Animedia August 2019
Daiki Tomiyasu

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Animedia August 2019 Issue

The August 2019 issue of Animedia (on-sale July 10th, 2019) included three-page feature on Pocket Monsters; one page was dedicated to Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution while the remaining two pages were focused on the beginning of the Alola Pokémon League in Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon.

Below is a translation of the interview they ran with Daiki Tomiyasu, the ]mdirector for the Sun & Moon TV series.

Animedia August 2019 Interviews
| Masachika Ichimura & Sachiko Kobayashi | Daiki Tomiyasu |

Animedia: The first Pokémon League in Sun & Moon has started. Please tell us about what it was like to plan out the Pokémon League for this series.

Daiki Tomiyasu: 
So it's not like we don't show battles in Sun & Moon or anything like that, but we have gone a few weeks without having Pokémon battles be the main focus. So we had the idea to create a league where the backstories and daily snapshots we've gotten of the characters who have appeared so far are what make up its backbone. We want those fans who have been watching the show since the beginning to be able to say "Y'know what? I'm glad I stuck with it." Of course, we've also created stories that can be enjoyed by those who are interested in the league battles themselves so we hope everyone will check these episodes out.

Animedia:  What, specifically, is going to be different with this Pokémon League compared to the past ones?

Tomiyasu:  The person who created this league is Dr. Kukui, a homeroom teacher at the Pokémon School that Satoshi and his friends go to. The basic idea behind this league is that he wanted lots of people from all over Alola to come and participate and so the pool of potential challengers is larger than that of the Pokémon Leagues we've seen in the other series, and as a result a good number of the people Satoshi's met during his time in Alola will be participating. So the big difference is that there are a lot more familiar faces this time around.

Animedia:  Satoshi's going to know a lot of his fellow contestants and so that means the way the battles play out will also be different, right?

Tomiyasu:  That's because he's already familiar with how they battle and so both his relationships with the other Trainers and the ones the Pokémon have with each other will all come into play. In the past, some of the matches in the middle of a big tournament like this were skipped over but this time around we're going to show you each and every single battle.

Animedia:  So Satoshi has never won a League. What percent chance does he have of winning it this time around?

Tomiyasu:  Hmm, it's really hard to come up with an exact number (laughs). If you line up the sixteen Trainers who've advanced to the finals tournament, one of the favorites to win would have to be Ilima. He's a graduate of the Pokémon School, he's a respected Trainer, and he has experience competing in league matches in the Kalos Region. On top of that, he's rather stoic and so I think that means he's a strong Trainer. For this League, we're not really going to have some mysterious, never-before-seen contestant show up out of nowhere and just nab the winning title out from under everybody's noses, so we can look at those standing between Satoshi and the winning title and, other than Ilima, look toward those who have been giving it their all alongside Satoshi -- namely, Kaki, Glazio, and Hau. They all have enough skill that it wouldn't be outrageous for any of them to win the whole thing, so if you divide 100% by five people then that means each person has a 20% chance of winning.

Animedia:  We're also intrigued by the battle between Musashi and Kojirou of the Rocket-Dan. How is it?

Tomiyasu:  I think their battle is really, really interesting. I hope you'll look forward to seeing what kind of battle the two of them have.

Animedia:  This is a league competition, after all, and so there are going to be Trainers who don't win their matches.

Tomiyasu:  Sure, of course. But you see, Kukui's letting his students participate in this league he's holding "to determine the strongest person in Alola" while at the same time he also wants the league to be not just about winning and losing but to be about giving something your all and then learning something new from that. So we took care to show the students learning something valuable even when they lose. This might be seen as an oversimplification but everyone who doesn't win is, by definition, a loser, and so a part of us wanted to set up this league to show how everyone learns from their losses.

Animedia:  So out of all the Pokémon who will be in the finals tournament, which one do you want us to pay attention to?

Tomiyasu:  This is also a tough question, but I'd have to go with Kojirou's partner, Hidoide. Hidoide has a very real love for Kojirou so we definitely want you to check it out.

Animedia:  What does it look like Pikachu will do this time around?

Tomiyasu:  Pikachu, like in all the series before it, will battle together with Satoshi giving everything it's got. And even when it's not battling, it'll be cheering Satoshi on while standing at his feet so we hope you'll see just how much it's giving its all no matter what it's doing.

Animedia:  Finally, please give a message to all the Animedia readers out there.

Tomiyasu:  The matches that are coming up will all be dramatic, each and every one of them. The people who win and the people who lose will all have their own stories to go with them so I think that if you watch this league you'll grow to like everyone in Sun & Moon even more.

Animedia August 2019 Interviews
| Masachika Ichimura & Sachiko Kobayashi | Daiki Tomiyasu |

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