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Pokémon anime

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Early anime frame from EP093

The Pokémon anime, often referred to as just "the anime" by Pokémon fans, is a collective term referring to currently 844 main series episodes, 17 movies, and a number of side-story episodes, all focusing on Pokémon. The great majority of these focus on Ash Ketchum, a Pokémon Trainer from Pallet Town, and his journey toward his ultimate goal of being a Pokémon Master, his many friends, and most especially his Pokémon, who he considers his partners and friends.

Though the anime is ultimately based upon the games and draws heavily from them, many concepts which are only touched on the games are spun in a unique way, and expanded on.

The anime is now broadcast in 74[1] different countries, many times being dubbed into other languages for different locales.

Overview

From the very first episode, Ash has been the central character, making his goal of becoming a Pokémon Master known to all he meets. Though initially, he only became a Pokémon Trainer with the goal of beating his rival, Gary Oak, the many Pokémon Ash has met over his journey have shown him what being a Pokémon Master really is. Unlike most Trainers from Pallet, and indeed, unlike players of Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Ash did not start his journey with Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle, as he arrived late to Professor Oak's lab to receive his starter Pokémon. Instead, Ash was given the only Pokémon Oak had left to give, a Pikachu that did not enjoy being inside its Poké Ball, and from there Ash learned to treat his Pokémon as partners, earning Pikachu's trust by keeping it safe from a flock of Spearow he angered.

Since then, Ash has journeyed across all five of the regions that appear in the core series games, as well as the Orange Archipelago, a region he visited before beginning his journey in Johto until it was closer in time to the real world release of Pokémon Gold and Silver. In each, he battles against the native Gym Leaders for their Badges, as do Trainers in the core series games, to compete in the regional Pokémon League, a tournament, rather than five battles straight against the Elite Four and Champion. While his initial strategy was to continue using the same party over the course of his journey, letting some Pokémon go when they were required to do something or wanted to train, he has, since his journey in Hoenn, changed strategy, and now uses only those Pokémon which he has caught in the region, alongside Pikachu, to battle against Gym Leaders, with his explanation to Dawn being that he wants to prove to the young, unevolved Pokémon he meets in each new region that they can win if they try.

Over the course of the series, Ash has had several friends who travel with him, typically across one region, who assist him in his journey as much as he assists in theirs. Misty, the Gym Leader from Cerulean City in the games, joins him in the original series, as does Brock, Pewter City's Gym Leader, in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. Tracey Sketchit, an amateur Pokémon watcher, joins Ash during his Orange Archipelago journey, but leaves him on Ash's return to Pallet to become an assistant to Professor Oak, his hero. May and Dawn, rookie Coordinators, join Ash for the duration of the Advanced Generation and Diamond & Pearl series, respectively; in these he mentors them much as Brock and Misty did him, while Max, May's brother, who is too young to own Pokémon, looks up to Ash for the duration of the Advanced Generation series. Iris and Cilan travel with Ash in the Best Wishes series. Clemont, his sister Bonnie and Ash's childhood friend Serena travel with Ash in the XY series. Like Max, Bonnie is too young to own Pokémon, but cares for her brother's Dedenne.

The anime is produced in Japan, and airs on TV Tokyo nearly every Thursday at 7 PM, as it has since the Porygon incident was resolved. It aired on Tuesdays at the same time prior to this. Many fans consider the dialogue and events mentioned in the Japanese version to be the "true canon", while the various dubs are regarded to be overridden if something stated in them differs from something said in a Japanese episode.

In Japan, the anime is divided into five series: Pocket Monsters, Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation, Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl, Pocket Monsters Best Wishes and Pocket Monsters XY. Outside of it, these five have always been further divided into seasons spanning roughly 52 episodes, and currently numbering seventeen. This concept of a television season was first embraced by the Japanese source with the inclusion of an explicitly second season to Best Wishes. The show is mainly aimed at children, and as such, mature topics such as death are not often brought up, though sometimes they appear in movies. Many Pokémon that are implied to be very violent or sinister in the games are also made to be much more friendly, where none (save Team Rocket's Meowth) are considered evil. There are generally some references meant for adults, though these are kept to a minimum especially outside of Japan.

