Saturday, December 22, 2012

Interview: Jess Turner (It's All Inside of You-Pokemon Movie 15 End Theme)

Here's an interview with Jess Turner, who performs the ending theme from the 15th Pokemon Movie:

In the interview, we discuss her background as an artist, the song, and some of the other stuff she's been working on.

Jess's Web Site

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pokemon Black and White: Volume 3 DVD Releases 3/19/2013

The third volume of Pokemon Black and White will be released in the US on March 19th of next year:


Volume 1 released last month, and volume 2 is scheduled for release in January. This schedule appears to be more aggressive than 2012's, possibly indicating an intention to close the "Arceus Gap".

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pokemon TCG Boundaries Crossed Prerelease-Madison, WI

Here's an interview from a recent Pokemon TCG Boundaries Crossed Prerelease in Madison:

In the interview, we discuss a few cards from the set:


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Arceus Gap-a Space in the Pokémon DVD Release Schedule


Hi everyone, Steven here. I wanted to take a moment to go over a series of events that occurred in the US distribution of the Pokémon anime a few years back. The story starts in April of 2009, when Warner Bros. released a two-disc set of the first three Pokémon movies on DVD. Now, there’s nothing really special about these discs-they’re just represses of the original DVDs that came out in 2000 and 2001, but keep the compilation's release date in mind for the rest of this video.

The remainder of the 2009 Pokémon DVD release list is fairly standard-six volumes of “Battle Dimension”, some “Pokémon All Stars” DVDs, and the start of the “Pokémon Elements” series. Then in early November, something interesting happens-remember that three-movie set from earlier in the year? Well, this is going off my memory, but what I recall happening is that there was a sudden shift in availability on stopped selling it directly, and it was only available from third-party resellers from that point forward.

In any case, a few weeks later on November 20th, “Arceus and the Jewel of Life” debuts on Cartoon Network. Usually a DVD release follows a few months later, but that’s not what happens here in the US. In fact, the final volumes of “Battle Dimension” from October end up being the last new Pokémon DVDs in America for quite some time-leading to what I’ve termed the “Arceus Gap”.

Now, 2010 is where things start to get really interesting. While the only DVDs being released are more entries in the “Pokémon Elements” series, in May, “Pokémon the Movie 2000” shows up in the iTunes store. This wasn’t a complete surprise-the third movie was placed on iTunes in January of 2009, so it seemed like a logical progression. Just over two months later, however, “2000” mysteriously vanishes from the service. This reveals a pattern: The three-movie DVD set changed availability just before the tenth anniversary of “The First Movie”’s US theatrical debut, and 2000 was similarly pulled right before its ten-year anniversary. The theory I have here is that Warner Bros.'s rights to distribute these movies were expiring during this period, and the gap in new releases was caused by a prolonged series of negotiations, but we’ll probably never know for sure.

Finally, in November 2010, a light emerged-“Arceus and the Jewel of Life” was given a US DVD release date of February 1st, 2011. TV DVDs would resume in March 2011 with the release of the first volumes of Galactic Battles, nearly two years after that season debuted on Cartoon Network-but at least things were moving again.

While the Arceus gap may be over, there are still some lasting effects. Much like the first and second movies, the third Pokémon movie vanished from the US iTunes store right around its ten-year mark in early 2011, and all three of those movies are now out of print in the US. Also, while the movie gap has improved with the Zoroark and Victini films, the TV gap remains about the same-volume one of Black and White is scheduled to be released on DVD in November of this year, still nearly two years from when that season started.

So, that's the “Arceus Gap”. Be sure to let me know what you thought of this retrospective, and suggest any topics you might want me to talk about in the future. Thanks.


