January 2020






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Dogasu's Backpack | Old Updates Archive | January 2020

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"
January 26th, 2020

Dogasu @ 22:40 JST -- Information about the 23rd Pocket Monsters movie was released earlier this month so tonight I'm going to compile it all.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco"

The newest film is called Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" and it's being released on Friday, July 10th 2020. Other English speaking Pokémon fans are choosing to render the title as "Coco" instead but at this point I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe that this romanization is appropriate. Edit: It seems like OLM's site is writing the movie's title out as "Coco" so that's what I will use here until further notice.

A teaser trailer has been released that I've translated here.

The film is being directed by
Tetsuo Yajima (矢嶋哲生), the man who directed the Pocket Monsters XY TV series as well as the 2018 film Pocket Monsters The Movie "Everyone's Story." The screenplay is being provided by Atsuhiro Tomioka (富岡淳広), one of the more experienced writers in the franchise. He's been with the series since the beginning and was even given the Series Construction credit from Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl until Pocket Monsters XY. Mr. Yajima also has a writing credit.

As far as voice actors go, Rica Matsumoto (Satoshi) a
nd Ikue Ohtani (Pikachu) are the only two confirmed to be returning at the moment, according to Toho's official page for the film.

Other miscellaneous information, such as box office information and other trivia, have been added to the Pocket Monsters The Movie "Coco" page.

...and that's kind of all we know at the moment! I've gotten criticism in the past that this website spends too much of the first half of the year covering whatever movie's coming up and so I'm going to take the note and do my best to provide a better variety of website updates this time around.

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A look back at my predictions for 2019
January 22nd, 2020

Dogasu @ 06:45 JST -- Every year I do these little write-ups for my site's anniversary and at the end of these essays I like to make a bunch of predictions for the upcoming year. I never got around to taking a look at the predictions I made for 2019 so today's update will be me doing just that!

First up, in video games:

Generation 8 will come out on the Nintendo Switch on November 1st in most markets worldwide. It will debut at least 100 new pokemon and include a number of cross-generation evolutions (and no, not just a new Eevee or three).

It actually came out November 15th, so I was about half a month off. There were only 80 brand new Pokémon at release BUT the 13 new regional forms and 23 Kyodaimax forms (which are brand new designs, whether you want to admit it or not) bring us up to 116.  There weren't any new Eevees in the group this time around but there were a number of new cross-generation evolutions so I'm giving myself points for that.

One of the new pokemon will be Mewthree. It’ll debut in Movie 22 first and then be made available as a Mystery Gift the first month or so after the Gen 8 games go on sale.

Nope! As you'll see later, I was sure the 22nd movie was going to diverge from its source material way more than it actually ended up doing.

The game’s new region will be based on the U.K.

To be fair, everyone was predicting this.

Pokemon Gyms will make a comeback but they will have some new gimmick to make them a weird mix of old school Pokemon Gyms and island challenges.

Well, the Gyms did come back but there weren't really any new gimmicks. The last half of the game was basically just "here's a room, just fight Trainers one after the other until you get to the Gym Leader," for crying out loud!

Gen 6’s in-battle gimmick was evolution based and Gen 7’s was attack based and so I think Gen 8’s in-battle gimmick will be something centered around trading. What I’m thinking is that you’d have a seventh pokemon on a bench somewhere that you can swap out with one of your unused party pokemon in case you get into a battle and realize you’ve brought the wrong type along. Of course there will be restrictions – you can’t teleport in a pokemon if it’s already been used in that particular battle, you can’t swap out a pokemon whose type doesn’t match whatever item Game Freak uses to facilitate the process, etc. – but it will still at least offer some relief to those who maybe didn't plan well enough in advance.

This game's gimmick was Rita Repulsa-ing about, which isn't at all what I predicted.

The new game will still have the (awful) motion controls of its predecessor but there will be an option to turn them off this time.

Thankfully the terrible motion controls were left out of the Generation 8 game. Joy-Con drift is still very much a problem, though!

There will be another new Meltan-like pokemon that you’ll only be able to get by connecting your game to Pokemon GO.

So far this hasn't happened.

Pokemon Bank for the Nintendo Switch will be announced in 2019 but won’t actually be released until early 2020.

Nor this. Home's coming out next month, apparently, but so far we still know next to nothing about it.

A Pokemon Let's Go! Togepi / Let's Go! Marril will be announced on the 20th anniversary of Gold & Silver. The game will come out Q4 2020.

