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Welcome to Dogasu's Backpack, a fansite for the Japanese franchise Pocket Monsters! For 20 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, interview translations, information on Japan-only manga, a lyrics database, a home video 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 Planetarium "The Message from the Aurora"
August 12th, 2020

Dogasu @ 11:23 JST -- Today's update is all about the new Pocket Monsters planetarium show coming out later this year.

Message from the Aurora

The show, Pocket Monsters Planetarium "The Message from the Aurora," is the seventh of these planetarium shows to be released here in Japan. 
These shows are original animated Pocket Monsters episodes created specifically for Konica Minolta planetariums where a hybrid of 2D and 3D animation is projected onto their dome-like ceilings to surround the audiences with images and sound. It's like a regular episode of the TV series, just projected on the inside of a giant dome. The shows tend to tour the country's planetariums for a few years, coming and going from various planetariums and science museums throughout Japan.

The story of this particular 27 minute special is about Satoshi and Gou researching how auroras and the legendary Pokémon Suicune are all connected.

I was fortunate enough to be able to see the two most recent productions - Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon Planetarium and Pocket Monsters XY The Space Debris - so my plan is to go see this one as well and then provide a write-up.

In the meantime, I've created a page detailing everything we know about the special here.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Music
August 9th, 2020

Dogasu @ 13:05 JST -- Let's talk about the music we'll be hearing in Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco."

"Strange and Wonderful Creatures"

During Wednesday's info dump we learned that the movie's main theme song will be Strange and Wonderful Creatures (ふしぎなふしぎな生きもの). This is going to be one of several vocal songs to be used in the film, apparently. The Japanese title, Fushigi na Fushigi na Ikimono, is a phrase used a lot in this franchise; it's heard in many of the films' "World of Pokémon" segments, songs like Pokémon Ieru ka Na?, and even as the episode title (kind of) of that one clip show episode of Diamond & Pearl.

Diamond & Pearl

The song is written and composed by Okazaki Physical Education. You'll know him as the singer / lyricist of various songs from the Sun & Moon TV series such as Pose; Jaari Boy, Jaari Girl; and Kimi no Bouken. Tortoise Matsumoto is from the Japanese rock band Ulfuls, and while they've had dozens of hit songs over the decades Western fans will probably recognize them as being the singers of the second opening theme to the series Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.

There will also apparently be other vocal songs used in this movie but those won't be announced until later.

All the information we have about the new song has been collected here.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" is the 23rd Pokémon film. It is about a young boy, Coco, who was raised in a jungle by the Mythical Pokémon Zarude. The film, which was originally schedule to come out July 10th, has a new release date of Friday, December 25th, 2020.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Info Dump
August 5th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:10 JST -- Another round of news about Movie 23, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"!

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"

Here's what we found out tonight:
  • There's a new trailer, which you can see here. I've provided translations of all the dialogue / on-screen text in the trailer. I'm also now realizing that TPC had apparently removed all their old trailers, redid them to remove any mention of the film coming out "this summer," and then re-uploaded them with brand new URLs so that now all my old links on that page are broken. I'll have to go through them again and fix it later.
  • The movie hits theaters Friday, December 25th 2020. People have floated around the idea of Japan releasing this thing straight to streaming but c'mon, there was absolutely no way Toho was ever going to allow that LOL. Christmas Day is not a bank holiday in Japan - it's treated the same way Valentine's Day is treated in the U.S., really - so the date they chose isn't all that unusual.
  • The theme song is called "Strange and Wonderful Creatures" (ふぎしなふしぎな生き物) and will be performed by Tortoise Matsumoto from the Japanese rock group Ulfuls. The song was written and composed by Okazaki Physical Education.
  • The voice recording for the film has not started yet.
  • The movie's official website stealthily announced that Okazaki Physical Education will also be providing part of the background music for the film. He's apparently contributing five pieces of background music to the film, so that means someone else is going to have to come in and do the rest. Wonder why they're keeping that secret so tight to their chest...
There are a few more things that I want to translate but those will take some time so I'll leave it at this for now.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" special guest voice actors, prequel manga announced
August 5th, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:33 JST -- Friday morning the kids' TV show Oha Suta and then, later, the official social media accounts for Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" announced the special guest voice actors who will be appearing in the film.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"

From left to right:

Shoko Nakagawa (中川翔子) will be playing a newly announced character named Karen (カレン), a researcher for something called the Biotope Company. Ms. Nakagawa has been voicing characters in the Pocket Monsters movies since 2007's Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl The Movie "Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai"; this year's movie will be Ms. Nakagawa's 13th Pocket Monsters film.

