Old Updates Archive
A look back at my predictions for 2019
January 22nd, 2020
Dogasu @ 06:45 JST -- Every year I do these little write-ups for my site's anniversary and at the end of these essays I like to make a bunch of predictions for the upcoming year. I never got around to taking a look at the predictions I made for 2019 so today's update will be me doing just that!
First up, in video games:
It actually came out November 15th, so I was about half a month off. There were only 80 brand new Pokémon at release BUT the 13 new regional forms and 23 Kyodaimax forms (which are brand new designs, whether you want to admit it or not) bring us up to 116. There weren't any new Eevees in the group this time around but there were a number of new cross-generation evolutions so I'm giving myself points for that.
Nope! As you'll see later, I was sure the 22nd movie was going to diverge from its source material way more than it actually ended up doing.
To be fair, everyone was predicting this.
Well, the Gyms did come back but there weren't really any new gimmicks. The last half of the game was basically just "here's a room, just fight Trainers one after the other until you get to the Gym Leader," for crying out loud!
This game's gimmick was Rita Repulsa-ing about, which isn't at all what I predicted.
Thankfully the terrible motion controls were left out of the Generation 8 game. Joy-Con drift is still very much a problem, though!
So far this hasn't happened.
Nor this. Home's coming out next month, apparently, but so far we still know next to nothing about it.
The Pokémon Company didn't really do anything for the 20th anniversary of Gen 2, did they? In any case, I'm glad Game Freak isn't working on yet another remake and are spending their time focusing on Sword & Shield instead.
Next up, Pokémon GO:
We had up to 54 Gen V Pokémon released by the end of 2019. That's only 34.62% of the 156 Pokémon in the Isshu bestiary, quite a ways short of the 75% I predicted last January. Gen V debuted in Pokémon GO on September 16th, 2019 so at least I got that part right.
We got Armored Mewtwo, which as far as I'm concerned is better.
Let's now take a look at what I thought was going to happen with the animated TV series in 2019.
So pretty much none of it happened this way. March to May did introduce Guzma and the Skull-Dan but it was a single episode, not an arc. The rest of that time was instead used for fillers and Ultra Beast episodes. The League started in June and ended in September, and then we had the exhibition match taking us into mid-October. We got two wrap-up episodes and then the start of Pocket Monsters (2019) in November.
At least I didn't predict a Rainbow Rocket arc.
He got a Meltan instead! That's way better than that boring filler monkey.
No Kanto reserves, and James didn't enter the League even though it would have been kind of neat if he had. Sure would have been more interesting than, say, Principal Ookido.
There's honestly no reason why this couldn't have happened.
I mean...can I just recycle this prediction for whatever year Pocket Monsters (2019) ends? It's hard to believe we're at a point now where we'd look back at Sun & Moon and think "yeah, the Rocket trio was treated pretty well" but here we are! I hate to say it but it almost would have been better if my prediction had come true after all...?
Speaking of merchandise, a huge amount of it was released just last week so the franchise continues to have no problem milking us Rocket fans for everything we've got.
(...I never said it would be any good...)
Let's look at the predictionsI made for Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution:
It didn't exactly end up being a shot-for-shot remake but it was close enough, I guess. The lack of a shoehorned-in Gen 8 legendary was honestly kind of shocking; I can't believe they had the self control needed.
Still, I'm really curious about who on the staff actually wrote the few scenes that were added / changed from the 1998 original. No one other than Mr. Shudo is listed in the film's credits and as far as I know no one has ever come out to say it was them.
Hey, I got most of this right! Shoko Nakagawa didn't voice a character in a Pocket Monsters movie for the first time in more than a decade and the remake didn't really have any additional stunt casting (though hearing Raymond again was nice) but everything else happened exactly as predicted.
We gotta have a random nothing prediction thrown in there!
So who dropped the ball on this? I mean, I don't actually care one way or the other - I already have the Japanese Blu-ray and have zero interest in ever watching this movie in English - but we only just got word of an English dub coming out a few hours ago! Why wasn't this ready by November!? At first I had assumed it was incompetence on TPCI's side but it seems like the Korean dub - one of the few international dubs that doesn't have to deal with TPCI - was also delayed. So it was an issue on Japan's side...? Why would they hold up the release of a movie they made specifically for Western audiences?
