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Dogasu's Backpack | Old Updates Archive | December 2022
Pokémon Shock In Japan: Day 5
December 16th, 2022
Dogasu @ 23:11 JST -- I wrap up my "Pokémon Shock In Japan" feature for the week with something we almost never hear about; how were Japanese fans reacting to all that was happening back then? Let's take a look at the Fan Response section to find out!
In tonight's update, I comb through the "Letters to the Editor" sections of a bunch of old Japanese magazines to see what anime fans were writing about in late 1997 / early 1998. You have to remember; back then nobody know when, or even if, the show was ever going to come back. I think the uncertainty people felt, especially back in an era where we couldn't just hop on social media to see what everyone else thinks, can be heard loud and clear through these letters and postcards.
I meant to also post feeback from the May 1998 issue of Animedia but I unfortunately ran out of time. Some other day then!
And that's it for Pokémon Shock In Japan week! I hope you enjoyed this really in depth look at an incident that I'm afraid not that many people know that much about. I literally spent six months working on everything you saw me upload this week and so I hope you'll think it was all worth it. The Pokémon Shock holds a special place in my heart, as weird as that sounds, since those initial Reuters reports are how I was introduced to the franchise in the first place!
I may make a few more little tweaks to the pages in this section over the next week or so but other than that I'm going to take it easy for the next few weeks.
Pokémon Shock In Japan: Day 4
December 15th, 2022
Dogasu @ 19:07 JST -- For Day 4 of "Pokémon Shock In Japan" I've got another long form translation for you: translations of Takeshi Shudo's Blogs on the subject!
Takeshi Shudo was the series organizer for the original Pocket Monster TV show back when "Cyber Soldier Porygon" aired on TV-Tokyo. Years and years later, Mr. Shudo would go on to run a blog, How to Craft a Story: Takeshi Shudo, How Anyone Can Become a Screenplay Writer (シナリオえーだば創作術 だれでもできる脚本家 首藤剛志) in which he told stories about his life as a screenplay writer. In 2008 he wrote a bunch of entries related to the Pokémon Shock incident and so I translated all of those into English.
The blog entries are all really, really long and are probably about 80% filler, as far as Pokémon Shock content goes, and so I took the liberty of picking out only the relevant parts and presenting them on the pages linked to above. If you'd prefer to read complete, unabridged translations then I've got you covered as well; you can download those translations here. These full translations probably took me just as long, if not longer, than that Pokémon Story translation I posted Monday night so there's a lot there for you to go through, if you choose.
The blog entries offer a lot of insight about the incident from a side of the franchise we hadn't heard from until now so definitely be sure to check them out!
Pokémon Shock In Japan: Day 3
December 14th, 2022
Dogasu @ 19:00 JST -- We're now at the halfway point of the site's "Pokémon Shock In Japan" and so I thought I'd shake things up a bit by providing you with some video content for a change!
For today's update I took all the Japanese TV news reports related to the Pokémon Shock incident I was able to find on the Internet, added subtitles to them, and then uploaded them to my YouTube channel! You can see links to all the videos in the "Japanese TV News Reports" page. The six videos I uploaded have a total runtime of nearly an hour so I think you'll be able to get a pretty good glimpse of what the reporting looked like back then.
And just in case you're wondering yes, fansubbing the news is really effing difficult LOL.
Do you know of any other Japanese news programs from that first week (December 16th - December 22nd, 1997) that I haven't translated? I know of a 12 minute "Sunday Morning" broadcast that I didn't have enough time to finish translating but other than that I think I maybe got them all...? If you know of any others floating around out there then please let me know and I'll see what I can do!
Pokémon Shock In Japan: Day 2
December 13th, 2022
Dogasu @ 19:13 JST -- Day Two of my "Pokémon Shock In Japan" week is a translation of a part of an interview with none other than Satoshi Tajiri himself!
"Satoshi Tajiri World" ~ Long Interview is a 33-page interview printed in Pokémon Story, the same book I translated all those chapters from in last night's update. It's broken up into eight parts, and Part Five, "The TV Incident," provides us with roughly three pages of Mr. Tajiri's (somewhat scattered) thoughts on the Pokémon Shock incident. And so I translated those three pages! To my knowledge this is the only interview in which Satoshi Tajiri talks about what happened the night of December 16th, 1997 and so I'm really excited to share something so rare with all of you.
I know people are probably going to ask me to translate the rest of the interview but quite frankly I do not see myself doing that in the foreseeable future. Sorry, but I'm a fan of the Pokémon anime first and foremost and so that's where I'm putting all my energy moving forward.
With this, I've now done everything with the book Pokémon Story that I have planned for the week. I know for sure I'll be going back to it over and over again so don't worry, you haven't seen the last of it!
Pokémon Shock In Japan: Day 1
December 12th, 2022
Dogasu @ 19:00 JST -- For the past six months or so I've been working on a big project for the site that I'm happy to finally be able to reveal to you all today: today is the start of Pokémon Shock In Japan week at Dogasu's Backpack.
Every single day from now until this Friday the 16th I'll be posting a new translation of something related to Pokémon Shock, the name given to the incident that took place on December 16th, 1997 in which hundreds of kids were sent to the hospital after watching Pocket Monsters Episode 038 "Cyber Soldier Porygon." This Friday will mark 25 years since that fateful day and so I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion.
I had about a million ideas of what I could do to commemorate this milestone but I eventually decided that, for the 25th anniversary, I would highlight the voices of a group we rarely hear about in the English speaking world; the Japanese people who actually lived through this whole ordeal. There is actually a ton of information out there about the incident -- it was a major, MAJOR news story, after all -- but most of it had been inaccessible for literally decades due to the language barriers in place. The goal of this week is to change that.
For Day One, I've translated something that provides the most thorough run down of the incident I've ever come across; the three chapters of a book called Pokémon Story that are dedicated to the Pokémon Shock incident. You can read my translation here. "Pokémon Story" is a 543 page beast of a book released back in December 2000 that goes through the early history of the franchise, from the formation of Game Freak through Pocket Monsters Red & Green's development, the franchise becoming a national sensation, and Pokémon's break into a worldwide phenomenon. It's a book a lot of fans in the West haven't even heard about for a variety of reasons (it's only available in Japanese, it's more than 20 years out of print, its name isn't very Google friendly, etc.) but after today's update I hope this book will appear on more fans' radars because Pokémon Story is an absolute treasure trove of information I haven't seen anywhere else.
The translation is a bit long (40 pages!) and so it's not something you'll be able to skim through in five minutes. But if you do take the time to read through everything presented I'm confident you'll walk away knowing way, way more about what happened 25 years ago than you ever knew was even out there.
As always, any and all feedback about my translation work is welcome. With this translation in particular, I've read and re-read what I've written so many times over the last few months that the words have just about lost all meaning to me and so it's very possible some some strange or unusual phrases managed to squeak through. If you have any notes or questions about this translation then please let me know.
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