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Dogasu's Backpack | Old Updates Archive | January 2019

"Pocket Monsters Ball Collection - Mewtwo" coming in May 2019
January 21st, 2019

Dogasu @ 23:05 JST -- Earlier today Bandai announced the "Pocket Monsters Ball Collection - Mewtwo" (ポケットモンスターボールコレクション MEWTWO) and in doing so included an interesting bit of information about Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution that hadn't been revealed before.
Mewtwo Ball
Let's start with the product description, courtesy of Bandai's promotional site:

2019年7月12日(金)に劇場公開予定の 「ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION」に登場するミュウツーボールを、
The Mewtwo Ball that appears in Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution, in theaters July 12th, will be sold as a part of the "Ball Collection" series of pokemon balls that have been made into tablet cases! Monster Balls, Super Balls, Hyper Balls, and Master Balls will also be a part of the lineup.

"The Mewtwo Ball that appears in Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution" part here suggests that the scenes from 1998's Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" featuring the Mewtwo Balls are going to be recreated, in some form or another, in 2019's Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution.

The "Mewtwo Ball" (ミュウツーボール) is the name of the special Monster Ball conjured up by Mewtwo in the original movie to get the Trainers' pokemon as punishment for being defeated by its clones. After getting all our heroes' pokemon, 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' pokemon and can even get pokemon 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 that Mewtwo uses to get pokemon after its pokemon battle. However, these aren't your ordinary Monster Balls! These Mewtwo Balls are able to go anywhere thanks to Mewtwo's psychokinesis, get pokemon even if they haven't been weakened first, and get pokemon already in their Monster Balls, ball and all. By the way, once the Mewtwo Balls get their pokemon they automatically head straight for the large machine in the basement of Pokemon Castle.

Now, back to Bandai's new merchandise. Each ball is listed as having a height of 48mm (1.89 in) and a width of 49mm (1.93 in). Pre-orders started today, January 21st at 13:00 JST. The set of five, which also includes stands for the five balls as well as Ramune candies, retails for (a ridiculous) 4,320 yen (about US $39.40).

Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution (ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION) will be the 22nd Pocket Monsters movie. The film will be released on Friday, July 12th, 2019 in Japan and is part of a year-long campaign known as "The Year of Mewtwo."

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CoroCoro Comics - February 2019
January 18th, 2019

Dogasu @ 22:10 JST -- The February 2019 issue of CoroCoro Comics came this past Tuesday and featured a two page spread on this summer's new movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution.

The spread doesn't really feature anything new but it does re-confirm the fact that this movie will be all CG, something that Sayuri Ichi'ishi already told us back in mid-December.

Translation of the relevant text follows:

The Big Scoop on the 2019 Pokemon Movie!!
p 74  (right)
ポ スター&特報映像ぞくぞく解禁‼

The poster and teaser are being revealed, one after the other. Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution, in theaters July 12th!!

The star of the film is...Mewtwo!
p 75 (left)
今 年はミュウツーイヤー!夏のポケモン映画始動‼

ポケモン映画最新作のタイトル名は…「ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION」‼ただの映画ではなく、すべたが3DCGで描かれた超大作‼

This year is the Year of Mewtwo!
The Summer Pokemon Movie is Starting!!

This year's movie is going to be in full 3D CG!!
The title of the newest Pokemon movie is..."Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution"!! And it's not going to be your average movie either because this super big movie's going to be rendered in 3D CG!!

The footage that was released at the start of the year is full 3D CG as well. Mewtwo's flying scene is incredibly powerful!

The page also has a small ad for the Blu-ray and DVD release of last year's movie,
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Everyone's Story," as well as the titles and one sentence summaries of two upcoming episodes of Sun & Moon.

There was also a page all about being able to catch Mewtwo in Let's Go! Pikachu / Let's Go! Eevee since, you know, Mewtwo. The magazine tells its readers that they have to go to the cave outside Hanada City after entering the Hall of Fame and recommends using a Dark-Type pokemon to weaken it.

