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Welcome to Dogasu's Backpack, a fansite for the Japanese franchise Pocket Monsters! For 21 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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Episode Comparison "The Crystal Onix"
April 1st, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:38 JST -- Hey, why not take a break from all the April Fool's buffoonery going on today to sit down and read another one of my episode comparisons? This time I continue to make my way through the Orange Islands with a comparison between the Japanese and English versions of the episode "The Crystal Onix."

"The Crystal Onix"

What did you think about this episode and all the changes made to it? Let me know through any of the links below!

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"Koko" (English Version)
March 17th, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:29 JST -- Earlier today Beverly, the singer who provides the opening theme to Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko," released an English version remake of the song called, appropriately enough, Koko.

"Koko" (English Version)

The song's lyrics -- which are actually a really faithful translation of the Japanese original! -- have been transcribed and added to the Lyrics Archive.

One might reasonably expect The Pokémon Company International to use this version of the song for their upcoming English dub of the film but there's unfortunately a history of them actually not doing that. The ending theme to the Japanese version of 2007's Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl The Movie "Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai", famously, was an English language song called I Will Be With You ~Where the Lost Ones Go~ that ended up getting replaced in TPCi's version anyway. Other songs with English versions released in Japan -- Type: Wild, Just Like a Rainbow -- have also been passed over by the English dub. I hope Beverly's Koko is the song that breaks this trend but, at the same time, I'm not holding my breath.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Revelation Lugia" -- The Ending Theme Saga
March 8th, 2021

Dogasu @ 11:50 JST -- Today I'd like to stay in the year 1999 for a bit longer with an article about the second Pokémon film ever, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Revelation Lugia." We all know that the ending theme to that film is Namie Amuro's toi et moi, right? Well did you know that the song was not actually the filmmakers' first choice for the ending? And that they actually had a slower, much more gentle song planned instead?

"Revelation Lugia" The Ending Theme Saga

Today we're going to look at the "Revelation Lugia" The Ending Theme Saga. This article takes a look at how the filmmakers went from using the more soft, subdued melody they originally had in mind to them swapping it out with the latest single from one of Japan's biggest pop superstars at the last minute. We also get to hear comments from the movie's screenplay writer Mr. Takeshi Shudo about what he really feels about the song toi et moi. This article took a lot of research and a lot of work to put together but I hope it was all worth it!

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"Pikachu Re-Volts" Episode Comparison
March 3rd, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:26 JST -- Let's continue to make our way through the Orange Islands arc of the animated series by looking at the differences between the Japanese and English versions of the episode "Pikachu Re-Volts."

"Pikachu Re-Volts"

4Kids' tendency to just throw out the original Japanese script and make up their own dialogue, combined with a certain set of sound-related decisions toward the end of the episode, ensure that I had plenty to write about for this one. Hope you enjoy!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Falls out of the Japanese Box Office Top Ten
February 23rd, 2021

Dogasu @ 11:44 JST -- It took nine weeks but it's finally happened; Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" has fallen out of the Japanese box office's Top Ten.

Based on information posted by Kogyo Tsushin it seems that the debuts of romantic comedy Liar x Liar  and the latest super sentai film Mashin Sentai Kiramager The Movie "Bebop Dream" pushed last week's Number 9 and Number 10 movies -- Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" and The Family -- out of the Top Ten.

Box office figures for films outside the Top Ten are rarely ever reported so the figure we got last week -- 1.5 billion yen -- is going to end up being the most up-to-date earnings report we're likely to get. The film's distributor may report a final tally at some point in the future but that is in no way guaranteed.

In any case, it's clear that Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" is now officially the lowest performing Pokémon movie in the film franchise's 23 year history. It'll be interesting to see how this affects the approach taken for future films in the franchise.

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Megumi Hayashibara's The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Life One Episode at a Time
February 21st, 2021

Dogasu @ 16:05 JST -- So, this was unexpected; last night Megumi Hayashibara, known mostly to us Pocket Monsters fans as the voice of Musashi from the Rocket trio, dropped a surprise autobiography about her life as a voice actor. But that's not even the best part; an official English translation has also been made available, simultaneously, by Yen Press!

