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
August 7, 2016
AG001 May 9, 2006
September 16, 2015
DP001 November 9, 2009
November 16, 2009
BW001 June 17, 2013
July 2, 2014
November 3, 2014
XY001 May 9, 2015

The Pokémon franchise (Hindi: पोकेमोन, Tamil: போகிமொன், Telegu: పోకీమాన్, Urdu: پوکيمون) 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.

The anime also started airing on Cartoon Network Pakistan; the channel currently airs the Best Wishes series.

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 the 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. The channel also started airing the XY series from May 2015. The show was continued by the channel with Advanced Generation series starting in September 2015. In August 2016, Disney XD India began airing reruns of the Hungama dub episodes of the first season, Pokémon: Indigo League.

Pokémon games

While Nintendo has yet to make its way in the Indian subcontinent market officially, the Pokémon games and some Pokémon merchandise as well as other Nintendo products (like consoles and games) are available on online retail sites.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have made their way to India just a week after the US release[2].

Pokémon anime

The Pokémon anime is available in the following South Asian territories: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Country Channels
Afghanistan Cartoon Network Pakistan
Bhutan Cartoon Network India
Pogo TV
Hungama TV
Disney XD India
Sri Lanka

In India, the English dub of select episodes from the first and third seasons were made available on Voot, a streaming service by Viacom 18, making it the first time the anime has been available through streaming in India.

Cartoon Network and 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. It was made available in both Hindi and English languages. Episodes were aired on weekdays at 8 AM and 5 PM. 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 mid-2004. Following a year of reruns, 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 Indian viewers, Tamil and Telugu. The original series concluded its first complete run in the mid-2005.

Debut Season(s) of Pokémon original series aired
May 12, 2003[1] 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[3] 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. Trailers for the seventh season were also aired in the Indian theaters. It ended its first run on January 4, 2007.

Following Pokémon: Advanced Challenge, Cartoon Network introduced a new block called Dastaan-e-Pokémon. It was a one-hour block that started on 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. This was the first time when a season premiered with two back-to-back episodes. The Dastaan-e-Pokémon block ended in late 2008.

The final season of the Advanced Generation series, Pokémon: Battle Frontier, debuted in November of 2008. It began to air on Cartoon Network Pakistan two weeks after its Indian debut. After ten months of reruns, Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl premiered.

Debut Season(s) of Pokémon Advanced Generation series aired
May 9, 2006 Pokémon: Advanced
November 6, 2006[4] 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 on 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 reruns.

The eleventh season, Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension aired during 2010.

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. 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 twenty months, Pogo premiered the fourteenth season of the anime on June 17, 2013. Many changes were introduced, including new voices for the narrator and Delia Ketchum, a new time slot for the show, and the keeping of several of the move's English names. Instead of following the original order, Pogo skipped the episodes The Dragon Master's Path! and Cilan Versus Trip, Ash Versus Georgia! due to unknown reasons. The channel completed its run of the season with the season finale, Battle for the Underground, on September 5. The reruns of the season began from September 9, continuing at the same time slot. During these reruns, the episodes of The Dragon Master's Path! and Cilan Versus Trip, Ash Versus Georgia! were broadcast.

Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:

On June 27, 2014, after more than three 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. The channel began airing Pokémon: Black & White from July 2, 2014, airing two new episodes on the weekdays. However, many of the episodes were aired out of order, which created confusion among viewers who were watching it for the first time. Instead of completing the fourteenth season run, it started airing reruns from August 6, 2014, having originally aired up to Mewoth's Scrafty Tactics. Cartoon Network later completed airing the remaining episodes airing them at a late-night time slot of 10:30 PM without any promotion on the channel. The channnel later continued airing reruns at various time slots, also airing various marathons during that time.

The Best Wishes series premiered on Cartoon Network Pakistan on November 3, 2014.

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

Pokémon movies and specials

On November 14, 2006, Cartoon Network India aired Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns as a part of its Children's Day programming[5].

Cartoon Network began airing the Pokémon Chronicles on June 11, 2009.

The movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew premiered on both Cartoon Network channels (CN India and CN Pakistan). The movie Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea premiered on Cartoon Network Pakistan in 2009, but debuted on Cartoon Network India the following year.

In 2011, both CN channels aired The Rise of Darkrai. The movie also debuted on Pogo TV in the same year. Starting from 2014, the movie airs on the CN+ service of Tata Sky.

In 2011, Cartoon Network Pakistan also aired the movies Giratina and the Sky Warrior and Arceus and the Jewel of Life. They were followed by the premiere of Zoroark - Master of Illusions. These three movies have so far aired only on CN Pakistan, but not on CN India or Pogo TV.