And that does it for this month's CoroCoro coverage! If future issues of the magazine contain any interesting news I'll be sure to post that as well.

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Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution tidbits
January 1st, 2019

Dogasu @ 17:50 JST -- About five days ago the official website for Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution teased that they would be showing new footage of the 22nd Pocket Monsters film on January 1st, 2019. The footage was going to be shown on the Japanese TV station TBS (and not TV-Tokyo, oddly enough) and then later posted online. The official site did a countdown clock and everything.

What we ended up getting ended up being much ado about nothing, but let's take a minute to pick at the bones we were given anyway.

First up, the official Twitter account posted the movie's first teaser poster, which is basically a CG remake of the first teaser poster for the very first movie from back in 1998. Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation" would go on and use a completely different poster so it'll be interesting if Movie 22's final poster is a remake of that or something new altogether.

Movie 01
Movie 22

A few hours later we got our first "teaser":


Here's a translation of all the on-screen text / narration:

Onscreen text:  1998
Narrator / onscreen text:  The impact that a single movie made throughout the world will, once again...
Onscreen text:  Newsflash
Japanese text: He's back
English text: The Legend is back
Mewtwo:  "Where am I? Who am I?"
Onscreen text: "2019: The Year of Mewtwo is Starting!
Narrator:  "Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution."
Onscreen text: July 12th

And that's it! We get about ten seconds of Mewtwo flying through the air and then confirmation that Mew will appear in a movie called Mewtwo Strikes Back! but that's really it as far as new material goes. I hate the whole CG direction the film's going for (I don't want to sit through an hour and a half of Pokkén Tournament cutscene looking CG) but I guess this teaser more or less confirms that this is the direction we're going in, whether we like it or not.

For a while I had this theory that Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution was a movie made with Western audiences in mind. In a post I made on Bulbagarden way back on July 16th I talked about how the fact that this movie is coming out on the 20th anniversary of the English dub (as opposed to the 20th anniversary of the Japanese release), this movie being all in CG as opposed to traditional 2D animation, and the bilingual text in the teaser all pointing to this movie being made with American, not necessarily Japanese, audiences in mind. This new teaser starting off touting how great the first film did overseas is right in line with that theory. And then! The Pokémon Company International goes and retweets the Japanese trailer!

TPCI retweets the Japanese trailer

This is significant for a number of reasons. 1) TPCI is admitting that the Pokémon cartoon is Japanese, something they've been trying to avoid the last few decades or so. 2) This is the first time that most dub-only fans have had a chance to hear (what is probably) Masachika Ichimura as Mewtwo, so that's pretty great. And 3) TPCI never ever talks about new Pokémon movies until they're about ready to put out their English dub. The fact that the company is promoting a Pocket Monsters film that's still in production in Japan tells me that something different's going to happen with this movie.
Will this film's marketing have a ton of money thrown at it, the way Pokémon The First Movie did? Will we get a near simultaneous (or near simultaneous) release? Only time will tell!

We don't know what "The Year of Mewtwo" mentioned in the teaser will actually entail either but I imagine part of it will mean us getting a bunch of re-releases of older material mixed in with new TV specials or something like that.

No new cast or staff information was revealed, unfortunately. Takeshi Shudo is still being credited as the sole writer of this film, making it seem like (at the moment, anyway) that it's going to be a straight-up remake. Voice actor wise, Mewtwo sounds like Masachika Ichimura and Mew sounds like Kouichi Yamadera but at this stage nothing's been officially announced yet.

The official site also announced that it's posting (a truncated version of) the movie pamphlet that went with the original Mewtwo Strikes Back! movie from 1998. The pages from the pamphlet they posted doesn't have anything interesting in it at all - it's just a basic story synopsis for a 20 year old film - so you're not really missing out on anything if you can't read Japanese. There are some pre-Kanzenban screenshots used, however, so that's pretty cool! Oddly enough, the pamphlet will only be kept online until January 3rd so if you want to check it out you only have three days left.

Movie 1 Pamphlet

And that's really it this time around. We don't know when the next info dump will occur but I'll be sure to report it here as soon as we know any new details.

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