From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Banned episodes are episodes of the anime which have been deemed unsuitable for airing or reairing in a specific country.
Banned episodes internationally
There have been six confirmed episodes of Pokémon that have either aired once or never in Japan, nor the rest of the world.
List of banned episodes
- Known as the "seizure episode," this episode has been banned worldwide after airing only once in Japan. One particular scene of this episode had a series of flashing lights, which caused a total of approximately 685 Japanese children, 375 girls and 310 boys to be sent to the hospital with symptoms of epilepsy. The show went on hiatus for almost a year, delayed the episodes Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out!, and cancelled the airing of the New Years Eve episode. The episode also forced the producers to go back through the previous episodes and dim the lighting on them so as not to cause an accident of this magnitude again. As a result of this episode, Porygon and its evolutions, Porygon2 and Porygon-Z, have not made any appearances in the anime since EP038 except in brief cameos.
- Unaired New Year's Eve Special
- This episode was scheduled to be broadcast December 31, 1997, between Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out!. However, following the EP038 incident, the schedule was re-organized and this episode was never actually aired. No trailer for this episode has ever been seen, nor is any further information known apart from its Japanese title.
- AG101 (unaired)
- This episode was scheduled to be broadcast on November 4, 2004. However, not long before, a devastating earthquake struck Japan. Believing it would have been insensitive to air an episode about earthquakes mere weeks after the disaster, it was pulled from the air. The episode and the moves Earthquake, Fissure and Magnitude were subsequently banned. Because the episode never aired, Barboach instead debuted in The Great Eight Fate!, but not in a major role.
- BW023 (unaired) and BW024 (unaired)
- This two-part saga of Team Rocket facing off with Team Plasma was postponed due to the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan almost a week before the first half was supposed to air. They were expected to air at a later date because of their significance to the series and TV Tokyo's word on the matter. As the episodes have yet to air in Japan, dubs of the episode have yet to be shown around the world. While the episodes were simply skipped in Japan, the Pokémon Company International edited the dubbed version of A Venipede Stampede! to remove the cliffhanger ending that set up the story, and all regions aired Battling for the Love of Bug-Types! followed by Emolga the Irresistible! instead. As of Team Plasma's Pokémon Power Plot!, it appears these episodes have been retconned out of continuity, making it unlikely that they will ever air or be shown in a normal manner.
- An Undersea Place to Call Home!
- This episode, which was set to debut Skrelp and Dragalge, was postponed due to the sinking of the MV Sewol ferry in South Korea almost a week before the episode was scheduled to air in Japan. Because of this, the dub version has yet to be shown anywhere around the world. Cartoon Network listed the dub title along with A PokéVision of Things to Come!, Going for the Gold!, and Coming Back into the Cold!. Later, however, it was removed from the list and was replaced with Climbing the Walls!. At the moment, it is unknown when, or if, the episode will air.
Banned episodes in the English dub
Four episodes have been banned in the United States.
List of banned episodes
Note: the reasons given below may not have been corroborated officially.
- Beauty and the Beach
- This episode was initially banned when the episodes were first dubbed for airing in the United States. During 2000, the episode was finally dubbed and aired twice before disappearing once again. It was banned because James wore an inflatable body suit to give him large breasts in order to win a beauty contest. It also appears to be retconned out of continuity with the English dub, although Brutella is seen in the following episode.
- This episode was banned due to the prevalent usage of handguns throughout the episode. The Safari Zone warden points a gun at Ash's head, and even shoots the gun at Team Rocket. The banning of this episode left a major plot hole and a continuity error in the English dub, as this was the episode where Ash captured all 30 of his Tauros. As this is the Safari Zone episode, it also makes the Safari Zone unseen in the English anime, though it is mentioned in the two episodes that took place before it.
- Holiday Hi-Jynx
- This is the only episode of Pokémon to be banned in the English dub after its initial airing. After the episode aired, a woman named Carole Boston Weatherford wrote an article stating that Jynx, which was featured prominently in the episode, is a negative stereotype of African-Americans related to characters in The Story of Little Black Sambo. Soon afterward, the episode was pulled from rotation and is not believed to have aired since 2000. Despite this, the episode was available on VHS, and is currently on the Indigo DVD boxset. Also, it was added to the rotation on Boomerang in 2011, and still was included in Cartoon Network's online streaming services. Additionally, no restrictions were placed on this episode in Europe. This episode has also been banned in South Korea. It is currently unknown if this episode will be unbanned after the Japanese re-airing on the Christmas Eve episode of Pokémon Smash!, in which Jynx was recolored to match what she currently looks like in the Pokémon games.