Pokemon: Battle Frontier Vol. 1 Box Set (2009):
Pokemon: Battle Frontier Vol. 2 Box Set (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set One, Vols. 1-2 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set Two, Vols. 3-4 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set Three, Vols. 5-6 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Vols. 1 & 2 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Vols. 3 & 4 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Box 3 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Galactic Battles 1 (2011):
Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Galactic Battles Gift 2 (2011)
Pokémon DP: Sinnoh League Victors - Set One (2012):émon-DP-Sinnoh-League-Victors/dp/B00634MKMI/
Pokemon Movie: Black - Victini / White - Victini (2012):
Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors - Set Two (2012):
Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors Set 3 (2012):



Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back:
Pokémon: The Movie 2000:
Pokémon 3: The Movie:

PokePress Twitter Feed:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2nd Black and White DVD set comes to US January 22, 2013

The next volume of Pokemon Black & White DVDs has been announced for early next year:


The first volume of Pokemon Black and White is scheduled for release on November 20th.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Interview: Pokémon TCG Fall Battle Roads 2012: Rockford, IL

The following is an interview with Ricky Berliant, winner of a recent Pokémon TCG Battle Road tournament in Rockford, IL.

Ricky Berliant
Me: Hi, I’m Steven Reich, here at Top Cut Comics in Rockford, IL, at one of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Fall Battle Roads 2012. I’m here with Ricky Berliant, who is the winner of the Masters Division at today’s Battle Road tournament. Ricky, you had a Darkrai EX/Hydreigon deck, so for people who aren’t familiar, what is the basic strategy with that?

Ricky: The basic strategy is you use Hydreigon’s Ability called “Dark Trance” to move around [dark] energies (including blend), while you have Darkrai’s Ability, “Dark Cloak”, which gives Pokémon with dark energy attached to them free retreat.

Me: It’s a very popular deck, but one thing you put in there is the Sigilyph card [Dragons Exalted 52], and it’s got the “Safeguard” Ability. What does that do, and how did you end up using it in your deck?

Ricky: Safeguard is an Ability where no EX Pokémon can attack Sigilyph*. It’s useless against decks like Empoleon and Garchomp/Altaria, but he comes in handy against decks like Rayquaza, Zekeels, and so on.

Me: You went undefeated today, but is there any one game that stands out in your mind?

Ricky: One game that really stood out to me was round two. He was playing Zekrom/Eels/Mewtwo, and he was ahead by four prizes. He kept knocking out my basics using his Thunderus.

Me: How’d you end up turning that around?

Ricky: Well, I played an N [to reduce his hand size]. I also noticed he had used up all four of his Catchers already, and I felt pretty safe from there, but it still was a long road for me.

Me: All right, well thank you very much Ricky, this has been Steven Reich from Top Cut Comics in Rockford, IL, at one of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Fall Battle Roads 2012.

*Editor’s note: Giratina EX is notable exception in that its “Shred” attack ignores Abilities and other effects on the defending Pokémon.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pokemon TCG Fall Battle Roads 2012: Madison, WI-Kyurem EX/Registeel EX

Here's an interview form a recent Pokemon TCG Fall Battle Road tournament:

In the interview, we discuss the player's Kyurem EX/Registeel Ex/Klingklang deck, and his experience using it in the tournament.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Learning Japanese: A Trainer's Journey

The following is an interview with Jason Simon, a player I met at Worlds 2012. He wanted to share his experience learning Japanese as a result of being a Pokemon fan, which eventually led him on a trip to Japan.

What area are you from?
I am from Los Angeles, California, USA.

How did you get into Pokemon? 
I got into Pokémon around the time that Ruby and Sapphire were released in the United States. Pokémon Ruby Version was my first game for the Game Boy Advance.

What was it about Pokemon that got you interested in learning Japanese? 
Many aspects of the franchise inspired me to learn Japanese. At the forefront, however, would have to be the fact that the games are released there much sooner than they are released here. When I would visit a variety of news sites, I would see information on games that had just come out in Japan. Since I knew that I would not understand anything going on in the games, I decided that it would probably be best to learn Japanese so I could import the games. At the time, taking on a whole new language seemed like a better option than waiting for six months, so I went with learning the language.

