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Rosalyn Lim 林惠美

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) Poster

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) at a glance

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) is an anime film directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. It is the first theatrical film of Pokémon franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri. Extremely popular, it used to be the highest grossing anime film and film based on video game for a few years, grossing USD 163,644,662 worldwide.

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) Trailer

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) Synopsis

The adventure explodes into action with the debut of Mewtwo, a bio-engineered Pokémon created from the DNA of Mew, the rarest of all Pokémon. Determined to prove its superiority, Mewtwo lures Ash, Pikachu and the others into a Pokémon match like none before. Mewtwo vs. Mew. Super clones vs. Pokémon. It's the ultimate showdown... with the very future of the world at stake!

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) Review

Mewtwo's Eyes.
Mewtwo's Eyes.

Before I proceed with my review, I would like to express that I am quite surprised to find many reviews on this movie (in English) are hate articles. I won't deny that there are plenty of space for improvement but it's not fair to bash the whole phenomenon or franchise and criticise the audience (especially children) in a movie review. Not going to say much about this but everyone is entitled to like what they like.

Invitation to New Island.
Invitation to New Island.

Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) is Pokémon's first animated feature. Ever since the first time I saw it in Cantonese or Japanese dub as a child, I have been watching and anticipating the movies every year and I believe I would still do so for many years to come!

While I can't accurately confirm which version, I am pretty sure that the animated feature has sparked my genuine love and interest towards Pokémon to the extent that I began watching the TV anime and playing the games during my childhood. And now? I am leisurely collecting plushies of my favorite Pokémon and if I have my own 3ds, I think most likely I will play it all day and night for several weeks.

Run, Pikachu!
Run, Pikachu!

This animated feature sure does has its great influence and its impact.

However, is it good?

I still remember some of the scenes from this animated feature by memory but I have long forgotten the story of Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998). Watching this animated feature again but a decade later and in English dub, surprisingly, it is still entertaining to watch due to its everlasting charm; the charm that has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world!

Brock, Misty and Ash with their Pokémon undersea.
Brock, Misty and Ash with their Pokémon undersea.

In terms of cinematography, it is okay I guess but there are several minor yet highly avoidable errors in color correction and script that I have noticed, at least in the older English dubbed version which I have recently rewatched. Those errors shouldn't have been there, it affects the overall experience of the animated feature as well as potentially reducing its maximum appeal.

The unique characters (or creatures) and the bond between the endearing characters are what stands out most in this animated feature, which is impressive. Unfortunately, it may be confusing for those who have zero clue about Pokémon as the script is quite dull in some parts.


It feels like there is missing vital backstory as if there are more story to it as a whole; which is in fact true, the animated feature does have a short prologue titled The Birth of Mewtwo and the featured Pokémon Mewtwo still is a significant Pokémon after generations; being the first Mega Evolved Pokémon with two forms in generation six anime Pokémon XY series in addition to also having two other sequel films featuring it. Only time will reveal everything about Mewtwo!

Togepi crying in Pikachu's Vacation.
Togepi crying in Pikachu's Vacation.

Ending this post, Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) is about selfishness, hatred, loneliness, innocence, friendship and its adorable Pokémon even if watched without the short prologue, Pikachu short or any clue at all. I loved the first half of the animated feature but I won't hide that I do get annoyed at some points towards the end. But all the adorable Pokémon expressions melted me so meh, I forgive the annoyance inflicted on me.

Should you give this animated feature a chance? Yes. It's the beginning of Pokémon anime movies and it is its appeal that makes it successful. Sure, it does have its own imperfections but it certainly is a breakthrough for the Pokémon Universe. Give it a chance if you have the time. It won't disappoint especially if you loved everything about Pokémon and want to know more about Pokémon.

Watch the original Japanese version, okay?

Who will like this?

Pokémon fans especially those who liked the first generation more and the legendaries such as Mew and Mewtwo!!

Pokémon Movie Marathon

The Power of One (1999)
Spell of the Unown (2000)
Mewtwo Returns (2000)
Celebi: Voice of the Forest (2001)
The Legend of Thunder! (2001)
Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias (2002)
Jirachi: Wish Maker (2003)
Destiny Deoxys (2004)
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (2005)
The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon (2006)
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (2006)
The Rise of Darkrai (2007)
Giratina and the Sky Warrior (2008)
Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009)
Zoroark: Master of Illusions (2010)
Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram (2011)
Pokémon the Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom (2011)
Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice (2012)
Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013)
Pokémon Origins (2013)
Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014)
Pokémon the Movie XY (2015)

Details of the movie

Director: Kunihiko Yuyama
Producer: Choji Yoshikawa, Tomoyuki Igarashi, Takemoto Mori
Story: Satoshi Tajiri
Screenplay: Takeshi Shudō
Cinematography: Hisao Shirai
Music: Shinji Miyazaki, Hirokazu Tanaka
Studio: OLM, Inc.
Starring: Rica Matsumoto, Ikue Ōtani, Mayumi Iizuka, Yūji Ueda, Satomi Kōrogi, Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki, Inuko Inuyama, Masachika Ichimura, Kōichi Yamadera
Full Credit: [IMDb]
Distributor: Toho, Warner Bros.
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese, English
Genre: Action Adventure Family Sci-Fi
Running time: 85 mins
Budget: USD 3,000,000 est.
Box office: USD 163,644,662 est.

Official website(s)

Original post from Rosalyn's Blog.
This article is a part of Rosalyn's Animated Movie Marathon.
Rosalyn can be contacted via email and facebook.

Stay tuned for more animated features!!!


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