January 2018

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Dogasu's Backpack | Old Updates Archive | January 2018

Dogasu's Backpack's Eighteenth Anniversary
January 31st, 2018

Dogasu @ 23:17 JST -- On January 31st, 2000 a seventeen year old kid uploaded a website called "Dogasu's English - Japanese Pokemon Page." Eighteen years later it's still here, and somehow it's still kind of kicking ass? That's right, it's time for the annual "Dogasu pats himself on the back" write-up, so let's just get to it!

Eighteenth Anniversary

The anniversary write-up also contains my yearly predictions for the future so be sure to check those out and let me know what you think!

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Hiromi Tsuru, 1960 - 2017
January 18th, 2018

Dogasu @ 22:00 JST -- Even though this is something that happened months ago I still feel the need to cover it on this site; the death of voice actress Hiromi Tsuru (鶴ひろみ).

Hiromi Tsuru

Ms. Tsuru passed away on November 16th, 2017. She was found unconscious in her car and rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The talent agency she belonged to, Aoni Production, announced that the cause of death was aortic dissection.
She was 57 years old.

Most people know Ms. Tsuru as the voice of Bulma from Dragon Ball and the voice of Dokin-chan in Anpanman. But for us Pocket Monsters fans she's the voice of the "Female Rocket-Dan Boss" in the first episode of the 1998 radio drama The Birth of Mewtwo.

The Birth of Mewtwo
Female Rocket-Dan Boss

The "Female Rocket-Dan Boss" (who is often referred to by fans as "Madame Boss") was heavily implied to be the mother of Sakaki, the current Boss of the organization. Hirotaka Suzuoki (鈴置洋孝), who played Sakaki in that radio drama (as well as the in the TV series, movies, etc.) passed away back in 2006. The Female Rocket-Dan Boss is the person who sends Miyamoto out to the Andes to track down the mythical pokemon Mew.

A memorial service was held for Ms. Tsuru on Saturday, January 13th. During the service Masako Nozawa (野沢雅子), the voice of Son Goku in Dragon Ball, had this to say:

"If you gather the seven Dragon Balls they're said to be able to grant you any wish, right? But not this time. I'm sorry."


Condolences to Ms. Tsuru's family and friends.  May she rest in peace.

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Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018
January 15th, 2018

Dogasu @ 23:20 JST -- The first details came out about this summer's new movie, Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018 (劇場版ポケットモンスター2018) while I was in the middle of the deadline hell that was the end of #Kanto2017. So today, let's play a little bit of catch up, shall we?

Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018

We don't know much about the movie but there are a few things we can pick apart. First, here's the trailer:

YouTube 1

And here's a translation of all that text.

Directed by:  Tetsuo Yajima
Animation Supervisor:  Kunihiko Yuyama
Animation Production:  OLM, WIT STUDIO
What's starting...
Is everyone's story.
Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018

The music at the end is, as many people have pointed out, basically just Lugia's theme from the second movie Pocket Monsters the Movie "Revelation Lugia." Why they're doing a Lugia homage now when the 20th anniversary of the Lugia movie won't be until next year (Mewtwo Strikes Back is the one celebrating the big 2-0 in 2018) is beyond me.

The movie is being released on July 13th 2018. Every other Pocket Monsters movie has been released on a Saturday but this year the movie's coming out on a Friday instead, for some reason. As far as competition goes, t
he Japanese version of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is also scheduled to come out July 13th but at the moment that seems to be its only competition. However, the Japanese release of Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit Japanese theaters on June 29th and there's a very good chance it'll still be at the top of the charts when Pocket Monsters The Movie 2018 hits theaters. After all, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still the number one movie in Japan, even today.

The movie is going to be directed by Tetsuo Yajima (矢嶋哲生). Mr. Yajima was the director for the Pocket Monsters XY(&Z) TV series and also served as the assistant director for last year's Pocket Monsters the Movie "I Choose You!". Mr. Yajima being the director is actually a really big deal because this is the first time in the history of this franchise that someone other than Kunihiko Yuyama (湯山邦彦) has directed a Pocket Monsters movie! Mr. Yuyama has directed literally all 20 of the 20 films that are currently out so seeing someone else take the director's chair is an unexpected surprise. Mr. Yuyama will be the Animation Supervisor for this film.

Over on Twitter, Mr. Yajima expressed his thoughts about taking over from Mr. Yuyama:

Tetsuo Yajima

I'm going to be allowed to be the director of 2018's Pocket Monsters movie. I'd like to take the baton passed on to me from Mr. Yuyama in my hand and help Satoshi, Pikachu, and everyone else on this journey. What incredible things will happen, and where? Please look forward to it.

2018年の劇場版ポケットモンスターの監督をさせて頂きます。 湯山さんから受け取ったバトンを手に、サトシとピカチュウ、そしてみんなの旅のお手伝いをしていきたいと思います。 どんな場所でどんなステキな事が起こるのか。 楽しみにしてて下さい。

The movie's character designs are being done by Shizue Kaneko (金子志津枝), an animator who's mostly know for her work on various Doraemon projects but has also provided key animation for Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away, various Crayon Shin-chan movies, and Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos. Ms. Kaneko also took to Twitter shortly after the movie's first teaser trailer came out:

Shizue Kaneko

In the end I'm awake now thanks to my job. That's because I'm going to be allowed to do character design work for the Pokemon movie coming out next year. Even though I'm new to the team I hope we'll all work hard together.

結局仕事で起きてたよ💦💦 という訳で来年公開の 映画ポケモンのキャラデザなどやらせて頂くことになりました。新参者ですが、宜しくお願いします😺😹😺(〃・д・) -д-))ペコリン

Animation for the film will be a collaboration between OLM and WIT STUDIO, the company most well known for providing the animation for Attack on Titan. No word yet on just how much this studio will be involved.

I've added a page for this movie over in the Movies & Specials Guide. More updates will be made as new information becomes available.

Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018 will be released on Friday, July 13th 2018 in Japan. An international release has not been announced at this time.

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Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon Planetarium Review
January 8th, 2018

Dogasu @ 23:06 JST -- Now that #Kanto2017 is over I finally have the time to focus on some of the other parts of the site I had been wanting to update all this time but couldn't. For my first real content update of 2018 I went out to the Hamagin Space Science Center out in Yokohama to go see Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon Planetarium, an animated special that debuted at the end of September last year, and wrote up my impressions of the show. A detailed plot synopsis, stray observations, and my comments about what it's like to see a Pocket Monsters animated special inside a planetarium are all included so be sure to check it out!

Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon Planetarium

Information about this special is next to impossible to find online and so a lot of what I'm posting in my review today is stuff that you absolutely cannot find anywhere else. Seriously, even Japanese sites aren't reporting on this thing!

One of my goals for this website is to provide the community with information it can't get anywhere else and I think this write-up is a great example of the kind of content I want to continue coming up with. Hope you enjoy!

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The year 2017 in review
January 1st, 2018

Dogasu @ 14:56 JST -- On my site's anniversary every year I like to make a series of predictions about what I think will happen the next year and then check back on them at the end to see how I did. In last year's site anniversary write-up I didn't have that many predictions but let's take a look anyway at the ones I did manage to make.

First, some video game predictions:

I don’t think we’ll see any new main series games this year. There have been rumors of a Pocket Monsters Star coming out for the Nintendo Switch and an upscaled version of Sun & Moon would be fairly easy to do (I mean, this guy was able to do it, right?) but I still think that's more of a 2018 release than something we'll see this year.

he Nintendo Switch Pocket Monsters game didn't come out this year and my prediction of it coming out in 2018 might still come true. What I didn't expect was for Game Freak to take the original Sun & Moon, slap about $10 worth of DLC onto it, and then try to market it as a brand new set of games called Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Sooooo...half credit?

