April 2020

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Dogasu's Backpack | Old Updates Archive | April 2020

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"
April 30th, 2020

Dogasu @ 01:01 JST -- It's been a while since I've talked about Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" so tonight is all about getting this site's section on the film up to date.

Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko"

Basically everything I can think of to update in regards to this movie has been added to the site's section of the film:
  • A translation of the story synopsis from the official site can be found here.
  • Translations of all the movie trailers that have come out so far can be found here.
  • The staff list can be found here while the cast list is here.
  • Character bio translations have been added here.
  • Details about the pre-order bonuses can be found here. The pre-order tickets were supposed to go on sale April 17th but got pushed back to a vague "coming soon" date due to COVID-19.
  • Details about the illustration contest, which has now come to a close, have been archived here.
The movie is still, incredibly, slated for a July 10th release despite the fact that literally every other movie scheduled to come out in Japan this summer has already been postponed due to COVID-19. Promotion for the film has also been conspicuously quiet; by this time last year we already knew the guest voice actors, the name of the movie's ending theme song, and had a preview of the manga adaptation. The fact that promotion for this movie just kind of stopped after the big info dump we got at the end of February is very telling.

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"Twilight Wings" Episode 004 + Official Apology from Pokémon
April 25th, 2020

Dogasu @ 10:53 JST -- The fourth episode of Twilight Wings, "Early-Evening Waves," debuted in Japan on April 17th and so I've got the usual episode link, full cast list, and full staff list and  up.

About a week after "Early-Evening Waves" was released the official Pokémon Twitter issued an apology for getting fans' hopes up by including a Pokémon you can't currently get in the Pocket Monsters Sword & Shield video games.

【Apology】 In the web series "Twilight Wings," Pokémon that do not appear in Pocket Monsters Sword & Shield are featured in the episode. We apologize unreservedly for any confusion caused by their inclusion.

Of all the Pokémon who appear in the episode the only one that you cannot (currently) get in the Generation 8 video games is Jugon.


Fans replying to the apology on Twitter point out that we've had plenty of instances of Pokémon appearing in the weekly TV series who weren't in the video games, with Takeshi's Foretos in the Advanced Generation series and Pikachu and Nyarth in early Best Wishes! being obvious examples, and so a few Jugon appearing on-screen for a few seconds is no big deal.

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Kumiko Okae, 1956 - 2020
April 23rd, 2020

Dogasu @ 18:06 JST -- Actress Kumiko Okae (岡江久美子) has passed away today at the age of 63 due to pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, her talent agency Staff-up announced earlier today.

Kumiko Okae

The agency's website posted a letter announcing Ms. Okae's death:

An announcement about our talent, Kumiko Okae

Kumiko Okae (legal name: Kumiko Owada), one of the members of our agency, passed away on April 23rd, 2020 at 5:20am from pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus. She was 63 years old.
As we bring you this news, we would like to thank Ms. Okae for all the kindness she shared with us during his lifetime.

Ms. Okae developed a fever on April 3rd and said she would see how she feels for about four or five days but ended up being rushed to a hospital
when her symptoms got worse on the morning of April 6th. She was immediately put into the ICU and hooked up to a ventilator and then, later, was administered a PCR test where she tested positive for COVID-19. She continued to receive aggressive treatment but she was unfortunately not able to recover. Ms. Okae had received surgery for early stage breast cancer at the end of last year and underwent radiation therapy from January to the end of February of this year so it is thought that her weakened immune system exasperated the illness. We would like to thank all the medical personnel who treated her from the bottom of our hearts.

Her husband, Baku Owada, and her daughter, Miho Owada, have been staying in their respective homes ever since Ms. Okae was hospitalized. They do not have any symptoms at the moment. However, they've all experiencing a great shock and are not in a condition to deal with others right now. We ask that you please respect their privacy during this difficult time. A funeral service and wake have not been announced but there are plans for a "Farewell Ceremony" to take place at a later date.
We respectfully ask that flowers or other gifts not be sent.

We apologize for the trouble this causes to our clients and ask for your understanding.

Ms. Okae was one of the guest voices for 2005's Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation The Movie "Mew and the Wave-Guiding Hero, Lucario." She played the role of Jenny, Queen Ilene's...I guess you could say she's her maid?


Doing a quick little pop up in a Pocket Monsters film is really just a blip in Ms. Okae's over 45 year career. She appeared in dozens of TV dramas and variety programs, most notably as a moderator on the TBS variety show Hanamaru Market (はなまるマーケット) and as a regular guest on the NHK quiz show The Word Association Game (連想ゲーム). Her voiceover resume is comparatively small but she played the role of Elina in The Dog of Flanders film and Haru's mother in The Cat Returns.

