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Dogasu's Backpack | Rants | Happy Anniversary! (Year Nine)
It's been nine years? Really?
I don't know about you, but I never thought I'd make it to the nine-year mark. That's almost a decade for Christ's sake!
So how was the year 2008? Well...pretty awesome, really. Two-thousand and eight got a bad wrap from a lot of people for a lot of reasons, but I actually think it was a pretty rockin' year. Yes, there were some things about it that outright sucked. But, for the most part, 2008 was a year where the series showed that it still has plenty of steam left. After a year like this one, the very idea of the franchise closing its doors anytime soon is laughable.
The first part of 2008 saw this site begin its painfully long transition to the layout that it currently has. I added banners to each page to help spice up the otherwise text-heavy pages and culled a few sections that were just sitting there, doing nothing. I also considerably cleaned up a few sections (like the Humor and Pokemon Bashing sections) and gave other sections more of a presence on the main sidebar over there to the left. There are still a few minor things I would have liked to do, but at this point, the idea of going through all those html files again (every page on this site is still manually encoded) is not an appealing one.
Aside from the layout stuff, the site saw a total of 32 new episode comparisons uploaded. That's quite a dip from the previous year (I had done 90 comparisons in 2007), but a lot of the ones I did this year were Kanto comparisons, which, by their nature, require more work than the PUSA comparisons I was doing back in '07. I managed to finish off the rest of PUSA's ninth and tenth seasons and started redoing the Kanto comparisons, something I plan to be doing all throughout 2009. Aside from the comparison stuff, I added all those pages for the Region 2 discs in the DVD Guide and did a review for that first batch of the Japan-only Best Collection DVDs. I got the lyrics to a few songs up and even managed to translate the ending theme to the Giratina movie as well. I plan to post more translations throughout 2009, so be on the lookout for that.
I also started dabbling in a little video editing here and there. I mainly started doing them to show off some interesting things for the episode comparisons section, but as I continue to learn more and more about how to get certain effects that I want, I'll probably try to make more videos. I'll just be sure not to upload them onto YouTube anytime soon.
Two thousand and eight also saw a huge number of releases for the franchise. On the video game front, we got The Big Fray - Smash Brothers X, Everyone's Pokemon Ranch, and Pokemon Ranger Battnage. In addition, the U.S. got the second Mysterious Dungeon games and Pokémon Puzzle League on the Wii Virtual Console while Japan got Pocket Monsters Platinum. On the DVD front, Japan saw an unprecedented 27 DVDs released with another eight planned for March '09. Americans got both Battle Frontier DVD sets, an Orange Island box set, some Diamond & Pearl releases, and a bunch of discs in that Pokémon All-Stars series that nobody really cares about. People thought The Rise of Darkrai was going to be released in theaters at the beginning of the year, but that was quickly proven to be nothing but baseless fan speculation and the movie was eventually aired on Cartoon Network and then released on DVD instead.
Speaking of the movies, Giratina and the Sky Bouquet, Shami was released in Japan and came in at number two behind Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, something that isn't all that surprising when you look at how much Japan freakin' loves Miyazaki movies.
Even the manga, something that had been ignored in the States for years, saw some love in the form of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Adventure! and releases of the manga adaptations of the Manaphy and Darkrai movies while Pokémon Adventure was announced for a re-release starting in mid-2009. Japan, meanwhile, saw further releases of Pokemon Special, Anakubo Kousaku's Pocket Monsters DP manga, and Pokemon Diamond & Pearl Adventure! as well as a second Mysterious Dungeon manga, an adaptation of the Giratina movie, Pokemon 7, and others.
The clothing line for us older fans called Pokemon 151 was born (and then quickly done away with) in 2008. In addition, the long-running block Toonami, famous for airing Japanese animated shows and for being the block during which Pokémon Chronicles got its US debut, went off the air as well.
The most depressing news of the year, though, was the death of Maddie Blaustein, the person responsible for the voice of Meowth for half of Season 1 and all of seasons two through eight. There isn't a whole lot to say about that that hasn't already been said, really.
So what about 2009? What will it hold in store for us? One thing I did with last year's anniversary write-up was post a list of predictions, so I think I'd like to do that again this year. I made a few safe predictions last year, so I'll try to make a few more risky ones this year:
I think that in the TV series, Satoshi will get the rest of his badges and Hikari will get the rest of her Contest ribbons. I don't think we'll see the Grand Festival or the Shin'ou League just yet, but I do think we'll see the Ginga-Dan storyline wrapped up.
Satoshi's Hikozaru will probably evolve, and I think the rest of his pokemon that can evolve won't do so until the DP Battle Frontier saga that will inevitably follow.
I think Hikari's Manmoo will learn to obey her as well. I don't think any of her other pokemon will evolve, though.
Even though I predicted that Takeshi's Pinpuku will evolve last year, I'm going to go ahead and say that it'll evolve in 2009 instead. Because really, two years without any team changes at all is just too cruel, even for him.
I don't think Viz will release any DVD boxsets for the Johto seasons. I think the only reason they released the Kanto and Orange Island sets were because those could be marketed toward the nostalgia nuts. Early Johto? Not so much.
The ANA Pokemon shorts will continue to be ignored by PUSA.
As far as the video games go, we already know that a third Mysterious Dungeon game is coming out in Japan while Platinum is coming out in America. I'm assuming we'll be getting that Mysterious Dungeon game in the U.S. before the year's end as well.
I also predict that the North American Wii Virtual Console will get Super Smash Bros on April 27th, 2009. There's actually a reason for me choosing that date.
I think the DSi will see a crappy Pokemon-related mini game release for the DSi Ware that'll still get a gajillion downloads anyway.
Viz will continue releasing Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Adventure!.
I also think they'll eventually pick up Pokemon 7 and release that stateside as well.
Viz will release a few volumes (let's say...four) of Pokemon Adventures, but fans will still complain about these releases because of some minor translation thing that doesn't affect anything.
I'll be sure to check back next January to see how those turned out.
All in all, I'd say 2008 was another good year for this site and for the franchise as a whole. I haven't really started 2009 off on the note I had wanted to as far as website updates go (or, rather, lack of updates), but I'm confident that this year will be another great one.
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