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

By Dogasu
Posted January 8th, 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 2023 ended up coming true!

Video Games

I think we'll get word of a Pocket Monsters Scarlet & Violet DLC on Pokémon Day, with a Part 1 coming in Summer and Part 2 coming before the holiday 2023 season.

The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero was announced on February 27th, 2023 during a Pokémon Presents, and we did indeed get the DLC delivered to us in two parts. Part 1 was released in the summer (September 13th, 2023, about a week before the autumnal equinox)  and Part 2 was technically released in the autumn (December 14th, 2023) but close enough, I guess.

What will the new DLC-exclusive Paradox Pokémon be? I think we'll see "Iron Fangs" (based on Onvern), "Flowing Dragon" (based on Jijilong), and "Iron Sweets" (based on Mawhip); in other words, at least one new Paradox Pokémon for each of the three generations who currently do not have any.

Nope! We just got Paradox Pokémon based on the rest of the Johto / Isshu beasts instead.

I don't see us getting any sort of performance patches for Scarlet & Violet unless it's bundled in with a larger update. Like, maybe they'll throw in some bug fixes during a routine security-related patch, or maybe a few fixes when they add Pokémon Home compatibility, but I don't think we'll get any updates that exist solely to fix its many, many performance issues. The games have already sold a gajillion copies already; Game Freak isn't going to spend any more time / money / effort on these games than they absolutely have to.

There were a few updates that seemed to be primarily performance-based (1.3.0, 1.3.1, 1.3.2) so I guess I technically got this one wrong. The games still run like hot trash, though, so while Game Freak did put out a few tiny little fires here and there they never got around to doing the big "if you install this update your game will run so much better" type update the games so desperately need.

We'll continue to see new Pokémon added to the games via raids, with all the starters coming out by the end of 2023.

We did end up getting all the starters, though the majority of them came through the DLC, not raid events.

The Pokémon Stadium games will come and go on the Switch Online service, but since we'll be forced to use Rental Pokémon most people probably won't play it for very long before running online to complain about how poorly those games have aged. Also, Rougela will be recolored purple and have its fainting animation altered because disappearing into a purple "void" would just look too awkward.

Right on most of those, though Rougela's fainting animation wasn't really altered any other than the expected color swap.

Anyway, um...when was the last time any of you played the Stadium games on the Switch Virtual Console?

I do not think the Nintendo Switch is getting a Game Boy Virtual Console. A few years ago I would have said sure, throw a Game Boy emulator and the Gen 1 / Gen 2 Pokémon games up there, but let's be honest; the system is probably closer to the end of its lifespan than it is its beginning. I don't see Nintendo putting in the resources needed to port a bunch of ROMS over to their Switch when chances are very high they'll be announcing something new at some point within the next twelve months.

We did get a Game Boy / Game Boy Color Virtual Console last year but it didn't end up having any mainline Pokémon games. I don't expect that to change in 2024.

At the risk of repeating myself from last year: I think Pokémon Go will bring us Z-Moves at some point in 2023.

We're now at the point in Pokémon Go's life where they're able to add current gen Pokémon to the game and yet we still haven't gotten any Z-Moves yet. I feel like if they were going to add them they probably would've done so already.


Pocket Monsters 2023

The current series, Pocket Monsters Mezase Pokémon Master, will end without really wrapping anything up. I've seen a lot of fans make a laundry list of items the series absolutely has to do before it's allowed to end -- Satoshi finds his dad, Satoshi defeats Sakaki and causes the Rocket-Dan organization as a whole to disband, Satoshi confesses his love to Kasumi/Serena/whoever, Satoshi is declared a Pokémon Master -- but I don't think any of that is going to happen. I think the show will end with Satoshi and Pikachu running across a field while a very open-ended narration, something like "Pocket Monsters, or 'Pokémon' for short. The adventures of Satoshi, a ten-year-old boy from Masara Town, and his partner Pikachu will continue. What kinds of new Pokémon will he encounter? His journey continues!!" closes out the final episode.

Yup, this is pretty much exactly what happened. It's amazing to me that there are people who thought this last batch of episodes would go any other way.

I would be absolutely shocked if Mezase Pokémon Master - 20th Anniversary Ballad vers. - isn't used in some capacity in the final episode of Pocket Monsters Mezase Pokémon Master.

It wasn't, making it one of the few versions of the song to never be used in the TV series.

The new protagonists in the Pocket Monsters 2023 series will have no relation to Satoshi.

