January 2011

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Dogasu's Backpack | Old Updates Archive | January 2011

Dogasu's Backpack turns eleven years old
January 31st, 2011

Dogasu @ 23:55 JST -- Hey!  It’s my site’s eleventh birthday today!  Have a look at the anniversary write-up I did to celebrate.

I was out of the country when the new year came around and forgot to go back to the predictions I made back in 2010 to see how many of them came true.  Well, now’s as good a time as any, so here goes:

Generation V will come out (duh) and will feature a new type or two, a region based on Tohoku, and more touchscreen functionality.  Maybe we'll finally get diagonal movement this time around?

The games did come out, but the rest of my predictions were dead wrong.  You would figure Game Freak would have wanted to finish off the rest of Japan before moving overseas, but I suppose they wanted to make Isshu stand out from the other four regions.  There were no new pokemon types, the touchscreen is still barely used, and Game Freak still insists on restricting movement to four directions.  So, y'know, hooray for Game Freak not making the most basic upgrades possible!

The English version of the fourth Diamond & Pearl movie will be released in the U.S. by the end of the year.

I figured the reason TPCI released their dub of Arceus and the Jewel of Life so soon after its Japanese release was because they wanted to set a new precedent of having their version of the movies air the same year they premiered in Japan.  This didn’t happen, and dub fans went through the entirety of 2010 without a new Pokémon movie.

Viz still won't get around to releasing any Johto DVD box sets despite HeartGold and SoulSilver coming out in the U.S. this year.

To be fair, this was a really easy one to predict.  If HeartGold and SoulSilver can’t get Viz to release box sets of the Johto seasons, I don’t think anything can.  Which is a shame since the old Johto DVDs are out of print and are prohibitively expensive on sites like e-bay.

We already have four volumes of Viz's Pokemon Adventures confirmed for 2010, so I'm going to go ahead and guess that we'll get at least two more than that.  So, in addition the the ones we already know about, Volumes Nine and Ten will come out in 2010.

Looks like I was dead on with this one.  Volume 09 came out in October, and Volume 10 came out in December.

I predict that Viz will also finish up DP Adventure this year.

Another safe one.  The only reason I even made this prediction in the first place was because Viz had been having issues last year with releasing things on time, and I thought that maybe the final volume was going to be delayed or something.

I predict we'll see six CDs released this year; the two The Best Everyday CDs, a soundtrack for the Phantom Ruler movie, two CDs for the movie's ending theme (one with a DVD, one without), a soundtrack for the Generation V games, a single combining a new opening theme and ending theme.

There were actually nine releases in 2010.  I didn’t predict that there would be a third version of Ice Cream Syndrome released, and I don’t think any of us saw the TV Animation Pocket Monsters Original Soundtrack Best 1997-2010 coming.  This last year was a great year for Pocket Monsters music, and with the upcoming release of the second soundtrack in a few weeks, 2011 could have the potential to be just as good.

The dub will reach finish out its twelfth season, officially marking four years since TPCI took over.  That's half of what 4Kids did.  Fans will start discussing the VA switch again.

TPCI has officially dubbed more than half of what 4Kids ended up dubbing during their tenure with the series, but it doesn't look like anyone really noticed.  Will the 4Kids vs TPCI stuff still be going on once TPCI's dub surpasses 4Kids' dub as far as the number of episodes goes?

That's it for the predictions!  Come back tomorrow for the comparison for "The Brockster Is In!"

"The Semi-Final Frontier!"
January 27th, 2011

Dogasu @ 18:49 JST -- Want to read about "The Semi-Final Frontier!"?  Of course you do!

"The Semi-Final Frontier!"

I worried that the Thoughts section of this new comparison was a little "tl;dr."  But then I figured that, hey, people don't come to Dogasu's Backpack because they hate to read.

I also added a line to the end of "An Old Family Blend!" (aka the first episode of the Sinnoh League) that I neglected to mention when I posted that comparison.

TPCI / Cartoon Network hates me
January 26th, 2011

Dogasu @ 07:28 JST -- Well they must, anyway, to not give me any break between the end of Season 13 and the beginning of Season 14.  It's been announced that the English dub of Pocket Monsters Best Wishes!, titled Pokémon: Black & White for us Yanks, will be premiering February 12th, 2011.  Which is in just a little over two weeks.  Oh, and they'll be premiering two episodes instead of one.  And this is also the week after airing a new episode (which is bound to have time cuts since the episode runs long) and a feature length movie.

