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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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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
https://www.pokemongo.jp/


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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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Updates
June 24th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:29 JST -- Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" has a new release date. Kind of.

Winter 2020

On Monday, June 15th both CoroCoro Comics and the movie's official site / social media accounts announced that the film, which was originally scheduled to come out July 10th but then got pushed back due to COVID-19, has a new release date of "Winter 2020" (今冬公開).

The release date is most likely being kept vague in case they have to postpone the movie again. The number of novel coronavirus cases is steadily increasing in the wake of the country's lifting of its state of emergency declaration last month; Tokyo reported 55 new cases today, which may not sound like a lot compared to many other countries but is the highest single-day increase the city's seen since May. The Tokyo metropolitan government shutting everything down a second time is not entirely out of the question.

Pre-Order Ticket

It was also announced that the movie's pre-order tickets, which were supposed to go on sale April 17th, will now go on-sale August 7th. Details about the downloads have been updated here. Both the "Celebi of the Okoya Forest" and the "Zarude of the Okoya Forest" will be made available for download on August 7th as well.

"Adventure Cap"

It was also announced that an "Adventure Cap," a special Fashion Item modeled after the hat Satoshi will be wearing in the film, will also be made available as a pre-order bonus. Details for that can be found on my page for the movie's Distributions.

Meanwhile, merchandise related to Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" is starting to come out as originally scheduled despite the fact that the movie's not coming out in July anymore. We've got Coco related Pokémon Bread, Coco popsicles, Coco Happy Meals at McDonald's, Coco jigsaw puzzles, Coco snack crackers, and so on and so on. To be honest, I'm not surprised; contracts for many of these things would have been signed months ago and in many of these cases it was probably deemed too late and/or not worth the hassle to renegotiate. It reminds me of how the Sonic the Hedgehog movie was pushed back so the VFX team could redo the Sonic design but Halloween costumes using the older version came out anyway.

If anything noteworthy comes out here in Japan related to the movie - any movie novelizations, or CD soundtracks, etc - I'll be sure to cover them on this site.

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Twilight Wings, Episode 05
June 7th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:58 JST -- It's a few days late but here's the usual information - episode link, complete cast list, complete staff list - for the fifth episode of Twilight Wings, "Secretary."

"Twilight Wings" Episode 5

I'm using "Secretary" as the episode's title because, well, that's what 秘書 translates to. I imagine TPCI went with "Assistant" instead because maybe they thought "Secretary" had sexist connotations, probably? *shrugs*

Anyway, the animation staff on this episode is quite different from the other four episodes (outsourcing to a completely different studio tends to do that!) so that's kind of interesting!

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New episodes of Pocket Monsters (2019) to return June 7th
May 31st, 2020

Dogasu @ 12:49 JST -- Earlier this morning the Pocket Monsters (2019) animated series' official Twitter account announced that the show, which has been on hiatus since mid-April, will be returning next week:

TV show returns

An announcement from the show
Now that the state of emergency that was put in place due to the increase in the number of novel coronavirus infections has been lifted, we have restarted production of the show. Accordingly, new episodes of the Pocket Monsters (2019) cartoon will return with new episodes starting next Sunday, June 7th, from 6:00pm. Don't miss it!!

TV-Tokyo's official website for the show provided even more information. Thanks to abcboy for the tip:

TV-Tokyo info

An announcement from the show  2020.05.31
Now that the state of emergency that was put in place due to the increase in the number of novel coronavirus infections has been lifted, we have restarted production of the show and will return with new episodes, starting with the previously postponed "A Big Panic! The Sakuragi Park," on June 7th.

On top of that, the datacasts for both Pocket Monsters and Pokénchi will both resume starting June 7th as well. You'll be able to pick up where you left off with things like the Monster Balls and Pokémon Bestiary entries you had before.

