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Welcome to Dogasu's Backpack, a fansite for the Japanese franchise Pocket Monsters!  For fourteen 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 Lives
November 17th, 2014

Dogasu @ 07:50 JST -- There are a number of rumors about this franchise that people just sort of accept and take at face value despite a lack of clear evidence one way or the other.  One such rumor is the supposed death of Philip Bartlett.

Philip Bartlett

The rumor goes that Mr. Bartlett, whose real name is Jay Goede, passed away after providing the voice of Mewtwo in Mewtwo Strikes Back and was therefore replaced by Dan Green for the TV special sequel Mewtwo Returns.  There was never really any proof of his death and a lot of people - myself included - just sort of took this information at face value.  Old VA died and so Dan Green takes over.  Makes sense, right?

A post made a few days ago over at behind the voice actors tells of how Mr. Bartlett is actually very much alive and was willing to speak with the poster about various things.  He talks about his supposed death, what it was like to record the movie ("I just remember spending a lot of time recording...about 2 or 3 days"), how he was also the voice of Dr. Fuji and how surreal it was to play both the creator and the creation, and how he believes his ego was the reason he didn't get asked to come back to reprise the role for Mewtwo Returns.  I found it to be an extremely fascinating read and I don't even like the dub!

Special thanks to PockyAddict over at the Bulbagarden Forums for the tip.

Yanaga Kazuko, 1947 - 2014
November 16th, 2014

Dogasu @ 22:50 JST -- I'm a little bit late with this news but I want to post it anyway: we've lost another voice actor.

Yanaga Kazuko

Yanaga Kazuko (弥永和子) passed away on November 1st from Sepsis, according to an announcement made earlier in the month by her talent agency 81 Produce.  She was 67 years old.  Ms. Yanaga was born on April 14th, 1947 in Fukuoka Prefecture and was married to fellow voice actor Otsuka Houchuu.  Ms. Yanaga is famous for being the dub-over actor for the Japanese dubs of movies featuring Sigourney Weaver, Meryl Streep, and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others.

In Pocket Monsters Ms. Yanaga provided the voice of Kaneyo, the rich woman who owned the Buru that would eventually follow our heroes throughout the Jouto region.  She was the only character Ms. Yanaga voiced for the series.


Condolences to Ms. Yanaga's family and friends.  May she rest in peace.

"Diancie and the Destruction of My Faith in the Dub"
November 15th, 2014

Dogasu @ 08:48 JST -- Last Saturday was a dark day for the English dub.  Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction aired on Cartoon Network and...sigh. 

"Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction"

The Japanese Blu-ray won't be out for another month or so but in the meantime I've written up a preliminary comparison between the uncut Japanese version and the English hackdub. 


Pokémon the movie XY Exhibit
November 8th, 2014

Dogasu @ 17:41 JST -- This is one of those updates that's been about 95% ready to go for a few months now but am only just now posting for some reason.

This past summer there was a special exhibit over at the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower here in Tokyo called "Pokémon the movie XY Exhibit."  The exhibit, which commemorated the release of Pokemon the Movie XY "The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie" and "Pikachu, What is This the Key To?," was like one massive giant love letter to every Pocket Monsters film to date.  It had everything an animation fan like myself could want: overviews of each of the movies, original production artwork, character sketches, background paintings, and a Pikachu Café selling special Pikachu-shaped food.

Pokemon the movie XY Exhibit

Tonight I've finished writing up my report on the exhibit and would like to share it with you.  I go over what was displayed, how everything was set up, and what it was like to eat a parfait made to look like Pikachu.  I hope you enjoy!

The exhibit's been over for a while now but hopefully it'll re-open again at some point in the future.  Fingers crossed!

Pocket Monsters Special
October 21st, 2014

Dogasu @ 23:32 JST -- A new chapter of Pocket Monsters Special came out yesterday so I've typed up the usual summary for it and added it to the Manga Guide:

CoroCoro Ichiban! December 2014

Also, a reminder that the first volume of the re-release of the Ruby & Sapphire Chapter of Pocket Monsters Special hits stores this Friday, October 24th.

"Pokemon Omega Ruby Crimson Passion" & "Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Indigo Wisdom"
October 20th, 2014

Dogasu @ 17:58 JST -- Two new manga series started in the issue of CoroCoro Comics that went on sale last week and so tonight I bring you synopses of the first chapters of both Pokemon Omega Ruby Crimson Passion and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Indigo Wisdom.

