Pokémon (ポケモン Pokemon ), abbreviated from Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター Poketto Monsutā ), is a Japanese animated series, which has since been adapted for the North and South American, Australian and European television market. It is somewhat based on the Pokémon video game series and a part of the Pokémon franchise.
Originally a single series, Pokémon, it has since been made into three series, including Pokémon: Advanced Generation and subsequently Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which sequentially continue the story of Pokémon, while its spin-off Pokémon Sunday (formerly Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station) has broadcast a series of stories revolving around some of the recurring characters, Pokémon Chronicles or, as it is known in Japan, Pokémon Side Story.
Ash Ketchum (Satoshi in the original Japanese series) has just become a Pokémon trainer in the Kanto Region. He picked Pikachu because, after breaking his alarm clock, Ash was late for his appointment and all the conventional starter Pokémon (Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle) were gone. He has a childhood rival named Gary (Shigeru in the original Japanese series). Ash accidentally destroys a bike belonging to a girl named Misty (Kasumi in the original Japanese series), who starts to follow him to get her bike back, but soon becomes a close friend. Misty endeavors to be a great water Pokémon trainer. Shortly thereafter, Ash battles Brock (Takeshi in the original Japanese series), the leader of the Pewter City gym. Ash initially loses to Brock's Onix, but wins the Boulder Badge in a rematch. Brock then turns over gym leader duties to his estranged father and accompanies Ash and Misty on their journey in order to become the world's greatest Pokémon breeder.
Ash's Kanto journey culminates with him collecting the necessary eight badges to compete in the Indigo League Pokémon Tournament held annually on the Indigo Plateau in Viridian City. Upon his arrival Ash shrugs off repeated suggestions that he should spend his time training and preparing for the tournament. He ultimately loses in the quarter-finals to Richie, a new rival who happens to use many of the same Pokémon as Ash, including a Pikachu named "Sparky".
After the Indigo League, Ash returns briefly to Pallet Town before setting out on a new journey to the Orange Islands where he will compete in the Orange League. Brock eventually parts company with Ash and Misty to pursue Pokémon research with Professor Ivy. At this point a new character, Tracey Sketchit (Kenji in the original Japanese series) joins Ash. Ash collects four badges and competes against the Orange League champion, Drake, a very experienced trainer. The battle comes down to Pikachu versus Drake's Dragonite with Pikachu delivering a devastating Thunder attack to score the knockout blow.
Victorious in the Orange League, Ash again returns to Pallet Town where he and Misty are reunited with Brock who leaves Professor Ivy for an unknown reason. Tracey decides to stay in Pallet Town to work with his idol, Professor Oak as Ash, Brock and Misty head west to the distant land of Johto. Pokémon: The Johto Journeys marks the introduction of a new series of Pokémon beyond the original 150 named and frequently seen throughout the Kanto and Orange Islands regions.
In the fifth season (Pokémon Master Quest), Ash is defeated by a Pokémon trainer from the southern land of Hoenn region and decides to journey there next after a brief visit home. Before arriving in Pallet Town, Misty receives a message from her sisters requesting that she return to Cerulean City to take over gym leader duties. Brock then decides that he has been away from home too long and must return to help his father take care of his many brothers and sisters. This marks the last time to date that the original trio of friends journeys together. In Pallet Town, Ash receives a more modern-looking outfit from his mother and sets out for the Hoenn region with only Pikachu, choosing to leave his other Pokémon with Professor Oak.
In Hoenn, Ash meets May (Haruka in the original Japanese series) and her younger brother Max (Masato in the original Japanese series), who join in his journey. May is excited by the Pokémon Contests that take place in Kanto and Hoenn, while Max joins the group to gain experience so that one day he will have his own Pokémon and become a Gym Leader like his father Norman, the Gym Leader of Petalburg City. Having solved his family issues, Brock returns (also in a new outfit) to accompany Ash. This season, Gary leaves his promising career as a Pokémon Trainer to become a Pokémon researcher. Misty visits the group and takes Ash, Brock, May and Max to the Togepi Kingdom.