Moving forward, we will air the show as it's being made with the safety
for the Pocket Monsters production staff and everyone else involved with the show while also making the precautions necessary to prevent infections our top priority.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the nationwide state of emergency on May 25th. The city of Tokyo, where a lot of the show's production takes place, is going for a three-phased approach toward reopening. Phase 2 is scheduled to start tomorrow despite the fact that a second wave of infections is currently sweeping through the nation's capital.

The next episode of Twilight Wings, which was originally scheduled to come out in May, will be debuting on June 6th at 14:00 JST. The 23rd Pocket Monsters film, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco," has not announced its new release date yet.

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Random behind-the-scenes tidbit about the Mewtwo Ball
May 20th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:56 JST -- I was going through some files on my computer and found an old behind-the-scenes story about Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" / "Pikachu's Summer Vacation" that I was preparing for a site update but then just never got around to finishing for some reason. So today I'm dusting that off to share with you some info about the Mewtwo Balls, the special Monster Balls created to get the Originals in the first movie.



In a series of tweets posted early last year (!!), animator Sayuri Ichi'ishi explains her inspiration for the design of the super powered Monster Balls as well as what exactly she was told about them as far as a backstory goes. There's also some other background information that I actually have posted before but never archived so here that is as well.

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Satoko Kito, 1962 - 2020
May 16th, 2020

Dogasu @ 10:39 JST -- Voice actress Satoko Kito (木藤聡子) has passed away on May 1st at the age of 58, according to her talent agency Artvision..

Satoko Kito

The agency posted this notice on their website:

Obituary
Satoko Kito (58), who was a member of our agency, passed away on May 1st, 2020 while under medical care.

As we bring you this news we would like to humbly thank Ms. Kito for all the kindness she shared with us during her lifetime. May she rest in peace.

訃報
弊社所属、 木藤 聡子 は(享年58)病気療養中のところ 令和2年5月1日永眠いたしました
ここに生前に賜りましたご厚誼に深謝し、謹んでご報告申し上げるとともに故人のご冥福をお祈りいたします

Ms. Kito's one role in the Pocket Monsters franchise was Misa, the green-haired biker girl from the original Pocket Monsters episode 036 "The Stormy Cycling Road."

Misa
Misa

Outside Pocket Monsters, Ms. Kito played Asami-chan in Anpanman, the Countess Lamika Lee in 1985's Vampire Hunter D, Rei Hijikata in Bakusou Kyodai Let's & Go!!, and Misato Todo in Hono'o no Tokyuji: Dodge Danpei. She also provided the Japanese dub voices for Lauren Wando in the 1997 film Dante's Peak and Raven in the Japanese dub of the TV series That's So Raven.

Condolences to Ms. Kito's family and friends.  May she rest in peace.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" gets postponed
May 14th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:43 JST -- To the surprise of absolutely no one, the release of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco," which was originally scheduled for July 10th of this year, has been pushed back indefinitely.

Movie 23 postponed

Toho, the film's distributor, provided this public comment:

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Release Delay Announcement

It has been decided that the release of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco," which was originally scheduled for Friday, July 10th, 2020, will be delayed due to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus.

We humbly offer our deepest apologies to all our customers who were looking forward to this film.

We will make additional announcements on the film's official website and social media accounts whenever a new release date or on-sale date for the pre-order tickets have been decided.

We appreciate your understanding of this decision and the circumstances that led to it.

May 13th, 2020
Pikachu Project
Toho Co., Ltd

The movie's official Twitter account also posted this message:



『劇場版ポケットモンスター ココ』の公開を
楽しみにしてくださっている皆様へ
矢嶋哲生監督からのメッセージをお届け!

#ココ #ポケモン映画
To all of you out there eagerly looking forward to the release of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco," we've got a message for you from Director Tetsuo Yajima! #coco #pokemonmovie

In the video embedded in the above tweet, we see the film's director Tetsuo Yajima compile an image of Coco standing in the Okoya Forest. The end of the video featured this message from the director:

Tetsuo Yajima's message

延期になっちゃたけど
楽しみにしてくれているみんなに
必ず届けるから!
スタッフ一丸となって制作してます!
もう少し待っててね!
The movie's been delayed but we're definitely gonna deliver it to you all some day! The staff is working together as one to complete it! Wait just a little bit longer!

