Ken (坂本
 健)
Miyagawa Kou'ichi (宮川鑛一)
Ueda Toshihide (?) (福田俊秀)*
Kawamura Hidefumi (河村秀文)
Executive Producer
エグゼクティブプロデューサー
Kubo Masakazu (久保 雅一)
Kawaguchi Takashi (川口孝司)
Original Character Design
キャラクター
原 案
Sugimori Ken (杉森建)
Morimoto Shigeki
(森本茂樹)
Fujiwara Motofumi (藤原基史)
Nishida Atsuko (西田敦子)
Screenplay
脚本
Shudou Takeshi (首藤剛志)
Production
演出
Hidaka Masamitsu (日高政光)
Character Design and
Chief Animator
キャラクターデザイン・総作画監督
Ichi'ishi Sayuri (一石小百合)
Art Director
美術監督
Kanemura Katsuyoshi (金村勝義)
Director of Photography
撮影監督
Shirai Hisao (白井久男)
Editing
編集
Henmi Toshio (辺見俊夫)
Sound Director
音響監督
Mima Masafumi (三間雅文)
Music
音楽
Miyazaki Shinji (宮崎慎二)
Tanaka Hirokazu (たなかひろかず)
Animation Producer
アニメーションプロデューサー
Okuno Toshisato (奥野敏聡)
Kanda Shuukichi (神田修吉)
Animation Production
アニメーション制作
OLM
Producers
プロデューサー
Yoshikawa Chouji (吉川兆二)
Igarashi Tomoyuki (五十嵐智之)
Mori Takemoto (盛 武源)
Production
制作
Shougakukan Production
(小学館プロダクション)
Director
監督
Yuyama Kunihiko (湯山邦彦)

*This may be a typo as the same person's name was written out as
福田年秀 in the credits for "Pikachu's Summer Vacation."


Click here to view the credits for the Pikachu short
Pikachu's Summer Vacation.


Principal Cast
"Mewtwo Strikes Back"

Voice Cast
Satoshi Rika Matsumoto
松本梨香
Veronica Taylor
Pikachu Ohtani Ikue
大谷育江
Ohtani Ikue
Kasumi Iizuka Mayumi
飯塚雅弓
Racheal Lillis
Takeshi Ueda Yuuji
上田祐司
Eric Stuart
Togepi
Ko'orogi Satomi
こおろぎさとみ
Ko'orogi Satomi
Musashi Hayashibara Megumi
林原めぐみ
Racheal Lillis
Kojirou Miki Shin'ichirou
三木眞一郎
Eric Stuart
Nyasu Inuyama Inuko
犬山犬子
Addie Blaustein

Sakaki
Suzu'oki Hirotaka
鈴置洋孝
Ted Lewis
Joi
Shiraishi Ayako
白石文子
Megan Hollinshead
Junsa
Nishimura Chinami
西村ちなみ
Megan Hollinshead
Mew
Yamadera Kou'ichi
山寺宏一
Yamadera Kou'ichi
Professor
Akimoto Yousuke
秋元羊介
Addie Blaustein
Sorao
Furuya To'oru
古谷 徹
Ed Paul
Umio
Takagi Wataru
高木 渉
Jimmy Zoppi
Pirate-Type Trainer
Raymond Johnson
レイモンド・ジョンソン
Addie Blaustein

Kamex Genda Tesshou
玄田哲章
Eric Stuart
Fushigibana Ootomo Ryuuzaburou
大友龍三郎
???
Kairyuu Ogata Mitsuru
小形
 
Ogata Mitsuru
Zenigame Aikawa Rikako
愛河里花子
Eric Stuart
Scientist
Konishi Katsuyuki
小西克幸
???
Scientist
Shibahara Chiyako
芝原チヤコ
???
Narrator
Ishizuka Unshou
石塚運昇
Ken Gates

Special Guest Voices
Mewtwo Ichimura Masachika
市村正親
Phillip Bartlett
Voyager
Kobayashi Sachiko
小林幸子
Kayzie Rogers
Sweet
Satou Aiko
佐藤藍子
Lisa Oritz


Principal Cast
"Pikachu's Summer Vacation"

Voice Cast
Pikachu Ohtani Ikue
大谷育江
Ohtani Ikue
Togepi
Ko'orogi Satomi
こおろぎさとみ
Ko'orogi Satomi
Zenigame Aikawa Rikako
愛河里花子
Eric Stuart
Fushigidane
Hayashibara Megumi
林原めぐみ
Tara Jayne
Lizardon
Miki Shin'ichirou
三木眞一郎
Miki Shin'ichirou
Nyasu Inuyama Inuko
犬山犬子
Addie Blaustein
Matadogasu
Ishizuka Unshou
石塚運昇
Eric Stuart
Arbok
Sakaguchi Kou'ichi
坂口候一
Sakaguchi Kou'ichi
Bull
Tatsuta Naoki
龍田直樹
???
Raichu
Takano Urara
高乃麗
Takano Urara
Marill
Kanai Mika
かないみか
???
Karakara
Shibahara Chiyako
芝原チヤコ
???

Satoshi Rika Matsumoto
松本梨香
Veronica Taylor
Kasumi Iizuka Mayumi
飯塚雅弓
Racheal Lillis
Takeshi Ueda Yuuji
上田祐司
Eric Stuart

Special Guest Voices
Narrator Satou Aiko
佐藤藍子
Eric Stuart


Pre-Order Bonus

A special pre-order ticket could be obtained for 1500 yen. 



Japanese Box Office Performance

Gross-to-date:  N/A

The movie made 7.54 billion yen during its theatrical run in Japan. 

Pokémon The First Movie made $85,744,662 during its theatrical run in the U.S.  The movie came in at number one in its opening weekend and made $31,036,678 over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The movie was released in 3,043 theaters nationwide.

Sources
Box Office Mojo (U.S. Theatrical Figures)


The Manga Adaptation

The manga adaptation of Mewtwo Strikes Back was printed in the July 1998 issue of CoroCoro Comics.

Mewtwo Strikes Back


The manga was drawn by
Ono Toshihiro (おのとしひろ).  It was never collected into graphic novel format and is therefore one of the most difficult manga to get a hold of.

According to an interview with Ono Toshihiro on Viz's website, the manga artist got the script and other production material for the movie in April 1998.  At that time, The Birth of Mewtwo story hadn't been made public yet, so Mr. Ono ended up creating his own version of the story that ended up contradicting what happens in both the CD drama and the animated short.


Soundtracks

Soundtracks

A total of three CDs were released specifically for this movie.

View detailed information about each CD release here.

Further Information
 
Comparison
("Mewtwo Strikes Back")
Comparison
("Pikachu's Summer Vacation")
Critics' Thoughts
IMDB Entry for
"Pokémon the First Movie"

 

 

 

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