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FANG-TAN

For those who are unaware that Mewtwo's original voice in Japanese was male

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Here's a comparison I made of the original Mewtwo voice (Masachika Ichimura) and the new Mewtwo voice from the Movie 16 trailer (Reiko Takashima), just to show how absolutely jarring it is to people who have followed the Japanese version.



And here's audio clips from the Mewtwo Returns special. Ichimura-san reprises his role as Mewtwo in the special episode and Super Smash Bros. Melee, and delivers a perfectly good and softened Mewtwo voice for the former. So to people who say they changed his voice to give him a more friendlier approach, I call BS.



If it's the same Mewtwo with a different voice explained with or without an asspull, contrived off-screen explanation... terrible decision. If it's a different Mewtwo and ruins established canon... also a terrible decision.

There's absolutely no reason they couldn't have used Ichimura-san's Mewtwo again for Movie 16. Any disasters like those could have been avoided if they have done that, and I could have looked forward to the movie as I originally did. Mewtwo is one of my favorite characters in the anime, and I'm honestly scared about how they'll handle this.

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Updated 21st June 2013 at 12:54 PM by FANG-TAN

Categories
Pokemon Anime , Ichimura Mewtwo

Comments

  1. Silktree's Avatar
    If it's the same Mewtwo with a different voice explained with or without an asspull, contrived off-screen explanation... terrible decision. If it's a different Mewtwo and ruins established canon... also a terrible decision.
    The question is which decision would be more terrible. That would be the latter as far as I'm concerned.

    While I'm tired of justifying the new voice, I do think that the latest interview sheds light on the decision:

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuyama
    Since Mewtwo was the Pokémon to appear in the first movie, all the staff, including myself, have an emotional attachment to this Pokémon. Mewtwo seems to overlook all the other Pokémon, so there's an image as if it's in a much higher place. In this work, I wanted Mewtwo to create a new image, so this production advances it.
    Do you really think that Yuyama would say how attached he is to the original Mewtwo if this were a different character? Also, I would have to agree with Yuyama that Mewtwo was a loner even in Mewtwo Returns despite having softened.
    Updated 5th May 2013 at 02:18 PM by Silktree
  2. Trainer Gabriel's Avatar
    What if it's a different Mewtwo that DOESN'T ruin established canon?
  3. John Understands's Avatar
    it may not be the same mewtwo

    but its really jarring
  4. Utsune's Avatar
    I'm hoping it's a different Mewtwo, too (which is a bit ridiculous 'cos there is one and only one Mewtwo in my heart.) The original Mewtwo is too badass for any of the form changing stuff..... but actually the Awakening thing is ok fine, but the new look is downright weird.

    Come to think about it, why did they choose a female voice for Mewtwo anyway? Not going for Ichimura-san doesn't mean they can't go for another voice actor, but instead they went for a voice actress. If they'd gone for a pitch half-way between Ichimura-san and Takasima-san it might have been fine for me, too, but the jump in reality is just way too much.
  5. Silktree's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer Gabriel
    What if it's a different Mewtwo that DOESN'T ruin established canon?
    That's hardly very feasible, as they'd have to delve into the backstory just to come up with a forced explanation. So far they haven't done anything but reference the original Mewtwo.
  6. Trainer Gabriel's Avatar
    ...I don't see how giving a backstory for a different Mewtwo would automatically be forced just because it would be the second of what was a one-of-a-kind species. I'm sure there would be a lot more thought put into a minor plot point such as that, certainly moreso for a movie than some episode from the main series. A simple new recreation by Team Rocket or Team Plasma from Mew's DNA would be enough to suffice.

    But I don't wish to get into what I know will just be a pointless debate, so I will leave it at that and see what happens in the movie.
    Updated 5th May 2013 at 09:42 PM by Trainer Gabriel
  7. Silktree's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer Gabriel
    A simple new recreation by Team Rocket or Team Plasma from Mew's DNA would be enough to suffice.
    There is absolutely no reason to think that Team Plasma have anything to do with Mewtwo. Episode N only alluded to their connection to Genesect, and by now they've been disbanded. As for Team Rocket, their memories of Mewtwo were wiped out in Mewtwo Returns, and Mewtwo's data had been previously erased in Movie 1. Simply cloning Mew again (a feat in itself) wouldn't suffice to replicate Mewtwo's unique genetic code.

    You should also note that the movie premiere is only two months away and yet there is no sign of a new backstory, and I think it's safe to assume that the focus is going to be on Mewtwo's awakening as opposed to its past. In contrast, Genesect's connection to Team Plasma was strongly alluded to in Episode N and was explained in the Project G trailer that was released in February.
    Updated 6th May 2013 at 01:37 AM by Silktree
  8. FANG-TAN's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Silktree
    The question is which decision would be more terrible. That would be the latter as far as I'm concerned.
    Both decisions are equally terrible to me, since they're needlessly tampering with something that doesn't need to be tampered. This could have easily been the Ichimura Mewtwo, confirmed to be the same Mewtwo, and everything would have been fine and dandy.

