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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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"The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" & "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" Second Week Box Office Figures
July 30th, 2015

Dogasu
@ 07:34 JST -- The box office figures are in and Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" dropped to fourth place in its second week in theaters.

The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the actual box office figures to see how they compared to the previous weeks.  Cinema Today, the site I've been using to track this kind of stuff
for the past few years now, didn't post their usual article breaking down each movie's ticket sales this week for some reason and none of the other sites I could think of to check (Yahoo! Japan, Eiga.com, Box Office Mojo) had any information either.  So all we can do is speculate at this point.

Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" came out in  Japanese theaters on July 18th, 2015.  It is the second Pocket Monsters XY movie and the 18th film in the franchise overall.

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Lugia Lundis, Week Five "Yadoking's Day"
July 27th, 2015

Dogasu @ 22:49 JST -- Lugia Lundis is back!  After taking a week off to deal with Hoopa stuff (and there's so much left to cover with that movie, by the way) I'm back with a look at the three minute tie-in short that aired in 2000 called "Yadoking's Day."

Yadoking's Day

"Yadoking's Day" is a puzzling short that came out a full six months after Revelation Lugia hit theaters.  I don't know why it was made or how it was supposed to help promote a movie that had already come and gone by that point but it exists regardless so I wanted to do a page on it.  I managed to find some information about the three-minute short that I haven't seen posted anywhere else so hopefully you'll learn something new!

Next week I'll be doing a comparison between the Japanese version and the English version of
Pikachu's Exploration Club, the Pikachu short that aired alongside Revelation Lugia.  The English dub of that is weird and so next week I hope to be able to share with you just how different the two versions are.


"Lugia Lundis" is an event currently running on this site in which I post something about the second Pocket Monsters movie, Revelation Lugia, every Monday night.  It's currently scheduled to continue until August 24th.

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How to Play Pokkén Tournament
July 24th, 2015

Dogasu @ 07:30 JST -- Pokkén Tournament, the arcade fighting game that's being billed as a collaboration between Pokemon and Tekken, has been out in Japan for a little over a week now but I've noticed that there isn't really a lot of buzz about the game on most English-speaking sites.  I figure that's mostly because most English-speaking fans can't actually play the game for themselves but I also think a large part of it has to do with a lack of information.  I can't do much about the former (though apparently Dave & Buster's stores in the U.S. are rumored to be bringing the game over!!!!!!!!) but I can help out with the latter. 

Today I present the first part in a ?? part series of updates about the game.  Today I present the basics of How to Play Pokk
én Tournament.

Pikachu's Voltekken

There are still some basic things missing from that page at the moment but I know that if I tried to include everything in one massive update then I'd never get anything posted.  I'll cover things like Support Pokemon and Combos in future updates.  Is there anything else you guys want to know about the game?

In other Pokkén Tournament news, the game received an update yesterday to help stabilize online matchmaking.  Newly updated machines will have "Ver. C04" displayed on the upper left corner of the game's title screen.  The official site also states that it's aware of problems with certain avatar items not showing up properly (headgear, orange pigtails, and certain men's faces) and that they plan to fix them in future updates.

Pokkén Tournament is an arcade fighting game currently only available in Japan.  A Western release has been unofficially announced but details are scarce at the moment.

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"The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" & "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" First Week Box Office Figures
July 22nd, 2015

Dogasu
@ 22:53 JST -- Ouch.  Let's just get right to it.



Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" & "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" debuted at number three on its opening weekend.  The film was shown across 365 screens nationwide and was seen by 351,592 people, making 384,115,100 yen (approximately US $3,102,267) over the three day weekend.  The ratio of men to women was 71 to 29.  The age ranges were as follows:  50.2% elementary school age, 13.8% kindergarten / pre-school, and 23.8% aged 30 or over (I have no idea how they could have possibly gotten this information, by the way).  The top spot went to Hero while the number 2 spot went to The Boy and the Beast.

So are these numbers any good?  The short answer: no.

