Mewtwo is a man-made Pokémon, created from the DNA of Mew. All the other cloned Pokémon in the movie Mewtwo Strikes Back look like the one they cloned from, but not Mewtwo. Mewtwo looks totally different from Mew. Why is this?

5 Answers 5


I believe this is a plothole, stemming from the discrepancies between Mewtwo's origins in the games, and its origin in the anime.

In the games, Mewtwo is not a clone of Mew, but actually its child: the journals in Cinnabar Mansion refer to Mew giving birth to it. Mewtwo was then subjected to "years of horrific gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments", which explains why it only vaguely resembles Mew - its DNA is no longer solely that of Mew.

In the anime, however, Mewtwo was cloned using Mew's DNA, and there is no mention anywhere of it being subjected to any further experiments, only of it "maturing" into its present form. Prior to maturing, it resembled Mew more closely:

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It's still possible that Mewtwo was experimented upon in a similar manner to the games, but in the absence of any evidence, I have to chalk this up to a simple plothole: there is no clear explanation for why Mewtwo should differ so drastically from the Pokémon it was cloned from, when the other clones exhibit no differences besides dark splotches.

  • I remember the game refer to Mew "giving birth" is as they extract mew DNA to create Mewtwo and that's why it is called "mew giving birth", in Pokemon Origins I remember Red calling him the most powerful pokemon since it came from mew (and if Mew "give birth" it doesn't suppose to be most powerful), and anyway even in the movie they didn't clone him but recreate the DNA in t Mew cels, it's reasonable it won't look like mew...
    – USerNAme
    Feb 7, 2020 at 13:58
  • @USerNAme No, according to Bulbapedia, Mew literally did give birth to Mewtwo: "According to the scientific logs found in the Pokémon Mansion of Cinnabar Island, Mewtwo was born from a pregnant Mew [...] whose embryo had been tampered with to alter its DNA."
    – F1Krazy
    Feb 7, 2020 at 19:40
  • @ F1Krazy the wiki state differently giving the Pokedex entry from the games: the game's Pokédex entry states that Mewtwo was "created by a scientist after years of horrific gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments" Image
    – USerNAme
    Feb 8, 2020 at 18:06
  • The exact quote from the Wiki article you linked is as follows: "In Pokémon Red and Blue, the player learns of Mewtwo's existence by reading research notes left in the ruined Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island. The notes say that the island's scientists discovered a new Pokémon in a Guyana jungle, that they named it Mew, and that it later gave birth to a creature they called Mewtwo; the game's Pokédex entry states that Mewtwo was "created by a scientist after years of horrific gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments". These two things are not mutually exclusive.
    – F1Krazy
    Feb 8, 2020 at 19:30
  • @ F1Krazy 1. you just want to say that the game contradicts itself? 2. the wiki even quoted the pokemon company "Mewtwo is a Pokémon that was created by genetic manipulation. However, even though the scientific power of humans created..." all the adaption says Mewtwo created by scientific even the closest one and the game contradicts itself, really convincing... read the whole article.
    – USerNAme
    Feb 8, 2020 at 21:46

In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Mewtwo was given human DNA as well as Mew DNA so Mewtwo should look different then Mew. More human. I don't see why this couldn't also have been the case in the anime and games. However, the Pokemon that Mewtwo cloned were given hardly any changes but the change of that they would obey Mewtwo. They were not injected with human DNA but with Pokemon DNA.

  • 2
    "Mewtwo was given human DNA" - do you have a source for this?
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 5, 2020 at 14:47
  • Yes, in the Pokemon manga, which i get if you don't agree, Blaine, the former team rocket member gave an injection of his DNA to Mewtwo. I don't see why the TV shows and movies have difference.
    – Bluetuber
    Sep 9, 2020 at 22:38

In the first movie, Dr. Fuji, the head scientist who worked on Mewtwo's creation in the anime, has this conversation with Mewtwo:

Dr. Fuji: "For years we struggled to successfully clone a Pokémon to prove our theories, but you're the first specimen to survive. That is Mew, the rarest of all Pokémon. From its DNA we created you, Mewtwo."

Mewtwo: "Mewtwo? Am I only a copy? Nothing but Mew's shadow?"

Dr. Fuji: "You are greater than Mew, improved through the power of human ingenuity. We used the most advanced techniques to develop your awesome psychic powers."

Then later in the movie, when Jessie, James, and Meowth are sneaking around in Mewtwo's cloning lab, they find a recording which Dr. Fuji made about Mewtwo's creation in which he says this:

There was sufficient genetic material [in the fossil his team had found] to replicate Mew. But [emphasis mine] Giovanni, who financed our experiments, insisted we try to create super-clones, more powerful than any living Pokémon.

All that, to me, implies strongly that Mewtwo was not just cloned directly from Mew, but also subjected to heavy genetic modification to enhance his psychic powers. The other clones did not go through this process, and so they resemble the Pokémon they were cloned from.

This would also seem to fit in with Mewtwo's general backstory in other versions of the Pokémon world. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, it's explicitly stated that Mewtwo was created by blending human DNA with the DNA from Mew, and in the games, Mewtwo's original Pokédex entry states that

It was created by a scientist after years of horrific gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments.

I don't see why anime-verse Mewtwo would be any different, and there's nothing in the movie that suggests he is.


I think it's because Mewtwo is not connected with the Tree of Life. Being connected to the Tree gives Mew shapeshifting ability, but it may also affect his appearance altogether.


Mewtwo was cloned from Mew. It is possible that Team Rocket made some modifications for the clone, whereas Mewtwo did not do any modifications to the DNA of the pokemon it cloned. Anyways, it is just an assumption.

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