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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | "PokéTsume"
A detailed look at each and every episode of "Cram Adventures Into a Pocket" (ポケットに冒険をつめこんで), or "PokéTsume" for short.
Note about the premiere dates listed
In Japan, the series' premiere date is based on a seldomly-seen-outside-of-Japanese-TV 24 hour clock that goes past the 24:00 mark. In the case of PokéTsume, it's listed as premiering on October 19th at 24:30, which actually means October 20th at 12:30 AM. The premiere dates listed in the chart below are based on the latter way of reporting.
Twenty-eight year old Madoka Akagi has dreams of becoming a creator. She moves to Tokyo and starts working at a small advertising firm called ADventure but she soon discovers life in the real world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. One day the company's president, Yadoya, announces that one of their most important clients is holding a competition to see who will be in charge of their next marketing campaign and guilts Madoka into being the one to make the presentation. That night, Madoka's going through a box her mom sent to her apartment when she discovers a Game Boy Pocket with her old copy of Pocket Monsters Red still inserted. Madoka continues her work back at the office but isn't making much headway so she fires up a new game of Red. She continues playing at a small little café "Rouge" where its owner, a woman named Masako, helps Madoka realize that humans in the real world have "types" just like the Pokémon in her video game do. Her tackling her big presentation head on is like going after a Gym Leader's Iwark with her Hitokage’s Scratch attack and so she changes up her strategy to appeal to her client's nostalgia instead. The big day arrives and though Madoka's presentation gets off to a rocky start she's able to successfully impress the team with an unorthodox approach to marketing that proves to be super effective. ADventure is awarded the contract, ensuring the company lives to fight another day.
Takeshi Iwakura (岩倉武) appears to be modeled after the Gym Leader Takeshi (タケシ). His surname "Iwakura" can be interpreted to mean "rock deposit." It also sounds a bit like the Pokémon name Iwark (イワーク).
Adventure's potential client, SAIjirushi, is a reference to the real world electric kettle manufacturer Zojirushi. In the Cram Adventures Into a Pocket version, the Zo ("elephant") mascot from Zojirushi is replaced with a Sai ("rhino"), a possible reference to Rock-Type Pokémon like Saihorn or Saidon.
Madoka having an older brother who played Pocket Monsters Red & Green is similar to how actor Nanase Nishino herself also has an older brother who would play Pokémon with her when she was little (in Ms. Nishino's case the game her brother played was Pocket Monsters Ruby).
ADventure has been put in charge of doing a print ad for a new brand of rice “Mizuho Mare” and so the company hires the famous copywriter Ohsou Kamo to come up with something that’ll catch customers’ eyes. The submission they end up receiving, “So this is rice?”, is seen as being too difficult to understand so Madoka, Kageaki, and Yuhki pay a visit to Kamo’s office/home to get him to consider rewriting it. As they wait for the meeting to start Kageaki guesses Madoka’s been playing Pokémon lately, though he insists he has no interest in the game himself. Kamo ends up starting the meeting an hour late and even dozes off in front of Madoka and the team before angrily refusing to rewrite anything. Madoka is at the café Rouge to blow off some steam when she meets Sora, Masako’s Pokémon loving son. During their conversation Sora mentions how some Pokémon won’t obey their Trainers if they don’t have enough badges, giving Madoka the idea to try Mizuho Mare’s competitors’ products (“gain experience”) in order to understand her client’s product better (“get a Gym Badge”) and increase her chances of having her suggestions followed (“get your Pokémon to obey”). Madoka visits Kamo’s place a second time armed with a better understanding of what makes Mizuho Mare special, enabling her to sway the copywriter into redoing his slogan. Madoka shares the good news with Kageaki but he feigns disinterest before starting his own playthrough of Pocket Monsters in secret.
The area ADventure has photographs taken for their Mizuho Mare ad is identified as Tsukiyama (月見山), an obvious reference to the Pokémon location O-Tsuki Yama (おつきみやま), or "Mt. Moon."
The rice brand "Mizuho Mare" (みずほまれ) ADventure is assigned to make ads for appears to be based on the real world Mizuho Rice (みずほ米).
