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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 Joy of Pokémon"
January 24th, 2022

Dogasu @ 09:00 JST -- My first new episode comparison of the year is...well, it's a boring Orange Islands filler episode known as "The Joy of Pokémon" but it has a lot of rewritten dialogue so it at least gave me plenty to write about!

"The Joy of Pokémon"

In other news, I am now officially 1/3 of the way through the Orange Islands saga! I know it's taken far too long to get to this point so one of the resolutions I'm making for 2022 is to try to pick up the pace a bit when it comes to releasing these write-ups. Whether or not I'm actually able to do that is another story but I'll certainly give it a try!

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Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire -- Vol. 02
January 15th, 2022

Dogasu @ 00:42 JST -- This year is going to be a big anniversary for a number of different animated Pokémon-related things. April 1st marks the 25th anniversary of the first episode of the original Pocket Monsters TV series, April 8th is going to mark the 25th anniversary of the day the world was introduced to the Rocket trio, December 16th will mark the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon Shock incident, and so on.

This year also just happens to mark the 10 year anniversary of the broadcast of  Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire.

Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire

For those of you who may not remember,
Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire (Pokémon Radio Show! ロケット団ひみつ帝国) was a radio show broadcast on 76.1 interFM in Tokyo, Japan every Sunday night from July 1st, 2012 until December 23rd, 2012. The premise of the radio show is that Musashi (Megumi Hayashibara), Kojirou (Shi-ichiro Miki), and Nyarth (Inuko Inuyama) are trying to recruit the earth's population of 7 billion people into the Rocket-Dan to help their beloved boss Sakaki realize his dream of world domination. To do this, the Rocket trio decide to host a secret radio show every week to entice listeners to join them.

I have some coverage of the 26-episode radio series on the site -- far more than most anywhere else, actually -- but the one thing I never got around to doing was to prepare detailed write-ups of each and every episode. I've got summaries for Episode 01 and Episode 26 but none for any of the episodes in between and so today I'm starting an attempt to fill in that gap.

My first step on this journey is Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire Vol. 02: Unshou Ishizuka!

Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire

The episode, which came out July 8th, 2012, features a Little Red Riding Hood parody for an opening sketch, a rare interview with the late Mr. Unshou Ishizuka, a weird product placement segment, music from Pocket Monsters Best Wishes!, and more!

The radio show is a whole lot of fun and I absolutely cannot wait to continue doing these write-ups in between Orange Islands episode comparisons throughout the rest of the year.

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Look Back - Predictions 2021
January 1st, 2022

Dogasu @ 21:58 JST -- Every year I make an attempt to predict what will happen in the World of Pokémon and then post those predictions on my website as a sort of fun little game. Part of that game is to then check back on those predictions a year later to see how I did. So let's take a look to see if any of the stuff I thought would happen in 2021 ended up coming true in my 2021 Predictions Check-In!



I actually did pretty terrible LOL, but half the fun of these is just thinking up of predictions to make in the first place.

I'll be posting my 2022 predictions when I do my website's anniversary write-up later this month

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Episode Comparison:  "Bye Bye Psyduck"
December 31st, 2021

Dogasu @ 00:58 JST -- I had to squeeze one more of these out before the end of the year so here we go; a comparison between the Japanese and English versions of the Orange Islands episode "Bye Bye Psyduck!"

"Bye Bye Psyduck"

The episode has its good moments, in regards to it being faithful to the Japanese original, but there was also quite a few significant rewrites worth writing about as well. So in other words, it was your typical 4Kids episode!

And that's a wrap on 2021! I realize that this year wasn't a super productive one when it comes to episode comparisons -- I only managed to do seven episodes and one movie -- but I did manage to get a few cool features out that I had been planning for years so I'm happy about that. In any event, I'm going to do everything I can to post more of these comparisons in 2022 than I did in 2021.

But before that, I'll be taking a look back at the predictions I made for the year 2021 to see how well I did. Until tomorrow!

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Movie Comparison: "Pokémon The Movie: Secrets of the Jungle"
December 25th, 2021

Dogasu @ 09:00 JST -- It is now December 25th here in Japan, which means it's officially the one year anniversary of the release of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"! To commemorate this I decided to finally tackle the one major thing I was missing in my coverage of the film; a comparison between the Japanese version and the English dub!

Pokémon The Movie: Secrets of the Jungle

So today's update is my write-up on Pokémon The Movie: Secrets of the Jungle. It's generally a very, very good adaptation of the Japanese original but there are still some issues with the version they put out so I have plenty to talk about. The days where I can say "this adaptation is great, there is nothing much for me to say" aren't here yet but I do feel like we're getting closer, little by little. I've gotta say that, as someone who's been waist deep in 4Kids Pokémon dubs lately (yes, my comparison of "Bye Bye Psyduck" is coming soon) getting the chance to look at something with good voice acting where every other line of dialogue isn't rewritten is a nice little break.

