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Flag of Italy
| Original anime airdates
|| January 10, 2000*|
June 30, 2014*
|| March 24\25, 2004
|| September 17\18, 2007
|| February 13, 2011*|
May 30, 2011*
|| October 19, 2013*|
April 14, 2014*
The Pokémon franchise first reached Italy on January 7, 2000, with the first broadcast of L'inizio di una grande avventura in Italian on Italia 1.
On January 10, 2000, Italia 1
), a commercial Italian TV channel owned by Mediaset
, started airing the Pokémon anime
from Mondays to Fridays every afternoon, around 5 P.M. The series that year was successful in Italy and it was also broadcast at prime time on Saturdays. From the fourth season
on, however, Pokémon lost more and more Italian fans. On Christmas 2001 it was even suspended for one year, possibly for dub problems, and when in the end of 2002 it started again, its popularity was even lower.
In 2003, Pokémon: Master Quest began around 4 P.M. With this fifth series, Italia 1 chose to divide the episodes into two halves for the premiere, creating, in this way, two 10-minutes episodes broadcast from Monday through Friday. However, when the episodes were re-aired, they were transmitted fully. Nevertheless, Pokémon started being broadcast later and later (Pokémon: Advanced at 4:30 P.M., Pokémon: Advanced Challenge at 5 P.M.) until the eighth season started to be broadcast at 6 P.M., always for ten minutes on February 2006. After a few months, Pokémon was moved to Saturdays and Sundays, imitating the TV schedule of Kids' WB!. The main problem facing this was that Italian children attend school on Saturdays. Due to this choice, some Italian Pokémon sites chose to make together a petition against Italia 1. Perhaps because of this petition or maybe due to the lower audience, Pokémon returned in the afternoon at 5:15 P.M.
With the beginning of Pokémon Chronicles, however, the show was broadcast once again in the weekend, although later in the morning. The same happened for Pokémon: Battle Frontier, which was not only was transmitted in the weekends, but also for 10 minutes only. In Summer 2007, Pokémon landed every morning at 8:30 A.M. In September 2007, Italia 1 decided on give another chance to the show and, exploiting the success of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon came back in the afternoon with the new series, Pokémon: Diamante e Perla. The first episodes were successful, similar to the ones of the first seasons, but after a few episodes the success decreased and so, also because the series was going too much near the U.S. airings) in January 2008 "Diamante e Perla" went back to the weekend.
Like most rerunning cartoon series and movies coming from Italia 1, the Pokémon anime has also been aired by Boing and Hiro, two Italian digital television channels, broadcast via DTT technology, owned by Mediaset
In 2009, Walt Disney Company's channel, Jetix, obtained the rights for broadcasting the eleventh season. The Pokémon anime from Battle Dimension onward is also broadcasted by "K2", a syndication channel. In 2010 Jetix changed name to Disney XD, that mainly premieres the episodes in Italy, but sometimes alternates with K2 (for example, the last episodes of the fourteenth season). From 2012 onwards, K2 always premieres the episodes (it also happened for the XY sneak peek of october 19th, two days after the japanese airing), Disney XD airing them after some months.
Also, in 2009 the first seasons were redubbed in an Italian dubbing which is more faithful to the English one and aired on K2. The original English Pokémon themes and texts are dubbed and translated in Italian as well. Since June 30 to August 4, 2014 the first season was broadcast; the second one is going to be skipped for right issues and the third one will be aired since August 5, 2014.
All the Pokémon movies have been released in Italy so far. On February 28, March 6 and 13 2004, the first three movies were supposed to be broadcast, for the first time on TV, on Italy 1 in prime time. However, due to the low audience, only the first two movies aired. One year later, finally, the third one was broadcast, this time on Sunday afternoon. After almost 4 and half years without any movie release (except for the events' cinema projections of the eight and tenth movies), the movies started to air again in 2009: the eight and the ninth were aired on Hiro (respectively on January and November 2009), Fratello dallo spazio was aired for the first time on Boing in July 2010, and The Rise of Darkrai premiered on July 2011 via online broadcast on the official site; most recent movies (from the eleventh onward) regularly air on Disney XD and K2 every year, following the seasons' path.
Actually, only the last two movies of Advanced Generation haven't been released in DVD yet, while during 2011 the 4 films of the DP saga were released from Universal Pictures; Miramax released the first two Advanced Generation movies in 2012, along with Universal's release of the fourteenth (Universal Pictures actually releases the new movies every year).
The sixth movie aired for the first time on March 16, 2012 on Sky Cinema Family (also in 720p-HD version), becoming the "Italian" movie with the longest gap from the Japanese and American releases (almost 8 years from the American, 8 and a half years from the Japanese).
- For more information, see Category:Italian songs.
Traditionally, Mediaset, since its origins, has always created openings for cartoons and anime, some independent from the Japanese and North American opening themes. For Pokémon, nine themes have been made (for the first ten seasons and for Pokémon Chronicles). For Pokémon: Advanced & Pokémon: Advanced Challenge, and for Pokémon: Advanced Battle & Pokémon: Battle Frontier, the same opening themes have been used. This makes Italy one of only three known countries outside of Japan and the United States to create original music for the Pokémon anime, the other two being China and Korea.