Oshou Kamo (加茂和尚) appears to be modeled after the Pokémon Kamonegi. Kamonegi's name comes from the proverb "a duck comes carrying a leek on its back" (カモがネギを背負ってやって来る); the English equivalent would be "along comes a sucker just begging to be parted with his money." His first name, Oshou, is taken from the nickname of the Kamonegi you can get in the Red & Green games by trading for an Onisuzume. In the English localized version its name is "DUX."
Oshou's assistant, Negishi (根岸), has the word "negi" in her name not unlike the Pokémon Kamonegi.
The ADventure team gets a job to advertise for the Tama department store using Erika Kusano, an actress infamous for being difficult to work with and overly demanding. President Yadoya shocks everyone by assigning Koide to lead the project even though he’s only ever just followed everyone else’s lead during the three years he’s been employed at ADventure. The initial meeting with Erika goes about as poorly as expected, with the actress making a list of demands that causes Koide to become even more flustered than he was already. Madoka sees parallels between Koide and the Pokémon Koiking and decides to help him gain enough experience to evolve into Gyarados. Meeting after meeting is held where Madoka has to resist the urge to jump in and take over so that Koide can gain some much needed work experience. The day of the big photo shoot comes…and Erika refuses to leave her green room! Koide pleads with Madoka to bail him out but the planner puts her foot down and insists he already has everything he needs to do this on his own. A determined Koide storms into the green room and calls Erika out for being selfish while also pointing out that an entire group of people is waiting on her so they can do their jobs. Erika eventually decides to be the professional she sees herself to be and joins the others, enabling the photo shoot to continue as scheduled. Are Koide’s days of Splash-ing about ineffectively finally over?
Tama Department (タマデパート) is a reference to the Tamamushi City ("Celadon City" in the English localization) Department Store. The store's grand opening day of February 27th, 1996 is a reference to Pocket Monsters Red & Green's release date.
Erika Kusano (草野絵里花) is modeled on the Gym Leader Erika (エ リカ). Her surname "Kusano" can be interpreted to mean "grassy field" or "of the grass." Her insistence on only being provided with vegan food also ties into her herbivore nature.
Erika's manager Monju (文殊) appears to be modeled after the Pokémon Monjara, one of Erika's Pokémon.
The fact that Koide is so terrible at his job yet never seems to run the risk of being fired is a reflection of the extremely rigid set of protections provided to employees in Japan that makes it nearly impossible for a company to actually fire someone. The website Lucky Kensho has a great write-up on the subject, with this part in particular being of interest:
Since the ADventure advertising agency is a company based in (a slightly fictionalized version of) Japan then it too must follow the Japanese laws and standards that would prevent it from just hiring someone else.
Kogusuri's habit of saying "of course, right away" to whatever requests his clients make, regardless of how last minute they are, is starting to cause his co-workers to complain. One day Madoka notices Kogusuri slumped over his desk, clearly upset about something, so she invites him out to the Rouge café. As Madoka continues her game of Pocket Monsters Red, trying (but failing) to get a Garura, she finds out Kogusuri’s been so busy with work lately he hasn't had any time for his son Kouji. This, in turn, is causing stress within his marriage. Madoka, unwilling to stand by idly while all this happens, comes up with "Operation: Get Kouji's Heart in the Safari Zone." Under Madoka's guidance Kogusuri takes Kouji to the Kanazawa Zoo, and while things get off to a rocky start at first the two genuinely start to have fun as they go around learning about different animals. Their day of fun comes to a screeching halt, however, when Kouji stumbles across the document Madoka had made for the day, making it seem like their so-called father-son time was just another job to him. A poorly timed phone call from a client threatens to escalate matters even further but Kogusuri ends up standing up to them, explaining he can't work today because he's spending the day with his son. Madoka’s finally gotten her Garura! Later, Kogusuri reveals that he'll sometimes be working from home for now on in order to spend more time with his family.
The Kanazawa Zoo is a real zoo located in the southern part of Kanagawa Prefecture.