Cartoon Network India has aired several Pikachu shorts; however, they were not aired alongside their accompanying movies. The Pikachu shorts Christmas Night and Kanga Games were aired together as Pikachu's Winter Vacations. The shorts Winter Games and Pikachu & Pichu were also aired together.

Premiere Movie(s)/special(s) aired
November 14, 2006 Mewtwo Returns[5] *
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 *

Hungama TV and Disney XD India

Hungama TV logo
Disney XD logo

Around the beginning of 2014, Disney bought the airings rights for Pokémon. However, Disney did not acquire the rights for the anime's previous Hindi dub. The exact reasons for the 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, even if previous dubs exist.[citation needed]

Original series

With Pokémon, I Choose You!, the anime made its Hungama TV debut on May 19, 2014. Hungama TV introduced a block for Pokémon reruns, PokéThon (coined from Pokémon and Marathon). As with the original English dub in the United States, Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out! were aired between Its Mr. Mime Time and Showdown at the Pokécorral, on August 14, 2014 and August 18, 2014, respectively. As with the Cartoon Network airings, a few inconsistencies in the airing order were noticed by viewers. The banned episodes Beauty and the Beach, EP035, and EP038 were skipped by Hungama. The Kanto League arc completed its initial run on September 10, 2014, with the airing of Friends to the End!. Disney XD India aired the first 10 episodes of Pokémon: Indigo League on August 7, 2016; from August 22, 2016 to October 28, 2016, reruns from Pokémon, I Choose You! to The Breeding Center Secret aired on weekdays in a 4 PM and 7 PM time slot; from December 19, 2016 to December 29, 2016, reruns from Princess vs. Princess to It's Mr. Mime Time aired; Misty Meets Her Match aired before Snow Way Out! on December 30, 2017, skipping the banned Holiday Hi-Jynx; the Kanto League arc was completed with Friends to the End! on January 24, 2017.

The Orange Islands arc debuted on Hungama TV on September 11, 2014, with Pallet Party Panic. Hungama TV now introduced an another block for Pokémon reruns, PokéVaar (literally PokéDay). More inconsistencies were noticed by viewers, and some episodes were permanently skipped, such as the two episodes featuring Jynx, Stage Fight and The Mandarin Island Miss Match. However, other episodes like Misty Meets Her Match, A Tent Situation and The Rivalry Revival were also skipped but were aired later at repeat time slots and main slots as new episodes. Disney XD India began airing the Orange Islands arc from Pallet Party Panic to The Mystery Menace on January 25, 2017 ; beginning on April 4, 2017, The Pokémon Water War onwards aired, maintaining the same order used by Hungama TV.

The Pokémon logo used in India currently

On October 30, 2014, Pokémon: The Johto Journeys debuted on Hungama TV with Don't Touch That 'dile, even though all episodes of the previous season were not aired at that time. The channel also started using a red logo for Pokémon, instead of the yellow one. Another episode, Fighting Flyer with Fire, was skipped. Similarly, one more block for reruns was introduced, named PakdoThon (coined from Pakdo (Hindi word for catch) and marathon). Some episodes of this season were aired with additional Tamil and Telegu dubs. With The Fortune Hunters, Pokémon: The Johto Journeys completed its initial run on December 29, 2014. Disney XD India began airing the Johto League arc on April 18, 2017 with Don't Touch That 'dile'.'

With A Goldenrod Opportunity, Pokémon: Johto League Champions debuted on Hungama TV on January 2, 2015. The voice actor of the narrator was also changed. Also, Hungama fully introduced Tamil and Telugu dubs from this season. All the previous seasons were also dubbed into Tamil and Telugu, and started airing in those languages during reruns. From Two Hits and a Miss onwards, the channel started skipping parts of the episode before the title card, including the theme song and scenes before the theme song. Even scenes of episodes which had been aired fully before were also skipped during reruns. This practice started causing confusion among the viewers. However, sometimes during reruns and in the late-evening rerun time slot, the opening scenes and the theme song were aired. For The Poké Spokesman and Control Freak, those scenes along with the theme song were aired during the main time slot. The scenes and the theme songs were reinstated starting with The Secret Actor's Guilt. From The Joy of Water Pokemon, Hungama TV again started skipping the theme song, but this time, scenes before the theme were not skipped. With Machoke, Machoke Man, Hungama completed the initial run of Pokémon: Johto League Champions on March 26, 2015.

Pokémon: Master Quest debuted on Hungama TV on March 31, 2015, with Around the Whirlpool. The episode Mantine Overboard was skipped by the channel. It was later aired during reruns. As in other dubs, the banned episode EP250 was also skipped by the channel. For currently unknown reasons, Hungama TV did not air the episodes Better Eight Than Never and Why? Wynaut! during the weekday afternoon time slot, instead being aired during evening rerun slots the same day, while there were no episodes during the afternoon slot. After You're a Star, Larvitar!, Hungama TV stopped airing new episodes and started airing reruns.

