Pokemon Director Reveals Anime's 3-D CG Fears

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution has been a controversial topic since it was revealed that the entire film would be animated using 3-D computer graphics rather than the traditional 2-D animation style that his been the franchise's staple since it's start in 1997. At the recent Anime Expo convention, we were able to sit down with the director of the upcoming re-interpretation of the first Pokemon film, Kunihiko Yuyama, to discuss how he felt about the new style of animation and how it made him extremely nervous to release it into the world.

Kunihiko Yuyama has had an amazing breadth of experience with the franchise of Pokemon, directing over a dozen of the films themselves. He had this to say about the use of computer graphics for the new film: "So this is actually one of over 20 Pokemon films. However, this is first time we have done full 3D computer generated animation. And so even though we've done over 20 Pokemon movies, it feels like this is the first time. And I was so worried that this was just going to be a flop and that people weren't going to like it. And I want to ask you, “Did you like it?”

Mewtwo Strikes
(Photo: OLM Inc)

The story that takes place in Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution follows the cloned pocket monster of Mewtwo as he finds himself under the thrall of Team Rocket and its leader Giovanni. First coming into conflict against Ash Ketchum, Mewtwo eventually manages to free itself and attempts to take down the villainous organization while simultaneously creating a new world for the other cloned Pokemon that Giovanni had a hand in creating.

The upcoming film is pretty much a scene for scene recreation of its predecessor of the first Pokemon film, though it does manage to slip in a few new scenes and characters that make it worth checking out if you're looking for new material.

Some anime has moved toward using 3-D computer graphics to varying effect, with some outputs managing to do amazing things with the medium and others falling a bit short (we're looking at you Berserk!)


How do you feel about the upcoming different animation style that is being used in Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Pokemon!

Pokemon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution officially released on July 12th in Japan. The film is directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonari Sakakibara, with a screenplay written by Takeshi Shudo. There was a hint that the film would be a complete CG remake of the original Mewtwo Strikes Back film, but that was not confirmed until the first audiences saw it for themselves during its world premiere at Anime Expo 2019 earlier last month.