The ADventure team gets involved in a project to revitalize the Nemuro Shopping Arcade by turning it into the next Rugby Road. They present their plan to the neighborhood association but its chairman, Gonzou Kabira, appears to be unsatisfied with the proposal and ends up sleeping through most of it. The ADventure team regroups and decides Gonzou is the type who needs a little extra persuasion and so Hiyama presents him with some expensive sake. But this gift also fails to move the chairman. The defeated group is on the way home when Madoka spots an old timey mom and pop toy store owned by one of the members of the neighborhood association. The two of them get to talking and Madoka eventually learns just how much Gonzou cares about leaving something behind for the children of the area. Could there be a reason for this “Kabigon” to be blocking the way forward? Madoka convinces the others to completely redo their proposal and, one night of overtime later, the team requests a third meeting. This time, Madoka tells Gonzou she understands the bars and other boutiques they had presented earlier would end up robbing the children of their place to gather and so she proposes a new plan that provides them with somewhere to gather and make memories. Madoka’s words are able to wake Gonzou up, signaling to the team that he approves their plan. As the ADventure team celebrates its latest victory Hiyama seems to be less than enthused…
The "nemuro" part of Nemuro Shopping Arcade (ネムロ商店 街) means "go to sleep."
The "Rugby Road" the characters in the episode keep bringing up is most likely a reference to a real world "Rugby Road" shopping district in Kumagaya, Saitama. The nearly 4km of cafes and other shops ends at the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, one of the venues used for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and the area's enjoyed success thanks to this collaboration.
Gonzou Kabira (川平権蔵), when written in its original Japanese order Kabira Gonzou, is reminiscent of the Pokémon name Kabigon (KABI-ra GON-zou).
Koide drinks a Saiko Soda (サイコソー ダ), an item from the video games.
Madoka decides to enter both Hiyama and herself in the Tokyo Short Film Contest. Her uncooperative partner Hiyama isn’t really contributing any ideas so she suggests they take a break and have a link battle with their two Pokémon games for a bit. If Madoka wins, Hiyama has to reveal why he only pretends to have no interest in being a creator. If Hiyama wins, Madoka has to give Hiyama her Lizardon. The battle commences, and before long it becomes clear Hiyama’s anticipated every move Madoka’s about to make and has therefore come up with effective counterstrategies. The two eventually get down to one Pokémon apiece. Madoka’s refusal to give up until the very end pays off when her Gyarados’ Hyper Beam miraculously KOs her opponent’s Minimized Pixy, earning her the win. Hiyama holds up his end of the bargain and tells Madoka he used to want to be a creator but that when he finally got hired at a company he got assigned to its sales section instead. He felt dejected not being able to do what he had set out to do so he quit that company and joined ADventure instead. After talking all this through with Madoka he starts to realize it’s not about where you’re chosen to go, it’s about where you yourself decide to go that makes you what you are. Hiyama asks Yadoya to allow him to be assigned to creative projects as well, allowing the fire within him to be reignited once again.The names of Hiyama's old co-workers, Syo Sawamura (澤村 翔) and Kenji Ebiwara (海老原 拳児) are based on the Fighting-Type Pokémon Sawamular (サワムラ―) and Ebiwalar (エビワラ―). The duo's entry into the Tokyo Short Film Contest having a boxing theme is a clear reference to this.
The types of rules Madoka and Hiyama choose for their link battle (Level 50 and under, no legendaries, limit of one repeat species per team, the use of Explosion on your final Pokémon is prohibited, the use of Sleep inducing moves is limited to three times) is reminiscent of the rules used by the Pokémon League segment of the TV show 64 Mario Stadium (64マリオスタジアム). The episode's director Paul Young made a post on X stating that "Tonight's episode of #Cram Adventures Into a Pocket" is a battle episode like they kind they'd have on 64 Mario Stadium" (今夜の #ポケットに冒険をつめこんで は64マリオスタジアムばりに対戦回), further linking the two.
In that same X post the director states that at least one of the Pokémon used in the episode is one that he personally raised himself.