I do, however, think we’ll see at least one spin-off game on the Switch. I wanna say Pokemon Scramble since that seems to be the series Nintendo likes to use to launch a new system but it could very well be something else.

Does the Switch port of Pokkén Tournament count? Other than that, nothing.

Pokémon GO will get its Jouto update this year but I think that’s going to be it as far as huge updates go. Trading and/or battling might be implemented this year but I think Niantic is going to try to charge people for those features to offset the massive server load those features will undoubtedly cause. Maybe something like "only available for premium members!" or some nonsense like that. Fans will be pissed but Niantic will still make a bajillion dollars from it.

Jouto came out early in the year and a partial rollout of Houen started in October. Additionally, Pokemon Gyms were revamped, in-game tracking was finally fixed, Raid Battles gave us the ability to obtain legendary pokemon, and a weather update was rolled out. Not too terrible! P2P batting and trading never came and neither one of seem to be on the horizon anytime soon so I got that part wrong.

Next up, animation-related predictions:

On April 1st, 2017 the Pocket Monsters TV series will celebrate its 20th anniversary. For the series’ 15th anniversary an HD remaster of the very first episode aired on the variety show Pokemon Smash, and while I don’t dare hope that Media Factory will do something as amazing as remaster the rest of Kanto I do think it’s reasonable to at least expect a DVD set released in Japan for the anniversary. Amazingly, Japan has never had a a full, complete release of the TV series before; all the country's ever gotten in the past are random episodes here and there. It's about time the series gets a proper release in its home country!

There's still no DVD release of Kanto in Japan, appallingly enough, though we did finally get a home release of a new HD master of that first episode package with the I Choose You! Blu-ray release.

The Sun & Moon TV series is a bit harder to pin down. In the past I would usually say something like “Satoshi will gets badges XX through XX” but that kind of prediction doesn’t really apply to this series, does it?  So instead, I will say that in 2017 we’ll see Satoshi leave the school on Melemele Island and actually start traveling around the Alola Region. I also expect Gladio, Guzma, and the Aether Foundation to make significant appearances before the year's up.

Satoshi left Melemele and spent the summer in the snoozefest that was the Akala Island arc (the string of Rocket trio absences is what killed it for me) and then when he got back he jumped into the plot with Hoshigumo and the Ultra Beasts. Gladio and the Aether Foundation had significant appearances but Guzma is still nowhere to be seen. In fact, the Skull-Dan as a whole has been fairly absent all year, with those two grunts last showing up way back in May. Hopefully the group will be treated better in 2018.

I won't go so far as to say that the 20th movie, I Choose You!, is definitely not going to be a retelling of the first couple of episodes, but I will at least say that I don't think it's going to be the start of some trilogy. Why in the world would I think that? Instead, I think whatever they end up doing this year will be a one-off thing and that next year we'll go right back to showcasing the legendary of the day.

We still don't really know if Pocket Monsters the Movie 2018 is going to be a continuation of the story started in 2017's I Choose You! or if it will be a continuation in the sense that it too will be a story set in an alternate universe. Still, it looks like the old formula's been broken and I'm excited to see where the movies go from here.

CD-wise I think we'll get the regulars - Alola! and Pose, the opening / ending theme to I Choose You!, and a release of the movie's background music. I'll also go ahead and make the prediction that this will be the year we finally see a release of the background music for Best Wishes! and XY (&Z).

The CD single for Alola! / Pose came out on April 12th and the I Choose You! soundtrack came out on January 26th. The movie's ending theme didn't get its own CD single release, however, but it did get a special release on iTunes packaged with the ending theme to the Jirachi movie (the other movie ending theme sung by Asuka Hayashi). No background music releases for Best Wishes! or XY (&Z), annoyingly, but we did get a surprise in the form of that new Rika Matsumoto CD featuring all those new remixes of classic songs.

...and that's it! I will be making new predictions for 2018 when I celebrate my website's 18th (!) anniversary later this month.




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