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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire
Vol. 06 of Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire was broadcast on August 5th, 2012 on 76.1 interFM in Tokyo, Japan. The episode came out between the airings of Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Episode 090 "The Curtain Rises on the Junior Cup! Kairyu vs. Tsunbear!!" and the August 16th broadcast of "The Rocket-Dan's Fifteenth Anniversary Movie Special." Portions of the episode were later released on CD in 2013. 
A big thanks to Team Rocket Cheer Squad on Twitter for providing me with the images and other backups from the old @Pokemon_Radio Twitter account. 
The Rocket trio plays a game of Pokémon Shiritori. The rules are simple: someone starts by saying a random Pokémon name, and then the next person has to say a Pokémon whose name begins with the final syllable of the previous name. The third person has to do the same, and so on and so on. An example of this, using English dub names, would be something like "Bulbasaur...Raticate...Ekans...Slowpoke...etc.
The game ends when someone says a Pokémon whose name ends in the Japanese ン ("n") syllable -- not to be confused with "na," "ne," "ni," "no," or "nu" -- since there's no such thing as a Pokémon whose name begins with the Japanese "n" symbol.
The Rocket trio gets started:
Musashi: "Fushigidane... (フシギダネ)."
Kojirou: "Neitio (Natio)... (ネイティオ)."
Nyarth: "Okutan (Octank)... (オクタン)." Nyarth is apparently hit with something for losing (one of those big paper fans, maybe?), prompting him to let out a scream and start blowing on wherever it was he was hit.
Musashi: "Itomaru... (イトマル)."
Kojirou: "Rugia (Lugia)... (ルギア)."
Nyarth: "Anoon (Unknown)... (アンノーン)." Nyarth is hit a second time, prompting a second scream.
Musashi: "Usokkii (Usokkie)... (ウソッキー)."
Kojirou: "Kimawari... (キマワリ)."
Nyarth: "Ri...ri..." Nyarth struggles to think of a Pokémon whose name begins with the Japanese character "ri" but doesn't end in "n." A sudden roar in the background tricks him into shouting out "Rizaadon (Lizardon) (リザードン), causing him to get hit a third time.
Musashi clears her throat, trying to keep it together.
Musashi: "Nyuura (Nyula)... (ニューラ)."
Kojirou: "Raikou... (ライコウ)."
Nyarth: ""U"..."u"..." Nyarth hears a low-pitched voice go "don don." "Utsudon (ウツドン)!" he blurts out. Another hit.
Musashi and Kojirou are clearly annoyed at this point.
Musashi: "Kibago... (キバゴ)."
Kojirou: "Golonya... (ゴローニャ)."
Nyarth: "Ya? Ya? Yadon (ヤドン)! No, wait...Yadoran (ヤドラン) Nya!" Nyarth gets hit multiple times with these answers, causing him to lose his temper. "Oh, I can't stand it anymore!
With this, the trio launches into the Hoenn version of their motto.
Welcome to Pokémon Radio Show! The Rocket-Dan's Secret Empire! After the trio introduces itself Kojirou launches into the usual spiel about how the goal of this radio show is to grant Sakaki-sama's wish of recruiting all 7 billion people in the world into the Rocket-Dan. Musashi says that becoming a member is really simple; all you have to do is follow Sakaki-sama's Twitter account! Nyarth adds that doing so will also instantly make you one of their friends!
Musashi then asks Nyarth a question; other than the three of them, of course, who is the number one member of the Rocket-Dan? She then clarifies, saying she wants to know who was the very first Rocket-Dan recruit to start following their Twitter account. Kojirou recalls that back before they had announced they were even going to be doing a radio show that Sakaki-sama was the only follower their account had, right? So who was after that? That gives Nyarth an idea: right here, right now, they'll announce the "Top Five People Who Became Members of the Rocket-Dan on Twitter!" A quick little fanfare plays.
Nyarth lists out the five Twitter users' handles:
Nyarth suddenly stops reading when he gets to the name of this week's guest. Which...which one of you booked someone so major? Kojirou nervously denies it was him, and Musashi starts to fumble over her words. Either way, Nyarth continues, they can't interview this guest the same way they've been doing all the others up until now and so they've got to figure out what they're going to do. Musashi suggests they play rock-paper-scissors, and whoever loses has to be the one to interview this major celebrity. The other two agree that this is the best way to go. "Rock...paper...scissors...shoot!" Musashi lets out a long scream as she's clearly the one who lost.