    Note that Mewtwo, in terms of the anime, is my favorite character, and him either receiving a new voice or being replaced by another Mewtwo entirely is a big thing for me.

    Do you really think that Yuyama would say how attached he is to the original Mewtwo if this were a different character?
    There's a possibility he was referring to Mewtwo as the species of Pokemon rather than the character, though I'm not pushing it since I'm on the fence whether it's the same Mewtwo or not.

    Also, I would have to agree with Yuyama that Mewtwo was a loner even in Mewtwo Returns despite having softened.
    Ichimura-san's performance in Mewtwo Returns clearly shows he's capable of performing an enlightened and heroic Mewtwo, though. Towards the end, he voiced him with the desire to protect and NAILED the performance perfectly.

    I mean, Ichimura voiced Mewtwo as a vengeful antagonist, and then as the loner ally. Why couldn't he voice the end result of Mewtwo's travels and development? If it's the same character, then there's no reason to give it a different voice just because "look, it's Mewtwo and he can do it! Look, it's totally changed, see?! It's character development, end of". It's bad writing and makes no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer Gabriel
    What if it's a different Mewtwo that DOESN'T ruin established canon?
    Not likely. Mewtwo in the anime was a project only known to the Rocket Gang and Dr. Fuji's team of scientists. The latter was killed, and the former had their memories wiped of the experiment.

    They're going to have to come up with a lot of asspulls for it to be a different Mewtwo. There's no way to explain this without plotholes and BS canon-screwing. Not to say that they won't be coming out with a lot of asspulls as to why Mewtwo identifies himself as a female now, or why he talks differently.

    Personally, I would be miffed by it being a different Mewtwo alone, in terms of the studio's choice of Pokemon to showcase. There's no reason for the original Mewtwo to not appear in Movie 16. They established that there was only one in the anime, and Mewtwo expressed a clear desire to meet Satoshi again at the end of his special. He's also a character that's developed over the course of the OS (a CD drama, a movie, and a special episode) and a character fans already care about, seeing what he's been up to during his travels. Shafting him would be such a kick in the nads after all the damn nostalgia bait in Best Wishes. If you're going to use *a* Mewtwo, why not the same one that's established as a character and one-of-its-kind? Instead they make another one for no other reason than for it to be voiced by a female seiyuu. Makes no sense whatsoever, and quite infuriating to fans of the original Mewtwo anime character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Utsune
    I'm hoping it's a different Mewtwo, too (which is a bit ridiculous 'cos there is one and only one Mewtwo in my heart.) The original Mewtwo is too badass for any of the form changing stuff..... but actually the Awakening thing is ok fine, but the new look is downright weird.
    I actually wouldn't mind the Kakusei form all too much if it was the same Mewtwo, with the same voice (or similar, but Ichimura-san is always preferable) and awesome closure to his character development, without the writers actively trying to force an explanation in order to find an excuse to be voiced by a female now.

    I mean, the new form might have been a joke to Mewtwo as a species in the franchise, but as long as the anime character was the same character, I would have been happy with that, at least. I would have been kind of miffed that the reason for including Mewtwo in the movie was advertising its new form rather than the writers simply wanting to revisit the character (for once, like in Mewtwo Returns!), but I wouldn't be as bothered by it as this.

    Come to think about it, why did they choose a female voice for Mewtwo anyway? Not going for Ichimura-san doesn't mean they can't go for another voice actor, but instead they went for a voice actress. If they'd gone for a pitch half-way between Ichimura-san and Takasima-san it might have been fine for me, too, but the jump in reality is just way too much.
    Either it's a different Mewtwo or the writers think different voice = great character development. They seriously have not explained why Ichimura didn't reprise his role as Mewtwo, and usually with this kind of seiyuu change in Japan, there would have been an explanation by now.

    A couple of comments I read from 2ch sums up my feelings about this. "Mewtwo is dead, he's no longer here." "Takeshi Shudo is rolling in his grave."
    Updated 6th May 2013 at 11:08 PM by FANG-TAN
  9. Silktree's Avatar
    What I want to know is why they're even making us debate about this; it's hardly the best way to make us look forward to the movie. They'd better confirm which Mewtwo this is soon.