Television series

Original series

Japan US
Season Theme song First episode Season Theme song First episode
Pocket Monsters
Pocket Monsters
Aim to Be a Pokémon Master
Aim to Be a Pokémon Master
EP001
EP001
Indigo League
Indigo League
Pokémon Theme
Pokémon Theme
EP001
EP001
Pocket Monsters: Orange Archipelago Chapter
Pocket Monsters:
Orange Archipelago Chapter
The Rivals
The Rivals
EP081
EP081
Orange Islands
Adventures in the Orange Islands
Pokémon World
Pokémon World
EP084
EP084
Pocket Monsters: Gold & Silver Chapter
Pocket Monsters:
Gold & Silver Chapter
OK!
OK!
EP117
EP117
Johto Journeys
The Johto Journeys
Pokémon Johto
Pokémon Johto
EP117
EP117
ATBAPM Whiteberry
ATBAPM Whiteberry
EP192
EP192
Johto League Champions
Johto League Champions
Born to Be a Winner
Born to Be a Winner
EP158
EP158
Ready Go!
Ready Go!
EP239
EP239
Master Quest
Master Quest
Believe in Me
Believe in Me
EP210
EP210

Advanced Generation series

Japan US
Season Theme song First episode Season Theme song First episode
Pocket Monsters Advanced Generation
Pocket Monsters:
Advanced Generation
Advance Adventure
Advance Adventure
AG001
AG001
Advanced
Advanced
I Wanna Be a Hero
I Wanna Be a Hero
AG001
AG001
Challenger!!
Challenger!!
AG070
AG070
Advanced Challenge
Advanced Challenge
This Dream
This Dream
AG041
AG041
Pokémon Symphonic Medley
Pokémon Symphonic Medley
AG105
AG105
Advanced Battle
Advanced Battle
Unbeatable
Unbeatable
AG093
AG093
Battle Frontier
Battle Frontier
AG135
AG135
Spurt!
Spurt!
AG166
AG166
Battle Frontier
Battle Frontier
Battle Frontier
Battle Frontier
AG146
AG146

Diamond & Pearl series

Japan US
Season Theme song First episode Season Theme song First episode
Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl
Pocket Monsters:
Diamond & Pearl
Together
Together
DP001
DP001
Diamond and Pearl
Diamond and Pearl
Diamond and Pearl
Diamond and Pearl
DP001
DP001
Battle Dimension
Battle Dimension
We Will Be Heroes
We Will Be Heroes
DP053
DP053
High Touch!
High Touch!
DP096
DP096
Galactic Battles
Galactic Battles
Battle Cry - (Stand Up!)
Battle Cry - (Stand Up!)
DP105
DP105
The Greatest - Everyday!
The Greatest - Everyday!
DP158
DP158
Sinnoh League Victors
Sinnoh League Victors
We Will Carry On!
We Will Carry On!
DP158
DP158

Best Wishes series

Japan US
Season Theme song First episode Season Theme song First episode
Best Wishes
Pocket Monsters:
Best Wishes!
OPJ14.png
Best Wishes!
BW001
BW001
Black & White
Black & White
Black and White
Black and White
BW001
BW001
Best Wishes
Pocket Monsters:
Best Wishes! Season 2
OPJ15.png
Be an Arrow!
BW085
BW085
Rival Destinies
Rival Destinies
Rival Destinies
Rival Destinies
BW049
BW049
Best Wishes N
Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!
Season 2: Episode N
OPJ15 3.png
Be an Arrow! 2013
BW109
BW109
Adventures in Unova
Adventures in Unova
Adventures in Unova and Beyond
Adventures in Unova and Beyond
It's Always You and Me
It's Always You and Me
BW098
BW098
BW098
BW123
Best Wishes Da!
Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!
Season 2: Decolora Adventure
OPJ16.png
Summerly Slope
BW123
BW123