Before his teammate has a chance to protest Kojirou rushes to get the "Welcome, Pokémon Day Care Worker" segment started.
But before that, a commercial!
The Battle Subway brothers Nobori (voiced by Kensuke Satou) and Kudari (voiced by Kiyotaka Furushima) talk about "Pokémon mate," a line of merchandise featuring chibi-fied versions of the characters from the video games Pocket Monsters Black & White.
There are file folders, clear stickers, and more! And starting from April, new tin badges, personal accessories, and other merchandise will be released, one after the other!
You can find Pokémon Mate merchandise in Animate stores across Japan, but that's not all! The Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Shibuya, and Yokohama stores all have special display corners set up for Pokémon mate! Follow the traffic rules and head safely to your nearest Animate! Alllllllllllllll aboard!
Musashi introduces the rebranded (for this episode, at least) interview segment, the "Special Guest Segment: Musashi's Room" (スペシャルゲストコーナー！ムサシの部屋)! An odd lounge house melody plays as Musashi introduces the segment in a rather nasally voice. "Good evening, everyone. This is Musalina Tetsuko. Today we have a really amazing special guest, someone unreasonably high profile for a show like this. It's none other than Sachiko Kobayashi!"
Ms. Kobayashi says hello to everyone and then starts off by saying how much she's missed seeing Musashi. Musashi, who's apparently the only member of the trio conducting the interview this time around, responds by saying the feeling's mutual. Musashi tells the audience that Ms. Kobayashi is known by Pokémon fans as doing some of the songs for the movies but did you know she's also been involved with lots of other Pokémon-related things? Ms. Kobayashi chimes in to say she's gotten the opportunity to do all sorts of great things thanks to Pokémon. The host asks if it's OK for her to refer to her guest as "Sacchan," and Ms. Kobayashi says that'll be no problem at all.
Musashi's first question for Sacchan; Do you remember the first time you got involved in Pocket Monsters? It was in 1997, she reads, and it was for one of the ending themes to the original Pocket Monsters series, Pocket ni Fantasy.
The song starts to play in the background as Musashi continues, explaining that it was performed by a duo named "Sacchi and Juri." What was it like doing this song? Ms. Kobayashi remembers her duet partner Juri Ihata, the "Juri" in "Sachi in Juri," as being a cute little girl who also did a really good job on the song. Up until that point, Musashi continues, Ms. Kobayashi says she had been mostly known for singing Japanese traditional enka and entertainment hall music and so when she was approached to work on this animated series she couldn't help but wonder "Wait...are you sure you want me?" Musashi was also surprised that someone like Sachiko Kobayashi was approached by Pokémon. When Ms. Kobayashi heard the name "Pokémon," she continues, she remembers thinking "That sounds great! By the way, what does "Pokémon" mean, exactly? I thought it stood for "Pocket Monkey" or something like that!" Musashi laughs, saying that's very much not the case. But Ms. Kobayashi had no idea what the show was, and so she had talked to members of her staff with children of their own to find out just how popular this "Pokémon" thing really was. At the end of the conversations they told her that there's no way she could turn down such a high profile gig and so she agreed to do it. After all, she says, the world is all about entertaining others.
Ms. Kobayashi then says that in the world of enka, the connection between the name "Sachiko Kobayashi" and the Japanese world of enka music is extremely strong. Enka and Sachiko Kobayashi are basically synonymous, and that's apparently what brought Pokémon knocking at her door. Musashi says that for her, the impression she has of Sacchan isn't of her standing on stage, her her hand reached out dramatically as she belts out some dramatic song. No, it's the other work she's done on stage that stands out in Musashi's mind. Ms. Kobayashi says that yes, she has gotten to do a lot in her career and that it's thanks to jobs like the ones she's done for Pokémon that she now gets little kids going up to her calling her "Sacchan." Those little brats are just like she is, Musashi concludes.
