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Dogasu's Backpack | Rants | Happy Anniversary! (Year Sixteen)

By Dogasu
Posted 02-14-2016

Old school

Remember when I used to do Episode Comparisons?

When I went back and reviewed all my site's updates for 2015 to remind myself of what all had happened, I noticed that I've only done like nine comparisons throughout the year 2015. Nine! For a site that's only really famous for its comparisons between the Japanese version and the English version of the TV show (if we're being really honest here) that number seems really low doesn't it?  I can sit here and spend all day giving you reasons why my input in 2015 was as low as it was - I changed careers at the beginning of the year, had to study to receive certifications to go along with my job change, got distracted by other franchises whenever I did have free time - but that still doesn't change the fact that I'm just not churning things out as regularly as I used to. My output last year was at least better than 2014 was so my goal 2016 is to keep that momentum going.

Me not doing episode comparisons wasn't the only thing going on in 2015 though! Back in January I introduced a lot of people to Yokai Watch and explained how it's this really huge force that's been giving Pokemon a run for its money here in Japan. I haven't updated that "article" since then but, long story short, Yokai Watch is still going really strong. The TV show continues to crush Pocket Monsters in the ratings and the franchise has gotten so big that the second Yokai Watch movie even did better than Star Wars!  I think understanding just how big a deal Yokai Watch is in Japan is key to picking apart what happened with Pokemon in 2015. There weren't any new main series Yokai Watch games in 2015, so there weren't any main series Pocket Monsters games in 2015, either. The Hoopa movie made what was obviously a desperate attempt to attract more people to theaters, what with its fanfic-y ALL LEGENDARYZ EVAR!!11!1!1 thing and all, and the TV series got an abrupt name change despite the fact that there weren't any new main series games coming out at the time. It all seems a little desperate, y'know? While Pokemon is very much an international franchise at this point it's still, at its heart, a Japanese-made property. What's going on in Japan matters, and if Yokai Watch keeps kicking Pokemon's ass in its home country then those effects are going to be felt worldwide.

Mewtwo Strikes Back
Revelation Lugia
Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI

Website-wise, I think the thing I liked most about 2015 was the continuation of those "Movie Mondays" things I started back in 2013. I took a second swing at "Mewtwo Mondays," creating articles about the Kanzenban version of "The Birth of Mewtwo" and the manga adaptation (something I didn't actually have the first time around) before moving on to the second movie with "Lugia Lundis." And then, last month, I moved onto the third movie with "Entei Enero."
My goal for 2016 is to at least finish up the last of the two Pocket Monsters movies (Celebi Saturday? [email protected] Lunedì?) so I can start diving into the Advanced Generation films in 2017. Sound like a plan?

These movie updates are actually a lot of fun for me because they allow me to discover new things about these films that either weren't common knowledge or had simply been lost through time.  It's so easy to assume that if there was anything new to learn about these old movies that we'd have already found out about it by now but it turns out that isn't true at all. Pocket Monsters is one of those franchises where there's always something new and exciting coming out, making it super easy to never look back and to only ever look ahead. These movie updates provide an opportunity to take a moment to breathe and discover that, hey, there's still a lot of really cool stuff out there that we know nothing about.

The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa

But it wasn't just old movies I took a look at in 2015! I also covered Pokémon the movie XY "The Archdjinn of the Rings Hoopa" & "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band" extensively, translating a ridiculous number of articles from the official website and adding as much information about the movie as I could find. I remember getting up early on Thursday mornings and sitting through Oha Suta episodes so I could watch those Hoopa's Great "Appear"~ Operation shorts and be the first one to post summaries of them online. I also remember picking up the Appear, the Small Djinn Hoopa DVD from 7-11 and how the staff there didn't seem to know how exactly to ring it up since it was sealed in an envelope without any visible barcodes. I feel like my coverage of these movies gets more and more in-depth as the years go on (compare the latest movie's page to my Kyurem vs. The Sacred Swordsman Keldeo page, for example) and I expect my coverage of the Volcanion movie this year to continue that trend.

I'm also not quite done with the Hoopa movie just yet, by the way. I've got some more translations  and a review of the film's novelization coming up so be on the lookout for that this year as well.

I'm also one of the few English-speaking webmasters out there who have been playing Pokkén Tournament from Day One, providing semi-regular updates about what is still a Japan-only arcade game. There's even a blurb on the game's Bulbapedia page that's basically telling its visitors to Dogasu's Backpack if you want to learn more about the game!  I've been having a lot of fun with it over the past half a year or so and I can't wait for everyone else to get a chance to play the Wii U version when it comes out next month.

