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Welcome to Dogasu's Backpack, a fansite for the Japanese franchise Pocket Monsters!  For fifteen 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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Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018
January 15th, 2018

Dogasu @ 23:20 JST -- The first details came out about this summer's new movie, Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018 (劇場版ポケットモンスター2018) while I was in the middle of the deadline hell that was the end of #Kanto2017. So today, let's play a little bit of catch up, shall we?

Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018

We don't know much about the movie but there are a few things we can pick apart. First, here's the trailer:

And here's a translation of all that text.

Directed by:  Tetsuo Yajima
Animation Supervisor:  Kunihiko Yuyama
Animation Production:  OLM, WIT STUDIO
What's starting...
Is everyone's story.
Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018

The music at the end is, as many people have pointed out, basically just Lugia's theme from the second movie Pocket Monsters the Movie "Revelation Lugia." Why they're doing a Lugia homage now when the 20th anniversary of the Lugia movie won't be until next year (Mewtwo Strikes Back is the one celebrating the big 2-0 in 2018) is beyond me.

The movie is being released on July 13th 2018. Every other Pocket Monsters movie has been released on a Saturday but this year the movie's coming out on a Friday instead, for some reason. As far as competition goes, t
he Japanese version of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is also scheduled to come out July 13th but at the moment that seems to be its only competition. However, the Japanese release of Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit Japanese theaters on June 29th and there's a very good chance it'll still be at the top of the charts when Pocket Monsters The Movie 2018 hits theaters. After all, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still the number one movie in Japan, even today.

The movie is going to be directed by Tetsuo Yajima (矢嶋哲生). Mr. Yajima was the director for the Pocket Monsters XY(&Z) TV series and also served as the assistant director for last year's Pocket Monsters the Movie "I Choose You!". Mr. Yajima being the director is actually a really big deal because this is the first time in the history of this franchise that someone other than Kunihiko Yuyama (湯山邦彦) has directed a Pocket Monsters movie! Mr. Yuyama has directed literally all 20 of the 20 films that are currently out so seeing someone else take the director's chair is an unexpected surprise. Mr. Yuyama will be the Animation Supervisor for this film.

Over on Twitter, Mr. Yajima expressed his thoughts about taking over from Mr. Yuyama:

Tetsuo Yajima

I'm going to be allowed to be the director of 2018's Pocket Monsters movie. I'd like to take the baton passed on to me from Mr. Yuyama in my hand and help Satoshi, Pikachu, and everyone else on this journey. What incredible things will happen, and where? Please look forward to it.

2018年の劇場版ポケットモンスターの監督をさせて頂きます。 湯山さんから受け取ったバトンを手に、サトシとピカチュウ、そしてみんなの旅のお手伝いをしていきたいと思います。 どんな場所でどんなステキな事が起こるのか。 楽しみにしてて下さい。

The movie's character designs are being done by Shizue Kaneko (金子志津枝), an animator who's mostly know for her work on various Doraemon projects but has also provided key animation for Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away, various Crayon Shin-chan movies, and Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos. Ms. Kaneko also took to Twitter shortly after the movie's first teaser trailer came out:

Shizue Kaneko

In the end I'm awake now thanks to my job. That's because I'm going to be allowed to do character design work for the Pokemon movie coming out next year. Even though I'm new to the team I hope we'll all work hard together.

結局仕事で起きてたよ💦💦 という訳で来年公開の 映画ポケモンのキャラデザなどやらせて頂くことになりました。新参者ですが、宜しくお願いします😺😹😺(〃・д・) -д-))ペコリン

Animation for the film will be a collaboration between OLM and WIT STUDIO, the company most well known for providing the animation for Attack on Titan. No word yet on just how much this studio will be involved.

I've added a page for this movie over in the Movies & Specials Guide. More updates will be made as new information becomes available.

Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018 will be released on Friday, July 13th 2018 in Japan. An international release has not been announced at this time.

