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Dogasu's Backpack | Rants | Happy Anniversary! (Year Twenty-One)

By Dogasu
Posted January 31st, 2021

Every year I sit down to write these little articles to look back at the kind of year Dogasu's Backpack just had, and they usually end up being these fluffy, self-congratulatory write-ups where I rattle off lists of everything I had accomplished the previous year before going into a bunch of predictions that'll probably end up being dead wrong. This year's going to be more of the same, but it's also going to be a little bit different. Because, well, 2020.

Any look back at dumpster fire of a year that was 2020 inevitably boils down to "Haha, that sure was a living nightmare, wasn't it?" I don't need to waste your time with an itemized list of all the horrors we had to endure, because we were all there. It was a non-stop horror show, every single day, and it can be suuuuuuuper easy to let that get you down.

And yet through it all, through all the nightmare headlines and constant feelings of dread, Pokémon kept on chugging along.  It was a constant bright spot throughout the year, for all of us. People like us turn to Pokémon because it's fun and interesting, sure, but there are also times when we use the franchise, whether we realize it or not, to just help us catch our breath for a minute. It's good for our mental health every now and then to turn off our brains and play a video game where you're looking for a horsey belonging to some balloon-headed deer guy, or to go on Twitter and argue about dumb nonsense that doesn't matter even the tiniest bit.

I'm no exception to this; I have absolutely used my website to help distract me from what's going on in the real world. This year, in particular, I've been very fortunate in that I have a job that has been allowing me to work from home every single day since the beginning of March. This has given me a ton of extra free time to work on my site -- to distract myself, in other words -- that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I calculated the time I'm saving by not commuting to and from the office every day, for example, and I found that I've been saving about nine hours a week! This has allowed me to finish things that I simply wouldn't have had the time to do otherwise, things like:
And that's not even counting the fact that I was also able to post more information on both Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" and Pocket Monsters Planetarium "The Message from the Aurora" than literally any other English-language site (and in the case of the latter, any other website period) on the Internet.

Would I have gotten even half of this done if I wasn't working from home? No. Would I be working from home if it weren't for COVID? Also no.
I'm not happy this is the way things turned out -- I'd trade in all this "productivity" in the world if it somehow made it so that COVID never happened -- but this is the timeline we're stuck with, so all I know how to do is to make the best of it. For me, in the context of the Dogasu persona I've been using online these past 21 years, that means pumping out more content for my little Pocket Monsters website.

The year 2021 is going to be tough. It hopefully won't be as bad as 2020, but I doubt it's going to be smooth sailing either. But through it all, I hope to continue providing you all with content that will make you think, learn, laugh, and hopefully, maybe, make the year 2021 something a little bit better than its predecessor.

I always end these site anniversary write-ups with a set of predictions for the coming year. And so, without further ado, here's my completely scientific, definitely realistic predictions for what I think will happen in the year 2021 with Pokémon

Video Games

  • For the 25th anniversary I think we'll get Virtual Console style re-releases of Red / Green / Blue / Pikachu on the Nintendo Switch. But not just the same ROMS that were released on the 3DS Virtual Console; this time around I think it'd make sense for us to get the Super Game Boy versions, with the borders and Super Game Boy colors and everything.
  • Predicting that the next main series game is going to be Diamond & Pearl remakes is boring, so instead I'll say the new games will be sequels to Diamond & Pearl set 15 years after the events of the first games. They'll come out in November of this year and will feature a new Gen 8 Mythical Pokémon or two.
  • The first Gen 9 games will be teased sometime this year but won't actually come out until late 2022. Game Freak will initially be very tight lipped about whether or not the new games will have all the 898 Pokémon from Generations 1 - 8 included from the get-go but I'm betting they won't.
  • The Switch's New Pokémon Snap will contain the voice actors from the TV series voicing the Pokémon, just like the Nintendo 64 original.
  • Pokémon GO will finish both Gen 6 and Gen 7 this year. Satoshi Hat Pikachu will be made available again in February, around the time of the video games' anniversary. A Zarude special mission will come out to commemorate the English release of Movie 23.
  • Pokémon Sleep will not come out in 2021 either, making fans wonder if the game (or app, or whatever) has in fact been canceled.
  • I made this prediction last year, but a recent tweet from Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada is prompting me to say this again; we'll see an announcement of a Pokkén 2 this year, with the game being slated for a 2023 release.
Animation:  Pocket Monsters 2019

How do you even make Pocket Monsters (2019) predictions? This series, more than any other before it, is just a string of random events with only the thinnest of plots holding everything together so it makes it hard to really predict how anything will go. I'll try my best anyway:

  • This is not so much a prediction for 2021 as it is for 2022, I guess, but I do not think Pocket Monsters (2019) is not going to wrap up after only three years. I think we'll still be following the adventures of Satoshi and Gou through Generation 9 (if not longer).
  • Returning characters in 2021:  Other than the ones we already know about I think we'll see Hikari and Takuto ("Tobias") appear again.
  • Satoshi's World Pokémon Championships rank will hit within the Top 300, thanks in part to battles he'll have with additional Galar Gym Leaders. I'm thinking we'll see Satoshi go up against Yarrow and Makuwa before the end of December.
  • The Yell-Dan will make their debut in the TV series for ...let's say a two-part episode.
  • There will also be a Isle of Armor / Crown Tundra mini arc sometime this year, during which Satoshi will get a Dakuma.
  • We'll get two more "two-in-one" episodes, and three more episodes without Satoshi in them like that Gou / Tokio episode from last year.
  • The episode that aired just a few days ago opened up the possibility of Gou getting legendary Pokémon so I think he'll get...let's say three more in 2021. But I don't think he'll get any full sets right away; like, he'll get Groudon or Kyogre, but not both. Dialga or Palkia, but not both. And so on.
  • The Japanese Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" Blu-ray / DVD will come out around July 2021.
  • My Movie 24 prediction is that we won't see the film released until July 2022. If you want to be pedantic then you could consider Pocket Monsters The Movie "Koko" as the film for both 2020 and 2021 (it was technically in theaters both years, after all) and so it's not like we'd really be "skipping" a year, right? Movie 24 comes out July 2022, setting the stage for Movie 25 to come out the same year Pocket Monsters The Movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back!" celebrates its 25th anniversary.

  • I don't know enough about the Pokémon TCG to make any decent predictions so I'll just say we'll get some kind of memorial book released in 2021 with lots of  card galleries, illustrations, interviews, and other commemorative content.
  • We'll get a second Yuki Hayashi Pocket Monsters (2019) soundtrack released at some point during the year.
  • There will be...something done to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kosaku Anakubo's Pocket Monsters manga. Not really sure what that'll be, but I think we might see some "Best Of" graphic novel release in Japan or something like that.
  • Machito Gomi's Pocket Monsters (2019) manga will continue to exist...?

And that's about it! The year 2021 is going to be the franchise's 25th anniversary so I'm sure there are all kinds of things coming out this year that we can't even imagine right now. No matter what happens, there's sure to be plenty of things out there to distract us throughout the year!



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