Mewtwo Strikes Back!






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


"Mewtwo Strikes Back!"
("ミュウ ツーの逆襲)
"Pikachu's Summer Vacation"
(ピカチュウのなつやすみ)
Mewtwo Strikes Back!
Pikachu's Summer Vacation

Teaser Poster
Pikachu's Summer Vacation
Mewtwo Strikes Back! (final poster)

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!")
"Mezase Pokémon Master '98"
めざせポケ モンマスター '98

Performed by Rica Matsumoto
Ending Theme
("Mewtwo Strikes Back!")
"Kaze to Issho ni"
風といっしょに

Performed by Sachiko Kobayashi
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)

Basic Synopsis ("Mewtwo Strikes Back!")

While on a journey to become a Pokémon 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 "Pokémon Castle" (ポケモン城) where they're greeted by Mewtwo, a
Pokémon who claims to be both the world's strongest Pokémon and the world's strongest Pokémon Trainer! Mewtwo plans to capture everyone's Pokémon 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) chase after our heroes'
Pokémon. Just as things get really bad, the mythical Pokémon Mew appears! A battle between Mewtwo's Copy Pokémon and the Pokémon belonging to Satoshi and the others rages on. The greatest battle in Pokémon 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 Pokémon Fantasy come true!

Basic Synopsis ("Pikachu's Summer Vacation")

This is Pokémon Square (ポケモン広場), a place where Pokémon come to play, and Pikachu and its friends have come here to spend their summer vacation. Just as everyone is finally able to get Togepy to sleep, four Pokémon walk by and wake it up by laughing loudly! The four Pokémon - Raichu, Karakara, Bulu, 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!


Characters

Coming Soon


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.

Home Video Releases

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

mewtwo Strikes Back

View detailed information about each home release here.

Soundtracks

Soundtracks

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

View detailed information about each CD release here.

Pre-Order Bonus

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



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
Toshihiro Ono (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 Toshihiro Ono 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.



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 Pokémon Shock incident essentially ruined all the plans the staff of the television series had made to promote the movie in July. For example, "A 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, Takeshi Shudo 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 Masachika Ichimura 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 Takeshi Shudo was convinced by director Kunihiko Yuyama 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. Shudo went into the second draft of the script and replaced all of Mew's dialogue with cries of "Mew." Mewtwo's lines, meanwhile, 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 Kunihiko Yuyama because it was felt that the movie didn't have enough action scenes.

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

Takeshi Shudo 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, Masachika Ichimura 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.

Takeshi Shudo 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 copy 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 Dr. Fuji 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. Dr. Fuji is simply referred to as hakase (博士), or "doctor," 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 commercially available.


Main Staff
"Mewtwo Strikes Back"

Opening Credits
"Pocket Monsters" created by
原案
Satoshi Tajiri (田 尻 )
Superviser
スーパーバイザー
Tsunekazu Ishihara (石原恒 和)
Animation Supervisor
アニメーション監修
Youichi Kotabe (小田部羊一)
Publication
掲載
CoroCoro Comics (月刊コロコロコミック)
CoroCoro Special (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)
Yochien ("Preschool") (幼稚園)
Educational Preschool (学習幼稚園)
TV-kun (aka "Terebi-kun") (てれびくん)
Ciao (ちゃお)
Production
製作
Tsuneyoshi Kawai (河井常吉)
Kantarou
Tomiyama (富山幹太郎)
Ken Sakamoto (坂本
 健)
Kou'ichi Miyagawa (宮川鑛一)
Toshihide (?) Ueda (福田俊秀)*
Hidefumi Kawamura (河村秀文)
Executive Producer
エグゼクティブプロデューサー
Masakazu Kubo (久保 雅一)
Takashi Kawaguchi (川口孝司)
Original Character Design
キャラクター原 案
Ken Sugimori (杉森建)
Shigeki Morimoto (森本茂樹)
Motofumi Fujiwara (藤原基史)
Atsuko Nishida (西田敦子)
Screenplay
脚本
Takeshi Shudo (首藤剛志)
Production
演出
Masamitsu Hidaka (日高政光)
Character Design and
Chief Animator
キャラクターデザイン・総作画監督
Sayuri Ichi'ishi (一石小百合)
Art Director
美術監督
Katsuyoshi Kanemura (金村勝義)
Director of Photography
撮影監督
Hisao Shirai (白井久男)
Editing
編集
Toshio Henmi (辺見俊夫)
Sound Director
音響監督
Masafumi Mima (三間雅文)
Music
音楽
Shinji Miyazaki (宮崎慎二)
Hirokazu Tanaka (たなかひろかず)
Animation Producer
アニメーションプロデューサー
Toshisato Okuno (奥野敏聡)
Shuukichi Kanda (神田修吉)
Animation Production
アニメーション制作
OLM
Producers
プロデューサー
Chouji Yoshikawa (吉川兆二)
Tomoyuki Igarashi (五十嵐智之)
Takemoto Mori (盛 武源)
Production
制作
Shougakukan Production
(小学館プロダクション)
Director
監督
Kunihiko Yuyama (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 Rica Matsumoto
松本梨香
Pikachu Ikue Ohtani
大谷育江
Kasumi Mayumi Iizuka
飯塚雅弓
Takeshi Yuuji Ueda
上田祐司
Togepy
Satomi Ko'orogi
こおろぎさとみ
Musashi Megumi Hayashibara
林原めぐみ
Kojirou Shin-ichirou Miki
三木眞一郎
Nyarth Inuko Inuyama
犬山犬子

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

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

Special Guest Voices
Mewtwo Masachika Ichimura
市村正親
Voyager
Sachiko Kobayashi
小林幸子
Sweet
Aiko Satou
佐藤藍子


Principal Cast
"Pikachu's Summer Vacation"

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

Satoshi Rica Matsumoto
松本梨香
Kasumi Mayumi Iizuka
飯塚雅弓
Takeshi Yuuji Ueda
上田祐司

Special Guest Voices
Narrator Aiko Satou
佐藤藍子

Japanese Box Office Performance

Gross-to-date:  N/A

The movie made 7.24 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
Zaikei Shinbun (Japanese Theatrical Figures)
Box Office Mojo (U.S. Theatrical Figures)

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

 

 

 

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