The Strange Case of Mr. Fuji and Mewtwo
by, 17th September 2011 at 05:03 AM (11571 Views)
In anticipation of Junichi Masuda's announcement later today, I would like to discuss an aspect of the games rarely brought up by fans - the Mewtwo story. Clearly, many fans are under the belief that there is no story to speak of (you can find a typical example of this mindset here), but the Generation III games (FireRed, LeafGreen and Emerald) provide bits and pieces that at the very least indicate there is a story somewhere in Game Freak's hidden drawers. Considering the unprecedented focus on Mewtwo, it would not be a leap to suspect that its in-game story could very well be a subject of a future game, at least by way of a special event triggered by the promotional Mewtwo.
Now, at this point I would advise some caution: In-game events have for the most been disappointing to those us who appreciate a well-rounded story involving a mythical Pokémon. Over a year ago, I speculated that since Zoroark's event involved the legendary beasts, something would to have justify that choice; this prediction backfired pretty badly, and today it does not seem there is anything special about Zoroark. Now, the first special event, the GS Ball one, was mystifying to those observant enough to note that Celebi was not contained in the ball and yet the Ilex Forest became restless ("Did something happen to the forest's guardian?"); it provided a great deal of food for thought, but nothing has become of it so far. Later, the first few Generation III events had absolutely no exposition, so as intriguing as Birth Island and Navel Rock were (not so much Southern Island), it was clear that Game Freak hadn't thought them through. But then the Old Sea Map event came along and was similar to the GS Ball event not only in that was exclusive to Japan, but in that there was at least one line of text that fueled speculation - the message left by Mr. Fuji. In Generation IV, two events were devoid of a story (Regigigas and Shaymin's), one had a slight twist in Platinum (Darkrai's), and two others were dialogue-heavy (Arceus and Celebi's) but arguably focused on the wrong aspects. In Black and White, all three hidden events have exposition, but I would say the Keldeo event is the only one that has something worthwhile to offer other than a move or item.
So what makes me relatively confident that Mewtwo will have its story told? The fact that it not an event-exclusive Pokémon or a version mascot, and yet it is being made out to be a very big deal right now. It is also a good thing that this event is not related to an upcoming movie, because it means that if the event ends up being unremarkable, the entire promotion will have been a waste of time; so, using this logic, I'm rather optimistic that the event will be worthwhile. But that's enough meta talk; before I go on to discuss the theory, a review of the in-game evidence is required to avoid any misunderstandings:
Originally Posted by Red and GreenOriginally Posted by BlueOriginally Posted by Red and GreenOriginally Posted by Red and GreenOriginally Posted by Red and GreenOriginally Posted by FireRed and LeafGreenOriginally Posted by FireRed and LeafGreenOriginally Posted by FireRed and LeafGreenOriginally Posted by FireRed and LeafGreenOriginally Posted by EmeraldI doubt that I need to spell out the obvious: Mr. Fuji is Dr. Fuji - a scientist who founded the Pokémon Lab and lived in the Pokémon Mansion, who one day found Mew in Guyana (Faraway Island). Some months later, Mew gave birth to a child, which Fuji then took to his mansion. What may be less obvious is that Mew itself was most likely never taken to Cinnabar: Note that Mew gave birth on February 6th, and Fuji left Faraway Island on the 6th day of some month; chances are that this is not a coincidence, meaning that Fuji left the island with Mew's baby as soon as possible, and probably never left beforehand (otherwise Mew would not have given birth on the very day Fuji left it behind). What is more important to note is that Fuji showed genuine concern for Mew... Was there a legitimate reason for his concern? What about the newborn Mew?Originally Posted by HeartGold and SoulSilver
The heart of this theory lies in the fact that the reason for Mewtwo's apparent lack of heart is the cruel experimentation that was done on it, which is to say that it was not born the way it is today. As far as we know, the scientist who spliced Mewtwo's genes is responsible for Mewtwo's savage demeanor (this is even noted on the official website, so it's not just an obscure Pokédex entry). This is in contrast to the anime version of the story, where Dr. Fuji (who had no relation to Mr. Fuji) gave Mewtwo life, but made it so intelligent that Mewtwo rejected the notion that it was created to serve man; it did not appear that Mewtwo was abused in any way (not even when Giovanni came along, although this fueled Mewtwo's rage). So how is it that Mewtwo's life is the harshest in the version where one of the kindest people in the Pokémon world is the leading scientist? When Mr. Fuji hoped that only a kindhearted person would find Mew, did he look into himself wondering whether he was not such a person?
