Dogasu's Backpack

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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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spoon.2Di Issue 63 Translation
October 26th, 2020

Dogasu @ 21:29 JST -- It's been a while since I've done a non-Coco update (though I have been surreptitiously updating pages, such as adding the track listing to the Pocket Monsters (2019) soundtrack) so tonight I would like to present you a new translation: an interview with Pocket Monsters (2019) producer Tomoya Negishi from Issue 63 of the Japanese magazine spoon.2Di.


The interview (and accompanying comments) is from the end of June, a few weeks after the show came back from the hiatus it had to take due to COVID-19. How is the show's staff adapting to this post-coronavirus world? How did they decide to have the Kalos Gym Leader Corni be the first "older character" Satoshi faces off against? And who came up with the two-in-one episode idea in the first place? All that - plus an acknowledgment that hey, we're going to have to eventually deal with Gou trying to get legendary Pokémon at some point - can be found here!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 02
October 20th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:55 JST -- The second episode of the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" podcast was released on Friday so I've written up a summary that you can read here.

Podcast Episode 02

This episode is a continuation of last week's conversation with the director of the upcoming film, Mr. Tetsuo Yajima, and the voice actor for one of the new characters who appears in the film, Ms. Shoko Nakagawa. The two of them talk to the podcast host about what Mr. Yajima was looking for when he cast the film, what kind of directing style he uses, how the music for the film was developed, and more! They also answer some listener questions including a question about this year's location scouting trip. There's a lot of great stuff in this one so be sure to check it out!

The guests for the podcast's third and fourth episodes will be
Mr. Michihiro Morita (森田道広), who's in charge of the film's publicity, and Mr. Taichi Terahara (寺原泰地), the director of the film's trailers. So I'm guessing there will be a lot of talk about the film's advertising, I guess...? The podcast will take November 6th off and then come back on the 13th with for another two-parter with special guests Mr. Masafumi Mima (三間雅文), the film's sound director, and Mr. Shinji Miyazaki (宮崎慎二), a man who has not officially been announced as doing the film's music but it's more or less confirmed at this point.

I've got a bunch of other non-movie related updates in the works during all this so if you don't care about these podcasts then there will still be new things for you to enjoy.

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More new Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" songs revealed
October 11th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:35 JST -- Earlier this morning yet another new song was revealed that'll be used in Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" . Its name is Show Window and I've taken everything we know about it so far and made a page for it in the Lyrics Section. I had to transcribe the lyrics by ear and wasn't able to catch every word being said but I think I was able to get enough of it to give you a good idea of what it's going to be about.

Show Window

Lyrics to Okite no Uta, an insert song that was revealed back on September 27th, have also been added.

The film's official website states that Okazaki Physical Education is providing a total of six songs for the movie and so these two, combined with the song Fushigi na Fushigi na Ikimono that was revealed on August 5th, means that we have three songs left. I imagine the remaining songs will be teased before the film is released on December 25th.

At this time there is still no word on who will be providing the instrumental music in the film.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 01
October 11th, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:34 JST -- The first episode of the new official Pocket Monsters podcast, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Supporters' Podcast - "The Movie Secrets We Want to Tell You", came out last night. The whole thing's in Japanese and, well, that's not very useful if you don't know Japanese and so I thought it'd be helpful to make up a page summarizing what all they talked about so that you don't miss out. The Episode 01 write-up can be found here.

I would like to do one of these write-ups every week so I'd like to get your feedback between now and the next episode. Do you like the format of this write-up? Do you want it to continue to be this long-form summary or would you like something shorter and easier to skim? Let me know!

The second episode of this new weekly podcast will be released Friday, October 16th at 20:00 JST.

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CDs are still a thing in Japan in the year 2020
October 9th, 2020

Dogasu @ 11:19 JST -- We haven't gotten any new Pocket Monsters CDs in a little over a year now but within the past week or so we've gotten word of two (well, three) brand new releases!

"Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack

The first of these is the CD single for Acacia, that Bump of Chicken song that played during that "Gotcha!" video that came out last week. There are two versions of the CD coming out; one's a Pokémon-centric release that focuses on the song Acacia and comes packaged with a DVD featuring the Gotcha! music video, while the other one focuses on a different Bump of Chicken single and comes packaged with a DVD featuring concert footage of the band. Both versions come out November 4th, 2020.

The other CD release is "Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack, a CD release of the background music to the Pocket Monsters (2019) series currently airing as composed by Mr. Yuki Hayashi! This is the first time a Pocket Monsters TV series' background music has been released on CD (not counting the movie soundtracks, of course) since TV Anime Pocket Monsters Original Soundtrack Best 1997 - 2010 back in 2011 so this is actually a pretty major release here! We don't know how many tracks will be included or what kinds of extras (if any) it'll come with but we do know that it also has a release date of November 4th, 2020.

And who knows? Maybe if this CD release does well enough we might even dare to hope that Sony Music Entertainment Japan will someday (somehow) release the music from Best Wishes! ~ Sun & Moon that never got a CD release...?