XY series

Japan US
Season Theme song First episode Season Theme song First episode
Pocket Monsters XY
Pocket Monsters: XY
OPJ17.png
V (Volt)
BW001
XY001
Pokémon the Series: XY
Pokémon the Series: XY
Pokémon Theme
Pokémon Theme
BW001
XY001
OPJ17 2.png
Mega V (Mega Volt)
BW029
XY029

Side series

Japanese name Japanese run English name English run
ポケットモンスター アンコール
Pocket Monsters Encore
October 19, 1999 — September 17, 2002
週刊ポケモン放送局
Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station
October 15, 2002 — September 28, 2004 Pokémon Chronicles June 3, 2006 — September 30, 2006
ポケモン☆サンデー
Pokémon Sunday
October 3, 2004 — September 26, 2010
ポケモンスマッシュ!
Pokémon Smash
October 3, 2010 — September 29, 2013
ポケモンゲット☆TV
Pokémon Get☆TV
October 6, 2013 — present

Movies

Main article: Pokémon movie

Since 1998 in Japan, and since 1999 in the US, a Pokémon movie has been released annually, most often focusing on a legendary Pokémon. These movies are almost always a large success in Japan, and remain at least somewhat successful in the US and other countries, having been aired on Cartoon Network as a special since the ninth movie, and having theatrical releases during the first five seasons.

The movies are not considered by all people to be canon to the show, with some preferring to think of them occurring in an alternate timeline. This theory comes from the fact that Ash and his friends do not seem to be profoundly affected in the show by the events of the movies, which tend to have a lot of peril and drama. Others, however, see the movies as being akin to "filler" episodes, as none of their parties change, and no Gym Leaders are defeated nor Contests won. This is presumably the correct interpretation, as not only have most of the events of the movies been referenced at least peripherally in the show, but also, several of the events of even major episodes have been forgotten by the writers of later episodes.

Original series

Japan Pikachu Project US
Japanese title Release date English title Release date
Mewtwo's Counterattack
ミュウツーの逆襲
Mewtwo's Counterattack
July 18, 1998 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 1998
Mewtwo Strikes Back
Mewtwo Strikes Back
November 12, 1999
Phantom Pokémon: Lugia's Explosive Birth
幻のポケモン ルギア爆誕
Phantom Pokémon: Lugia's Explosive Birth
July 17, 1999 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 1999
The Power of One
The Power of One
July 21, 2000
Emperor of the Crystal Tower: Entei
結晶塔の帝王爆誕
Emperor of the Crystal Tower: Entei
July 8, 2000 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2000
Spell of the Unown
Spell of the Unown
April 6, 2001
Celebi: An Encounter Through Time
セレビィ時を超えた遭遇
Celebi: An Encounter Through Time
July 7, 2001 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2001
Celebi: Voice of the Forest
Celebi: Voice of the Forest
October 11, 2002
Guardian Gods of the City of Water: Latias and Latios
水の都の護神 ラティアスとラティオス
Guardian Gods of the City of Water: Latias and Latios
July 13, 2002 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2002
Pokémon Heroes
Pokémon Heroes
May 16, 2003

Advanced Generation series

Japan Pikachu Project US
Japanese title Release date English title Release date
Wishing Star of the Seven Nights: Jirachi
七夜の願い星 ジラーチ
Wishing Star of the Seven Nights: Jirachi
July 19, 2003 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2003
Jirachi: Wish Maker
Jirachi: Wish Maker
June 1, 2004
Sky-Splitting Visitor: Deoxys
裂空の訪問者 デオキシス
Sky-Splitting Visitor: Deoxys
July 17, 2004 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2004
Destiny Deoxys
Destiny Deoxys
January 22, 2005
Mew and the Wave-Guiding Hero: Lucario
ミュウと波導の勇者 ルカリオ
Mew and the Wave-Guiding Hero: Lucario
July 16, 2005 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2005
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
September 19, 2006
Pokémon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea: Manaphy
ポケモンレンジャーと蒼海の王子 マナフィ
Pokémon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea: Manaphy
July 15, 2006 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2006
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
March 23, 2007

