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

By Dogasu
Posted January 1st, 2023


Every year I make an attempt to predict what will happen in the World of Pokémon and then post those predictions on my website as a sort of fun little game. Part of that game is to then check back on those predictions a year later to see how I did. So let's take a look to see if any of the stuff I thought would happen in 2022 ended up coming true!


Video Games



I think we'll get word of some sort of Pokémon Legends Arceus DLC announcement on Pokémon Day (February 27th). There will be two sets of DLC (just like with Sword & Shield) with Part 1 coming out in Q2 and Part 2 coming out in Q3. We'll get another new legendary or two out of it, or at the very least a Hisui version of Giratina.

To be fair, the very existence of Pocket Monsters Scarlet & Violet hadn't even been revealed to the world back when I wrote this; I made this prediction on January 31st and the Gen 9 reveals were made about a month later. During that period I think it's fair to say that most of us didn't expect Game Freak to also release Generation 9 within the same year, right...?

I do think what I predicted would have been a lot more fair to Pokémon Legends Arceus (a game that people unfortunately aren't really talking about much anymore) but I guess the allure of pushing out Generation 9 before the holiday season was just too strong for Nintendo to ignore.

The first hints of Generation 9 will be revealed in the year 2022 with a 2023 release date. The Nintendo Switch games will be more like Pokémon Legends Arceus than Pocket Monsters Sword & Shield (there is absolutely no way Game Freak would be stupid enough to regress back to that old style of games, right...?) and will be set in a region based on a country in either South America, Africa, or Australia. I think we'll at least know the starters and the box legendaries before the end of the year.

Well sure, we did get the first hints in 2022 (February 27th, to be exact) but then we also got the full game in 2022 as well. Gameplay-wise Gen 9 resembles Pokémon Legends Arceus more than it does Sword & Shield, I think, so I'd say I also got that part right. The Paldea Region is clearly based on Spain, not any of the regions I listed, but on the other hand we did get the starters and the legendaries (and everything else!) in 2022 as predicted. So when all is said and done...I get half credit for this?

Pokémon Go will start rolling out the Alola Region Pokémon in earnest (so, not just the regional forms) in 2022. Z-Moves will be introduced to the game as special attacks that will consume a set amount of candy every time you want to use one.

The game introduced Gen 7 Pokémon in earnest with its "Season of Alola" event back in March. So far Z-Moves have not been added to the game yet.

Spin-off game wise, I think we'll see another Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game and maybe something random like Pokémon Picross Switch or a Pokémon Scramble Switch.

Nope, we didn't end up getting either of these.

Neither Pokémon Sleep nor Detective Pikachu 2 will come out in 2022 (or ever, for that matter) because I think those two projects have already been canceled.

Neither game came out in 2022, and it's unclear when (or if) they ever will.

Animation




I made this prediction last year, but I'll make it again; I do not think Pocket Monsters (2019) is 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).

Well, it didn't technically wrap up in three years (the December episodes put it at three years, one month), but the series is done now so the part about going through Generation 9 with Satoshi and Gou isn't going to end up coming true.

Returning characters in 2022:  Lately this series seems to like having old characters who only got a single episode to themselves the first time around (Shijima, Genji, Erika, etc.) and so I predict that in the year 2022 we'll see Matis, Kyou, Hayato, and Tsukushi come back.

We didn't get any of those old Gym Leaders back. Instead, we got the return of characters like Citron and Eureka, Mikuri, Serena, Shinji, a bunch of Champions, and a bunch of other characters with non-speaking cameos (Kenji, Haruka, etc.).

I also think we'll have Jindai come back for a Project Mew mission so that the show will (finally) get a chance to show off Regieleki and Regidrago.

Jindai did not show up, but to be fair he absolutely should have been brought in for that Regieleki and Regidrago episode.

Satoshi's will face at least two members of the Masters Eight but he won't finish the Pokémon World Championships until next year.

Well Satoshi actually ended up going up against three members of the Masters Eight last year; Daigo, Shirona, and of course Dande.

The show will do the absolute bare minimum to take advantage of the fact that this year marks the animated series' 25th year on the air. Maybe the anipoke_PR twitter account will give away replicas of an old Pikachu toy from the 1990s or something, but I don't expect to see much more than that.

Unfortunately, this ended up being true. The anipoke_PR Twitter account posted a cute little video and a comment from director Kunihiko Yuyama to mark the occasion but that's really about it. No new 25th anniversary merchandise came out in 2022, as far as I can tell.

I would love, love, LOVE it if Media Factory released a 25th anniversary Blu-ray box set of the 1997 Pocket Monsters series but I unfortunately do not think that is ever going to happen.

It didn't happen last year, no.

I no longer think we're getting Movie 24 in 2022. If we were getting a new movie this July then we would've at least gotten a teaser by now, and I don't see them going for another December release after the most recent film's box office performance. Also, Japan is facing a record number of new COVID infections thanks to the omicron variant so there's that, too. I don't see the 24th movie coming out until 2023 at the earliest.

Yup, this still holds up!

This December will mark the 25th anniversary of the airing of Pocket Monsters (1997) Episode 038, "Cyber Soldier Porygon." Nobody in any sort of official capacity will do anything to acknowledge this, of course (the TPCi social media team tried it but hastily deleted it soon after) but I'm sure we'll see tons of ill-researched clickbait articles from people who want to capitalize on the anniversary. So my prediction is that we'll see a bunch of cringe-inducing articles...? (By the way, I do have some plans for the 25th anniversary myself but you'll have to wait until December to find out what those were).

So The Pokémon Company's PR team did something that I think is absolutely brilliant in that they waited until December 16th, 2022 to make all these huge, franchise-changing announcements, one after the other, presumably so that they could push Porygon's name off social media. The first one; Satoshi's leaving the show with a series that will depict his "final chapter" premiering later this month. And the second one, there's going to be a new series starting in April that will have two brand new protagonists. If anybody wrote a dumb, clickbait-y article about Porygon on December 16th then nobody would have noticed because "Ash is finally leaving the anime after 25 years" was all anyone was talking about.

In any case, now's as good a time as any to remind you to check out my site's very in-depth Pokémon Shock feature!

Miscellaneous




This year will be the 25th anniversary of the Pocket Monsters Special manga so I expect we'll see some kind of anniversary book released similar to the PokéSpedia book we got for the series' 20th anniversary.

I haven't been following this super closely but from what I can tell this didn't end up happening.

Last year was the first year in the franchise's entire history where we did not get any Pokémon-related CD released in Japan. Not a one! That probably sounds absurd to most of you -- most countries more or less gave up on physical CD releases years ago -- but Japan is still very much clinging onto the format. But not Pokémon, apparently! I therefore predict that we will not see any new CDs coming out in the year 2022. No Pokémon Legends Arceus soundtrack, no Yuki Hayashi TV series soundtrack, nothing. We'll still get digital releases for things like the theme songs and whatnot but I don't expect to see any more physical CD releases in the foreseeable future.

So first, a correction; we actually did get a Pokémon-related CD release in 2021, sort of, with Hirokazu Tanaka's Lost Tapes CD and its weird proto versions of some of the show's early theme songs, and so the very premise of this question is flawed right from the get-go. And while we didn't get a Pokémon Legends Arceus soundtrack (or Scarlet & Violet, for that matter) we did get a second Yuki Hayashi CD and a clunky, oversized CD with all the versions of 1,2,3 on it.

 
...and that's it for my 2022 predictions! I'll be posting my 2023 predictions when I do my website's anniversary write-up later this month





 

 

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