How did you go about learning the language? 
First, I went to Costco and bought the Japanese version of the Rosetta Stone software to get myself into the mindset of the language. Realizing that relying on only Rosetta Stone was probably a bad idea (the program does not do a good job of teaching oral proficiency, something that is very important to me), I decided to take a few private lessons. A combination of taking private lessons, using Rosetta Stone, and immersing myself in the language by watching most of my news in Japanese helped me become fairly fluent in the language.

Did learning Japanese enhance your appreciation for Pokemon? If so, how?
Learning Japanese greatly enhanced my appreciation for Pokemon. It also brought me closer to the franchise as a whole. After becoming proficient in Japanese, I began to import the new video games from Japan before they hit the shelves in America. Once I started importing, I began to pick up many of the Japanese Pokemon names, which, due to my knowledge of Japanese, made sense. Aside from the games, my knowledge of Japanese also made me more attentive to all of the merchandise that they release in Japan. Soon after I became proficient in Japanese, I began to investigate these products and contact Japanese-speaking wholesalers who sell these products to retailers overseas. Since I was able to communicate with them, I managed to set up accounts and began to purchase many Japanese Pokemon items. Today, I still deal with these Japanese-speaking wholesalers and sell Japanese Pokemon merchandise online. The online communities that I buy and sell on made me more aware of events such as Worlds. Worlds 2012 was my second year spectating at the event, and one of my favorite aspects of the event is speaking Japanese with all of the people who come over from Japan!

How did you end up going to Japan? What did you see that was Pokemon-related while you were there? 
My dad used to take many trips to Hong Kong, so he promised me that if I managed to fluently speak Japanese, he would take me to Japan on the way to his business trip in Hong Kong. I managed to meet his expectations, so he took me on the trip. In terms of Pokemon-related things in Japan, they are everywhere. In fact, the train I got on from the airport to the Tokyo railway station was decorated with decals promoting the Arceus movie (I went to Japan in summer 2009). Furthermore, I went to three Pokémon Centers while in Japan—Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka. Pretty much everywhere I went, there was something Pokémon-related.

What would you tell other people who might be interested in learning Japanese? 
If you want to take Japanese, be prepared for a big time commitment and a lot of work. For me to speak fluently (not perfectly, but fluently to the point where I could easily get around), it took around 3 years, from the moment I bought the Rosetta Stone disk to the instant I touched down at Narita International Airport. The language has many intricacies, which makes it easier than English at times, but most of the time much harder. I think that learning Japanese should be something that a hardcore Pokémon fan should consider; it truly opens up a whole new side to the fandom that you do not even know exists.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Geek.Kon 2012: Exteme Multitasking: Tournament Edition

Here's another interview from Geek.Kon 2012:

In this interview, we discuss the attendee's participation in a Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament and a Pokemon Black and White Tournament. Did I mention that the tournaments overlapped each other?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Geek.Kon 2012: Eric Stuart Interview

Here's an interview from last weekend's Geek.Kon where I to talk to Eric Stuart, one of the voice actors for the first eight seasons of the Pokemon TV show:

In the interview we discuss how he got into voice acting, what it's like to sing as a character, and some of his more recent musical works.

You can see Eric's web site here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Preview: Geek.Kon 2012

I recently got a chance to talk to Katie Hatheway, one of the staff members from this year's Geek.Kon convention near Madison, WI about this weekend's event:

How did Geek.Kon get started?

Geek.Kon started when a few members of MACS [Madison Area Costuming Society], a few anime enthusiasts, and a few tabletop gamers talked to a group of UW-Madison students and collectively agreed that it would be awesome to have a multi-genre convention right in town. Six years later, we've moved to a larger venue, and we're still going strong!

Eric Stuart (voice of Brock for seasons 1-8) is a guest at this year's convention. What will he be doing there?

