Old Updates Archive
Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna - Chapter Two
April 18th, 2016
Dogasu @ 07:26 JST -- The issue of CoroCoro Comics that contained the second chapter of the manga adaptation of this summer's movie, Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna, went on sale the other day and so, as usual, I've written up a plot synopsis.
In previous years these manga adaptations have been pretty faithful to the movies on which they were based but, as I said after the first chapter came out, that doesn't seem to be the case this time around. Satoshi and Jarvis (and Éliphas, I guess) continue to be the only humans from the movie's official website to make an appearance and there seem to be two brand new characters added just because. I'm certainly looking forward to comparing the manga with the movie when the latter comes out.
A third chapter is due to appear in the June 2016 issue of CoroCoro Comics which will go on sale May 14th.
Pokémon the movie XY&Z "Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna" hits Japanese theaters on July 16th, 2016. It is the 19th film in the franchise overall.
Public Service Announcement: Pocket Monsters XY&Z time change
April 2nd, 2016
Dogasu @ 15:01 JST -- This is something that was actually announced a little over a month ago but since this is happening soon I thought it'd be worth posting a reminder about it here; for the first time in eighteen years the Pocket Monsters animated series is getting a timeslot change.
It's not really much of a change; Pocket Monsters XY&Z, which up until now had been airing on TV-Tokyo on Thursday nights from 7:00 - 7:30pm, is going to start airing from 6:55pm until 7:25pm instead. This new timeslot will begin with the episode airing this coming Thursday, "A Bride for Citron!? Eureka's "S'il vous Plaît" Panic!!"
The reason seems to be because the new show that TV-Tokyo is putting in its 5:20pm timeslot is ending five minutes earlier which is, in turn, shifting every other primetime show back five minutes as well. It's not just Pocket Monsters being affected here; every show airing in primetime on TV-Tokyo Mondays through Friday having to announce that they'll start airing five minutes earlier starting from this month. It's actually kind of a mess.
So if you're the kind of person who watches new episodes of Pocket Monsters live, be aware that the show is now going to be airing five minutes earlier starting April 7th.
Celebrating Twenty Years of Pocket Monsters - Part Five
March 23rd, 2016
Dogasu @ 07:362 JST -- Today I continue my look at Pokemon in 1996 by showing you the October 1996 issue of CoroCoro Comics!
This issue has more details about the upcoming Trading Card Game as well as what I believe is the first mention of Pocket Monsters Blue, the first "new" game in the franchise!
The next (and final) issue of CoroCoro Comics from 1996 that I've been able to get my hands on is the December 1996 issue. I'm not sure when I'll get that information posted but I'll try to get it up as soon as I can pry myself away from Pokkén Tournament.
Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna - Chapter One
March 15th, 2016
Dogasu @ 23:50 JST -- Today the April 2016 issue of CoroCoro Comics officially came out in Japan. While other sites have been focusing on things like the magazine's coverage of the pre-order ticket bonus, this site is going to focus on the really exciting thing to come out of this issue; the first chapter of the manga adaptation of this summer's movie, Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna!
For the last...oh, let's say ten years or so...the manga adaptations have been rather faithful. Sure there's been the odd change here and there but for the most part the manga matches up with the final film pretty well. I don't think that's necessarily the case with this year's comic, however, because Satoshi and Jarvis are the only named humans in this thing. Serena, Citron, Eureka, and the Rocket-Dan are nowhere to be found. None of the movie-exclusive characters - Chymia, Racel, Éliphas, Doga, and Ether - show up here either.
So the manga is already starting off way different from what I think most sane people would expect from the actual film. Wonder how much it'll end up diverging from the final product?
Pokémon the movie XY&Z "Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna" hits Japanese theaters on July 16th, 2016. It is the 19th film in the franchise overall.
Celebrating Twenty Years of Pocket Monsters - Day Four
March 7th, 2016
Dogasu @ 07:52 JST -- "Tomorrow's update"...ha!
I didn't post the CoroCoro Comics update I meant to because of a number of factors but better late than never, right? Here's a look at the September 1996 issue of CoroCoro Comics:
One of the reasons it took me so long to get this posted is because this issue is a lot more dense than I had anticipated. We've got hints of Pocket Monsters 2 already, a feature on the upcoming Pokemon Trading Card Game, the beginning of the magazine's serialization of Anakubo Kousaku's Pocket Monsters...it's just one thing after the other!
The next issue I'll be covering is the October 1996 issue. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get that posted but the hope is to have it done before the end of the week.
