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Pokémon in South Asia

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Pokémon in South Asia
Pokémon logo English.png
South Asia Flags.png
Flags of Bhutan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.
Language Hindi, Tamil*, Telugu*, English
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 April 1, 2003
AG001 May 9, 2006
DP001 November 9, 2009
November 16, 2009
BW001 June 17, 2013

The Pokémon franchise (Hindi: पोकेमोन Pokémon, Urdu: پوکيمون Pokémon) made its debut in the Indian subcontinent in 2003, with the first broadcast of Pokémon - I Choose You!, in both English as well as in Hindi dub on Cartoon Network India. The respective channel hosted the show for eight years straight (2003-2011) and aired the initial eleven seasons.

The anime in India shifted to Pogo, from March, 2011, which aired Pokémon seasons 10 to 14 including the premiere of 3 new seasons, season 12, 13 and 14. In July 2014, the anime shifted back to Cartoon Network India which airs Season 14 - Black and White. In May 2014, it also started airing on Hungama TV, and currently airs Pokémon: Indigo League.

Pokémon games

As Nintendo has not officially entered the Indian subcontinent, Pokémon video games are not popular as none of the Pokémon games are advertised/promoted in India. However, Nintendo products, including Pokémon games, are available on Indian online retail stores.

Pokémon anime

The Pokémon anime is available in most south Asian countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Country Channels aired
Afghanistan Cartoon Network Pakistan
Bhutan Cartoon Network India
Hungama TV*
Sri Lanka
Cartoon Network India logo

Original series

Pokémon: Indigo League

Pokémon: Indigo League premiered on Cartoon Network India on May 12, 2003[1] and concluded in the same year. Initially, the show began airing on the Toonami block, available in both Hindi and English dub. During its peak, it became one of the highly rated show on the respective channel.

Following the first season of the anime, Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands made its Indian debut in late 2003. With The Rivalry Revival, it concluded in mid-2004. After almost a year of re-runs, Cartoon Network aired the new episodes of the anime with its third season, Pokémon: The Johto Journeys.

Affiliated with Cartoon Network India, a separate Cartoon Network feed was launched for its Pakistani viewers in 2004, which is also available in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Due to mutual affiliation, both channels were in sync in airing the anime. After a few months, Cartoon Network India began to air Pokémon in two additional dub languages, Tamil and Telugu along with the premiere of second last season of the Original series, Pokémon: Johto League Champions.

Cartoon Network aired Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns on India Children's day, November 14, 2006.[2]

In mid-2005, Cartoon Network wrapped up Pokémon: Master Quest thus concluding the Original series of the Pokémon anime.

Year Season(s) of Pokémon Original series aired
2003 Pokémon: Indigo League
2003 - 2004 Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands
2004 Pokémon: The Johto Journeys
2004 - 2005 Pokémon: Johto League Champions
2005 Pokémon: Master Quest

Advanced Generation series

Pokémon: Advanced

The first season of Pokémon Advanced Generation series debuted in 2006, on both channels. The first episode, Get the Show on the Road, premiered on May 9, 2006 on Cartoon Network India as well as on Cartoon Network Pakistan. At that time, Pokémon: Advanced was available in two different languages (English and Hindi) on Cartoon Network Pakistan and it was available in four different languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and English) on Cartoon Network India.

The first season of the Advanced Generation series ended in July 2006, resulting in repeats airing on both Cartoon Network channels. After four months, both Cartoon Network channels began to air new episodes of Pokémon and through this Pokémon: Advanced Challenge debuted on November 6, 2006 as well as trailers of the seventh season appearing in Indian theaters. The seventh season ended on January 4, 2007. After the end of seventh season, Cartoon Network began to air re-runs in a new one-hour block called Dastaan-e-Pokémon.


Dastaan-e-Pokémon was a one-hour block, especially dedicated exclusively to Pokémon, on both of the sub-continent Cartoon Network feeds. Available in 3 different dubs, the block premiered on January 8, 2007 with the first episode of the anime, replacing Pokémon: Advanced Challenge. The block featured all of the old episodes, from the first season up to the seventh. Almost a year later, it included a brand new season to its line-up, Pokémon: Advanced Battle, and marked the first time when a season premiered with two back-to-back episodes on Cartoon Network in the Indian sub-continent. The block ended in the end of 2008, replaced by Pokémon: Battle Frontier.