As always, let me know what you think via any of the links below!

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Pocket Monsters: The Arceus Who is Known as a God
December 15th, 2021

Dogasu @ 20:18 JST -- Earlier today Amazon Japan announced a number of special promotions for the upcoming Nintendo Switch game Pokémon Legends Arceus. These include special in-game clothing items for pre-ordering the game through them as well as a four-part animated special called Pocket Monsters: The Arceus Who is Known as a God (ポケットモンスター神とよばれしアルセウス).


The Amazon Japan website offers this brief summary:

In this cartoon set in the Sinnoh Region, Satoshi and Gou are joined by Hikari and other friendly faces we haven't seen in a while, as well as members of the Ginga-Dan who are working on a mysterious scheme and an Arceus who is known as a god. This is a series of special episodes that'll get you pumped up for the release of Pokémon Legends Arceus.

シンオウ地 方を舞台にしたこのアニメは、サトシとゴウに加え、ヒカリをはじめとする懐かしの仲間たちや、謎の計画をたくらむギンガ団、神とよばれしポケモン・アルセ ウスが登場。『Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス』の発売を盛り上げるスペシャルエピソードとなっています。

(This tweet from the animated series' official Twitter page clarifies that the "friendly faces we haven't seen in a while" come from Sinnoh)

The following four promo images were also released with the following text:




Satoshi, Gou, and Hikari are wearing the Gablias kimono sets you can only by ordering Pokémon Legends Arceus from Amazon.co.jp. And what is this person holding in their hands? Monster Balls we've never seen before that made out of wood...?

『Pokémon LEGENDS アルセウス』のAmazon.co.jpオリジナル特典であるガブリアスの着物セットを着ているサトシ、ゴウ、ヒカリ。
その手には、木でできた見慣れない形のモンスターボールが…?


Those special Gablias kimono sets, by the way:



The promo images continue:




What connection does the Mythical Pokémon Arceus have to the cataclysm befalling the Sinnoh Region? The Legendary Pokémon Agnome, Yuxie, and Emrit show up as well.

シンオウ地 方で起こる異変に、幻のポケモン・アルセウスがどう関係するのか。伝説のポケモン・アグノム、ユクシー、エムリットの姿も。

The special four-part special will be streamed exclusively on (the Japanese) Amazon Prime Video service. Parts 1 & 2 come out Friday, January 21st and Parts 3 & 4 will come out Friday, January 28th (the same day Pokémon Legends Arceus is released).

Amazon Prime Video is the streaming service in Japan that hosts (basically) every single episode of every single Pocket Monsters series to date and so it's not all that surprising that Amazon and Pokémon would strike a deal to offer new animated content exclusively on the streaming service. Could we see more exclusive content like this in the future...?


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Kaori and her hiatus from voice acting
December 6th, 2021

Dogasu @ 12:10 JST -- This is another one of those "I've had an idea for an article for years and years but just never got around to writing it" type updates; a page entitled Kaori and her hiatus from voice acting.

Kaori and her hiatus from voice acting

Kaori is a former voice actor / singer who's probably best known among Pocket Monsters fans as the voice of Haruka in Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation and Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl. She's since taken a hiatus from voice acting, with most fans in the West vaguely understanding she has some sort of medical issue keeping her from continuing on as a voice actor, but there's not much else out there about what happened or how she's doing now. So for today's update I took various blog entries, most of them written by Kaori herself, to provide you with that information. I'm positive the overwhelming majority of the information in this article will be brand new to you.

As always, feel free to contact me via any of the methods below if you have any feedback on this or any other article I've posted on the site.

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Pocket Monsters ~ The Story of Satoshi & Gou! ~ Final Chapter Synopsis
November 23rd, 2021

Dogasu @ 12:10 JST -- A synopsis for the 24th and final chapter of Machito Gomi's Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター) manga series, which was retitled Pocket Monsters ~ The Story of Satoshi & Gou! ~ (ポ ケットモンスター ~サトシとゴウの物語!~) for the graphic novel collections, is now up!

Chapter 24

Like the previous chapter, this one covers two episodes in one:
Episode 077 "A Super-Electromagnetic Hyper Class Battle!" & Episode 080 "A Trial Mission! Ulgamoth's Golden Scales!!". And while this is the final chapter of this manga in particular, author Machito Gomi assures us that the TV series on which it's based will continue.

The fourth graphic novel collection of the series is scheduled to come out in Japan later this week on November 26th. Meanwhile, over in the U.S., Viz is releasing the series under the title Pokémon Journeys; the first volume went on sale November 9th.