Starting on August 31, 2015, the channel started airing the remaining Johto episodes, starting the season Pokémon: Advanced.

Debut Season(s) of Pokémon original series aired
May 19, 2014 Pokémon: Indigo League
September 11, 2014 Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands
October 30, 2014 Pokémon: The Johto Journeys
January 2, 2015 Pokémon: Johto League Champions
March 31, 2015 Pokémon: Master Quest
August 31, 2015 Pokémon: Advanced

Advanced Generation series

The Hoenn portion of Pokémon: Advanced debuted on Hungama TV with the airing of Get The Show On The Road on September 16, 2015. Hungama completed the initial run of Pokémon: Advanced with Watt's With Wattson? on November 18, 2015.

On February 15, 2016, Pokémon: Advanced Challenge debuted on Hungama TV with What You Seed is What You Get. The channel also shifted the anime from a 1:00 PM time slot to a 6:30 PM time slot. From That's Just Swellow to Unfair Weather Friends, the anime was shifted to an 8:00 PM time slot. Who's Flying Now? was skipped. Starting with Sky High Gym Battle!, the anime was moved back to a 6:30 PM time slot. Starting with Lights, Camerupt, Action!, the narrator's voice actor, Nurse Joy's dialogue, the Team Rocket motto, etc. changed. Hungama completed the initial run of Pokémon: Advanced Challenge with Judgment Day! on April 28, 2016.

Debut Season(s) of Pokémon Advanced Generation series aired
September 16, 2015 Pokémon: Advanced
February 15, 2016 Pokémon: Advanced Challenge

XY series

Pokémon XY logo used currently in India
Bulbanews has an article related to this subject:

The XY series was initially aired without any promotion on a weekend time slot. Hungama TV later announced that more episodes of the series would air during the weekend time slot, with earlier episodes continuing during the weekday time slot. From the start of the season, Hungama TV skipped the title card of the episodes and started using a new logo for the series, replacing the one used in other dubs.

The first two episodes of Pokémon the Series: XY, Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin and Lumoise City Pursuit, debuted on Hungama TV on May 9, 2015. Similarly to the other seasons, inconsistencies in the airing order were again noticed by viewers, such as the skipping of the episode A Rush of Ninja Wisdom for unknown reasons. After a month-long hiatus, Hungama resumed airing new episodes starting on August 1, 2015 with A PokéVision of Things to Come!, skipping the previous two episodes, A Conspiracy to Conquer! and Breaking Titles at the Chateau!. As An Undersea Place to Call Home! was aired out of order in the US dub, it was also skipped in the Hungama airings. From the middle of the season, Hungama aired the episodes as a part of a block named Pokemon Full On. With Bonnie for the Defense!, Hungama completed the initial run of the season on November 14, 2015.

Debut Season(s) of Pokémon XY series aired
May 9, 2015 Pokémon the Series: XY

Pokémon movies and specials

For all of the Pokémon movies aired so far on Hungama TV, the channel has made a new logo for the movie. Many scenes from each movie were skipped, including the opening and ending themes. Despite the fact that Hungama TV airs the English dub of the anime, the movies aired were based on the original Japanese version. Pokémon movies have also been aired in blocks with Beyblade and Crayon Shin-chan. The Pokémon movies also air on Disney XD India using the same version that aired on Hungama TV; for example, on April 19, 2017 all seven movies aired as part of a marathon on Disney XD.

The first movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back premiered on Hungama TV on April 18, 2015, as Pokémon The Movie - Mewtwo Ka Badla (Hindi: Mewtwo का बदला).

The second movie, The Power of One premiered on Hungama TV on August 22, 2015 as Pokémon Movie - Ash Pikachu aur Lugia in Danger (Hindi: Ash Pikachu और Lugia इन डेंजर).

Mega Evolution Special I aired on November 21, 2015.

The third movie, Spell of the Unown: Entei premiered on Hungama TV on April 16, 2016 as Pokémon Movie - Unown ka Tehelka (Hindi: Unown का तहलका).

The fourth movie, Celebi: Voice of the Forest premiered on Hungama TV on May 28, 2016 as Pokémon Movie - Khatre Ka Jungle (Hindi: खतरे का जंगल). Various errors, including mispronunciations and the use of the Japanese Pokemon cries, were made.

The fifth movie, Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias premiered on Hungama TV on July 31, 2016 as Pokémon Movie - Soul Dew Ka Raaz: Latias and Latios (Hindi: सोल डीउ का राज़: Latias एंड Latios).