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Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon Planetarium Review
January 8th, 2018

Dogasu @ 23:06 JST -- Now that #Kanto2017 is over I finally have the time to focus on some of the other parts of the site I had been wanting to update all this time but couldn't. For my first real content update of 2018 I went out to the Hamagin Space Science Center out in Yokohama to go see Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon Planetarium, an animated special that debuted at the end of September last year, and wrote up my impressions of the show. A detailed plot synopsis, stray observations, and my comments about what it's like to see a Pocket Monsters animated special inside a planetarium are all included so be sure to check it out!

Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon Planetarium

Information about this special is next to impossible to find online and so a lot of what I'm posting in my review today is stuff that you absolutely cannot find anywhere else. Seriously, even Japanese sites aren't reporting on this thing!

One of my goals for this website is to provide the community with information it can't get anywhere else and I think this write-up is a great example of the kind of content I want to continue coming up with. Hope you enjoy!

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The year 2017 in review
January 1st, 2018

Dogasu @ 14:56 JST -- On my site's anniversary every year I like to make a series of predictions about what I think will happen the next year and then check back on them at the end to see how I did. In last year's site anniversary write-up I didn't have that many predictions but let's take a look anyway at the ones I did manage to make.

First, some video game predictions:

I don’t think we’ll see any new main series games this year. There have been rumors of a Pocket Monsters Star coming out for the Nintendo Switch and an upscaled version of Sun & Moon would be fairly easy to do (I mean, this guy was able to do it, right?) but I still think that's more of a 2018 release than something we'll see this year.

he Nintendo Switch Pocket Monsters game didn't come out this year and my prediction of it coming out in 2018 might still come true. What I didn't expect was for Game Freak to take the original Sun & Moon, slap about $10 worth of DLC onto it, and then try to market it as a brand new set of games called Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Sooooo...half credit?

I do, however, think we’ll see at least one spin-off game on the Switch. I wanna say Pokemon Scramble since that seems to be the series Nintendo likes to use to launch a new system but it could very well be something else.

Does the Switch port of Pokkén Tournament count? Other than that, nothing.

Pokémon GO will get its Jouto update this year but I think that’s going to be it as far as huge updates go. Trading and/or battling might be implemented this year but I think Niantic is going to try to charge people for those features to offset the massive server load those features will undoubtedly cause. Maybe something like "only available for premium members!" or some nonsense like that. Fans will be pissed but Niantic will still make a bajillion dollars from it.

Jouto came out early in the year and a partial rollout of Houen started in October. Additionally, Pokemon Gyms were revamped, in-game tracking was finally fixed, Raid Battles gave us the ability to obtain legendary pokemon, and a weather update was rolled out. Not too terrible! P2P batting and trading never came and neither one of seem to be on the horizon anytime soon so I got that part wrong.

Next up, animation-related predictions:

On April 1st, 2017 the Pocket Monsters TV series will celebrate its 20th anniversary. For the series’ 15th anniversary an HD remaster of the very first episode aired on the variety show Pokemon Smash, and while I don’t dare hope that Media Factory will do something as amazing as remaster the rest of Kanto I do think it’s reasonable to at least expect a DVD set released in Japan for the anniversary. Amazingly, Japan has never had a a full, complete release of the TV series before; all the country's ever gotten in the past are random episodes here and there. It's about time the series gets a proper release in its home country!

There's still no DVD release of Kanto in Japan, appallingly enough, though we did finally get a home release of a new HD master of that first episode package with the I Choose You! Blu-ray release.

The Sun & Moon TV series is a bit harder to pin down. In the past I would usually say something like “Satoshi will gets badges XX through XX” but that kind of prediction doesn’t really apply to this series, does it?  So instead, I will say that in 2017 we’ll see Satoshi leave the school on Melemele Island and actually start traveling around the Alola Region. I also expect Gladio, Guzma, and the Aether Foundation to make significant appearances before the year's up.

