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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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Impressions:  Pocket Monsters Planetarium "The Message from the Aurora"
November 23rd, 2020

Dogasu @ 12:13 JST -- This past Saturday I finally got a chance to check out the newest Pocket Monsters Planetarium, special, Pocket Monsters Planetarium "The Message from the Aurora" and so I've prepared a write-up on the episode.

Pocket Monsters Planetarium "The Message from the Aurora"

The write-up includes the most detailed plot synopsis of the episode you will ever find online, comments on the presentation, and whatever other stray comments I can think to make. You are simply not going to find a page on the Internet with more information on this special than this one right here.

I've also updated the main page for the special with the complete voice cast and partial staff list.

Pocket Monsters Planetarium "The Message from the Aurora" is currently playing exclusively in planetariums throughout Japan. None of the other planetarium specials have ever gotten international releases so it seems unlikely that this one will either.

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Animedia August 2019 Issue - Interview with Masachika Ichimura & Sachiko Kobayashi

November 20th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:40 JST -- Mr. Masachika Ichimura returned to the Pocket Monsters (2019) animated series in this evening's episode so I thought now's as good a time as any to dust off an interview he did last year with Animedia magazine to promote the release of Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution.

Animedia August 2019

The interview goes into how the actor felt playing Mewtwo again after so many years, what he did (or didn't do!) to prepare for last year's remake, and how he feels about playing characters in animation vs. playing characters on stage. The interview also includes a conversation with Ms. Sachiko Kobayashi, the voice of Voyager and the singer of the movie's ending theme Kaze to Issho ni, that talks about what it was like for her to play Voyager again after all these years and what it's like sharing the stage with Shoko Nakagawa.

The magazine also has an interview with Daiki Tomiyasu, the director of the Sun & Moon TV series, but that translation will have to come another day.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 05

November 19th, 2020

Dogasu @ 12:39 JST -- The fifth episode of the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" podcast came out November 13th so I've written up a summary that you can read here.

Podcast Episode 05

This (well, last) week's guests are Mr. Mima Masafumi, the sound director for all things Pokémon, and the composer of the film's music, Mr. Shinji Miyazaki. This episode, which is Part One of a two-part conversation, goes into the backgrounds of guests, discusses how Mr. Mima's job is very much like being an "interpreter," and how working on the TV series and the movies are different.

It's also, officially, the first time we've gotten confirmation that Mr. Shinji Miyazaki will be composing the instrumental music for this year's film! Up until just this past weekend the official website only listed Okazaki Physical Education under the film's "Music" credit but at the same time the fact that Mr. Miyazaki was coming back has been telegraphed pretty hard over the past few months.

Part Two of the podcast, which also features Mr. Mima and Mr. Miyazaki, comes out tomorrow, November 20th.

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Pokémon World Atlas Update
November 17th, 2020

Dogasu @ 21:11 JST -- Today's non-Koko update is something I've been meaning to do for years and years now at this point; dust off the old Pokémon World Atlas section and finally give it a much-needed overhaul!

Kanto Region

I took a look back and according to the timestamp on the old HTML file it looks like I hadn't updated the Pokémon World Atlas page since around 2012 or so, though I feel like it's probably been even longer than that. Part of that is just me prioritizing other sections of the site while another part of that was me trying to figure out just what I wanted that section to be.

What I ended up on was a page that functions not unlike my List of Pokémon pages. On each page I provide the Japanese name, a breakdown of that name, and the name used in the English localizations for each location I could think of. I've also included information, where applicable, about any places in the real world that the Pokémon world location may have been modeled after. With very few exceptions we don't really have official confirmation on the models for each town so what you see listed is mostly just educated guesses.

Galar Region

Today is only the first step toward a total revamp of that portion of the website. At the moment I only have two regions done - Kanto and Galar - with the rest coming at a later date. The plan is to add Johto through Alola, as well as non-main series regions like the Orange Islands and the Orre Region, little by little as time goes on.

If any of you have any feedback on these pages or want to see me include anything else that you may find useful then please let me know!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 04
November 11th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:37 JST -- The fourth episode of the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" podcast came out October 30th so I've written up a (belated) summary that you can read here.

Podcast Episode 04

This time around the show welcomes
the director of the Pokémon movies' trailers, Mr. Taichi Terahara (寺原泰地). Mr. Terahara talks about his history with Pokémon, how they come up with trailer ideas, and how their team is able to make Pokémon movie trailers despite the fact that they have to put them together long before the animators have finished drawing the movie. It's a really interesting episode to be sure to check it out!

For this week's episode (November 13th) the show will welcome Mr. Masafumi Mima, the sound director for all things Pokémon, as well as Pokémon music composer extraordinaire Mr. Shinji Miyazaki. The two will return for the episode that comes out November 20th. After that the show will take a week off before coming back December 4th with special guest Rica Matsumoto! It's going to be a great batch of episodes!

I've also been working on a few non-movie related updates because I've gotten feedback from some of you that maybe I've been doing too many Koko updates lately. Which, fair enough. Please know that I hear this feedback and am working hard to provide a variety of content between now and when the movie finally comes out a little over a month from now.

