Dogasu's Backpack

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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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"A Chansey Operation"
April 22nd, 2017

Dogasu @ 15:43 JST -- The fourth episode of #Kanto2017 is "A Chansey Operation", aka that weird hospital episode with the weird COTD in it.

"A Chansey Operation"

I think this one has some really interesting information in it so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I had writing it!

Next week's episode will be a recheck of "Holy Matrimony!" The new content will be light since it's not going to be a complete revamp the way the last four have been so I'll be posting other updates throughout the week to try to make up for that.

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Kanto2017 Schedule

Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!" Manga Adaptation
April 17th, 2017

Dogasu @ 07:17 JST -- A 32-page manga adaptation of this year's movie, Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!", was printed in the issue of CoroCoro Comics that came out this weekend. And, as I do every year, I've created a section for the manga in the Manga Guide which includes a plot synopsis as well as a list of the differences between the movie and the manga adaptation we're able to make out so far.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!"

A few quick things about this. One, the majority of this chapter is a fairly straightforward retelling of the first episode of the TV series, so yawn. Two, it doesn't seem like there will be any other chapters after the one in this month's issue of CoroCoro Comics, meaning it probably won't end up getting a graphic novel release and therefore won't end up being translated by Viz. Three, it omits pretty much all the humans who we know will appear in the movie so it's probably not all that accurate an adaptation.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!" hits Japanese theaters on Saturday, July 15th. It is the 20th movie in the franchise.

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"Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon"
April 15th, 2017

Dogasu @ 22:19 JST -- Today I have the revised comparison for "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon" ready for you guys!

"Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon"

This is a pretty decent episode that has some issues *cough Lizardon evolving way too soon cough* but still manages to be a lot of fun despite that. Don't forget to check out the Paint Edits for this episode as well!

(And, because I know a bunch of you are asking, I will be posting a summary of the Movie 20 manga soon)

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Kanto2017 Schedule

Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!"
April 13th, 2017

Dogasu @ 7:45 JST -- I know this week is almost a week old at this point but I've added the summary / character bios that was posted on the official site for this year's movie, Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!".

The big thing everyone's talking about with this latest reveal is how it seems like Kasumi and Takeshi have been replaced with two newcomers, Souji and Makoto. I figured there was a 50/50 chance this kind of thing would happen and don't really care one way or the other but I know a lot of other people are really upset about this.

The way I see it, there are two ways to look at what's going on here. One way is to think that the producers of this movie wanted to include the older characters, because why wouldn't they?, but then couldn't for one reason or the other. Maybe there was some kind of scheduling conflict with Takeshi's and Kasumi's original voice actors? Or maybe some executives somewhere demanded this movie not use so many old characters to avoid what they believed would be alienating the little kids who will make up this film's core audience? It's possible the producers of this film were told that they had to include characters to promote future Generation IV remakes but couldn't use Kasumi and Takeshi for that because they're Generation I characters? There are lots of possibilities here.

The other way to look at it is that, well, they just didn't want to use them. There's no law saying that they have to use old characters for old stories, after all, and it's entirely possible that the writer of this film just felt more comfortable making a story with (mostly) brand new characters than he would if he was trying to write for Kasumi and Takeshi. And it's not like having Kasumi and Takeshi in the film, by itself, will suddenly make it a huge box office hit. So why not replace them? I know that's not a satisfying answer but it's also a very real possibility.

Either way, it seems like Satoshi will spend this movie traveling from place to place with characters other than Kasumi and Takeshi. It is what it is. They might have small cameos somewhere in the film but we probably won't know about that until we start getting reports back from the early showings of the film in late June.

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"The Song of Jigglypuff"
April 8th, 2017

Dogasu @ 14:15 JST -- I'll get to the new Movie 20 reveals later but for now I want to focus on my totally-not-an-April-Fool's-prank, Kanto2017. Because today I have the revamped comparison for "The Song of Jigglypuff"!

"The Song of Jigglypuff"

This episode's a great one for a number of reasons but one of the big ones is the performance of Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni. Today is the 20th anniversary of the debut of the second episode and so that makes today the 20th anniversary of the Rocket trio's debut in the TV series!!! And since today's Kanto2017 episode features the debut of what would essentially become their theme song for many, many years so I think the timing is kind of perfect.

Anyway, this week's episode doesn't have a ton of script changes but there are a bajillion paint edits so be sure to check out the Paint Edits page for screenshots of every edit made to this episode.

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Kanto2017 Schedule

The Pocket Monsters TV Series Turns 20, Kanto2017 starts
April 1st, 2017

Dogasu @ 21:13 JST -- On Tuesday, April 1st, 1997 at 6:30 Japan Standard Time, the first episode of a brand new TV series called Pocket Monsters made its deubt on TV-Tokyo.

