Pokémon (ポケモン Pokemon), abbreviated from the Japanese title of Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター Poketto Monsutā) and currently advertised in English as Pokémon the Series, is a Japanese anime television series, which has been adapted for the international television markets, concurrently airing in 124 countries worldwide. It is part of the Pokémon media franchise, based on Nintendo's Pokémon video game series. New episodes and movies air in the United States on Disney XD, with the entire library available on the DisneyNow app.
|Genre||Action, adventure, fantasy|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kunihiko Yuyama (Chief Director)|
Masamitsu Hidaka (1997–2006)
Norihiko Sudō (2006–2013)
Yūji Asada (2010)
Tetsuo Yajima (2013–2016)
Daiki Tomiyasu (Deputy Director: 2015–2016; Director: 2016–present)
|Written by||Takeshi Shudo (1997–2000)|
Atsuhiro Tomioka (2006–2016)
Aya Matsui (2016–present)
|Music by||Shinji Miyazaki|
Hirokazu Tanaka (openings)
John Loeffler (4Kids and TPCi Music Dub: 1998-2013)
Ed Goldfarb (TPCi Music Dub: 2014-Present)
Team Ota (1997–2006)
Team Iguchi (2006–2009)
Team Kato (2010–present)
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||April 1, 1997 – present|
The Pokémon animated series is split up into six chronologically sequential series in Japan, split up by the version of the video game series the anime takes inspiration from: the original series, the Advanced Generation series, the Diamond & Pearl series, the Best Wishes! series, the XY series, and the newest, the Sun & Moon series. In the international broadcasts, these six series are split into 21 separate seasons.
These anime series are accompanied by spin-off programming, consisting of Pokémon Chronicles, a series of side stories featuring characters in the anime that are not its current cast of main characters, and the live action variety and Pokémon-related news shows of Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station, Pokémon Sunday, Pokémon Smash!, and Pokémon Get TV, premiering in late 2013.
The Pokémon anime series was largely credited for allowing anime to become more popular and familiar around the world, especially in the United States, where the two highest-grossing anime films are both Pokémon films. It was also considered to be one of the first anime series on television to reach this level of mainstream success with Western audiences, as well as being credited with allowing the game series to reach such a degree of popularity, and vice versa. The anime series is also regarded as the most successful video game adaptation of all time, with over 1,000 episodes.
In a 2018 interview, the creators of Detective Pikachu, which features a talking Pikachu, revealed that the original intention for the anime was to have the Pokémon talk, but OLM, Inc. were unable to come up with a concept that Game Freak were accepting of.
Plot and characters
After he turns 10 years old, Ash Ketchum (Satoshi in Japan) is allowed to start his journey in the world of Pokémon and dreams of becoming a Pokémon master. On the day he is to receive his first Pokémon, Ash wakes in a panic, having overslept. Professor Oak, the local Pokémon researcher, has already given away the three Pokémon (Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle) he entrusts to new Pokémon Trainers when Ash finally reaches Oak's Lab. The only Pokémon that he has left is a Pikachu, that he gives to Ash. Determined to make it on his journey, Ash does his best to befriend Pikachu, but it does not trust him and will not even return to its Poké Ball, even attacking Ash with its electric powers. It is only after Ash protects Pikachu from a group of angry Spearow that Pikachu realizes how much Ash cares, leading it to save Ash. Afterwards, they both see a mysterious and unidentifiable Pokémon that spurs both of them to work towards Ash's goal.
Along the way, Ash makes many human and Pokémon friends as he works his way through the ranks of the world's many Pokémon Leagues. Through the Kanto Region, Ash befriends Water Pokémon trainer and erstwhile Cerulean City Gym Leader Misty (Kasumi) and Pewter City Gym Leader and Pokémon Breeder Brock (Takeshi), and all the while thwarting the plans of the Team Rocket trio Jessie, James, and Meowth, who want to steal Ash's Pikachu and any other rare Pokémon they come across. When the group travels to the Orange Islands, Brock decides to stay with the local professor, Ivy, leaving Ash and Misty to continue travelling together. After a while, they meet and begin traveling with Pokémon Watcher and artist Tracey Sketchit (Kenji). Once they reach Pallet Town in Kanto, Tracey decides to stay with Professor Oak and Brock rejoins the group. With this news,[clarification needed] the trio continues on their way to the Johto region.
When Ash leaves for the Hoenn Region at the end of the original series, Misty returns to Cerulean City in Kanto to become the full-time Cerulean City Gym Leader. However, at the start of the Advanced Generation series, Brock follows him to Hoenn and Ash gains new companions in Pokémon Coordinator May (Haruka) and her younger brother Max (Masato), and together they face off against the rival teams, Team Magma and Team Aqua.
After returning to Kanto and participating in the Battle Frontier challenge, Ash battles with his rival, Gary. After seeing Electivire, a Pokémon from the Sinnoh region he has never seen before, Ash decides to travel to Sinnoh. At the beginning of the season, Ash travels with Brock, one final time, to the Sinnoh Region, with May and Max going on their own paths.[disputed ] Ash and Brock meet Dawn (Hikari), another Pokémon Coordinator, who travels with them as they go through Sinnoh where they must defeat Cyrus and his Team Galactic.
In the Best Wishes! series, Ash, his mother Delia and Professor Oak take a holiday to the far-off Unova Region, where he meets and travels with would-be Dragon Master Iris and Striaton City Gym Leader, Pokémon Connoisseur, and sometimes detective Cilan (Dent). During their journey, they discover the evil plans of Team Plasma, a criminal organization that wants to free Pokémon from people's ownership so that they can rule the world unopposed. After winning all eight Unova badges, Ash, Iris, and Cilan travel throughout the eastern side of Unova to prepare for the Unova Pokémon League Tournament, after which they meet N, who is instrumental in defeating Team Plasma. After this, Ash, Iris, and Cilan travel through the Decolore Islands before Ash makes his way back to Pallet Town and the meet the investigative reporter Alexa (Pansy) who is from the distant Kalos Region. Having arrived back in Kanto, Iris and Cilan travel to Johto whilst Ash and Alexa head to Kalos soon after Ash reunites with Delia and receiving a new outfit from her.
In the XY series, Ash and Alexa arrive in the Kalos region and Ash is itching to get started in earning his Gym badges. But after Alexa informs Ash that her sister, a Gym Leader, is currently absent, Ash travels to Lumiose City where he meets boy-genius Clemont (Citron) and his younger sister Bonnie (Eureka), unaware that Clemont is, in fact, Lumiose City's Gym Leader - a fact he tries his best to hide. Ash also reunites with Serena, a girl from Vaniville Town whom Ash had met in his childhood at Professor Oak's Summer Camp in Pallet Town. During that time he helped her during a predicament, and she has had feelings for him since that time. After traveling with them to prepare for the Kalos Pokémon League Tournament, Ash competes and advances all the way to the final, where he loses to Alain (Alan), a member of Team Flare due to them misleading him. Once he discovers their true intentions, however, Alain reforms and joins Ash and his friends to stop Team Flare's plans. Bidding farewell to his friends in Kalos, Ash once again returns to Pallet.
In the Sun & Moon series, Ash, Delia and Delia's Mr. Mime, nicknamed Mimey, are on vacation in the Alola region when Ash has an encounter with Tapu Koko, the guardian Pokémon of Melemele Island, who presents him with the Z-Ring, a device that, when paired with a special crystal, allows a Pokémon to unleash a powerful move when synchronized with its trainer. This leads him to stay in Alola and enroll at the local Pokémon school. When he decides to undertake the trials necessary to master the power of the Z-Ring, Ash's new classmates Lana (Suiren), Mallow (Mao), Lillie (Lilie), Sophocles (Māmane) and Kiawe (Kaki) decide to assist him.[how?] Team Rocket, with James being more decisive and leader-like than in the previous series,[clarification needed] is also in the Alolan Islands, and a running gag is that they have become "adopted" by a Bewear that appears and carries them off back to its cave just as they are being defeated, instead of the traditional "blasting off" conclusion.
