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Dogasu's Backpack | Rants | Happy Anniversary! (Year Sixteen)
Remember when I used to do Episode Comparisons?
When I went back and reviewed all my site's updates for 2015 to remind myself of what all had happened, I noticed that I've only done like nine comparisons throughout the year 2015. Nine! For a site that's only really famous for its comparisons between the Japanese version and the English version of the TV show (if we're being really honest here) that number seems really low doesn't it? I can sit here and spend all day giving you reasons why my input in 2015 was as low as it was - I changed careers at the beginning of the year, had to study to receive certifications to go along with my job change, got distracted by other franchises whenever I did have free time - but that still doesn't change the fact that I'm just not churning things out as regularly as I used to. My output last year was at least better than 2014 was so my goal 2016 is to keep that momentum going.
Me not doing episode comparisons wasn't the only thing going on in 2015 though! Back in January I introduced a lot of people to Yokai Watch and explained how it's this really huge force that's been giving Pokemon a run for its money here in Japan. I haven't updated that "article" since then but, long story short, Yokai Watch is still going really strong. The TV show continues to crush Pocket Monsters in the ratings and the franchise has gotten so big that the second Yokai Watch movie even did better than Star Wars! I think understanding just how big a deal Yokai Watch is in Japan is key to picking apart what happened with Pokemon in 2015. There weren't any new main series Yokai Watch games in 2015, so there weren't any main series Pocket Monsters games in 2015, either. The Hoopa movie made what was obviously a desperate attempt to attract more people to theaters, what with its fanfic-y ALL LEGENDARYZ EVAR!!11!1!1 thing and all, and the TV series got an abrupt name change despite the fact that there weren't any new main series games coming out at the time. It all seems a little desperate, y'know? While Pokemon is very much an international franchise at this point it's still, at its heart, a Japanese-made property. What's going on in Japan matters, and if Yokai Watch keeps kicking Pokemon's ass in its home country then those effects are going to be felt worldwide.
Website-wise, I think the thing I liked most about 2015 was the continuation of those "Movie Mondays" things I started back in 2013. I took a second swing at "Mewtwo Mondays," creating articles about the Kanzenban version of "The Birth of Mewtwo" and the manga adaptation (something I didn't actually have the first time around) before moving on to the second movie with "Lugia Lundis." And then, last month, I moved onto the third movie with "Entei Enero." My goal for 2016 is to at least finish up the last of the two Pocket Monsters movies (Celebi Saturday? Lati@s Lunedì?) so I can start diving into the Advanced Generation films in 2017. Sound like a plan?
These movie updates are actually a lot of fun for me because they allow me to discover new things about these films that either weren't common knowledge or had simply been lost through time. It's so easy to assume that if there was anything new to learn about these old movies that we'd have already found out about it by now but it turns out that isn't true at all. Pocket Monsters is one of those franchises where there's always something new and exciting coming out, making it super easy to never look back and to only ever look ahead. These movie updates provide an opportunity to take a moment to breathe and discover that, hey, there's still a lot of really cool stuff out there that we know nothing about.
But it wasn't just old movies I took a look at in 2015! I also covered Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa" & "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" extensively, translating a ridiculous number of articles from the official website and adding as much information about the movie as I could find. I remember getting up early on Thursday mornings and sitting through Oha Suta episodes so I could watch those Hoopa's Great "Appear"~ Operation shorts and be the first one to post summaries of them online. I also remember picking up the Appear, the Small Djinn Hoopa DVD from 7-11 and how the staff there didn't seem to know how exactly to ring it up since it was sealed in an envelope without any visible barcodes. I feel like my coverage of these movies gets more and more in-depth as the years go on (compare the latest movie's page to my Kyurem vs. The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo page, for example) and I expect my coverage of the Volcanion movie this year to continue that trend.
I'm also not quite done with the Hoopa movie just yet, by the way. I've got some more translations and a review of the film's novelization coming up so be on the lookout for that this year as well.
I'm also one of the few English-speaking webmasters out there who have been playing Pokkén Tournament from Day One, providing semi-regular updates about what is still a Japan-only arcade game. There's even a blurb on the game's Bulbapedia page that's basically telling its visitors to Dogasu's Backpack if you want to learn more about the game! I've been having a lot of fun with it over the past half a year or so and I can't wait for everyone else to get a chance to play the Wii U version when it comes out next month.
With 2016 being the franchise's 20th anniversary I think I'll start my yearly predictions with what I think is going to be going on with Pokemon video games in 2016:
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