After Ash completes the Hoenn League, he returns home to Pallet Town, as do May and Max return to Petalburg City, and Brock returns to Pewter City. Ash meets up with Misty, Tracey, Professor Oak and his mother at his homecoming celebration. Professor Birch and Max arrive in Pallet Town that same evening, and May and Brock arrive the next day. Ash and May learn of the Battle Frontier and the new contests in Kanto region and decide to travel together to compete. Brock, Max and Misty decide to join them on their new journey, however, Misty leaves the group again in the next few episodes to return to looking after the gym.
After Ash becomes champion of the Kanto Battle Frontier, May as well as Drew, Solidad and Harley travel to the Johto region to participate in the Grand Festival held there. Max returns to Petalburg City to get ready for his own Pokémon journey and Brock returns to Pewter City, once again. Ash learns of a new region called Sinnoh, where he embarks on a new journey. Ash planned to bring only Pikachu, but Aipom snuck on the boat. Brock comes back a few days later in Sinnoh and they both meet Dawn (Hikari in the original Japanese series), a new trainer who hopes to become a great Pokémon Coordinator, like her mother. Ash meets a new rival, Paul (Shinji in the original Japanese series), who prefers to capture the strongest Pokémon, leaving the weak who are released, in strong contrast to Ash's methods. Ash also meets Gary several times throughout Sinnoh, and is briefly rejoined by May during the Wallace Cup. Then, after Ash gets in to Hearthome for his 5th badge, he runs into Barry. Now, Barry is commonly running into them on and off. Barry and Ash have battled against each other twice, once at his anime debut, and then for the right to challenge Palmer to finish off the Twinleaf Festival.
Like many anime metaseries, Pokémon: The Original Series, Pokémon: Advanced Generation Series and Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Series episodes are split up into smaller series for the English release, usually to denote the areas and adventures going on. Because of this, series are identified by the opening animation used for the episode, rather than a run of a fixed number of episodes. In certain places, the different series are considered different shows altogether, although they involve the same storylines and characters. To date there are 12 total seasons, eleven of which have aired in the United States. The twelfth season is currently airing, the thirteenth season will conclude the Diamond and Pearl series.
|Season Name||Series / Generation||Episodes Totals||Region Covered|
|Indigo League||The Original Series||80 (82 in Japan)||Kanto|
|Adventures on the
|The Johto Journeys||41||Johto|
|Johto League Champions||52|
|Master Quest||64 (65 in Japan)|
|Advanced Battle||52 (53 in Japan) [note 1]|
|Battle Frontier||47 [note 2]||Battle Frontier at Kanto|
|Diamond and Pearl||Diamond and Pearl||51 (52 in Japan)||Sinnoh|
|Battle Dimension||52[note 3]|
During each season of the main series, a Pokémon Feature Film (劇場版ポケットモンスター Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā , Pocket Monsters Movie), starring the main characters from the TV series has been released. As of 2009, there have been twelve movies and one feature length TV broadcast (released outside Japan as a direct-to-video movie titled "Mewtwo Returns"), the twelfth released in July 2009 in Japan. The plot of every movie has involved an encounter with a Legendary Pokémon, although some may not conform to a strict definition of the word. The movies are also used to promote new Pokémon that appear in new versions of the game.
