- If you were looking for the move whose Japanese name can be translated as Canon, see Round (move).
Canon refers to all official and undeniable information within a general series. Originally a religious term used to refer to which scriptures written "counted" in a religion, the term has expanded to have meaning in fictional series as well.
In the Pokémon franchise, notably, there are several canons, sharing several things among them, most notably the existence of Pokémon. Aside from this and the interrelation of the various species of Pokémon (such as by evolution), these worlds can vary from one another in canon and storyline either very little or very greatly.
Canon is different from fanon in that, while fanon things may be mutually agreed upon by most, and possibly all, fans, they are never officially stated.
List of canons
The canon of the Pokémon games considers the following:
- Events of later games set in the same region supersede events of prior games set in that region. That is to say, the storyline of the third versions and later remakes are considered to be the canonical events, where there is conflict between them and earlier versions. For example, canonically, Cyrus summoned Dialga and Palkia at the Spear Pillar, and was then warped to the Distortion World by Giratina before being defeated by the player (the Platinum storyline), rather than summoning only one of the creation trio and being defeated by the player at the Spear Pillar before any harm could occur (the Diamond or Pearl storyline).
- The gender of the player makes no difference in canon except in one special case: Red is the Trainer who defeated Team Rocket in Kanto, while it is unknown if Leaf even exists. Aside from this, unless a future game canonizes the gender of the protagonist of any of the other four regions, either choice is canon as the protagonist.
- Events occurring in the main series versions are the ultimate canon, while events occurring in other games are canon unless they conflict with the events in the main series games.
- Anything written in the instruction manuals' introductions that does not conflict with the events of the games is canon.
The canon of the Pokémon anime considers the following:
- The events of each and every episode are canon, and occur in chronological order with the exception of EP052, which takes place before EP049.
- All movies are canon, and act the same as "filler" episodes, as Ash and his friends do not obtain, evolve, or release any Pokémon, and do not get any Badges or Ribbons. The episodes a movie premieres between in Japan are the episodes that precede and follow it in chronological order, except in the case of Mewtwo Strikes Back, which occurs between EP067 and EP068 (but premiered between EP054 and EP055) and The Power of One which occurs between EP105 and EP106 (but premiered between EP104 and EP105), among a few others.
- The Japanese version of the anime supersedes any and all dubs if there is conflict between them. If something is said in the English dub that is not mentioned in the original, it may not be truly canon.
The canon of the various Pokémon manga considers the following:
- Each manga series is a separate canon, except in instances of sequels, such as Pokémon Chamo-Chamo ☆ Pretty ♪, which follows from Magical Pokémon Journey.
- Pokémon Adventures chapters and rounds follow chronologically from one another, rather than having the Ruby & Sapphire and Emerald chapters occur contemporaneously to the Red, Green & Blue and Yellow chapters as the storylines of the games they are based on do. The same applies to Diamond & Pearl and Platinum chapters which do not occur simultaneously with the Gold, Silver & Crystal chapter. The exception to this rule is HeartGold & SoulSilver chapter, which occurs between Emerald and Diamond & Pearl. The rounds of a chapter follow chronologically from one another, although there are few exceptions: for example, Buzz Off, Butterfree (round 152) takes place simultaneously with Slugging It Out With Slugma (round 117).
Differences between canons
Characters that are well-known in the Pokémon franchise can have vast differences between the various canons. For example, in the games, Brock is a well-known Gym Leader, the toughest Trainer in the area of Pewter City, and remains as the leader of its Gym between the time of Red/Leaf's journey and Ethan/Kris/Lyra's. In the anime, however, while he is a tough Trainer, his true calling is as a Pokémon Breeder (and later on, a Pokémon Doctor), and he took the mantle of Pewter Gym Leader only because both of his parents left on their own Pokémon journeys, leaving him in the care of the Gym and their rather large family. Differences can go much further than that, with Sabrina being a kind shrine maiden in The Electric Tale of Pikachu, a misguided young woman due to the development of her powers in the anime, and a Team Rocket member in Pokémon Adventures.