Megumi Hayashibara's The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Lie One Episode at a Time

The name of the book is Megumi Hayashibara's The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Life One Episode at a Time (林原めぐみのぜんぶキャラから教わった 今を生き抜く力) and was written by Ms. Megumi Hayashibara herself. The book goes in chronological order, from the very first bit role she got in the 1980s to her more recent stuff in the 2010s, and reveals some life skill she learned from each and every role. She shares a bunch of anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information I haven't seen made available anywhere else.

About 10 pages of the 250+ page book are dedicated to Pocket Monsters. In them, she talks the sense of camaraderie she shares with her fellow partners-in-crime and reveals that a certain change her character underwent was brought about because she specifically requested it. There are also some nice illustrations included by the Pocket Monsters staff to congratulate her on the release of her book.

According to the blog post Ms. Hayashibara made about the book's release, the English version is only being made available digitally (for now...?) in order to ensure that it could come out the same day as the Japanese version.

A sample of the book, including the full table of contents, can be viewed on the Book Walker website. The Yen Press website's listing for the book includes links to retailers where you can purchase the US $9.99 book for yourself.

I haven't finished reading it yet but when I do I'm planning to post a full review of it on the site.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Box Office Performance: Week Eight

February 15th, 2021

Dogasu @ 17:05 JST -- The Valentine's Day weekend saw Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" fall from seventh to ninth place in the Japanese box office.

We Had a Love Like a Bouquet of Flowers
Detective Conan: The Scarlet Alibi
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train 

First, a look at the Top Ten:

Rank
Last Week
Title
Distributor
Weeks in Theaters
1
1
We Had a Love Like a Bouquet of Flowers
Tokyo Theatres, Little More
3
2
NEW Detective Conan: The Scarlet Alibi
Toho
1
3
2
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train
Toho, Aniplex
18
4
NEW First Love
Kadokawa
1
5
3
Suicide Forest Village
Toei
2
6
NEW Under the Open Sky
Warner
1
7
5
Gintama: The Final
Warner
6
8
4
Poupelle of Chimney Town
Toho, Yoshimoto
8
9
7
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
Toho
8
10
6
The Family
Star Sands, Kadokawa
3

Source:  Kogyo Tsushin (posted February 15th, 2021)

The entertainment website Kogyo Tsushin is reporting that, to-date, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" has been seen by 1,360,000 people and has passed the 1.5 billion yen mark. For comparison's sake, 2019's Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution managed to earn 1.7 billion yen in only three weeks, and 2018's Pocket Monsters The Movie "Everyone's Story" earned 1.6 billion yen in, again, only three weeks. Movie 23 taking almost three times as long to reach that same milestone is...not great.


This week the 23rd Pocket Monsters film was joined in the Top Ten by Detective Conan: The Scarlet Alibi, a compilation film being released to prepare audiences for the franchise's 24th film; First Love, aa suspense mystery about a university student accused of killing her own father; and Under the Open Sky, a sorta-kinda biopic about a real life serial killer. Conspicuously absent from the Top Ten this week is Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie (Part Two), which hit Japanese theaters on Thursday the 11th.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Full Staff List
February 13th, 2021

Dogasu @ 18:41 JST -- The first (official) update for my website's 22nd year on the Internet is a transcription of the entire staff list for Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"!



This list of the more than 1200 people who worked on this film was taken from the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" pamphlet that you can get at movie theaters here in Japan. I transcribed the entire list myself and did my best to romanize what I could but there are still quite a number of names that I just wasn't able to figure out how to write out in our alphabet. I'll have to take another pass at the list once the English dub comes out and provides us with the fully romanized credits.

It should be noted that a lot of the people who worked on this movie just simply didn't get credited. D'Art Shtajio animator Henry Thurlow, for example, apparently did some 2nd Key Animation on the movie and yet his name doesn't show up in the film's credits at all. So who knows how many people actually worked on this thing.