Celebrating Twenty Years of Pocket Monsters - Day Three
March 1st, 2016
Dogasu @ 07:45 JST -- Today's look at the year 1996 focuses on the July 1996 issue of CoroCoro Comics!
This issue didn't have anything groundbreaking in it - there aren't any new pokemon reveals or anything like that - but it does show how the franchise is slowly but surely beginning to take over the magazine. The titular pocket monsters are appearing on more pages than before and various toys and other merchandise are starting to come out. I guess this little Game Boy game's pretty popular after all!
Tomorrow's update will look at the September 1996 issue which features the first appearance of Anakubo Kousaku's Pocket Monsters manga in the pages of (the regular) CoroCoro Comics!
Celebrating Twenty Years of Pocket Monsters - Day Two
February 29th, 2016
Dogasu @ 07:18 JST -- Today I continue what I started Saturday by posting information from the May 1996 issue of CoroCoro Comics! for the site's newest Feature "Pocket Monsters in 1996." This month the big news is the official reveal of the mythical 151st pokemon Mew! Up until this point the existence of Mew had merely been the stuff of playground legends but this issue is, I believe, the first time Mew's existence was ever actually officially confirmed.
You can read this historic announcement (and more!) in my coverage of this vintage issue of CoroCoro Comics.
Later today I'll be sharing with you the July 1996 issue (I wasn't able to track down the June issue, unfortunately) of CoroCoro Comics in which the franchise's merchandising really begins to take off!
Celebrating Twenty Years of Pocket Monsters
February 27th, 2016
Dogasu @ 23:33 JST -- My Pocket Monsters origin story: My introduction to the franchise came at the end of 1997. The Pokemon Shock incident had just occurred and my local newspaper printed the article the Associated Press wrote about it on its front page the following day. Now at the time I was at that awkward phase I think a lot of us go through where I wanted to watch anything and everything that came from Japan and so when a Japanese cartoon was featured right there on the front page of a newspaper...well how could I not read about it?
Some time later Viz's monthly Animerica magazine printed an editorial by some Japanese animator or producer or somebody in the business talking about the incident. I still hadn't played the video games or seen a second of the animated series at this point (Japanese imports were infinitely more difficult to obtain in the late 90s) but I knew it was something I was going to want to check out eventually.
A few months later I received that Pokemon VHS in the mail that subscribers of Nintendo Power magazine got. Y'know, that 90s-tastic one with Ash's science teacher and aunt and all that. By the time the show made its way to American TV on September 1998 I had a general sense that the franchise existed and new that the main characters were named Satoshi and Pikachu but didn't know anything beyond what that VHS had told me.
I was hooked on the TV show from day one. I got Pokémon Red later that month and played the ever-living hell out of that too. Some time later I finally managed to get my hand on the Japanese version of the TV show and then in January 2000 I started a little website called Dogasu's Backpack. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I was thinking about a way to celebrate this milestone in a way that no other site can and decided that the best, most Dogasu's Backpack way of celebrating is to show what Japanese magazines were saying about the franchise at the time. Today I present the newest feature to the site, Pocket Monsters in 1996.
I was able to track down six issues of CoroCoro Comics from 1996 so starting today I'm going to start presenting them to you, one issue per day, to show you what the hype train was like in the only country that's actually had the franchise for 20 years now. Longtime visitors of the site will remember I did the same thing as an April Fool's prank a few years ago; it was pretty well-received then so I thought hey, why not do it again? I think these are great time capsules that show just how quickly the franchise grew.
In non-CoroCoro Comics news, I've also translated the review of Pocket Monsters Red & Green that the video game magazine Famitsu did back in 1996. I wasn't able to get a copy of the magazine myself in time for the anniversary so I'm having to make do with the image I've seen floating around on social media lately instead.
Tomorrow I'll be posting about the May 1996 issue of CoroCoro which features the magazine's first appearance of the mythical pokemon Mew and instructions on how to get one for yourself. Pretty exciting stuff!
Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna
February 24th, 2016
Dogasu @ 23:22 JST -- The title for this year's movie has been (officially) revealed as Volcanion and the Tricky Magearna (ボルケニオンと機巧のマギアナ)!
A lot of people online seem to have trouble translating the 機巧 part of the movie's title and so I thought I'd add my two cents. 機巧 is a rarely-used word that's usually only ever pronounced as kikou . It's made up of the Chinese characters 機, which means "machine" or "contraption," and 巧, which means "skilled" or "ingenuity." Google Translate produces this as "exquisite contrivance" which is, well, nonsense. The actual meaning is closer to "ingenious" or "trick."
