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YMMV / Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened

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If the phrase "this is a new, separate Mewtwo" on the main page didn't clue you in, this is one controversial movie.

  • Angst? What Angst?: The Genesect Army doesn't seem to mind being cybernetically altered to the point of being a new species, nor do the majority of them mind being off from their home by about 300 million years.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: The Pokémon animé's adherence to this trope is believed to be one reason why a new Mewtwo was created in the first place. Compare to Takeshi Shudō explaining that he made the original Mewtwo's movie to appeal to both children and their parents (at least in Japanese) - considering this, it makes perfect sense that the older fans would prefer the original Mewtwo.
    Reiko Takashima: Of course, I also wanted to really give this my all because Mewtwo is such a huge figure in the Pokémon world. I think a lot of children are excited to see this movie and so I felt pressured to not let them down.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The final "fight" between Mewtwo and the Red Genesect. Rather than a climactic end to their battle, Mewtwo carries Genesect into orbit, where they are both moved by the sight of the world and come to terms with their place in it. However, this is debatable, considering they spend the last fourth of the movie fighting one another. This also prompts a Heel–Face Turn from Genesect, which is very sudden considering how it was nothing but Ax-Crazy through the whole movie.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The entire existence of a second Mewtwo can be seen as this. While we saw the original Mewtwo's creators having a motivation for why they took on the project (and an insight on how difficult it was to create even one clone of Mew, plus some pretty deep pathos to both Mewtwo and Dr. Fuji), the creators of this Mewtwo lack any characterization, nor a scrap of anything resembling an explanation for how they were able to procure Mew DNAnote , how they were able to create a Mewtwo physically identical to the originalnote , nor even why they made Mewtwo to begin with. It doesn't help that Professor Oak outright said in a countdown towards Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior that the original Mewtwo was the only one of its kind. That statement was made during the Diamond and Pearl series five years earlier.
    • That the day is only saved thanks to a giant ball of water breaking Mewtwo and Genesect's fall from orbit rather than having the same effect as if they hit the ground flies in the face of physics, which is especially strange considering how just moments ago they portrayed the effects of space more-or-less realistically.
  • Audience-Alienating Era: This film kicked one off for the Pokémon movies, gaining a mixed-to-negative reception with fans and coming after the well-regarded Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice. It also preceded the average at best XY movies (which also contain the lowest grossing movies in the whole series), which ultimately proved to be the last movies set in continuity with the anime after Pokémon: I Choose You! started an Alternate Universe that it followed up on with a 2018 sequel.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • The Douse Drive Genesect is either considered one of the cuter and more interesting characters in the movie, or a subject of mockery for how they tried way too hard to make the audience sympathise with it (such as giving it an ill-fitting voice and having it repeat "I want to go home" over and over). Said mockery is pretty common on message boards.
    • The Red Genesect is considered one of the worst movie antagonists by fans, largely due to being an angry douche that hates everything for no good reason, with little else to its character unlike fellow Pokémon antagonists Entei and (the original) Mewtwo. Its easy Heel–Face Turn at the end is also disliked, considering how antagonistic it was to everything beforehand and nobody holds anything against it afterwards. Of course, others like it for being an antagonist at all (instead of the usual Benevolent Monster), and for having the voice of Utrom Shredder in the English dub.
    • Some like the rest of the Genesect Army for making action sequences more dynamic and numerous, and for displaying the different Techno Blast types. Others regard them as one-note cardboard who aren't necessary when much of the focus is on the Red and Douse Drive Genesect, and argue that having just those two (with the ability to switch Drives) would've worked just as well. Others also dislike them for going against Genesect's status as a Single Specimen Species in the games (though since the species never appeared in the animé beforehand, they get less backlash than Mewtwo).
  • Broken Base:
    • The fandom's primary point of contention with this movie is the use of a different Mewtwo than the first one. Though there are various reasons for it, it ultimately comes down to the first movie and Mewtwo's popularity in the fandom, and having wanted to see it in action again.
    • The concept of a Mewtwo with a feminine personality in general. Some found it cool in theory (if not in practice), others (particularly those who view Mewtwo as a specific character rather than a species) found it to be a sacrilege.
    • The ending. Depending on who you ask, it's either a beautifully animated end to the main conflict, or a sappy, cheesy cringefest that serves to force redemption onto a character who, by all rights, did not deserve it.