Let's take a look at how the other Pokemon movies have done on their opening weekends:

Movie
Opening Weekend Box Office
2015 "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa"
384,115,100 yen (Source) (Saturday / Sunday)
2014 "The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie"
393,259,400 yen (Saturday / Sunday)
559,908,500 yen (Three-day weekend)
(Source)
2013 "The Extreme Speed Genosect and the Awakening of Mewtwo"
486,293,500 yen (Source) (Saturday / Sunday)
2012 "Kyruem vs. The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo"
753,760,100 (Source) (Three-day weekend)
2011 "Victini and the Black / White Hero, Zekrom / Reshiram" (both movies combined)
826,306,800 yen (Three-day weekend)
2011 "Victini and the Black Hero, Zekrom"
386,201,950 yen (Source) (Three-day weekend)
2011 "Victini and the White Hero, Reshiram"
440,104,850 yen (Source) (Three-day weekend)
2010 "The Master of Illusions, Zoroark"
629,471,700 yen (Source) (Saturday / Sunday)

Now the fact that we have the two-day figure for some of the movies but only have the three-day figure for others makes comparisons difficult but it should still be clear that the things have not been going great lately.  In the past the pattern was fairly simple: each movie would do worse than the movie before it but things would pick back up again whenever we got to the start of a new series.  The first Advanced Generation movie did better than the final
Pocket Monsters movie, the first Diamond & Pearl movie did better than the final Advanced Generation movie, and the first Best Wishes! movie(s) did better than the final Diamond & Pearl movie. 

But that didn't happen when we entered XY.  The general assumption was that the first XY movie would do better than the final Best Wishes! movie but, as you can see above, that didn't happen.  Last year's movie did worse than its predecessor, and it doesn't seem like this year's movie is going to turn that around.

The thing is, they really, really tried this year.  The promotion here in Japan has been nonstop and there's absolutely no way people don't know there was a new Pokemon movie out this weekend.  What chance does next year's movie possibly have of doing better than this year's?  They've already used ALL LEGENDARIES EVARRR!!!!!1!!1!...what else can they do to top that?

The news isn't all bad, however; Pokemon managed to beat Pixar's Inside Out, which also opened in Japan over the weekend.  That ain't nothin'.

Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" came out in  Japanese theaters on July 18th, 2015.  It is the second Pocket Monsters XY movie and the 18th film in the franchise overall.

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Tweedia, First Week Ranking
July 22nd, 2015

Dogasu @ 07:47 JST -- Whoops, I never got around to posting the lyrics to Tweedia, the ending theme to The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa!  Let's fix that right now.

Tweedia

It's a song about, surprise surprise, confessing to someone you love!  I can't put my finger on it but whenever I listen to this song I get this Crystal Kay One vibe from it.  Does anyone else feel the same way?

I've also fixed a few things in the credits list for The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa.  Thanks to Adamant for the heads up.

Finally, Yahoo! Japan is reporting that this year's film came in at third place in the box office.  The box office figures won't be released until later in the day but I'm not all that hopeful that the numbers will be great.  I'll certainly keep you posted!

Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" came out in  Japanese theaters on July 18th, 2015.  It is the second Pocket Monsters XY movie and the 18th film in the franchise overall.

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Full Cast List, Partial Staff List
July 21st, 2015

Dogasu @ 07:30 JST -- Movie theaters that are currently showing Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" also have these gift shops in them where you can buy merchandise related to the movie you just saw.  One of the things they sell every year are these pamphlets that feature a ton of screenshots from the movie, a detailed plot summary, comments from the voice actors, and a list of the ending credits to both the main feature and the Pikachu short.  Tonight's update focuses on the last part of that list.

The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa

Here's the full cast list for both
The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa and Pikachu and the Pokemon Band. The cast list, as you'll see, doesn't have most of the legendary pokemon who appear in the movie but that's actually par the course for this kind of thing.  If one of the voice actors ends up providing the voice of more than one character then they'll just list their most prominent role and not bother with any of the others.  For example, Hayashibara Megumi provides the voices of both Musashi and Serena's Tailnar but the credits only bother to list her Rocket-Dan role for simplicity's sake.  So maybe Ms. Hayashibara reprised her role as Latias here but, again, they wouldn't bother to list that because she's already in the credits as "Musashi."  A lot of the legendary pokemon's voices were probably provided by actors who are already listed elsewhere in the credits.

