Greetings Kanto Nation and happy anniversary!
It was on March 15th, 2015 when a couple took the airwaves to talk about Pokemon. They were fueled with passion and had a microphone. There was a man who wanted to provide people with a podcast about competitive Pokemon battling and a woman who knew how to use Tweetdeck. Together these two would form a nation of fans without even realizing how big it will become.
Welcome to the Kanto Nation where Kanto Cast is always on the airwaves! They have recently celebrated two years on the airwaves and in honor of this we have decided to interview the Blue and Yellow! The Leader of the Nation and First Lady took some time to talk to PXR about how the podcast has changed, the origins of the podcast and more. The podcast has clearly has grown with the couple and we wanted to sit down with them. The podcast has grown with their nation of fans and we feel like this will be a real treat for any fan of the podcast.
So get ready to sit down as we interview Blue and Yellow about the state of their podcast!
Pokemon Crossroads: Kanto Cast has been around for two years now. What has made you two want to start up a Pokemon podcast
Blue- I originally wanted to start making YouTube content like everyone else on the internet. haha But I lacked the tech to do so and instead decided to start a podcast. I was training for half marathons at that time and listened to Shady Penguinn videos as I trained and I remember thinking, “Man I wish there was a podcast I could listen to instead of keeping YouTube open for hours…”. I wasn’t really aware of the other big Pokemon podcasts at that point so I decided to make one myself.
Yellow- I was initially just supposed to be behind the scenes until Blue and Kevin (Red) peer-pressured me into learning how to play Pokemon. Then Yellow’s Game Log was created and I became slightly more recurring. I still feel like I have almost no idea what I’m doing. haha
PXR: What is the story behind the name of the podcast, Kanto Cast?
Blue- So every good name I came up with was taken or were way too hard to brand when I started searching for possible titles. But after a while it just kind of came to me to name the show Kanto Cast. Kevin and I are Gen 1 OG, so Kanto felt appropriate. The “Cast” portion of the name I think is fairly self explanatory. haha The concept also came about to call the community “Kanto Nation” because I’ve been listening to/watching Phillip DeFranco since he started his YouTube career, which he refers to his community as “the Nation”. Everything more or less just came together after that.
Yellow- The alliteration of “Kanto Cast” was my favorite part. So when Blue came up with that concept I loved it. He also had the idea to broadcast under “host names” that were based on the games themselves: Blue and Red. I actually wasn’t sure of the name “Yellow” originally and bounced back and forth between that and “Green”. Eventually I decided on Kanto Cast Yelow, though and now everyone thinks “Green” is going to be the name of our future baby.
PXR: This question is in reference to your response to why you name the podcast “Kanto Cast”. Do you guys remember what were some of the other names that you guys came up for the podcast? Do you guys mind sharing some of them?
Blue- Honestly there weren’t that many. I think I initially liked Pokemon Radio and PKMN Radio. But I believe we did some searches and discovered those to be taken or something along those lines. I also considered Podcast Monsters as a play on “Pocket Monsters” but I quickly moved past it because I thought the names wasn’t clear enough. Kanto Cast had a nice sound to it and it was unique and direct enough to stand on its own while not being too cliche.
PXR: Yellow is your wife and cohost for the podcast though she doesn’t seem as knowledgeable on certain aspects of Pokemon. What kind of discussion came up when you told her about starting up a Pokemon podcast and how did she got involved on the show?
Blue- Yellow was always really supportive of the show as she is with most of my endeavors. She was originally the “Social Media Manager” which means she basically ran TweetDeck and found a way for me to upload the show. In order to appeal to every Pokemon enthusiast of every background and skill level I decided bringing her on the show would be a good way to bridge the gap between Kevin and I who were both relatively experienced players.
Yellow- Kevin and Blue have also been trying to get me to play Pokemon for years. Since Platinum, I think. I’m pretty sure they just exploited the opportunity.
PXR: Since starting the podcast, how has Pokemon become more involved in your life?
Blue- I really have to live this stuff now, man. I was a more casual player originally, but once I started covering competitive stuff I got a tweet sent to me asking why they should care about anything I have to say regarding VGC. I took that to heart so I started really learning the game and went to the Pokemon Regional Championship in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that year back in 2015. I was content just breaking even in Swiss but ended up placing 17th overall missing Top Cut by a percentage worth of resistance. But beyond that initial desire I’ve really gotten involved with the Pokemon community as a whole and it’s absolutely amazing.