  • Critical Backlash: Upon release, some viewers found that the movie wasn't as bad as angry Mewtwo fans made it out to be, and a few people looked past the controversy and regarded it as a So Okay, It's Average run-of-the-mill Pokémon flick.
  • Fanfic Fuel: A pretty popular concept is to have this Mewtwo meet the original and battle against it or team up with it, or even to ship both Mewtwo, as the original Mewtwo attests on its SelfDemonstrating page.
  • Fan Nickname: The Mewtwo in this movie is referred to by fans as "Femtwo", "Newtwo" or "Mewtwotwo" to distinguish her from the original.
  • Fanon: Some try to explain away the Contrived Coincidence-dependent backstory of Mewtwo by saying that its creators were members of Team Rocket too, or that they were spies who somehow got the information from the lab that made the original Mewtwo. None of this is even hinted at in the film, mind.
  • Fan-Preferred Cut Content: The fact that the original Mewtwo was meant to be in this movie before the team found out that they legally couldn't use him without talking to Shudo's estate does admittedly go a long way in explaining why the film turned out the way it did, and many fans were wishing they did use that Mewtwo even before that info was revealed.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: People don't like to acknowledge this movie's existence - if they do, odds are they'll say it was the original Mewtwo we saw, not a cheap knockoff, or that it takes place in a different universe entirely.
  • Fight-Scene Failure: The "battle" against Mewtwo and the Red Genesect is little more than a long chase sequence with pointless ultimatums from the former. The battle between the Genesect Army and the other Pokémon also largely consists of each side standing still and shooting beams at each other until it ends.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The anime had already used multiple, conflicting depictions of Legendary Pokémon before this movie; a mother and child Lugia appear in the main anime and Pokémon 2000 depicts Lugia as a mythical talking beast, while the Mew in Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is separate from the one in Pokémon: The First Movie. However, Genesect and the Legend Awakened was the first such case to raise a ruckus among the fandom, mainly because of how fans were misled into thinking the Mewtwo they knew and loved was coming back due to Mewtwo (previously) being a one-of-a-kind artificial Pokémon (unlike the naturally born Mew, Lugia et al), and how the new Mewtwo rehashed the original's backstory but ended up with very few of the traits that made the original so popular.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The movie's setting strangely echoes how Mewtwo itself was handled in it; it takes place in New Tork City, a New York City Fantasy Counterpart Culture, despite the Pokémon franchise already having one in Castelia City (in the same region even!). Even more so in that this movie doesn't mention Castelia City at all, just like with the original Mewtwo.
    • The original Mewtwo appears in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game along with Lucina, another Distaff Counterpart from a work with "Awakening" in its name, whose entire marketing and role within her franchise were similar to this movie's Mewtwo but handled much better.note 
    • The idea of Mewtwo depicted with a feminine personality and causing a fandom uproar is strikingly similar to later, higher-profile Western cases of tampering with the gender of established characters, such as with the all-female Ghostbusters (2016) reboot, which (like this movie) copies the setup of the original but doesn't feature or acknowledge the original Ghostbusters team at all.note 
    • Many accuse the film of pulling a Bait-and-Switch on the fanbase by not having a beloved character from the original series when it at first seemed like it would. Four years later, another movie in the series would garner criticism for similar reasons.
  • Informed Wrongness: When the Pokémon Hills inhabitants fight back against the Genesect Army, Ash tries to break up the fight by pointing out that all the Genesect want is a home. Had they settled into the park peacefully, he'd have a point, but they outright attacked the park with lasers and forced every one of them out, in particular injuring several of them in the process. He even saw said injured Pokémon being thrown out earlier, so all things considered, the Pokémon Hills residents have every right to fight back.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • A major criticism of Mewtwo is that its backstory (what little there is) and overall arc copies almost word-for-word that of the original. If you were to take away everything not taken from the original, all this Mewtwo would have is its female voice and Mega Evolution (raising the question of, "Why not just bring back the old one if it's so similar anyway?").
    • The movie's plot is a rehash of Pokémon: The First Movie, only without any of the drama and darkness that made it so popular. Genesect has the same motivation as the original Mewtwo (while lacking the threat, menace and charm), it shares a moral about the value of life (only far more cheesier), and it has a character that undergoes a Disney Death after diving in between a powerful attack (but it has no meaningful impact on the story unlike when Ash did it).