Of course, the simplest way to reconcile the gap between Dr. Fuji and Mr. Fuji is to assume that Team Rocket was involved and Fuji was forced to comply with their demands. This is not implied in the games; moreover, I would say that the opposite is implied:
This old guy marched right up to our hideout. Then, he starts ranting about how Team Rocket's abusing Pokémon. So, we're just talking it over as adults.Fuji does not seem like a weak person who would would inflict terrible pain on a newborn Pokémon out of fear for his own life. As evidenced from Faraway Island, he had a conscience before the experiment began, so I doubt that he would have done anything so vehemently cruel as what he did if he had been of the right mind. Since nothing ties Team Rocket to Mewtwo in the games, I see no reason to include them in this theory. So what could explain Fuji's dumbfounding actions?Heh? You came to save me? Thank you. But, I came here of my own free will. I came to calm the soul of Cubone's mother. I think Marowak's spirit has gone to the afterlife. I must thank you for your kind concern!
The answer I have in mind is found in the title of this article. Mr. Fuji and Dr. Fuji... Does that ring any bells? It should if you've read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If you have, you may take issue with the comparison, since Mr. Hyde is the heartless monster whereas Dr. Jekyll is the noble philanthropist. This reversal of roles, of course, is the kind of creative license that is right up Game Freak's alley; nothing about this is supposed to be obvious, or we would have had a clear answer 15 years ago. Now, what was the strange case of of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? In a nutshell, Dr. Jekyll created a potion that metamorphosed him into Mr. Hyde (a creature free of conscience), and he did so in attempt to separate his good side from his darker impulses. Slowly but gradually, the evil identity began to take over almost completely and rejoiced in the murder of others, and Jekyll's ability to change back from Hyde into himself vanished. Eventually, Mr. Hyde committed suicide, most likely having realized that he would be executed for his crimes. The truth of what happened was revealed through letters that Jekyll had written to his friend, Utterson; the last line read "I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end."
So what exactly am I implying here? That for whatever reason, Fuji was not himself after he returned from Faraway Island - his personality changed. "With this hope, I depart" is eeringly reminiscent of "I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end," and Fuji's journal entries can be seen as a nod to Jekyll's letters. Of course, Fuji described the transformation of Mewtwo, and his limited dialogue in the games does not imply that there was ever something wrong with him. But there had to have been a change in his own character, or the experiment would have never gone so far. Why, then, is there no remnant of Fuji's dark persona? Possibly because the malevolence was completely transferred to Mewtwo, which is to say that there is more to Mewtwo's evil than its hatred of Fuji. In fact, considering that Mr. Fuji is alive and well and Mewtwo lives a life of solitude, there may be a part of Mewtwo that realizes that it is inextricably linked to the cause of its own misery, whereas Fuji is now free to be the kind person he really is. The research team that were unlucky to look for the legendary birds in Cerulean Cave most likely met their demise (through no fault of their own), but Kanto's general population do not know Mewtwo exists. I suspect that Red did not handle his encounter with Mewtwo all too well (which probably resulted in the cave's collapse), but that is neither here nor there right now.
The Source of Malevolence
It is tempting to say that like in the novel, the evil within Fuji was born of his attempt to separate the good and bad elements within him. However, in the Pokémon world pure-hearted people do seem to exist (the player characters), and I wouldn't expect Game Freak to suggest that there is no such thing as a pure heart. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a criticism of Victorian society; I doubt that Game Freak are presumptuous enough to tell us that there is something ugly about ourselves (although they would be right). Considering that Mew revealed itself to Fuji, it is reasonable to say that he was wholly good from the start, but something changed that made Fuji lose control over his actions. What happened?
Fuji and his crew stayed with Mew in Faraway Island for almost seven months. Leaving aside the question of how Mew became pregnant, seven months is a long time for them to stay out in the middle of a jungle. Is the story of Mewtwo's birth really that of science? I somehow doubt that there were two Mew that mated, or that Fuji found an artificial way to impregnate Mew. Like it or not, there is no evidence that Pokémon reproduction works that way; since Generation II, Game Freak have gone out of their way to tell us that there is something supernatural about Pokémon eggs, and it could be argued that we saw proof of that in the Sinjoh Ruins event (not just for Arceus, but in general). Now in Generation V, we have a legend stating that the original dragon was somehow born in the Dragonspiral Tower... How did that happen? And regardless of the exact connection between Kyurem and the original dragon, what made Kyurem be a terrifying monster that is alleged to eat people and Pokémon? It was probably not born that way, much like Mewtwo started out its life as a Mew.
Mewtwo is the only Pokémon said to be inherently ferocious. Where did its evil come from? It is easy to say that Mewtwo's vicious tendencies are simply a result of human involvement, but if that is the case, Game Freak shot themselves in the foot by making Mr. Fuji be Mewtwo's creator of all people. It is hard for me to say what the reason for Fuji's temporary transformation was, but I suspect that in a case as extreme as this one, Game Freak would rather delve in the supernatural than appeal to psychology. That is, if they plan to explain it at all.
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