Yellow- I almost feel like I don’t know what’s going on in the world outside of Pokemon. We’re so tuned in to the Pokemon news and community that it’s all we really focus on now. Like, we talk to Citizens of the Kanto Nation more than our own family at this point, I think.
PXR: How does Yellow feel about the podcast now? How does she feel about being this involved in something Pokemon related?
Yellow- I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to grow. And that Blue has started to become more of a voice within the community. I guess even though I don’t compete the community as a whole is still really welcoming and a great place to interact with other people. I thought the fact we were involved in Pokemon was nerdy and a little embarrassing initially, but now that I better understand the competitive scene it’s definitely grown on me.
Blue- I think she’s really started to enjoy the interactions with people, too. I don’t think, for her, it’s all about “Pokemon” rather being able to interact with all the fans and friends we’ve gained over the last two years.
PXR: How did Yellow became the social media expert of the podcast? How did it help her get more involved in Pokemon and grow the podcast?
Yellow- I knew about TweetDeck haha.
Blue- Yeah she knew about social media tools and I think she wanted to be involved in some way and this was her biggest contribution she felt comfortable making.
PXR: Blue has done a few things related to VGC such as T.N.T.B.T. (Try Not to be Terrible) to not be terrible in the VGC, how do think this has helped the podcast?
Blue- Like I said earlier, one person on Twitter met me with some skepticism as to whether or not I actually knew what I was talking about. So I think above all else it helped give us and the show some credibility that wasn’t present before.
Yellow- It also introduced us to a lot of different people we didn’t have connections to before because not everyone listens to a podcast.
PXR: You guys started out in covering different Leagues but recently have shifted more to VGC. What was the cause of this shift? Is there anything you two would like to address about this?
Blue- Initially Kevin was covering Smogon Tiers and I was focused on VGC. It was always kind of that way. We both had leagues in common though. I think once it became harder to get weekly episodes out covering league play and it became too backed up for it to stay as relevant as what the analysts did for the GBA. Eventually I got asked to be an analyst but I almost felt like I was covering the same stuff twice. I wanted to keep content on the show diverse and felt double coverage wasn’t in the spirit of that. But I still have league players on the show every now and then. And there might be an episode or two coming up about leagues since I’ve actually started playing in a few. Like I said before though, when you commit to “git gud” at VGC you really gotta live, eat and breathe it so ultimately that just kind of over shadowed it.
PXR: At Blue’s last Regional, he mention that people have started to recognize him. How do you guys feel about you two being known within the Pokemon community?
Blue- There’s a certain pressure that wasn’t there before. haha I feel like before I could just kind of do my thing and if I didn’t play well or whatever then that was OK. But now I feel like people are watching how I’m doing and expecting me to perform well at events and so on. I don’t know if anyone actually cares that much or if we’re even that well known but it’s definitely always in the back of my mind.
Yellow- I just like to make fun of him because Blue isn’t really about the spotlight. I get kind of excited when bigger names recognize Kanto Cast, though, because it’s almost like validation that we’re growing and the show is getting bigger.
PXR: In the last year, it seems like the podcast has had a few guests on the show such as tournament organizers and fans. How does this makes you feel? Which one has been your favorite?
Blue- I love having guests on. I think interviewing is one of my strongest talents when it comes to writing and producing the show so anytime I get to showcase that I’m thrilled.
I honestly really liked having Jen Badamo and Ashton Cox on and their interviews were great. But I’ve also been long time fans of aDrive and CrimsonCBAD so having them on was pretty surreal as well. And then there’s Gabby Snyder who is just fantastic and always willing to come on and give great insight on all kinds of things. Honestly every interview was great and is special to me because they’re all with people I really like and respect. And each interview was unique in its own right. There was also the Wolfe Glick interview where I had him on just two weeks before we eventually played each other at Orlando, Florida Regionals which was incredible. I feel like I could name every interview I’ve done and say something I loved about it but that would take way too much time haha.
Yellow- I like having interview episodes because I don’t have to be there during the recording so I get to experience the episode “live” just like everyone else. There are a lot of good ones, but my favorites were probably the ones with Jen and Gabby. YoFizz and Crimson were hilarious. I love them all, honestly.
PXR: What are your opinion of the podcast’s first ten episodes? Do you like them? Anything you wish could have come out differently?