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Theme Song Collection
November 10th, 2020

Dogasu @ 12:16 JST -- This morning a new CD was announced to coincide with the release of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko."

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Theme Song Collection

The CD, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Theme Song Collection, is going to be a collection of all the music Okazaki Physical Education has produced for franchise so far. That includes the six songs he produced for the 23rd movie (some of which hadn't been revealed yet!) as well as all the opening and ending themes he did throughout the Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon era. The two versions of the CD - one that includes a DVD with various music videos, and one that does not - goes on sale December 23rd.

Details about the CDs have been added to the CD Guide.

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Upcoming Special Guests on the Pocket Monsters (2019) TV series
November 8th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:56 JST -- The last few days we've gotten news of a string of special guest voice actors coming to the Pocket Monsters (2019) TV series over the next few weeks.

The first actor revealed is none other than Masachika Ichimura (市村正親), who's coming back to reprise the role of Mewtwo in the episode that airs November 20th.




The announcement of his return to the role was accompanied with the following comment from Mr. Ichimura:

"As an actor I've played a lot of different roles over the years, and "Mewtwo" is one of those characters that lives on inside of me, so much so that I feel like I really am Mewtwo standing in front of Satoshi and Gou instead of just an actor playing a part. Twenty-three years ago Mewtwo Strikes Back came out and made Mewtwo fans out of a lot of children, and then last year's movie Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution came along and gave all those Gen Z kids a chance to become new fans of the character.

The children who went to the theater and saw Mewtwo's birth back then are all grown up now and maybe even have children of their own. So I hope those parents who are watching this show with their own children are the ones who get the most excited, and I hope I can be a part of that."

Mewtwo, Masachika Ichimura

Mr. Ichimura was - and I hope this goes without saying - the voice of Mewtwo in 1998's Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!", 2000's Mewtwo Lives TV Special, and 2019's Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, the latter of which is actually available with a Japanese audio option on Netflix in North America. The 71-year-old is mostly known for his stage work, starring in the Japanese productions of such plays as Jesus Christ Superstar, Equus, Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon, though he's appeared in dozens of live action films and TV series as well.

Entertainment news site Oricon News, among others, provides a brief summary of the upcoming Mewtwo episode:

In the episode that airs November 20th, "Battle and Get! Mewtwo Comes Back," the one known as the "strongest" Pokémon, Mewtwo, finally appears in the Pokémon TV series. In this episode, which is set after the events of the first movie Pocket Monsters Mewtwo Strikes Back!, Satoshi and Gou come to an isolated island in search of Mew but end up finding Mewtwo instead. Mewtwo asks the two something before Satoshi and Gou put their "dreams" on the line in a battle in front of Mewtwo.

In the episode that airs the following week, "Pokémon Champion! The Battle of Big Eaters!" the comedy trio Sanji no Heroine (3時のヒロイン) will appear as special guest voice actors, though information about what characters they'll be playing hasn't been revealed yet.

The members of Sanji no Heroine, from left to right:
Yumecchi (ゆめっち), Maki Fukuda (福田 麻貴), and Kanade (かなで).

Similarly, the comedy duo Chidori (千鳥) will appear on the December 4th episode "Pikachu's Almost Close Call!" Like with the Sanji no Heroine, details about the roles the two will be playing have not been revealed yet.

Chidori
The members of Chidori, from left to right:
Daigo (大悟) and Nobu (ノブ)

It's possible the two comedy groups above will play characters who are modeled after them (not unlike how Kasuking was modeled after Toshiaki Kasuga in the half episode "Splash, Koiking!") though we won't know that for sure until we get closer to the episodes' airing.

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"Twilight Wings" Episode 08

November 7th, 2020

Dogasu @ 15:36 JST -- The special bonus episode of Twilight Wings that covers the "Isle of Armor" and "Crown Tundra" DLC came out the other day so I''m here to provide the usual.

"Twilight Wings" Episode 08
The Pokémon Company International made a last minute announcement that the English version of the episode was being delayed to November 17th so it looks like we're going to have to wait another week and some change before we get to see their version. The English version of the seventh episode actually included translated credits after removing them from the first six episodes, so here's hoping all the Episode 8 staff get credited as well!

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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 03
October 30th, 2020

Dogasu @ 08:50 JST -- The third episode of the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" podcast was released a week ago so I've written up a (belated) summary that you can read here.

Podcast Episode 03

This time around the show welcomes
the film's publicity producer, Mr. Michihiro Morita (森田道広). Mr. Morita talks about what it is exactly that he does, the challenges of advertising a new film in the COVID-19 era, and about the pivot the films have taken from being these kids' films to being movies for fans of all ages. Check it out!

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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-Koko 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.

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 "Koko" Supporters' Podcast - Episode 02
October 20th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:55 JST -- The second episode of the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" 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 "Koko" 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 "Koko" . 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 "Koko" 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 "Koko" 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!

Acacia
"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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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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