Shadow BallsAnime & More

After the success of the Pokémon games, lots of additional media was created to expand the Pokémon universe. Of course, as fan-favorite Legendary Pokémon, Mew and Mewtwo received a lot of focus, getting developed as characters and having their backstories fleshed out. For a lot of fans, it was through these side stories that Mew and Mewtwo earned places in their hearts.

Mewtwo Strikes Back

Mewtwo Strikes Back Japanese Program

Mewtwo Strikes Back came out in 1998 as the first movie of the Pokémon anime. It is an unexpectedly intense movie, exploring what it might be like to wake up and be told you are nothing more than a science experiment, and that, philosophically speaking, you should not even exist. Mewtwo, created as an enhanced clone of the thought-to-be-extinct Mew, frees himself from those who wished to control him for his power, and he sets out to get his revenge against humanity and to prove himself against the source of his DNA. By the end of the movie, Mewtwo decides to give up on his grand plans and simply live his life, no longer with any need to prove his right to exist.

Mewtwo's Origin

Birth of Mewtwo cover

And yet the theatrical version of Mewtwo Strikes Back is not the full story. Different prequels were made to accompany the movie and shed more light on the events leading up to Mewtwo's birth. Complicating things, each of the three prequel stories have major plot differences. And, unfortunately, this is the more obscure part of Mewtwo's story, as most of these are Japanese-exclusive (or hidden away as belated bonus content).

Mewtwo Returns

Mewtwo Returns cover

On December 30, 2000, a special episode of the Pokémon anime aired in Japan, which is a sequel to Mewtwo Strikes Back. It is called Mewtwo Returns, and, thankfully, is a pretty straight-forward extension to the story without multiple conflicting versions or three secret beginnings. After Mewtwo and his fellow clones find a safe haven, Mewtwo must come to terms with the fact that he is a clone, but that he also has a place in the world and the free will to find his own purpose. This movie also fills in the plot-hole of Giovanni still remembering that Mewtwo exists and surely would still like to control his expensive and ultra-powerful pet-project.

Lucario and the Mystery of Mew

Lucario poster

This is a movie that has nothing to do with the Mewtwo Saga. Mewtwo is not in it at all - Mew is, but it is not the same individual as the Mew from Mewtwo Strikes Back, and its role in the movie is only slightly more than a cameo appearance. This movie has almost no relevance to what we are celebrating here on Copy Cat at all, but we thought it would be relevant before we saw it. And we thought we should therefore include it here.

  • Pokémon Movie Review: The Lucario movie, a review on Rosy's and my blog, Staircase Spirit. This is an extremely extensive review, and we think we covered pretty much everything we would want to say about this movie, at least for now.
  • The Tree of Beginning, a discussion of the phylogenetic tree that appears in the introduction to the movie and as a physical location in the plot of the movie itself.

Other Anime


These are other things about the anime that are either relevant to all of the above or none of the above.

  • Voice Acting
  • Opening Theme Songs, a brief chance to look really cool!
  • The Armored Episodes, Giovanni's mysterious armored Pokémon heavily foreshadows Mewtwo Strikes Back
  • Episode Cameo Grab-bag, less consequential anime episode cameos
  • Ancient Mew, the Second Pokémon film's notorious product placement!
  • Movie Cameo Grab-bag, so we may recall all the Legendary Pokémon that Ash has met before...
  • Possibly some day in the future, I will add something for the Mirage Pokemon Episode, the Genesect Movie, and Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution, but not yet.