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Welcome to Dogasu's Backpack, a fansite for the Japanese franchise Pocket Monsters! For eighteen years this website has been your guide for the Japanese version of Pokémon and contains content you can't find anywhere else. Stuff like detailed comparisons between the Japanese version and the English version of the animated series, English-Japanese lists for all pokemon, information on the various manga, a lyrics database, a DVD Guide, and much more! So whether you're a seasoned veteran or a newbie just getting into Pocket Monsters, this site has something for every fan to enjoy.




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Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution Details
March 23rd, 2019

Dogasu @ 11:34 JST -- You know, if I'm going to be nearly a month late reporting on Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution news then I'd better bring you information and analysis you can't find anywhere else, right?

Trailer

A new trailer was released at the end of last month that showed off quite a bit of the new movie:



Here's a translation of the trailer:

Researcher 1:  "It possesses miraculous powers. It causes great floods but also makes crops grow in barren lands and shares them with humans."

On-screen Text:  "Is it an angel or a devil?"
Researcher 2: 
"Is it an angel or a devil?"

Dr. Fuji: 
"In this world, the only ones who can create new  life are humans and God."

Researcher:  "It finally woke up!"

On-screen Text:  Original Story: Satoshi Tajiri; Directors: Kunihiko Yuyama and Motohori Sakakibara; Screenplay: Takeshi Shudo; Special Guest Voice: Masachika Ichimura

Mewtwo:  "Who am I?"

On-screen Text:  "What does it mean to be the strongest?"

Mewtwo:  "What is this place?"

On-screen Text:  "This question goes out to all life."

Mewtwo:  "Who wished for me to be created?"

On-screen Text:  "It's the greatest because it's the original"

Satoshi:  "Mew...two...?"
Pikachu:  "Pika?"

Mewtwo:  "Against you I will...strike back!"


Of course, with this being Dogasu's Backpack and all, I also went ahead and did a full breakdown / comparison of the trailer to see what all we can gather about the new film.




Check out my breakdown of the new trailer here.

Plot Synopsis

A "plot synopsis," if you can even call it that, was posted on the official website:

We're telling the whole world... It's the greatest because it's the original.

"A pure heart and a strong desire to meet"...the mythical pokemon Mew is said to only appear before those adventurers who possess both. Researchers from all over the world have been chasing after that which is said to be the genesis of all pokemon until finally, one day, a scientist discovered a Mew fossil and dirtied his hands by crossing a line that even God is afraid to cross.

"What is this place...Who am I..."

A legendary pokemon was dragged into this world due to man's egotistical desire to create the strongest pokemon. That pokemon's name is Mewtwo. Without knowing the reason for its existence Mewtwo is subjected to experiment after experiment to make it the strongest weapon and, during all this, begins to plot against the humans who brought it into this world.

"And so to the humans who gave birth to me I will...strike back."

At long last, that perfect masterpiece will STRIKE BACK in full 3D-CG worldwide in Summer 2019.


That last line about the movie going "worldwide in Summer 2019"...is that hinting at a worldwide simultaneous release??

Voice Cast

On the voice cast side of things we got the expected returning names; Rika Matsumoto as Satoshi, Ikue Ohtani as Pikachu, Megumi Hayashibara as Musashi, Shin-ichiro Miki as Kojirou, and Inuko Inuyama as Nyarth.

We also got word that the late Unshou Ishizuka will be back as the narrator, suggesting that his audio from the 1998 original (well, all two lines of it anyway) will be reused for 2019's film.

Curiously enough, neither Kasumi's nor Takeshi's voice actors are listed yet despite appearing in the trailer.

The big voice actor news, of course, is that Masachika Ichimura has (finally) been confirmed to be reprising his role as Mewtwo. Mr. Ichimura played Mewtwo in 1998's Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" as well as the TV special Mewtwo Lives but he hasn't played the character since then. Here's a comment he gave to go along with the announcement:

Masachika Ichimura


みなさんの伝説である、あのミュウツーがさらに進化して帰ってきます。
今回、新たに自分の中の“ミュウツー魂”を呼び起こして演じました。
21年ぶりに蘇った今回の「ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION」はポケモン映画初となる全編フル3DCGで描かれています。
1作目を観た人も、観ていない人も…
すべての人に伝説のポケモン “ミュウツー”のパワーをお届けしたい!
来たれ、映画館に!
Mewtwo, the legend itself, is back and has evolved to be even better than ever. I once again called upon the "Mewtwo spirit" within me to play the role for this year's film.

Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution brings it all back after 21 years as the first all CG Pokemon movie. I hope to deliver the power of the legendary pokemon "Mewtwo" to everyone out there regardless of whether you've seen the first movie or not! We'll see you at the theater!


Still no word yet if the first film's other special guest voice actors - Kouichi Yamadera as Mew and Sachiko Kobayashi as Voyager - will be returning.

Staff

On the staff side, we got Junya Okamoto (岡本順哉) and Katakami Hidenaga (片上秀長) returning as Executive Producers from last year's Pocket Monsters The Movie "Everyone's Story." The regular Producers of the film are Satoshi Shimodaira (下平聡士), Nobuyuki Hosoya (細谷伸之) and Yosuke Nagafuchi (長渕陽介).

Masashi Kobayashi (小林雅士) is the animation producer of the new film. Previous credits of his include Rudolf the Black Cat, Cyborg 009 Call of Justice, and Snack World.

Kiyoshi Nasu (那須基仁)'s the CGI supervisor. He previously worked on the CG in Future Card Buddyfight.

According to OLM's official site the film is being animated by a combination of OLM, OLM Digital, and the Los Angeles-based Sprite Animation Studios. The latter's "About Us" section on their website is worth a read:

At Sprite Animation Studios we specialize in creating CG animated works. Our passion to create something that is uniquely ours – infused with Spriteness – gave birth to Sprite Animation Studios in 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2004, Sprite Animation Studios relocated to Los Angeles, which has been our home ever since. Although our company is American-born and bred, our core staff is comprised of creative minds with cultural roots in both Japan and America. The collaboration of these "East Meets West" values allows us to create unique works which we delight in sharing with the world. As a small boutique studio in LA we swim in a big pond but our great passion and pride allow us to achieve what would be thought unachievable. We believe that a good CG-animated story has the magical power to touch and transport its audience to a different time and place, and we will always be passionate about crafting this magic for our audience!

In early 2009, Sprite entered into a partnership with OLM Digital, Inc., expanding our production capacity and our ability to handle large-scale projects. This has also made possible a seamless production line between LA and Tokyo through the sharing of Sprite's workflow methods and tools perfected over five years of research and development by its internal team. This lead to our first joint production in 2013: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (Disney XD), in which the entire production process – from storyboard to delivery – was handled by Sprite and OLM. In 2016, we saw the launch of our much anticipated theatrical films, Rudolf: The Black Cat and Snack World: Lenny the Misanthrope. So what is next for Sprite? To continue creating CG-animated projects that resonate with our audience – projects with a touch of Spriteness!


On the audio side of things,
the duo of Masafumi Mima (三間雅文) and Shinji Miyazaki (宮崎慎二) return as sound director and music composer, respectively. The first movie's soundtrack was composed by both Shinji Miyazaki and Hirokazu Tanaka (たなかひろかず) but, as of this writing, there's no word of the latter being involved in the new film at all. I'm guessing that, at the very least, the music he wrote for the original will be replaced with all new music, though of course we don't have any real way of knowing until the final film's released.

Illustration Contest

Details about this year's illustration contest have been revealed.

Illustration Contest

The general idea is that you take one of the templates seen on the left side below, draw fanart around it like the examples on the right, and then send it in to one of the magazines associated with the franchise.
Here are some examples of what they're looking for; the template's on the left while an example's on the right.



Prizes include having your name and artwork featured during the end credits of Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution and a copy of either Pocket Monsters Let's Go! Pikachu or Let's Go! Eevee.

I've compiled / translated all the details about the illustration contest on its own page here.

Pre-Order Ticket Distribution

Those who purchase a pre-order ticket - which go on sale starting April 12th, can get a special "Strikes Back Mewtwo" for their Pocket Monsters Let's Go! Pikachu or Let's Go! Eevee games.

Distributions

I've compiled / translated all the details about the distribution on its own page here.


Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION) will be the 22nd Pocket Monsters movie. The film will be released on Friday, July 12th, 2019 in Japan and is part of a year-long campaign known as "The Year of Mewtwo."

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Pre-Order Tickets for Hollywood's "Detective Pikachu" movie to go on sale in Japan March 21st
February 27th, 2019

Dogasu @ 6:45 JST -- Pre-order tickets for Detective Pikachu, the first live action Hollywood Pokémon movie, will go on sale in Japan on Thursday, March 21st the movie's official site announced last week.