Pokemon Omega Ruby Crimson Passion Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Indigo Wisdom

Detailed plot synopses of both chapters as well as a bunch of Character Bios have been added to the Manga Guide.  The promos for next month's CoroCoro Comics are saying that there will be 64 pages of this Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire manga in the December 2014 issue so I'm guessing that means that each chapter will be 32 pages apiece.

"Pokemon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire" probably isn't coming back after all
October 18th, 2014

Dogasu @ 01:49 JST -- Mima Masafumi (三間雅文), the sound director for Pocket Monsters and the man responsible for getting the excellent "Pokemon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire" radio show off the ground, posted a few tweets early last month saying that he was working on a proposal for a possible second season of said radio show.  He posted a picture of what we can assume is the proposal along with a message stating that he was going to get input from the Rocket-Dan('s voice actors) before turning it in.  Yesterday morning he was asked for updates on how that all went:

October 17th

"@Musajirou88 Happy birthday!  Information about the Rocket-Dan, huh...?  Well, to be honest, those talks didn't go anywhere.  For their return we want to do something showy (something worthy of the Rocket-Dan) and if we just came back with another season of the radio show then that'd be boring.  But what if, for example, the three of them just showed up at fast food restaurants all over the country, unannounced →"

@Musajirou88 お誕生日、おめでとうございます!ロケット団情報ですか…。実は、暗礁に乗り上げています。再デビューは、華やかにしたく(ロケット団なりの)、普通にラ ジオに帰って来ても面白くはありません。例えば、全国のファーストフードで告知も無しに3人でファーストフードの→

October 17th

"→and did a special radio show for publicity?  Or if we innocently made a new radio CD or a new CD of them singing and sold them at train stations?  In other words we're thinking of unique, Rocket-Dan-like returns that doesn't use up a lot of money.  Maybe...something could start on Twitter before any of us realize it?"

→宣伝ラジオをしていたり、駅で何気無く新作のラジオCDとか、歌のCDを団員が売っていたりとか?つまりは意外な、それでいて予算をあまり使わない、ロ ケット団らしい再デビューにしたいと考えています。もしかすると…、知らないうちにtwitterをスタートしているかも?

Unfortunately it seems like we won't be getting a second season of the radio show after all and it seems like at least part of the reason the proposal was rejected was because of money? 

If there are any updates on this or any other Rocket-Dan event in the future then I'll be sure to post about them here.

"The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon"
October 12th, 2014

Dogasu @ 10:37 JST -- Today is a very special day in the history of the Pokémon dub.  Today "Summer of Discovery!", the 416th episode that The Pokémon Company International (formerly Pokémon USA) has released since taking over production of the English dub back in 2006, premiered on Cartoon Network.  Now for simplicity's sake I'm only including the regular TV episodes and am ignoring things like movies, TV specials, Pokémon Origins, or anything else extra for the moment.

During 4Kids' run on the show, they dubbed 416 episodes (eight seasons with 52 episodes apiece).  Again, I'm not counting the movies, "Beauty and the Beach," TV specials, Pokémon Chronicles, or any of the other extra stuff they dubbed over the years.  Just regular TV episodes.

Which means that we now have one week before the number of episodes starring Sarah Natochenny as Ash Ketchum outnumbers those starring Veronica Taylor.

This is a big milestone for the English version and not one that I wanted to miss so I decided to go back and compare the first thing TPCI ever dubbed, "The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon," to see how things started.

The Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon

How was TPCI's first stab at the franchise?  Have they gotten any better in the eight years since then?  Was this special a sign of things to come?  How many pages of the message board review threads from when this special first came out can you get through before wanting to close your laptop and throw it out the window?  Let's find out!

Kayumi Iemasa, 1933 - 2014
October 9th, 2014

Dogasu @ 22:43 JST -- I hate having to add another name to the "list of voice actors we've lost" but unfortunately tonight I'll be doing just that.

Kayumi Iemasa

Kayumi Iemasa (家弓家正) passed away on September 30th, according to an announcement made yesterday by his talent agency 81 Produce.  He was 80 years old.  Mr. Kayumi had been voice acting since the 1950s and has been in everything from Tetsuwan Atom ("Astro Boy") to Jungle Emperor Leo ("Kimba the White Lion") to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind to Dragon Ball Z to One Piece.  He also provided the voices of Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Stewart in the Japanese dubs of their films, among others.

In Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl Mr. Kayumi provided the voice of Nanakamado-Hakase.  The professor was the only character Mr. Kayumi voiced for the series.


Condolences to Mr. Kayumi's family and friends.  May he rest in peace.

It looks like these DVDs might be *puts on sunglasses*...JYNXED
October 7th, 2014

Dogasu @ 22:46 JST -- Let's look at some of the digital versatile discs coming out in the next few months.

