Pocket Monsters: The Birth of Mewtwo is a radio drama meant to coincide with the then-upcoming Pokémon film Pokémon: The First Movie. It was written by the main director of of the original series of the anime (Kanto, Orange Islands, and Johto), Takeshi Shudō.
The Birth of Mewtwo was broadcast on radio over five Sundays, between June 7 and July 12 of 1998, leading up to the premiere of the film. It was later released on CD with an accompanying book. The drama is Japanese exclusive and has never been officially translated or dubbed.
The Birth of Mewtwo was later adapted into a short airing before the beginning of Pokémon: The First Movie. The initial theatrical release of the film lacked the intro however almost all future releases include it. The animated short adaptation excludes the portion about Jessie's mother and Team Rocket.
The radio drama is divided into two sections. One describes Team Rocket years prior to the series. Before Giovanni was the leader, his mother was the leader of the group and Jessie's mother Miyamoto was one of her prized grunts. The second portion tells the tale of Mewtwo's creation and his youth.
The Birth of Mewtwo contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: Miyamoto has been gone for over two decades looking for Mew. She has never been referenced in the anime itself, meaning we'll almost certainly never find out what happened to her.
- Age-Stereotypical Food: Amber mentions that adults hate cake but kids love it.
- Astro Clone: Ambertwo is a clone of a deceased child named Amber. Amber's scientist father decided to clone Amber, but his Replacement Goldfish failed when Amber's clone died before she could wake up. Amber's father, Professor Fuji, has a design based off of Tenma. Unlike most Astro Clones, Ambertwo was an ordinary human, aside from being a clone.
- Child Hater: Being obsessed with money, Madame Boss thinks kids cost too much money. This extends to her son Giovanni, who she looks down upon.
- Childhood Friends: Mewtwo, Ambertwo, Bulbasaurtwo, Charmandertwo, and Squirtletwo. Too bad four of the five die before they're even created...
- Clone Degeneration: It's mentioned that with the current technology, human clones are only viable in test tubes and only during childhood. This explains why Ambertwo died.
- Darker and Edgier: It's darker than even the film. For example, the military is referenced, a child gets hit by a car on-screen, religion is mentioned, and Jessie's past is gone into detail. One scene involves Giovanni stealing a defeated trainer's Pokémon, then ordering Mewtwo to attack the trainer. Said trainer lampshades the cruelty.
- Death of a Child:
- Amber died in a car crash.
- Ambertwo and the clone Pokémon, bar Mewtwo, all died before they could wake up.
- Disappeared Dad: There's no mention of Giovanni or Jessie's fathers.
- Disney Death: Miyamoto seems to fall to her death in an avalanche in Part 1, but Part 2 reveals that she survived. Maybe.
- Dub Name Change: Averted with Madame Boss and Miyamoto. The drama never received an English equivalent and thus the characters don't have English names. A book references Miyamoto but only calls her "Jessie's mom".
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- It's implied that the upcoming Pokémon introduced in Gold and Silver were recently discovered and Dragonair is all but unheard of. South America and Halley's Comet are both referenced. Miyamoto also mentions Akihabara (an area in Tokyo) by name, further implying Kanto at this point literally is the real-world Kanto with some geographical differences.
- Giovanni steals a defeated trainer's Pokémon. It was later established that a Poké Ball refuses to work if used on a Pokémon that already belongs to someone.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Giovanni is implied to be a Momma's Boy and he gushes about his mother.
- Give Her A Normal Life: Miyamoto clearly loved Jessie but she gave her up to be a foster child for this reason. She planned on taking her back once she made money off of Mew, but unfortunately for her she still hasn't accomplished that.
- Gratuitous English: Ambertwo teaches Mewtwo to count in both Japanese and English. She also sneaks in a "Yes".
- Internal Deconstruction: Peoples desire to discover new Pokémon caused illegal Pokémon smuggling and hunting organizations like Team Rocket to flourish.
- Meaningful Name: Amber's Japanese name, "Ai", means "love". It befits her innocent and loving nature.
- Missing Mom:
- Jessie's mother Miyamoto has been missing almost her entire life.
- Madame Boss, Giovanni's mother, died prior to the anime.
- Amber's mother ran off and left.
- Monster and the Maiden: Mewtwo is a genetic abomination, while Ambertwo is a clone of a normal human girl. They become friends, with Ambertwo teching Mewtwo about the world. Her death leaves Mewtwo aggresive and in mourning.
- Only One Name: Giovanni introduces himself as just "Sakaki". His mother is unnamed, so she isn't much help either.
- Prequel: The drama begins 20 years prior to the anime.
- Precious Photo: Miyamoto keeps a photograph of Jessie with her even while in the mountains.
- Punny Name: Jesse's mom is named Miyamoto. That said, Jesse's Japanese name is Musashi.
- Real Men Hate Sugar: Amber mentions that most adults dislike sweet things like cake and sugar, but children love them.
- Sanity Slippage:
- Implied with Miyamoto. After twenty years she's still looking for Mew.
- Dr. Fuji's sanity slips after Amber is killed.
- Shout-Out: Everything about Amber and Ambertwo is a reference to Astro Boy. Both have a scientist's child be killed in a car accident, causing them to create a Replacement Goldfish. It's even more pronounced in the animated adaptation as Dr. Tenma and Dr. Fuji look alike.
- Stars Are Souls: Referenced when Amber's spirit (or at minimum what her father believes is Amber) mentions that she'll likely become a star.
- Third-Person Person: Miyamoto has a cutesy way of talking where she calls herself "Miyamoto-chan".
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Amber was a sweet lil' girl and her father's Living Emotional Crutch. She died seconds after being introduced. Even her clone died.
- Unnamed Parent: Giovanni's mother is simply referred to as "Madame Boss".
- Vague Age: Madame Boss describes Giovanni in a patronizing, infantile manner that implies he's a child or at most an adolescent. However, considering his design in the anime, he may have been an adult in the flashbacks.