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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | Mewtwo Strikes Back!

A lot goes into the creation of a theatrical film and the Pocket Monsters movies are no different. This page takes a look at various model sheets and reference models used throughout the animation process.

Character Model Sheets

Mewtwo's Psycho Armor
This is the armor that was created to suppress Mewtwo's overwhelming power (Mewtwo Strikes Back).

Mewtwo's Armor

Here's a map of
Pokémon Castle:

Pokemon Castle

Here's a translation of the text, going clockwise:

Windmill:  Mew was playing here.
Mewtwo's Room:  It has a huge screen!
Spiral Staircase:  Mewtwo makes his grand entrance in a pillar of blue light!
Pokemon Battlefield:  Satoshi's and everyone else's Pokémon have a huge battle against Mewtwo's pokemon!
Underground Laboratory:  The Pokémon Cloning machine is here. Copies of both Nyarth and Pikachu are made here.
Bridge:  Satoshi and the others enter
Pokémon Castle from here.
Balcony:  Mew is behind the Rocket-Dan.

About the Mewtwo Ball

The "Mewtwo Ball" (ミュウツーボール) is the name of the special Monster Balls conjured up by Mewtwo to get the Trainers' Pokémon as punishment for being defeated by its Copies. After getting all our heroes' Pokémon, including Satoshi's Pikachu, they're brought to the nautilus shaped cloning machine in the castle's basement to start the cloning process. Satoshi breaks the machine and the Mewtwo Balls release their prisoners.

Mewtwo Strikes Back! (1998)

For years the term "Mewtwo Ball" has been used in various Japanese guide books to refer to these special black Monster Balls. In the book This is Animation: Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation," released on September 20th, 1998, for example, the Mewtwo Balls are given this description:

This is Animation

▼ミュウツーが、自分で作ったモンスターボール。このボールは、ほかのトレーナーのポケモンを奪い取り、さらにモンスターボールに入っているポケモンま で、ボールごとゲットしてしまう。最強のモンスターボールだ!
Mewtwo Balls
The Monster Ball that Mewtwo makes itself. This Ball can steal other Trainers' Pokémon and can even get
Pokémon who are already in their own Monster Ball, ball and all! It really is the ultimate Monster Ball!

And in the
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation" Daizenshuu, released that same day, Mewtwo Balls get an even lengthier description:


ミュウツーがポケモンバトルのあとにポケモンをゲットするためにつかう特別なモンスターボールが、大きな目だまがついたミュウツーボール。ただし、ただの モンスターボールとはちがうんだ。ミュウツーの念力にしたがってじゆうにうごくし、よわっていないポケモンだってゲットできるし、モンスターボールごと ゲットすることもできちゃうんだ。ちなみにポケモンをゲットしたミュウツーボールは、自動的にポケモン城の地下にある大きなマシンにむかってとんでいく ぞ。
Question 2
What is the Mewtwo Ball?
The Mewtwo Ball is the special Monster Ball with a big eyeball on it that Mewtwo uses to get
Pokémon after its battle with them. However, these aren't your ordinary Monster Balls! These Mewtwo Balls are able to go anywhere thanks to Mewtwo's psychokinesis, get Pokémon even if they haven't been weakened first, and get Pokémon already in their Monster Balls, ball and all. By the way, once the Mewtwo Balls get their Pokémon they automatically head straight for the large machine in the basement of Pokémon Castle.

During the lead-up to the release of the film's remake, Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, animator Sayuri Ichi'ishi shared some stories about the design of the Mewtwo Ball:

January 28th, 2019 7:47 JST

あら、懐かしい。ミュウツーボールは私のデザ インです。 エジプトのホルスの目をモチーフに作りました。 はじめ、作画が大変だからと思い、平面的にデザインしたのですが、湯山さんに「立体的にして」と言われてこうなりました。 #ポケモン⁠ ⁠ #pokemon
Ah, this brings me back. The Mewtwo Ball was designed by me. I modeled it after the Egyptian Eye of Horus. At first I drew it with a more flat design because I thought that'd make it easier on the animators but (the movie's director) Mr. Yuyama told me to "make it more three dimensional." #ポケモン #pokemon

