Mewtwo: No pronouns.
Mewtwo: Do not refer to me ever.
Mewtwo learns valuable things from Becca, the ten year old hybrid child it took in…like what on Arceus’ great green Earth a “wet willie” is.
I dunno if I’ll finish it but I had to post it so here it is. For those who wanted to see Becca and Mewtwo in more humorous situations, which are honestly my favorite to put them into.
What is mewtwos mbti? INTJ? Why?
Hmm, while personality typing is fun, I give as much credit to those tests as I give to horoscopes, when it comes to encompassing the whole of who someone is. People are so contradictory that while many parts of a type might match them, just as many others don’t. That being said, I’ll take a stab at this, since characters are easier to shoehorn into a type.
As a note, I will be referring to Mewtwo with male pronouns here, since I’m basing this reading on the original two movies, where that seems to have been Mewtwo’s suggested gender. “Detective Pikachu” suggests that its Mewtwo goes by they/them pronouns, but whether you think that is the same Mewtwo as in the anime-universe is up to you.
So let’s start with the distinctions established on the Myers & Briggs Foundation website:
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Mewtwo is a brooding character. He questions who he is, what role he’s supposed to play in the world, and whether he even belongs in that world, given the circumstances of his birth. He only wants to interact with and change the world in the first movie, because he feels like the world is a horrible place and will never accept him (with Doctor Fuji, Sakaki, and Mew confirming this idea). Afterwards, he’s content to remain in isolation, watching the world but not getting involved with it. So Introversion fits.
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
Mewtwo wants to understand his purpose in the world, but rejects the cold hard facts about why he was made: to further scientific research and to earn the one who commissioned him more power and wealth. He thinks that there must be more to his existence. He also goes on tangents about how he should live his life as a clone (in the moonlight) and wonders about fate at points. So Intuition fits better than Sensing, I’d say.
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
This may be slightly controversial of me to say, but I think the idea of Mewtwo being a logical, objective, and strategic thinker is fanon rather than canon. It’s fun to write, but inaccurate. Mewtwo is ruled by his emotions and spends the entire first movie seeking validation from people who see him as inferior–Doctor Fuji, Sakaki, and Mew. It’s only when Satoshi says “Your life has value” through his actions that Mewtwo’s anger wanes. So Mewtwo is absolutely a Feeling and not a Thinking person.
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
This is harder for me to call, given that Mewtwo doesn’t like interacting with the outside world if he can help it. My inclination is to say that Mewtwo is a Judging personality, though, given how quickly he decides that genocide is the only option after Doctor Fuji and Sakaki betray him. Despite observing the relationships between several trainers and their pokemon for at least a month before sending out his invitations, and despite the arguments of the trainers who make it to his island, he doesn’t budge in his course of action. Only Satoshi sacrificing himself to stop the fighting broke through to Mewtwo. And even then, despite Satoshi showing Mewtwo that the clones’ lives had value, Mewtwo continued to struggle with his feelings of inferiority through his second movie. So he seems more like someone who decides on a course of action, runs with it until it either works out for him or hurts him, and struggles when people try to offer him different perspectives. While this is something that he seems to be growing past by the end of the second movie–letting Satoshi and the others keep their memories, and letting his fellow clones leave the nest–I don’t know that waiting until he has all of the information before making a decision is ever something he would naturally or easily do. So I’m calling Judging over Perceiving here.
Which makes Mewtwo, at least as I’m interpreting him, an INFJ! Let’s see how the Myers & Briggs website sums that up!
INFJ: Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.
That sounds right to me. Glancing through some other sites, this type tends to be called the “Advocate” or the “Protector” and can be “Assertive” or “Turbulent.” Suffice to say that I think Turbulent is a better fit for him, given his insecurities, his pessimism, how hard disappointments in his life hit him, and his need to have other people in his life (given that he created other clones so he wouldn’t be alone). That isn’t to say that Assertive wouldn’t work for him in some ways, but I think to shift over to that sub-type, he would need to build up his confidence in himself, rather than in his abilities.
More timeline Qs for fellow Mewtwo fanatics:
How long do you think he was with Giovanni? How long do you think between escaping Giovanni and Luring the trainers to New Island?
I’m just echoing what everyone else has already said: I’m not sure how long Mewtwo was with Gio, but I think canon (the movie’s novelization, anyway) says a year passes between the time Mewtwo blows up Team Rocket HQ and Ash gets his invitation to New Island. This also means that over a year has gone by between Mewtwo crushing Gary Oak at Viridian Gym and Ash receiving the invitation. I mention this last part because it’s the first time Ash gets a hint at Mewtwo’s existence.
Personally I find one year to be a bit short for Mewtwo to learn how to clone Pokemon (and do it better than his creators), rebuild the lab, construct his hell-palace, invent a Pokeball that’s possibly more powerful than any other ball on the market (and produce dozens of them), kidnap and brainwash a nurse, train some Kanto starters and clone their highest evolved forms, and–finally–locate, assess and invite the Trainers he wants to challenge.