Right again! A lot of fans clung to theories about Pocket Monsters (2023) being a timeskip series, and that Liko is the daughter of a grown up Satoshi based on her hair clip sorta-kinda looking like the emblem on his original baseball cap but of course none of that ever ended up meaning anything. We've met both Liko's parents and her grandmother, and none of them are Satoshi.

In fact, I think the new series will be a fresh start of sorts, kind of like Best Wishes! was except without even Satoshi / the Rocket trio hanging around. I think the series will, at least for its first year or so, be a brand new adventure based solely in the Paldea Region, featuring only Pokémon that appear in Paldea.

Did we know that Pocket Monsters (2023) was going to take place in all the regions, just like its predecessor did, when I made this prediction
back in January 2023? I'm not sure, but in any case this prediction ended up not quite hitting the mark. The group did spend a considerable amount of time in the Paldea Region (and are about to head back soon, as of this writing) but our heroes also spent a considerable amount of 2023 in both Kanto and Galar so I can't claim I got this one right.

I think Yuki Hayashi will be back to provide the background music for the new Pocket Monsters series.

Nope; Conisch is the only person to work on the background music for the new Pocket Monsters TV series.

I think it's likely we will see some kind of special standalone episode that'll air before the end of the year that will feature the "return of Satoshi and Pikachu." Maybe an episode that airs during Pocket Monsters 2023's regular timeslot, or maybe a web animation of some sort. I don't think the return will last more than an episode or two, if that.

I have to hand it to OLM; they've shown a remarkable amount of restraint when it comes to not bringing Satoshi and Pikachu back for a quick little nostalgia burst. While it's still entirely possible we'll see the duo pop up again in the series' second or third year, so far the focus has been entirely on Liko and the rest of the Rising Volteccers.

I don't see there being a new movie in 2023 (they would've started promoting it by now if we were), but I think we will see a teaser for a new movie to come Summer 2024.

We did not get a new movie in 2023, and at this point I'm thinking a 2024 movie is probably unlikely as well.

Both the English dub of the animated series and the Pokémon Red & Blue video games will celebrate their 25th anniversary in September of this year. I think we'll see TPCi get Jason Paige to come in and record Pokémon Theme ~ 25th Anniversary Version ~ and release an AMV for it, and maybe put all of Kanto on the Pokémon TV app, but beyond that I don't see TPCi doing much else to commemorate the event. TPCi made a big deal about the franchise as a whole celebrating its 25th anniversary back in 2021 and so it'd be a big awkward for them to be like "Hey guys, it's Pokémon's 25th anniversary...again!"

We didn't get a "25th Anniversary Version," unless you count that "Gotta Catch Em All" song TPCi used for its version of Pocket Monsters Mezase Pokémon Master. I can't think of anything else TPCi did to celebrate, unfortunately.

I don't see TPCi abandoning Netflix for TV airings or another streaming service (even though I really wish they would...) and so I think the Pocket Monsters 2023 dub will also go straight to Netflix in the U.S. If we're lucky we might see the English version debut before the video games' one year anniversary, maybe...?

The show is indeed remaining on Netflix, but fans in the U.S. weren't lucky enough to get the show in the same year as its Japanese counterpart. Pokémon Horizons isn't appearing on Netflix over in the country where the English dub is actually produced until February of this year, a ridiculous ten whole months after the series debuted in Japan.


I think we'll see a line of figures from the "old" series featuring characters like Satoshi, Kasumi, Takeshi, the Rocket trio, etc. as a kind of "last hurrah" for them.

Nope, didn't get this. We really should have, though.

I'm going to dare to dream and say that we'll finally, finally get a proper DVD / Blu-ray release of the original Pocket Monsters TV series here in Japan. None of this "random episodes on single DVDs" nonsense we've had for years; actual boxsets with most of the episodes in order. If there was ever a time for them to finally release the show then, well, now's the time to do it.

I wanted this to happen sooooo bad but unfortunately this wasn't to be. The closest we got was that massive CD box set that included a single Blu-ray with random opening / ending themes on it, but the actual TV episodes themselves are still stuck on Japanese streaming services like Amazon Prime and Hulu.

I think we'll get some sort of massive guide book to celebrate the end of Satoshi's journey in the animated series.

Nope, never got this either.

...and that's it for my 2023 predictions! I'll be posting my 2024 predictions when I do my website's anniversary write-up later this month



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