January 28th, 2019 7:59 JST

当時、湯山さんもホルスの目的なデザインがい いんじゃないかと思っていたらしく、デザインがを出したら「同じ事考えてたね。」と言われました。^ ^
At that time, Mr. Yuyama was apparently also leaning toward an Eye of Horus-like designn so when I showed him what I made he said "I was thinking the same thing!" ^ ^

January 28th, 2019 8:18 JST

あ、^^; デザイン画ね。
Oops...I misspelled "design" ^ ^

After that, one fan asked about another potential inspiration, so Ms. Ichi'ishi offered some additional info:

January 28th, 2019 10:13 JST


フォロー外から失礼します エジプト神話のホ ルスがモチーフとは驚きました (ウルトラマンガイアに登場したガンQの顔に似てたのでガンQかとΣ(´∀`;))
Sorry for messaging you as a non-follower. I'm surprised to learn the Mewtwo Ball was modeled on the Egyptian mythology of Horus (I thought it looked like Gan Q's face from "Ultraman Gaia" so I thought it was supposed to be Gan Q Σ(´∀`;)). Ever since I was a kid I had this headcanon that they were some kind of biological weapons created from Mewtwo's cells but what's the real story behind them?

January 28th, 2019 21:55 JST

ガ イアは見てなかったので知りませんでした。そんな怪獣がいたのですね。
I hadn't seen Gaia at that time so I wouldn't have known about Gan Q. But I guess it did exist back then, huh? If there was ever any explanation given about the Mewtwo Balls then I was never made aware . (^_^;) All that was written in the request sent to us was that they were "Balls that Mewtwo uses" 😅

After this exchange, the fan realized that Gan Q didn't debut in the Ultraman Gaia TV until after the release of Mewtwo Strikes Back! so it seems that the Mewtwo Ball's appearance resembling Gan Q's was merely a coincidence.

Miscellaneous Stories from the Cast and Crew

The following is a translation of part of an interview with Kazuaki Mouri (毛利和昭), one of the chief animation supervisors that was printed in the book Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Perfect Guide ~ Satoshi's and Pikachu's Adventure Log:

How did you become involved in these movies?

I was still a freelance animator when the first movie Mewtwo Strikes Back was being made but I was called upon anyway to help out with the key animation for three cuts. It was the scene where Satoshi is coming out from the smoke with all the clone Pokémon. After that I worked a little bit on the storyboards for the third and fourth movies. I became a fully integrated member of the staff with the fifth movie, Latias and Latios, The Guardian Deities of the Water Capital.

Next up is the sound director of Pocket Monsters, Masafumi Mima (三間雅文):

What's the title of the most memorable Pocket Monsters movie for you?

Of course it's Mewtwo Strikes Back. There was this real excitement in the air at that time of something new being born. Everyone on the staff worked hard to create something new that hadn't existed before.

The script for that movie by Mr. Takeshi Shudo was, of course, incredible. Everyone should read it because it makes you wonder just how low humans can go and makes you feel excited in ways you've never felt before. Even looking at it now after all these years I think it's a movie that adults won't be bored with.

What's your favorite Pokémon, in particular?
Of course it's Mewtwo. Masachika
Ichimura's presence is just incredible!

And finally, here's a story from that same book from Ikue Otani (大谷育江), the voice of Pikachu:

So when it comes to this role that's been such a big part of your life, how have things changed from the first movie to the way it is now?

The Pikachu of today can understand a little bit more than it could in the beginning and so that's different. To tell you the truth when the first film was being made there were talks about Pikachu eventually learning how to speak human language. That's why I played Pikachu as a little kid who was able to articulate what it did and did not understand. 

For example, let's look at the scene where Satoshi gets turned into stone trying to stop the fight between Mewtwo and Mew  I thought it would have been more moving if, instead of simply being sad and crying out, Pikachu was more like "W-w-what's going on?" "Why...why isn't he...?"

Pikachu's desire to let Satoshi and his friends know what it's feeling hasn't changed over the years.

More images and information will be added as they become available.




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