(Japanese: でんのうせんしポリゴン Computer Soldier Porygon, commonly Electric Soldier Porygon; no known English title) is a somewhat notorious episode of the Pokémon anime, due to the fact that on its single airing in Japan on December 16, 1997, nearly 700 Japanese children suffered seizures, vomiting, irritated eyes and other symptoms due to a flashing strobe effect.
The episode was never commercially released or re-broadcast anywhere in the world due to it being banned by the Japanese government.
The scene which caused the seizures was a fifteen-second section in which Pikachu used an Electric attack on some vaccine missiles. The explosion was shown as a bright flashing object which alternated rapidly between red and blue.
The seizures caused by this episode caused OLM to drop the strobe effects from Pikachu's electric attacks. Also, a disclaimer is now broadcast at the beginning of television anime precautioning viewers to not sit too close to the television screen. (テレビアニメを見るときには、部屋[へや]をあかるくして近[ちか]づきすぎないようにしてみてくださいね。)
Also, this episode gained Pokémon the title of "Most Seizures Caused by an Animated Television Program" from The Guinness Book of World Records (see Wikipedia).
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Ash, Misty and Brock go to a Pokémon Center in order to revive a tired Pikachu when they see a distressed Nurse Joy. There's a problem with the Poké Ball transporter — the Pokémon she sends arrives at another Pokémon Center as a different Pokémon!
Akihabara-hakase, the inventor of the Pokémon Transport System, explains that some thieves have intruded the system and are causing havoc. He sends the reluctant Ash and friends into the computer world, where Team Rocket have set up barricades.
Just as the barricades are destroyed, a flying jet-like machine enters with missiles aimed at our heros! It seems that Joy hired a technician to put an anti-virus program into the computer, and it indiscriminately targets Team Rocket and the heroes.
After a hectic chase and a strong electric blast from Pikachu, the program is destroyed. Ash and friends emerge in the real world, and now the system is restored to normal.
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Bulbasaur (Ash's)
- Psyduck ( Misty's)
- Arbok (Jessie's)
- Weezing (James')
- Porygon (Japanese debut)
Pokémon seen at the Pokémon Center:
- Pocket Fantasy replaced Meowth's Song as the ending.
- Akihabara, the name of the professor is also the name of a famous electronics district in Tokyo.
- The seizures caused from this episode were parodied by The Simpsons in the episode "30 Minutes Over Tokyo" and South Park in the episode "Chinpokomon".
- There was originally going to be a New Year's Eve episode of Pokémon. It was never shown, not even in Japan. Electric Soldier Porygon is to blame for this.
- After the hiatus, the timeslot changed from Tuesday to Thursday. The original schedule was as follows:
|English title||Japanese title||Planned broadcast||Actual broadcast|
|Holiday Hi-Jynx||ルージュラのクリスマス||December 23, 1997||October 5, 1998|
|Snow Way Out||イワークでビバーク||January 6, 1998||October 5, 1998|
|EP040||The Battling Eevee Brothers||イーブイ４きょうだい||January 13, 1998||April 16, 1998|
|EP041||Wake Up, Snorlax!||おきろ！カビゴン！||January 20, 1998||April 23, 1998|
|EP042||Showdown at Dark City||たいけつ！ポケモンジム！||January 27, 1998||April 30, 1998|
|EP043||March of the Exeggutor Squad||ナッシーぐんだんだいこうしん！||February 3, 1998||May 7, 1998|
|EP044||The Problem with Paras||パラスとパラセクト||February 10, 1998||May 14, 1998|
- Before the series reaired again they aired a special on April 11, 1998 titled 検証番組 アニメ ポケットモンスター問題検証報告 "Verification program anime pocket monster problem verification report
- 4Kids Entertainment has dubbed this episode and reduced the speed and intensity of the flashing explosion to make it safe, but the episode has still never been shown.
In other languages
- Following the results of the Japanese premier, this episode has never aired anywhere in the world.
- Neuroscience for kids - Pokémon on the brain
- Forbidden Pokémon - Pikachu Attack Induces Seizures
- A Japanese page showing the seizure-inducing images
- Warning: do not view if photosensitive: