Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 6-Pokemon Heroes Music/Oceania IC 2017

This time we have two segments. In the first (0:46-41:27), Anne from Pikapi Podcast is back again to debate the merits of the English and Japanese ending themes of Pokémon Heroes. These two songs provide quite a contrast, so you should find it interesting.

Our second segment (41:53-58:29) is a series of interviews from the recent Oceania International Championship in Melbourne, Australia. I had a chance to interview some of the top finishers, as well as a collector of Pokémon merchandise.



Links:

Segment 1:
Pikapi Podcast
Songs for upcoming Perfume/INXS discussion

Segment 2:
PokeCollection



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pokemon TCG League Cup: Madison, WI

Daniel Martinez
The following is an interview with Daniel Martinez, one of the top four finishers in the Masters Division at a recent League Cup event in Madison, WI, who used a Lycanroc deck for the tournament.

Where are you from, and how did you get into the Pokémon TCG?

I was born and raised in Stevens Point, WI. I started collecting Pokémon cards as a child when the very first set was released, however I didn’t actually learn how to play until August 2015, around the time the Ancient Origins set came out. I got into playing the TCG from a friend who invited me to a league event one night, and from there I was hooked.

What’s the basic strategy of the deck, and why did you end up using it for this tournament?

So, funny story-my friend and I were talking about this deck and I told him it could be a good deck and he disagreed, so I actually made this deck just to try and prove him wrong. The strategy of the deck is to get the Carbink out so EXes can’t hurt you, then get the Carbink BREAK out and use the attack “Diamond Gift” to start powering up Rockruff/Lycanroc on the bench. I also ran Hammers to make it harder for my opponent to get themselves powered up.

What are some other important cards in the deck?

Definitely the Silent Lab Stadium card as it can shut off Volcanion’s “Steam Up”, as well as taking care of Shaymin EX and Hoopa EX, which makes it harder for the opponent to set up as fast as they would like. Also, the Strong Energy turned out to be the one of the most important cards, especially for Shaymin and Yveltal as they have Fighting resistance, which makes it hard to one-hit KO them. Another important card to mention would be Assault Vest. It reduces damage from defending Pokémon who have special energy attached to them by 40, so it really saved me against Mega Mewtwo decks.

What worked well?

Overall, the deck flowed pretty much how I wanted it to. The energy removal from Crushing and Enhanced Hammers allowed me to get a jump on opponents, especially ones with high energy cost attacks.

What didn’t work so well, and what might you change if you used this deck again?

I never accounted for the fact that I had no way to get my Rockruff back from the discard pile. This cost me a game against a Mega Mewtwo, where my opponent just kept switching out my Rockruff and knocking them out in one shot (they have only 60 HP). I had no way to get them back so my deck was essentially shut down. I’d definitely want to run Super Rod in the future.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Shelved Pokemon 20th anniversary tribute album revealed

An insider from a major American record label recently revealed to PIRN the existence of a shelved tribute album, originally intended to be released as part of 2016's Pokemon 20th anniversary celebration. The album contained a number of re-arranged covers of Pokemon songs performed by a range of artists. According to the information provided, the album was put on hold shortly after the release of Pokemon Go, as the resources needed to support the game forced The Pokemon Company to shift its focus. The source did not know of any immediate plans to revive the project.

According to the source, in early 2015, The Pokemon Company approached several labels about the possibility of having some of their performers do a cover of one or more songs. In some of these instances, The Pokemon Company suggested specific combinations of songs and artists, and in other cases it was left up to the label. Either way, artists were encouraged to tweak the songs to better fit their style.

Production continued through 2015 and into 2016, targeting a November 2016 release. However, as the album was nearing completion, Pokemon Go was released, placing an unexpectedly high demand on employees at The Pokemon Company, forcing them to assign the individuals working on the album to other tasks. The future prospects for the album remain uncertain.