Anyway, I hope at least some of you find this list to be useful!

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"Dogasu's Backpack" Turns 21
January 31st, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:48 JST -- Today is my website's 21st anniversary! To commemorate I've written a post looking back on the previous year before making predictions about what's going to happen in the year 2021; check it out here!

Happy Anniversary (Year Twenty-One)

Here's to another year of distractions!

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Episode Comparison:  "Fit To Be Tide"
January 28th, 2021

Dogasu @ 00:27 JST -- Another month, another episode comparison! Let's check out the differences between the Japanese and English versions of the fifth Orange Islands episode, "Fit To Be Tide!"

"Fit To Be Tide"

As this is the first gym challenge of the Orange Islands it kind of sets the tone for how the rest of the arc will go, gym challenge wise. How did 4Kids do? You'll have to read to find out!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Box Office Performance: Week Five
January 25th, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:06 JST -- It has now officially been one full month since Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" hit theaters. How's it doing in the box office?

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train Gintama The Final Poupelle of Chimney Town 

First, a look at the Top Ten:

Rank
Last Week
Title
Distributor
Weeks in Theaters
1
1
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train
Toho, Aniplex
15
2
2
Gintama: The Final
Warner
3
3
3
Poupelle of Chimney Town
Toho, Yoshimoto
5
4
NEW
The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window
Morigaki Yukihiro
1
5
5
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
Toho
5
6
4
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation Toho 7
7
6
The Promised Neverland
Toho
6
8
8
Stand By Me - Doraemon 2
Toho
10
9
7
Natsume's Book of Friends - The Stone Waker & The Suspicious Visitor
Aniplex
2
10
9
Peninsula
Gaga
4

Source:  Kogyo Tsushin (posted January 25th, 2021)

According to Kogyo Tsushin, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" has been seen by a total of 1,210,000 people and has made 1.4 billion yen so far. For comparison's sake, 2019's Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution was able to make 1.7 billion yen -- 300,000 yen more than Koko's current total -- after only three weeks in theaters.


The only other newcomer to the Top 10 this week is The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window, a live action adaptation of the supernatural / boys' love manga.


At the moment, a state of emergency is currently in effect for Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and numerous other prefectures throughout Japan. Most of them are set to expire on February 7th, though that may be extended depending on how the situation develops in the next two weeks. Earlier today it was reported that Tokyo has just seen the lowest daily figure of new infections since December 28th but the lack of available hospital beds still remains a major issue.

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"Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series OST Liner Notes
January 23rd, 2021

Dogasu @ 18:51 JST -- The "Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack, a CD that came out in November containing the instrumental background music from the Pocket Monsters (2019) series, included four pages of liner notes from composer Yuki Hayashi. Tonight's update is a translation of those liner notes.

"Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack Liner Notes

The notes on every song that Mr. Hayashi composed himself -- 49 in all -- have all been translated into English by me.
In these notes, Mr. Hayashi explains what he was going for when writing each song, what kinds of challenges he faced, what instruments he used, and much, much more! I personally recommend having the soundtrack on in the background -- which is available on Spotify, by the way -- as you read through these notes.

As far as I know this is the first Pocket Monsters soundtrack to get liner notes like these; hopefully, it won't be the last!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Box Office Performance: Week Three
January 12th, 2021

Dogasu @ 16:52 JST -- The weekend of January 9th - 10th is the first weekend after the Japanese government made a state of emergency declaration for the greater Tokyo area. How did Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" fare?