Detective Pikachu

The pre-order tickets, which go on sale during a bank holiday, will be sold at the following locations:
  • Theaters nationwide that'll be playing the film (a full list of theaters can be found here)
  • Lawson convenience stores
  • Aeon and Aeon Super Center department stores
  • Tsutaya Records video rental stores and their online shops
  • Pokemon Center stores
  • The Pokemon Center Online website.
The pre-order tickets will go for 1,400 yen (about USD $12.64) for general admission and 800 yen (USD $7.22) for children. These prices are the same as the pre-order tickets for the regular Pocket Monsters movies every year.

More information about pre-order bonuses (probably a keychain, or a clear file, or something like that) are going to be given out along with your ticket will be announced at a later date.


Detective Pikachu will be one of two Pokemon movies coming out later this year, with the other being Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution". The former currently has a vague release date of May 2019 in Japan.

For the purposes of this website, I will be focusing primarily on the Japanese release of the film. More information about its release will be added as it becomes available.

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Kinryu Arimoto, 1941 - 2019
February 11th, 2019

Dogasu @ 23:40 JST -- Japan's Daily Sports newspaper announced this past Friday that film and animation voice actor Kinryu Arimoto (有本欽隆) passed away on Friday, February 1st from esophageal cancer. The Tottori Prefecture native was 77 years old.

Kinryu Arimoto

Mr. Arimoto got his start way back in 1966 when he was cast as a bank employee in an episode of Osomatsu-kun. These days he's
most well known among anime fans as being the voice of Whitebeard in One Piece, Seigou Hibiki in Inazuma Eleven, and Tomomi Masaoka in Psycho-Pass. He's also known in Japan for acting in the Japanese dubs of Hollywood films, particularly for roles portrayed by actors Christopher Walken and Jeremy Irons.

In Pocket Monsters, Mr. Arimoto provided the voice of Ford in the Orange Islands episode "The Coil of the Great Plains!" and Denjirou in the Jouto episode "The Poppo Fancier's Carrier Poppo!"

Ford
Denjirou

A private funeral was recently held with his family and close friends while a (presumably more public) farewell event is planned to take place sometime in the near future.

Condolences to Mr. Arimoto’s family and friends.  May he rest in peace.

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Dogasu's Backpack Turns 19 Years Old
February 1st, 2019

Dogasu @ 00:26 JST -- It's January 31st (in America, still) and so it's time to celebrate this website's birthday! Dogasu's Backpack turns19 years old today and so I've done the usual write-up looking back on 2018 and looking ahead on the new year.

Dogasu's Backpack is 19 Years Old

The essay also has my predictions for what will happen with the franchise this year so be sure to check those out as well! What do you think this year has in store for us? Let me know via one of the links below!

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"Pocket Monsters Ball Collection - Mewtwo" coming in May 2019
January 21st, 2019

Dogasu @ 23:05 JST -- Earlier today Bandai announced the "Pocket Monsters Ball Collection - Mewtwo" (ポケットモンスターボールコレクション MEWTWO) and in doing so included an interesting bit of information about Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution that hadn't been revealed before.
Mewtwo Ball
Let's start with the product description, courtesy of Bandai's promotional site:

2019年7月12日(金)に劇場公開予定の 「ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION」に登場するミュウツーボールを、
ポケモンのボールをタブレットケースにした「ボールコレクション」シリーズで商品化!
さらに、モンスターボール、スーパーボール、ハイパーボール、マスターボールはマット塗装でラインナップ!
The Mewtwo Ball that appears in Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution, in theaters July 12th, will be sold as a part of the "Ball Collection" series of pokemon balls that have been made into tablet cases! Monster Balls, Super Balls, Hyper Balls, and Master Balls will also be a part of the lineup.

"The Mewtwo Ball that appears in Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution" part here suggests that the scenes from 1998's Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" featuring the Mewtwo Balls are going to be recreated, in some form or another, in 2019's Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution.

The "Mewtwo Ball" (ミュウツーボール) is the name of the special Monster Ball conjured up by Mewtwo in the original movie to get the Trainers' pokemon as punishment for being defeated by its clones. After getting all our heroes' pokemon, including Satoshi's Pikachu, they're brought to the nautilus shaped cloning machine in the castle's basement to start the cloning process. Satoshi breaks the machine and the Mewtwo Balls release their prisoners.