|Movie ID#||Japanese Title||English Title||Release Date (JP/US)||Legendary Pokémon||Link|
|1||Mewtwo Strikes Back
|Mewtwo Strikes Back||July 18, 1998
November 10, 1999
|Mewtwo Strikes Back|
|2||Revelation Lugia (Mirage Pokémon: Lugia's Explosive Birth)
|The Power of One||July 17, 1999
July 21, 2000
|3||Lord of the 'UNKNOWN' Tower: Entei (Emperor of The Crystal Tower: ENTEI)
|Spell of the Unown||July 8, 2000
April 6, 2001
|Lord of the Unown Tower|
|4||Celebi: A Timeless Encounter (Celebi: A Time-Crossing encounter)
|Celebi: Voice of the Forest||July 7, 2001
October 11, 2002
|Celebi: A Timeless Encounter|
|5||The Guardians of Altomare (Guardian Gods of the Capital of Water: Ratiasu and Ratiosu)
|Heroes: Latios and Latias||July 13, 2002
May 16, 2003
|Guardians of the Water Capital: Latias and Latios|
|6||Wishing Star of the Seven Nights: Jirachi
|Jirachi Wish Maker||July 19, 2003
June 1, 2004
|Wishing Star of Seven Nights|
|7||Visitor from a Fissure in the Sky: Deoxys
|Destiny Deoxys||July 22, 2004
January 22, 2005
|Sky-Splitting Visitor: Deoxys|
|8||Mew and the Wave Guiding Hero: Lucario
|Lucario and the Mystery of Mew||July 16, 2005
September 19, 2006
|Mew and the Wave Guiding Hero: Lucario|
|9||Pokémon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea: Manaphy
|Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea||July 15, 2006
March 23, 2007
|Pokémon Ranger and Prince of the Sea|
|10||Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai
|The Rise of Darkrai||July 14, 2007
February 24, 2008
|Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai|
|11||Giratina and the Sky Bouquet: Shaymin
|Giratina and the Sky Warrior||July 19, 2008
February 13, 2009
|Giratina and the Bouquet of the Sky: Shaymin|
|12||Arceus: To the Conquering of Space-Time
|Arceus and the Jewel of Life||July 18, 2009
November 20, 2009
|Arceus To the Conquering of Space-Time|
|13||Phantom Ruler: Zoroark
|TBA||July 10, 2010
|Phantom Ruler: Zoroark|
Except main series and movies, the anime has also shown various specials and TV shorts. In English-language broadcast, these have been played or are playing as the Pokémon Chronicles or Pokémon Sunday series, alongside the The Legend of Thunder! special and several Pikachu 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. Another 8 additional OVAs were broadcasted on even numbered ANA Nippon Flights, as well as sell by DVD exclusively. Besides, two 3D shorts were shown during the tour of Japanese theme park Poképark.
Pikachu's Winter Vacation (ピカチュウのふゆやすみ Pikachū no Nofuyuyasumi ) is a series of winter themed Pikachu-centered shorts that went directly to video. The first two were part of the Pokémon Chronicles series. This was the only Pokémon DVD not released by Viz Video but rather 4Kids' normal way of releasing DVDs, being released by 4Kids and Funimation.
Pokémon Chronicles, known in Japan as Pokémon Side Story (ポケモンサイドストーリー Pokemon Saido Sutōrī ), where it is aired as part of Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station (週間ポケモン放送局 Shūkan Pokemon Hōsōkyoku ) is a closely related spin-off series that aired with the beginning part of Pokémon: Advanced Generation. The main episodes are stories that star various recurring characters that appeared in Pokémon, some of which account for discontinuities of the plot of Pokémon: Advanced Generation. However, instead of new episodes each week, as is the case with Pokémon: Advanced Generation, other things may air during Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station such as reruns of Pokémon episodes, television airings of the Pokémon movies, cast interviews, and live action footage.
Pokémon Sunday (ポケモン☆サンデー Pokemon Sandē ) debuted on TV Tokyo on October 3, 2004. The show is the successor to the Pocket Monsters Encore and the Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station. Like the shows before it, Pokémon Sunday is a sort of variety show featuring reruns of old episodes as well as a number of 'Research' episodes involving live-action elements.
The English adaptation of the series was produced by 4Kids Entertainment and video distribution of the series was handled by Viz Media for the TV series, Warner Bros. and Nintendo for the first three movies and the first television special, Miramax Films, and Buena Vista Home Entertainment for the fourth movie through the seventh, Viz Media for movies eight to ten, and Universal Studios for the eleventh and forthcoming twelfth film. The series and all feature films are directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, with English adaptations originally written by Norman J. Grossfeld and Michael Haigney for the first eight seasons. However, starting with the ninth season, The Pokémon Company International, operating as Pokémon USA at that time, and TAJ Productions, who worked with 4Kids on the show before taking leave after Season 5, replaced 4Kids as the show's non-Japanese producers and distributors. Most of the original voice cast was also replaced, causing controversy among fans who admired the original voice actors. TAJ was replaced by DuArt Film and Video for the tenth movie and Season 11 of the anime series. In the UK, Pokémon first aired on Sky One, followed by airings on GMTV and CITV including their Saturday morning show SMTV Live and proved to be extraordinarily popular, to the point were segments and sketches of the show itself were based around Pokémon (e.g. the Pokérap).