Gintama The Final
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train  Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation

Here's how the Top Ten looked during the 23rd movie's third week in theaters:

Rank
Last Week
Title
Distributor
Weeks in Theaters
1
NEW Gintama: The Final
Warner
1
2
1
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train
Toho, Aniplex
13
3
2
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation Toho 5
4
3
Poupelle of Chimney Town
Toho, Yoshimoto
3
5
4
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
Toho
3
6
5
The Promised Neverland
Toho
4
7
6
Stand By Me - Doraemon 2
Toho
8
8
NEW Perfect Strangers: Smartphone o Nozoitara
Sony
1
9
NEW Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie (Part One)
Toei
1
10
7
Peninsula
Gaga
2

Source:  Kogyo Tsushin (posted January 12th, 2021)

Newcomer Gintama: The Final, a film based on the final parts of the long-running Shonen Jump manga, actually managed to dethrone Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train as the Number One movie in Japan over the weekend. The arrival of the new Gintama movie caused the other films at the top of the charts -- Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation, Poupelle of Chimney Town, and Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" -- to all slid down a spot as a result.

We don't know how much money the 23rd Pocket Monsters made in its third week. Kogyo Tsushin reports that the Number Three film,
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation, made 3.4 billion yen over the weekend so we at least know that the newest Pokémon movie brought in less than that. But beyond that we don't know.

Other newcomers this week are Perfect Strangers: Smartphone no Nozoitara, a Japanese remake of the Italian film Perfetti sconosciuti, and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie (Part One), the first of two Sailor Moon Crystal-style retellings of the Sailor Moon SuperS story.


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshide Suga declared a new state of emergency for Tokyo and three other prefectures last week due to the nation's worsening COVID-19 situation. Movie theaters are among the businesses being asked to close at 8:00pm under this declaration. Of the 435 theaters currently screening Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" nationwide a whopping 105 of them are located in the four affected areas. A new state of emergency targeting the Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo areas is expected to be declared later this week.

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"Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack Staff
January 11th, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:23 JST -- I'm slowly going through my massive translation backlog at the moment, and one of the items on my list is to post the full staff list from the "Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack that came out last November. So tonight I'm going to do just that!

"Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack

Click here to see the full list. Every engineer, every recording studio, and yes, every musician who worked on the music you hear in the soundtrack is listed here. Wanna know who played the flute on this soundtrack? Who did the violin solo? Sang in the chorus? Well, then this is the update for you!

I'm also planning to have translations of Mr. Yuki Hayashi's liner notes for each of the songs on that soundtrack up by the end of the week.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 09

January 10th, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:57 JST -- Yes, I'm still doing these: my write-up for Episode 09 of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" podcast is now up!

Podcast Episode 09

The special guest for this episode is one of the film's
Executive Producers, Mr. Hidenaga Katakami (片上秀長). He talks about how he got involved with The Pokémon Company, how he got involved with the Pocket Monsters films, how they "sell" the film to the various partners who help them out along the way, and even provides some behind-the-scenes info on the creation of Zarude.

I'll do the write-up for the final episode of the podcast later this month.

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State of Emergency declared in Tokyo area as COVID-19 cases surge
January 7th, 2021

Dogasu @ 13:33 JST -- People have been talking about this for a while but today it was made official: a state of emergency is being declared in the greater Tokyo area.



The COVID-19 situation has been getting worse over the last few weeks here in Japan, with new records being broken daily. The nation's capitol reported 2,447 cases today, which may seem low to folks in other countries (for comparison, New York City recorded 16,016 cases on January 6th) but is an all-time home for the island nation once praised for having this novel coronavirus under control.

Details of the new state of emergency declaration can be found here, but it's basically a much more relaxed version of the one we had last April. Restaurants and bars can remain open but will be asked to close at 8:00pm, and school will still be held as normal, for the most part. And according to this Japanese language NHK article, movie theaters in the affected areas will also be asked to close each night at 8:00 pm.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" is currently in its third week in theaters here in Japan. The film is already on track to becoming the lowest-earning film in the franchise's history, and these new restrictions in the nation's most populous areas will make it even harder for the film to earn more money. So what will Toho do? Will they keep the film in theaters a few extra weeks in hopes of making up the difference once the state of emergency is lifted? Or will they give up on the theater run altogether and end up putting it up on some pay-per-view streaming platform? Whatever they decide to do, the next few weeks are bound to be interesting for a movie that's already had an incredibly tumultuous journey so far.