Mewtwo Strikes Back! (1998)

For years the term "Mewtwo Ball" has been used in various Japanese guide books to refer to these special black Monster Balls. In the book This is Animation: Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation," released on September 20th, 1998, for example, the Mewtwo Balls are given this description:

This is Animation

ミュウツーボール
▼ミュウツーが、自分で作ったモンスターボール。このボールは、ほかのトレーナーのポケモンを奪い取り、さらにモンスターボールに入っているポケモンま で、ボールごとゲットしてしまう。最強のモンスターボールだ!
Mewtwo Balls
The Monster Ball that Mewtwo makes itself. This Ball can steal other Trainers' pokemon and can even get pokemon who are already in their own Monster Ball, ball and all! It really is the ultimate Monster Ball!

And in the
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation" Daizenshuu, released that same day, Mewtwo Balls get an even lengthier description:

Daizenshuu

しつもん2
ミュウツーボールってナニ?
ミュウツーがポケモンバトルのあとにポケモンをゲットするためにつかう特別なモンスターボールが、大きな目だまがついたミュウツーボール。ただし、ただの モンスターボールとはちがうんだ。ミュウツーの念力にしたがってじゆうにうごくし、よわっていないポケモンだってゲットできるし、モンスターボールごと ゲットすることもできちゃうんだ。ちなみにポケモンをゲットしたミュウツーボールは、自動的にポケモン城の地下にある大きなマシンにむかってとんでいく ぞ。
Question 2
What is the Mewtwo Ball?
The Mewtwo Ball is the special Monster Ball with a big eyeball that Mewtwo uses to get pokemon after its pokemon battle. However, these aren't your ordinary Monster Balls! These Mewtwo Balls are able to go anywhere thanks to Mewtwo's psychokinesis, get pokemon even if they haven't been weakened first, and get pokemon already in their Monster Balls, ball and all. By the way, once the Mewtwo Balls get their pokemon they automatically head straight for the large machine in the basement of Pokemon Castle.

Now, back to Bandai's new merchandise. Each ball is listed as having a height of 48mm (1.89 in) and a width of 49mm (1.93 in). Pre-orders started today, January 21st at 13:00 JST. The set of five, which also includes stands for the five balls as well as Ramune candies, retails for (a ridiculous) 4,320 yen (about US $39.40).



Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution (ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION) will be the 22nd Pocket Monsters movie. The film will be released on Friday, July 12th, 2019 in Japan and is part of a year-long campaign known as "The Year of Mewtwo."

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CoroCoro Comics - February 2019
January 18th, 2019

Dogasu @ 22:10 JST -- The February 2019 issue of CoroCoro Comics came this past Tuesday and featured a two page spread on this summer's new movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution.




The spread doesn't really feature anything new but it does re-confirm the fact that this movie will be all CG, something that Sayuri Ichi'ishi already told us back in mid-December.

Translation of the relevant text follows:

Both
2019年ポケモン映画スクープ‼
The Big Scoop on the 2019 Pokemon Movie!!
p 74  (right)
ポ スター&特報映像ぞくぞく解禁‼
「ミュウツーの逆襲EVOLUTION」
7月12日ロードショー‼

主役は…ミュウツー!
The poster and teaser are being revealed, one after the other. Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution, in theaters July 12th!!

The star of the film is...Mewtwo!
p 75 (left)
今 年はミュウツーイヤー!夏のポケモン映画始動‼

今度の映画はフル3DCG‼
ポケモン映画最新作のタイトル名は…「ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION」‼ただの映画ではなく、すべたが3DCGで描かれた超大作‼

新年解禁の映像もフル3DCG。ミュウツーの飛行シーンもド迫力‼
This year is the Year of Mewtwo!
The Summer Pokemon Movie is Starting!!

This year's movie is going to be in full 3D CG!!
The title of the newest Pokemon movie is..."Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution"!! And it's not going to be your average movie either because this super big movie's going to be rendered in 3D CG!!

The footage that was released at the start of the year is full 3D CG as well. Mewtwo's flying scene is incredibly powerful!

The page also has a small ad for the Blu-ray and DVD release of last year's movie,
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Everyone's Story," as well as the titles and one sentence summaries of two upcoming episodes of Sun & Moon.


There was also a page all about being able to catch Mewtwo in Let's Go! Pikachu / Let's Go! Eevee since, you know, Mewtwo. The magazine tells its readers that they have to go to the cave outside Hanada City after entering the Hall of Fame and recommends using a Dark-Type pokemon to weaken it.



And that does it for this month's CoroCoro coverage! If future issues of the magazine contain any interesting news I'll be sure to post that as well.

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