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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
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 May 12, 2003[1]
May 19, 2014
AG001 May 9, 2006
DP001 November 9, 2009
November 16, 2009
BW001 June 17, 2013
July 2, 2014
November 3, 2014

The Pokémon franchise (Hindi: पोकेमोन Pokémon, Urdu: پوکيمون Pokémon) made its debut in the Indian subcontinent in 2003, with the broadcast of the first anime episode in both English and Hindi languages on Cartoon Network India. The respective channel aired the show for eight years straight (2003-2011), up to Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension.

In March of 2011, the anime was shifted from Cartoon Network India to Pogo. It aired the Diamond & Pearl series in its entirety, along with the first season of Best Wishes series. In July 2014, the anime made its return to Cartoon Network India with Pokémon: Black and White. In May 2014, the anime was also picked up by Hungama TV, which started airing the Original series.

Pokémon games

While Nintendo has yet to make its way in the Indian subcontinent market officially, the Pokémon games and some other Nintendo products are available on online retail stores.

Pokémon anime

The Pokémon anime is available in the following South Asian territories: 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 & Pogo

Cartoon Network India and Pakistan logo

Original series

Pokémon: Indigo League

Pokémon: Indigo League premiered on Cartoon Network India on May 12, 2003 as a part of its Toonami block and it was made available in both Hindi and English languages. The anime soon became one of the highly rated show on the respective channel, especially during its peak, and concluded its first run in the same year.

Immediately after the first season, Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands made its Indian debut in late 2003 and ended its run in the mid of 2004. Following the year long re-run airings, Pokémon: The Johto Journeys made its long-awaited premiere on Cartoon Network.

Affiliated with Cartoon Network India, a separate Cartoon Network feed was launched for the Pakistani audience in 2004, which was later made available in Afghanistan and Bangladesh as well. Due to the affiliation, both channels broadcasted the anime simultaneously. With Pokémon: Master Quest, Cartoon Network India introduced two additional dubs for the Indian viewers, Tamil and Telugu. The Original series concluded its first complete run in the mid of 2005.

On November 14, 2006, Cartoon Network India aired the first Pokémon movie, Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns, as a part of its Children's day programming.

Debut Season(s) of Pokémon Original series aired
May 12, 2003 Pokémon: Indigo League
2003 - 2004 Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands
2004 Pokémon: The Johto Journeys
2004 - 2005 Pokémon: Johto League Champions
May 18, 2005[2] Pokémon: Master Quest

Advanced Generation series

Pokémon: Advanced

Pokémon: Advanced made its South Asian debut on May 9, 2006 and concluded in July of the same year. After four months of reruns, Pokémon: Advanced Challenge was simulcasted on November 6, 2006. The trailers for the seventh season were also aired in the Indian theaters. It ended its first run on January 4, 2007. Following this season, Cartoon Network introduced a new block called Dastaan-e-Pokémon.

Dastaan-e-Pokémon, a one-hour block, started January 8, 2007 with the first episode of the anime. The block continued to air all of the previous seasons, from the first season up to the seventh. Almost a year later, Pokémon: Advanced Battle made its way to South Asia. Also, it was the first time when a season premiered with two back-to-back episodes on the respective channels. The block ended in the end of 2008, followed by Pokémon: Battle Frontier.

The final season of the Advanced Generation series. Pokémon: Battle Frontier debuted in November of 2008. Initially, it only aired on Cartoon Network India, but began to air on Cartoon Network Pakistan two weeks after its Indian debut. Following the ten months long rerun airings, Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl premiered in the respective territories.

Year Season(s) of Pokémon Advanced Generation series aired
2006 Pokémon: Advanced
Nov. 6, 2006[3] Pokémon: Advanced Challenge
2008 Pokémon: Advanced Battle
2008 - 2009 Pokémon: Battle Frontier

Diamond & Pearl series

Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl

Unprecedentedly, the first season of the Diamond & Pearl series aired in Pakistan starting November 9, 2009 and in India on November 16 of the same year. Due to unknown reasons, Cartoon Network Pakistan wrapped up the season prematurely in just five weeks. As a result, around 23 episodes were skipped, from O'er the Rampardos We Watched! to A Stand-Up Sit-Down!. However, all the episodes were aired in their actual order during the rerun airings.

Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:

After keeping it on air for eight years, Cartoon Network India dropped the series in early 2011. The anime was then picked up by Pogo, its sister channel. It started with the season premiere of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles for the Indian audience, which later made its Pakistani debut on August 1 and concluded on October 11, 2011.

Pogo TV logo

On October 3, 2011, Pogo took the opportunity to air Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors for the first time in India. However, The Fleeing Tower Of Sunyshore! and Teaching the Student Teacher! were skipped due to unknown reasons, an issue which was fixed in the following rerun airings. The season finale, Memories are Made of Bliss!, aired on October 25 of the same year. On a related note, the season completed its first run on Cartoon Network Pakistan from February 1 to March 19, 2012.

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 & White

After almost a year and eight months long gap, Pogo premiered the fourteenth season of the anime on June 17, 2013. Many changes were introduced, including: a new time-slot for the show, the voice of the narrator as well as a new voice actor for Delia Ketchum. Instead of the original production order, Pogo skipped the episodes The Dragon Master's Path! which was going to air on Wednesday, 31 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.

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On June 27, 2014, after more than 3 years since Pokémon shifted to Pogo, Cartoon Network India made an announcement through its official Facebook page that Pokémon would soon be returning to Cartoon Network India. Cartoon Network began airing Pokémon: Black & White from July 2, 2014, airing 2 new episodes on the weekdays. However, many of the episodes were aired out of order, which created some confusion among viewers who were watching it for the first time. Cartoon Network, instead of completing the fourteenth season run, has started airing reruns from 6 August, 2014.

On September 28, 2014, Cartooon Network had a special on Pokémon named P for Pikachu, on which they showed repeats of the first three episodes of the season, with a new theme song.

Year Season(s) of Pokémon Best Wishes series aired
2013 Pokémon: Black & White*
2014 Pokémon: Black & White*

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.

Original series

With Pokémon, I Choose You!, the anime made its Hungama TV debut on May 19, 2014. Similar to the Cartoon Network airings, a couple of inconsistencies in the airing order were noticed by viewers. Hungama introduced two blocks for Pokémon, Pokéthon (coined fom Pokémon and Marathon) and PokéVaar (literally PokéDay). Hungama aired Holiday Hi-Jynx on August 14, 2014 and Snow Way Out! on August 18, 2014. Some episodes like Episode 18, Episode 35, Episode 38 were skipped by Hungama as they as banned or contain some inappropriate material. The season completed its initial run on September 10, 2014, with the airing of Friends to the End!.

Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands debuted on Hungama TV on September 11, 2014, with the airing of Pallet Party Panic. More inconsistencies were noticed by viewers, and some episodes including Stage Fight, The Mandarin Island Miss Match and Misty Meets Her Match for unknown reasons.

Debut Season(s) of Pokémon Original series aired
May 19, 2014 Pokémon: Indigo League
September 11, 2014 Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands


The anime has been very well-received since its launch on Hungama TV. Consistently ranking on top in its respective demographics, the show reaches an audience of around 57.1 million across India, 24.2 million of which are children.[4][5]

Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:

Pokémon movies

Debut Movie(s)/special(s) aired*
Nov. 14, 2006[6] 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)
Misty Rucha Dighe (Hungama dub)
Brock Abhishek Singh (Cartoon Network dub)
Uplaksh Kochhar (Hungama dub)
Tracey Nachiket Dighe (Cartoon Network dub)
Jessie Shagufta Baig (Hungama dub)
James Kishore Bhatt (Cartoon Network dub)
Rajesh Shukla (Hungama dub)
Meowth Saumya Daan (Hungama dub)

Tamil dub

Character Voice actor
Unknown Character Karthik [7]

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.[8]
  • Pokémon merchandise is available in India from Reliance Home video and games.
  • Pokémon Rakhis were available in India, with Pikachu and the starter Pokémon of Unova region.
  • Pokémon collectibles were available for free in every Cheetos snack pack.
  • On the Toonami block, Cartoon Network hosted a contest titled "Toonami-Game On Video Game Championship" in 2006, with Pokémon merchandise given out as prizes.[9]


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.