What kind of complicates things is how the word in this title isn't actually pronounced kikou. We know this because the letters karakuri (からくり) appear over the word to tell us that, actually, it's pronounced karakuri. In essence, the word is spelled one way but pronounced another. Karakuri, as a word, means "puppet" or "trick" and is usually written in either hiragana or katakana. It's also appeared in this franchise before as the Trick House (カラクリ屋敷) in Houen.
So what's a word that conveys the meaning of the kanji - "machine" and "ingenuity" - but also takes into account the "trick" meaning added by the pronunciation? I decided to go with "tricky." A "machine" can be said to be a combination of contraptions and tricks and both "ingenuity and skill" are required to get over something tricky - a tricky math problem, a tricky video game puzzle, etc. As for karakuri? Well, a karakuri yashiki is a house filled with trick doors and trick walls and all sorts of things meant to trick you. In my opinion, at least, "tricky" captures the spirit of the Japanese title the most.
So anyway, there's now a new plot synopsis that I've translated as well as information on the new pokemon Magearna that's been added to the Pokemon Page.
Conspicuously missing from the movie's official website is information on any Pikachu short. Is it possible we're just not getting one this year at all? The other movies that didn't get Pikachu shorts attached to them (Deoxys through Keldeo) still had Pikachu posters released anyway so the simple fact that a poster exists for this year's film doesn't necessarily mean we're getting one.
Finally, I've added information about the manga adaptation that's starting in next month's issue of CoroCoro Comics!
The manga adaptation is being done by Kawamoto Kemon, a manga artist who's been working since the 80s on a wide variety of series for a wide variety of audiences. A page count for the first chapter isn't listed though in the past these first chapters tend to be about 80 pages or so. The first chapter will be printed in the April issue of CoroCoro Comics, on sale March 15th, 2016.
My site's now old enough to get a driver's license
February 14th, 2016
Dogasu @ 22:42 JST -- Well it took me a good half a month but I've finally written up my look back at the previous year for the site's anniversary!
Every year I end these essays with my predictions for the following year and of course this time is no different. With 2016 being the franchise's 20th anniversary I wanted to make sure I covered as much as I could so it'll be more interesting when I take a look back at them at the end of the year to see how I did. I don't think any of my predictions are too bold or out there but who knows!
So what do you think of Dogasu's Backpack's sixteenth year? And what do you think of my predictions for next year? Let me know in the usual places!
Reminder about the first three movies
February 9th, 2016
Dogasu @ 21:00 JST -- My predictions for 2016 are coming...at some point? but in the meantime I would like to take Viz's re-release of the first three movies to remind you that this site, right here, has detailed essays depicting all the changes made between the Japanese original and the English dub of said films.
It'd be super nice if fans in the U.S. had a cheap, legal way to view the uncut originals (like, y'know, pretty much every other Japanese cartoon in existence) but until that day comes these essays will help let fill you in on what you're missing.
Entei Enero, Week Four - "Spell of the Unown"
January 31st, 2016
Dogasu @ 23:15 JST -- The "Enero" in "Entei Enero" is Spanish for "January" which means that it's about time I wrap this whole thing up!
Today I've got my revised comparison between the Japanese version and the English version of the third movie, Spell of the Unown!
The movie's getting re-released in the U.S. in a little over a week so now's as good a time as any to check out what's been changed in the English version.
Also, today is my site's sixteenth anniversary y'all! That's right, Dogasu's Backpack started up back on January 31st, 2000 and has been going ever since. I didn't have time to do the usual anniversary write-up but I'll see if I can't throw some predictions together later this week.
January 23rd, 2016
Dogasu @ 14:09 JST -- The first new Rocket-Dan song in nearly fifteen years was released on Wednesday both on iTunes and as a part of the "Pocket Monsters XY&Z" the Animated Series Character Song Project Collection Volume 1 CD. Today I have the full lyrics for the song, Rocket-Dan Danka, well as an English translation.
The song was definitely one of the most difficult songs I've ever translated into English but I'm pretty happy with the way my version turned out. Rocket-Dan Danka is one of those songs where if 100 people had a go at translating it you'd get back 100 different translations, all different from the one before it, and so I encourage those of you who don't understand the Japanese used in this song to look through as different translations as you can so you can get a better feel for the song.
