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Anime Expo Screens Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution Film

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Directors Kunihiko Yuyama, Motonori Sakakibara; voice actress Rica Matsumoto attend convention

Anime Expo revealed to ANN on Monday that this year's convention will screen Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution (Mewtwo no Gyakushū Evolution), the 22nd film in the Pokémon franchise. The film will screen at 3:30 p.m. on July 4.

In addition, Directors Kunihiko Yuyama and Motonori Sakakibara, as well as voice actress Rica Matsumoto (voice of Ash) will attend the event. They will also participate in autograph sessions at the convention. The event will mark their first appearances at an overseas convention.

This year's Anime Expo will take place from July 4 to 7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The new film is a 3D CG remake of Pocket Monsters: Mewtwo no Gyakushū, the 1998 film adapted into English as Pokémon: The First Movie.

The main cast of the anime series, along with the Team Rocket cast, return for the film. Masachika Ichimura is also reprising his role as Mewtwo from the original Pokémon: The First Movie. The late voice actor Unshō Ishizuka provided narration for the new film. The film's returning guest cast members include Sachiko Kobayashi as Voyager (Miranda in the English version of the original film) and Kōichi Yamadera as Mew.

Entertainer (and well-known Pokemon fan) Shōko Nakagawa is joining enka singer Sachiko Kobayashi in singing the "Kaze to Issho ni" (With the Wind) ending theme song for the film. The duet is a cover of Kobayashi's theme song for the original 1998 film. Seiji Kameda is arranging the new version, which will ship on a single on July 10. In addition, Sony Music is accepted applications for the "Pokémon Kids 2019" ensemble. The winners recorded the song with Kobayashi and Nakagawa (also known as "Shokotan") in mid-May.

The film will open in Japan on July 12. The film remakes the story of Pokémon: The First Movie, which opened in Japan in 1998 with the Japanese title Pocket Monster: Mewtwo no Gyakushū. Yuyama is returning from other franchise installments to direct the film alongside Sakakibara (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Rudolf the Black Cat). Takeshi Shudō (Pokémon: The First Movie) is credited as the scriptwriter, though he passed away in 2010.

Sources: Email correspondence, Anime Expo's website

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