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#PPAMonth Podcast Roundtable #5

Podcast Roundtable
Gather round the table! And take a listen to these amazing podcasters!

Pokemon Podcast Appreciation Month is still going strong! As part of this amazing month we sent out a roundtable survey to our as many Pokemon Podcasters in the community. We asked these amazing podcasters several different questions. Some of these questions include what makes a great episode, their thought process when picking music and their proudest moments.

We have received several different responses from different Pokemon podcasts. The idea with these Podcast Roundtable is feature a variety of different podcasts and how they respond to similar questions. After all, a Pokemon tabletop podcast will response differently to questions compare to a Pokemon battling podcast.

Below are the podcasts that we will feature in today’s Podcast Roundtable.
Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium (Tabletop)
Purified Podcast (Pokemon GO)
Pokemon Champions Podcast (Battling)
Pikapi Podcast (Anime)

Now that you know who we have at the table, lets go see how they reply to our questions!

1: What lets you know that you made a great podcast episode?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium): I can generally read the attitude of the players when things start getting heated and see when they start getting excited because things are going really well or really bad. Usually that translates into volume, so I guess I’d say it’s a great episode when they all start yelling.

Lindsay (P:AitM): The best episodes are usually when there’s little dead air. When we really get going, building off each other, that’s when we have our best ideas, best scenes, best episodes.

Duncan (P:AitM): Whenever we start going on a roll. We work off each other’s energy and get excited off each other’s actions. That and anyone that causes the group to bust a gut laughing.

Ryan (P:AitM): It’s usually how much we were able to bounce off each other and establish a flow during the episode. To part the curtain a little bit, normally in those first few minutes of the episode it might take us a little bit to really get ourselves up to speed (plenty of dead air going on).

Once Tanner gives us some of their creative wordplay, or Duncan makes another terrible pun for Lindsay and I to groan at, then I know we got the flow and we are rolling at that point!

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): The ability to provide the right information and be able to see how people react, trying to make sure the community can hear you clearly without much interruption (I mean we are live podcast XD) and have a clear understanding of the week!
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): Zac and I usually judge an episode by how much fun we had when talking about things. We don’t have much by the way of detailed notes when going into an episode, so most everything we have to say is ad-lib.

That has lead to some really fun discussions or moments. And it’s usually after episodes like that where I will stop recording and the first words out of my mouth will be “That was good!”

Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): If I’m laughing when I edit it later, it was probably pretty good. If I’m laughing while I listen to it weeks later, it was great.

2: What kind of feeling do you wish your listeners would get from listening to your podcast?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (P:AitM): I just hope they’re entertained. We run a gamut of genres and feelings but as long as a listener enjoys themselves listening to us (then) I’m happy.

Lindsay (P:AitM): I hope they get excited when an episode drops and come away entertained and satisfied.

Duncan (P:AitM): I would like them to feel immersed into the adventure. The listener is on this adventure with us.

Ryan (P:AitM): If the listener is entertained, and come away happy, then I’m happy. That’s all I’m looking for is to make people happy.

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): I want my listeners to be informed and happy that there will be someone out there with the same community with the visual aspect that we provide.
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): I just want people to have fun with the show and with competitive Pokemon in general. I know that a lot of time people can feel like the meta can get really stale or that a certain strategy or set of Pokemon is just so prominent that they feel like that’s all the current metagame is. But I want to really highlight some of those more niche playstyles, teams, and move selections that make some teams really stand out.

Even if most of the team looks fairly standard as far as the meta is concerned, I really find joy in the small changes people make to try and get a leg up on the competition. And I’d love it if our listeners would pick up on that too.

Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): I hope they get the feeling that what makes something “good” or “bad” depends on what lens you’re viewing it with. There is a lot of value found in unexpected places, and it will change as you go through different stages of life.

3: What is your thought process when it comes to picking music for your podcast?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (P:AitM): Oh that’s almost all Ryan lol. If there’s something that doesn’t have an equivalent from the DPPt soundtracks I’ll suggest a similar track from another game, but most of the time that’s Ryan’s department.

Lindsay (P:AitM): It’s all Ryan, but the general thought is that it matches the scene we’re in.

Duncan (P:AitM): King Julian has his affinity for music somewhere. Ryan has the touch for music synergy.

Ryan (P:AitM): It all depends on the mood we’re going for, or the situation we are in. I am constantly digging through OC ReMix for tracks the fit what I’m looking for.