In Japan, Pocket Monsters has been broadcast under its original title and under five subtitled titles, with the subtitled versions denoting a change in the setting matching the different versions of the video games, rather than being divided into distinct seasons (a change in season is usually denoted by a change in the theme songs, but the title never changes). The sixth and current series being broadcast is Pokémon: Sun & Moon (ポケットモンスター サン&ムーン Poketto Monsutā San Ando Mūn). In its international broadcasts, Pokémon's episodes have been split up into smaller seasons for the international releases, running a fixed number of episodes, using a specific opening sequence for each new season, and a new subtitle. The current international season airing is the 21st season, Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon: Ultra Adventures.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||Indigo League||82||April 1, 1997||January 21, 1999|
|2||Adventures on the Orange Islands||36||January 28, 1999||October 7, 1999|
|3||The Johto Journeys||41||October 14, 1999||July 27, 2000|
|4||Johto League Champions||52||August 3, 2000||August 2, 2001|
|5||Master Quest||65||August 9, 2001||November 14, 2002|
|6||Advanced||40||November 21, 2002||August 28, 2003|
|7||Advanced Challenge||52||September 4, 2003||September 2, 2004|
|8||Advanced Battle||54||September 9, 2004||September 29, 2005|
|9||Battle Frontier||47||October 6, 2005||September 14, 2006|
|10||Diamond and Pearl||52||September 28, 2006||October 25, 2007|
|11||DP: Battle Dimension||52||November 8, 2007||December 4, 2008|
|12||DP: Galactic Battles||53||December 4, 2008||December 24, 2009|
|13||DP: Sinnoh League Victors||34||January 7, 2010||September 9, 2010|
|14||Black & White||50||September 23, 2010||September 15, 2011|
|15||BW: Rival Destinies||49||September 22, 2011||October 4, 2012|
|16||BW: Adventures in Unova||45||25||October 11, 2012||April 18, 2013|
|BW: Adventures in Unova and Beyond||20||April 25, 2013||September 26, 2013|
|17||XY||48||October 17, 2013||October 30, 2014|
|18||XY: Kalos Quest||45||November 6, 2014||October 22, 2015|
|19||XYZ||47||October 29, 2015||October 27, 2016|
|20||Sun and Moon||43||November 17, 2016||September 21, 2017|
|21||Ultra Adventures||47||October 5, 2017||present|
In addition to the main series and the movies, the anime has also shown various full-length specials and TV shorts. Many of these specials centered around legendary Pokémon or one or more of the main characters that is separate from the main cast during its corresponding series, while the sporadically-made later side story episodes typically air as special episodes.
Pokémon Chronicles is a label created by 4Kids which is used for a collection of several as yet undubbed specials, which were first broadcast in English between May and October 2005 in the UK, and in the US between June and November 2006. The vast majority of the episodes making up Chronicles were taken from what was known in Japan as Pocket Monsters Side Stories (ポケットモンスターサイドストーリー Poketto Monsutā Saido Sutōrī), which aired as part of Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station. The remaining portions of Chronicles consisted of a TV special called The Legend of Thunder, and installments from Pikachu's Winter Vacation, originally released on video.
Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station
Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station (週刊ポケモン放送局 Shūkan Pokemon Hōsōkyoku) is a closely related spin-off series that aired with the beginning part of Pokémon: Advanced Generation. The show was presented as an animated variety show, and showed clip shows, reruns of Pokémon episodes, television airings of the Pokémon movies, cast interviews, and live action footage, in addition to the previously mentioned Pokémon Side Story episodes. The hosts were Mayumi Iizuka as Kasumi (Misty) and Yūji Ueda as Takeshi (Brock). They were regularly joined by Kaba-chan, Manami Aihara, Bernard Ackah and Rex Jones as the comedy team "Shio Koshō", Megumi Hayashibara as Musashi (Jessie), Shin-ichiro Miki as Kojirō (James), and Inuko Inuyama as Nyarth (Meowth). The show ran from October 15, 2002, to September 28, 2004, when it was replaced by Pokémon Sunday.
Pokémon Sunday (ポケモン☆サンデー Pokemon Sandē) was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 3, 2004, to September 26, 2010. The show is the successor to the Pocket Monsters Encore and the Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station]. Like the shows before it, Pokémon Sunday is variety show featuring reruns of old episodes as well as a number of 'Research' episodes involving live-action elements. Regular guests include Golgo Matsumoto and Red Yoshida of TIM; Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ryūji Akiyama, and Hiroyuki Baba of Robert; Becky (through September 2006), and Shoko Nakagawa (starting October 2006).
Pokémon Smash! (ポケモンスマッシュ! Pokemon Sumasshu!) is the successor to the Pokémon Sunday series. It aired from October 3, 2010, to September 28, 2013. Like its predecessors, Pokémon Smash! is a variety show that features live-action segments and reruns of old anime episodes. The theme song is "Endless Fighters" by AAA. Regular guests include Golgo Matsumoto and Red Yoshida of TIM; Shoko Nakagawa; and Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ryūji Akiyama, and Hiroyuki Baba of Robert.
Pokémon Get TV
Pokémon Get TV (ポケモンゲット☆TV Pokemon Getto Terebi) is the successor to Pokémon Smash!, which premiered on October 6, 2013. Shoko Nakagawa remains as a host, and is joined by Yukito Nishii and comedy team Taka and Toshi. Just like its predecessors, it is a variety show featuring reruns of previous anime episodes and special live-action segments.
Airing and production
Pokémon is broadcast in Japan on the TX Network family of stations first on Thursday evenings; it is then syndicated throughout the rest of Japan's major broadcasters (All-Nippon News Network, Fuji Network System, Nippon Television Network System) on their local affiliates as well as on private satellite and cable networks on various delays. Production in Japan is handled by TV Tokyo, Medianet (formerly Softx), and ShoPro. Kunihiko Yuyama has served as the series' chief director since the original series. The latest series, Pokémon: Sun and Moon, began broadcast in Japan on November 17, 2016, with Tetsuo Yajima serving as director and Atsuhiro Tomioka as head screenwriter.
Internationally, The Pokémon Company International handles production and distribution of the anime, with DuArt Film and Video. The anime currently airs in 124 different countries. In the United States, new episodes are first broadcast on Disney XD, to which the channel also has the airing rights to the previous episodes and the films in the US. Episodes have also previously aired in syndication, and on The WB and Cartoon Network.
The Disney XD channels for the UK and Ireland and continental Europe handle broadcasting throughout Europe. In the UK, it was also aired on Sky 1, ITV, ITV4, Cartoon Network and Toonami, CITV, Pop and Pop Max. On ITV, it was originally broadcast as part of the Ant & Dec show SMTV Live, which featured "PokéRap" and "Pokéfight" sketches. Besides Disney XD, it also airs in Germany on Nickelodeon and ProSieben Maxx, in Belgium on vtmKzoom and Kadet. In Canada, the series has aired on YTV for over 16 years. Partway through XY, in 2014, it moved to Teletoon.
