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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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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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