The final season of the Advanced Generation series. Pokémon: Battle Frontier debuted in the month of November in 2008. Initially, it only aired on Cartoon Network India, but began to air on Cartoon Network Pakistan two weeks after its Indian debut. After the completion of the Advanced Generation series, both Cartoon Network channels began the repeat telecast of old Pokémon episodes. These reruns lasted for ten months, and ended with the debut of Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl.

Year Season(s) of Pokémon Advanced Generation series aired
2006 Pokémon: Advanced
2006 - 2007 Pokémon: Advanced Challenge
2008 Pokémon: Advanced Battle
2008 - 2009 Pokémon: Battle Frontier

Diamond & Pearl series

Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl

The first season of the Diamond & Pearl series first aired in Pakistan on November 9, 2009 and in India on November 16, 2009. It was supposed to end on January 18, 2010 on Cartoon Network Pakistan but they ended the entire season within 35 days by skipping almost 23 episodes, from O'er the Rampardos We Watched! to A Stand-Up Sit-Down! due to unknown reasons. However, this problem was fixed in the re-runs of the season.

In early 2011, the anime switched to Pogo, a sister channel of Cartoon Network in India, which also aired the Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles in April. Even though the anime switched to another channel in India, Cartoon Network Pakistan continued to air the show which led to the premiere of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles on August 1. The finale of the twelfth season premiered on October 11, 2011 while the repeats of the same season took over the anime slot from the following day.

Pogo TV logo

The last season of Diamond & Pearl series and thirteenth season overall, Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors premiered on October 3, 2011 in India. During its airing, Pogo skipped two episodes instead of following the actual production order, from The Fleeing Tower Of Sunyshore! and Teaching the Student Teacher!, due to some unknown reasons. This problem was fixed in the re-runs of the season. The last episode of Diamond & Pearl series, that is Memories are Made of Bliss! aired on October 25, 2011 in India. Meanwhile it premiered on Cartoon Network Pakistan on February 1, 2012 and concluded its run with the season finale on March 19, 2012.

Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:
Year Season(s) of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl series aired
2009 - 2010 Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
2010 Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension
2011 Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors*
2012 Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors*

Best Wishes series

Pokémon: Black and White

Pogo premiered the fourteenth season of the anime on June 17, 2013 after almost a year and eight months gap. Also a new time slot was allotted, during 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm every Monday to Thursday. Many things were changed in the new season including the voice of the narrator and Delia Ketchum. Instead of the original production Pogo skipped the episodes The Dragon Master's Path! which was going to air on Wednesday, 31st July 2013 and Cilan Versus Trip, Ash Versus Georgia! which was going to air on Thursday, 22th August, due to some unknown reasons. The channel completed the run of the season with the season finale, Battle for the Underground, on Thursday, 5th September. The re-runs of the season began from 9th September, continuing at the same time slot.

Later on during the re-runs, these episodes of The Dragon Master's Path! and Cilan Versus Trip, Ash Versus Georgia! were broadcasted.

Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:

On June 27, 2014, after more than 3 years since Pokémon shifted to Pogo, Cartoon Network India said through its official Facebook page that Pokémon would soon be returning to Cartoon Network India, and in its post included a image from the Best Wishes series. Cartoon Network will begin airing the fourteenth season of Pokémon from July 2, 2014 at 12:30 PM and 8 PM, airing 2 new episodes every weekday. On the other hand Cartoon Network Pakistan is yet to announce the premier of season 14.

The sixth episode Dreams by the Yard Full! was mistakenly shown before the fourth and fifth episodes The Battle Club & Tepigs's Choice and Triple leaders, Team Threats! by Cartoon network, which created confusion among viewers who were viewing it for the first time.

After the twenty fourth episode, twenty fifth and twenty sixth episodes Emolga and the New Volt Switch and Scare at the Litwick Mansion (supposed to air on July 22 2014) were skipped by Cartoon Network, who directly went on to air the twenty seventh episode The Dragon Master's Path. In addition, the internationally unaired episodes , viz Team Rocket VS Team Plasma (Part 1) and Team Rocket VS Team Plasma (Part 2) have also been skipped.