The U.S. did get the world premiere in LA, though, and it ended up being one of the more significant events for the anime in the West this year.
I also made some predictions about 2019 being "The Year of Mewtwo," which ended up being a whole lot of nothing, didn't it?
Nope! We did get a new manga adapation of Movie 22 and also the TV special Mewtwo Lives, but no re-releases of the older stuff.
Nope. It's not included as an extra in any of the Blu-ray releases for the CG remake, either.
Finally, some Pokémon Detective Pikachu predictions:
My box office predictions were spot on; Pokémon Detective Pikachu earned US $58 million in its first weekend in the U.S., putting it at Number 2 behind Avengers: Endgame. The weekend Aladdin debuted the movie did indeed drop to fourth place, so I was right there as well.
There were some "I can't believe they got away with that" jokes in the film (cocaine, masturbation, burning a mime alive) but as far as I've been able to tell parents weren't gathering with pitchforks trying to boycott this movie or anything like that.
The movie lasted six weeks in the Japanese Top Ten and ended up making around 2.7 billion yen. That's not much worse than what the animated films do here in Japan; Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, in comparison, stayed in the Top Ten for seven weeks and made the same amount of money, 2.7 billion yen. It did better than I thought it would but it wasn't a huge cultural event or anything like that.
And that does it for this year's predictions! January 31st will be the 20th anniversary of Dogasu's Backpack so I'll have some new predictions ready to go along with my look back at the last two decades.
Twilight Wings Updates
January 19th, 2020
Dogasu @ 16:19 JST -- Some additions to the Twilight Wings page from earlier this week:
Update: The proof for the above has been provided by abcboy here (Pokémon.com), here (CoroCoro site), and here (Famitsu).
January 15th, 2020
Dogasu @ 7:55 JST -- The first episode of Twilight Wings comes out later today!
For those of you who may not remember, Twilight Wings is going to be a series of seven five-minute long animated episodes set in the Galar Region. It's a completely separate entity from Pocket Monsters (2019), the series currently airing Sunday nights on TV-Tokyo. This new series will be uploaded on the official Pokémon YouTube channel.
We still don't know much about the series - we don't even have a trailer yet! - so all we can do is ooh and aah at the staff and cast lists that have been released so far.
The animation is going to be produced by Studio Colorido, an animation studio well known for producing beautiful and unique looking art. Check out their YouTube channel for samples of some of their work. Shingo Yamashita (山 下清悟) is directing, and I dare you to look at this video showcasing a bunch of the work he's done in the past and not get excited.
The screenplay is being provided by illustrator / author Sou Kinoshita (木下爽). Weekly Shonen Sunday artist and known Pocket Monsters fan Shin Ogasawara (小笠原真) is doing the character designs.
The music will be provided by Conisch (コーニッシュ), whose probably most well known as providing the score for Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. He also provided the arrangement for the Pocket Monster Diamond & Pearl songs "Ashita wa Kitto" and the strings / horn arrangements for "High Touch 2009." Masafumi Mima (三間雅文)'s returning as the sound director.
We've got quite a few Pocket Monsters alumni in the series' cast, though we unfortunately do not know who is voicing who in this new series yet. Aoi Yuuki (悠木碧) stands out as she used to do the voice of Iris in the Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! TV series, as does Kei Shindou (真堂圭), who was Lillie back in the Sun & Moon series. And Eri Kitamura (喜多村英梨) was the voice of the Gym Leader Homika in Best Wishes! Takahiro Sakurai (櫻井孝宏), Yuko Sanpei (三瓶由布子), and Lynn have also done bit parts here and there. The other actors don't seem to have worked on anything related to this franchise before but it is worth highlighting Kazuhiro Yamaji (山路和弘), who's a veteran voice actor who many of you will probably know best as the voice of Silver Fang in One Punch Man. Again, we don't know who any of these actors are portraying in Twilight Wings but it's nice to know we have so many people familiar with the franchise working on this.
Once the series launches later today I'll be updating the page with whatever additional information there is to provide. In the meantime check out the page I've created documenting everything there is to know about this mini-series.