About a year after Pocket ni Fantasy, Ms. Kobayashi did Torikaekko Please. The song, which was originally used for a series of Pokémon Trading Card Game commercials back in the late 1990s, begins to play in the background. The song was performed by a trio known as "Suzuki-san" that consisted of Ms. Kobayashi, Imakuni?, and Raymond Johnson. Ms. Kobayashi says doing the song was a lot of fun.
But even greater than that, Musashi states, is the song she did for the legendary first movie that came out almost 15 years ago. The movie was "Mewtwo Strikes Back!," a film that many Pokémon fans see as being one of the best entries in the series. Ms. Kobayashi agrees that it is indeed a wonderful film. The song she did was its ending theme -- or rather, its theme song -- Kaze to Issho ni. The song begins to play in the background. What was it like singing for a theatrical film vs. singing for TV or the stage? Ms. Kobayashi says that for one thing, they used a full orchestra for the movie and so that was a bit different. But the thing that really stood out to her about doing this song was her having to re-learn how to belt out a song. Musashi is shocked; the Sachiko Kobayashi had to learn how to sing? With enka, Ms. Kobayashi explains, there are various techniques you can use where you open and close your throat at precise moments to control the sound of your voice. But for a song like Kaze to Issho ni, she found that you have to start by opening up the area near your hyoid bone and so she joined about two or three sessions with a vocal coach to learn how to do just that. Musashi, being the singer that she is, understands that people don't normally use that part of their throat in everyday life and so she's amazed Ms. Kobayashi could figure out to do such a thing. Ms. Kobayashi adds that there are enka songs where you have to squeeze and then relax your throat muscles, and Musashi chimes in saying there must be some songs where it's tempting to just keep squeezing your throat muscles the whole way through. Ms. Kobayashi, laughing, says that there are.
Did doing that song open up any doors for you, Sacchan? Ms. Kobayashi says it did as it gave her a chance to show people a side of her they maybe hadn't seen before. With Kaze to Issho ni, she says, she was able to show people she's not just some old timey singer like they may have thought before; she's so much more than that! Musashi wonders if working on Kaze to Issho ni was fun, and she confirms that it was. But trying out these new techniques in the recording booth made her nervous even though, as Musashi points out, she was already a veteran by this point in her career. Ms. Kobayashi says she wants to perform until she dies, studying new things and finding people who can teach her new ways of singing. Musashi applauds this attitude and says that as a member of the Rocket-Dan that's an attitude she can apply to her life as well.
Musashi skipped over this before but Ms. Kobayashi also did the song Pokémon Ondo under the name "Garura Kobayashi." Pokémon Ondo starts to play in the background.
Ms. Kobyashi could understand the title being what it is -- it's a classical Japanese ondo song for the show Pokémon -- but she didn't understand why she was credited as "Garura Kobayashi." But that brings Musashi to her next point. This segment of their radio show is to talk to Pokémon Day Care Workers, people who have raised Pokémon, right? But Sacchan hasn't raised actually any Pokémon, has she? Well actually, her guest corrects her, she does have experience raising a mother Garura that one time. She calls out the Pokémon and, after a few moments..."Garu Garu!"
That's right, Sacchan has experience raising Garura! Musashi listens in awe as the mother Garura has a quick conversation with its baby. Musashi apologizes to her guest as she had no idea that Sacchan raised any Pokémon! Ms. Kobayashi assures her it's not a problem as she returns Garura back to its Monster Ball. Musashi guesses that her being in charge of raising this Pokémon is where the name "Garura Kobayashi" came from. Ms. Kobayashi, meanwhile, says that the Pokémon only being able to say "Garu Garu" made her time with it a lot of fun. But Pokémon Ondo was a lot of fun to record as well, she adds.
So we all know Ms. Kobayashi's done a lot with Pokémon in the past...what about the future? Well on August 16th, 2012 she'll be attending the Pokémon Movie 15 Anniversary Event, a free event to celebrate fifteen years of Pokémon movies.
Musashi asks her to tell them more about it:
Ms. Kobayashi: "On August 16th a big Pokémon movie event, the Pokémon Movie 15th Anniversary "Let's Make This a Full On Festival! Dance and Laugh! The Pikachu Live Show 2012" will take place at the Pacifico Yokohama. I, Sachiko Kobayashi, will be there and since this is the Pacifico Yokohama we're talking about I'll be making sure to give it my all. There will be a lot of people at this event. Let's see...Shokotan will be there, and Asuca Hayashi-chan, Momoiro Clover (MomoClo)..."