The Pokémon Company didn't really do anything for the 20th anniversary of Gen 2, did they? In any case, I'm glad Game Freak isn't working on yet another remake and are spending their time focusing on Sword & Shield instead.


Next up, Pokémon GO:

Generation V introduces the largest number of new pokemon and so I can see us getting maybe 75% of the new creatures in 2019. The Gen V rollout begins in September.

We had up to 54 Gen V Pokémon released by the end of 2019. That's only 34.62% of the 156 Pokémon in the Isshu bestiary, quite a ways short of the 75% I predicted last January. Gen V debuted in Pokémon GO on September 16th, 2019 so at least I got that part right.

Mewtwo will return as a Raid Boss to celebrate the release of Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution. Shiny variants will be made available again.

We got Armored Mewtwo, which as far as I'm concerned is better.


Let's now take a look at what I thought was going to happen with the animated TV series in 2019.

I see the TV series going like this: 
March – May: Guzma / Skull-Dan arc, with a generous number of fillers sprinkled throughout
June: Preparations for the Pokemon League
July – mid-August: Alola League
mid-August - September: Series wrap up


So pretty much none of it happened this way. March to May did introduce Guzma and the Skull-Dan but it was a single episode, not an arc. The rest of that time was instead used for fillers and Ultra Beast episodes. The League started in June and ended in September, and then we had the exhibition match taking us into mid-October. We got two wrap-up episodes and then the start of Pocket Monsters (2019) in November.

At least I didn't predict a Rainbow Rocket arc.

Satoshi will get one more new Alola pokemon before entering the League. I’m guessing it’ll be Tiny from that awfully boring Nagetsukesaru episode.

He got a Meltan instead! That's way better than that boring filler monkey.

Satoshi will compete in the Alola League with his Alola team of five plus one of his Kanto reserves (for Let’s Go! Promotion) that he’ll rotate out every battle. He’ll eventually lose to Lillie’s butler James.

No Kanto reserves, and James didn't enter the League even though it would have been kind of neat if he had. Sure would have been more interesting than, say, Principal Ookido.

Kasumi and Takeshi watch the Alola League from Kanto in voiceless cameos.

There's honestly no reason why this couldn't have happened.

I’m about 80% convinced that Sun & Moon will be the Rocket trio’s last series. I hate hate hate hate hate the idea but I also feel like the show’s been telegraphing it pretty hard this Gen, especially this last year or so. Their absences between appearances are starting to become longer and more frequent (as of this writing they’ve missed eight of the last ten episodes) and it honestly feels like the powers that be just don't want them around anymore. The only that really gives me pause with this theory is the fact that the Rocket trio continues to be some of the (if not the) most merchandised human characters in the franchise, but even then it’s not like they can’t just keep selling us products after they’re long gone.

I mean...can I just recycle this prediction for whatever year Pocket Monsters (2019) ends? It's hard to believe we're at a point now where we'd look back at Sun & Moon and think "yeah, the Rocket trio was treated pretty well" but here we are! I hate to say it but it almost would have been better if my prediction had come true after all...?

Speaking of merchandise, a huge amount of it was released just last week so the franchise continues to have no problem milking us Rocket fans for everything we've got.


The Generation 8 TV series will go back to being the traveling action adventure show it was from the original series up to XY&Z.

Um, sure?

(...I never said it would be any good...)


Let's look at the predictionsI made for Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution:

The movie will be an adaptation of the first film but it won’t be a shot-for-shot remake because they’ll be forced to throw in some Generation 8 promotion. But to do that they’ll need to have another writer brought on board because at the moment the only person they have attached to it has been dead for nearly a decade. They’ll bring in someone else to write those Gen 8 pokemon segments and to also possibly tweak a few other things about the film.

It didn't exactly end up being a shot-for-shot remake but it was close enough, I guess. The lack of a shoehorned-in Gen 8 legendary was honestly kind of shocking; I can't believe they had the self control needed.

Still, I'm really curious about who on the staff actually wrote the few scenes that were added / changed from the 1998 original. No one other than Mr. Shudo is listed in the film's credits and as far as I know no one has ever come out to say it was them.


Masachika Ichimura will be back as Mewtwo and Kouichi Yamadera will be back as Mew. Sweet will be played by Shoko Nakagawa and the other New Island Trainers (Sorao and Umio) will be played by whatever random celebrities they get to come in as special guests this year. Sachiko Kobayashi will come back to do Kaze to Issho ni 2019, a remix of the ending theme to the first movie.