Satoshi left Melemele and spent the summer in the snoozefest that was the Akala Island arc (the string of Rocket trio absences is what killed it for me) and then when he got back he jumped into the plot with Hoshigumo and the Ultra Beasts. Gladio and the Aether Foundation had significant appearances but Guzma is still nowhere to be seen. In fact, the Skull-Dan as a whole has been fairly absent all year, with those two grunts last showing up way back in May. Hopefully the group will be treated better in 2018.

I won't go so far as to say that the 20th movie, I Choose You!, is definitely not going to be a retelling of the first couple of episodes, but I will at least say that I don't think it's going to be the start of some trilogy. Why in the world would I think that? Instead, I think whatever they end up doing this year will be a one-off thing and that next year we'll go right back to showcasing the legendary of the day.

We still don't really know if Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018 is going to be a continuation of the story started in 2017's I Choose You! or if it will be a continuation in the sense that it too will be a story set in an alternate universe. Still, it looks like the old formula's been broken and I'm excited to see where the movies go from here.

CD-wise I think we'll get the regulars - Alola! and Pose, the opening / ending theme to I Choose You!, and a release of the movie's background music. I'll also go ahead and make the prediction that this will be the year we finally see a release of the background music for Best Wishes! and XY (&Z).

The CD single for Alola! / Pose came out on April 12th and the I Choose You! soundtrack came out on January 26th. The movie's ending theme didn't get its own CD single release, however, but it did get a special release on iTunes packaged with the ending theme to the Jirachi movie (the other movie ending theme sung by Asuka Hayashi). No background music releases for Best Wishes! or XY (&Z), annoyingly, but we did get a surprise in the form of that new Rika Matsumoto CD featuring all those new remixes of classic songs.

...and that's it! I will be making new predictions for 2018 when I celebrate my website's 18th (!) anniversary later this month.

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"Friends to the End"
December 31st, 2017

Dogasu @ 9:45 JST -- The longest April Fool's "prank" I've ever done has come to an end as I finish up the comparison for "Friends to the End."

"Friends to the End"

And that's a wrap on #Kanto2017! I had a lot of fun doing it, even with the lack of sleep this project forced upon me at times, and I hope you enjoyed it as well. Reactions to the project seem to be overwhelmingly positive and it seems like people who come to Dogasu's Backpack to look at its Episode Comparisons really like it when I actually post the things they come here to see. Who knew?

As for what's next? I've seen people assume that #Orange2018 (and even #JohtoJourneys2019) are happening and while I'm not prepared to comment on any of that at the moment I will say that it'll be a few months before any major new project is started. Let me rest a little bit first, y'know? There are also a non-comparisons sections of this site I want to update (the DVD and CD Guides, the Movie 20 page, that Masaaki Iwane interview translation I've been promising for a million years now) and a redo of the Episode 001 comparison in "honor" of the English dub's 20th anniversary coming up in 2018 so there will definitely still be new content coming soon.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see me take a look back at the predictions I made for 2017 to see how well I did. Spoiler alert: not so great!

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Kanto2017 Schedule

"Friend and Foe Alike"
December 29th, 2017

Dogasu @ 7:02 JST -- We're almost at the end here folks! The comparison for "Friend and Foe Alike" is now up.

"Friend and Foe Alike"

There's not much here in the way of edits to the English dub so I spenpd the majority of the comparison bitching and moaning about how a kid's show handled the end of its first major story arc. Fun!

The final comparison for #Kanto2017 will be up before the New Year so be on the lookout for it!

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Kanto2017 Schedule

"A Friend In Deed"
December 27th, 2017

Dogasu @ 7:21 JST -- It's the beginning of the end! Here's the comparison for "A Friend In Deed."

"A Friend In Deed"

(runs off immediately to go work on the remaining two comparisons)

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Kanto2017 Schedule

"The Fourth Round Rumble"
December 24th, 2017

Dogasu @ 15:25 JST -- Yay, my favorite episode of the Sekiei Pokemon League! Here's the comparison for "The Fourth Round Rumble."