Musashi: "They're the ones doing the current ending theme..."
Ms. Kobayashi: "That's right. MomoClo and other amazing artists will be attending. There will be singing and...what's this? There'll also be a live orchestra! An amazing live orchestra!"
Musashi: "You can hear live instruments!"
Ms. Kobayashi: "Yes, live instruments. There will be performances by the orchestra and Japanese stand up comedy so it'll be an event that both children and their parents can enjoy. It'll also be streamed live on nico nico."
Musashi: "So you can still watch this even if you can't attend in person?"
Ms. Kobayashi: "That's right."
Ms. Kobayashi: "So if you can't go then be sure to check out the live stream!"
Musashi blurts out that she'll just tune in to see Sacchan, causing both of them to start laughing.
Musashi thanks her guest and announces we're at the end of the segment. "Can't I stay for the rest of the episode?" Ms. Kobayashi asks. "That might be difficult..." the host says with a laugh. But instead, let's send Sacchan off with one of her songs, Kaze to Issho ni.
Musashi asks Sacchan to set up the song for them. "Back when this song came out I would be standing on stage at one of my enka shows and would see a lot of little kids in the audience who came to see me because they knew me from this Pokémon song. So please enjoy Kaze to Issho ni!"
A 1 minute 42 second edit of the song plays.
The Battle Subway brothers Nobori (voiced by Kensuke Satou) and Kudari (voiced by Kiyotaka Furushima) talk about the Pokémon programming on the cable network Kids Station. The network will be airing a different Pocket Monsters movie every Sunday at 12:00 noon as part of their special programming block, "Pikachu the Movie Special!" And that's not all! Every weekday the network will be airing reruns of the most current series, Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! One episode a day Monday through Friday at 5:00pm and two episodes on Saturday evenings from 6:00pm. For more information search the Internet for Kids Station!
The other two members of the Rocket trio are back! Nyarth introduces the next segment, "The Rocket-Dan is Put to the Test! The Sound Change Intro Quiz!" (ロケット団知識チェック！サウンドチェンジイントロクイズ). Musashi (purposefully?) mishears "Sound Change" as "Sandwich" and gets excited that this is going to be another food segment but her teammates quickly correct her.
This isn't the first time they've done one of these intro quizzes on their show -- they did it in the very first episode too -- but apparently they got complaints from listeners about the questions being too easy. So they've decided to make things a little more difficult this time around! Musashi and Kojirou thought the first version was plenty difficult but they also recognize they have an obligation to make this show as entertaining as they possibly can. Musashi is confident she'll win regardless; after all, she has a fifteen year history with Pokémon!
Nyarth continues, saying that this segment is meant to check just how in tune Musashi and Kojirou are, as members of the Rocket-Dan, with the rest of the world. The rules are simple. Nyarth will play three song snippets, and Musashi and Kojirou will have to guess which of the three is Polka O Dolka, the song Nyarth sang in Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation The Movie "The Dancing Pokémon Secret Base." Musashi thinks this doesn't seem to be that hard, but! Double-Q has used something he created called the Mean Machine (いじわるマシン) to warp each of the clips they'll be hearing today. Kojirou summarizes the whole thing by saying their goal is to listen to three distorted songs and pick out which of the three they think is Polka O' Dolka.
Nyarth continues, saying that when they know the answer they'll need to hit the buzzer in front of them, say the names of three random Pokémon (making sure not to repeat any of the ones they've said before), and then give their answer. The duo checks to make sure their buzzers work before announcing they're ready to start the game.
They kick things off by listening to the first 10 seconds or so of the regular version of Polka O Dolka, just as a reminder of what it sounds like. The trio comments on how energetic it is and how great it is to hear this song again after all this time.
It's now time to start the game! Round 1: Super Backwards Playback! Of the three songs Nyarth is about to play backwards, which one of them is Polka O Dolka? Nyarth plays about three seconds from each song, backwards, before asking the other two to guess which one of the three is Polka O Dolka. You can listen to mp3s of the three snippets below:
Musashi is the first to buzz in. "Um...Fushigidane...Fushigisou, and Fushigibana!" Musashi waits a few seconds for a reaction from Nyarth -- is he going to check her Pokémon names or take down a note or anything? -- but he reveals he's just patiently waiting on her to give her answer. So she says Polka O Dolka must be "A." Nyarth reveals the answer is correct, but puts a damper on the win by adding that this super easy question was just a freebie.