Eric's doing some pretty neat stuff for us! You can catch him Friday night opening our rock concert, at Q&A panels and signings throughout the weekend, and performing again Sunday afternoon.

There's also a Pokemon video game tournament. When will that be?

That's a Pokemon Black/White tournament, and that's Saturday evening at 6pm. If you're not interested in competitive play, we'll also have a portable meetup area that will be open all weekend.

What are some of the other things going on at the convention?

We have a great tabletop gaming room this year-there will be representatives from Total Party Kill Games as well as Rio Grande, there to answer questions and show you how to play. We also have a Masked Ball Friday night with live music, a costume contest and trivia challenge, and a special screening with a shadowcast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Where can people find more information about the convention?

Go to for general information, as well as access to our community forum. We also have a Facebook page,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pokemon World Championships 2012: Tour + Opening Ceremonies

First, here's a video showing the layout of the tournament site:
 In the video, we hit up the usual places:

-Open gaming
-TCG area
-VGC area

I've also got a video of the opening ceremonies:
There'll be more updates throughout the event.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pokemon Black & White Volume 1 DVD set coming to America November 20th

The next set of Pokemon DVDs just showed up in a listing on Amazon:

Amazon US

This set releases November 20th. The previous set, the third volume of Sinnoh League Victors, is set for release on September 4th.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pokemon TCG Dragons Exalted Prerelease: Madison, WI + More Dewott You Do

Here's an interview from a recent Pokemon TCG Dragons Exalted Prerelease:

Cards featured in this video:

-Gabite (Dragon Call)
-Devolution Spray

Also, in case you missed it, here's part two of the "Dewott You Do" (my parody of "Do Wot You Do" by INXS) saga:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interview: Pokémon TCG Dragons Exalted Prerelease Rockford, IL

Normally, I post interviews in audio form, however the audio from this interview contains a large number of technical issues that in my opinion render it too difficult to listen to. Rather than discard the interview, I decided I would transcribe it here.

Christian Cuevas
Me: Hi, I’m Steven Reich here at Top Cut Comics in Rockford, IL at one of the Pokémon Trading Card [Game] Dragons Exalted Prereleases. I’m here with Christian Cuevas, who is one of the participants in the Masters Division of today’s prerelease, and Christian you’ve picked out a couple cards from the set, so let’s just go through them. So the first one you’ve picked out is Terrakion EX. What does that card do and what do you like about it?

Christian: Well, Terrakion EX has two attacks. It has Rock Tumble which is for fifty, which is not affected by resistance, and then Pump-up Smash for ninety, where after you’ve done your attack, you attach two basic energy cards from your hand to your Benched Pokémon. In my opinion, this card isn’t the best, but I like its Pump-up Smash attack.

Me: Yes, that definitely sounds pretty interesting. So, there’s several Pokémon Tools in this set, and the one you’ve picked out is Giant Cape, so what does that card do?

Christian: Well, it’s simple-it just basically gives your Pokémon [an] extra twenty HP, but I believe in a tough situation it can be very useful.

Me: Yeah, definitely. It’s sort of like Eviolite, but it has a different type of effect, and you can use it on Evolved Pokémon too which is really nice. There’s a couple [of] Special Energy Cards in this set, and they’re both designed to work with one of the new features. What’s that new feature in this set, and what’s the Energy Card you’ve picked out?

Christian: Well, one of the new features is that they came out with Dragon-Type Pokémon where they really don’t have a specific Energy Type, but they use many different Types of Energy, which this card [Blend Energy Water-Lightning-Fighting-Metal] when you put it on a Dragon-Type, let’s say you need a Water Energy-you can use it that way.