"The Fourth Round Rumble"

This episode is a big one for the English dub because it features the last appearance of something that 4Kids had been spending thousands and thousands of dollars and manhours to eliminate from the English version of the show. There's also a baffling gender change in this episode for no reason whatsoever!

Also, thanks to this site's amazing visitors I was able to find out, within hours of posting my most recent comparison, that the scenes that had been removed from the American DVDs have been seen elsewhere. The comparison for "Fire and Ice" has been updated to reflect this.

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Kanto2017 Schedule

"Cyber Soldier Porygon," 20 Years Later
December 16th, 2017

Dogasu @ 16:44 JST -- On December 16th, 1997 the 38th episode of Pocket Monsters aired on TV-Tokyo. The episode, "Cyber Soldier Porygon," would go on to become infamous for causing hundreds of children across Japan to become sick and sent shockwaves throughout the animation industry. Today is the 20th anniversary of the episode's one and only airing.

To commemorate this event, I went back over my page for "Cyber Soldier Porygon" and made a number of additions and other edits to bring everything up to date. Some sections got quite a major overhaul so please take a moment to re-read it if you have the chance.

"Cyber Soldier Porygon"

In (re-) researching for this page I found that, all these years later, there is still a great deal of mis-information about what actually happened that fateful day. My hope is that this article will help set the record straight.

How many of you have still not seen "Cyber Soldier Porygon" yet? And for those of you who have, what do you think of the episode and the whole situation in general? Let me know via the links below!

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"Fire and Ice"
December 15th, 2017

Dogasu @ 22:28 JST --The Indigo Pokémon League continues in "Fire and Ice."

"Fire and Ice"

This episode is a lot better than the last one, script-wise, but don't worry! There are plenty of cuts and paint edits to make up for it!

Tomorrow is a very special anniversary for the franchise so I will be making a post related to that sometime before the end of the day. See you then!

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Kanto2017 Schedule

"Round One -- Begin!"
December 12th, 2017

Dogasu @ 7:42 JST --The Sekiei Pokemon League has begun, ladies and gentlemen and non-gender conforming individuals! Here's the comparison for the first part, "Round One -- Begin!"

"Round One -- Begin!"

When Pocket Monsters was still on the Japanese Netflix (it seems like the service only had a one year contract with ShoPro and so it was removed at the beginning of this month) it was really nice because those Netflix streams also  included the Japanese closed captions. This was super useful for my comparisons because whenever I wanted to transcribe something from the Japanese version I could just pause the video and type out whatever was written on the screen! Now that the show's gone, however, I'm back to having to just listen to the dialogue and hoping my Japanese is good enough to catch everything that people are saying. I'm doing my best but, as always, any time you find a mistake please do not hesitate to bring it to my attention via one of the links below.

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Kanto2017 Schedule

"All Fired Up!"
December 4th, 2017

Dogasu @ 7:40 JST -- I kind of touched on this on Facebook a little while back but things have been super hectic lately and I simply have not had the time to work on this site like I would have liked. So without further ado, here's the comparison for "All Fired Up!"

"All Fired Up!"

My goal is definitely to still finish up Kanto by the end of the year so that I don't have to go around saying #Kanto2018. Six episodes in four weeks...that's perfectly doable, right? The rest of Kanto doesn't really have anything that will force me to spend hours watching terrible Gary Busey movies or research U.S. television broadcast laws so the rest should be easy to finish by comparison. I'll do my best to have the comparison for
"Round One -- Begin!" up before too long.

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Kanto2017 Schedule


Dogasu's Backpack is a fan-created website.  Pocket Monsters (Pokémon) is © 1995-2018 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK, Inc. / Pokémon.  No infringement of copyrights is meant by the creation of the web site.

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