I've also got a partial staff list but that's only because I can't be bothered to list out every single animator (I counted 91 names under the animation (原画) section alone) who worked on this thing.  I got the credits I hope are the ones that most people are interested in, however, so hopefully that'll be enough?

There were also a few names in the credits that I couldn't figure out how to romanize so if any of you can help me out with those I'd be very grateful.

Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" came out in  Japanese theaters on July 18th, 2015.  It is the second Pocket Monsters XY movie and the 18th film in the franchise overall.

Discuss this on Facebook | Twitter | BMGf

Pikachu and the Pokemon Band: First Impressions
July 20th, 2015

Dogasu @ 11:30 JST -- The Pikachu short Pikachu and the Pokemon Band aired before The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa.

Pikachu and the Pokemon Band

Here's what happened / my thoughts:

  • The story's pretty bare bones but here we go anyway:  There's a Berry Blooming Harvest Festival and so all the pokemon have gathered around in some forest to put on a performance.  During practice Nyasu and Harimaron try to sneak a bite out of one of the berries hanging from a nearby tree but an Achamo sees what they're up to and pecks them off the tree.  They're then carried off by Ohrot's and Florges' psychic powers and are told to wait until after the show's over to eat the fruit. 
  • Practice is about to resume but...Luchabull runs off crying!  The other pokemon catch up to it and discover that it's doesn't think it can sing and is therefore too join the performance!  The other pokemon start to sing to show it how fun it can be but that doesn't seem to work.  Suddenly, Pikachu gets an idea; Luchabull loves fighting so why don't we base Luchabull's part of the performance on the sounds it makes when fighting?  Pikachu starts to throw logs at Luchabull in a certain rhythm and the "ha!" and "uhn!" sounds it makes as it attacks sound like singing!  Luchabull finally feels comfortable and joins in with the others.
  • The performance starts again but it's going a little fast, isn't it?  Harimaron and Yancham randomly do that running cheek-to-cheek thing Pikachu and Raichu did in Pikachu's Summer Vacation and start to run around the forest.  They're running along until they hit a Kabigon sleeping in the road!  The impact causes Kabigon to start rolling down the hill so everyone starts to run.  As Harimaron and Yancham are running on top of the rolling pokemon Pikachu and the other members of the pokemon band come together to stop the pokemon.  After combining all their powers they manage to stop the rolling boulder-like pokemon!
  • The rest of the special is the pokemon performing their own version of the ending theme Gao Gao All-Stars.  Pikachu sings the lyrics (Pikapi pikapi pika pi~!) and it's exactly as cute as you'd imagine it is.  The narrator starts to sing along too.
  • Hoopa makes a surprise, non-speaking cameo during the big performance at the end.
  • The ending theme is Gao Gao All-Stars sung by Little Glee Monster.  There are lots of these great comic strip looking images of the pokemon used during the ending credits that I want to screencap as soon as the Blu-ray comes out in December.
And now some random observations:
  • Like the interview with Director Yuyama revealed earlier last week, there is no background music in this special at all.  The entire soundtrack to this special consists of the pokemon cries and sound effects.
  • There is no opening theme.
  • As far as I'm concerned the stars of the show are Rentora (it provides the bass line) and Horubbi (the little noises it makes are surprisingly cute).  The Rocket pokemon do surprisingly little which is kind of a shame because this would have been a great time for them to shine.
  • The animation in this special is unique in that the pokemon's outlines aren't done in black like they normally are.  Some of the pokemon are drawn with brown outlines while others have red or orange outlines.  It looks pretty neat.
  • Yamamoto Mizuki's narration is pretty decent.  She doesn't sound as forced as some of the other narrators have in the past (coughbothAKB48girlscough) and the part where she sings along is fairly well done as well.
  • Pumpdjinn is voiced by Itou Miyako.  I don't remember it speaking any and it didn't show much of any personality so I guess we'll have to wait until this Thursday's episode to learn more about it.
It was quite a fun special!  It also seems like a massive eff you to TPCI; the English dub is going to have to keep Gao Gao All-Stars intact since the animation's built entirely around it which means they're going to have to write an English version of the song in order for any of this to work.  The music is also very much written for the Japanese cries so simply swapping out Horubbi's cries with "Bunnelby~!  Bunnelby~!" isn't going to be enough to make this sound good.  Maybe TPCI won't even bother?

Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" came out in  Japanese theaters on July 18th, 2015.  It is the second Pocket Monsters XY movie and the 18th film in the franchise overall.

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The Arcdhjinn of the Rings, Hoopa: First Impressions
July 19th, 2015

Dogasu @ 22:49 JST -- I just got back from seeing the second XY movie The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa.

The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa

I'll get to the Pikachu short in a later post but for the moment let's focus on the Hoopa movie.  First up, a story recap:
  • For starters, those of you who haven't checked out my summaries of the manga adaptation of the movie should go ahead and do so now.  The manga follows the movie very closely so I'm not going to bother recapping anything that happened there.
  • As for where the manga leaves off...Satoshi and his friends are trying to get Hoopa through its own Ring.  Mary tries to go through the Ring with Hoopa in her arms but while she's able to pass through it pushes Hoopa back to the other side.  Next, Satoshi tries the same thing but gets the same results, leaving only Balza and Hoopa inside Dessert Tower.  The energy barrier is closing in on them and will crush them soon if they can't escape.  Suddenly, a beam of light appears from the sky and stops the barrier's movement!  Balza gets an idea; he'll use his weird Arche Valley powers to push Hoopa into the Ring while Mary uses her weird Arche Valley powers to pull on Hoopa from the other side.  Hoopa struggles but, after remembering how nice Balza's and Mary's great-grandfather was to it, manages to break through!  Satoshi and the others reach into the Ring and pull Balza right as the barrier closes in on the remains of the tower.  When our heroes look up they see Arceus flying in the sky!  The creator pokemon lets out a noise before flying off into the distance, galloping its little feet as it does so.  The other legendary pokemon all fly off to their respective homes.  The Rocket-Dan, who are off to the side watching the whole thing, make their second attempt in the movie to do their ii kanji thing but Sonansu pops out at the wrong time and causes Nyasu to fall over a railing.  Elsewhere, Hoopa tells our heroes that it'll stay behind to help rebuild the city.  The end.


Yes, the movie really does end that abruptly.  There's some cute scenes during the end credits of Hoopa helping the townspeople rebuild the Dessert Tower but that's really it.

And now for some additional stray observations:
  • Yamadera Kouichi does a fantastic job as Hoopa Unbound.  He gives the character this great bellowing voice that's very reminiscent of the way non-Robin Williams genies have been portrayed in the past and the way he over-enunciates everything really makes the character stand out.  I know Yamadera Kouichi, who's been in every single Pocket Monsters movie, has stated time and time again that he strives to give each of the characters he voices their own unique flair.  He usually succeeds and this year is no exception.
  • Regigigas has a voice so ridiculous that it caused the two 20-something year old girls beside me to giggle every time it spoke up.  The voice sounds similar to the one from the Giratina movie but the credits (which I'll post tomorrow) list a different voice actor.
  • Fujiwara Tatsuya absolutely phones in his performance here.  He was probably the highest paid voice actor in the movie but honestly I think they should have used the money to get someone who actually gives a shit.  And this is coming from someone who generally likes Fujiwara Tatsuya.
  • There's no real "World of Pokemon" segment this time but there is this thing where they show each of the movie's legendary pokemon flying around before it freeze frames and turns into a stylized image with their names written off to the side.
  • The movie avoids stating whether or not the legendary pokemon we see in this movie are the same ones from the respective movies in which they appeared.  It's implied that the Latios and Latias in this movie are the same one from Latias and Latios, The Guardian Deities of the Water Capital because they're shown flying over the streets of Alto Mare during the opening sequence, and Kyurem is shown stomping around that mine place in which it spent the majority of Kyurem vs. The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo as well.  But one could reasonably argue that those scenes were just for the opening montage and don't really count.  As for the other pokemon, Lugia and Arceus don't speak human language like the ones in the second / twelfth movie, for what that's worth.  All the other legendaries sound more or less the same as they did in their respective movies.
  • Satoshi remembers every single legendary pokemon he sees.  I know that's important to a lot of you.
  • There's no opening theme in this movie.  So hooray for those of you who are sick of Getta Banban?
  • The dress-up Pikachu from OmegaRuby / AlphaSapphire / the recent Pikachu special all make appearances during the sequence where Hoopa summons a bunch of Pikachu.

