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Dogasu's Backpack | CD Guide | 2020

The booklet that came with the CD release of "Pocket Monsters" The Animated Series Original Soundtrack included a few pages of liner notes from composer Yuki Hayashi. 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 more!

Below is a translation of the original Japanese notes.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd get to work on the music for Pocket Monsters, but now that I'm here I'm going into the making of this soundtrack as if I was dumping out a toy box filled with all the ideas I had always wanted to try out.

While it's important to us for those fans who have been with Pocket Monsters since day one to enjoy this music, of course, I was personally probably even more concerned with making it so that even those children who are only just now getting into Pocket Monsters would be able enjoy this new beginning they're experiencing in a way that hopefully lives up to the title of the first song on this CD, "A New Beginning."

I hope you boys and girls out there -- even if it ends up being only one or two of you -- will fall in love with this Pokémon world! Oh and by the way, I wrote the song titles here in simple hiragana and katakana so that even young kids can read them. Do your best to read them all, everybody!

01)  A New Beginning (あらたなるはじまり)
This is a song I wrote to evoke many different things; the thoughts of this new adventure Satoshi finds himself on, the wide-eyed innocence of this boy with a never-look-back attitude, the signs of how full of energy he is, and his ability to take action when it comes to new and exciting things. This was also the first song I wrote after I got the job to work on the music for this show. Finishing this song made it so much easier for me to envision what the overall sound of this show is going to end up being. So I owe ya one, "A New Beginning!"

02)  Today's Gonna Be a Great Day! (きょうもげんきに!)
This is a song modeled after a day in the life of Satoshi. I feel like using an ukulele like this gives the song a kind of dimwitted feel to it (laughs) but I think it still manages to be a nice slice of life song. I made this song to evoke that "What kind of Pokémon will I see today?"
feeling Satoshi gets first thing in the morning.

03)  Alright Everybody, Counterattack! (いくぞ、はんげきだ!)
This is the battle version of Satoshi's theme. Rather than making it this serious, heavy song I went for giving it a sense of speed and exhilaration instead. The idea behind it is that even though two people are having a battle right now they're actually more like two people playing a sport, with each person giving it their all as they fight.

04)  That's So Tiny! (ちっちゃ!)
As the title suggests, this is a song made for small and cute Pokémon. I used a lot of cutesy instruments like toy pianos, recorders, and xylophones to make this one.

05)  That's Huge! (でっか!!)
A song made for giant Pokémon. It was made using huge instruments like contrabasses, contrabassoons, and tubas. I really like this one because it makes you feel like you just ate a huge meal.

06)  So Fast!! (はやっ!!)
This song was made with really quick, super fast-moving Pokémon in mind. The mandolins, banjoes, fiddles, and harmonicas are all played in a way to give this song a very restless feel.

07)  Legendary Pokémon (でんせつのポケモン)
This was made to be a very heavy song. The second half's mixed choruses, solo vocals, and harps all give the song a mystical impression that makes you feel like
a new legend is about to unfold, right in front of your eyes.

08)  The Rocket-Dan (ロケットだん)
The more I listen to this the more stupid it sounds (laugh). This was actually the song I had the most trouble writing.
I thought about making it similar to what the other series had done with this type of music but in the end I decided to give it a sound all my own. The intro has a bit of a Western feel to it, and then later on it gets a funky feel to it. You know, because they're just so funky!

09)  The Lovely-Charmy Villains (ラブリーチャーミーなかたきやく)
I'm showing the Rocket-Dan's threatening and action oriented side with this song. That's why I didn't put too many comical elements in it; it's a song for a serious attack from the forces of evil. You three are so freakin' cool!

10)  The Rocket-Dan Who Holds Up the Galaxy (ぎんがをかける ロケットだん)
This is a funky song used for comically frantic action scenes. My friend Jon added the really funky rap verses you hear in this song. Thank you Jon! You're a really funky guy!

Track 11 is the same song as Track 10, minus the vocals.

12)  Sakaki (サカキ)
I made this to make you feel like a certain evil old man is about to make his appearance. It brings up images of evil schemes and softly spoken threats.

13)  Sneaking Around (コッソリしのびあし)
This is a tip-toey, comically suspenseful song. I increased the tempo just a little bit at the end there to ramp things up a bit. By the way, I'm one of the people snapping their fingers in the background of this song lol.

14)  OMG!!! (がーん!!!)
I made this while
thinking of the background music played during the "OMG!!!" scenes in this old comedy show I used to watch. OMG!!!

15)  Reach for My Idol (あこがれをめざして)
This was written to conjure up feelings of grand tournaments, heart-thumping excitement, and of heading off into battle.

Tracks 16 - 20 are rearrangements of music from the video games and were therefore not composed by Mr. Hayashi..

21)  It's a Pokémon Battle! (ポケモンバトルだ!)
This song is one of my personal favorites. I made this hoping to convey the thrill and excitement of battle as well as the feeling of wanting to deliver a fight that'll make everyone in the stadium stand up and cheer. "Woah~ oh~ woah~ oh~
woah~ oh~."

22)  What In the World Is This? (なんだこりゃ!)
This is a comical and strange song. Well...is "song" even the right word here? Music like this is probably more difficult to make than the battle songs...

23)  Strange Ecology (きみょうなせいたい)
This song is also very comical and strange. The actual melody itself is pretty simple but I ended up spending a lot of time worrying about which instruments to use.

24)  What in the World... (ぽかーん)
( ゚д゚)

25)  Carefree (のーてんき)
This is a song that compares and contrasts the daily lives of Satoshi and Gou. I made this thinking it'd work both for when the boys are having friendly competitions with each other and for when they're having little spats and tiffs..