Hey, I got most of this right! Shoko Nakagawa didn't voice a character in a Pocket Monsters movie for the first time in more than a decade and the remake didn't really have any additional stunt casting (though hearing Raymond again was nice) but everything else happened exactly as predicted.

Kasumi’s Togepi won’t be in the new movie, just because.

We gotta have a random nothing prediction thrown in there!

The movie will get a wide theatrical release in the U.S. on Friday November 8th. With the popularity of Pokemon GO, Gen 8 coming out at around the same time, and the fact that this is the 20th anniversary of the English dub of this movie will give TPCI more than enough justification to spend the money to give this film a wide release.

So who dropped the ball on this? I mean, I don't actually care one way or the other - I already have the Japanese Blu-ray and have zero interest in ever watching this movie in English - but we only just got word of an English dub coming out a few hours ago! Why wasn't this ready by November!? At first I had assumed it was incompetence on TPCI's side but it seems like the Korean dub - one of the few international dubs that doesn't have to deal with TPCI - was also delayed. So it was an issue on Japan's side...? Why would they hold up the release of a movie they made specifically for Western audiences?

The U.S. did get the world premiere in LA, though, and it ended up being one of the more significant events for the anime in the West this year.

I also made some predictions about 2019 being "The Year of Mewtwo," which ended up being a whole lot of nothing, didn't it?

A “Birth of Mewtwo” standalone TV special will air in Japan in June that adapts the entire radio drama, including the bits that were scrapped from the Kanzenban version of the first film.

Nope!

Shogakukan will release a graphic novel that contains Toshihiro Ono’s 52-page Mewtwo Strikes Back “adaptation” which, up until now, has only ever been printed in that one CoroCoro Comics issue back in 1998. It’ll be paired with Momota Inoue’s 177-page manga adaptation of 2013’s The Extreme Speed Genosect and the Awakening of Mewtwo in a single book. An English version will be released in 2020, because Viz.

Nope! We did get a new manga adapation of Movie 22 and also the TV special Mewtwo Lives, but no re-releases of the older stuff.

Movie 1 will finally get a standalone Blu-ray release in Japan.

Nope. It's not included as an extra in any of the Blu-ray releases for the CG remake, either.



Finally, some Pokémon Detective Pikachu predictions:

I think the live action movie will probably be very successful in the West. Hype for the movie is really high right now and even those who don’t necessarily love the idea of a live action Pokemon film in the first place (hi!) have a kind of morbid curiosity about the whole thing. The movie will debut at Number 2 behind Avengers: Endgame, which will come out in late April but will still be going strong, and then be knocked out of the Top 3 by the time the live action Aladdin movie comes out on May 24th.

My box office predictions were spot on; Pokémon Detective Pikachu earned US $58 million in its first weekend in the U.S., putting it at Number 2 behind Avengers: Endgame. The weekend Aladdin debuted the movie did indeed drop to fourth place, so I was right there as well.

The movie will have a joke or two that parents in the U.S. will complain about for being too "adult."

There were some "I can't believe they got away with that" jokes in the film (cocaine, masturbation, burning a mime alive) but as far as I've been able to tell parents weren't gathering with pitchforks trying to boycott this movie or anything like that.

I don’t see Detective Pikachu doing better than Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution in the Japanese box office. Reaction to the Hollywood film has been kind of tepid over here (you don’t see people on Japanese Twitter going “OMG PIKACHU’S SOOOOOOO CUTE IN THIS!!!!!!” all that often) and the movie doesn’t have the big Hollywood stars that Japanese audiences know and love (nobody knows who the hell Justice Smith or Rita Ora are). Plus, there’s a certain (not at all undeserved) stigma attached to Hollywood adaptations of Japanese franchises. The movie will do fine in Japan but I don’t think it’ll be a huge hit.

The movie lasted six weeks in the Japanese Top Ten and ended up making around 2.7 billion yen. That's not much worse than what the animated films do here in Japan; Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, in comparison, stayed in the Top Ten for seven weeks and made the same amount of money, 2.7 billion yen. It did better than I thought it would but it wasn't a huge cultural event or anything like that.


And that does it for this year's predictions!
January 31st will be the 20th anniversary of Dogasu's Backpack so I'll have some new predictions ready to go along with my look back at the last two decades.