The state of emergency is scheduled to remain in place until at least February 7th.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Box Office Performance: Week Two
January 4th, 2021

Dogasu @ 13:33 JST -- The Japanese box office results are in for the weekend of January 2nd - January 3rd. In its second week in theaters Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" dropped to fourth place.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation Poupelle of Chimney Town

Here's how the Top Ten looked during the 23rd movie's second week in theaters:

Rank
Last Week
Title
Distributor
Weeks in Theaters
1
1
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train
Toho, Aniplex
12
2
3
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation Toho 4
3
4
Poupelle of Chimney Town
Toho, Yoshimoto
2
4
2
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
Toho
2
5
5
The Promised Neverland
Toho
3
6
6
Stand By Me - Doraemon 2
Toho
7
7
NEW
Peninsula
Gaga
1
8
7
Wonder Woman 1984 Warner Bros 3
9
10
Tengaramon Giggly Box 4
10
8
Kamen Rider Saber The Movie / Kamen Rider Zero-One The Movie
Toei
3

Source:  Kogyo Tsushin (posted January 4th, 2021)

The Top Ten this week was mostly just a reshuffling of the films that were in the charts last week. First place went to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train, which is currently in its twelfth consecutive week in the Number One spot and is probably not going anywhere anytime soon. The Number Two spot went to Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation and Number Three went to Poupelle of Chimney Town, which is coming in one rank higher this week than it did in its opening weekend.

The only new film to join the Top Ten this week is the Japanese premiere of Peninsula, a zombie film originally released in South Korea back in July that was eventually released in the U.S. under the title Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula. The film Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, which came out the same day as the 23rd Pokémon movie, has already fallen out of the Top Ten.

The website Kogyo Tsushin is also reporting that the film has been seen by an additional 115,000 people over the weekend and earned 139 million yen. This puts the film's total at 517 million yen altogether.


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshide Suga is considering declaring a new state of emergency for Tokyo and three other prefectures due to the nation's historically high number of COVID-19 infections these past few weeks. A state of emergency declaration would mean that businesses such as restaurants, bars, museums, and movie theaters may be asked to either reduce their operating hours or close altogether for the foreseeable future. Movie theater closures, if they happened, would have a significant impact on the 23rd Pokémon movie; of the 435 theaters currently showing Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" nationwide a whopping 105 of them are located in the four affected areas. Details of the new state of emergency declaration are expected later this week.

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Look Back - Predictions 2020
January 2nd, 2021

Dogasu @ 00:41 JST -- The idea that any of us could have possibly predicted anything about the year 2020 is, looking back on it now, completely laughable. But I foolishly tried to anyway, and for tonight's update let's do what I do every year and check back to see if any of the stuff I thought would happen in 2020 ended up coming true. Let's perform my 2020 Predictions Check-In.



I think I did pretty alright, all things considered...?

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Episode Comparison: "The Lost Lapras"
December 31st, 2020

Dogasu @ 21:00 JST -- I couldn't let the year go out without doing one more of these things, could I? Here's the episode comparison for the Orange Islands episode "The Lost Lapras."

"The Lost Lapras"

There episode sets up a lot of the changes that'll keep popping up throughout the Orange Islands arc so this comparison's a little bit longer than some of the others. But there's a ton of stuff in here that I haven't seen talked about anywhere else on the English-speaking Internet so hopefully you'll find it well worth your time.

And with that, let's say goodbye to 2020! Tomorrow I'll be taking a look back at the predictions I made for this year to see how well I did.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Theme Song Collection
December 29th, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:55 JST -- This has been reported a bunch of times by now but the 23rd Pokémon movie has a grand total of six vocal songs. Tonight's update is an in-depth look at all six of these songs.