The Mythical Pokémon Zarude is going to be voiced by veteran kabuki actor Kankuro Nakamura (中村勘九郎). He made his kabuki debut in 1987 at the age of five. Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" will be his first time doing animation voiceover work.

The titular Coco will be played by actress / singer Moka Kamishiraishi (上白石萌歌). Ms. Kamishiraishi's been in a ton of Japanese movies / TV shows over the years but most Westerners will probably know her as having played  Kun-chan in the movie Mirai.

Finally, we have the ubiquitous Kou'ichi Yamadera (山寺宏一 ) as the newly announced Dr. Zed (ゼッド博士). This is Mr. Yamadera's 23rd Pocket Monsters film.

Celebi's voice actor was not included in the announcement so it's probably safe to assume that it will be played by one of the show's regular voice actors.

Details about the new characters and translations of the statements put out by all four of these voice actors can be found here.

Along with the above announcement came a pair of interviews conducted by the CoroCoro Online site with Mr. Kankuro Nakamura and Ms. Moka Kamishiraishi. I've translated those interviews; the Nakamura interview is here while the Kamishiraishi one is here.

Kankuro Nakamura
Moka Kamishiraishi

Finally, the above interviews did a kind of stealth announcement of a new prequel manga set to come out later this month (probably) so I've written up a page for the manga with everything we know about it so far.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" - Prequel Manga

Even more news is expected to drop later today so I'll be sure to update with whatever that is once we know what it is.

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"Twilight Wings" Episode 06
July 21st, 2020

Dogasu @ 10:01 JST -- This is a bit late but here's the usual information about the latest episode of Twilight Wings, "Moonlit Night."

Twilight Wings Episode 06, "Moonlit Night"

The usual - episode link, full cast list, and full staff list - have all been added to this site's section for the series.

The official Japanese website for the series has also started posting a series of interviews with the staff of the show but those translations will have to be an update for another time.

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The Rocket-Dan's Emegency Meeting
July 18th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:52 JST -- That post I made last week about the Rocket trio being used to promote Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" actually reminded me of another instance of Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyarth being trotted out to promote a new Pocket Monsters film. On July 13th, 2017 a little event called The Rocket-Dan's Emergency Meeting (ロケット団主催・緊急会合) was held here in Tokyo to promote the then-upcoming Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!" and I was lucky enough to be able to attend. I never ended up doing a write-up on the event, for some reason, so tonight I'm gonna fix that.

The Rocket-Dan's Emergency Meeting

My report, which you can see here, provides as many details as I could think to add about this hour-long event hosted by Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki, and Inuko Inuyama that one Thursday night back in 2017. This kind of thing isn't something that's super well-documented, even in Japanese, so you're sure to learn a few things you can't find anywhere else.

After this event the city of Saga had this big balloon festival that featured the Nyarth balloon but that will have to be a write-up for another day.

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Animedia Week (?) Day Five: Series' General Director Daiki Tomiyasu
July 12th, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:45 JST -- Interview number five out of five is from the June 2020 issue of Animedia is with the general director of the Pocket Monsters (2019) series, Mr. Daiki Tomiyasu!

Daiki Tomiyasu

This is, to me, the best of the bunch. In this interview, Mr. Tomiyasu reveals what he was told the whole "I want to be a Pokémon Master!" dream means, how he sees Satoshi and Gou's growth throughout the series, what they paid attention to when making the Dande vs. Kibana battle episode, and what the future holds for the other Galar Gym Leaders! There's a lot of stuff here I haven't seen posted anywhere else so definitely check it out!

