Backpack celebrates its nineteenth birthday today. Eighteen is a big
because you can make lame “your website is an adult” jokes (as I
last year!) and twenty is two. whole. decades but nineteen is just
awkward transition year. In other words, if my site's age was a Pocket Monsters movie number it'd be 2016’s Volcanion
and the Tricky Magearna. So…hooray?
my site’s 19th year I started a
well-intentioned project I called
Translation Tuesdays that produced some exciting content but
unfortunately didn't end up lasting very long. It turns out that
translating large walls of text is much more time
than I had initially calculated! I loved being able to work on things
like the Masa’aki
Iwane interview, dabbling in scanslation with that “Making Of”
feature on Satoshi Nakano, and translating (deep breath) The
why he said “New Director, I Choose You!” The real story behind the
from Director Yuyama to Director Yajima and so I am happy with what
I was able to do.
One of the goals of this project, other than to make a dent in my
gigantic translation backlog, was to help Western fans become just a
little bit more familiar with the show's staff. With a Western show we
can just read whatever interviews are posted and with many of the
bigger Japanese cartoons we can read translations by that franchise's
bilingual fans. But in the case of Pocket
Monsters, there are, with very few exceptions, little to nothing
out there in English. It's so easy to think of the people who create
this franchise as this group of faceless names and so my thinking with
all this was that bringing you the words of this show's prominent
animators, character designers, etc.. we can all get one step closer to
knowing who these people actually are. That's also why it was so
important for me to post all those voice actor reactions in my Unshou
Ishizuka tribute; these are real human beings, and they matter.
Let's get to know them before it's too late.
then aside from the movie stuff, which always takes up a good chunk of
updates in any given year, I also managed to post a review
of the Sun
& Moon planetarium special and
create the Understanding
“seasons” of the TV show page. The latter was
something I had been kicking around in my head for a few years but just
sat down to write, something that’s unfortunately somewhat of a pattern
Dogasu’s Backpack. The former is the kind of thing I love doing because
like these planetarium specials are so poorly documented, even among
fans, and so writing out detailed summaries and reviews and all that is
I can kind of give back to the fandom.
enough of this patting myself on the back here. Every year I make a set
going to happen with this franchise we all know and love and so let’s
right in to what I think is going to happen in 2019:
|Video Games: Generation 8
will come out on the Nintendo Switch on November 1st in most
worldwide. It will debut at least 100 new pokemon and include a number
cross-generation evolutions (and no, not just a new Eevee or three).
new pokemon will be Mewthree. It’ll debut in Movie 22
first and then be
available as a Mystery Gift the first month or so after the Gen 8 games
new region will be based on the U.K.
Gyms will make a comeback but they will have some new gimmick to make
them a weird mix of old school Pokemon Gyms and island challenges.
gimmick was evolution based and Gen 7’s was attack based and so I think
in-battle gimmick will be something centered around trading. What I’m
that you’d have a seventh pokemon on a bench somewhere that you can
with one of your unused party pokemon in case you get into a battle and
realize you’ve brought the wrong type along. Of course there will be
restrictions – you can’t teleport in a pokemon if it’s already been
in that particular
battle, you can’t swap out a pokemon whose type doesn’t match whatever
item Game Freak uses to facilitate the process, etc. – but
still at least offer some relief to those who maybe didn't plan well
enough in advance.
will still have the (awful) motion controls of its predecessor but
be an option to turn them off this time.
be another new Meltan-like pokemon that you’ll only be able to get by
connecting your game to Pokemon GO.
for the Nintendo Switch will be announced in 2019 but won’t actually be
released until early 2020.
Pokemon Let's Go! Togepi
/ Let's Go! Marril will be
announced on the 20th anniversary of Gold
& Silver. The game will come out Q4 2020.
|Video Games: Generation 8
|Animation: Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon, Gen
see the TV
series going like this:
– May: Guzma
/ Skull-Dan arc, with a generous number of fillers sprinkled
Preparations for the Pokemon League
– mid-August: Alola League
- September: Series wrap up
get one more new Alola pokemon before entering the League. I’m guessing
be Tiny from that awfully boring Nagetsukesaru episode.
compete in the Alola League with his Alola team of five plus one of his
reserves (for Let’s Go!
