While we’re waiting for Pokémon: The First Movie to be shown in Cinemateket, just so we can cry about it like we did the first time watching it, I made a list of facts about 5 Pokémon’s origin. Not the kind of facts like Gastly not having arms and still be able to learn Ice Punch, I’m talking about a majestic Dragonair evolving into a sloppy Dragonite and why Ash is always ten. I’ll explain the Dratini evolutionary line in this article, but wait for the next article where I’ll write about 5 disturbing facts about Pokémon to find out why Ash is always ten. So tune in next week, or stay ten!
Ok, so everyone probably thought Jynx was based on fashionable black women, because she was black in the first generation. The Pokémon Company ended up in big trouble because someone actually filed a complaint about this character. But did you know that Jynx is based off on a Japanese snow hag called Yuki-Onna? She’s like a Japanese version of Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, but Yuki-Onna’s tale is a lot darker. Some legends say that Yuki-Onna, much like Jynx, doesn’t have feet and she wanders around on snowy mountains looking for young men. She then asks the men to carry her and then she freezes them to death. This would also explain Jynx’s ice-powers and psychic abilities. Yuki-Onna might be evil,but in the Anime Jynx is actually Santa’s helper!
Did you know that Seviper was supposed to be the fully evolved form of Ekans? It was shown in the 77th episode of Advanced Generations during the Trainer’s Choice that this could be the case, but most fans just deemed it wrong because they didn’t know. This is confirmed in its early designs, its eyes were different. The shape of its body totally reminds us of Arbok, while the hexagons on its back is kept on the Seviper we know today. Another thing that proves it was in the same evolutionary line as Ekans and Arbok, are its divided sections underneath it. Game Freak changed it so it could be rivals with Zangoose instead just like mongooses and hubu vipers, because they thought it would be weird if Zangoose didn’t have an evolutionary line.
Not only does its name reference to Mary’s little lamb while it is combined with sheep, its name is also an anagram of Ampere, the SI-unit of electric current! Mareep and its evolutionary line might be based on Philip K. Dick’s famous science fiction novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but Mareep itself has golden fleece because of Jason’s Golden Fleece from Greek and Roman Mythology. Originally the Golden Fleece didn’t do much except guaranteeing Jason the throne, but in Rick Riordan’s book, The Sea of Monsters, it had healing abilities and is used to recover Thalia’s Tree, the tree that protects the camp. What’s cool about this is that Mareep learns Cotton Guard as it levels up, a grass type move that raises the user’s defense!
Did you know that originally Arcanine was in the legendary trio with Articuno and Zapdos. On a tablet behind the counter in Viridian City Pokémon Center, Arcanine was shown with the three legendary birds of Kanto. What on earth was it doing there? The fact is, it can actually fly. Yes, it’s legs aren’t even on the earth because when Arcanine runs, according to the pokédex, “it runs aegily as if on wings”. So why isn’t Arcanine a legendary Pokémon? Arcanine was downgraded to only being species legendary, because Game Freak thought it would be weird having two birds and a dog. So they gave Arcanine a pre-evolution and replaced him with Moltres.
Dragonair’s backstory is about a tiny girl that is discovered by a bamboo cutter, INSIDE OF A FRIGGIN BAMBOO!! Believing she’s a gift from the above, he and his wife adopts this little girl and she grows rapidly every day becoming more and more beautiful. They call her Kaguya, princess in Japanese, and as the days go by her parents find richness in various bamboos just like how they found her, but the story takes a drastic turn when a king has taken notice of her, and the the mood saddens for everyone when she reveals she is from THE MOON!! She then begs her parents of help to go back to the moon, and confesses that she has grown very attached to the earth. Imagine not only being rejected by a girl, but she tells everyone she is an alien just to get away from you!
Find out exactly how she is related to Dragonair by watching her Studio Ghibli produced movie, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, at Cinemateket October the 12th 16:00. I’ll be there so be sure to talk to me if still don’t get it and I’ll explain everything to you!!
A lot of people probably remember these games; they were the biggest thing when they came out. A lot of changes happened to the game. Pokémon finally had colors, double battles, abilities and natures. Genders were no longer based on the attack IV, which allowed females to be as strong as men. Yaay, equality for both genders.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on OmegaRuby and Alpha Sapphire, you might have heard about the Mega forms of Groudon and Kyogre, Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. This could explain the dark, mysterious area above Lilycove City that looks like distortion world. Game Freak have never brought back a map from the older games since Gold and Silver where you could visit Kanto, so they wouldn’t do that here, but this could mean that OR/AS is set back in time! Usually the games are set two years apart from eachother, but what if you could travel back in time to when Groudon and Kyogre’s legendary and … groundbreaking fight took place?