Me: There’s also a companion card that has four of the other types, so those are definitely two cards to look out for. Well, thank you very much Christian-this has been Steven Reich from Top Cut Comics in Rockford, IL at one of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Dragons Exalted Prereleases.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Song Parody: Dewott You Do (Parody of “Do Wot You Do” By INXS)

Just in time for Worlds 2012, here's a new song parody. The original song is available here:

Alternately, you can look through your parents' music collection. There's a decent chance of finding it. ;)

Dewott You Do
Parody of “Do Wot You Do” By INXS
With new lyrics by Steven “Yoshi” Reich (


And in reflection of games gone by-y,
I stayed awake all last night
Tr-ainers came, out from ev-ry shore
I had to go, I pleaded more


And it’s not easy to take the ti-ime,
To make a team, or deck of mi-ine
It seems complete, but then I fi-ind,
It can’t compete, and so I gri-ind

Ooh, what have I done?
(I) put it off a little too long

I train ev-ry minute with you
No one else can Dewott ‘cha, Dewott ‘cha
I train ev-ry minute with you
No one else can Dewott ‘cha, Dewott ‘cha

And in reflection of games gone by-y,
I stayed awake all last night
Tr-ourney came, I was still unsure-ure,
Could I get by? I sweated more-ore

Ooh, can it be done?
Thought it out, uh-could I be wrong?

I plan ev-ry minute with you
No one else can Dewott ‘cha, Dewott ‘cha
I plan ev-ry minute with you
No one else can Dewott ‘cha, Dewott ‘cha


Trainer: Whaddya think Dewott? Do we have a chance?
Dewott (affirmative): Wott!
Trainer: Well, I’ve got one more slot, and no idea who to use. (Panicked) What am I gonna do?
Dewott: (Sprays water)
Trainer: (Spits out water) Hydro Pump. Thanks, I needed that. So, got any ideas?
Dewott: Wott!
Trainer: You want to try?
Dewott: Dewott!
Trainer: Alright buddy, get in there!

Ooh, this will be fun!
Now I’m up, it shouldn’t be long

I fight ev-ry battle with you
No one else can Dewott ‘cha, Dewott ‘cha
I fight ev-ry battle with you-ooh
No one else can move like you do
I fight ev-ry battle with you-ooh
No one else can Dewott ‘cha, Dewott ‘cha
I’ll win ev-ry battle with you-ooh
No one else can Dewott you do

Want to know how I chose the song and more info about it? Here's a handy video:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How Pokemon Radio Happens: Programming the Station

Ever wonder how PIRN gets programmed each day? Well, here's a helpful video that explains the process all the way from categorizing music to making the actual playlist:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pokemon TCG US Nationals 2012: Masters Champion (Klinklang/Kyogre EX)

Here's an interview with the champion of masters division of the TCG portion of the Pokemon US Nationals 2012. In the interview, we discuss the player's Klinklang/Kyogre EX deck, how he went from playing Pokemon to Yu-Gi-Oh and back to Pokemon, and some of his favorite memories of the event:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pokemon VG US Nationals 2012: 2nd place Seniors

Here's an interview with a top finisher in the video game competition at last weekend's Pokemon US nationals:

In the interview, we discuss the player's team, how he chose the Pokemon, and whether he would make any changes going forward.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pokemon TCG US Nationals 2012: Zekeels

In our first interview from Pokemon US Nationals 2012. In the interview, we discuss a player's Zekeels deck, and how she did at the event.

Cards featured in this interview:

-Terrakion (NV)
-Thundurus (ND)
-Smeargle (CoL)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pokemon US Nationals 2012: Site Tour

I conducted my usual site tour video for this year's Pokemon US nationals: More updates should be coming throughout the weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crossover Idea: Pokemon Rumble Blast Corps

In honor of the upcoming Pokemon Conquest, I thought I'd share my own idea for a Pokemon Crossover-Pokemon Rumble Blast Corps:

As I note in the video, it's not really a serious suggestion, but I hope you enjoy it all the same.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pokemon TCG Spring Battle Roads 2012: Madison, WI - CMT (Celebi/Mewtwo/Tornadus)

Here's an interview I conducted at a recent Pokemon TCG Battle Road event:

