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Dogasu's Backpack | Old Updates Archive | December 2018

Dogasu's Backpack's predictions for the year 2018
December 31st, 2017

Dogasu @ 19:26 JST -- I have this tradition of making a bunch of predictions for Pocket Monsters franchise for the following year and then checking in on them in December. I made a bunch of predictions for 2018 back in January and today I'd like to go through them to see how I did.

First up, here are the predictions I made about the video games:

I don't think we'll see Generation 8 this year. I mean sure, Game Freak's been pretty unpredictable lately (I didn't think we'd get our Alola rehash game in 2017, after all), and it does seem that Game Freak is moving toward having shorter generations that what we had in the past. But I don't this year being the time for Generation 8 just yet.

here was a time when people were genuinely convinced that we were wrapping up Gen. 7 this year! That didn't end up happening, of course, and so far everything's still pointing toward a 2019 debut.

Instead, I predict...a third trip back to Alola on the Nintendo Switch. I dunno, Pocket Monsters Ultra Sun / Moon for Nintendo Switch or something like that? Game Freak has never done a sequel to a sequel before, but then again they've also never released a "third version" the year after the first two, nor have they ever released new pokemon in a main series game mid-Generation before. So sure, why the hell not? The new game will have enhanced graphics, new Alolan forms (hopefully to balance out the huge number of Dark-Types), and a few new Ultra Beasts, and a new post-game Battle Frontier-like area with a bunch of old Gym Leaders.

...I actually would have preferred this to Let's Go!, if I'm being honest. I mean, Sun & Moon seem like they were designed for a better hardware than what they ended up being released for and a Switch port didn't seem like it would have been all that hard. But I guess the gazillionth trip through Kanto was determined to be the better option?

Accordingly, I think we will see the Nintendo Switch version of Pokemon Bank. The idea here is that we, the consumers, will basically be used to beta test the compatibility between the Switch and the Nintendo 3DS to make sure that the two devices are ready to talk to each other by the time Generation 8 comes around. Nintendo will also release Pocket Monsters Ruby & Sapphire on the Nintendo Switch's upcoming Virtual Console.

Nope and nope! Pokemon Bank, as of this writing, has not made an appearance on the Nintendo Switch and there isn't even a Virtual Console on the new console for Ruby & Sapphire to make its debut.

Detective Pikachu will do alright but it won't set the world on fire or anything. A Nintendo Switch port will be announced later in 2018 for an early 2019 release.

Detective Pikachu reportedly sold 105,622 units its first week, which definitely fits with the "alright but isn't setting the world on fire or anything"
(Let's Go! Pikachu / Eevee, in comparison, sold 3 million units in its first week). And outside that week it went on sale it seems like everyone stopped talking about it...? No Switch port was announced which is a bit surprising what with the movie coming out next year and all but I suppose there's still time to squeeze in an announcement during January's Nintendo Direct if they really wanted to.

Generation 4 for Pokémon GO coming out in 2018 is a pretty safe bet so I'd start saving up your candies for all the new evos that will come with it. I also think we'll get either trading or battling this year, but not both.

Generation 4 started in October and has been having a steady rollout ever since. We happened to get both trading and PvP battling this year so I'll give myself half credit for that one.

Pokkén Tournament will get another Fire/Fighting starter as a playable character. My money's on Gaogaen even though I would much rather see Goukazaru take that spot instead.

Gaogaen ended up going to Smash and Pokkén didn't end up getting any new Fire-Types this year so I was completely off on this one.

Next up, some predictions related to Pocket Monsters animation!

For the TV series, we'll get the Ultra Guardian arc that will take us through the spring, followed by some light filler for during the summer, and then a Skull-Dan / rest of Alola for the autumn. I see the Alola League beginning in December.

Seems like I may have been a little more ambitious than the TV staff! Bevenom's arc ended in September (so, late summer / early autumn) and we got new Ultra Beasts as recent as this month so that's way off. No Skull-Dan arc or Pokemon League is anywhere in sight so I guess we'll have to wait until 2019 to see how that all turns out.

As much as I would love to see it I don't think we'll ever see a Rainbow Rocket-Dan arc in the TV series.

So far, nope! I would be really surprised if we had a Rainbow Rocket arc now that Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon are no longer the latest main series games.

I do, however, see Sun & Moon as being the final series to feature the Rocket trio and I think in 2018 more and more people will start to become convinced of that. I hate, hate, hate that idea but I'm kind of bracing for it.

