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Dogasu's Backpack | Rants | Happy Anniversary! (Year Two)
"Wow, you're still doing your website!?"
That's the reaction I get from people whom I've talked to for the first time after a long while. And I guess it is kind of unbelievable, as it seems to be the trend nowadays for Pokemon websites to slowly vanish, one by one. Remember how there used to be three super-Pokemon sites? UPNetwork, Bulbagarden, and the Pokemasters? UPNetwork shut down after a loss of interest and because of financial problems. Bulbagarden is still up, but it really seems to be on its last leg (I mean, have you been to it lately? It looks like a graveyard or ghost town or something). And then there's the Pokemasters, which is really the only one of the three that updates reguraly.
So what about my site? I know that no one considers my site one of the "big websites" and that it's just one in the many sea of Pocket Monsters fansites. But that's OK. I never wanted to be a huge mega-site in the first place. I just wanted a forum for me to express my fandom for a series and to give it the attention that it deserves. I wanted to educate people about the "other side" of Pokemon, and it seems that in that respect I've succeeded. But there was another reason.
There are so many people out there who consider Pokemon to be nothing more than a 22-minute advertisement and that it doesn't deserve to be called a "real" anime, and I wanted to show these people otherwise. Sure, it isn't an adult title. It doesn't have the psycho-drama of Neon Genesis Evangelion. It isn't as stylistic as Cowboy Bebop. But just because it isn't any of those things doesn't mean it isn't a "real" anime. And the reason why it is is much more than just "because it was animated in Japan."
The show has a certain charm. The Rocket-Dan are a constant source of delight. The TV series, despite the fact that the writers continuously lose their focus, is one of the best--if not the best--video game to anime adaptions around. And any open-minded viewer will find a pokemon or ten that immediately appeals to him or her. I can name a huge list of other anime titles that aren't nearly as entertaining as Pocket Monsters. Behind the anime are a set of wonderful video games, each one having a unique depth to them that's rare in Game Boy games--they really are solid little games.
What's happening to Pokemon in the United States is very similar to what's happening to Dragon Ball Z in the United States. Dragon Ball Z's final season will air this fall on Cartoon Network this fall, and when the show ends I guarantee you'll see a ton of fan sites shut down. Another wave of sites will close once Dragon Ball GT ends (which will probably be in 2003), and then a final wave at the end of Dragon Ball. It won't be popular anymore, it won't be the "newest fad."
Sound familiar? Now that Pokemon is no longer mega-popular, no one wants anything to do with it. If a kid were to go to school today and announce that he plays the Pokemon games, he will most likely be shunned. "You still play with THAT game? That's so old!" The general idea is that kids grow out of Pokemon and "graduate" to Dragon Ball Z because that show is newer and more hip (despite the fact that the last episode of Dragon Ball Z is older than the first episode of Pocket Monsters).
There was actually a short period when I did consider shutting the site down. It happened around August-September time when I experienced a severe lost of interest in the series. The show was boring to me, getting past the Whirlwind Islands in the video game was proving to be tedious, and I just didn't care as much. I was thinking that I'm 18-years old (now I'm 19) and I'm sitting there analyzing a show for 10-year olds. It's not exactly something you go around bragging about. Plus, I was spending quite a bit of time and money on the site (money for more episodes and such) and was wondering what it would be like without it.
But luckily, one day I woke up and my fandom was suddenly revived. I don't know why, but I think it has something to do with having nothing to do at work and practically being forced to play Pokemon Gold for hours on end. Or the fact that I hadn't seen the show in a few months and had taken the break from it that I needed. But whatever it was, it got me back into the saddle, so to speak. Something was turned on inside me that made me want to continue. Maybe the thought of NOT working on a website was too weird for me, I dunno. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, because many of the people who lose interest with the series never have that interest rejuvenated.
So yes, there are a lot of people out there who will tell me that I'm wasting my time and that the adventures of Satoshi and Pikachu don't deserve as much attention as I give it. But why should I care what they think. The positive e-mails and Guestbook Messages far outnumber the number of negative ones, so I have absolutely no reason to quit.
Anyway, enough of that. My site's been up for two years now, and I'm happy to report that there's more on the way. I'm currently in the process of getting more Japanese episodes for the comparisons pages. With any luck, I'll finish out the Sekei League this year--I already have half the league done as of this writing. It's hard to tell, however, because that all depends on how many episodes I'm able to get my hands on. But I'm currently working with someone who may be able to fill in a large number of gaps on my Comparisons page, so lets just keep our fingers crossed.
So what happened this past year? Well, we got the release of the third movie, which had rather disappointing numbers and prompted 4Kids to consider a direct-to-video release for the fourth movie, which came out in Japan this past summer. The dubbed Mewtwo Lives special came out, as well as a batch of new episodes. Pokemon Crystal came out, as did Smash Brothers Melee. And the Pokemon Center opened in New York City. There definately wasn't a shortage of pokemon news.
The coming year will definately give me fresh material to work with. There will be a new season of 52 dubbed episodes, the fourth movie and raikou special should come out, and the fifth movie is coming out in Japan. And maybe, just maybe, Satoshi will finish out the Jouto League in Japan. So there's definately good stuff coming our way.I'm ending this essay feeling a little uncontent with it. I feel like I had to rush it to get it done on time, but I'm sure that next year's anniversary essay will be better :)
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