It's now time for Round 2: Super Fast Playback!
Kojirou buzzes in this time. "Um...Ishitsubute, Ebiwalar, and Sawamular." He then guesses that the answer is "C." And...he's correct! As Kojirou is busy celebrating Musashi exclaims that she gets it now; "Super Fast Playback" means that they're playing the songs at super speed! And that Polka O Dolka was the third song they just heard! Kojirou and Nyarth laugh, wondering if Musashi's brain is working today.
Musashi and Kojirou are now even at one point apiece so they've got one more tiebreaker question. Round 3: Super Slow Playback!
This one's too difficult! Neither Musashi nor Kojirou have any idea which one of these three is supposed to be Polka O Dolka and so they ask Nyarth to play them all again. Nyarth replays the three songs but Musashi still has no idea. Kojirou apparently does, however! He buzzes in, says the three Pokémon names ("Hitokage, Lizardo, and Lizardon") and then guesses...C? After a tense few seconds he finds out that he's correct! Musashi is amazed and congratulates Kojirou. The Rocket trio decides that C was indeed the one that sounded the most like Polka O Dolka while B was obviously the most creepy selection. What in the world was that, anyway? Kojirou concludes that he thinks Double-Q's machine is really amazing.
Next, Nyarth asks the duo if they know what the other two, non-Polka O Dolka songs were. Musashi has no idea, but one of them sounds like a song that maybe the Rocket trio has sung before...? Nyarth reveals that she's on the right track, but the song she's thinking of wasn't sung by them in particular; it was sung by one of their friends. He plays a brief snippet of the song::
The other two laugh as they understand what's happening. "Isn't this against the rules?" Musashi asks. "Our friend sang this, sure, but nobody's going to know what this is!" Nyarth clarifies that no, this is not a Pokémon song; it's Koibumi, the theme song to the Shrine of the Morning Mist animated series sung by someone named Megumi Hayashibara. Musashi exclaims that you really can't let your guard down during these quiz segments; who knows what'll pop up next!
The third song, at the very least, is indeed a Pokémon song:
That’ｓ right, it's Kana's Pockettaari Monstaari, the final ending theme to that first TV series, the one without the subtitle. Is that how they should refer to that series? Since it didn't have a secondary title like "Best Wishes!" or anything like that? 
Nyarth then turns his attention to us listeners to give us a bonus question as homework. He'll play a song that's had been warped by Double-Q's Mean Machine three separate ways and it's up to us to figure out what the title of the song is.
Kojirou is amazed; are these really all the same song!? Nyarth assures him that yes, they are; they've just been altered in different ways. Musashi, meanwhile, seems to know which one it is. The answer will be provided next week!
Nyarth starts to wrap things up by telling listeners that if they have any ideas for new segments for the show that they can let them know via Twitter. Don't forget to use the hashtag #RocketDan! As the radio show's ending theme song starts to play Kojirou lets everyone know that Sakaki-sama's account has been stuck at around 20,000 followers lately. Their goal is to reach 7 billion people so that means they've still got a long, long way to go. So tell your friends!
Nyarth, meanwhile, reminds listeners that the latest Pocket Monsters movie is still in theaters so they should make sure to see it on the big screen while they still can! Nyarth says there are rumors going around that the three of them aren't in the movie but those rumors simply aren't true! So go to the theater and be on the lookout for them! They're kind of these blink-and-you'll-miss-them cameos but they're still there! Don't miss out!
It's now time to end show! Until next time...Victory!
This radio program is brought to you by Movic and Kids Station.
This is one of only three episodes to not have its guest interview released on CD. It's unclear why. It could be a music rights issue (though the Megumi Nakajima episode got around that by removing some of the background music from the CD release), it could be an inability to negotiate the contracts needed to allow a commercial CD release (as Ms. Kobayashi is easily the most high profile guest the show will ever have), it could have been omitted because Musashi's the only one of the Rocket trio to interview her...all we can do is speculate.
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