Promotion) that he’ll rotate out every battle.
eventually lose to Lillie’s butler James.
Takeshi watch the Alola League from Kanto in voiceless cameos.
80% convinced that Sun & Moon
will be the Rocket trio’s last series. I hate hate hate hate hate the
I also feel like the show’s been telegraphing it pretty hard this Gen, especially
this last year or so. Their
absences between appearances are starting to become longer and more
(as of this writing they’ve missed eight
of the last ten episodes) and it honestly feels like the powers that be
just don't want
them around anymore. The only that really gives me pause with this
the fact that the Rocket trio continues to be some of the (if not the)
most merchandised human characters
in the franchise, but even then it’s not like they can’t just keep
products after they’re long gone.
Generation 8 TV series will go back to being the traveling action
show it was from the original series up to XY&Z.
|Animation: Pocket Monsters Sun & Moon, Gen
year is also being advertised as “The Year of Mewtwo” in Japan and
been given absolutely no indication of what that means I have a few
will be an adaptation of the first film but it won’t be a shot-for-shot
because they’ll be forced to throw in some Generation 8 promotion.
But to do that they’ll need to have another writer brought on board
the moment the only person they have attached to it has been dead for
decade. They’ll bring in someone else to write those Gen 8 pokemon
to also possibly tweak a few other things about the film.
Ichimura will be back as Mewtwo and Kouichi Yamadera will be back as
will be played by Shoko Nakagawa and the other New Island Trainers
Umio) will be played by whatever random celebrities they get to come in
special guests this year. Sachiko Kobayashi will come back to do Kaze
to Issho ni 2019, a remix of the
ending theme to the first movie.
Togepi won’t be in the new movie, just because.
will get a wide theatrical release in the U.S. on Friday November 8th.
With the popularity of Pokemon
GO, Gen 8 coming out at around
the same time, and the fact that this is the 20th
anniversary of the
English dub of this movie will give TPCI more than enough justification
spend the money to give this film a wide release.
Mewtwo” standalone TV special will air in Japan in June that adapts the
radio drama, including the bits that were scrapped from the Kanzenban
version of the first film.
will release a graphic novel that contains Toshihiro Ono’s 52-page Mewtwo
Strikes Back “adaptation” which,
up until now, has only ever been printed in that one CoroCoro Comics
issue back in 1998. It’ll be paired with Momota
Inoue’s 177-page manga adaptation of 2013’s The
Extreme Speed Genosect and the Awakening of Mewtwo in a single
English version will be released in 2020, because Viz.
1 will finally get a standalone Blu-ray release in Japan.
|Live Action: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu
live action movie will probably be very successful in the West. Hype
movie is really high right now and even those who don’t necessarily
idea of a live action Pokemon film in
the first place (hi!) have a kind of morbid curiosity about the whole
movie will debut at Number 2 behind Avengers:
Endgame, which will come out in late April but will still be
and then be knocked out of the Top 3 by the time the live action Aladdin
movie comes out on May 24th.
movie will have a joke or two that parents in the U.S. will complain
about for being too "adult."
don’t see Detective Pikachu doing better than Mewtwo
Strikes Back: Evolution in the
Japanese box office. Reaction to the Hollywood film has been kind of
here (you don’t see people on Japanese Twitter going “OMG PIKACHU’S
CUTE IN THIS!!!!!!” all that often) and the movie doesn’t have the big
Japanese audiences know and love (nobody knows who the hell Justice
Rita Ora are). Plus, there’s a certain (not at all undeserved) stigma
to Hollywood adaptations of Japanese franchises. The movie will do fine
in Japan but I don’t think it’ll be
a huge hit.
And that's about it! How much of what I said above will come true? I
can't wait to find out.