Year Season(s) of Pokémon Best Wishes series aired
2013 Pokémon: Black & White*

Pokémon on Hungama TV

Hungama TV logo

Around the beginning of 2014, Disney Inc. bought the airings rights for Pokémon. However, the respective company did not acquire the rights for the anime's previous Hindi dub. While the exact reasons for re-dubbing are not known, there is a good possibility that such decisions were made because of Disney India and UTV's policy, implemented in 2010-2011, that all the dubs of Disney channel properties will be carried out in-house. As of now, the first 52 episodes have been re-dubbed and the studio is planning to dub the next batch soon.

The anime made its Hungama TV debut on May 19, 2014 with its first season, which is currently on-going. Pokéthon, a special weekly block dedicated to Pokémon reruns, was recently added to the lineup. The respective block features four back-to-back episodes.

The episode Ditto's Mysterious Mansion was skipped by Hungama for unknown reasons. The Bridge Bike Gang was directly followed by Pikachu's Goodbye, as EP038 was banned globally. The episodes Beauty and the Beach and EP035 too were skipped, as they are also banned.

Pokémon movies

Year Movie(s)/special(s) aired*
2006 Mewtwo Returns
2009 Pokémon Chronicles
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea*
2010 Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea*
2011 The Rise of Darkrai
Giratina and the Sky Warrior*
Arceus and the Jewel of Life*
2012 Zoroark Master of illusions*

Cast and Crew

Hindi dub

Character Voice actor
Ash Rahul Sharma (Cartoon Network dub)
Nachiket Dighe (Hungama dub)[3]
Misty Rucha Dighe (Hungama dub)[4]
Brock Abhishek Singh (Cartoon Network dub)
Uplaksh Kochhar (Hungama dub)[5]
Tracey Nachiket Dighe (Cartoon Network dub)
Jessie Shagufta Baig (Hungama dub)[6]
James Kishore Bhatt (Cartoon Network dub)
Rajesh Shukla (Hungama dub)[7]
Meowth Saumya Daan (Hungama dub)[8]
Unknown Character Pawan Kalra[9]
Unknown Character Prasad Barve[10]

Tamil dub

Character Voice actor
Unknown Character Karthik [11]

Pokémon manga

English-translated Pokémon manga was distributed in India by Chuang Yi.

Pokémon merchandise

  • Pokémon became an instant hit in India and almost always used to be the number one kids show on TV. Due to its huge popularity, many pirated Pokémon products began to be sold in India.[12]
  • Pokémon Rakhis were available in India, with Pikachu and the starter Pokémon of Unova region.
  • Pokémon merchandise is available in India from Reliance Home video and games.
  • Pokémon collectibles were available for free in every Cheetos snack pack.
  • On the Toonami block where Pokémon once aired, Cartoon Network in 2006 hosted a contest titled "Toonami-Game On Video Game Championship", with Pokémon merchandise given out as prizes.[13]


  • Instead of following the usual tradition of literally translating the moves' names in Hindi, several of them have been kept the same as in English starting season 14.
  • Pokémon aired only in English and Hindi until the 5th Season, where it began to air it in Tamil and Telugu as well.
  • Hungama airs Pokémon season 1 only, and also only in Hindi.
  • Cartoon Network, from the 14th season, airs Pokémon only in English and Hindi.
  • Although the Pokémon merchandise and the anime have achieved great success in India, the manga and Video Games have very little popularity.
  • For the Hungama TV airing of Pokémon: Indigo League, the Who's that Pokémon segment was skipped, most likely due to the episodes being shown without a commercial break.
    • However, Pokémon: Black and White episodes that air on Cartoon Network and Pogo TV used to air this segment, even though they were also usually shown without commercial breaks (Cartoon Network and Pogo usually used to air commercials after the Pokemon episode ends, before the final credits (final theme) of Pokemon.)


Related articles

External links


The Pokémon franchise around the world
The Americas: BrazilCanadaLatin AmericaUnited States
Asia: Greater ChinaIndonesiaMalaysiaPhilippinesSingaporeSouth AsiaSouth KoreaThailand
Europe: BulgariaCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceIrelandItaly
NetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRussiaSpainSwedenUnited Kingdom
Middle East: Arab worldIsrael
Oceania: AustraliaNew Zealand

Project Globe logo.png This article is part of Project Globe, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon franchise around the world.