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): Not a lot of music aside from the intro. trying to keep it under the rules, by trying to bring that nostalgia feeling combined with the modern times that we are today.
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): The intro song we used is a remix of the Mt. Lanakila theme. We use it for a few reasons, but mainly it helps to really set a chill vibe.

It also is a theme for the location of the Gen 7 Pokemon League, which was the most recent gen when we started the show. So it felt like it resonated with our show’s concept of tracking the road to crowning each years Pokemon Champions.

Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): When I first started, I tried to find Pokémon music that related to the tone of the episode, or non-Pokémon music if I thought it was a good joke. I liked to showcase less known Pokémon tracks, or Japanese language tracks. Now…I have a much better idea of how the copyright situation works for podcasts, so I try to stick to parodies or original compositions.

4: How do you handle the structure of your podcast? Why is it structured a certain way in segments?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (P:AitM): The only structure I try to follow is keeping individual sessions around an hour, an hour and a half if necessary.

I keep an eye on time to see how much of my plans the characters can get through – sometimes they rip through them at high speeds, sometimes they barely touch them because of their own antics. That way I can end things on a note that leaves them wanting more – players and listeners alike.

Lindsay (P:AitM): We try to keep the episodes to an hour, but will usually record two at a time. The general MO is Tanner gives us a situation and we figure out how to solve it with whatever the Dice Gods give us.

Duncan (P:AitM): I feel it’s structured to at least to conclude on a significant event or cliffhang on a amusing point.

Ryan (P:AitM): lmao We have structure? Our show is very much Tanner throwing situations at us and we gotta roll with the punches which gets me pumped for every session.

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): We have a few segments, from recaps, to news, and then PvP, since we are live sometimes we rant a lot but it’s a lot of fun when we improvise!
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): We alternate between talking about TCG and VGC in order to create a good back-and-forth flow between Zac and I as we each talk about our area of expertise.

We frontload the show with event results, because that’s the main content that we cover. And then we have any relevant news in the second half of the show in case people want to get that information from us as well. We try to prioritize putting the main content people come for up front while also trying to build up to the highlight of whatever we’re covering that week.

Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): Covering an episode makes it very natural to follow the structure of the existing story. As I’ve gone on, I’ve sort of found a rhythm for a “cold open” topic, a promo/news spot, the episode, and closing thoughts. Some sections don’t always have something to say, but it’s a good flow for me.

5: What kind of style do you think your podcast has?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (P:AitM): Yes.

Lindsay (P:AitM): 90s/2000s anime.

Duncan (P:AitM): I feel has a Saturday morning cartoon adventure vibe. Silly lighthearted adventures with deep overarching plot.

Ryan (P:AitM): Underground, hard-style, punk rock, late night anime block on YTV (Canada’s Cartoon Network). We are the Pokemon podcast equivalent of the up-and-coming band playing at your local bar, just trying to make it!

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): Being a Live-to-Podcast kind of podcast has made the Purified Podcast a unique way to show the community the news and updates the game has been able to adapt. Live feed makes the show more diverse!
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): We try to go for a fairly casual style, but we also put in a lot of work researching and analyzing meta trends and results in order to have the best information we can so we also want to have a fairly crisp tone to what we’re going over.

I’ve heard some people describe our show as “The ESPN of Pokemon” and I think that’s the kind of style we strive to have, but just a bit more toned down for a podcasting medium.

Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): I hope it’s a friendly style! Being a solo host, it has sort of a history/educational podcast vibe, though it’s more entertainment than learning. I think it reminds me of old radio programs I listened to, or a really jazzed up version of masterpiece theater.

6: Why do you choose to release your podcast on the day that it is released on?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (P:AitM): I think the only thing I said was “don’t release it on the same day as PWTU” because that was the only other Pokemon Tabletop podcast I knew about and was for some reason worried we’d seem like we were copying them. Of course now I know about plenty of Pokemon actual plays lol, and we’re friends with a decent chunk of them.

Lindsay (P:AitM): Whenever they’re done, like Ryan says.

Duncan (P:AitM): I trust that our release schedule is well handled.

Ryan (P:AitM): They used to come out whenever they were done, but now we are apart of the #MONDAYGANG with various other Pokemon Podcasts. Monday just feels right.

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): Sunday works best for both the host of the Purified Podcast, as Sunday we are in the midst of winding down. We strive to cover every piece of news that the game has released that week. It’s also the best time to relax and listen to us rant about what’s good these days XD
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): We originally tried to release on Mondays because then we could be a show people could listen to after work, or on their Tuesday commute. And this would let us get results out as soon as we had them.