26)  Combine Your Powers (ちからをあわせて)
This is one of my favorite songs. If
you come across something you can't do by yourself, but then join forces with a friend, you'll find there's nothing you can't overcome. That's the feeling I wanted to give you when I made this song.

27)  Prankster (イタズラ)
Pokémon don't have evil intentions, of course, and so I made this to be a hectic, comical prankster song. I was going for lively action and energetic feelings with this one.

28)  Encountering a Strong Opponent (きょうてきとのそうぐう)
This is a song that captures that anxiety you feel when a Pokémon suddenly attacks you out of nowhere. The boys have no choice but to run away, without so much as an escape plan, and so I made sure to give this song a sense of speed when I wrote it.

29)  Satoshi and Gou (サトシとゴウ)
I really like this song as well. It shows the thoughts and feelings of exhilaration felt by Satoshi and Gou whenever they work together. I wanted to make a song that makes you think how they can stand up to anything; there is no such thing as an enemy they can't beat.

30)  We're In a Big Pinch! (だいピンチ!)
An action song used when our heroes are in a real jam. It's written to show that even when they're being pushed up against a wall that they'll still fight with everything they've got.
This is an exciting song that makes you wonder if they're gonna be alright after all.

31)  A Red-Hot Battle (こうそくバトル)
The word "battle" is in the song title but it also sounds like the kind of frantic songs they play at Japanese schools' field days during obstacle course races... By the way, the voices you hear spelling out the word "Pokémon!" in the song belong to my son's friends from school. Thanks everyone! You all did a great job!

32)  A Memory Close to Heart (よりそうおもい)
Warm memories, the feeling of being held tight...this is a song with a nice heart.

33)  Quiet, Sentimental Time (しんみりセンチメンタルタイム)
I made this for the uneasiness you feel when you gradually open your heart up to someone, for the regrets you might have, or for the sensation you feel when two hearts pass by each other.

34)  See You Next Time (またいつか)
This is a song of farewells. But it's not a sad farewell; it's a warm song for when you see someone off, confident that the two of you will meet again someday.

35)  Super Excited (ドキドキワクワク)
I wrote this to show the excitement young boys feel as they search for treasure in a strange new place, wondering who or what they'll come across next.

36)  Moving Forward One Step At a Time (いっぽずつまえに)
I made this song based on the boys' sense of adventure, their curiosity, and the thoughts of them moving forward, ever so slowly, toward grabbing ahold of something exciting.

37)  Give It Your All...! (ほんきをだす…!)
This is a song for a red-hot battle. It's made for powerful battles but I also added in some light tones to keep the song from becoming too serious.

38)  Believe in the Future (みらいをしんじて)
This is a song of boys' feelings, like those of stepping into a brand new world, or experiencing something new for the first time, or jumping into the air, or traveling around in the water, or...

39)  Lots of Power (ちからいっぱい)
A powerful and emotional song. It's a song about a sense of duty and being uplifted, as well as the burning feelings hidden in our hearts.

40)  Sturgeon (いじっぱり)
This is a song about trouble, difficulty, and the conflicts of the crackles and pops that fireworks make. The electric guitar adds a great flavor to the mix.

41)  1, 2, 3, 4! (1、2、3、4)
This was written to show a more comical side of the Pokémon. I strove to make it a song that's cute while also being a marching song that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

42)  Solving Mysteries and Puzzles (ふしぎとなぞとき)
This is one of the strange songs but it's used for when the boys are working to solve some kind of riddle. It's a song about looking around for the exit and heading toward wherever the light's peaking in.

43)  We Did It! (やりとげた!)
A song more about the relief of accomplishing something than it is of the accomplishment itself. Like the sight of a sunset on your way home from a match, when you already know what you're going to do tomorrow. It's a warm yet strong song.

44)  Nervous With Excitement (ハラハラドキドキ)
This is song about a suspenseful battle where time is of the essence. Will they make it in time? The song lives up to its title of being nervous with excitement.

45)  Confrontation with a Rival (ライバルとのたいじ)
A song for when you go up against a strong rival. Even though it's a battle song it also has this thoughtful side to it. I made this with the goal of it existing somewhere between "nervousness" and "seriousness."

46)  Everyone's Courage (みんなのゆうき)
A song about the feeling of accomplishment you feel when you grab ahold of victory. It's also a song about reaching the summit of a goal you had set for yourself.

47)  Inquiring Minds (たんきゅうしん)
A song with naivety and curiosity. The sounds of objects rolling around represent the boys' inquiring minds.

48)  All Alone (ひとりぼっち)
A sad piano solo version of Satoshi's theme. The chords change in a sad way to give off the feeling of being lonely.

49)  The Sun Will Rise Again (ひはまたのぼる)
A song for the mornings filled with hope, where you've decided to stand up and take action toward your next goal.

50)  A Strange Phenomenon (ふ しぎなげんしょう)

I made this for incidents wrapped in mystery, those things you can't explain, and the mysteries that're looming closer and closer.

51)  Let's Take Our Time (のんびりいこう)
A song made both for warm and fuzzy days, and also for when it seems like the story's about to come to an end.

52)  Super Scary (めっちゃこわい)
Warning: It seems like ghosts will appear and make it so you're too afraid to walk to the bathroom at night.

53)  Lonely Nights (さみしいよる)
A somber and quiet night you spend by yourself. You're lonely, but you don't know what to do about it...that's what this song is about.

54)  See You Next Week! (またらいしゅう!)
Let's meet on the next soundtrack!

Tracks 55 - 57 are the title screen music and the two eyecatch songs.

58)  1, 2, 3 - Next Episode Preview (1・2・3じかいよこく)
"1, 2, 3" really is the best! I love that song!

I'm honored to also be able to arrange some of the incredible songs from the video games as well!

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