The sixth movie, Jirachi: Wish Maker premiered on Hungama TV on November 6, 2016 as Jirachi Ka Wonder (Hindi: Jirachi का वंडर).

The seventh movie, Destiny Deoxys premiered on Hungama TV on January 22, 2017 as Deoxy aur Tori ki Story (Hindi: Deoxy ओर तोरी की स्टोरी).

Premiere Movie(s)/special(s) aired
April 18, 2015 Mewtwo Strikes Back
August 22, 2015 The Power of One
November 21, 2015 Mega Evolution Special episodes
April 16, 2016 Spell of the Unown: Entei
May 28, 2016 Celebi: Voice of the Forest
July 31, 2016 Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias
November 6, 2016 Jirachi: Wish Maker
January 22, 2017 Destiny Deoxys

Cast and crew

Hindi dub

Character Voice actor
Ash Prasad Barve (Cartoon Network dub)
Nachiket Dighe (Hungama dub)
Misty Neshma Chemburkar (Cartoon Network dub, S01 - S02)
Rucha Dighe (Hungama dub)
Brock Uplaksh Kochhar (Hungama dub)
Tracey Nachiket Dighe (Cartoon Network dub)
Anshul Chandra (Hungama dub)
May Neshma Chemburkar (Hungama dub)
Max Amit Diyondi (Hungama dub)
Serena Sayuri Haralkar (Hungama dub)
Clemont Viral Shah (Hungama dub)
Bonnie Nilufer Middey Khan (Hungama dub)
Jessie Nandini Sharma (Cartoon Network dub)
Shagufta Baig (Hungama dub)
James Kishore Bhatt[6] (Cartoon Nework dub)
Rajesh Shukla (Hungama dub)
Meowth Damandeep Singh Baggan (Cartoon Network dub, S01 - S02)
Sandeep Karnik (Cartoon Network dub, S03 - S14)
Saumya Daan (Hungama dub)

Tamil dub

Character / Role Voice actor
Opening theme singer * Karthik[7] (CN dub)

Pokémon manga

English-translated Pokémon manga was distributed in India by Chuang Yi. Manga distribution are available on online stores such as Amazon.

Pokémon merchandise

  • Pokémon was an instant hit in India and was one of the number one kids shows on TV. Due to its huge popularity, many pirated Pokémon products are sold in India.[8]
  • 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 packs.[9]
  • 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[4].
  • Pokémon Toys were available as toy gifts of McDonald's Happy Meals. These toys were spoons featuring Pikachu and other starters. However no advertisements were made by McDonald's.[10]
  • Pokémon Black and White merchandise is available in India from Reliance Home video and games.
  • Pokémon XY merchandise is launched in India by Dreamtheatre, available in physical stores and online sites (Flipkart[11], Snapdeal[12]).
  • Pokémon merchandise like books, toys, etc are available on on-ground shops as well as online sites.
  • Holi Pichkaris (Water Guns) were available during 2014 and 2015[13].
  • Pokémon Kites were available for sale[14].
  • A Pokémon contest was held by Hungama TV in 2015, which gave out Pokémon merchandise as prizes.[15]
  • Pokémon XY Products/toys with the original logo are distributed by Funskool India.[16]
  • Pokémon Evolution Cards and 3D figurines of Pikachu, the Kanto starter Pokémon, and Jigglypuff were distributed with the breakfast cereal Chocos.


  • After the first few episodes of each season, Hungama TV does not air the opening themes or credits.
  • From the middle of the second run of Pokémon: Black & White, Cartoon Network replaced the English dub's opening with an original one.
  • The Hungama TV dub changed the name of the Pokédex to PokéTab (Hindi: पोकेटॅब).
  • Prior to Princess vs. Princess, Hungama TV did not include the Who's That Pokémon? segment. It was skipped some times in between, but was aired consistently after Shell Shock!.
  • Hungama TV made a Pokérap as an ending theme for the anime series and the movies.
    • They also made Pokéraps for the Orange League and Johto League which featured live-action sequences and worked as promos for the upcoming seasons of Pokémon. They also made a Pokérap for the Hoenn League which worked as a promo for season 7.

Related articles

External links


The Pokémon franchise around the world
The Americas: BrazilCanadaLatin AmericaUnited States
Asia: Greater ChinaIndonesiaMalaysiaPhilippinesSingaporeSouth AsiaSouth KoreaThailandVietnam
Europe: BelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceIcelandIrelandItaly
LithuaniaNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaSpainSwedenUnited Kingdom
Middle East: Arab worldIsraelTurkey
Oceania: AustraliaNew Zealand

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