Soar’s father, a man named Kuuya Karasawa, passed away about a year ago but Sora is still able to see and talk to him thanks to the glasses he continues to wear in his father’s honor. The ghost wants to be able to move on to the afterlife and so Sora agrees to help him wrap up some loose ends there on Earth. With that, Sora convinces Madoka to chaperone him around the city to complete “Kuuya’s List of Unfinished Business.” Their first activity, fishing off a pier, ends with the two of them only being able to reel in a single plastic bag. After a leisurely bike ride the two of them take a break at a nearby café where Sora comes to realize the items on his dad’s list are all things the two of them used to do together. The final activity of the day is to climb Tokyo Tower. Sora doesn’t want the day to end so he refuses to go up, opting to sit on a bench outside and immerse himself in his Switch instead. As Kuuya watches his son manage to have fun by himself he realizes why he’s still stuck in the human realm; it’s so he can apologize to Sora for not being around anymore to do fun father-son stuff together. With this, Kuuya is able to finally move on to the afterlife. Sora rejoins Madoka at the Tokyo Tower observation deck where the two of them wrap up their day together.
Sora's father passing away on a cruise ship may be a reference to the St. Anne.
Sora's glasses enabling him to see ghosts is a clear reference to the Silph Scope.
The fishing pier, the cycling path, and Tokyo Tower are all clear stand-ins for Route 12, Cycling Road, and Shion Tower (turned Radio Tower) respectively.
When Madoka's playing Pocket Monsters Red, her Gyarados' Bite attack doesn't work against the wild Ghos because Bite was still a Normal-Type attack back in Generation 1.
Madoka and Hiyama are out on a tea break when they spot Meguro with her new boyfriend Sakaki. On paper Sakaki seems like a highly successful man with a good job at marketing department of a company called Cosmetics Rocket but there’s something about him Madoka can’t quite trust. Back at the office, Yadoya informs the ADventure team that a product design Meguro was in charge of is now being suspected of having been plagiarized! Meguro’s co-workers, believing her design was actually the one stolen, bands together to try to figure out who could have done such a thing. Meguro doesn’t want to believe her boyfriend could be the one behind it but starts to become suspicious when she notices little white lies he’s been telling here and there. Meanwhile ADventure’s clients threaten to cut ties with the company as rumors of Meguro’s alleged plagiarism starts to spread. Madoka and Meguro go out to lunch together where Madoka convinces Meguro to believe in her work and to stand up to the accusations being made against her. A determined Meguro decides to set a trap where she swaps out design files on her computer with ones she had made years ago so that when Sakaki inevitably rips them off she can prove he’s a thief. Sakaki predictably takes the bait, exposing his crimes to both Meguro and Cosmetics Rocket. Meguro leaves a disgraced Sakaki behind at a café as she moves on with her life with a renewed sense of self-worth.
This episode aired at 1:00 am instead of its usual 12:30 am timeslot.
Meguro's boyfriend Saburo Sakaki (榊 三郎) is a clear reference to the game character Sakaki, the leader of the Rocket-Dan. He's one of four brothers, a reference to the Rocket Brothers the player faces off against in the Silph Company in Pocket Monsters Red & Green. The company he works for, Cosmetics Rocket (コスメロケット) is another obvious reference.
The shampoo Meguro was in charge of creating the design for is released by a company called Silph Care (シ ルフケア), a reference to the Silph Company from Pocket Monsters Red & Green.
The Yamabuki Furniture HQ (山吹家具本 社) is reminiscent of Yamabuki City ("Saffron City").
The game footage of Kyukon evolving uses the Pokémon's sprite from Pocket Monsters Blue despite the show mostly only using imagery from the Red & Green games.
Full Cast / Staff List Coming Soon!
Madoka (Nanase Nishino) comes into work one day and notices the rest of the ADventure team is in a frenzy. She asks what the problem is and finds out that four of the companies ADventure has been working with for many many years have suddenly decided to cancel their contracts! They soon find out these contract renegotiations were spearheaded by Madoka's friend/rival Midori (Rio Uchida)! The ADventure team works to submit counter presentations but soon find themselves at a loss when they can't come up with any good ideas. Suddenly, a savior appears before Madoka and the otehrs...!
This episode is set to air at 12:40 am instead of its usual 12:30 am timeslot.
Full Cast / Staff List Coming Soon!
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