This year's movie The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie and its accompanying Pikachu short Pikachu, What is This the Key To? will be headed to Blu-ray and DVD here in Japan on December 17th, 2014.  Both releases will be two disc sets that include the Diancie short Princess Diancie of the Ore Kingdom as well as the textless opening / production artwork extras you've come to expect from these releases.  The cover art has not been revealed yet.

Over in the U.S., meanwhile, Viz Media is re-re-releasing the Kanto episodes for those of you who missed them every other time they've been released.  They re-released the first DVD box set back in November and so now, almost a year later, they're going to re-release the second and third box sets.  They're also releasing one massive nine-disc set that will contain 78 Kanto episodes for the insanely low MSRP of $54.98 (that's like 70 cents per episode).

2014 Box Set 2 2014 Box Set 3 2014 Box Set All

Here's the thing, though.  There are actually 80 dubbed episodes in the Kanto saga.  One of them is "Beauty and the Beach" but that's a special episode and so that's not going to be included here for various reasons.  The other one, and the one I think is missing from both the third box set and the "All 78 Episodes" set, is "Holiday Hi-Jynx."  The 2008 release of that third box set had 27 episodes but this 2014 re-release only has 26, making me think that they've removed the episode starring the blackface pokemon because controversy.  "Holiday Hi-Jynx" and every other episode featuring the Ice-Type ("Pokémon Stage Fight" and "The Mandarin Island Miss Match") are also missing from Netflix and so it's not like this is totally unexpected.

The omission of "Holiday Hi-Jynx" hasn't been 100% confirmed yet but I think it's highly likely.

The DVD Guide has been updated accordingly.

New Pokemon Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire series starting in this month's CoroCoro
October 6th, 2014

Dogasu @ 06:55 JST -- Two new manga series will be starting up in the issue of CoroCoro Comics that goes on sale next week.

Alpha and Omega

The new series are called Pokemon Omega Ruby Crimson Passion & Alpha Sapphire Indigo Wisdom and it seems like they'll both be running in CoroCoro Comics concurrently.  This hasn't been confirmed yet but I imagine this will be one of those six chapter deals that'll eventually get printed into a single graphic novel collection early next year.  Everything I could find out about the series based on its seven page preview and subsequent online searches has been added to my section on the series, from information about the author to character bios to a synopsis of the aforementioned preview.

Pocket Monsters Special
October 1st, 2014

Dogasu @ 23:56 JST -- Tonight I'd like to catch up on the chapters of Pocket Monsters Special that I've missed over the last two months:

CoroCoro Ichiban! October 2014
CoroCoro Ichiban! November 2014
Pokemon Fan Issue 38
CoroCoro Ichiban!
October 2014 Issue

CoroCoro Ichiban!
November 2014 Issue

Pokemon Fan
Issue 38

The December 2014 issue of CoroCoro Ichiban! will go on sale October 20th, 2014. The next issue of Pokemon Fan, on the other hand, will apparently go on sale sometime in November (I've heard November 20th but haven't been able to confirm that yet). Rumor has it that Issue 40 will come out in February 2015.

In other news the official Pocket Monsters Special site has also announced that they will be re-releasing the Ruby & Sapphire chapters later this month.  The Fourth Chapter, which Mr. Yamamoto mentions is one of their more popular storylines, will be re-released as part of Shogakukan's special "My First Series" (マイファーストシリーズ) line of convenience store graphic novels.  The first volume goes on sale October 24th and will be 376 pages; for comparison's sake Volume 15 is only 198 pages and Volume 16 is 190 pages.  The entirety of the Ruby & Sapphire arc will be printed across four volumes and they should all be out before the end of December.

Convenience Store Comic

Also the second XY graphic novel collection will come out on November 28th, 2014, which will probably cover everything up to the aforementioned December 2014 issue of CoroCoro Ichiban!

Finally, this happened to me today, so yay.

"The Castle Beneath the Sea! Kuzumo and Dramidoro!!" has a new airdate
September 25th, 2014

Dogasu @ 23:22 JST -- TV-Tokyo posted this earlier tonight:

New Airdate

Here's a translation:

The episode "The Castle Beneath the Sea!  Kuzumo and Dramidoro!!," which was postponed, will now air on November 20th.


So!  It looks like the episode will finally air after the dancing Yancham episode. 

It'll be interesting to see if the episode is edited to fit in the way "The Fishing Sommelier Dent Enters!!" was back in Best Wishes!.  It'll also be interesting to see if the alleged screenshots posted by that random Korean Twitter user show up in the actual episode.