Remember that crazy old dude in Pacifidlog City that never saw an island? It was said that this island hosted the Liechi Berry, a berry known for its excellent use in blending and poffin making. In later generations it’s been easier to get a hold of this berry. Look at the clouds at the bottom right, do you see what island could be hiding there? That’s right; once again you’ll get the chance to NOT finding goddamn island, but now in 3D!
To The Moon And Beyond!
A rumour back in the days said that if you waited until one of the scientists in Mossdeep City told you there had been 99 successful launches you would get to travel to the moon to catch the legendary pokémon Deoxys or Jirachi. Now it seems like it could be a thing, because the trailer from E3 features a big rocket ready for launch!
And what about this weird path? It could be the path that leads up to Champion Steven that took forever in the original games. Whatever it leads to in the upcoming games, it’s in 3D!
At this years annual Frame by Frame animation seminar in Oslo one of the guests were Aya Suzuki, a british-japanese animator, that gave us a talk about her experiences working on anime in Japan. Aya has had the pleasure of working with both Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Hosoda on such films as The Wind Rises and Wolf Children.
Mangapolis didn´t miss the opportunity to have a chat with Aya Suzuki. Quite naturally the conversation started off with Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Hosoda; how many times do you talk to anyone that has worked with the two names anyway? The topic had to come up at some point, and there can´t be a better topic to break the ice.
Having worked with both of the famous directors Suzuki could tell that Miyazaki and Hosoda couldn´t be more different in the way they work. Where Miyazaki likes to have full control and is involved in all the stages and aspects of the movie; Hosoda manage to rely more on the people around him and he trust them to do their part. Miyazaki will redo everything himself if he´s not satisfied; while Hosoda gives animators a very brief instructions of what he wants, and trust the animators to produce the best possible result.
Aya Suzuki´s dream to become an animator started when she was a teenager. In Japan “everybody” watch anime and the interest doesn´t end in childhood. While in Europe most people will stop watching animated series when they enter the teenage years the Japanese has a completely different culture; there is an anime aimed at all ages, so when you grow out of one series, there is always another waiting. In Japan no one ever has the chance to grow out of anime, it´s a brilliant business strategy, Suzuki laughs.
Of the animators between the age of twenty and thirty the majority are female animators, but the numbers even out as many of the female animators marry and “retire” as they enter their thirties. Suzuki feels that Miyazaki´s movies influenced both girls and boys of her generation in a great way; so Suzuki was not the only one that developed a dream of becoming an animator.
Every animator has his or hers speciality within animation, Suzuki reveals, there are basically two main categories that animators fall into: There are those that grew up with Bruce Lee movies (she smiles as she says this) and are extremely good at animating action scenes. For those in this category action scenes comes naturally and they master the movement of the action like they are choreographing a dance. But usually the same animators come short when asked to do “every-day scenes”; these scenes are the other category where Aya Suzuki feels more comfortable.
Aya Suzuki tries to challenge herself and develop as an animator by taking on projects where she has to animate action. Even though she claims that action scenes is not her speciality I was extremely impressed by her action scene from Death Billiards (2013) that she screened at the Frame by Frame seminar.
Like most animators in Japan Aya Suzuki works as a freelance and has been involved on many different projects for many different studios. At the same time is very usual for freelance animators to work exclusively for one studio even though they are not directly employed by them. It is extremely hard to get into the big studios, like Studio Ghibli, and it is impossible to get a job there by normal means. You will have to be recommended by someone.
Suzuki was recommended to join the team working on Wolf Children because she had worked on Sylvan Chomet´s The Illusionist which is a movie Hosoda happens to be influenced by. And from there she was recommended to other studios, and this is the usual arrangement between the big studios in Japan, Suzuki says. To be recommended by one studio is a sign of quality and in this way freelance animators can jump between the studios.
These days Aya Suzuki has a permanent job in Europe on the weekdays and works as a freelance from her bedroom in London in the weekends. She has often planed that she will have to say no when they call from Japan, but usually she somehow ends up accepting more projects instead. There is always some project that sound tempting, she laughs.