Anyway, I've got to catch up on the comparisons I haven't finished yet to prepare for the ones coming up.  So here's the comparison for "Battling a Thaw in Relations!"

"Battling a Thaw in Relations!"

The script in the episode was surprisingly decent, so the comparison's not as long as some of the others.  That's a good thing for us!

I've also updated the CD Guide to include the track listing for TV Animation Pocket Monsters Original Soundtrack Best 1997-2010 Vol 2 as posted on the Japanese Amazon site.  Well, what we know of the track listing, anyway.  The listing only contains the M-numbers for now, but I'm sure it'll be updated with the actual track names once the CD is actually out next month. 

I've also updated the List of Pokemon to reflect the fact that Victini's English name has been officially announced.

I'll try to get the comparison for "The Semi-Final Frontier!" up as soon as possible.

A few news stories that have fallen through the cracks
January 24th, 2011

Dogasu @ 07:10 JST -- A few small updates for you.

One, I've added the English names for the three pokemon revealed in the most recent issue Official Nintendo Magazine UK to the List of Pokemon.

Two, I've added the title for the English version of Best Wishes! to its page in the Episode Comparisons section.  Season 14, which we're pretty much all assuming will start sometime around March 5th, will be called "Pokémon:  Black & White."  Which is really one of the most predictable and boring titles I can think of.  I understand it's just a title and that it has no bearing whatsoever on how the actual show will be, but I wish TPCI had come up with something that didn't make the show sound like it came out before the days of Technicolor.

Third, I've updated the page for Victini and the Dark Hero, Zekrom with the full title and new logo.  I've also updated the page with some more information about the location hunting and have provided links to the Wikipedia and Bulbapedia pages for the film.

Finally, new titles have been added to the List of TV Episodes page.

Following up on the last update, it looks like I am missing at least two chapters of Pocket Monsters Special.  I'll see if I can track them down somehow.

Pocket Monsters Special!?  On *my* Dogasu's Backpack?!?
January 21st, 2011

Dogasu @ 18:41 JST -- So you know how I was talking about all the manga I had to catch up on?  Well, I neglected to mention the fact that one of the magazines I picked up was the January 2011 issue of CoroCoro Ichiban.  That magazine has the first chapter of Pocket Monsters Special, so I wrote a summary for it.

Pocket Monsters Special BW Version

You'll probably notice the summary I've posted is shorter than the ones I usually do.  This is because this particular series is already licensed by Viz, making the possibility that this will get released in English someday much stronger than something like, say, Pocket Monsters BW Version.  The goal of this site's Manga Guide is to get you interested in checking these series out for yourself, after all.  Posting panel-by-panel summaries of a series that has little chance of seeing a release in English is one thing, but that doesn't make as much sense for a series that's practically guaranteed to come out in English.  You'll notice I also put up abbreviated summaries of the manga adaptation of Arceus - To the Conquering of Spacetime back when it was announced that Viz would be releasing it stateside, so it's not like Special is the only series I'm doing this for.

Two other chapters are now out, but I want to figure out if I'm missing any other chapters before posting any summaries.  In addition to the CoroCoro Ichiban chapter, I have the one from the February 2011 issue of Shougaku Yon-Nensei and the one from Issue 15 of Pokemon Fan, but they're both kind of confusing.  Neither one of them start from where the previous chapter left off, and it feels like I missed White's introductory chapter somewhere.  Can any of you Pocket Monster Special fans help me out?

Also, on a semi-related note...HOLY FUCK THAT POKEMON FAN MAGAZINE IS EXPENSIVE.  I mean, 800 yen (~ US $9.50) for a kids' publication!?   That's insane.