Use Dogasu's Backpack

With 2016 being the franchise's 20th anniversary I think I'll start my yearly predictions with what I think is going to be going on with Pokemon video games in 2016:

Gee I wonder which version I'm getting?
  • Since it's the 20th anniversary I expect to see a lot of interviews where they pull Tajiri Satoshi out of hiding and have him tell stories about the games' development. I've already seen one such interview earlier this month and I expect to see a ton more as the year goes on.
  • The Virtual Console re-releases of Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow will be huge hits that break all kinds of 3DS eShop records. We'll also, unfortunately, see tons of message board threads popping up from newbies wondering how they can transfer their Mewtwo from their copy of Red to their Omega Ruby game or where you can find a Lucarionite in Kanto. Prepare to facepalm a lot is what I'm saying.
  • So until last week I was going to make this big bold prediction that 2016 was going to be the year that we'd see Generation VII come out but then Magiana was leaked so I guess that prediction's not so bold anymore now is it? I mean the only Generation VI pokemon left to be distributed is Volcanion and we already know that it's coming out this summer so we've gotta have something ready for 2017's film. Yokai Watch 3 is coming out this summer and I'm pretty sure Game Freak's aware that releasing a rehash game like Pocket Monsters Z won't be enough to take back the reigns so I say they're going to unexpectedly skip a third version and head straight to Generation VII instead. I'm predicting a post-E3 announcement (but before the release of the Volcanion movie) and a November-ish release date.
  • Pokémon Go isn't going to be even a little bit like the announcement commercial. There is absolutely no way Nintendo is going to let the Pokémon name be put on a product that basically encourages children to wander off into the woods / dark alleyways / God knows where else without adult supervision and the potential for even grown-ass men and women to be killed because of this app is just way too high. So instead I think it's going to be a very restricted, very controlled experience that tells players where to go in only the vaguest of terms ("inside building," "in Central Park," "near lake," "in Times Square") so users can get in and out without incident. Fans will be disappointed that the game doesn't meet their unrealistic expectations but it'll still be downloaded a gajillion times any damn way.
  • Pokkén Tournament will come out in March and will be a marginal hit. It won't do badly, by any means, but it won't be this huge mega seller that gives the Wii U a second life either. The arcade version will continue vanishing from Japanese arcades and will pretty much be gone by the end of the year.
  • I think the recently released in Japan Detective Pikachu game will see a Western release before the summer. I also don't think the game will feature Danny DeVito or any other big-name celebrities in its voice cast; they'll probably just use whoever TPCI has available at the time.
Now, let's move on to the TV series:

Satoshi vs. Alan
  • This year Satoshi will get his eighth Gym Badge, Serena will get her third Princess Key, Eureka will cry over Puni-chan a lot, and Citron will continue doing nothing in the background.
  • Satoshi didn't get a Mega Evolved pokemon in 2013, or 2014, or 2015, and guess what? He's not getting one in 2016 either. He has his Satoshi Gekkouga now anyway so it's pretty obvious that his Kalos Water-Type is going to be playing that role.
  • I think Satoshi and Alan will battle a few more times before having their big showdown during the climax of the Zygarde arc. Satoshi Gekkouga will defeat Alan's Mega Lizardon and Alan will humbly accept his defeat before wishing Satoshi good luck at the Kalos League.
  • Satoshi will compete in the Kalos League and beat Shouta but will lose to some new Trainer none of us have met yet. I think he'll bring back a bunch of his older pokemon for the League but I don't see any of his Isshu pokemon getting a lot of screentime for some reason.
  • The Rocket trio are a little bit harder to pin down. It seems like they're trying to have Musashi, Kojirou, and Nyasu involved in the Flare-Dan plot and the amount of merchandise coming out this year suggests that they're still quite popular so I don't see them going anywhere for the time being. The trio also has yet to miss a single XY&Z episode and I suspect that trend of showing up in every episode will continue throughout the rest of the year. Oh, and Musashi will get her second and third Princess Keys but will lose the Master Class or whatever they're calling it.
  • After the Hoopa movie's abysmal performance last year I expect there to be noticeable budget cuts with this year's movie. I don't think they'll get the money to go on any location scouting trip, for example, and I think the amount of promotion for the film will be way, way down from what it was last year.
  • I don't expect to see the TV series do much of anything for the games' 20th anniversary since the TV show's 20th isn't actually until 2017. I'm totally down for a remastered Blu-ray set of the original Pocket Monsters TV series for 2017, though.

Miscellaneous predictions!

  • Manga-wise...I actually haven't been following any of the manga much this year so I don't really know what kind of predictions to make. Pocket Monsters Special and Anakubo Kousaku's Pocket Monsters continuing and a Volcanion movie adaptation coming out are a given but other than that I've got nothing. I imagine a new Generation VII manga will come out by the end of the year that'll end up getting collected into a single graphic novel volume in 2017.
  • I think Pocket Monsters Special Volume 53 will finally come out in 2016 and will be followed relatively shortly by 54 and 55.
  • I think we'll see a re-release of the Pokérap in the U.S. Maybe TPCI will record a new version with all-new visuals? And then upload it to their YouTube channel / Pokemon.com?
  • "Nostalgia" is one of the few weapons Pocket Monsters has that Yokai Watch doesn't so I expect to see The Pokémon Company really strive to reach us older fans in 2016. Whether it's through merchandise that taps into that sense of nostalgia or special events aimed at us older fans I think there will be plenty of things coming out in 2016 that will make those of us who have been with the franchise from day one very happy.
And that's it! I have about a million ideas floating around my head for website content and some of them are bound to materialize in 2016 so be on the lookout for content you won't be able to find anywhere else!



  Dogasu's Backpack is a fan-created website  Pocket Monsters (Pokémon) is © 1995-2016 Nintendo / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK, Inc. / Pokémon USA / 4Kids Entertainment Inc.  No infringement of copyrights is meant by the creation of the web site.

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