I also translated a cute little mini column where Daiki Yamashita, Gou's voice actor, gives his opinions on Dande and Kibana. It's been added to the Miscellaneous page.

And that's it for the June 2020 issue! The July 2020 issue of Animedia has an interview with the sound director Masafumi Mima that I plan to translate but before I get to that there are a few other things I want to do first. In the meantime, please give me feedback on the Animedia interviews I've posted so far; mainly, do you want me to keep translating them? Is there something else you'd rather see instead? Let me know!

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The Rocket trio and Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"?
July 10th, 2020

Dogasu @ 12:16 JST -- Today is the day that Movie 23, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco," was originally scheduled to come out here in Japan. But due to COVID-19 the film's been pushed back to a vague "Winter 2020" release.

Two bits of tie-in promotions came out on schedule anyway, however, and both of them just happen to feature the Rocket trio of Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyarth from the animated series.

Pokémon Masters

First up is the smartphone game Pokémon Masters, which released its "The Evil that Protects the World from Devastation" (世界の破壊を防ぐ悪) special event on Thursday, June 9th. I won't spoil too much here but the story involves the Rocket trio from the animated series going after a pink Celebi not unlike the one from the 23rd movie. The voice actors from the show - Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki, and Inuko Inuyama - reprise their roles for the game. You may also notice the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" logo there at the bottom of the image above.

The Pokémon Masters event lasts until July 17th.

Pokémon GO

The second promotion is the Rocket trio appearing in Pokémon Go. There's no real story element here that ties their appearance in the game to the film but the Japanese press release released by Niantic does include this bit at the end:

On top of that, Musashi and Kojirou will appear in Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco," in theaters this winter. Pre-order tickets go on sale Friday, August 7th! You won't want to miss them

▼Official Pokémon movie website
▼Official Pokémon movie Twitter
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" (@pokemon_movie)

The movie's official site also posted a news story about the duo appearing in the game:

We're here from the sky! Let's battle Musashi and Kojirou, who are roaming around in their Nyarth hot air balloon, in Pokémon Go!

From Friday, July 10th a special collaboration event is taking place with Pokémon Go. Musashi and Kojirou have slipped their way into Team Go Rocket and will be appearing in the game for a limited time.

Team Go Rocket is an evil organization active in the world of Pokémon Go. Up until now, they've taken over the item depots known as PokéStops, caused "Shadow Pokémon" to suffer by forcibly extracting their power from within, and have challenged Trainers to battles. But in the last few days we've gotten reports of the team's members riding in black hot air balloons and coming up to Trainers to attack them directly. We've also confirmed that hidden amongst them is a Nyarth balloon that Musashi and Kojirou are riding. It seems like Musashi and Kojirou have infiltrated the world of Pokémon Go, have borrowed some of Team Go Rocket's Shadow Pokémon, and are working together with them!?

Tap the Nyarth hot air balloon when it appears over your head so you can battle Musashi and Kojirou. The duo's using different Pokémon from the rest of Team Go Rocket and so if you defeat them in battle you can save the Pokémon they're using as well.

The Nyarth hot air balloon will appear for a limited time starting Friday, July 10th. Don't miss this chance to meet the "Lovely Charmy villains" in the world of Pokémon Go!

Pokemon Go Official site

None of the English language press refer to these events being related to the new movie, probably because they're not ready to start promoting the English language version of the film yet.

Anyway, these two movie tie-ins are both Rocket trio related. They could have just as easily used Satoshi, or Zarude, or even Coco himself, but instead they decided to go with the a trio of characters who, let's face it, haven't had that much to do in the last handful of original films.
Why them? We don't know much about the new movie, really, other than a few very surface level details, and so I wonder if Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" will be a Rocket-centered film similar to Movie 04 "Celebi, A Timeless Encounter." Otherwise having so many Rocket-themed Coco promotions one after the other like this just wouldn't make any sense. The franchise is a well oiled machine at this point and so if they have multiple promotions like this occur back-to-back then you know it has to mean something.