The manga based on the Pocket Monsters (2019) TV series
January 6th, 2020
Dogasu @ 23:49 JST -- Happy New Year everybody! It's been a while since I've gotten around to updating this thing so let's not waste any time and jump right in. For the site's first update of the new year I'll be taking a look at the two manga out so far that's based on the Pocket Monsters (2019) TV series.
Daisuki ♥ Pocket Monsters (by Hinata Ayu)
Daisuki ♥ Pocket Monsters is a set of two four-page collections of gag comics about a young girl named Mika who loves cute Pokémon. And...that's literally all there is to this series! There really isn't much to this manga at all but I've done my best to provide as much information as I can without just outright posting the whole manga and calling it a day.
Pocket Monsters (by Machito Gomi)
Pocket Monsters is a new monthly series that adapts current episodes of the Pocket Monsters (2019) series. Two chapters have been released so far that cover Episodes 002 (Chapter One) and Episodes 004 - 006 (Chapter Two). In addition to the usual summaries of each chapter I've also included comparisons between the TV version and the manga for each of the two chapters released so far.
I'm planning to keep up with the Pocket Monsters (2019) manga on a monthly basis from now until it ends.
There are other Gen 8 manga out at the moment - Pocket Monsters SPECIAL just had its second Sword & Shield chapter released, Let's Play the Pokemon Card Game is now covering the Sword & Shield series, Anakubo Kousaku's Pocket Monsters manga is set to start using Gen 8 characters soon - but those features will be saved for a later update.
Animate Times interviews with Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki, and Inuko Inuyama
December 1st, 2019
Dogasu @ 14:36 JST -- Later tonight is the debut of the Rocket trio in the Pocket Monsters (2019) series and so I thought I'd commemorate the event by translating a couple of interviews the trio's voice actors Megumi Hayashibara (Musashi), Shin-ichiro Miki (Kojirou), and Inuko Inuyama (Nyarth) conducted with the Japanese entertainment website Animate Times toward the end of Sun & Moon.
Interview #1: The Rocket-Dan's going to be in the new “Pocket Monsters” series as well! We've got some comments from their voice actors Ms. Megumi Hayashibara, Mr. Shin-ichiro Miki, and Ms. Inuko Inuyama!
The first interview is a short little piece Animate Times posted the night it was revealed that the Rocket trio was going to be in the new Pocket Monsters (2019) series. There's not much to it but they do mention their new mecha that hasn't really gotten that much attention since then so it's worth a look.
Interview #2: “Please give the Rocket-Dan more to do!” An interview with the voice actors Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki, and Inuko Inuyama of the Rocket trio, who have been confirmed to be in the new “Pocket Monsters” series as well.
The second interview is much longer and goes much more in depth than the previous one does. The trio talks about how their characters have changed over the decades, what pokemon they want to see show up again, and how they wish they would appear more often.
For those of you who aren't as obsessed with the Rocket trio as I am, some context on that last comment: out of the 146 episodes that made up Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon, the Rocket trio was absent in a whopping 62 of them. That works out to them only appearing in about 57.53% of the episodes in the series. They had six gaps of four episodes or more, with the largest being the seven episodes between SM 104 and 110. They've already missed the first episode of the new series and the cast list for the fourth episode reveals they won't be in that one either so their attendance record hasn't been that great these last few years. Here's hoping the voice actors' dream of appearing more often comes true!
Both interview translations can be found in the Translation sub-section on the Features page.
“Thoughts about Dr. Ookido, from whom it all began”
November 5th, 2019
Dogasu @ 18:15 JST -- The final episode of Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon aired the other night and the CoroCoro Online website posted a sort of "lost tape" from that post-League interview they released back in September.
In this newly released portion of the interview, Ms. Matsumoto talks about Dr. Ookido and his voice actor, Mr. Unshou Ishizuka. How does she remember the late voice actor? What does she wish she could say to him now? Read my translation of the interview to find out!
Mr. Ishizuka passed away on August 13th, 2018, midway through the run of the Sun & Moon series. You can see the tribute post I made to him, and the literally dozens of roles he worked on during his two decades on the show, here.
New Details About the Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution Home Release
October 17th, 2019
Dogasu @ 07:57 JST -- Yesterday evening the official website for Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution announced the on-disc extras for the December 18th Blu-ray and DVD release of Movie 22 in Japan.