I'm sure you guys have heard about the yet untitled manga series that starts publication in Weekly Shounen Sunday sometime in March.  The series is getting a lot of exposure, which is weird because every other manga series tends to get ignored.  I'm betting it has mostly to do with this idea going around that this is going to be aimed at a "mature" audience.  But here's the thing.  There has been no official confirmation, anywhere, that the series is going to be any more "mature."  The text in the two snapshots floating around the Internet don't make any such promises, and I haven't heard of anyone who's actually been to the event confirm this for us, either.  The only thing I can figure is that people are seeing that the series is going to run in Weekly Shounen Sunday and automatically assume that it's going to be more "mature" because of that.  Which is a pretty stupid assumption to make.

Viz has their own version of Weekly Shounen Sunday, so they already have somewhere to put it if they ever decide to pick the series up.

I'll try to update Sunday night sometime, but I can't make any promises.

"A Real Rival Rouser!"
January 17th, 2011

Dogasu @ 18:30 JST -- It's time to catch up!  Here's the comparison for "A Real Rival Rouser!"

"A Real Rival Rouser!"

I was worried that I'd be a little rusty after not doing one of these for a few weeks, so I wanted to make sure I took my time with this one to make sure it was up to snuff.  Hopefully, I succeeded.

In music news, the cover art for the TV Animation Pocket Monsters Original Soundtrack Best 1997 - 2010 Vol. 2 has been revealed.  Zooming in on the images of the individual discs reveals that the first disc will contain music from Kanto (1997 - 1998) and the second disc will contain music from Jouto, Houen, and Shin'ou (1999 - 2010).  That may seem really uneven to you, but Kanto did have a lot more original music composed for it than any other region so it makes sense.  The CD Guide has been updated accordingly.

I'll start getting to work on the comparison for "Battling a Thaw in Relations!" soon.  I've also got summaries to do of all the manga in the February 2011 issue of CoroCoro Special (the magazine has three Pocket Monsters-related series now!) and the February 2011 issue of CoroCoro.  That issue's chapter of Anakubo Kousaku's Pocket Monsters BW Version, by the way, has a panel that I already has my vote for "panel of the year" just due to the fact that it even exists.

President Obama?

The man on the left is an obvious stand-in for President Barack Obama, as drawn by Anakubo Kousaku.  You don't see that in Pocket Monsters Special, now do you?

More English pokemon names
January 14th, 2011

Dogasu @ 16:53 JST -- You've already seen these elsewhere, but a bunch of new English Pokémon names have been announced.

Let's all act like twelve year olds and giggle at the fact that the English name for Deathkan contains the word "fag."

Contest results, More random news
January 14th, 2011

Dogasu @ 07:52 JST -- I threw up a contest before I left on winter vacation and am ready to announce the winner!  The winning entry was submitted by watchermark and has to do with the "hermit crab" pokemon, Iwapalace.  Here's the pokemon in question, for those of you who need the refresher.


And now, here's the winning entry:

Ash and friends are standing with an Iwaparesu.

Jessie:  "Who's that Pokémon?"
James:  "Iwaparesu, quite an unusual Pokémon."
Meowth:  "Perfect for 'da boss! Dig it..."

Giovanni is working at his desk and there is so much work his desk is getting full with papers...

Meowth:  "The boss must have to deal with so much paperwork to keep Team Rocket running he doesn't know what to do with it."

Giovanni's desk is now swamped with papers. Iwaparesu wanders over.

Meowth:  "Just as he's about to collapse with frustration, Iwaparesu will be there to allow 'da boss to get his workplace back in working order."

Giovanni puts all his unnecessary papers onto the Iwaparesu's back
Next, Giovanni is in the cafeteria but all the tables are full and he's carrying a heavy looking tray.

Meowth:  "And when 'da boss is searching for a seat at lunch, carrying his meal will make him tired."

Giovanni is now sweating. Iwaparesu wanders over. Giovanni places the tray on Iwaparesu.

Meowth:  "With Iwaparesu around, 'da boss can look for a seat without all that added effort."

Giovanni finds a seat, Iwaparesu following with the tray.
Finally Giovanni is sitting down with throbbing feet.

Meowth:  "And at the end of the day, 'da boss will be desperate to put his feet up."

Iwaparesu wanders over. Giovanni places his aching feet onto Iwaparesu's rock.

Meowth:  "Iwaparesu will be there again! And as the boss relaxes, he'll say..."
Giovanni:  "This Iwaparesu has helped me out, and I'll have to reward Mewoth and his friends for helping me out too!"