A "TV Size" version of the song was also included in the iTunes release. Now the mere existence of a "TV Size" version suggests that the song will be used as an ending theme at some point down the road but nothing has been confirmed one way or the other at this time. Fingers crossed though!
The song can be purchased on iTunes for those of you whose iTunes accounts are set to the Japanese store. A guide to switching over to the Japanese store can be found here.
Those of you who can't get that to work can purchase the CD that the song can be found on, "Pocket Monsters XY&Z" the Animated Series Character Song Project Collection Volume 1. The CD doesn't contain the TV size or the instrumental versions of the song but it does have the full version. It also contains the full version of the current opening and ending themes, XY&Z and Puni-chan no Uta.
Rocket-Dan Danka has been used as an insert song in the last two XY&Z episodes so it seems like we'll be enjoying it for quite some time to come!
Entei Enero, Week Three - "Pichu and Pikachu"
January 19th, 2016
Dogasu @ 06:43 JST -- Here's the comparison for "Pikachu and Pichu," aka the first time 4Kids actually got things mostly right.
Next week I'll be posting a comparison for the main film, Spell of the Unown, though I don't know if I can promise to have it up by Monday or not due to how busy this week is going to be for me. Good thing "Enero" doesn't translate to Monday, right?
Sometimes I cover movies that aren't nearly two decades old!
January 16th, 2016
Dogasu @ 09:32 JST -- The official website for Pokémon the movie XY&Z 2016 made its monthly update yesterday by providing some preliminary plot details.
The very last scene of the teaser that came out last month shows Pikachu surrounded by all sorts of machinery so I think it's safe to say that this is what we can expect the Azoth Kingdom to look like.
Pokémon the movie XY&Z 2016 will come out in Japan on July 16th, 2016.
Entei Enero, Week Two: The banned Pikachu short
January 11th, 2016
Dogasu @ 23:48 JST -- Did you know that Pichu and Pikachu, the Pikachu short that was released alongside the third Pocket Monsters movie, is sorta-kinda banned in Japan? They're not airing it on TV anymore, it doesn't show up on any streaming websites, and it's being omitted from various DVD and Blu-ray releases. So what's going on here?
Today's update, The "Banned" Pikachu Short, takes a look at Sakai Noriko, the woman whose actions caused the short to be banned in Japan. If you don't know about any of this then this is a great introduction to a side of the franchise few Westerners know about. Hopefully those of you who know exactly what happened will still manage to learn something anyway.
Also, I need you guys' help. The short is banned in Japan, obviously, but what about the rest of the world? Has the short ever been released on DVD anywhere else in the world since August 2009? What about airing on TV? I'm basically trying to figure out if this is a worldwide ban or if this is just a Japan thing. It would really suck if it was the former.
Also! Because January only has four Mondays in it and it'd be awkward to do any "Entei Enero" updates in February I also went ahead and translated content from the movie's theatrical pamphlet! Notes from the film's supervisor Ishihara Tsunekazu, notes from the film's director, messages from the film's voice actors...all if it has been translated so you too can enjoy this interesting look at what was going on with the franchise in Japan back in the year 2000.
Next week I'll be revamping my comparison for Pichu and Pikachu, the dub of which actually manages to fix a bunch of the problems that the first two shorts had. Look forward to it!
Entei Enero, Week One
January 5th, 2016
Dogasu @ 06:30 JST -- Let's do this.
Today is the start of a multi-week look at the third Pocket Monsters movie, Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI" & "Pichu and Pikachu." For this week I've revamped the front page for the movie with brand new synopses, staff and cast information, information about the pre-order bonus, box office performance, and trivia mined from Shudou Takeshi's ever-informative blog.
Of particular interest is The Mythical Third Movie, a look at Shudou Takeshi's original plan for the third film that involved the discover of a real world T-Rex fossil and our heroes' efforts to stop its rampage. I've also created a page explaining why Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI was Shudou Takeshi's last movie called Shudou Takeshi's Departure from the Pokemon Films.
For next week I'll be taking a look at Pichu and Pikachu and why it's sorta-kinda banned in Japan. Why is the short omitted from all DVD and Blu-ray releases and TV broadcasts after the 2009 arrest of Sakai Noriko? And what does the whole "scandal" say about drug culture in Japan?
The "Enero" in "Entei Enero" (which was something a number of you suggested) is Spanish for "January" so really I could choose to have these updates done on just about any day of the week. I'm going to try to continue sticking to Mondays for consistency's sake but it's possible I might change things up depending on what else I've got going on this month.
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