Blue- Those episodes don’t exists haha. That’s what I always joke about on the show: “Just start with the episode of Hank the Pidgey and work your way forward.” There was also an episode I decided to solo way back when because I was determined to keep the show weekly at that point and no one could match up times to record. So ultimately I put out an episode that turned out to be absolute trash. haha I wasn’t proud of it. I’m still not but I keep it up to not only remind myself to create things that I want to listen to but also remind me of how far I’ve come with the show’s direction. If you guys could have seen the set up I was recording with initially you would have called Kanto Cast a joke. So it’s always nice to be reminded of how far we’ve come. I’m also really grateful to everyone who have stuck by us since those first few episodes.
Yellow- I feel like with every podcast it takes a few episode to find your rhythm and flow but with each new episode it gets better and better. And Blue is constantly looking for new ways to keep the content fresh.
PXR: How do you think Kanto Cast has evolved since the first episode?
Blue- I think the quality of the episodes is better. I mean I was recording at a minimal volume without really realizing it for a LONG time and I’ve since fixed that. I’m pretty confident that in order for a podcast to be well received your audience needs to be able to actually hear it. haha But the direction of the content has, I think, gotten better as well. Kanto Cast is a Pokemon podcast that covers a lot of different things and it’ll continue to do that as the show continues.
Yellow- We’ve become more open and interactive within the community, too. Especially after we revealed our faces. Kanto Cast has become more than a show as well. one of our favorite expansions of content is Blue’s Twitch streaming. I’m not always on screen but I’m usually hanging out in the chat.
PXR: What is the story behind the names that you and Yellow use on the show?
Blue- I was working for a certain pharmacy at the time and the company had a very strict social media policy (on and off the clock) so I wanted to make sure I protected the show and the hosts as best I could. The idea of Red, Blue and Yellow just kind of came to me since they fit with the Gen 1 theme of the show’s name. It’s kind of funny now because some listeners have called dibs on being Kanto Cast Gold or Kanto Cast X and so on just in case we ever take on new hosts in the future. It was also kind of funny because some other listeners were really into finding out who we actually were. Ultimately I knew if I ever did well at an event than my cover would be blown so I’ve just kind of rolled with it since then.
Yellow- Blue and Kevin were already calling each other Blue and Red (yes they are that tight in real life) so it just sort of fit the show’s theme. The only thing left to do was decide on my name and I went with Yellow. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the color Yellow but over time the name has grown on me and now we refer to each other as “Blue” or “Yellow” when talking to each other when discussing Kanto Cast and Pokemon things.
PXR: This question is in reference to your names. You guys hid your face for a long time. What made you guys finally decide to do your face reveal?
Blue- Initially it was a way for me to operate in secret without any repercussions from my place of employment. They had a real strict media policy and I didn’t want any backlash on what I was doing. They also had a really vague intellectual properties rules. Like at one point I read on the employee website that they could claim ownership to anything that was done by employees of the company. I even contacted the corporate lawyer who handles IP issues and got even less of a straight answer. So I figured it safer just to stick with anonymity. After I started pursuing VGC I knew people would start to know who I was if I got any good at it so eventually Yellow and I both decided to show ourselves after my first Pokemon VGC event.
PXR: Who would you like to have on the show in the future?
Blue- So we ran a poll during our first year’s anniversary to let listeners decide who I would publicly embarrass myself by asking to come on the show. I considered it an act of embarrassment because I knew there was no way any of these people would come on the show back then. haha The poll was between Alex Ogloza, Aaron Zheng, MatPat from Game Theory and Shady Penguinn. I kind of knew Shady would win and he did so when I went to Twitter he just never responded. haha I secretly wanted MatPat to win. Actually does he frequent this site? I don’t care, I’m gonna put it out there anyway. MatPat, please come on Kanto Cast. Please. I will literally do anything to make it happen. Probably. Please be a guest on my show. That said I also think Ogloza would be a fantastic talk as would Zheng. I also want to get Giovanni Costa on the show, too.
Yellow- I want the Wittenkellers. And MatPat and Stephanie. I think it would be fun to talking gaming with another internet couple.
PXR: How has running a podcast affected your life?
Blue- I have no more free time. Like ever. haha But in all seriousness I legitimately have no free time anymore. But I’m pretty OK with it because we’ve met a lot of great people and have become friends with people we would have never met before Kanto Cast’s existence.
Yellow- Yeah. People made everything worthwhile and that’s the biggest thing that’s changed for us. Getting to meet and become friends with a lot of different people.