    Personally, I would be miffed by it being a different Mewtwo alone, in terms of the studio's choice of Pokemon to showcase. There's no reason for the original Mewtwo to not appear in Movie 16. They established that there was only one in the anime, and Mewtwo expressed a clear desire to meet Satoshi again at the end of his special. He's also a character that's developed over the course of the OS (a CD drama, a movie, and a special episode) and a character fans already care about, seeing what he's been up to during his travels. Shafting him would be such a kick in the nads after all the damn nostalgia bait in Best Wishes. If you're going to use *a* Mewtwo, why not the same one that's established as a character and one-of-its-kind?
    Exactly. I've seen no one offer a proper reason for replacing the original character. Even young kids know about it seeing as Movie 1 (including the Birth of Mewtwo segment) and Mewtwo Returns are being re-broadcast on Japanese TV.

    But I have to ask: If you feel so strongly that Mewtwo's story should be continued, why would you consider the voice change to be equally terrible as a character switch? The voice doesn't make the character. That is to say, there is a lot more to the character than just the voice, although I can't deny that the voice is an important aspect.

    A couple of comments I read from 2ch sums up my feelings about this. "Mewtwo is dead, he's no longer here." "Takeshi Shudo is rolling in his grave."
    What's the general consensus on whether or not this is the same Mewtwo? I mean, which opinion seems more prominent than the other?
    Updated 7th May 2013 at 02:19 AM by Silktree
  10. FANG-TAN's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Silktree
    What I want to know is why they're even making us debate about this; it's hardly the best way to make us look forward to the movie. They'd better confirm which Mewtwo this is soon.
    I concur. Completely.

    But I have to ask: If you feel so strongly that Mewtwo's story should be continued, why would you consider the voice change to be equally terrible as a character switch? The voice doesn't make the character. That is to say, there is a lot more to the character than just the voice, although I can't deny that the voice is an important aspect.
    In mediums like anime where both the sound, visuals, and storytelling play a big part in the quality of the production and enjoyment of the audience, I feel that the voices play just as big of a part in establishing a character as the writing. While good writing should always be a requirement in anything story-related, the performance of the voice actor can make or break a character in mediums that don't require the audience's imagination like books or manga. Take a bunch of dubs from the 90s of video games and anime, for example. No matter how good of a story the writers gave us, no one was able to take them seriously because the voice acting was hilariously bad. And there have been tons of good movies where miscasting brings everything down despite good story. Anime and visual novels certainly wouldn't be the same without the voices and acting breathing individual life into the characters.

    When a character in an anime is established and identified with a certain type of voice, changing the character's voice to something completely different throws everything about the character off, especially when the character also speaks and acts differently (which is what I get from the Movie 16 trailer so far). If the situation really is a case where the voice directors, for some reason, couldn't get Ichimura-san to do the part, they could have hired someone similar, which goes along with this:

    Exactly. I've seen no one offer a proper reason for replacing the original character. Even young kids know about it since Movie 1 (including the Birth of Mewtwo segment) and Mewtwo Returns are being re-broadcast on Japanese TV.
    There's no reason to confuse the children. Either by switching the character, or by changing the gender of its voice and changing its personality completely.

    I certainly would view Pikachu a lot differently if Ikue Ohtani-san were to be replaced by a deep-voiced male. A lot of other fans probably would too. I wouldn't have minded if the voices were at least portraying the same gender. In this case, it's way off.

    I view it as a bad decision if it's a voice change, and I view it as bad writing if they're going to grasp for excuses to give him a female voice or make it a different Mewtwo entirely. Ichimura-san's still alive and kicking. And it's a shame not to use him in this project, to voice the character he brought individual life to, either way. Simply put, this shouldn't have happened to begin with, in my opinion.

    I want to see Mewtwo's story continued, to see his development without the director's obsession with "image-changing" and using Mewtwo's travels as an excuse to write something that might as well be a totally different character. It cheapens what the character went through, as if there was anything wrong with the way it carried itself with its speech and voice. Satoshi's speech patterns are rude, yet he wouldn't hurt a fly. But if it really was a different character, it would create plot holes. It really is a one-way path to bad writing whichever way you go (sort of an oxymoron there), and again, this kind of thing would have went smoothly if it was clearly the same Ichimura Mewtwo. Not only would older audiences familiar with the character's story be satisfied, but the definite pitfalls of bad decisions, asspulls, and bad writing could have been avoided entirely. Oh, and the children won't be confused as to why there are two Mewtwo (or why Mewtwo suddenly sounds like a woman).

    What's the general consensus on whether or not this is the same Mewtwo? I mean, which opinion seems more prominent than the other?
    It's hard to say. A congregation of opinions on a textboard like 2ch would be anecdotal and not representative of the Japanese fandom. Especially 2ch.