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Seeing Mewtwo and the Red Genesect fight is probably what most will want to see the film for.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: The Douse Drive Genesect seemingly dies after Taking the Bullet. Of course, no-one dies/stays dead in Pokémon movies if their names aren't Latios or Lucario, so obviously it doesn't stick. Then they try to fool the audience with another Disney Death from the same character, with the same result.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Both in and out of Japan, the movie was marketed as if the original Mewtwo were coming back; Japan reaired everything the original appeared in, and the English trailer used missing trailer scenes to make it seem like the original was in it (conspicuously, Mewtwo is completely silent in said trailer). And then, barring a throwaway line, the actual movie acts as if the original Mewtwo and everything it appeared in never happened. This even extends to a contemporary event Mewtwo based off of this one, which knows Hurricane... a move that would make much more sense on a Mewtwo based off of the storm-creating original.
  • Mis-blamed: People often blame screenwriter Hideki Sonoda for the existence of the second Mewtwo (leading to him locking his Twitter account for a time after the movie's release). In reality, director Kunihiko Yuyama confirmed the decision was his on an episode of Pokémon Smash. Years later, the truth came out that Yuyama's decision, in turn, was made due to legal issues with Takeshi Shudo's estate, ultimately meaning no-one was at fault to begin with, but just a cavalcade of circumstances beyond anyone's control.
  • Moe: The Douse Drive Genesect, in an Ugly Cute sort of way.
  • Narm:
    • If you asked someone what a human-sized robotic insect's voice would sound like, "Like Fluttershy" is probably the last thing you'd expect to hear.
      • Or in the case of the Japanese version, like Ichigo Hoshimiya, since both characters are voiced by Sumire Moroboshi.
    • The Chill Drive Genesect, to a lesser extent, in the dub can also come across as such with its vaguely-Japanese accent.
    • Mewtwo and Genesect above the Earth comes across as this, due to the romantic undertones, how sappy the dialogue is and how easily Genesect's Heel–Face Turn happens, despite everything it thought and did prior.
      Mewtwo: On this planet, all Pokémon are friends. You are my friend.
      Red Genesect: Everyone on this planet... is my friend.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: While many remember the original Mewtwo for being a stone cold badass villain, most that think of this Mewtwo will think of the controversy it generates just by virtue of its mere existence.
  • Replacement Scrappy: The main issue people have with the Mewtwo seen here is that she's not the one from the first movie. While some hate towards this Mewtwo just comes from her jarring feminine persona compared to the original and being Lighter and Softer than him, there are also many complaints about her being a lazy copy with no connection to him and no justification for her existence and radically different voice and personality. Her existance also invalidates the motivations of the original Mewtwo (he was a unique specimen who wanted a place in a world that had none for him). This Mewtwo's English voice actress, Miriam Pultro (who happens to be One of Us) even anticipated said backlash against her role.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • In a meta sense. While one of the biggest criticisms of this Mewtwo was her potential to retcon the original anime Mewtwo and effectively replace him within the franchise, Mewtwo's return to the fourth Super Smash Bros. game with similarities to his original anime characterization helped quell some of these fears and calmed down much of the backlash towards this new Mewtwo, even if not completely. Giving it Mega Mewtwo Y as its Final Smash had a similar effect towards the form in general, which was previously best known for being this Mewtwo's alternate form.
    • Mewtwo's portrayal in the manga adaptation is slightly better than in the original movie, since (much like Super Saiyan Trunks in Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks) its transformation into Mega Mewtwo Y is depicted as a major event that only happens partway into the story and elicits awe from the cast, and not something it does without issue from the very start with no comment from anyone. The lack of voice acting also makes it easier to pretend it's the original Mewtwo and not a brand new one, if readers are so inclined.
  • Sequelitis: This movie is one of the most unpopular Pokémon movies along with Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, but is more infamous and more vocally derided because its handling of a fan-favorite former Single Specimen Species is seen as a huge step back for the anime. On top of that, while the characters and plot aren't necessarily better or worse than most of the other movies (which are generally So Okay, It's Average), it's generally agreed that at best they aren't good enough to redeem the movie, and at worst make the film unfocused and dull, with action scenes being mostly variations of "X shoots laser at Y" with little substance added.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Regarded as this by some of the more forgiving fans. On its own merits, it's probably not the worst Pokémon movie (unless you really despise this movie's Mewtwo), but it's generally seen as not quite living up to the fans' expectations or the original movie's reputation, and is one of the most unpopular Pokémon movies in the larger scheme of things.
