‘Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution’ Trailer Released, Analysis and Observations!

The first trailer for Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution has just been released in Japan!

The movie will be entirely in CGI (like a Pixar movie), as reported over the past few months. It’ll premiere July 12th in Japan.

Mewtwo is undoubtedly voiced by Masachika Ichimura, the voice actor from the first movie.

The movie is expected to borrow heavily from the original 1998 movie, as Takeshi Shudo is credited as a writer. He wrote the first three Pokemon movies on his own before leaving Pokemon in 2002. He passed away in 2010.

I believe the reason the Genesect movie used a different Mewtwo, was, in part, so they would not have to credit Shudo or pay his estate. Writer’s guild rules in the entertainment industry are powerful, protective, and can be quite complicated (especially here in America). Crediting him this time means they went through the legal necessities of using the story and characters he originally penned. For the Genesect movie it probably wasn’t important for them to do that, so they (legally) distanced their Mewtwo from Shudo’s Mewtwo by basing its backstory on the games and making it female (as in to say, “It’s a different character based on the original source!”).

Pokemon also uploaded the original Mewtwo Strikes Back pamphlet and said it’ll be available for “three days only.” The three day restriction is either because they want to create hype, or there’s some kind of rights restriction imposing that time limit on them.

The poster for Evolution was also revealed, though it actually leaked on the Internet last Friday. The official movie distributor for Pokemon, TOHO, issued DMCA takedown notices to those who posted it, which is why I didn’t bother uploading it.

Pokemon’s Twitter is also advertising 2019 as “The Year of Mewtwo.” We’re expecting Mew and Mewtwo to appear in Detective Pikachu in some form because they were mentioned in a summary for a graphic novel of the movie, plus Mewtwo is involved in the original game. Evolution might thus be a “tie in” with Detective Pikachu. Perhaps new fans will watch Detective Pikachu in May, see Mewtwo, and then in July they’ll learn of Mewtwo’s backstory when they see this revival?

It seems Pokemon is truly experimenting with their movies since 2016’s I Choose You. That movie created its own alternate timeline and retold, in part, the first episode of the TV show. Then The Power of Us used a new animation studio to create a new visual style for the movies and continued the alternate timeline. And now we have this retelling of the first movie in pure CGI. Pokemon is clearly loosening the reigns on their anime both visually and narratively. I wonder if it’s because of Detective Pikachu?