The trio are cheering.

Trio:  "We'll have money, promotions, and respect. Oh boy!"
Wobbuffet:  "Wobbuffet!"

Congratulations!  I hope you guys out there enjoyed this entry as much as I did!

The prize for the contest was a choice of three episode comparisons to be done by me at a later date.  Well, watchermark has gotten back to me and told me what three episodes he wants me to write essays on.  They are:
  • Pocket Monsters Episode 136, "The Valley of Lizardon!  Until the Day We Meet Again!!" ("Charizard's Burning Ambitions"), the episode where Lizardon leaves to train in the Lizafic Valley in the Jouto region.
  • Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl Episode 055, "Aipom and Buoysel!  Respective Roads!!" ("Throwing The Track Switch!"), the episode where Buoysel and Aipom are traded.
  • Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl Episode 128, "The Battle Pyramid!  Shinji vs. Jindai!!" ("A Pyramiding Rage!"), where Shinji fights against the Frontier Brain Jindai.
Once I catch up on the DP Sinnoh League Victors comparisons and the manga stuff that's come out in the last few weeks, I'll start to work on those three episodes.  My goal is to have the three of them up by the end of the month, but some of the real life stuff I have coming up soon (i.e. job hunting) might require me to wait until February to finish them up.  I'll try my best to avoid making you guys wait that long.

And now, some 3DS news that the other Pokemon sites seem to be ignoring, for some reason. 
There are two main things about the new handheld, set to go on sale in Japan next month, that all of you guys should know about the system that'll most likely be the home of the Generation VI games.


One is the report that the system will only get about 3-5 hours of playtime on a fully charged battery while playing 3DS games at the screen's lowest brightness level.  Crank the light up and you're looking at an even shorter battery life.  Playing DS games on the system (the 3DS is backwards compatible) will get you 5-8 hours, which still sucks but isn't that much less than what you get with the DSi that's already out right now.  I'm guessing that the "3DS Lite" that we're all assuming will come out in a few years will fix this, but in the meantime, make sure you charge the system before each play session.

The other thing worth mentioning are the rumors that the system will be completely region locked.  As in, not just DSi games and the like, but all 3DS games, period.  This hasn't been confirmed yet, but if it ends up being true, it'll mean that fans who want to import a Japanese copy of any of the Generation VI games will have to also import a Japanese 3DS system.  I'm assuming this will kill trading and battling between international versions of the Pocket Monsters games as well.

Finally, those of you who like a little bit of Schadenfreude will be happy to know that Alfred R. Kahn is retiring from 4Kids.  This isn't really relevant to us Pocket Monsters fans anymore since 4Kids lost the rights to the franchise half a decade ago, but I still feel like it's something that's worth bringing up here.  Those of you who are more recent fans of the franchise might want to check out this page of quotes to get an idea of why the man is hated so much by fans of Japanese animation.

I'm going to start working on the most recent DP Sinnoh League Victors comparison soon and will try to have it up before the end of the weekend.

Catching up
January 12th, 2011

Dogasu @ 00:32 JST -- I'm back!  Hope you guys all had a great holiday period!  Jet lag is kicking my ass right now, so I'll make this quick.

I've updated the List of TV Episodes with all the new Japanese and English titles that have been announced during my break.  The final episode of DP Sinnoh League Victors is scheduled to air on February 5th, and Black & White isn't scheduled to come out in the U.S. until March 6th (I've updated the Video Games section with this info, by the way), so I'm betting we'll get about a month break between the end of Season 13 and the beginning of Season 14.  On the Japanese side of things, I'm counting the Hikari and Takeshi episodes as regular Best Wishes! episodes because, quite frankly, I see no reason to not count them.  The Japanese media love to label everything a "special" (those "one hour specials" are really just an airing of two episodes back to back, for example), so the fact that these episodes are being promoted as "Diamond & Pearl specials" doesn't really mean anything.  They're airing during Best Wishes! timeslot and seem to be two separate episodes with two separate titles, so unless I hear otherwise, I'm assuming they're to be counted just like any other BW episode.

I've also updated the List of Pokemon page with all those English names that were revealed the other week.

Like I said, jet lag is kicking my ass, so I'm going to wait until tomorrow before I attempt to make any real content update.




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