The insider was able to provide a partial track list:

Double Trouble (Team Rocket)-Fall Out Boy
Misty's Song-Katy Perry
The Legend Comes To Life-London Symphony Orchestra
Pokemon Johto-Pentatonix
Nobody Don't Like Christmas-Mannheim Steamroller
Aim To Be A Pokemon Master-2Cellos

Monday, January 16, 2017

Unboxing a 2.B.A. Master Promo Cassette Tape

Albums aren't the only music product to use tapes-they were sometimes used for promotional purposes as well:


Friday, December 23, 2016

Unboxing the Pokemon Sun/Moon Soundtrack + "Pokemon Pop" CD

In this double feature, we unbox the Pokemon Sun & Moon soundtrack from Japan, and a promotional CD called "Totally Pokemon Pop!" that came in while I was in London:


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pokemon 2000 Ending Themes Discussion

Anne from Pikapi Podcast drops by to talk about the Japanese and English ending themes of Pokemon 2000. How will "toi et moi" and "The Power of One" fare against each other?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

WTPT-Pokemon Christmas Bash Review-Part 1

Way back in 2007, I appeared on the WTPT Pokemon Podcast to discuss the "Pokemon Christmas Bash" album. In the first part, KC and Jowy do a brief news segment, then bring me in to introduce the album:


Special thanks to Jowy Romano for permission to upload this audio.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Review: Pocket Monsters XYZ Character Song Collection Volume 2

Steven Reich
Earlier this year, Pokémon put out an EP of character songs featuring the Japanese voice actors from the sixth generation of the anime. Predictably (given that the EP had “Vol. 1” in its title), this has led to a second volume that was released in late October. Despite its name, this second volume also includes the songs from the first volume (though not their instrumental counterparts), and as such, the question becomes whether the new songs add enough value for consumers who already picked up the first volume. Here’s a run-down of the new tracks on this album:

DreamDream

“DreamDream” is one of several rearrangements of songs from earlier in this generation in this collection. Unlike when this was done in generation four for Hikari (Dawn), however, this version is fairly close to the earlier release of the track. As a result (and perhaps also due to my unfamiliarity with Serena’s Japanese voice actor, Mayuki Makiguchi), I’m not particularly attached to this rendition of the ending theme. It’s hardly bad, but doesn’t offer much beyond the original version.

Brilliantly (a.k.a. Glitter)

Performed by Citron’s (Clemont’s) voice actor Yūki Kaji, this remake of a song from the “Getter Ban Ban” single was more appealing to me, but perhaps that’s just an indication of my fondness for his engineering work (similar to how my love of art elevates my opinion of Tracey), or that the underlying song appeals to me more due to its “fun” quality. In any case, it ends up being one of the standout tracks on this collection for me.

Pikachu’s Song

A call-and-response track between a group of children and Ikue Ohtani, this is clearly a song designed for a different audience. There’s a fair amount of variation, and I appreciate the challenge writing this song must have presented, but it’s definitely not something I would listen to more than once in a while.

Meowth’s Ballad

Another in a line of Meowth-related tunes, this song (as the name implies) goes for a lighter mood akin to “Meowth’s Song” from generation one. Like the older track, I enjoy listening to this, and it’s impressive that Inuko Inuyama can deliver such a low-key performance. Definitely comes across as one of the better entries on this CD.

XY & Z (Movie Version)

As one might expect, this is the earlier TV version with some new instruments (Side Note: I really miss instances like the first few English movies and “High Touch” where they would re-do or otherwise majorly change the theme for the movies-it doesn’t have to happen for each one, but it would be nice to see more often). My feelings on this version are pretty much the same as the original-it’s good overall, but the ending doesn’t seem to be quite what I wanted tonally.

Overall

If I didn’t own either, I’d probably pick up just this second volume (especially since I’m not running a station anymore), as there’s not a great need to own the instrumental versions present on the first volume. If you already have that first EP, I would still say this is worth purchasing as long as you’re interested in enough of the new tracks. I would have preferred to have a few more fully original songs, but in general it’s still a good package.

Want to see an unboxing of this CD?


Sunday, October 30, 2016

New Poll + More Pokemon Music Discussion

As a follow-up to our recently posted discussion of ending themes of Pokemon: The First Movie, I've added a poll where you can voice your opinion as to whether "Together With The Wind" or "We're A Miracle" is the better song. Additionally, I recently posted some bonus audio from that discussion:


If that's still not enough for you, here's a preview of our discussion of the second movie's ending themes:


The full version will be posted later, but you can hear it now as a timed exclusive on the Pikapi Podcast Patreon feed.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pokemon: The First Movie Ending Theme Comparison

Anne of Pikapi Podcast joins in to compare the Japanese and English ending themes of Pokemon: The First Movie. What do "Together With The Wind" and "We're A Miracle" have to offer, and which one will come out on top?