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Dogasu's Backpack | Rants | Happy Anniversary! (Year Fifteen)
It's weird to think that my website is now older than a lot of the people who call themselves Pokemon fans. Crazy, right? I started this website on January 31st, 2000 during a particularly snowy winter. I was still in high school and we were given a bunch of days off due to a particularly nasty (by North Carolina standards, anyway) snowstorm. With a head full of ideas and tons of unexpected free time on my hands I sat in my bedroom and typed out the first of what would be many, many updates. Looking back at what I wrote back then is kind of embarrassing but it's also kind of cute to see how much enthusiasm I had for everything. And who couldn't love a first site update that includes the line "Y2K actually deleted my Netscape Composer program so I had to download a new one!"
Everybody knows Dogasu's Backpack for the Episode Comparisons and while my numbers haven't been all that high these last few years I hope the quality is making up for the quantity. "Princess vs. Princess" was an episode I had wanted to do a comparison of for forever but the sheer number of edits in that thing always put me off doing it. The comparison for "Who Gets to Keep Togepi?" was a lot of fun to work on but that "The Minnesota Egg Seller" song kind of got stuck in my head for a few weeks after and now that I'm thinking about it again it won't stop playing in my head. "The Purr-Fect Hero" was another holiday-themed episode that I had wanted to do for years but just didn't for whatever reason. My 2014 comparison for "Snow Way Out" was a redo of a version I had done years before but I think the one I uploaded last year was leaps and bounds better than the other one. "The Battle of the Badge" was one of those episodes where 4Kids told us a great big ol' lie and so I was happy to finally have something on my site to point to whenever people bring it up.
I ended the year with the only non-Kanto comparison of the year, "Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction." I wasn't even going to tackle that one - I haven't done a movie comparison since the DP days - but when I heard about how the dub's actually getting worse I decided to go ahead and cover it.
I know that a lot of the people who have run comparisons-type sites do so because they want to try to affect change in the English dub. If we put this information out there and get enough people riled up then maybe our voices will be loud enough for the powers that be to start re-evaluating the way they do things. I never had such lofty goals with my site (I just want to let you guys know what's different between the two versions) but I guess it's a good thing I didn't because then I'd be sorely disappointed. The dub is reverting back to 1990s standards and as a fan that's quite disappointing. You notice that I've more or less stopped doing comparisons of the more modern episodes because really what's the point? The only way the English dub is going to change now is if there's some shake-up in upper management so why waste the time and energy talking to people who aren't listening? I think it's a much better use of my time to look back at the old Kanto episodes and so you'll be seeing a lot more of that in 2015.
This was also the year I took a look at the Planetarium Shows, these weird little specials created exclusively to be shown in planetariums across Japan. Finding information about those suckers was tough to come by; on the English side of things all anyone really knew about any of them was that they existed and that they had titles but to be honest the Japanese websites weren't much better. A random review from some parent who took their kid to see it here, a random listing on an archived version of an old website there...Japanese fans hadn't been doing a good job of documenting these. It was certainly a challenge to be sure but it was kind of fun digging up what I could. I seriously challenge anyone to find a more complete guide to those shorts on the Internet than what I have on my site, either in English or Japanese.
In 2013 I posted my first ever book review Nakagawa Shouko "Pokemon Taught Me the Meaning of Life." In 2014 I continued that by posting a review of Sugimori Ken's Work - A 25 Year Portfolio from "Quinty" to "Jerry Boy" and "Pocket Monsters." That Sugimori book was something that was sorta-kinda on people's radar for a while but since nobody lived in Japan or knew enough Japanese to read it all the way through there weren't going to be any detailed reviews of it. And that's where I stepped in! Even though my final conclusion of the book is that it was a disappointment in almost every way I still enjoyed looking through it and providing information that otherwise wouldn't have gotten out there. Would you guys like to see more of these type of book reviews in the future?
For the past few years I've been striving to cover the movies more than I had the year before. Can you tell a difference? If you look at the coverage for, say, the Keldeo movie and compare it to what I have for the Diancie movie you'll see that I've definitely been trying to step up my game lately. Way more translations, way more coverage of special events, way more staff credits...way more everything. I want to keep that up for years to come all while going back and filling in the same information for the older movies (hopefully "Lugia Lundis" will actually happen this year?) so that the Movie Guide is as complete as it can be.
Manga-wise Dogasu's Backpack covered more of Pokemon - The Legend of the Ryuu-Oh and started its coverage of the XY Chapter of Pocket Monsters Special. I also covered the Ruby & Sapphire re-release and translated the interviews inside. I've seen people link to those interview translations quite a bit so it seems like the time and effort I put into them was well worth it. Guess I'll be doing more of that in 2015!
We're in a new year now, so, like every year, I want to make some predictions of what I think will happen in 2015:
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