Although the Italian dub has its own music, an Italian-language translation of the Pokémon 2.B.A. Master soundtrack was also released, entitled Pokémon: Le Canzoni Autentiche Della Serie TV, including the first Italian opening as a bonus track.
Cast and crew
The main role of Ash Ketchum is dubbed by Davide Garbolino. Other minor roles Garbolino had on Pokémon include Jared. Misty, the second main character in the series, has been dubbed by Alessandra Karpoff, who also dubbed Lilian Meridian, J, and Cynthia.
Brock's role was taken by Nicola Bartolini Carrassi (also known as Nicola Ryan Carrassi; born August 1, 1971 in La Spezia), the man who brought Pokémon to Italy. He is also a journalist, scriptwriter, anime expert and anchor. He has been chosen by Warner Bros, 4Kids, Pokémon INC., Nintendo Games Freak and Buena Vista in order to become the Italian voice of Brock and for this he has been rewarded as the best European voice of Brock. Nicola left the cast after two seasons, and starting the Johto saga, the role was taken by Luca Bottale.
The Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth is has been voiced by Emanuela Pacotto, Simone D’Andrea, and Giuseppe Calvetti (also known as Beppe Calvetti) respectively. Starting with AG041, the role of Meowth was passed to Pietro Ubaldi.
May, who is named Vera in Italy, was dubbed by Serena Clerici, who also voiced Janina. May's brother Max was dubbed by Federica Valenti, who also voiced Casey and Melody.
The newest main character, Dawn, is called Lucinda in Italy. Her voice actress is Tosawi Piovani, who was also the voice of Casey and Marina, for the 10th and 11th seasons (and movies), and Ludovica De Caro, also later voice of Daniela, Emmy and Christie, from the 12th season (and movie) onward.
Other notable voice actors in the Italian dub include Riccardo Rovatti as Professor Oak, Paolo Sesana as Gary Oak (although he was initially voiced by Nicola Bartolini Carrassi in EP001), Patrizio Prata as Tracey Sketchit, Marcella Silvestri and Monica Bonetto as Officer Jenny, Sonia Mazza and Laura Brambilla as Nurse Joy, and Massimo Di Benedetto as Paul, Drew and Trip.
A redub of the original series has been in the works for 2009. Benedetta Ponticelli, who had already provided the voice of Bianca, will provide the voice of Misty.
The Pokémon schedule as of December 19, 2011, is:
Cover artwork for volume one of Pokémon
Italy is one of only a handful of countries outside of Japan to publish a translation of the Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All manga series. It was released by Play Press Publishing under the title Pokémon.
There is also an Italian version of Pokémon Adventures (Pokémon: Le Grandi Storie a Fumetti). The first ten monthly issues were translated by Planet Manga, a subsidiary of Panini Comics. Planet Manga also translated an Italian version of Magical Pokémon Journey (Il magico viaggio dei Pokémon), though only the first two monthly issues were translated.
The Pokémon merchandising in Italy immediately reached one of its highest points right after the anime started, in January, 2000. Five stickers album were released during the corresponding seasons (from the first to Master Quest). In early 2000s, Pokémon Trading Cards series 1 and series 2 were available, published by Topps. During the Original series' years, several types of merchandising products were released in every way: lots of very popular school equipments, bottle caps featuring the Johto Pokémon (Yoga fruit juices), various types of lollipops and candies, anime VHSs and many others.
With the start of the Advanced Generation, Pokémon's popularity in Italy quickly fell; however, a last sticker album featuring the Hoenn Pokédex's Pokémon was released, Pokémon Advanced Action Cards were available in 2005, and various type of new action figures were released (more than in other generations), but didn't have a great success.
Diamond and Pearl seemed to have the same destiny, but from Battle Dimension on, with new TV airing times, its popularity raised again: new DP toys were released from Giochi Preziosi S.p.A., the DVDs of the first two seasons were re-released, and minor merchandising such as Easter Eggs were available. From February 2011, with the ending of Sinnoh League Victors, the first Italian Pokémon Official Magazine was released; Pokémon gadgets (action figures and TCG cards) also came back to McDonald's after many years. Pokémon's new popularity is represented by the fact that 7 Pokémon Movies (6-7-10-11-12-13-14) were released in DVD for the first time in only 2 years, 2011 and 2012, after 6 years (2005-2010) without any type of home-video release. Also Movie 4 and 5 have been re-released in 2011.
Notable Italian Pokémon fansites include Pokémon Central, which has its own wiki, Pokémon Central Wiki.
Pokémon Day has been celebrated in Italy every year since 2005. Pokémon Camp, a tour organized by Nintendo, was held in 2011.
- Although Italy is one of the only three countries other than Japan and the United States that has original opening themes, it is also one of the few Western European countries that does not have original names for any Pokémon.