Okite no Uta
Koko
Okite no Uta, the very first song heard in the movie
Koko, the movie's opening theme
Show Window
Mori no Humming
Show Window, a song that plays when Satoshi shows Koko around Milyfa Town.
Mori no Humming, a song that plays during a climatic part of the film.
Fushigi na Fushigi na Ikimono
Tadaima to Okaeri
Fushigi na Fushigi na Ikimono, the movie's "main theme" used in numerous film trailers
Tadaima to Okaeri, the movie's ending theme

For each song I've got the full lyrics in Japanese, their English translations, a list of the musicians and other staff who worked on each song, and any comments made by the musicians about each song.

All six songs are available internationally (!!!!!!) on both Spotify and Apple Music under the title "Pokemon Movie Koko Theme Songs." The CD with all six songs (plus all the songs Okazaki Physical Education did for the Sun & Moon TV series is also currently on sale.


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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Box Office Performance: Week One
December 28th, 2020

Dogasu @ 14:26 JST -- The Japanese box office results for this past weekend have been released and it's official: Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" came in as the Number 2 movie in Japan!

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train
Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation

Here's how the Top Ten looked during the 23rd movie's opening weekend:

Rank
Last Week
Title
Distributor
Weeks in Theaters
1
1
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train
Toho, Aniplex
11
2
NEW Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
Toho
1
3
2
Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation Toho 3
4
NEW
Poupelle of Chimney Town
Toho, Yoshimoto
1
5
3
The Promised Neverland
Toho
2
6
4
Stand By Me - Doraemon 2
Toho
6
7
6
Wonder Woman 1984 Warner Bros 2
8
5 Kamen Rider Saber The Movie / Kamen Rider Zero-One The Movie
Toei
2
9
NEW Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
Shochiku, Kadokawa
1
10
8
Tengaramon Giggly Box 3

Source:  Kogyo Tsushin (posted December 28th, 2020)

First place went to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train, which if you've been following the Japanese box office these past few months is not even the least bit surprising. The movie's now the #1 top earning film in Japanese history so there was absolutely no way Pokémon was going to come anywhere close to beating it. The Number Three spot went to Romance of the Three Kingdoms - The New Interpretation.

Other new films debuting this weekend include Poupelle of Chimney Town, which came in at Number Four, and Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, which debuted at Number Nine.

The film's actual box office earnings have not been made public yet but I'll be sure to add them once they become available.
Update:  Kogyo Tsushin has provided the box office numbers. Over the two-day weekend, Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th, the movie was watched by 234,000 people and earned 276 million yen. Over the three-day weekend (Friday the 25th ~ Sunday the 27th) it was watched by 320,000 people and earned 378 million yen.

There was no post-credits teaser for Pokémon Movie 24 this time around so we have no idea when the next film is coming out. Based on this weekend's performance, though, it seems pretty clear that Pokémon movies will do well no matter what time of the year they come out.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" - The Review

December 26th, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:07 JST -- After what seems like an eternity the 23rd Pocket Monsters movie, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko," has finally hit theaters. I went to see it on opening day and so, as usual, I wanted to share my thoughts on this (currently) Japan-only film in my review of the film.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Review

The review has a lot of spoilers in it so avoid it if you'd rather wait to watch the movie yourself before finding out what happens.


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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" ~ One More Beginning ~ Chapter Two
December 24th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:32 JST -- The January 2021 issue of CoroCoro Comics, which went on sale December 15th, featured the second chapter of the Movie 23 prequel manga, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" ~ One More Beginning ~!

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" ~ One More Beginning ~ Chapter Two

The second chapter shows the continuing battle between Koko and the giant Maruyakude rampaging about in the Okoya Forest. While this manga depicts an original story, it contains several hints about the kinds of things we'll be seeing in the new movie that comes out tomorrow, such as the Spring of Healing and the Holy Tree.

A graphic novel collection of the manga will be made available tomorrow, December 25th. Amazon lists the graphic novel as having 128 pages so that means the manga's third and final chapter's gonna clock in at around 32 pages.