    Let's go by what I've read on Japanese image, blogs, and message boards instead, although it's still anecdotal. They're just as confused as us and there's just as much speculation. However, it's pretty clear that the female voice is off putting to a lot of them, or at the very least jarring, and that many people are saying it's probably a different individual from the Mewtwo that appeared in Mewtwo Strikes Back!, while some think they ruined the character's image with their casting decision.

    There's a comment like this on a blog, for example.

    俺たちが知っているミュウツーはもうしんだのだ。 Oretachi ga shitteiru Myuutsu wa mou shinde no da. (We know Mewtwo is already dead.)

    Some former fans were planning to watch the new Pokemon movie after all of these years, but decided not to upon the release of the second trailer with the new Mewtwo voice.

    Side note: [One reaction I found amusing in regards to the new Mewtwo form:

    えええええ?! (Eeeeeeh?!)

    :P]

    I would say that there are more people that think it's a different Mewtwo than it is the same in the Japanese fandom. Naturally so, as in Japan, outside of radio drama voice differences or voice differences between different adaptations of the same source, voice actors rarely change for no reason unless the actor has passed on or there's a casting issue that's clearly known (like Toei being cheap with Dragon Ball Kai). And there are cases, like in Digimon Xros Wars, where characters from previous series are kept silent and have minimal screen time because they couldn't get a hold of the original seiyuu.
    Updated 7th May 2013 at 03:23 AM by FANG-TAN
  11. Te-em's Avatar
    I also realised that Mewtwo's voice was very strange. The art is bad too, the little I've seen of it; there almost no shadow in the art, compared to the earlier films he's been in. But even if the art is bad, they could at least have done something about the voice, because that's the strangest of it all. If it's a new Mewtwo, I hope the old one shows up too, because I don't want them to replace him.
  12. Pokémon Master Ash's Avatar
    Ugh. You know, it's bad enough us English dub fans had to experience the jarring voice-over changes for our main characters at one point, but now even the original JPN version can't bother to respect Masachika Ichimura's work as Mewtwo/Myuutwo? Shameful (unless this is an entirely different Mewtwo, then I'm ok with it). :(

    If this is the case and it is the same Mewtwo, Pokemon really needs to learn that voice actors aren't just tools for their disposal. They are human beings just like you or me or anyone else, and they provide us with entertainment. They deserve some degree of respect, IMO.

    There is a fine line between business, saving money, and treating people with some dignity. That's really what I'm getting at.
    Updated 18th May 2013 at 10:54 AM by Pokémon Master Ash
  13. FANG-TAN's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by EmotionalTensionPKMN
    Ugh. You know, it's bad enough us English dub fans had to experience the jarring voice-over changes for our main characters at one point, but now even the original JPN version can't bother to respect Masachika Ichimura's work as Mewtwo/Myuutwo? Shameful (unless this is an entirely different Mewtwo, then I'm ok with it). :(

    If this is the case and it is the same Mewtwo, Pokemon really needs to learn that voice actors aren't just tools for their disposal. They are human beings just like you or me or anyone else, and they provide us with entertainment. They deserve some degree of respect, IMO.

    There is a fine line between business, saving money, and treating people with some dignity. That's really what I'm getting at.
    I fully agree. Thing is, up until now, the Japanese version has kept their seiyuu consistent besides things like seiyuu having to go on maternity leave, which is always temporary. So, it's really more jarring in this case, because it's something that is unexpected in the Japanese animation industry unless it's 100% necessary, like radio drama/visual novel and video game contract disputes (the latter rarely happens).

    And, to be honest, if this were a different Mewtwo, I'd still have a problem with it since it ruins the continuity. If they hired Ichimura-san in the first place, we wouldn't have to go through multiple paths of suck.
  14. Pokémon Master Ash's Avatar
    [QUOTE=FANG-TAN;bt284084]I fully agree. Thing is, up until now, the Japanese version has kept their seiyuu consistent besides things like seiyuu having to go on maternity leave, which is always temporary. So, it's really more jarring in this case, because it's something that is unexpected in the Japanese animation industry unless it's 100% necessary, like radio drama/visual novel and video game contract disputes (the latter rarely happens).

    And, to be honest, if this were a different Mewtwo, I'd still have a problem with it since it ruins the continuity. If they hired Ichimura-san in the first place, we wouldn't have to go through multiple paths of suck.[/QUOTE]

    I understand. It's even more depressing to learn that even the Original JPN version has thrown any continuity out the window, and is not even trying to seek out Mr. Ichimura. Money isn't everything in this world, but I guess the suits don't realize that. It's a shame it apparently dictates the actions of the Pokemon Company's anime department these days now more than ever before. In Japan, I thought that the seiyus were always respected and like you said, unless illness occurred or a seiyu was on maternity leave, they were kept on board. I guess it's not the case anymore. :(
    Updated 18th May 2013 at 07:44 PM by Pokémon Master Ash

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