The world of Pokemon has featured some of the most beautiful and sacred settings in all of anime over the course of its longstanding 1,000-plus episode run — but it’s also given us one of the weirdest. The mysterious, but very dangerous, Mirror World is a place in the Pokemon universe like no other.
First appearing in episode 36 of the Pokemon XY series, “The Cave of Mirrors!”, Mirror World established itself as one of the most amazing places throughout the history of the franchise. Located in the mythical Reflection Cave, Mirror World is a place where all of the characters and Pokemon in the series are the complete opposite to their counterparts in the main universe. For example, Team Rocket are heroes that fight for justice and apprehend evil-doers in Mirror World — the opposite of the regular Team Rocket’s villainous status. Even the Ash and Pikachu from Mirror World are completely different: the other Ash is a timid crybaby, and his Pikachu is a wild and impish battle-hungry menace.
Mirror World is accessible to almost anyone, requiring nothing more than a wish strong enough to break its fragile barriers. It was so ridiculously easy that even Team Rocket was able to get in. Seeing how Meowth was able to go as well, Pokemon are also welcomed to enter Mirror World by way of their own free will. A whole world is hidden within a cave that mirrors the entire universe of Pokemon inside its walls.
In Mirror World, everyone has the exact same Pokemon party as their real-world twins, but the personalities of these Pokemon differ wildly. For example, Mirror World Ash’s Hawlucha is timid and weak compared to the original Ash’s fierce and powerful one.
The Legendary Pokemon in this world are also the polar opposites of their real-world counterparts. This means that the usually passive and understanding deities are more aggressive and rash, making for a dangerous environment. With such immense power used for evil, the Legendaries are certainly more feared than revered in Mirror World. It’s almost an unnoticeable nod to the original Pokemon manga where the Elite Four are actually evil figures, as well as some of the Legendary Pokemon.
While Ash’s adventures in Mirror World were short-lived, spanning only a few hours before being cut short, it was very interesting to see the stark parallels between the two very different worlds. The fact that the parallel Pikachu knew all of the moves of the original and was just as powerful despite his trainer lacking confidence and skill was also an interesting clue as to how Pokemon can progress purely on the basis of their attitudes and willingness to battle despite having an inadequate trainer.
Mirror World is certainly a place of wonder and magic — but there are also dangers of visiting this place that should lead to entering with extreme caution. The Pokemon world is one known for its many legends and mythos and now there exists a world where the Pokemon at the center of those legends are reversed at their cores. If you’re in Mirror World after sunset, you will be stuck there forever! It only takes a wish to get there, but it comes with grave consequences if one isn’t careful.
The weird, mysterious and very dangerous Mirror World is a place in the Pokemon universe like no other.