However, we struggled to always get results in time so we started to delay uploads to about Wednesday, which is when we usually were getting out biggest download spikes to begin with. We still wanted to be a show one could listen to on a work-place commute to catch up on the last weekend’s events and that worked pretty well until the COVID era began. And now Zac has a new job on top of that, so for now we’re a little more chaotic on when we get an episode out because it’s getting harder to find a time we can both record.

Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): If possible, I’ve always preferred to release episodes on a Monday or Tuesday, to give something entertaining to start people’s weeks. It doesn’t always happen that way, but…

7: What kind of image do you shoot for your podcast? Branding?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (P:AitM): In the ad we say that we’re “not your dad’s Pokemon”, but we kind of fall in the middle of a scale from edgy to idealistic.

I think what it comes down to is fear – we have similar beats to a standard Pokemon story, but characters can express their concerns and fears and doubts realistically and say exactly what could happen if things go wrong, exactly why they’re scared for themselves and for the children that are the player characters. That little element makes the situation “grow up”, per se, and raises the stakes without falling into grim darkness.

Lindsay (P:AitM): A realistically grown up Pokémon adventure. Not edgy, ‘cause screw that, but we don’t pull punches when it comes to the risks our characters are in.

Duncan (P:AitM): A lighthearted romp through the world of Pokemon with interesting characters and gripping action and drama at times.

Ryan (P:AitM): Tanner says it best, we are not your dad’s Pokemon. There are a lot of great Pokemon podcasts that are family friendly, and we very much are a part of the niche that is a more mature, grown up take on Pokemon, while keeping the fun, optimistic nature of the series. (With more swearing lol)

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): – We strive to be a bit different, but also being able to consistently cover the news and updates of the game. Also being part of the Professor Network has open brand new possibilities and we want to strive to grow with them every time!
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): Now this is what I have a lot of fun with. We wanted to construct our branding identity really carefully when we were starting out. I worked really closely with a graphic design friend of mine from Australia to create the central branding elements.

The original idea was to focus on the letter “C” because it’s in TCG, VGC, and Champions. But we also wanted to draw inspiration from and pay homage to the #PlayPokemon visual design, while still making something that looked very Pokemon without infringing on any copyright or trademarks. After various drafts and concepts we wound up taking the black/white/red color scheme that #PlayPokemon has used and combining that with a “C” icon for the “Champion’s Podcast” name and that “C” logo was also designed to evoke the image of a Pokeball, without exactly being one.

Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): Branding is not something I’m good at. I still haven’t made a logo that’s properly my own. It is an area I could stand to improve. But I think the title of the show catches people’s attention.

8: What is your proudest moment of your podcast?

Pokemon: Adventures in the Millennium Tanner (P:AitM): The Labyrinth of Fear was my favourite. I planned a lot of that out to bring in surreal elements and player’s major fears. I got the OK from everyone to put them through the emotional ringer, and the end result was amazing.

Lindsay (P:AitM): Belle and Cassidy reuniting. I think that (was) important to both of them. To not forget the past, but also to look towards the future.

Duncan (P:AitM): Saving the Garbador and riding it into battle to then gather up all the wild Pokemon to help us.

Ryan (P:AitM): There are so many moments that stand out, but I think it was Julian’s battle with Gardenia that stands out to me. Lee the Meditite hadn’t gotten a ton of love at that point, and taking a gamble with using him, and he came so clutch with two OHKOs. Surviving a critical Razor Leaf with 1HP was crazy!

Purified PodcastLuis (Purified Podcast): Oh man the best moment we had was probably being able to show our viewers live our Shiny reactions! Double Shiny Groudon was probably the best moment in our podcast time!
Pokemon CHampions PodcastDozer (Pokemon Champions Podcast): I don’t really have an answer for this one. I’m proud of everything we’ve done with the show so far, so I can’t really narrow things down to a single moment.
Pikapi PodcastAnne (Pikapi Podcast): Getting to break down Movie 3. When I decided I wanted to do a podcast, that was the image I had in my head, the thought of doing that episode. It took a lot of time to get there.

Special thanks to Tanner, Lindsay, Duncan & Ryan, Luis, Dozer and Anne from their respective podcasts for taking the time to answer these questions. We hope you love these podcasts! Make sure to give them all a review on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcatcher! See you next time for your next roundtable!

Ongoing Conversation