But then again, he IS a genius and super powerful. Perhaps this all could be feasible for him to accomplish in a year. Not to mention his plan has a few holes in it and his goals are fairly convoluted, which I suppose could be attributed to his young age and rushed planning. :)
Because you really wanted to read a needlessly long essay about three Pokemon episodes that premiered over two decades ago, right…?
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Mewtwo Strikes Back, I’ve decided to do a little retrospective on the ‘Mewtwo Episodes’ that were supposed to air during the weeks before its showing: Battle of the Badge, It’s Mr. Mime Time, and Showdown at the Po-ke Corral. Specifically, I’m rambling about how these episodes served as a backdrop for the development of Mewtwo’s character. Japanese fans were also treated to the radio drama, The Birth of Mewtwo, that aired during the 5 weeks preceding the movie’s debut on July 18, 1998, but unfortunately it was never officially released outside of Japan. You can read a wonderful synopsis by mewmewtwo here and you can view piraticoctopus’ fantastic fan translation in English here.
First, some background info for context: Originally, Mewtwo Strikes Back was supposed to open with Ash battling that pirate Trainer (you know, this guy), with Badge, Mr. Mime, and Showdown acting as the sole intro to Mewtwo’s character.* However, Episode 38 Electric Soldier Porygon caused the show to go on a four-month hiatus due to causing “adverse health effects” in its young viewers. The interrupted schedule meant that the ‘Mewtwo Episodes’ would air after the movie’s premier in Japan. So, the show runners came up with the 20-minute beginning of Mewtwo Strikes Back to better explain Mewtwo’s backstory.
So how do these episodes set up Mewtwo’s motivations and character?
Disclaimer: I’ll be using the English dub of the TV show for these episode synopses. I realize that they’re quite different from the original Japanese, but they’re what I have on hand! Also, if it isn’t already obvious, this writing refers to the Mewtwo that appears in the anime-verse, including Mewtwo Strikes Back and Mewtwo Returns.
In Episode 63: The Battle of the Badge, Gary Oak is defeated by Giovanni at the Viridian Gym when he uses an immensely powerful but unknown Pokemon: Mewtwo, disguised in his power-suppressing armor. Ash stumbles upon the aftermath of the battle, where he finds Gary and his entourage unconscious. Upon waking, Gary tells him that there was something different about this Pokemon he fought, something not right: “This Pokemon’s not just powerful, it’s evil.”
“There can’t be an evil Pokemon…” Ash responds uncertainly.
Thus the audience is posed with the question: can a Pokemon be inherently evil? Why would a Pokemon do something like this? Knocking out a bunch of kids…? The next two episodes seek to explore this and related topics in order to give context to Mewtwo’s character.
Episode 64: It’s Mr. Mime Time gives us an example of how bad training practices on the part of the human can make a Pokemon act badly. Stella the Circus Ringmaster can’t get her Mr. Mime to perform their act anymore.
“I wanted it to be perfect so I trained it hard, night and day…now it won’t listen to me at all. …But now I have a way to get Mr. Mime to perform again. I’ll just get another one to be its competition.”
–Stella, to Ash, Misty & Brock outside of Mr. Mime’s trailer; It’s Mr. Mime Time
Stella disguises Ash as a Mr. Mime and trains him to do its act. In doing so, it becomes apparent that Stella is a taskmaster and uses intimidation to force her Pokemon to do what she wants. In this way, she serves as an example of how Pokemon will often behave in bad ways due to abusive training. Compare this to how Giovanni’s “training” practices contribute to Mewtwo abandoning him. Forcing Mewtwo to use the restrictive armor, having him catch multitudes of Pokemon for Team Rocket, making him fight in the Viridian Gym, then sit for long periods of time in his holding cell, etc. eventually cause Mewtwo to resent him and the rest of humanity. (This is something he ponders over much more in the radio drama than in the film – I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.)
Similarly, Stella attempts to use jealousy and competition as a means to motivate her Mr. Mime. Compare this to how Giovanni uses Mewtwo’s jealousy of Mew to manipulate him for his own purposes:
“Surely you may be the rarest and the world’s strongest Pokemon. Show proof of that, and the real Mew won’t ignore you. …We’ll start by catching Pokemon. Then we’ll know your true strength as well. …You’ll become an existence that will surpass Mew. Then you’ll be the best Pokemon in the world.”
–Giovanni to Mewtwo, Ch. 4 of The Birth of Mewtwo radio drama
Mewtwo is driven to think that he must be the strongest creature in existence – even more powerful than Mew – in order to fulfill what he perceives to be his true purpose. Only then will he feel he deserves to be alive. Giovanni knows this and uses Mewtwo’s insecurity to his advantage.