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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Full Staff Credits
November 12th, 2021

Dogasu @ 22:10 JST -- This site's listing of the full staff credits to Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" -- which I first posted on this website way back in February -- have just gotten a major overhaul.



The two major changes I made to this were 1) adding screencaps of every single page of the credits and 2) filling in the name romanizations I hadn't been able to figure out before now, all thanks to the film's English language release. Multiple other corrections (too many to count, really) were made throughout the page as well.

The only other thing I really have left to do with this movie is to write up a comparison between the Japanese original and the English dub, but I'm not really prioritizing that right now so who knows when I'll eventually get it posted.

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Episode Comparison "Stage Fight!"
October 25th, 2021

Dogasu @ 21:20 JST -- I've sort of fallen behind on doing episode comparisons (the last one I did was back in June!) so let's get back on track with the (whispers) forbidden episode (stops whispering), "Stage Fight!"

"Stage Fight!"

While there's not a whole lot to report rewrite-wise (4Kids' script for this one is surprisingly quite decent) there is a lot of really cool background information about this one that I think you'll really enjoy. Researching some of those tidbits took quite a bit of time but I think it's worth it.

I'll try to speed up with the next few comparisons so I can get to where I would've been at if I had been able to keep up with the monthly schedule I had going on for a while there.

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Pocket Monsters (2019) Manga Guide Revamp
October 10th, 2021

Dogasu @ 17:43 JST -- Oh my God did I really just go the entire month of September without a single website update!? Whoops. Well, let's end that dry spell today with a revamp of my section of the Manga Guide dedicated to Machito Gomi's Pocket Monsters (2019) series!

 

The section now has entries for every single chapter of the series, organized by the graphic novel in which they appear. Each entry has the chapter title, the cover of the issue of CoroCoro Comics in which it debuted, the title page of the chapter itself, and information about the episode of the TV series it adapts. I don't have chapter summaries up yet but I think they're largely unnecessary; if you've seen the Mewtwo episode of Pocket Monsters (2019), for example, then you already know what happens in the corresponding manga chapter.

The exception I made was for the latest chapter of the series, the one that debuted in the October 2021 issue of CoroCoro Comics. That's because the chapter (sort of) adapts two episodes of the series, not one, and so I thought some extra details were needed to help explain what exactly is going on.

The manga's author, Mr. Machito Gomi, announced
on Twitter that the chapter that comes out in the issue of CoroCoro Comics released this Friday will be the final chapter of the series. Viz Media, meanwhile, has announced that their version of the first graphic novel will be released on November 9th, 2021 under the title Pokémon Journeys.

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Introducing the Magazine Guide
August 27th, 2021

Dogasu @ 10:11 JST -- Today I present something that I've had rattling around in my brain for a few years but never go around to actually making. It's the newest addition to the Features section of this website, the Magazine Guide!

Magazine Guide (2021)

The Magazine Guide is, as you can probably guess, a breakdown of the various magazines that report on the Pocket Monsters animated series here in Japan. I'm probably one of the few Western fans of this franchise who actually buys these magazines month after month and so I wanted to take what I've been able to learn about them and share that with everyone else. The Magazine Guide covers each magazine's name, release schedule, descriptions of what the Pocket Monsters content looks like on any given month, information on how to actually buy each publication, if you're so inclined, and much, much more! I've never seen anyone gather all this information in one place like this and so I hope it can become a useful tool to those of you who rely on the content printed in these magazines for news updates.

As stated in the page itself, I'm planning to make new versions of this guide about every year or so. Any feedback you have that'll make next year's version even better will be greatly appreciated!

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Event Report:  "I Wanna See it on the Big Screen Again! Movies from Summer Vacations Past"
August 15th, 2021

Dogasu @ 11:50 JST -- About two weeks ago I went to one of those showings of Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation" I had reported on previously and so today I'd like to archive my experiences in an event report.



What was shown at this film festival, exactly? What was the presentation like? Is this what it would've been like to watch this movie in Japanese theaters in July 1998? And what does the mere existence of a showing like this mean for future home video releases? There's information in my write-up you're not going to find anywhere else so be sure to give it a read!

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"Pocket Monsters ~ The Story of Satoshi & Gou! ~" Chapter 22 Summary
August 13th, 2021

Dogasu @ 18:50 JST -- Today I'm dusting off a long-neglected section of the site, the page for the Pocket Monsters ~ The Story of Satoshi & Gou! ~ manga, to bring you a summary of the chapter that was printed in the latest issue of CoroCoro Comics.