I've updated the A timeline of the events leading up to / following the skipped Kuzumo episode page.

"Pokemon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire" Season 2?!
September 24th, 2014

Dogasu @ 16:41 JST -- Back on September 6th Mima Masafumi, the sound director for everything that has to do with the Pocket Monsters animated series, tweeted the following:

Season 2 Tease

"And now to all the Rocket-Dan members throughout the world! Here's the proposal we just did for "The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire - The Revival Plan!" The time has come once again all the members to gather together their power!  And even though we're just in the planning stages at the moment we'll definitely be able to come back if we have everyone's wisdom and courage on our side."

そして、全世界のロケット団団員の皆さん!ついに出来上がった『ロケット団ひみつ帝國・復活の図』の企画書だ!再び、団員達の力を結集する時が来た!ま だ、企画書段階だが団員達の知恵と勇気さえあれば、必ずや復活するだろう!

"Pokemon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire" was a 30-minute radio show that aired every Sunday evening from July 1st to December 23rd 2012.  The show was hosted by voice actors Hayashibara Megumi (Musashi), Miki Shinichirou (Kojirou), and Inuyama Inuko (Nyasu) and featured guest interviews with other voice actors, hilarious little radio dramas, product placements, an artwork corner, and whatever other random stuff they decided to air.  The show was performed entirely in-character and was fantastic.

CDs featuring a lot of the material that was on the radio show went on sale in the first half of 2013.

A second tweet added some more details:

Season 2 Tease

"Later we'll be meeting with the Rocket-Dan trio (Nyasu, Musashi, and Kojirou) to discuss the proposal and make any changes needed to make it even better!  We'll then present the proposal to the powers that be, create a pilot episode, and then hope that it gets greenlit... With the wisdom of the Rocket-Dan members, I want to be able to report this freely! "Aim to get 7 billion members!"!!"

今後は、企画書をロケット団3人(ニャース、ムサシ、コジロウ)で協議し、さらに企画書をパワーUP!そして、殿に献上、さらにパイロット版制作の上、審 判が下される…。団員達の知恵があれば、遠慮なく言って欲しい!『目指せ!団員70億人!』!!

Later, Mr. Mima was asked about the possibility of another event like the Secret Live they had back in 2013.  He responds by saying that he was only the supervisor for the previous event and reminds us that the Rocket-Dan are poor and so there's a limit to what they can do.  He also talked about the possiblity of having maybe two or three events instead of just the one to give people more chances to attend but wasn't able to promise anything.

The previous radio show took a year and a half to organize but hopefully we won't have to wait that long this time around.

There was a CD that came out in 2003 that lists "Dogas" as one of the artists THAT IS AMAZING
September 23rd, 2014

Dogasu @ 23:24 JST -- Tonight I turn my attention to music and the various music CDs that will be coming up in the near future.

ORAS Groudon ORAS Kyogre Smash Brothers Sound Test

The two big ones coming out are the Pocket Monsters Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire soundtrack and the The Big Fray - Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U Specially Selected Sound Test.  The Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire soundtrack will be a whopping six disc beast that contains both the music from the 3DS remake and the entirety of the original Ruby & Sapphire GBA soundtrack that was released in Japan back in 2003.  (Oh, by the way, I just created a whole page for all the CDs released in the year 2003 so check that out if you have a chance)  It'll also come with a 28-page booklet, as these things tend to do, that includes an interview with the sound team, various production sketches, and liner notes from the people responsible for producing the game's music.  It comes out in Japan on December 3rd for 3000 yen.  I imagine an international iTunes release will be coming shortly after but nothing's been confirmed at this time.

The Smash Brothers CD set doesn't have a release date at the moment but I imagine it'll come out after the Wii U version of the game is released since you have to have registered both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U versions of the game to your Club Nintendo account in order to get it.  A full track list hasn't been made available yet but I'm sure it'll include a Pokemon song or two.  Those songs, according to the in-game Sound Test, are:

  • N's Castle Medley (Nの城メドレー)
  • Zekrom and Reshiram Battle! (戦闘!ゼクロム・レシラム)
  • Trainer Battle! (Pocket Monsters X & Y) (戦闘!トレーナー(ポケットモンスターX・Y))
  • Miare City (ミアレシティ)
The Japanese version of the Smash Brothers site mentions that this CD set doesn't include all the music from the game, so some of those songs I just listed might not make the final cut. 

Manmaru Arigato

I've also added information about a sneakily released Matsumoto Rika CD called O Thanks that came out last month featuring her doing a cover of the Manaphy movie ending theme.  I loved the Sowelu original and I haven't heard the Matsumoto Rika version yet but I'm sure I'll love it just as much because Matsumoto Rika is amazing.