  • Special Effect Failure: Alongside some rather unconvincing 3D models of some Pokémon, when the inhabitants of Pokémon Hills flee, some of them run straight down a wall, completely defying gravity.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Fan opinion on the movie was soured heavily when Mewtwo's voice was first heard in a trailer as female. Given that up until that point many had assumed the Mewtwo from the first movie was returning, the fanbase's overall reaction to the different voice was a mix of anger and confusion.
  • Tear Jerker: A positive example, namely the ending part in which Mewtwo thanks Ash, Iris and Cilan for their help, accepts their friendship offer and promises to remember them now and forevermore before leaving. Ash, Iris and Cilan wistfully hope that they will meet again someday.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Genesect is a Prehistoric Monster revived and turned into a Cyborg by Team Plasma in an effort to create the Ultimate Life Form. Sounds like an awesome concept, right? Except the film makes the decision to downplay their origins (beyond Mewtwo saying, "humans made both of us" about two times in the film), and have five Genesect for each Drive instead of one, and as such their personalities are rather lacking in depth. The Red Genesect is angry and violent all the time for no real reason, the Douse Drive Genesect does little but cry about home, and the other three have zero character at all. Furthermore, the apex predator-cum-strongest Pokémon ever aspect is all but neglected, as the Army only cares about making a home as if they were never altered to begin with, rather than going down a similar, more sinister, path to the original Mewtwo like a few fans had hoped.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Having the original Mewtwo fighting the Genesect Army would have nicely brought its story-arc full circle, as the plot not only would have given it a purpose in life, but also confront an enemy that mirrored what it tried to do in the first Pokémon film. Of course, all of those things more or less already occurred in Mewtwo Returns, but would you pass such a story up?
    • The new Mewtwo's different voice and personality would have also provided ample plot material on their own, which wasn't explored either, and her backstory relies on some major Plotholes. Many fans believe that, if this Mewtwo had been given a unique and interesting backstory of her own rather than shallowly copying the original, she would have held up as a popular character in her own right.
    • Mewtwo having the ability to Mega Evolve from the get-go ruins the possibility of it having to open up to humans before it can Mega Evolve, much like how Mega Evolution works in the games. Such a plot could have allowed for some Character Development to help this Mewtwo gain its own identity without aping that of the original.
      • The lack of a need to learn Mega Evolution, ironically, could have also been used to somewhat resolve the second Mewtwo problem another way- simply have it Mode Locked into Mega form from birth. With this solution, there'd be no confusion on who the new Mewtwo is, as well as better emphasize the new Mewtwo's unusual gift compared to how the Y form is supposed to work. Doing this would have also forced the writers to think up a way to actually include Mewtwo into the new Mewtwo's backstory for marketing purposes, such as explaining Mega Mewtwo Y is supposed to be a next step for Mewtwo and Mew.
    • Adding to the above, Mewtwo is established early on to distrust humans and not care about their wellbeing. Rather than having it overcoming this in a believable way, it just suddenly cares about humans out of nowhere when the Red Genesect slightly dents a building someone lives in.
    • Following the movie's release, many hoped that a story (be it an animé special, arc, or multi-part episode) involving this Mewtwo meeting the original Mewtwo (now with the ability to become Mega Mewtwo X) would be made as a justification for creating a second Mewtwo over having the original return. Outside of a very brief cameo in the first Mega Evolution special's intro, neither Mewtwo — Mega or otherwise — made an appearance. With the conclusion of the XY series (and Mega Evolution's perceived relevance), as well as the revelation years later that the original anime Mewtwo isn't actually owned by The Pokémon Company, it's very possible they never will.
    • A minor example: the introduction of a second Mewtwo would have been a good way to show off Mewtwo's shiny colors. Indeed, the wound many fans feel regarding it may not be so deep had this been the case; thus being a bit more upfront that this Mewtwo was a different one, instead of it being ambiguous for a while thanks to the director's unclear wordingnote  and just plain old logic and common sense.