The director retweeted the video and provided an additional comment of his own:

Tetsuo Yajima's comment

このお見苦しい手は…私の手です…

延期になってしまい、楽しみにしてた皆さんには申し訳ありません。
劇場で公開できるようになった時、めちゃめちゃ楽しんでもらえるように
スタッフ一同頑張って制作してます!!
皆さんと作品を共有できる日を僕も今から楽しみです!!
That gross hand you see in the video...well, that's my hand...

We'd like to apologize to all of you who were looking forward to this movie after its unfortunate delay. The staff is giving it their all so that by the day this movie is finally released you'll be chomping at the bit to go see it!! From this moment on I'll also be looking forward to the day we can share this movie with all of you!!

A new release date has yet to be announced; all we've got now is a vague "Coming Soon" (近日公開) release date.


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The "Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"" Movie Preview Screening (that will probably never happen)
May 11th, 2020

Dogasu @ 16:21 JST -- I was looking through the May 2020 issue of CoroCoro Comics - the one that came out last month - and noticed a promotion for the preview screening of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" that I haven't seen anyone else report on yet.

Movie Preview Screening

According to the promotion, the "Shogakukan Association Movie Preview Screening" (小学館連合試写会) will take place on Sunday, June 28th in both Tokyo and Osaka. Attendance will be limited to 750 groups (maximum of three people per group) for a total of 2250 people.


Tokyo Screening
Osaka Screening
Date
Sunday, June 28th, 2020
Sunday, June 28th, 2020
Times
Doors open at 12:30
Show starts at 13:00
Doors open at 12:30
Show starts at 13:00
Venue
Tokyo Dome City Hall
(Kouraku 1-3-61 Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo-to)
The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry's International Conference Hall
(Honmachibashi 2-8 7F, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu)

More details, including application dates, can be found here.


It's worth noting that the announcement regarding the sale of the pre-order tickets was being postponed - in other words, the movie's first COVID-19 related delay - was made on April 3rd. The issue of CoroCoro Comics promoting the preview screening didn't come out until April 15th. My guess is that at the time they submitted this article for publication (probably late March or so...?) the event was still going ahead as scheduled, as far as anyone at CoroCoro could tell. So it went to print as-is.

Since then, both the event's venues - Tokyo Dome City Hall and The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry's International Conference Hall - have temporarily closed due to the novel coronavirus. A date for their re-openings has not been announced.

It's also worth noting that Anime Expo - the anime convention in Los Angeles that hosted the world premiere of Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution last year - has already announced that this year's convention was being canceled due to COVID-19. A preview screening of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" was never announced for the convention but it was always a possibility after the success of last year's premiere.

Officially the movie screening event is still moving ahead as scheduled but I think it'll end up being canceled in the end. I can't imagine production has been able to continue at the rate it would need to in order for the film to even by ready on time, and even if it has I don't see the organizers being irresponsible enough to hold a massive public gathering like this a little over a month from now. The fact that this event hasn't even been publicized on the official website at all leads me to believe that even its organizers know it's not happening.


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List of Pokémon - Generation Eight
May 7th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:08 JST -- This is like...six months late? but I finally got around to finishing up the List of Pokémon for Generation 8.

Generation 8

The usual information - the Pokémon's name, the way they're written in Japanese, their likely etymology, and their English names - are all provided.