This wasn't ever going to be a prediction that would be proven one way or the other in 2018 but I do still feel like we're on this track. Of the 46 new Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon episodes that premiered in 2018 the Rocket trio was absent in a whopping 19 episodes (20 if you count Episode 68, which only had Kojirou but no Musashi / Nyarth), which amounts to about 41% of the series. That's pretty much following the same trend they had in 2017; they were absent in 20 of the 48 episodes that debuted in 2017, which equals = 41%. At first I thought this was a monetary decision; Hayashibara and Miki can't be cheap these days! but then the actors still appear in episodes in which the Rocket trio don't appear so that can't be it. The decision to not have them appear at all during the month after the release of Pocket Monsters Let's Go! Pikachu / Eevee despite the fact that the trio actually does appear in the game also raises some red flags.

Then again, the trio's more or less remaining the most heavily merchandised human characters in the show so maybe their time isn't quite up yet...? 2019 will be an interesting year for sure.

The new movie will not feature Souji and Makoto from I Choose You! and will instead feature two brand new companions. The film will do alright in the box office but it won't bring in as much money as its predecessor.

I almost got this one right! No Souji / Makoto, but no new companions either. Box office wise, Everyone's Story started out strong but did indeed fail to make as much as its predecessor.

I think Lugia will be in the 21st movie but it won't be the same Lugia as the one from Revelation Lugia.

While this has never been 100% officially announced I don't think there's anyone around who believes that the Lugia in this summer's film is the same one from 1999.

This year will be the 20th anniversary of Mewtwo Strikes Back so I think Media Factory will finally release the movie on a standalone Blu-ray. Up until now the only way to get an HD version of the first twelve movies in Japan is to buy that massive 30,000 yen Blu-ray set that hasn't been in print since 2012.

This didn't happen at all, but with Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution coming up next year I might have to dust this one off for my 2019 predictions.

The English dub will celebrate its 20th year of existence in September but I don't see there being much celebration going on...there might be a marathon on Disney XD but that's probably about it. I would predict that TPCI will commission OLM to create a new TV special for them not unlike what was done for The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon for the series' tenth anniversary but that seems more like a 4Kids move, really.

TPCI really didn't do that much, did they? I'm not tapped into what the English dub is doing these days anyway but from what I can see there was that Twitch marathon and that's maybe about it...? No Master of Mirage Pokémon-esque special either.

I think the Detective Pikachu movie will get pushed back from its current May 2019 release date to sometime later in the year (maybe September?), if not 2020 altogether. A teaser trailer will be shown at Comic Con and it will be polarizing as all hell.

Nope, this movie's still on track for its May 2019 release date. The trailer was released on Thanksgiving weekend, so not Comic Con at all, and for the most part people seemed to be pretty pleased with it. For me, personally, that first trailer exceeded my (abysmally low) expectations and looks like it might not be a complete dumpster fire after all!? And it might be somewhat watchable?

2018 has to be the year we get the coveted Best Wishes! ~ Sun & Moon OST we've been waiting for all these years for, right...?

I will continue to make this prediction every year until it magically comes true lol

I haven't read the manga in over a year (I keep buying the magazines / graphic novels but none of them have been touched...) so I'm not really in the position to make a prediction about it. So, as a personal prediction for me, 2018 will be the year I catch up with the Pocket Monsters Special manga.

I didn't "catch up" at all, but I did at least finish the Red & Green chapters for the first time, so that's something.

Finally, a note about that Translation Tuesdays project I started and then more or less dropped; I haven't actually abandoned it despite not posting any new translations for a long while. A new comparison every week (like I did back in 2017) was easy because there was a certain rhythm, a certain pattern to it all, but translations are a whole different beast altogether. While I didn't finish as much as I would have liked to have finished by this point I'm still planning to pick away at the massive backlog into 2019 and beyond to provide content that you absolutely cannot find anywhere else.

I'll be making my predictions for 2019 at the end of January.

Until next time, I hope you had a great 2018 and look forward to an even better 2019!!

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More Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution tidbits
December 19th, 2018

Dogasu @ 7:36 JST -- The day after I made my last site update we got two new tidbits of information about next summer's film Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution.

One, Sayuri Ichi'ishi, a longtime animator / character designer / etc. for this franchise, more or less confirmed that the entire movie's going to be "in 3D."

全 版3Dでの映画です。
The entire movie will be in 3D.
Well, I wonder how it's going to turn out~ ^_^
Sometimes I'm put in charge of kind of supervising Pikachu.
Ladies and gentlemen, Pika's really really hard to get right.

The tweet has since been deleted which tells me that she maybe got reprimanded by some higher ups who weren't ready for her to leak that information yet...?

The other reveal we got is that a teaser is coming out "in the next few days." Ever since this past Friday if you go to you see this teaser advertising that "the newest footage will come out in a few days!!" (最新映像、近日公開‼!).