  • There are a few scenes of young Balza / Mary where they reuse a lot of the sets from the direct-to-DVD special Appear, the Small Djinn Hoopa.  Seeing that fountain again with the Arceus statue was pretty cool.
  • Nyasu has this hilarious fantasy of him using the Confinement Urn to power himself up.  The powered-up version of Nyasu is as tall as a skyscraper and looks like some kind of Ultraman monster.  It only lasts a few seconds but it's absolutely hilarious.
  • Speaking of hilarious, Nyasu's face when he's possessed by the shadow Hoopa:

  • Apparently Kyogre can fly now.
  • No explanation whatsoever is given as to why Latias, Latios, and Black Rayquaza can Mega Evolve.  The three pokemon just kind of transform when the plot calls for it and that's it.  Kyurem's forme changes are handled pretty much the same way.
  • How was the big battle in the movie?  *sigh*  I wish I could tell you it was this amazingly choreographed battle between two groups of legendary pokemon but to be honest with you it just wasn't very good.  The whole thing was basically just the legendary pokemon flying around a shooting beams at each other over and over again while the explosions they cause wreak havoc on the city.  The camera moves around the battlefield a lot but so much of that just feels like the animators trying to trick us into thinking something exciting's going on.  None of the attacks really have much of any impact and the fact that they have to make every battle end in a stalemate means there are absolutely no stakes here whatsoever.  I think back to Revelation Lugia where, in only their second attempt at this ever, they managed to produce a beautifully animated battle between Lugia and the three birds.  And here we are, with an additional sixteen years of experience later, and this is the best they can do?  Pocket Monsters XY Special The Greatest Mega Evolution ~ Act III ~ looked better on a fraction of the budget.
  • The movie also has an overabundance of flashbacks which makes me wonder if they ran into budgetary / deadline problems along the way.
  • There's a lot of really nostalgic background music in this movie.  When Lugia appears, for example, a piece of music from Revelation Lugia plays.  When Arceus shows up at the end, a piece of music from the third Diamond & Pearl movie plays.  Most nostalgic of all, however, is the piece of music that plays right after the title screen that's basically a remixed version M02 "If it's Going to Continue, It'll Continue" (続くたら、続く) from the soundtrack to the original TV series.  I don't know why they decided to randomly remix a piece of Kanto music for an XY movie (just like I don't know why they had Shin'ou music in the previous film) but it was a nice surprise regardless.
So there we go!  It's no secret that ticket sales have been down the past few years.  And while it's a good enough movie, I suppose, it's not the amazing film that will save the franchise.  The user reviews over on the Japanese Yahoo! site are all mostly positive, however, so maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised when the movie's first week box office figures come out?  Only time will tell.

Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" came out in  Japanese theaters on July 18th, 2015.  It is the second Pocket Monsters XY movie and the 18th film in the franchise overall.

Discuss this on Facebook | Twitter | BMGf
Programming Note
July 18th, 2015

Dogasu @ 08:32 JST -- FYI I'm not going to have a chance to see Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa" and "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" until sometime tomorrow.  At that point I'll post a bunch of notes about what happens in the movie and then get to work on getting the full cast / partial staff list up.

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Pokkén Tournament: First Impressions
July 15th, 2015

Dogasu @ 23:40 JST -- Today the long-awaited arcade fighting game Pokkén Tournament hit Japan.  I managed to play the game earlier today and would like to share my first impressions with you.

Pokkén Tournament

The game was a lot of fun and I'll definitely be coming back to it again and again in the future.  I tried to think of the things people want to know but I'm sure there's still a lot left that you all are curious about.  Tell me what else you want to know about the game via Facebook or Twitter and I'll check them out the next time I make it to an arcade.

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