Information on all these newly announced CDs, including links to where you can buy them yourself, can be found in the CD Guide.
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Manga: "The Nintendo All-Stars Free-For-All! Smash Brothers"
October 1st, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:07 JST -- Back in 1999 - the year the very first Super Smash Bros. game (called The Nintendo All-Stars Free-For-All! Smash Brothers here in Japan) came out on the Nintendo 64 - the kids' magazine CoroCoro Comics published a short, 20-page Smash Bros manga. For tonight's update I present that manga to you on The Nintendo All-Stars Free-For-All! Smash Brothers page of the Manga Guide!

The Nintendo All-Stars Free-For-All! Smash Brothers

I've got everything there is to know about this manga: a detailed story synopsis, character bios, and an About the Author page. It's basically everything I can do short of just posting the full manga outright! The Nintendo All-Stars Free-For-All! Smash Brothers is a gag manga from a kids' magazine so don't expect epic battles or deep lore or anything like that; it's just a fun little story for kids, nothing more, nothing less. Still, it's kind of neat to see things like Mario ordering Pikachu around in battle or Samus Aran with a construction hat on, and the art's kind of cute, so definitely take a look!

As far as I can tell this is the only website on all the Internet - Japanese, English, or otherwise - to ever post anything about this manga so this is 100% for sure something you've never seen before. Enjoy!

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"Machoke, Machoke Man!"
September 27th, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:05 JST -- The episode of Pocket Monsters (2019) that's scheduled to air later tonight, "Satoshi vs. Saitou! Beat the Octopus Hold!!," will feature the return of Shijima, the Fighting-Type Gym Leader from the Johto Region. The character hasn't appeared in person since his one and only appearance a whopping 19 years ago and so I thought now would be as good a time as any to analyze the Japanese version of that old episode from 2001. So without further ado, here's the episode comparison for "Machoke, Machoke Man!"

"Machoke, Machoke Man!"

Script rewrites, music changes, digital paint, cut scenes; this episode has it all!

A lot of you seem to like the addition of screencaps and the original Japanese text from my last comparison so I'm continuing that with this essay as well. It's a lot more work on my end but I think it makes for a better, more complete article at the end of the day.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Supporters' Podcast
September 22nd, 2020

Dogasu @ 00:32 JST -- A few weeks from now - October 9th, to be exact - the very first episode of a new official Pocket Monsters podcast will begin.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Podcast

The podcast is called *deep breath* The Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Supporters' Podcast - "The Movie Secrets We Want to Tell You" (劇場版ポケットモンスター ココ -サポーターズPodcastーいま、君に伝えたい映画のヒミツ). Each week (presumably) a group of special guests will come together to provide behind-the-scenes secrets on the new movie. The first two episodes' guests will be the film's director, Mr. Tetsuo Yajima, and the actor providing the voice of the Pokémon researcher Karen, Ms. Shoko Nakagawa.

I've taken everything we know about the podcast so far and put it all on its own page here. I plan to cover the podcast, which will be all in Japanese, probably about the same way I covered Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire back in 2012.

In other movie news, the first batch of winners for the annual illustration contest has been announced and so I've added details on the winning entries to my page for the contest.

The winning entries will all be shown during Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco," most likely during the film's end credits.

Finally, I've updated the movie's box office section by filling in information on the movies Coco will be going up against on opening day.

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish
Wonder Woman 1984

The competition's actually not so tough this time around! It'll be super interesting to see how well this year's movie performs in contrast to all the others since it's not going up against a bunch of summer blockbusters like all the others have. Do you think Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" can take the Number One spot in its opening weekend?

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Pocket Monsters will be moving to Friday nights starting next month
September 13th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:52 JST -- This is something that had been rumored for a few days now but an commercial that played after tonight's episode of Pocket Monsters (2019) confirmed that the show will be moving from its current Sunday evening time slot to a Friday evening time slot.

Timeslot Change

Starting Friday, October 9th, 2020 Pocket Monsters (2019) will be airing every Friday evening from 18:55 JST. The show will be taking over the time slot of a cooking show called Dekamori Hunter.

This marks the fourth time in the series' 23-year history that the show's changed time slots:
  • The first 38 episodes of Pocket Monsters (1997) aired Tuesday nights at 6:30pm JST but lost its time slot after the whole Pokémon Shock incident.
  • When the show came back from hiatus in April 1998 its old Tuesday time slot had already been swooped up by another show and so Pocket Monsters moved to airing on Thursday nights at 7:00pm JST instead. The rest of Pocket Monsters (1997), all of Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation, all of Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl, all of Pocket Monsters Best Wishes!, and most of Pocket Monsters XY aired in this time slot.
  • From April 7th, 2016 - a full 18 years later - the show shifted to airing five minutes earlier, starting at 6:55pm JST instead of 7:00pm JST. The rest of Pocket Monsters XY, Pocket Monsters XY&Z, and everything up to the end of the Necrozoma arc in Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon aired in this time slot.
  • From October 7th, 2018 the show moved to its current Sunday evening time slot. At the time the head of TV-Tokyo's animation division, Mr. Hirokazu Oshida (押田裕一), issued this statement:
"Starting from Autumn 2018 TV-Tokyo will create a new animation programming block aimed at families, particularly children, on Sunday evenings from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. As people's lives and viewing habits change we want to really shift gears toward the concept of "spending your days off relaxing with your family." Starting with those two programs and continuing on with shows like "Moya-Moya Summers 2," "Emergency SOS! The Great Plan to Drain All the Water from the Pond," and "Ikegami's Sunday Primetime World," we hope the whole family will come together to enjoy TV-Tokyo's programming. We're going to continue giving it our all to make sure everyone continues to love these shows for a long time. Please look forward to both these programs."