Details are listed in the page I've created for the home video releases but the general gist is:
Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION) is the 22nd Pocket Monsters movie. The film was released on Friday, July 12th, 2019 in Japan and is part of a year-long campaign known as "The Year of Mewtwo."
CoroCoro Comics Manga News
October 15th, 2019
Dogasu @ 18:07 JST -- The November 2019 issue of CoroCoro Comics came out today and includes some news about its Pocket Monsters related manga.
First, CoroCoro Comics will be running a Pocket Monsters (2019) manga based on the new animated series set to debut next month. The manga will be provided by Machito Gomi (五味まちと), the same person who did the Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution and Mewtwo Lives manga adaptations earlier this year, and it will be a monthly series. At this point we don't know if the manga is going to be straight-up retellings of TV episodes, digest versions of that month's stories, or brand new content.
According to this ad, the new manga will debut in the December 2019 issue of CoroCoro Comics, on sale November 15th.
The second piece of manga news has to do with Kosaku Anakubo's long-running Pocket Monsters manga. A few days before this month's issue came out the official CoroCoro website made a big deal about the chapter debuting in today's issue being the very last one.
A lot of Japanese fans doubted this news. The series, which has been running for about 23 years at this point, just seems like the kind of thing that will never end, you know? This must be a prank, commenters said.. And, well, now that the chapter's out we can confirm that yes, yes it was.
Here's a summary of the chapter:
CoroCoro Special is a monthly magazine that comes out in the last week of the month while CoroCoro Aniki comes out once a quarter. By not doing the regular CoroCoro chapters anymore the 62-year old Mr. Anakubo is essentially cutting his workload in half.
I suppose it's also possible CoroCoro Comics didn't want to run two comics with the same name in the same magazine, though it's a problem that could be easily remedied if they just renamed one of the two.
In any case, no one really seems to care about the Kosaku Anakubo Pocket Monsters manga whenever I write anything about it so I'll focus my energies on covering the Pocket Monsters (2019) manga from next month onward.
Japan Home Release for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
October 9th, 2019
Dogasu @ 22:01 JST -- The Hollywood live action Pokémon movie Pokémon: Detective Pikachu hits Blu-ray and DVD in Japan later this month!
On October 30th the "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu" Gorgeous Edition Blu-ray & DVD Set and the "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu" Regular Edition Blu-ray & DVD Set will both be released in Japan. These two have a lot of extra features / physical extras not found in the American releases (and vice versa) so be sure to check out this page to see what exactly Japanese fans are getting.
My plan going forward is to provide a breakdown of the extra features first (hopefully within that first week of November or so) and then start work on comparing the Japanese dub with the English original. It'll be the exact opposite of what I usually do! Information about the Japanese dub of the film is almost impossible to come by (especially on English fansites) so I'm super excited to dive in!
Animator Masa'aki Iwane reveals information about "The Rocket-Dan vs. The Plasma-Dan"
October 3rd, 2019
Dogasu @ 21:02 JST -- You remember that skipped "The Rocket-Dan vs. The Plasma-Dan" two-parter from nearly ten years ago, right? It was scheduled to air on TV-Tokyo back in March 2011 but then the Great East Japan Earthquake hits northeastern Japan and the episodes ended up getting pulled. Well there hasn't been too much news about it since the series ended back in 2013 so I looked around a found a few things worth sharing.
1) You remember when TV-Tokyo announced back in 2011 that they were going to eventually air that skipped two-parter at some point, right? Well, it's super obvious that they've since changed their minds and aren't actually going to ever air the thing but that announcement remained online for years, giving fans that slight sliver of hope that maybe, somehow, the episodes will ever see the light of day. Well, not anymore! Sometime between August and December 2018 the page with the announcement on it was taken down, adding to the huge pile of reasons why we shouldn't ever expect to see them again.
2) A few months ago the two-parter was randomly brought up with superstar animator Masa'aki Iwane over on Twitter during which a (small) tidbit about the episodes is newly revealed.
Both of these new items, with supporting translations and other supporting information, have been added to The "The Rocket-Dan vs. The Plasma-Dan" Timeline page.
While I was at it, I also went around the revamped basically every page in the site's "The Rocket-Dan vs. The Plasma-Dan" section so why not give them a read through?
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