I know, I know, it's not the most exciting update or anything but it's something I'm glad to have done regardless.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"
April 30th, 2020

Dogasu @ 01:01 JST -- It's been a while since I've talked about Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" so tonight is all about getting this site's section on the film up to date.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"

Basically everything I can think of to update in regards to this movie has been added to the site's section of the film:
  • A translation of the story synopsis from the official site can be found here.
  • Translations of all the movie trailers that have come out so far can be found here.
  • The staff list can be found here while the cast list is here.
  • Character bio translations have been added here.
  • Details about the pre-order bonuses can be found here. The pre-order tickets were supposed to go on sale April 17th but got pushed back to a vague "coming soon" date due to COVID-19.
  • Details about the illustration contest, which has now come to a close, have been archived here.
The movie is still, incredibly, slated for a July 10th release despite the fact that literally every other movie scheduled to come out in Japan this summer has already been postponed due to COVID-19. Promotion for the film has also been conspicuously quiet; by this time last year we already knew the guest voice actors, the name of the movie's ending theme song, and had a preview of the manga adaptation. The fact that promotion for this movie just kind of stopped after the big info dump we got at the end of February is very telling.

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"Twilight Wings" Episode 004 + Official Apology from Pokémon
April 25th, 2020

Dogasu @ 10:53 JST -- The fourth episode of Twilight Wings, "Early-Evening Waves," debuted in Japan on April 17th and so I've got the usual episode link, full cast list, and full staff list and  up.

Twilight Wings Episode 04 "Early-Evening Waves"

About a week after "Early-Evening Waves" was released the official Pokémon Twitter issued an apology for getting fans' hopes up by including a Pokémon you can't currently get in the Pocket Monsters Sword & Shield video games.

Twitter Apology

【Apology】 In the web series "Twilight Wings," Pokémon that do not appear in Pocket Monsters Sword & Shield are featured in the episode. We apologize unreservedly for any confusion caused by their inclusion.

Of all the Pokémon who appear in the episode the only one that you cannot (currently) get in the Generation 8 video games is Jugon.

Jugon

Fans replying to the apology on Twitter point out that we've had plenty of instances of Pokémon appearing in the weekly TV series who weren't in the video games, with Takeshi's Foretos in the Advanced Generation series and Pikachu and Nyarth in early Best Wishes! being obvious examples, and so a few Jugon appearing on-screen for a few seconds is no big deal.

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Kumiko Okae, 1956 - 2020
April 23rd, 2020

Dogasu @ 18:06 JST -- Actress Kumiko Okae (岡江久美子) has passed away today at the age of 63 due to pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, her talent agency Staff-up announced earlier today.

Kumiko Okae


The agency's website posted a letter announcing Ms. Okae's death:

An announcement about our talent, Kumiko Okae

Kumiko Okae (legal name: Kumiko Owada), one of the members of our agency, passed away on April 23rd, 2020 at 5:20am from pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus. She was 63 years old.
As we bring you this news, we would like to thank Ms. Okae for all the kindness she shared with us during his lifetime.

Ms. Okae developed a fever on April 3rd and said she would see how she feels for about four or five days but ended up being rushed to a hospital
when her symptoms got worse on the morning of April 6th. She was immediately put into the ICU and hooked up to a ventilator and then, later, was administered a PCR test where she tested positive for COVID-19. She continued to receive aggressive treatment but she was unfortunately not able to recover. Ms. Okae had received surgery for early stage breast cancer at the end of last year and underwent radiation therapy from January to the end of February of this year so it is thought that her weakened immune system exasperated the illness. We would like to thank all the medical personnel who treated her from the bottom of our hearts.

Her husband, Baku Owada, and her daughter, Miho Owada, have been staying in their respective homes ever since Ms. Okae was hospitalized. They do not have any symptoms at the moment. However, they've all experiencing a great shock and are not in a condition to deal with others right now. We ask that you please respect their privacy during this difficult time. A funeral service and wake have not been announced but there are plans for a "Farewell Ceremony" to take place at a later date.
We respectfully ask that flowers or other gifts not be sent.

We apologize for the trouble this causes to our clients and ask for your understanding.


Ms. Okae was one of the guest voices for 2005's Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation The Movie "Mew and the Wave-Guiding Hero, Lucario." She played the role of Jenny, Queen Ilene's...I guess you could say she's her maid?