Numbers Game
September 21st, 2014

Dogasu @ 10:15 JST -- So I went back and looked up how The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie did its fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth weeks in theaters and updated the box office performance section of my page dedicated to the movie.  Long story short: it stayed at eighth place for three weeks and then ended placing at tenth place in its final week.  Last week it didn't make the top ten at all.

The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie

Box office figures - as in how much money the movie's been making each week - hadn't been made available for weeks now and the number we got at the beginning of August is the most recent one I was able to find.  A search online came up with a random commenter stating a 2.5 billion yen earnings as of August 28th but I have no idea where this person is getting his or her information.  If that is true, though, it means that this year's movie made even less than last year's movie (it earned around 2.8 billion) despite the fact that every other "first film in a new series" has done better than the one that came before it.  Some Internet commenters are blaming the decline in ticket sales to the popularity of mega-hit Yokai Watch; it is the hot new thing right now and a lot of kids probably see Pocket Monsters as old and tired in comparison.  I work at a Japanese preschool here in Tokyo and from what I've gathered from the kids I work with that might very well be the case.

In happier news, The Big Fray Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS managed to sell a million copies in its first weekend, so that's awesome.  Also Dogas returns to the game as an enemy character in the Smash Run mode after not appearing in the series since the original Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64 so I'm pretty happy about that.

About "The Castle Beneath the Sea!  Kuzumo and Dramidoro!!" airing in Korea
September 17th, 2014

Dogasu @ 17:23 JST -- During my extended and unannounced hiatus news popped up about the episode "The Castle Beneath the Sea!  Kuzumo and Dramidoro!!" airing in Korea.

"The Castle Beneath the Sea!  Kuzumo and Dramidoro!!"

The story goes that the episode, which was scheduled to air in Japan back in April but didn't because of the tragic sinking of the MV Sewol ferry the week before, just all of a sudden popped up on Korean TV the night of August 8th.  The episode supposedly aired at 6:30pm on an IPTV channel that doesn't usually air Pocket Monsters.

Here's the problem I have with all of this, though; it's been over a month since the episode allegedly aired.  Why don't we have any detailed summaries, high quality screenshots, or video clips from the episode?  Why isn't 해저의 성을 지켜라! 수레기와 드래캄, the reported Korean title of the episode, up on any torrent site? 
  Why should we trust this random Twitter user that none of us know?  Why do we still only know as much about the episode now as we did back on August 7th?

This all seems very suspicious to me.  Right now the only "proof" we have that this episode aired are a couple of photos taken by somebody on Twitter.  And I'm sorry, but "I read it on the Internet" isn't enough for me.

I've updated the timeline page I have for the skipped episode with everything I was able to dig up about this alleged airing.

Pocket Monsters XY Special "The Greatest Mega Evolution ~ Act II ~"
September 16th, 2014

Dogasu @ 22:36 JST -- TV-Tokyo's page for the Pocket Monsters XY Special The Greatest Mega Evolution ~ Act II ~ was updated yesterday and so I thought now was as good a time as any to finally get a page up for it on this site.

Pocket Monsters XY Special "The Greatest Mega Evolution ~ Act II ~"

I've taken every piece of information there is on the official site and translated it.  I've also gotten a new character bio up for Daigo, the Champion of the Houen Region.  I wasn't a fan of the first special (bland characters engaging in a bunch of random battles just doesn't do it for me) but hopefully this one will actually have a plot and will be more interesting.  Fingers crossed!

"The Battle of the Badge!"
September 15th, 2014

Dogasu @ 21:16 JST -- Oh hey, I have a website, apparently!

Sorry for the unannounced absence.  Rushing around the U.S. and then trying to get settled back in Japan has kept me a lot busier than I expected.  I have a ton to catch up on (OMG "The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire" Season 2!!!!!) but I wanted to start things off by giving you guys a brand new episode comparison.  Here's what was changed for the episode released in the U.S. as "The Battle of the Badge!"

"The Battle of the Badge!"

This episode is one that's been requested many times over the years and contains quite a few notable differences that people are still confused about to this day.  There's also some interesting things in there about how this episode not airing when it was supposed to led to a brand new opening to Mewtwo Strikes Back that wasn't going to be there originally.  It's definitely worth a read!

I've unfortunately had to deactivate the site's Facebook page for the time being but I hope to be able to have it back up in a couple of days.  In the meantime you can still leave feedback on Twitter, that thread up on Bulbagarden, or via e-mail.

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