Coming Soon

The CG bubbles you see floating up there are the exact same CG bubbles that appeared in the teaser trailer from July. Personally, I fully expect the "newest footage" to just be an upload of that July teaser with maybe one or two extra bits (i.e. confirmation that Masachika Ichimura is indeed returning to voice Mewtwo, or a vague Detective Pikachu-esque poster that doesn't show anything) but who knows!

If I was a betting man I'd say it's likely we'll see this during tomorrow's episode of Oha Suta since Thursdays are usually their Pokemon days but so far no exact date has been revealed.

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Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution
Released Date announced
December 14th, 2018

Dogasu @ 7:40 JST -- Late yesterday afternoon the release date for Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution was revealed to the public for the first time during Toho's annual showcase of upcoming titles..

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution"

The 22nd Pocket Monsters film will be released on Friday, July 12th, 2019. This was pretty much a given - basically every Pocket Monsters movie has debuted during that one three day weekend in July - but it's still nice to see an official confirmation regardless.

Some initial credits were also provided on Toho's official website. First up, the film will be directed by both Kunihiko Yuyama (湯山邦彦) and Motohori Sakakibara (榊原幹典). Mr. Yuyama did the first 20 Pocket Monsters movies and then had apparently passed the torch on to Tetsuo Yajima but it seems like his retirement was only a temporary one.  Mr. Sakakibara, meanwhile, is known primarily for CG animated films such as the Snack World movie and Rudolph the Black Cat, so make of that what you will.

Takeshi Shudo (首藤剛志) is being credited as writing the screenplay...despite the fact that he's been dead for almost a decade. It is worth noting that he was given a co-screenplay credit for 2017's Pocket Monsters The Movie "I Choose You!", probably due to how the Episode 1 retelling section of that film was basically his original script verbatim, so the fact that he's also credited here strongly suggests that this new film will reuse a significant portion his script from the original Mewtwo Strikes Back!

Everything there is to know about the film so far has been collected here.

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Pokémon The Movie: The Power of Us
Contest Winners
December 13th, 2018

Dogasu @ 7:40 JST -- Last month I held a contest on the site to award five people with a free tiket to go see Pokémon The Movie: The Power of Us. The contest is over, the tickets have been passed out, and the winners have seen the film so let's take a look at their "Everyone's Story":

Adam Lemuz

2 years ago I started dating @SpecialAgentApe. At the time I wasn't into Pokemon. I had stopped playing after Gen 3 & tried getting back in with the launch of XY, but to no luck.

He told me that Pokemon meant a lot to him & that he could help get me back into the series. I wasn't too sure, but like XY, the announcement of Sun & Moon interested me, so we agreed we'd play it together.

Skip to end of the year. SuMo is 2 weeks out. Ape comes over for a visit. With him he brings me a 3ds game. It's his copy of Omega Ruby. He tells me it's a great starting point before Gen 7. I was hesitant. Gen 3 was the game that burnt me out 14 years ago.

I had come to trust him, so I agreed. He was right. The love & detail GF put into OrAs was astounding. It helped me see the game in a new light. After that, the big day came. Sun/Moon had released, & we had the games preloaded, ready to play it together.

I was blown away. 1st time since GS that I had been this invested in Pokemon. All thanks to Ape. I even completed my 1st pokedex! The following year we would move in together. He then introduced me to the gens I missed & shiny hunting. My Pokelove was back.

Today we're at the airport about to visit his family. Our flight has been delayed & switched multiple times. How are we passing the time? Well. .


I play Pokemon VGC, the video game championships, and I’m in Southern California. There’s a lot of events of events here, but I have yet to go to any of them. However, I’m in a bunch of VGC discords and on Twitter a lot, and it’s pretty cool to see people supporting me and wanting me to go to events, especially in California. Also, I’m able to have friends all over America because of Pokemon and learn more about other cultures and places.

Kevin Barstow,

My friend James Wagnon and I. We went to a comic book store that taught us how to play the card game so many years ago. If not for him we would never went to that, bookstore and I would never learn to play that game it always looked a bit complicated, and card games always intimidated me, but the guy who is there at the comic book store was real cool about it and taught us how to play the game. I would have never learned how to play the card game if not for James taking me to that, bookstore which I don't think is even open anymore sadly

The Sazandora

When I was four, my brother offered to let me play his Pokemon Yellow for like 50 cents an hour. I was kind of a dumb four year old and naively gave in to his money-making scheme, but I'm pretty sure it was a smart decision. My only experience with games at that point was Mario Kart: Double Dash and Melee so Pokemon was a really new experience to me. I was drawn into the game and loved collecting the characters. Fun fact: I haven't beaten the elite four in Yellow yet! Fast forward seventeen years, and I've happily played through most of the main and spin-off games and taken down the elite four (funnily enough, I haven't beaten the E4 yet in Let's Go, which of course is a remake of Yellow, but I'll finally do it this weekend!).  I credit Pokemon to giving me a neat source of community because now I host Pokemon tournaments and make trivia for my college Pokemon club and of course meet more Pokemon fans! If it weren't for my brother letting me get into Pokemon at that age, I'm not sure where I might be. What if I got into something like Yu-Gi-Oh for a long time? @[email protected] I still wonder..

And finally, Stevenprr2Pryor

My stepfather, 20 years ago; installed Pokémon Red and Blue on my computer when I was 6, as one of many games he taught me how to play when I was living in California. The rest, as they say, is history.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

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"Detective Pikachu" heading to Japanese Theaters in May 2019
December 4th, 2018

Dogasu @ 7:35 JST -- We've known for a while that the Hollywood live action Pokémon movie, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, will be coming out in the U.S. and Europe in May 2019. However, basically nothing had been announced about a Japanese release. When the first trailer dropped a couple of weeks ago, for example, we got English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German versions but there was a conspicuous lack of a Japanese language trailer. Could the Japanese release be delayed, like so, so many other Hollywood movies before it?

Well we got our answer when on Thursday, November 29th, a press event was held in Tokyo that officially announced that the Japanese version of the film is coming out in May.
At the moment the film, Meitantei Pikachuu (名探偵ピカチュウ), or "Detective Pikachu" has a vague "May 2019" release date. The movie will debut in the U.S. on May 10th under the title Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.

Detective Pikachu

An official website for the Japanese version of the film was also launched on the 29th. There's not much on there at the moment but the "Introduction" section includes some plot information that I don't know has ever been made public before (?) so I've translated that below:

"Pikachu" makes its Hollywood Live Action Movie Debut!

Website Introduction

It looks cute...but it has the heart of an old man!?
(but it can speak human language)

"Pikachu," who even today is beloved worldwide by people of all generations, is finally making its Hollywood live action movie debut!? Legendary Pictures, the people who brought you the "Dark Knight" and "Pacific Rim" series, has brought together a fantastic staff and cast to bring the world of Pokemon to life. It looks cute...but it has the heart of an old man!? Moreover, the person who's providing the voice of the human language speaking Detective Pikachu is none other than Ryan Reynolds from the blockbuster "Deadpool" series! Ryan, who was once chosen as People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive," will be giving the world a brand new Pikachu who's wise-cracking yet still lovable. And the person who's been selected to play the role of Tim, Detective Pikachu's partner, is the up-and-comer Justice Smith! The story begins when Tim goes to Ryme City to search for his father who got involved in a certain incident. There, Tim meets Detective Pikachu, a pokemon who can speak human language but that only he can hear. The rest of the cast includes Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Rita Ora, Suki Waterhouse, and an actor who comes from Pokemon's homeland of Japan, Ken Watanabe. In May 2019 the curtain will rise on a new Pikachu story that nobody's ever seen before!

Tim (Justice Smith), who used to love pokemon when he was a boy, has been avoiding both his father Harry and pokemon ever since the former didn't come home while working on a case having to do with the latter. Years later the now adult Tim receives a phone call from Harry's former partner Lieutenant Yoshida (Ken Watanabe): "I'm sorry but your father was in an accident...he didn't make it." With his head still swirling with emotions Tim heads to Ryme City, a place where humans and pokemon live side by side. As he's in his father's apartment to clear out his belongings Tim has his first encounter with Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds), a pokemon who can speak human language that only he can hear. Detective Pikachu tells Tim that he was Harry's partner and that he lost his memory due to the accident but that he is sure of one thing: "Harry's still alive." Why did Harry vanish? What is the mystery of the incident that took place in Ryme City? A new duo is about to tackle this great mystery head on!

The Japanese language trailer for the film has also dropped, which is basically the original English trailer with Japanese subtitles slapped on it.

The press event announcing the movie took place at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo on Thursday, November 29th. The event was attended by director Rob Letterman, cast members Justice Smith (Tim) and Kathryn Newton (Lucy), and Ryoma Takeuchi (竹内涼真), who was announced to be providing the voice of Tim in the Japanese dub of the film. Ryoma Takeuchi is probably best known among Westerners as portraying the role of Shin'nosuke Tomari in Kamen Rider Drive.

Press Event

Detective Pikachu will be one of two Pokemon movies coming out next year, with the other being Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back! Evolution" coming out in July.

For the purposes of this website, I will be focusing primarily on the Japanese release of the film. More information about its release will be added as it becomes available.

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