The show (as of December 4, 2008 in Japan and May 9, 2009 in the United States) started its third season of Diamond and Pearl, subtitled "Pokémon DP: Galactic Battles" in the English dub. An English version of Pokémon Side Story has now been made, titled Pokémon Chronicles which premiered in the UK on Toonami on May 11, 2005 at 4:30 p.m. BST, and is currently airing the 11th season on YTV in Canada. Each season also brings forth a Pokémon feature-length film, and each film up until the seventh is preceded by a Pokémon animated short. Pokémon CD's have been released in conjunction with the anime. The tracks feature songs that have been shown in the English dubbed version of the anime. However, some CDs have been released to promote and profit the anime.
In Japan, both series are shown on TV Tokyo, with Diamond and Pearl airing on Thursday nights (previously Tuesdays) and Pokémon Sunday on Sunday mornings, the former airing in high definition starting April 2009; HD episodes began airing in the USA on October 3, 2009. In the United States, Advanced Generation could previously be seen on the air on the now-defunct Kids' WB! cartoon block on Saturdays, but in April 2006, Kids WB, which continued on the CW Network until 2008, announced the fall schedule and Pokémon was nowhere to be seen, replaced by the WB-created series Legion of Super-Heroes. The rights for Battle Frontier were picked up by TimeWarner's corporate sibling Cartoon Network instead, and aired on CN starting September 9, 2006 at 9 a.m. US ET/PT, with a special prime-time episode having been aired the night before (September 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, following the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon special. The fourth season of the Advanced Generation series, titled Battle Frontier has been airing in the United Kingdom from February 5, 2007, the show also airs in Canada. In addition, the series is also seen as such on the International Satellite Network.
Cartoon Network's India and Pakistan services, along with their Toonami UK service, also carries Pokémon episodes. As of October 9, 2006, Cartoon Network's online service, Toonami Jetstream, featured Pokémon episodes starting at the Orange League episode "The Pokémon Water War". As From 16 November 2009 Cartoon Network India is Going to air dub of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl while Cartoon netwrok Pakistan Is Going To air it from 9 November 2009.
The newest series of Pokémon began airing in Japan on September 28, 2006 with a three-episode arc introducing the new series' main female character Dawn (known in Japan as Hikari), based on the playable female player in the Diamond and Pearl games. The new series aired with a sneak preview on April 20, 2007 in the USA. The sneak preview aired on May 5 in Canada. A dubbed version of the 90-minute preview done in Japan, Diamond and Pearl takes place in the Sinnoh region, based on the new Diamond and Pearl games. The new series aired in prime time on Cartoon Network starting June 4 at 7:30 PM ET/PT as part of the Cartoon Network Summer 2007 programming promotion. Currently, it airs on Saturday mornings with newer episodes airing at 9:00 AM ET/PT. The summer run was confirmed in the Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea DVD released on April 2 of 2007. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has also been airing on YTV in Canada since September 8, 2007. Ash and Brock are joined by a new coordinator named Dawn, and the trio travel through Sinnoh, collecting gym badges and ribbons. Gary returns in this series. May, Max, Tracey and Misty appear as supporting characters the remainder of the series.
In the UK, the first eight series were aired on multiple channels, including ITV1, ITV2, 5 and Sky1. Battle Frontier and Diamond and Pearl were aired on Cartoon Network. The CITV Channel and ITV4 recently showed Battle Frontier episodes for the first time on free TV, on everyday as part of Action Stations!. Battle Dimension started airing in the UK on September 6, 2008, on Disney XD (née Jetix), which is advertised confusingly as "the new home for Pokémon in the UK", however episodes airing on Jetix/Disney XD have also aired on CITV and ITV4, with ITV4 sometimes premiering new episodes. Jetix/Disney XD's various European channels also started including Pokémon in their schedules from late 2008, making it the only channel to air the newest Pokémon series in some regions.
Pokémon has had several anime episodes removed from the rotation in Japan, the Western World, or the entire world. The most infamous of these episodes was Electric Soldier Porygon (でんのうせんしポリゴン Dennō Senshi 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 never been seen again in the anime except for 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 never appeared either. On September 1, 2006, China banned the series from prime time broadcasting (from 17:00 to 20:00), similarly to western animated series such as The Simpsons, to protect its struggling animation studios. The ban was later extended by one hour.
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