- This episode was also banned due to the large focus on Jynx. Unlike the previous episode, this one has never aired in English. Due to the episode not having the redesigned Jynx with purple skin, it was banned and has never been seen outside of Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Banned episodes in South Korea
These episodes were banned from airing in South Korea, causing South Korean continuity errors in the anime's run. Generally the banned episodes contained overt references to Japanese culture; however, the last banned episodes occurred during Advanced Generation. Furthermore, episodes EP260 to EP274 simply were never aired.
List of banned episodes
- Challenge of the Samurai
- This episode has been banned due to the episode featuring a samurai.
- The Ghost of Maiden's Peak
- This episode has been banned due to the episode featuring several Japanese cultural events.
- Pokémon Scent-sation!
- This episode has been banned likely due to Erika's traditional Japanese clothing worn in the perfume shop.
- The Ninja Poké-Showdown
- This episode has been banned due to the episode featuring several depictions of Japanese culture, including ninja and kabuki.
- Riddle Me This
- Bad to the Bone
- The Fourth Round Rumble
- A Bout With Sprout
- Fighting Flyer with Fire
- Wired for Battle!
- Ariados, Amigos
- A Ghost of a Chance
- From Ghost to Ghost
- Trouble's Brewing
- Ring Masters
- Doin' What Comes Natu-rally
- Espeon, Not Included
- For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll!
- These episodes generally covered elements of Japanese culture, such as sumo wrestling and geishas.
- Poetry Commotion!
- Going, Going, Yawn
- These two episodes never aired in Korea, however this may have been an oversight as they were released on DVD. On the other hand, they don't appear on the official 포켓몬스터 AG episode page.
Banned episodes in other countries
Occasionally there are episodes that are not banned in Japanese or English, but are banned in another country.
- The Bicker the Better
- This episode has been banned in several countries, including France, Ireland and Aruba. It has been alleged that the "battle of the sexes" format of the episode has caused those countries to ban the episode.
Temporarily banned episodes
Some episodes were pulled off the air for a period of time for various reasons but were aired on a later date.
Temporarily banned episodes in the United States
- Tentacool & Tentacruel
- After the events of September 11, 2001, this episode was taken out of rotation. In the months following the attack, Kids' WB! refused to air it due to the destruction of several buildings (particularly Tentacruel smashing a skyscraper) and the use of machine guns. When Cartoon Network started to air Pokémon, the episode was put back into rotation. It is also on the VHS "Seaside Pikachu" and the Indigo League DVD boxset.
- The Tower of Terror
- This episode was temporarily banned after September 11, 2001. The official reason has never been confirmed, but many believe that the episode's title may have had something to do with it. The episode is no longer banned and continues to air.
Temporarily banned episodes in Japan
- A Fishing Connoisseur in a Fishy Competition!
- This episode, originally meant to be the 26th episode of Best Wishes, was originally scheduled to air in Japan on April 7, 2011, but it was postponed because of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. It later aired on June 23, 2011 with a slightly altered storyline to make it seem like it took place between Archeops In The Modern World! and Movie Time! Zorua in "The Legend of the Pokémon Knight"! rather than Battle for the Love of Bug-Types! and Emolga the Irresistible!.
Temporarily banned episodes in other countries
- Dawn's Early Night!
- Though technically not banned, this episode was initially skipped in New Zealand for an unknown reason. When the season was repeated, the episode aired as normal. It is also readily available on DVD in New Zealand.
- Scare at the Litwick Mansion!
- While not banned, this episode was initially skipped in Poland due to reflections of the Great Depression. Feeling it would be insensitive to air an episode inadvertently reflecting an American crisis, Disney XD PL refused to air it because of the particular scene where Team Rocket suffers from loss of energy, where their appearance resembles that of many people who were suffering in the Great Depression. It has been instead aired later, between Crisis from the Underground Up! and Battle for the Underground!
- ↑ Sound director Masafumi Mima's Twitter account
- ↑ 포켓몬 공식 사이트; TV 애니메이션 - 포켓몬스터 AG