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Twilight Wings Updates
January 19th, 2020

Dogasu @ 16:19 JST -- Some additions to the Twilight Wings page from earlier this week:
  • Added a translation of the new series summary posted on the official website. The most interesting part of the new summary, to me, is the line "The main character will change in every episode but everything will be connected by a single Flying Taxi."
  • Added a link to the Japanese version of the episode on YouTube.
  • Added character bios for the main characters from the first episode.
  • Added the complete cast and staff list for the series. Huge thanks to abcboy for pointing out that the Korean dub included romanized credits; it certainly made my work much, much easier!
I've heard people claim that new episodes of this mini-series will be coming out once a month (so from now until July) but I haven't seen that posted officially anywhere yet so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Update: The proof for the above has been provided by abcboy here (Pokémon.com), here (CoroCoro site), and here (Famitsu).

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Twilight Wings
January 15th, 2020

Dogasu @ 7:55 JST -- The first episode of Twilight Wings comes out later today!

Twilight Wings

For those of you who may not remember, Twilight Wings is going to be a series of seven five-minute long animated episodes set in the Galar Region. It's a completely separate entity from Pocket Monsters (2019), the series currently airing Sunday nights on TV-Tokyo. This new series will be uploaded on the official Pokémon YouTube channel.

We still don't know much about the series - we don't even have a trailer yet! - so all we can do is ooh and aah at the staff and cast lists that have been released so far.

The animation is going to be produced by Studio Colorido, an animation studio well known for producing beautiful and unique looking art. Check out their YouTube channel for samples of some of their work.
Shingo Yamashita (山 下清悟) is directing, and I dare you to look at this video showcasing a bunch of the work he's done in the past and not get excited.

The screenplay is being provided by illustrator / author
Sou Kinoshita (木下爽). Weekly Shonen Sunday artist and known Pocket Monsters fan Shin Ogasawara (小笠原真) is doing the character designs.

The music will be provided by
Conisch (コーニッシュ), whose probably most well known as providing the score for Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. He also provided the arrangement for the Pocket Monster Diamond & Pearl songs "Ashita wa Kitto" and the strings / horn arrangements for "High Touch 2009." Masafumi Mima (三間雅文)'s returning as the sound director.

We've got quite a few Pocket Monsters alumni in the series' cast, though we unfortunately do not know who is voicing who in this new series yet. Aoi Yuuki (
悠木碧) stands out as she used to do the voice of Iris in the Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! TV series, as does Kei Shindou (真堂圭), who was Lillie back in the Sun & Moon series. And Eri Kitamura (喜多村英梨) was the voice of the Gym Leader Homika in Best Wishes! Takahiro Sakurai (櫻井孝宏), Yuko Sanpei (三瓶由布子), and Lynn have also done bit parts here and there. The other actors don't seem to have worked on anything related to this franchise before but it is worth highlighting Kazuhiro Yamaji (山路和弘), who's a veteran voice actor who many of you will probably know best as the voice of Silver Fang in One Punch Man. Again, we don't know who any of these actors are portraying in Twilight Wings but it's nice to know we have so many people familiar with the franchise working on this.

Once the series launches later today I'll be updating the page with whatever additional information there is to provide. In the meantime check out the page I've created documenting everything there is to know about this mini-series.


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The manga based on the Pocket Monsters (2019) TV series
January 6th, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:49 JST -- Happy New Year everybody! It's been a while since I've gotten around to updating this thing so let's not waste any time and jump right in. For the site's first update of the new year I'll be taking a look at the two manga out so far that's based on the Pocket Monsters (2019) TV series.

Daisuki ♥ Pocket Monsters (by Hinata Ayu)

Daisuki ♥ Pocket Monsters


Daisuki ♥ Pocket Monsters is a set of two four-page collections of gag comics about a young girl named Mika who loves cute Pokémon. And...that's literally all there is to this series! There really isn't much to this manga at all but I've done my best to provide as much information as I can without just outright posting the whole manga and calling it a day.

Pocket Monsters (by Machito Gomi)

Pocket Monsters (2019)

Pocket Monsters is a new monthly series that adapts current episodes of the
Pocket Monsters (2019) series. Two chapters have been released so far that cover Episodes 002 (Chapter One) and Episodes 004 - 006 (Chapter Two). In addition to the usual summaries of each chapter I've also included comparisons between the TV version and the manga for each of the two chapters released so far.

I'm planning to keep up with the Pocket Monsters (2019) manga on a monthly basis from now until it ends.


There are other Gen 8 manga out at the moment - Pocket Monsters SPECIAL just had its second Sword & Shield chapter released, Let's Play the Pokemon Card Game is now covering the Sword & Shield series, Anakubo Kousaku's Pocket Monsters manga is set to start using Gen 8 characters soon - but those features will be saved for a later update.

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