Jenny
Jenny

Doing a quick little pop up in a Pocket Monsters film is really just a blip in Ms. Okae's over 45 year career. She appeared in dozens of TV dramas and variety programs, most notably as a moderator on the TBS variety show Hanamaru Market (はなまるマーケット) and as a regular guest on the NHK quiz show The Word Association Game (連想ゲーム). Her voiceover resume is comparatively small but she played the role of Elina in The Dog of Flanders film and Haru's mother in The Cat Returns.

Condolences to Ms. Okae's family and friends.  May she rest in peace.

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The Pocket Monsters TV series goes on hiatus
April 19th, 2020

Dogasu @ 20:38 JST -- After tonight's airing of Pocket Monsters (2019), the show's official Twitter account announced that the show is going on hiatus for the forseeable future. Reruns will air during the show's Sunday evening timeslot instead.

Here's the official announcement:

An announcement from the show
In an effort to create a safe environment for the show's production as the number of novel coronavirus infections increases, and with the state of emergency declaration in mind, parts of the show's production will go on a temporary break. Accordingly, Pocket Monsters will be going into reruns starting with next week's broadcast.

<番 組からのお知らせ>
新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大にともなう「緊急事態宣言」の発出を受け、
安全に十分配慮した上での番組制作を行うため、
一時的に、一部の制作作業を見合わせることにいたしました。
これに伴い、来週以降の「ポケットモンスター」は再放送となります。


Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe declared a nationwide state of emergency on April 16th as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to increase throughout Japan. The state of emergency is currently scheduled to be lifted on May 6th, though that date may be extended as the number of new infections continues to grow.

The last time a Pocket Monsters show went on hiatus was in 1997 when the original series was taken off the air in response to the Pokémon Shock incident. That particular hiatus ended up lasting a total of four months. There is no projected end date for the current hiatus but the "parts of the show's production" line in the official announcement leads me to believe that the show hasn't halted production completely.

Many other animated properties in Japan - from One Piece to the new Neon Genesis Evangelion movie - have also gone into hiatus as a result of the virus.


To date, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" is still scheduled to be released on July 10th, 2020 despite the fact that basically every other film slated to come out this summer has already been postponed.

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Keiji Fujiwara, 1964 - 2020
April 16th, 2020

Dogasu @ 20:08 JST -- Voice actor Keiji Fujiwara has passed away at the age of 55, his talent agency announced earlier today.

Keiji Fujiwara

The website for the agency, Air Agency, provided the following statement:

Mr. Keiji Fujiwara, who was both the president of our company and one of our voice actors, has passed away at the age of 55 on April 12th, 2020 after a long battle with cancer.

As we bring you this news, we would like to thank Mr. Fujiwara for all the kindness he shared with us during his lifetime. A private funeral service and wake will be held by his family. We respectfully ask that flowers or other gifts not be sent.

弊 社代表取締役及び所属声優である藤原啓治が癌のためかねてより闘病中のところ令和2年4月12日満55歳で逝去いたしました。

ここに生前のご厚誼を深く感謝するとともに 謹んでお知らせ申し上げます。尚 通夜及び告別式につきましては親族のみにて執り行われました。誠に勝手なが らご香典ご供花の儀はご辞退申し上げます


Mr. Fujiwara played Matsubusa, the leader of the Magma-Dan, in Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation as well as the Usokkie in the fifth Pikachu movie The Glittering Starlit Camp. He also portrayed Mewtwo in the Japanese versions of the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch Super Smash Bros. games.

Matsubusa
Usokkie
Mewtwo

Outside Pocket Monsters, Mr. Fujiwara is best known as the voice of the father from Crayon Shin-chan, Maes Hughes from Fullmetal Alchemist, and Holland Novak from Eureka Seven, among others. He also provided the Japanese dub voices for Willy Wonka from 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Tony Stark / Iron Man from the various Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

Condolences to Mr. Fujiwara's family and friends.  May he rest in peace.

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Rougela in Animation - From Black to Purple
April 1st, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:51 JST -- This news is a few years old at this point but it's something I don't find that people are aware of so I thought I'd devote a site update to it: a purple edit of the late Jouto episode "The Ice Cave," the episode that 4Kids didn't even bother to dub because of how much Jynx appears in it, is something that now exists in Japan.