In Australia, The show is currently broadcast on 9Go!, which began on 4 December 2016 airing Pokémon XY and 9 February 2017 of a repeat episodes of the show from the very beginning and all new episodes of Pokémon: Sun and Moon premiered on 17 July 2017 to onwards.[incomprehensible] This show was formerly shown on Network Ten from 5 October 1998 until 22 February 2012, and was later moved to a digital channel Eleven on 27 February 2012 and will air until early 2018, On Pay TV This show was shown on Cartoon Network in 2000 until early 2016 later moved to Boomerang for only aired Pokémon XY: Kalos Quest and In 2017 it will move to Disney Channel or Disney XD.[incomprehensible] It is licensed by Beyond Home Entertainment.
When the series started its broadcast in the United States, it was licensed by 4Kids Entertainment, produced by 4Kids Productions and syndicated by The Summit Media Group Pokémon was distributed on VHS and DVD by Pioneer Entertainment, which sold 25 million units of the series in 2000. In the ninth season, after The WB branding went defunct, Pokémon's production was taken over by The Pokémon Company and TAJ Productions. After the tenth and eleventh films were released, DuArt took over.
The Pokémon anime is available on Netflix in 216 regions and countries with different dubs and subtitles; all countries have at least English audio. It is also available on Hulu in the United States and Japan, and Amazon Video in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Austria. It is also available through the Pokémon TV app for iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle Fire.
The Pokémon anime in India is aired by Hungama TV. The Pokémon anime has an Indian audience of 96.9 million viewers, out of which 32.9 million viewers are in the 4–14 age range, among whom it is the top-ranked TV show.
In China, the series has been released on several streaming platforms. The first episode has been watched 180 million times on Tencent Video, and over 20 million times on Youku. On iQiyi, the fourth season has been watched more than 800 million times.
Pokémon has had several anime episodes removed from the rotation in Japan or the rest of the world. The most infamous of these episodes was Cyber Soldier Porygon (でんのうせんしポリゴン Dennō Senshi Porygon, commonly Electric Soldier Porygon). The episode made headlines worldwide when it caused 685 children to experience seizures and seizure-like symptoms caused by a repetitive flash of light. Although the offending sequence was caused by Pikachu's actions, the episode's featured Pokémon, Porygon, has rarely been seen in future episodes, with appearances limited to one brief cameo appearance in the movie Pokémon Heroes and in one scene-bumper later in season 1. Its evolutions Porygon2 and Porygon-Z have only appeared in a brief part of the opening sequence of Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice. Several other episodes have been removed from broadcast in Japan due to contemporary disasters that resemble events in the program; the 2004 Chūetsu earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the 2014 Sinking of MV Sewol all have caused cancellations or indefinite or temporary postponements of episode broadcasts. In the United States, the September 11 attacks in 2001 as well as 2005's Hurricane Katrina led to the temporary removal of two episodes from syndication.
On September 1, 2006, China banned the series from prime time broadcasting (from 17:00 to 20:00), as it did Western animated series such as The Simpsons, to protect its struggling animation studios. The ban was later extended by one hour.
On August 18, 2016, the XYZ episode Kalos League Victory! Satoshi's Greatest Decisive Battle (カロスリーグ優勝！サトシ頂上決戦 Karosurīgu yūshō! Satoshi chōjō kessen) (Down to the Fiery Finish! in the English dub) faced criticism from fans when Ash lost the Kalos League against Alain. The fans specifically criticized the episode due to misleading trailers that suggested that Ash would win the battle and because Ash had lost all of the Pokémon Leagues in past seasons. Fans also disliked the outcome because they believed Ash's Greninja had many advantages over Alain's Charizard, including the fact that water-type Pokémon resist fire-type Pokémon attacks, and that the rare Bond Phenomenon Ash's Greninja was subject to was said to be far more powerful than a conventional Mega Evolution. Several animators of the series also expressed disappointment that Ash had lost. TV Tokyo's YouTube upload of the teaser of the next episode received an overwhelming number of dislikes as a result of the outcome. On IMDb, the episode became one of the lowest-rated episodes of the entire anime.[better source needed] A Change.org petition asking that an alternate ending be created in which Ash wins received more than 3,900 signatures.
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