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

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The Pocket Monsters TV series goes on hiatus
April 19th, 2020

Dogasu @ 20:38 JST -- After tonight's airing of Pocket Monsters (2019), the show's official Twitter account announced that the show is going on hiatus for the forseeable future. Reruns will air during the show's Sunday evening timeslot instead.

Here's the official announcement:

An announcement from the show
In an effort to create a safe environment for the show's production as the number of novel coronavirus infections increases, and with the state of emergency declaration in mind, parts of the show's production will go on a temporary break. Accordingly, Pocket Monsters will be going into reruns starting with next week's broadcast.

<番 組からのお知らせ>

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe declared a nationwide state of emergency on April 16th as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to increase throughout Japan. The state of emergency is currently scheduled to be lifted on May 6th, though that date may be extended as the number of new infections continues to grow.

The last time a Pocket Monsters show went on hiatus was in 1997 when the original series was taken off the air in response to the Pokémon Shock incident. That particular hiatus ended up lasting a total of four months. There is no projected end date for the current hiatus but the "parts of the show's production" line in the official announcement leads me to believe that the show hasn't halted production completely.

Many other animated properties in Japan - from One Piece to the new Neon Genesis Evangelion movie - have also gone into hiatus as a result of the virus.

To date, Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" is still scheduled to be released on July 10th, 2020 despite the fact that basically every other film slated to come out this summer has already been postponed.

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Keiji Fujiwara, 1964 - 2020
April 16th, 2020

Dogasu @ 20:08 JST -- Voice actor Keiji Fujiwara has passed away at the age of 55, his talent agency announced earlier today.

Keiji Fujiwara

The website for the agency, Air Agency, provided the following statement:

Mr. Keiji Fujiwara, who was both the president of our company and one of our voice actors, has passed away at the age of 55 on April 12th, 2020 after a long battle with cancer.

As we bring you this news, we would like to thank Mr. Fujiwara for all the kindness he shared with us during his lifetime. A private funeral service and wake will be held by his family. We respectfully ask that flowers or other gifts not be sent.

弊 社代表取締役及び所属声優である藤原啓治が癌のためかねてより闘病中のところ令和2年4月12日満55歳で逝去いたしました。

ここに生前のご厚誼を深く感謝するとともに 謹んでお知らせ申し上げます。尚 通夜及び告別式につきましては親族のみにて執り行われました。誠に勝手なが らご香典ご供花の儀はご辞退申し上げます

Mr. Fujiwara played Matsubusa, the leader of the Magma-Dan, in Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation as well as the Usokkie in the fifth Pikachu movie The Glittering Starlit Camp. He also portrayed Mewtwo in the Japanese versions of the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch Super Smash Bros. games.


Outside Pocket Monsters, Mr. Fujiwara is best known as the voice of the father from Crayon Shin-chan, Maes Hughes from Fullmetal Alchemist, and Holland Novak from Eureka Seven, among others. He also provided the Japanese dub voices for Willy Wonka from 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Tony Stark / Iron Man from the various Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

Condolences to Mr. Fujiwara's family and friends.  May he rest in peace.

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Rougela in Animation - From Black to Purple
April 1st, 2020

Dogasu @ 23:51 JST -- This news is a few years old at this point but it's something I don't find that people are aware of so I thought I'd devote a site update to it: a purple edit of the late Johto episode "The Ice Cave," the episode that 4Kids didn't even bother to dub because of how much Jynx appears in it, is something that now exists in Japan.


So, I went and completely revamped my write-up for the episode and added a gallery of the 43 scenes that were recolored to make Rougela compliant with her more modern purple-face design. The full image gallery can be found at the following links:

But that's not all! A bunch of other episodes have also been quietly edited over the years to change Rougela from black to purple so I went and made a page I'm calling Rougela in Animation - From Black to Purple to keep track of what's been changed and what hasn't. Does a purple version exist of, say, that episode from the Orange Islands where Kanna appears? Or how about the Dr. Ookido Pokémon Lecture segment from that one Johto episode? That first Pokémon Contest episode from Advanced Generation? This page has those answers and more.

The page should cover all the times the black-faced version of Rougela has ever appeared in anything animated but it's entirely possible I missed an appearance or two. If there's a Rougela / Jynx appearance I'm missing then please let me know via one of the links below.

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