"Pocket Monsters ~ The Story of Satoshi & Gou! ~" Chapter 22

The reason I'm doing this now is because 1) well, it's about time, and 2) for only the second time in the series' history the
Pocket Monsters ~ The Story of Satoshi & Gou! ~ manga chapter is covering an episode that hasn't even aired yet! Chapter 22 retells the events of an episode that won't air until August 27th and so the whole thing is basically one big spoiler after the other. So if you want to know what happens a few weeks ahead of time then go ahead and click on the image above!
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Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation" to return to theaters
July 24th, 2021

Dogasu @ 17:14 JST -- The Jimbocho Theater in the Ochanomizu area of Tokyo is holding a special event early next month entitled "I Wanna See it on the Big Screen Again! Movies from Summer Vacations Past" (もう一度スクリーンで観たい―あの時代の夏休み映画) during which twelve classic Japanese summer blockbusters will be screened. One of those twelve films will be Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" & "Pikachu's Summer Vacation."



Both the main film and the Pikachu short will be shown together as a double feature, something I don't think has happened since its original theatrical run back in 1998, maybe...? The screening schedule, as posted on the theater's website, is as follows:

Date
Time
Saturday, July 31st
13:15
Sunday, August 1st
11:00, 18:00
Monday, August 2nd
16:40
Tuesday, August 3rd
14:15
Wednesday, August 4th
12:00, 19:15
Thursday, August 5th
16:40
Friday, August 6th
14:15

The runtime listed on the site is 65 minutes for Mewtwo Strikes Back! and 23 minutes for Pikachu's Summer Vacation. That shorter runtime for the main feature, combined with the fact that the website is stating that each film will be projected from 35 mm film originals, heavily implies that what's going to be shown is the original theatrical version of the film and not the Kanzenban.

For those of you who don't know, "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" The Kanzenban is the "Special Edition" of the first movie created after the film was already released in Japan in preparation for the film's upcoming international debut. The two major differences between the original theatrical version and the Kanzenban is that 1) the Kanzenban has a ten-minute animated adaptation of The Birth of Mewtwo radio drama tacked onto the beginning of it, and 2) the Kanzenban replaces a lot of the animation from the theatrical run with newly redrawn scenes and/or CG animation. I actually posted side-by-side comparisons between the two versions years and years ago; check out my page in the Movies & Specials Guide on Mewtwo Strikes Back! The Kanzenban for more.








The theatrical version was only ever released twice in 1999 -- once on VHS, and once on LaserDisc -- before the Kanzenban swooped in and essentially became the version of the movie. It's essentially the Pokémon equivalent of the Star Wars Special Editions. Ever since the late 1990s, every single home video release, TV broadcast, theatrical re-release, or online stream of the first film has been of the Kanzenban. The fact that this one theater in Tokyo is showing the original theatrical version of the film really is something to celebrate.

Tickets are 1,300 yen for general admission, 1,110 yen for senior citizens, and 900 yen for students. You cannot reserve tickets in advance; you have to line up to buy tickets on the day of the showing you want to attend. Seating will be limited to 99 people per screening.

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Translation:  "Pokémon Pia" Interviews with Megumi Hayashibara, Shin-ichiro Miki, and Inuko Inuyama
July 12th, 2021

Dogasu @ 19:22 JST -- Sorry for the lack of updates the last *checks the date of the last post* month and some change. There were lots of real world stuff that got in the way but things have calmed down now so I should be able to post again fairly regularly.

Let's kick things off with a few new translations! This time I'm going back to Pokémon Pia -- you may remember that as being the special magazine that posted those interviews with Yuuji Ueda (Takeshi), Mayumi Iizuka (Kasumi), and Unshou Ishizuka (Dr. Ookido), among many others -- to take on the interviews it conducted with the Rocket trio! Megumi Hayashibara (Musashi), Shin-ichiro Miki (Kojirou), and Inuko Inuyama (Nyarth) were all interviewed individually and so for today's update I've translated all three of them.


These interviews are really fascinating to me because when you read the answers the voice actors give you can't help but get the feeling they reeeeeally didn't want to even be doing them in the first place. These Pokémon Pia interviews were done back in 2017 as promotion for Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!", a film in which the trio barely appears, and so maybe that has something to do with it? Megumi Hayashibara gives it a nice effort, to her credit, but Inuko Inuyama and especially Shin-ichiro Miki give such short, curt answers to all the interviewer's questions that you can't help but get the feeling that they just wanted to hurry up and get it all over with. The interviews are fascinating, but they're also really, really bizarre.

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Episode Comparison "Shell Shock!"
June 6th, 2021

Dogasu @ 23:32 JST -- The next episode comparison I've got for you all is "Shell Shock!," an episode filled with cute little horsecrab Pokémon, ancient prophecies, and multiple scenes of our heroes almost getting crushed to death by giant boulders!

"Shell Shock!"

The rewrites in this episode were plentiful (just about everything the TV news reporter says is a rewrite, for example) so there's quite a lot to go through this time around. Hope you enjoy!

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