In it, we discuss the player's Celebi/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX (better known as CMT) deck.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

John Siegler/Pokemon Live Interview

Here's an interview I did with John Siegler, who worked on music for the Pokemon TV show from seasons 1-8. In it, we cover the Pokemon Live! stage show that ran around the turn of the century:

Incidentally, I'm also looking for some piano players out there:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pokemon 2.B.A. Master sheet music now on iTunes iBooks

In case you didn't know, every week I check iTunes for any new Pokemon music. This time I happened to notice this. It's a digital version of the old easy-piano version of the Pokemon 2.B.A. Master album (I actually have a physical copy from back in the day). Enjoy!

Video game video capture tutorial

Here's a guide to capturing video from old-school video games:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

First Look: Pokemon Collection Blu-Ray

Neil Lumbard, frequent reviewer at, sent us his first impressions of the recently released "Pokemon Collection" Blu-Ray compilation of Pokemon movies four through seven:

Pokemon 4Ever is easily the weakest transfer on the set. It looks barely better than DVD quality from what I viewed. It is a disappointing transfer but it is at least in widescreen with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio*. It should still be a minor improvement over the widescreen DVD Echo Bridge released.

Pokemon Heroes seems to be the same transfer as the earlier Double Feature release. It's a clear improvement over the DVD release, but still not as amazing a HD transfer as one would hope for. It is still better than the transfer given to Pokemon 4Ever. Echo Bridge only gave 2.0 Dolby Digital audio and it sounds inferior to the LPCM version on the first BD release. I also noticed a slight, tiny hiss from one of my speakers (not sure if this is because of the audio-track or if I need to fix something, it is probably a fault of Echo Bridge).

Pokemon Jirachi Wish Maker is the best transfer of the bunch. Finally in widescreen. Definite improvement over DVD. Looks like real High Definition and it is not even a weak transfer. 5.1 Dolby Digital audio sounds nice.

Pokemon Destiny Deoxys is the same video as the Double Feature release. It is the second best transfer included. It's not quite as impressive as Wish Maker but still a good HD effort. Again, Echo Bridge went from a 2.0 LPCM to a 2.0 Dolby Digital. The sound is slightly inferior. I did not notice any hiss issue on this film as I did with Heroes.

The menu designs are actually somewhat nice. Echo Bridge designed something pretty decent in that regard.

The cover art bugged me by being out of order in presenting the four films but then I realized they likely intended it to be like a right to left manga presentation -- sort of a neat if unnecessary design idea. Some might consider this a "cool" aspect.

The disc itself lists the films out of order (which is irritating), and it has a generic disc label. Nothing interesting about it at all. Blue background with white text. The actual menus used for the release present the four films in chronological order though.

All of the films are in 1080p 1.78:1.

None of the short films have been included.

*The disc is ls listed as having DTS sound, but Neil confirmed that the 5.1 is in fact Dolby Digital.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Alternate version of Pokémon the Movie 2000 to be released

In a set of press releases, The Pokémon Company and The Pokémon Company International announced that a new version of the second Pokémon movie will be released this year. This version will feature Ho-oh, and will be presented in 3D.

“Following the success of Pokémon the Movie White: Victini and Zekrom and Pokémon the Movie Black: Victini and Reshiram, we decided to go back and create a new version of the classic movie from 2000,” a spokesperson for the Pokémon Company International said. “Fans have always told us that they wanted to see Ho-oh in a movie, and this seemed like the perfect way to do it.”

In case you haven't guessed, yes, this is an April Fool's Day gag. Hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Interview: Kathryn Raio (Follow Your Star (Truth Mix), Rival Destinites theme)

I recently conducted an interview with Kathryn Raio, co-performer of the Pokemon: Rival Destinies theme (she also performs the "Truth Mix" of "Follow Your Star" from Pokemon the Movie Black: Victni and Reshiram). You can check it out here:

Saturday, January 14, 2012