In Episode 65: Showdown at the Po-ke Corral, Professor Oak shows Ash, Gary and company what he does as a researcher, all while Ash and Gary compete to prove that they are the better Trainer. Through Professor Oak, though, Ash, Gary and their friends learn what it means to be a good person in relation to Pokemon:
“Pokemon are special, and they need our special care. Just like every other living creature, they deserve our consideration and our respect. If we care for them the way we care for those we love, we’ll be able to live in peace, as we learn about them and ourselves. …My research has taught me that we need to deal with Pokemon like we need to deal with people: as individuals, if we want to discover their mysteries.
–Professor Oak, while talking to Gary, Ash, Misty & Brock in his lab about his daily research routine; Showdown at the Po-ke Corral
This gets at the core of Mewtwo’s conflict that will be explored in the movie: created as a creature with incredible power and massive intellect, Mewtwo is caught between what it means to be a human being and a Pokemon in a world where the latter are often treated as chattel. As a Pokemon, he is a tool to advance the agendas of men. He is not treated as a living being worthy of care by the scientists who created him, he is not given the respect an equal partner would receive in Giovanni’s organization, and he lives in a world that makes sport out of battling his own kind. With this statement, Professor Oak sets up the injustices Mewtwo will face in the beginning of the film. It is fitting, then, that it’s during the course of this episode that Giovanni (off-screen) outright admits to Mewtwo that he exists to serve humans.
“You were created to fight for me. That is your purpose. …You were created by humans to obey humans. You could never be our equal.”
–Giovanni, while speaking to Mewtwo in Team Rocket’s headquarters, minutes before the latter destroys it; Mewtwo Strikes Back
Giovanni does not respect Pokemon as individuals. For men like him, Pokemon are tools for profit and war. As in Mr. Mime Time, Showdown insinuates that Pokemon act badly when humans do not treat them with dignity.
Finally, Showdown addresses the original question posed in The Battle of the Badge: can a Pokemon be evil?
Is Mewtwo, by nature, evil?
“When Pokemon live in an environment like the one they were born in, it’s easier to observe how they are affected by their Trainers. …Pokemon frequently take on the characteristics of the humans who capture them. …Of course, this effect only occurs when a Trainer keeps in regular contact with his or her Pokemon.”
–Professor Oak, while talking to Gary, Ash, Misty & Brock in his corral about his newest findings; Showdown at the Po-ke Corral
According to Professor Oak, then, Pokemon are not evil by nature, just as Ash insisted at Viridian Gym. Like human beings, they are products of their environment and the people who associate with them. Giovanni, for instance, has Mewtwo perform many criminal acts for Team Rocket and in the process nurses his insecurity, which in turn causes Mewtwo to develop a severe inferiority and superiority complex. He teaches Mewtwo that the point of life is to “fight, destroy, and plunder. The strong win.” (The Birth of Mewtwo radio drama, Chapter 4). Even after Mewtwo ditches Giovanni in a rage, he maintains this attitude and redirects it towards humanity as a whole. In executing his plot on New Island, Mewtwo exhibits many of Giovanni’s characteristics, such as an insane sense of preparedness, arrogance, cruelty, and paranoia. He may not have been captured in a Pokeball, but Mewtwo takes on Giovanni’s personality traits through his time spent with him nonetheless. Luckily, as Professor Oak points out, these characteristics only last as long as a Trainer keeps in regular contact with the Pokemon: Mewtwo, fortunately, escapes Giovanni for a time. Like any human youth, Mewtwo is capable of outgrowing the worst of these traits with time and experience.**
The proper care of Pokemon is touched on in just about every other episode of the series, but I feel like these three stories were important back in 1998 in serving as a foundation for understanding Mewtwo’s motivations and character. Despite whatever Pokedex entries state about Mewtwo, he isn’t born – or rather, created – completely and irrevocably evil, but transforms into the monster that eventually lashes out against the world due to a series of horrible experiences with humanity. This isn’t to excuse or pardon his crimes, of course – he still makes many mistakes of his own volition, and he does have free will – but is to instead give context to what he becomes.∎
Thank you for reading my incredibly long and nonsensical ramblings! If you made it this far, you deserve a truckload of Pokepuffs. I hope you enjoyed reading, and hopefully I’ll be posting more Mewtwo-related garbage to celebrate this crazy murder-cat’s movie anniversary in the future. :)
*You can still see remnants of this story structure in the movie. It makes the Rocket Trio’s exploration of Mewtwo’s palace make more sense, as the audience was originally supposed to be learning alongside them who this Mewtwo guy was and how he got there. Adding the 20-minute beginning, however, makes this B plot a tad redundant.
**See: Mewtwo Returns (2000). In the sequel (in all language versions), Mewtwo is no longer the cruel, raging tyrant he was on New Island, though he still retains some of the paranoia and standoffish-ness he developed early on.