Whatever their role in the new movie ends up being I'll be sure to report it when the movie is released later this year.

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Animedia Week Day Four: Tatsuhisa Suzuki
July 5th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:55 JST -- I really wanted to have this one out earlier this week but a hand injury required me to take a rest for a few days. Things are much better now so without further ado here's the Animedia June 2020 interview with the star of tonight's episode, Mr. Tatsuhisa Suzuki!

Tatsuhisa Suzuki

In this super-sized interview Mr. Suzuki, who plays the Dragon-Type Gym Leader Kibana, talks at length about what kind of character Kibana is, how he prepared for the role, what it was like recording in the studio with Mr. Daisuke Ono, and much more! It really is a great interview filled with neat tidbits you won't find anywhere else.

The last interview from the June 2020 issue will be
with the Pocket Monsters (2019) series' director Daiki Tomiyasu.

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Animedia Week Day Three: Daisuke Ono
July 2nd, 2020

Dogasu @ 01:40 JST -- The next Animedia June 2020 interview is with the Galar Champion Dande, Mr. Daisuke Ono!

Daisuke Ono

What was the reaction to Mr. Ono getting cast as Dande? How does he approach playing such a cool character? And what does he think of his future opponent Kibana? All that, plus Animedia's list of why they think Dande's the Strongest Champion, can all be found here!

Tomorrow's Animedia interview will be with Mr. Tatsuhisa Suzuki, who plays the Gym Leader Kibana. This is where these Animedia interviews really start getting good. These first three were only half a page each so they couldn't go into so much detail but this Kibana one is two whole pages! There's some really good stuff in there so be sure to check back tomorrow!

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Animedia Week Day Two: Daiki Yamashita
July 1st, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:51 JST -- Today's Animedia interview is with Daiki Yamashita, the man who plays Gou!

Daiki Yamashita

Mr. Yamashita talks about Gou's differences with Satoshi, how he's grown in the half year since the series has started, and what he and Satoshi have that the adult Trainers do not!

The interview is a little on the short side so I also went translated a cute little mini-column from a different page where Rica Matsumoto and Daiki Yamashita make guesses about what they think Satoshi and Gou are like in their daily lives. Do you agree with their assessments?

Tomorrow's interview is with Daisuke Ono, the man who plays the Galar Champion Dande.

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Animedia Week Day One: Rica Matsumoto
June 30th, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:03 JST -- One of the interesting things about the various COVID-19 related hiatuses we saw in the anime industry here in Japan is how a lot of the anime magazines that came out in late April and early May just kind of went on with their regularly scheduled promotional features. I mean it makes sense if you think about it. Deadlines for the kinds of features these magazines print take place weeks in advance, and too much work goes into the various interviews and other write-ups to not print them.

Animedia (June 2020)

One such magazine is the June 2020 issue of Animedia. The issue went on sale on May 9th and it had a huge eight-page feature that included five separate interviews with the show's cast and crew to hype up the 27th episode of Pocket Monsters (2019) "The Legend of the Heroes! Dande's Greatest Battle!!" The episode was originally scheduled to air May 24th, if you remember, so this coverage actually would have been right on time if the episode had aired as intended. Well, the episode's finally airing this coming weekend so I thought I'd do my part by translating those five interviews.

Rica Matsumoto

The first interview is with the voice of Satoshi herself, Ms. Rica Matsumoto! She talks about working with Daiki Yamashita, what she imagines Satoshi would do on his day off, and what she would do if she could try her hand at being a Research Fellow in the Pokémon world.

Tomorrow's interview translation will be one with Mr. Daiki Yamashita, the voice of Gou. Wednesday's will be Daisuke Ono (Dande), Thursday's will be Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Kibana), Friday...well, Friday will be Twilight Wings Episode 6 updates, and then Saturday's interview will be with the Pocket Monsters (2019) series' director Daiki Tomiyasu.

Until tomorrow!

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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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