Anyone who's seen...well, anything I've done in the past 17 years or so knows that the TV series is the main pillar of Dogasu's fandom. I enjoy the video games, sure, and I like to read some of the manga from time to time. But for me, the thing that drew me into this franchise in the first place, and the thing that continues to keep me coming back week after week, is the animated TV series. Without it I wouldn't be nearly as into Pokemon as I am now.

So obviously the 20th anniversary of the TV series is going to be a big deal for me. So how should I celebrate it? What could I possibly do to give it justice?

The other main thing I'm known for is this site's Episode Comparisons section, where I look at the English dub of the various Pocket Monsters TV series and document what changes were made during the localization process. It's the main reason people bother coming here and is probably how most of you first heard of me. It's also a section that has been unfortunately neglected over the last few years. It's the year 2017 and there are still Kanto episodes that haven't been compared, and that, to me, is just ridiculous.

So to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary, I will be posting one new episode comparison every Saturday from now until the end of 2017. I stopped doing Kanto comparisons regularly after "The March of the Exeggutor Squad" back in November 2010 so I'm starting this new project off with the next episode in line, "The Problem with Paras." Next Saturday, I'll be doing "The Song of Jigglypuff." The Saturday after that, "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon." And so on and so on. Here's what the full schedule will look like...
by my calculations I'll be done with Kanto on December 23rd, 2017. Accordingly, I will be referring to this project as Kanto2017.

"The Problem with Paras"

I know you're probably thinking there's absolutely no way I can keep up with a weekly schedule like this. But what if I told you that all those months where I wasn't updating this site last year were spent working on these comparisons? And that most of the work for this project is actually already done?

This was the big announcement I teased at the end of my 17th anniversary write-up earlier this year: I'll finally finish comparing all the Kanto episodes of the original Pocket Monsters series by the end of the year. I think that's pretty much the most Dogasu's Backpack way to celebrate the show's anniversary there is, wouldn't you say?

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Kanto2017 Schedule

Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!"
March 2nd, 2017

Dogasu @ 07:58 JST -- This morning the TV show Oha Suta debuted a new teaser trailer for this summer's 20th film, Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!"

Pocket Monsters I Choose You

(This logo, by the way, came from Oha Suta's Twitter. Nothing about an international release of this movie has been officially announced yet)

Here's a breakdown:

(The screen is completely black)
Dr. Orchid:  "Well, the problem is that this is the only pokemon left..."

Satoshi:  "I'll take it, please!"
Dr. Orchid:  "This pokemon is called "Pikachu"."
On-screen text:  "Do you know?"
(Satoshi holds a Monster Ball out toward Pikachu)
Satoshi:  "Pikachu, get inside this."
(Pikachu bats the Monster Ball away)
Satoshi:  "Why won't you go inside your Monster Ball?"
On-screen text:  "How those two first met?"
(We see Satoshi dragging Pikachu along on a rope)
Satoshi:  "Hey you, do you intend to keep going on like this forever?"
Pikachu:  "Pika"
Satoshi:  "Do you not like me?"
Pikachu:  "Pika"
Satoshi:  "Well, I like you!"
(We see a bunch of footage of Satoshi getting thrown off his bike, carrying an injured Pikachu as he runs through the rain, Pikachu licking Satoshi's face, and Satoshi standing up to a bunch of CG Onisuzume as they prepare to attack)
Narrator:  "Will those two end up becoming partners?"
(We see footage similar to the movie's first poster of Satoshi standing in a golden-colored valley as Ho-Oh swoops past)
Satoshi:  "This huge world is filled with pokemon I don't even know yet!"
(Satoshi catches one of Ho-Oh's feathers that's fallen down to earth)
Satoshi:  "One day, the two of us will go out and meet it."
(The movie's first logo appears on the screen)
Narrator:  "Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!""

No human characters other than Satoshi appear in the trailer, though we do hear Dr. Orchid's voice at the very beginning.

Please remember that we are still very much at the "100% of the footage we see in the teasers is not actual movie footage" stage of this film's production.

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Dogasu's Backpack's Seventeenth Anniversary
February 1st, 2017

Dogasu @ 07:42 JST -- (It's still the 31st in the country where I started this website so I'm technically on time)

Today is the 17th anniversary of this website! On January 31st, 2000 I started a dinky little site on Geocities called "Dogasu's English-Japanese Pokemon Page" and over the years it has evolved into the website you see today. I've written up some thoughts about today's milestone, as well as my predictions for this coming year, in this essay.