Graphic Novel collection

More information on this third chapter will be posted once I finish my coverage of the actual film itself. Until tomorrow!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" to bring up Satoshi's Dad
December 24th, 2020

Dogasu @ 11:53 JST -- An Oricon news article released just a few hours ago reveals that Satoshi's going to talk about his own dad in Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko," which comes out in theaters tomorrow, December 25th.

I don't have time to translate the full article right now but here's the relevant part:



The source of Satoshi's ability to take action is his father. What's etched into the heart of a boy who's still only ten years old.

In this movie, one part that's sure to leave an impression is when Koko struggles with questions of both his very existence and the relationship between him and his father -- "Am I a Pokémon? Or am I a human?" When he sees Koko struggling with this, the main character Satoshi reminisces about his own father, for the very first time, and talks about the effect his old man's had on him. Satoshi's mom has been appearing in the TV and movie series a number of times before, of course, but as a fan,  hearing Satoshi bring up his dad now, at a time like this, was a huge shock. Director Yajima says: "The events in this movie take place after Zarude has been raising the baby Koko for ten years. They meet Satoshi and Pikachu in the jungle where they live, and little by little seeds of doubt begin to bud within Koko, who up until now had never questioned the idea that he himself is a Pokémon. And we show him questioning his own existence and the relationship between him and his father when he asks "Dada, am I a hewmann?""

During all that, having Satoshi go "When I see [Koko and the others], I'm reminded of my own papa," and then having him go on to talk about his own father is something we've never done in the Pokémon series up until now. But when he sees Koko question the relationship with Zarude, his father, we thought it'd be unnatural for him to not bring up his own dad. Satoshi has never really talked about his father up until now, but since we have a story with a "parent and son" theme we had a perfect excuse to bring it up and so when Satoshi sees Zarude, the father, and Koko, the son, we had to come up with what kind of memories Satoshi'd have about his own father. He can say this about Koko as well, but since the parent who raised him is still around that means is existence and actions must have some kind of meaning. Also, Satoshi is the kind of boy who doesn't look down on people and can make friends with just about anybody and so he connects to his friend Koko by talking not about his mother, but about his own father.

We all know Satoshi, and how he never gives up, and how he's an energetic boy who has a positive outlook on life. We thought by making his father's words be what make that Satoshi the way he is it'd make his actions make sense and would make for a great fit for this "parent and child story" that's the central theme of this year's film. Satoshi is working to become a Pokémon Master, and we feel that we should have the reasons he does the things he does come from his family. That's because Satoshi is still a ten-year-old boy who needs the love of his parents, after all. By talking about his father for the first time, we'll understand that his personality and the things he does come from his father.

I personally wouldn't get my hopes up too much -- I'm betting there will be like two, three lines of dialogue, tops -- but it's still interesting how they're even going there in the first place.

I will of course provide as much information about this part of the movie as I can when I go see it in a little less than 24 hours from now.

Special thanks to Twitter user Frandango for the tip!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 08

December 15th, 2020

Dogasu @ 13:54 JST -- My write-up for Episode 08 of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" podcast is...well, it's not here because the episode's release has been postponed until further notice!



Why was it postponed? We can only speculate at this point, but I post the most likely reason in my placeholder write-up for the episode.

Episode 09 is still scheduled to be released this Friday, December 18th at 20:00 JST. The special guest will be
one of the film's Executive Producers, Mr. Hidenaga Katakami (片上秀長).

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Animedia August 2019 Issue - Interview with Sun & Moon director Daiki Tomiyasu

December 10th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:53 JST -- Late last month I translated an interview with Mr. Masachika Ichimura and Ms. Sachiko Kobayashi from the August 2019 issue of Animedia. There was one other interview in that issue so for tonight's update I wanted to go ahead and get a translation of that up as well.

Interview with Daiki Tomiyasu

The interview is with Mr. Daiki Tomiyasu, the director of the Sun & Moon TV series. This issue of Animedia was released right at the start of the Alola Pokémon League so there aren't any real surprises in there but it is interesting to see how he was trying to hype up the league now that we know exactly how it all ended up.

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