Mew (Japanese: ミュウ, Hepburn: Myū)is one of the fictional species of creatures from Nintendo‘s and Game Freak‘s Pokémonmedia franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri. Mew is a small, pink, Psychic-type Mythical Pokémon.
It was added to Pokémon Red and Blue by its creator, Game Freak programmer Shigeki Morimoto, as an intended obtainable Pokemon. However, due to a lack of cartridge space, and the inability to write/add additional storyline/plot points to lead up to an in-game encounter with the Pokemon, it was ultimately not published within the game. It was still viewable within the game’s background data, which led to the assumption and ultimate confirmation that it was originally intended to be released/published within the game. As such, its presence within the game’s background data has been surrounded by rumors and myths, which contributed to making the Pokémon franchise a success. For years, Mew could not be legitimately obtained in the games except through Pokémon distribution events or via glitches.
Mew’s first film appearance was in Pokémon: The First Movie as a main character alongside Mewtwo. The movie revealed that a fossilized Mew eyelash, found in the Guyana jungle by a team of scientists, was used to create Mewtwo, a genetically enhanced Mew clone. Mew later appeared in Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew as a main character alongside Lucario; the backstory of the film revolves around Mew’s mysterious history and how it came to be so powerful. Pokémon: The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon had a mirage version of Mew appear as a main character in the movie who helped Ash and friends try to defeat the Mirage Master.
Unlike the older characters in the Pokémon franchise, Mew’s development was not overseen by Ken Sugimori, but by Game Freak programmer Shigeki Morimoto. Morimoto programmed Mew into the game secretly as a prank amongst the staff just prior to its release in Japan. It was intended to be a Pokémon only Game Freak staff members would know about and be able to obtain. Mew was added at the very end of the development of Pokémon Red and Blue after the removal of debug features, freeing up just enough space to add the character despite being told not to alter the game any further at this point. Though not intended by the developers to be obtainable, due to a glitch, players were able to encounter it.
In the spring of 1996, Game Freak’s president Satoshi Tajiri used the Japanese manga journal CoroCoro Comic as an experimental exhibition of Mew and distributed the first cards of it for the card game as free giveaways, which surprised many at Game Freak, including Morimoto. Due to the success of the experiment on April 15, 1996, Game Freak announced a contest to publicly release Mew to 151 winners. Tajiri described using Mew to create hype around an “invisible character” within the game and to keep interest alive in the title and create rumors and myths about the game passed around by word of mouth, which resulted in increased sales for the game.
Mew is a Psychic-type Pokémon with high stats. Morimoto designed it as a pale pink feliform creature with somewhat large eyes and a long, thin tail that broadens at the end, though the shiny version is blue and rarely distributed. Its skin is covered with a layer of short, fine hair which may only be viewed under a microscope. Its DNA combines the genetic composition of all existing Pokémon species; the game states that scientists within the game view it as being the single ancestor of all other Pokémon. It is shy and rarely seen by humans. It is a Mythical Pokémon, though it was previously classified in non-Japanese media as a Legendary Pokémon alongside Pokémon such as Articuno,Zapdos,Moltres, and Mewtwo. Mew’s number in the National Pokédex is 151, the last of the first-generation Pokémon, with 150 being Mewtwo and 152 being Chikorita. In the first-generation games and their remakes, the player can find journal entries in the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island stating that Mew was discovered deep in the jungles of Guyana, South America, on July 5 of an unspecified year, and named on July 10, and that it “gave birth” to Mewtwo on February 6. Both the Japanese name ミュウ, Myū, and its romanized form Mew are based on the English words mutant or mutation, as well as the onomatopoeia “mew”, the sound a kitten makes, referring to its size and cat-like appearance.
In the video games, it is possible for Mew to learn any move that can be taught (except for signature moves that only certain Pokemon know, unless if Mew uses the move Copycat). In addition to Ditto and Smeargle (through the Sketch technique), it can “transform” into other Pokémon. In the anime, it is capable of flight, teleportation, shapeshifting (via the move Transform), rendering itself invisible, and summoning bubbles of psychic energy for protection, amusement, or other purposes.