PXR: You two are the cutest couple in Pokemon but obviously Blue has been much more involved in Pokemon. What kind of role has Pokemon played in your relationship before and after marriage?
Blue- Before she never really wanted anything to do with Pokemon. I don’t really think she’s still all that into it but she enjoys Pokemon as a whole and it’s given us something to bond over. I mean, I watched Twilight with her so she had to meet me halfway on this. Marriage hasn’t really changed, I don’t think. We’ve always kind of been that old married couple you think secretly hates each other. haha But seriously we just have a good time with it and we love razzing each other on Twitter.
Yellow- I feel like it has given us a common project to work on even though our roles are very different. And I like that I can be involved in something that Blue is so passionate about.
PXR: In your opinion, what do you think is the best feature about your podcast?
Blue- I think the community response that popped up from it. Like, not every Pokemon podcast that’s on the internet can say they have a community backing like we do. Granted the number of listeners we have far outweigh the number of people we interact with on Twitter, but focusing on community interaction has always been a big part of how I saw Kanto Cast functioning and growing. Kanto Cast is more than just a podcast; it’s videos on YouTube, interactive live streams on Twitch, conversations on Twitter. I wanted Kanto Cast to be more than a show, rather the show was just a central concept to bring everyone together.
Yellow- Definitely the community. The podcast would have ended a long time ago if the listeners weren’t enjoying the content being produced.
PXR: What is your favorite thing about the Pokemon fandom?
Blue- Definitely the plushies. haha Seriously it’s really cool to see how Pokemon has evolved (yes that was a Pokemon pun) over the years to be so much more than just a video game.
Yellow- The inclusiveness of the community. I knew Blue would say plushies because he has a serious Pokemon Center addiction. But in all seriousness the inclusiveness of the community is great, it’s my favorite part.
PXR: What do you enjoy about the podcast’s fans?
Blue- I love how passionate some of them are. I never imagined we’d have hard core fans but literally some listeners message me on Twitter just an hour or so after an episode goes live and tell me what they liked about it and stuff. I also think it’s crazy that we have fans and listeners all over the world. Shout out to Australia and Canada for being big Kanto Cast listeners.
Yellow- There’s always someone to talk to at all hours of the day. And the conversations aren’t always Pokemon related. Pets are definitely strong conversation piece in our Twitter chat. We also have great debates over whether or not pie or cake is better. haha
PXR: Speaking of fans, we have some questions from a fan by the name FakeMikeJones. First, he would like to ask why he haven’t been featured as the paetron of the month? After all we all know that w/o Mike Jones there is no KantoCast. That last part was his own words.
Blue- That is an excellent question. I guess because we don’t have a Patreon of the Month? If we did Mike would definitely be up there.
PXR: Also what is KantoCastBlue’s beard care regiment? Will we see him use mustache wax when he commentates next?
Blue- I use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap. Also just a basic fiber cream for hair and coconut oil based pomade for the beard. Anything beyond that and personal care gets too complicated. Likely not going to go old-timey, steam punk train bandit mustache anytime soon.
PXR: Lastly, FakeMikeJones believes there was a promise to update the instagram. When will that be happening? Sometime in 2017? Broken Promises! Once again, these are mostly his words.
Blue- Well Yellow is taking a back seat to Kanto Cast now that she has a job and career path she’s super excited about….. So I guess that falls on me now lol. Once she gives me the passwords to all that stuff I’ll start jumping on it!
PXR: Now back to our normally scheduled questions. What kind of advice would you give to any of the podcast’s fans who may be interested in podcasting? Either Pokemon or another subject.
Blue- Funny you should ask, because this has actually happened. haha The podcast “Wynaut a Podcast” was a group of our listeners who started a show of their own. I don’t know if they do much with it anymore but I remember them putting out more than a few episodes. The best advice I could give anyone starting a podcast would be make your own schedule and stick to it. I always felt obligated to make the show weekly but that upload rate never really fit with my schedule at the time. If you want good fan response you have to stay consistent with your uploads. The other bit of advice I’d give is make sure you’re putting out content that you yourself would listen to more than once. If you’re not feeling the quality or content your episode or show is based around, no one else is going to feel it either.
PXR: Where do you think the podcast will be in another three years?
