Mewtwo Original and Limited Art
Mewtwo is a Pokémon that was created by genetic manipulation. However, even though the scientific power of humans created this Pokémon's body, they failed to endow Mewtwo with a compassionate heart. Japanese video game designer Ken Sugimori designed Mewtwo for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games, Red and Green, known outside Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Its name, which means the "second of Mew", derives from its existence as a genetic duplicate of the original Mew. Until the first Pokémon movie was released in the United States, Mewtwo was rarely referred to as a "clone" in Japanese sources. Kubo Masakazu, executive producer of Mewtwo Strikes Back, explained that they "intentionally avoid using the term 'kuron' [clone]… because the word has a frightening feel". Despite being Mew's descendant, Mewtwo directly precedes Mew in the game's numerical Pokémon index owing to the latter's secret inclusion by Game Freak programmer Shigeki Morimoto. During an interview, Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara stated that Mewtwo was expected to be popular with North American audiences, citing their preference for strong, powerful characters. Regarded as one of the series' strongest Pokémon, it changed the way players approached the games by forcing them to find ways to counteract those using Mewtwo. Studies found the character popular with older male children, which contrasted with its counterpart Mew. Reactions to the creature's first anime portrayal have been divided, as reviewers such as Daily Record cited it as a cliché villain, while others such as Animerica and Sight & Sound praised the character's depth.
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