    • While not quite as bad as Mewtwo, Genesect's depiction as a species in this movie also gets some flak. A few fans wanted to see Genesect as a Single Specimen Species (as it is in the games) and as an unambiguously evil villain (possibly serving as (the old) Mewtwo's new Arch-Enemy), due to its connection to Team Plasma, its similar origin to the original Mewtwo, and that the Bug/Steel-type Pokémon seems almost designed as a natural counter to Mewtwo.
    • You'd think the setting being a New York City expy would lend itself well to some unique and cool setpieces, such as the Genesect Army attacking the city itself. Outside of the Missing Trailer Scenes from the seemingly-mandated lying trailer, and a small skirmish between Mewtwo and the Red Genesect with no impact on the setting, the action is kept exclusively to Pokémon Hills, and Genesect's threat to the city at large is unintentional, as opposed to the outright invasion seen in trailers. Which is ironic, given that the director chose a city setting specifically to contrast with the ancient Genesect, who end up being in said city for less than a few minutes.
    • One would think that being the creation of Team Plasma would have an impact on the Genesect's characterisation and motivation, much like the original Mewtwo. However, their connection is never acknowledged by anyone, is only even present thanks to a brief flashback, Team Plasma's name is never even spoken aloud, and that the Genesect were cybernetically enhanced considerably is downplayed, to the point where their origin may as well be, "just straight revivals by some nobodies who at most welded guns to their backs," for all it matters in the story.
      • Even worse is that Episode N had N discover data on Genesect and have a flashback featuring the Army, implying he had a connection to them like his game counterpart does. He has no importance in the film and only shows up as a cameo in the credits.
    • The original teaser only showed two Genesect- one normal, one Shiny- and only promoted the Extremespeed Genesect title. Meanwhile, even in the final release of the movie, Douse Drive Genesect is often at odds with Shiny Genesect. With this in mind, as well as the revelation of the legal difficulty the creative team faced when they were denied the original anime Mewtwo, it would have made more sense if Mewtwo was dropped from the movie altogether and the plot was just about the conflict between the two Genesect. Doing so would have allowed the movie to focus on what was most important, give more time to the Genesect and other new characters, and allow the movie to at least stand on its own.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Once more, Team Rocket's attempts to catch the legendary(s) of the movie amount to nothing as they fail to interact with the main cast, make no impact on the actual story, and merely fill up the run time that little bit more.
  • Unexpected Character: While some hoped Mewtwo would return in a Genesect-focused movie, given the similarities between the two, most assumed it unlikely since he'd been gone for so long. Many a pleasant surprise was had when Mewtwo did make a comeback... until it was revealed to be a completely new, yet suspiciously similar, specimen of the same species. Nobody expected that on the grounds of another Mewtwo's existence being extremely improbable in-universe.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: While the Genesect Army are supposed to be tragic Pokémon cruelly torn from their home via time and turned into unnatural beings by humans, only one of them is remotely sympathetic about the whole thing. The others show no similar pining for home or angsting about their situation, are content to force Pokémon out of their home, and open fire on anyone who fights back. The Red Genesect, meanwhile, mind controls its own kind routinely, shoots at anything that questions it (with no distinction between the other Genesect or human children), and is an all-around jerkass. Makes you wonder why Ash tries to defend them when the other Pokémon try to reclaim the park from them.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Thanks to the popularity of the first Mewtwo incarnation, you wouldn't know this Mewtwo was more feminine than them until you heard its voice, since it looks identical to the original.
    • It is difficult to discern whether the Douse Drive Genesect's voice is meant to be that of a young boy or girl. Needless to say, it does sound significantly feminine, due to the performance of the voice actresses for both the Japanese and English versions of the movie. All this without mentioning how technically it's genderless...
  • Video Game Movies Suck: Genesect is one of, if not the most unpopular of all the Pokémon movies. While few will say any of the Pokémon movies are genuinely good, this one went an extra step in turning off fans of the first movie (which, at least in its original Japanese format, is often considered an aversion) with its different Mewtwo, which helped earn it considerably more backlash than the movies usually get.
  • Wangst: The Douse Drive Genesect constantly angsts about wanting to go home. Not helping is its unfitting voice that makes it sound like a moe girl one second away from bursting into tears.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Extreme Speed Genesect Mewtwo Awakens