Black
Purple

So, I went and completely revamped my write-up for the episode and added a gallery of the 43 scenes that were recolored to make Rougela compliant with her more modern purple-face design. The full image gallery can be found at the following links:

| At the Pokémon Center | Everybody Wants Rougela | Rougela the Caregiver |
| Rougela's Defeated by the Rocket Trio | Returning Peace to the Ice Cave |

But that's not all! A bunch of other episodes have also been quietly edited over the years to change Rougela from black to purple so I went and made a page I'm calling Rougela in Animation - From Black to Purple to keep track of what's been changed and what hasn't. Does a purple version exist of, say, that episode from the Orange Islands where Kanna appears? Or how about the Dr. Ookido Pokémon Lecture segment from that one Jouto episode? That first Pokémon Contest episode from Advanced Generation? This page has those answers and more.

Rougela in Animation - From Black to Purple

The page should cover all the times the black-faced version of Rougela has ever appeared in anything animated but it's entirely possible I missed an appearance or two. If there's a Rougela / Jynx appearance I'm missing then please let me know via one of the links below.

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"Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution" Full Staff Credits
March 28th, 2020

Dogasu @ 18:33 JST -- One of the things that's nice about having the English version of Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution out there is that we now have a romanized version of the end credits. I had already attempted to transliterate the credits myself last summer but now that we have the full romanization I was able to go through and fill in (most of) the gaps. You can see the full staff credits here.



As far as I know Dogasu's Backpack is the only website on the Internet, English or Japanese or otherwise, to list the full credits to this movie.

Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION) is the 22nd Pocket Monsters movie. The film was released on Friday, July 12th, 2019 in Japan and was part of a year-long campaign known as "The Year of Mewtwo." The English version debuted on Netflix in the U.S. on February 27th, 2020.

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"Twilight Wings" Episode Three
March 18th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:14 JST -- The third episode of Twilight Wings, "Buddy," just came out in Japan! Check out the episode for yourself here:

Episode 03 "Friend"


I'll be adding details about the cast and staff in the coming hours.

Edit 22:31 JST:  Full cast list added here.
Edit 22:49 JST:  I've started adding the full staff list for Episode 03 here.
Edit 23:50 JST:  I've finished with the full staff list...view the entire staff
here.


"Twilight Wings" is an animated web series based on the characters and settings of the Galar Region from the Pocket Monsters Sword & Shield video games. It is a separate continuity from the weekly TV series featuring Satoshi and Pikachu. New five minute episodes are scheduled to come out about once a month from January until July 2020.

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"Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution" - The Japanese Version on Netflix
March 10th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:56 JST -- One of the things about Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution on Netflix that I have to talk about is that now, for the first time ever, we have a legal way to watch a Pokémon film in its original language!

Unfortunately, they didn't quite get it right the first time around as there are multiple problems with the way the Japanese version is presented on the popular streaming service. For tonight's update I take a look at Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution - The Japanese Version on Netflix.

Netflix Subs

From inaccurate subs to missing music, the Netflix version of the 22nd Pocket Monsters has a number of issues that I feel need to be talked about. Did you know about the issues highlighted in the essay? And what do you think can be done to get them fixed in the future? Let me know via one of the links below!


Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION) is the 22nd Pocket Monsters movie. The film was released on Friday, July 12th, 2019 in Japan and was part of a year-long campaign known as "The Year of Mewtwo." The English version debuted on Netflix in the U.S. on February 27th, 2020.

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"Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution" Comparison
March 7th, 2020

Dogasu @ 10:23 JST -- This took a little bit longer than I had wanted it to but I had a lot to say and so, without further ado, here's the comparison essay between the Japanese version and the English dub version of Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution!

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution

What do you think of my assessment of the way TPCI handled the latest movie to come out of Japan? 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 © 1995-2018 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK, Inc. / Pokémon.  No infringement of copyrights is meant by the creation of the web site.

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