At the time, Japanese TV as a whole was moving toward getting rid of the whole "anime airing in primetime during the week" idea and was moving everything on Saturdays and Sundays instead. Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations moved to Sundays in 2018 and
Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan moved to Saturdays in 2019. In September 2020 there isn't a single anime that currently airs in primetime (7:00pm - 10:00pm)  on weeknights on Japanese terrestrial TV.

Animedia - December 2019

In the December 2019 issue of the magazine Animedia the producer of the current series, Mr. Tomoya Negishi (根岸智也), talked about how the show's Sunday evening time slot had shaped the way they decided to tackle Pocket Monsters (2019):

-- (Pocket Monsters 2019) is being made in such a way that it has stories that get wrapped up in a single episode. Can you tell us the reason for that?

Negishi:  The biggest reason is the change in the way it's being broadcast. Its current time slot is Sundays at 6:00 pm, but since it's Sunday then viewers might be out with their parents or hanging out with their friends or whatever and so they may not necessarily be home to catch the show every week. Because of that, we thought it might be difficult for people to watch these long ongoing stories without missing an episode. We're not making the episodes completely stand-alone, however, but we are trying not to do too many two-parters, and in those cases that we do we have this rule to try to make them in such a way that you can enjoy each part on its own.

(In addition to airing on Sunday evenings the current series is posted on the Pokémon Japan official YouTube channel every week as well as on video streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime so it's not like watching the TV series "live" every week is fans' only options here...)

This upcoming move from Sundays to Fridays is giving some fans hope that Pocket Monsters (2019) aversion to having multi-part episodes may be changed, though of course it's still too early to know that for certain.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Pre-Order Bonuses
September 9th, 2020

Dogasu @ 15:32 JST -- Today's update is all about the bonuses you can receive when you pre-order a movie ticket for Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco".

First up: certain stores are offering exclusive bonuses for ordering the tickets from them instead of their competitors and so I've added information about each vendor-specific bonus to the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" Distributions page.

Next up is an update regarding the dates by which you'll be able to redeem the serial codes for "Celebi of the Okoya Forest" and "Zarude of the Okoya Forest" that come with your pre-order tickets. Up until recently the official website's "you only have until this date to download your Mythical Pokémon" notice was just set to "TBD" but it now says we have up until March 31st, 2021 to get them.

Redemption Dates

The actual tickets themselves contradict this and have a download-by date of September 30th, 2020 printed on the back of them but I'm assuming that information's just out-of-date. I'd go with what's written on the movie website instead.

This year, for the first time ever, Pocket Monsters pre-order movie tickets can be purchased by fans overseas via the Japanese Amazon site. With the serial codes being valid until March 2021 fans should still have plenty of time to download the Mythical Pokémon to their Sword & Shield games.

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Episode Comparison "A Scare in the Air"
September 5th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:54 JST -- It's been a while since I've done one of these, huh? Today I've put together a write-up for the second episode in the Orange Islands arc, "A Scare in the Air."

"A Scare in the Air"

This comparison is a long one. I really tried to cut it down since I realize that, in the year 2020, very few people read long-form essays like this all the way through, but the sheer number of dialogue edits and supplementary information necessitated a longer than usual comparison. The rant I go into about the use of Japanese text in the show probably doesn't help much either!

I'm also trying out a few new things with this comparison; mainly, adding the original Japanese text for every single line of dialogue brought up and adding screencaps to go along with each and every dialogue edit. What do you think? Do you think they make the comparison easier to follow? And would you like to see me do this for future comparisons?

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"Twilight Wings" Episode 07,
PokéToon Zuruggu and Mimikkyu "Chase the Beans"
August 17th, 2020

Dogasu @ 11:34 JST -- I've got two animated shorts-related updates for you today.

The first deals with the final episode of Twilight Wings that was released earlier this month.

Twilight Wings Episode 07 "Sky"
The series' official site has also been posting interviews with the staff that gives some neat behind-the-scenes details so I'm thinking about translating those at some point. Is that something you'd like to see? I'm holding off on doing anything with them for the time being on the off-chance that TPCI actually just does it themselves but at the same time I get the feeling they're just not going to bother.

The other update has to do with me (finally!) getting around to making a page for
PokéToon Zuruggu and Mimikkyu "Chase the Beans," the Japan-only Looney Tunes-style short that came out back in June.

PokéToon Zuruggu and Mimikkyu "Chase the Beans,"

There isn't a whole lot to document about the four minute short but I do at least have the full staff list up for those of you interested.

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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.

Pocket Monsters Planetarium "The 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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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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