Blue- Honestly, I don’t know. I started evaluating Kanto Cast on a 6 month basis after our first year. I love doing the show and being involved in the community but everything I do with Kanto Cast takes a lot of time to do it right and put out good content. The other downside to the amount of time invested is that the payoff isn’t exactly high either. And we’re at a point where we’re looking to start a family and stuff like that so ultimately there just aren’t enough hours in the day, week or month for me to keep it up at this pace forever while still making a living and having a family. However, the community funding response we’ve had has been great and with Yellow’s new job and my leaving a job I hated for the last three years I now find myself with a lot of time to invest in growing Kanto Cast while exploring new outlets to help fund the show and make it more sustainable. I’m slowly trying to position Kanto Cast into becoming a profession over the hobby that it’s been for the last two years and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s lent their support to help make that dream a slightly more visible reality. That said I’ve definitely got big plans for the next year of Kanto Cast and I’m going to do everything I can to make it bigger and better than it’s ever been.
Yellow- That’s everything I would have said. haha I don’t think we’d ever stop doing Kanto Cast. I think the frequency of the episodes might be less, though. We’ll always try to find ways to be active within the community no matter what.
PXR: What is your favorite podcast memory?
Blue- My first interview. Preparing for my interview with Hank the Pidgey was nerve racking and I had to figure out how to record his bit off a speaker I had set up. The technical obstacles paired with the fact I had never really interviewed anyone really reminded me that I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. haha But while preparing for the interview and getting everything figured out I realized I was putting more effort into this than anything I was doing at my job where I was getting paid to work. That’s what really made me realize I loved doing this and I’ve been working to get better at it ever since.
Yellow- I really like it when I get to be on with guests. haha Talking with Gabby and Magnet was really fun. But nothing beats having Kevin on when we get the gang back together. Like when we were all on discussing our favorite Pokemon of each type. Fun things like that.
PXR: Which podcast episode from the last year would you like to recommend to new listeners and why?
Blue- Honestly any of the episodes with interviews. If I had to put a theme on 2016 I’d say it was Kanto Cast’s year of interviews. Last year we had Wolfe Glick, YoFizz, aDrive, CrimsonCBAD, the Florida Regionals Stream Team (including TJ Digiacomo, Adam Dorricott and Gaby Snyder), Jen Badamo, Paul, Magnet, and the Rank ‘Em Up Crew. Truthfully, go listen to the Rank ‘Em Up episode. It’s episode 60 so it’s pretty recent but it still counts as a “Year Two” episode. I don’t think you’ll find a more fun episode to listen to. Not to say the other ones aren’t good, but that one definitely stands out to me.
Yellow- I agree. The Rank ‘Em Up episode is probably the one I’ve had the most fun on since we started recording the podcast.
PXR: Lastly, what would you like to tell to fans of the podcasts? What can they expect in the next year?
Blue- Well as long as I’m unemployed you can definitely look forward to more frequent episodes. haha I’m also going to have a few more shorter, slightly general gaming related episodes to help keep things on a more weekly basis. Ultimately I’m going to continue focusing on more competitive related content and have more interviews take place. I’ve already got more than a few interviews lined up and I’ve planned out a lot of fun segments that I think are pretty unique. There’s going to be more collaborations so I think that alone will keep the show fresh and fun.
As far as the fans go, I can’t really thank them enough for sticking with us for this long, no matter how long they’ve been listening. I say on the episodes pretty frequently that we love and appreciate everyone that listens and that is legitimately true. I’m not just saying it; the fans and listeners literally keep us going. I don’t think I’ll ever have the words to really articulate my thanks to everyone who listens or offers up support which is why I usually ramble at the end of the episodes. haha In short I love and appreciate all our listeners and I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for us and the show.
Yellow- While Blue focuses on Kanto Cast for the foreseeable future my participation on the show will become less frequent. I’ve always supported Blue’s vision for Kanto Cast and while he makes a go at this being his full time job, I won’t always be around to jump on the mic with him. However, I have not doubt Blue is going to do everything he can to make each episode fun, entertaining and unique. To our fans and friends, I can’t thank you enough! I’ve said multiple times on the podcast that I don’t know what we would do without Kanto Nation. The podcast started during a time after we moved a thousand miles away from family and friends; our little Pokemon community has really become a big part of our life. We appreciate every interaction and kind word we get from our listeners. Thank you!
Thank you Blue and Yellow for taking part in this interview. It was amazing to have the two of you. We look forward to hearing your podcast and where Pokemon will take you two. Keep up the great work and surely your Kanto Nation will grow! To another year and more of a great podcast!
And Blue and Yellow will make sure to catch you all next time on…Kanto Cast!