Seventeen Years!

This is going to be a big year for this website and I hope you'll continue to stick around to enjoy the ride.

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The state of Pocket Monsters streaming services in 2017
January 19th, 2017

Dogasu @ 23:08 JST -- Today I'd like to take some time to talk about the various streaming options fans in Japan have when it comes to watching Pocket Monsters because hey, nobody else will. What's it like over here for Pocket Monsters fans? What are our options?

The three video streaming services I'll be focusing on today are
Hulu Japan, Netflix Japan, and Amazon Prime Video. Please note that the Japanese versions of these sites are only available in Japan. While it is certainly possible to circumvent each site's region locking and set up an account using a Japanese credit card, for most people these sites, as I describe them, are only available to people living in Japan.

Hulu began streaming Pocket Monsters in 2012. They're also, as of this writing, the service with the least amount of Pocket Monsters content.

At the moment Hulu offers three series: Pocket Monsters, Pocket Monsters XY&Z, and Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon. Hulu is different from the other streaming services in that they don't post every episode of any given (Pocket Monsters) series; instead, they post a set number of episodes and then rotate them out.

Take the original Pocket Monsters series for example. Hulu only has 20 episodes of Pocket Monsters at any given time; ten of those episodes are the first ten Kanto episodes while the remaining ten episodes vary depending on what month it is. For example, this month the "other ten" episodes are Episodes 161 - 170. Next month, those ten episodes will be removed and replaced with Episodes 171 - 180. The month after that, 181 - 190. And so on and so on.


Hulu also only has the last 20 episodes of XY&Z.

It's not all bad, though. Hulu is the quickest to post new episodes of Sun & Moon, often having them online within minutes of them airing on TV-Tokyo.
The versions of the early Kanto episodes they post are also the version that aired before the Pokemon Shock incident, meaning that none of the edits made to those first 37 episodes (whenever they enter the rotation, that is) to dim certain scenes down are present on this site. Finally, it's the only site of the three I'm going over today that has the original, black-faced version of "Rougela's Christmas"; the other sites are using the 2012 purple edit.

Hulu Japan is 933 yen (about US $8.17) a month.

Netflix Japan, which is the most recent service to offer Pocket Monsters in Japan (it only just got the series last month!), does some things better than Hulu while doing other things worse.

For starters, they don't do the same episode rotation thing that Hulu does; once and episode is up, it seems to be up for good. At the moment they have the first 82 episodes of the original Pocket Monsters series (so basically all of Kanto), most episodes of Sun & Moon (more on that later), all the movies up to 2015's The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa and most of the Pikachu shorts (except Pichu and Pikachu because reasons).

While all the episodes are, of course, presented in their original uncut Japanese, the episode titles and summaries used on the site are all based on the English dub. I assume most of them are just copy and pasted from the American Netflix site but then even episodes that were never dubbed get summaries so I don't know.


Here's Netflix's summary of "The Legend of Miniryu," for example:

Episode 54
Ash and his friends meet the warden of the Safari Zone. While being briefed on the safari rules at the office, they spot an intriguing photograph.

(And no, I don't know why it says "Episode 54" there either)

They also have summaries for Sun & Moon as well that mix up dub terminology with the original Japanese names:


Netflix isn't without its faults, however. The eyecatches and next episode previews are missing from each episode, something Hulu never skips. There's also the fact that Netflix usually posts new episodes of Sun & Moon about two weeks late; I'm assuming Hulu's contract gives them first dibs on new episodes while everyone else has to wait.

Netflix Japan is 950 yen (about US $8.28) a month for the standard package.

Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is, hands down, the best way to watch Pocket Monsters in Japan.

Where do I start? Amazon Prime Video has every episode of every series (minus the banned-in-Japan episodes, obviously). That's nearly 1,000 episodes, you guys. They have every movie from Mewtwo Strikes Back up to
The Archdjinn of the Rings, Hoopa and most of the Pikachu shorts (again, no Pichu & Pikachu) as well.


The cons of Amazon Video Prime? of this writing they're about two episodes behind on Sun & Moon and the early Kanto episodes are all the post-Porygon edits but other than that there's really not much to complain about.  Amazon Prime Video in Japan is pretty awesome.

Amazon Prime Video is 3,900 (US $34.17) yen a year.

What's the streaming situation like in your country? Let me know via one of the links below!!

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Dogasu's Backpack is a fan-created website.  Pocket Monsters (Pokémon) is © 1995-2017 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK, Inc. / Pokémon.  No infringement of copyrights is meant by the creation of the web site.

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