Reviews

Jan 14, 2016
literaturenerd (All reviews)
Overview:

It is time I take a short reprieve from reviewing actually acclaimed anime and go back to my little niche on this site, reviewing old CRAP!

Background:

The first Pokemon movie brings to the big screen what was easily the most interesting sub-plot of the 1st generation of pokemon games, the creation of Mewtwo. The game and anime adaptation leave many hints and clues that foreshadow events in the movie and built up anticipation. In the original games on Cinnebar Island, there is a building that is filled with documents about attempts to clone Mew and create an all powerful Pokemon for Team Rocket. Throughout the game, you run into Team Rocket committing various crimes that only make sense when you consider that their goal was controlling Mewtwo. The reason that Team Rocket invaded Silph Co? They wanted the master ball to capture Mewtwo. The reason they invaded Lavender Town and want a pare of goggles that allow people to see ghosts? They want to capture ghost pokemon, because ghosts are effective against psychic types like Mewtwo. When you finally capture Mewtwo in gen 1, he was the most unfairly OP Pokemon in any game of the franchise! Since Psychic type was already unfairly strong in gen 1, Mewtwo was basically unstoppable with the move Psychic able to 1-shot everything in the game! The anime even shows a preview of Mewtwo by having him beat the living shit out of Gary Motherfucking Oak! This is the guy that won 10 gym badges in Kanto and at age 10 had a team of cheerleaders and a corvette! By having Gary basically job to Mewtwo, this built up his status to insane levels of hype in the eyes of young anime fans, myself included!

Story:

SPOILERS!

I must first mention that there is a huge difference between the Japanese version and the English version brought to you by our friends at 4kids! The Japanese version features a 10 minute origin for Mewtwo that not only establishes his motives much more clearly, but even sets up the seemingly random and bullshit Pokemon crying scene at the movie's end. Not only that, but from an objective and purely artistic viewpoint...it is by FAR the best part of the entire movie! How did 4kids handle the scene? The motherfuckers cut it from the movie! They even dubbed it into English and had it all ready to go, but they left it out because...I guess because it was sad? I honestly have no idea.

A scientist is working for Team Rocket's leader Geovanni and attempting to create a more powerful clone of Mew that will be strong enough to conquer the world. However, the scientist is only interested in using some of the money Team Rocket has given him to try bring his deceased daughter back to life. As an inside reference to Japanese audiences, the scientist is drawn to look exactly like the scientist Tenma from the original Astro Boy, who was also trying to resurrect his child with science. Mewtwo communicates telepathically with the comatose clone girl and she tells him that he can talk unlike other Pokemon and stands equal with humans. She herself doesn't know if she is a human or Pokemon, but dismisses this question as ultimately irrelevant because all life is precious. However, the girl's body is unstable and she begins to dissolve. This is emotionally devastating to Mewtwo, but her last words to Mewtwo are begging him not to cry and instead to cherish life while he has it. She also mentions the power within the tears of Pokemon, since they are special creatures. The girl then tragically dies along with all the other attempts at making clone Pokemon, leaving Mewtwo completely isolated and filled with a deep sadness and loneliness.

Now to begin the story where the English version actually starts. Mewtwo is born in a lab and is disgusted that humans are treating him as a mere lab rat and experiment despite his intelligence being above theirs. Mewtwo kills all of the scientists in a rage, but then meets Geovanni, who initially offers a partnership and insinuates that he will treat Mewtwo as an equal. However, after showing a training montage of Mewtwo's time at Geovanni's Gym, it becomes apparant to Mewtwo that Geovanni isn't any better than the scientists. Mewtwo decides to blow up the gym and return to the island where he was born. Once back on the island, Mewtwo develops a nefarious scheme to capture the world's strongest pokemon and create an army of clones. Then he will wipe out all human life along with any pokemon that don't bow before him as the God of all Pokemon. The movie then cuts to our favorite complete loser Ash, who wins a trainer battle by 1-hitting a Donphan with a grass move and using a thunderbolt to defeat ground types. Yet after almost 20 years he can't even make it to the finals of the League Championship, let alone win! Ash receives an invitation by Mewtwo to go to his island since Mewtwo considered Ash a strong enough trainer to want clones of his pokemon. Wait, I thought Mewtwo was supposed to be intelligent! Without any hesitation and despite an ominous storm brewing, our idiot hero sets out to the island with Team Rocket, whom OF COURSE he somehow fails to recognize! Mewtwo makes clones of all the pokemanz and these clones battle against their natural born counterparts. Ash of course fails to stop Mewtwo, but after getting killed trying to stop Mewtwo from fighting Mew, the pokemon start crying and this brings Ash back to life. Mewtwo then realizes the folly of his ways and buggers off! Of course, Mewtwo decided to erase everyone's memories so that Ash will stay ignorant and never learn anything...EVER! The End

Art:

Although anime movies always look much better than series and especially longrunning series, I have to give the Pokemon Movie some credit. For 1998, this actually looked really good and even today this movie looks awesome compared to many anime airing in 2016. The entire movie looks WAY better than any episode of Dragonball Super!

Music:

Once again, there is a big difference between the Japanese OST and the 4kids version. Honestly, neither are amazing, but not bad either. The music definitely takes a backseat to the animation in this movie.

Overall:

Considering this was a children's movie based on a videogame and a rather mediocre anime, it actually wasn't too bad! The animation is excellent relative to other anime of its time, the battles are the most brutally intense of anything Pokemon has ever done, and the original Japanese version featured heart touching scene was actually sort of....good! The story borrows heavily from Frankenstein and although any level of profundity is blatantly stolen from there, that still isn't too bad considering this is Pokemon we are dealing with! I wish Digimon had the brains to borrow from classic Victorian Gothic literature instead of just being shit! If you are Pokemon fan, but perhaps grew up with Gen 4 and aren't old enough to remember this movie, I would actually recommend checking it out. You could certainly do worse.