Diamond & Pearl series

Japan Pikachu Project US
Japanese title Release date English title Release date
Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai
ディアルガVSパルキアVSダークライ
Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai
July 14, 2007 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2007
The Rise of Darkrai
The Rise of Darkrai
February 24, 2008
Giratina and the Sky's Bouquet: Shaymin
ギラティナと氷空の花束 シェイミ
Giratina and the Sky's Bouquet: Shaymin
July 19, 2008 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2008
Giratina and the Sky Warrior
Giratina and the Sky Warrior
March 31, 2009
Arceus: To a Conquering Spacetime
アルセウス 超克の時空へ
Arceus: To a Conquering Spacetime
July 18, 2009 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2009
Arceus and the Jewel of Life

Arceus and the Jewel of Life

November 20, 2009
Ruler of Illusions: Zoroark
幻影の覇者ゾロアーク
Ruler of Illusions: Zoroark
July 10, 2010 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2010
Pikachu the Movie
Zoroark: Master of Illusions
February 5, 2011

Best Wishes series

Japan Pikachu Project US
Japanese title Release date English title Release date
Victini and the Black Hero: Zekrom
ビクティニと黒き英雄ゼクロム
Victini and the Black Hero: Zekrom
July 16, 2011 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2011
White—Victini and Zekrom

White—Victini and Zekrom

December 3, 2011 *
December 10, 2011*
Victini and the White Hero: Reshiram
ビクティニと白き英雄レシラム
Victini and the White Hero: Reshiram
Black—Victini and Reshiram

Black—Victini and Reshiram

Kyurem VS the Sacred Swordsmen
キュレムVS聖剣士ケルディオ
Kyurem VS the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo
July 14, 2012 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2012
Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice

Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice

December 8, 2012
Extreme Speed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens
神速のゲノセクト ミュウツー覚醒
Extreme Speed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens
July 13, 2013 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2013
Genesect and the Legend Awakened

Genesect and the Legend Awakened

October 19, 2013

XY series

Japan Pikachu Project US
Japanese title Release date English title Release date
The Cocoon of Destruction
破壊の繭とディアンシー
The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie
July 19, 2014 Pikachu the Movie
Pikachu Project 2014
Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction The Cocoon of Destruction
Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction

Trivia

Serena drawn with fingernails
  • Animator Masāki Iwane 岩根正明 once stated that the series was originally slated for a 1½-year run, which corresponds approximately to the length of the Kanto region saga (had it not been delayed due to the Porygon incident). Due to its popularity during the run, however, the show was extended and continues to be one of the longest running video game-based anime series.
  • During the early episodes of the original series, Japanese text was seen quite frequently on signs and buildings as well as objects. This usually resulted in the English dubbed version (and thus, foreign dubs based on it) painting out the text or converting it to English.
    • During the Johto saga, the animators used made-up symbols slightly similar to the Latin script instead of Japanese text, so it would be universal to all languages and would not have to be edited for the English localization.
    • During the Advanced Generation series and Diamond & Pearl series, the animators used a new style of symbols that appear to be blocky letters without a resemblance to any alphabet. However, most of these were still edited out for the English dub until Pokémon: Battle Frontier.
    • During the Best Wishes series and XY series, a full writing system was specifically created for the anime. This language consists in three different fonts: a font used for titles, big signboards, etc; other font used as less remarkable text accompanying the title font; and other font used only occasionally as a minor text filler. Each font has 26 unique symbols, and each one of those symbols represent a letter from the modern Latin script. This text usually has meanings, as the symbols converted from the Latin script are written as romanized Japanese; sometimes its meanings are related to the context in which it is used, but sometimes the text contains hidden messages, like mentioning Wobbuffet in a magazine seen in BW001.
  • Fingernails were not consistently drawn on characters until the XY series.

Related articles

References

  1. http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2009/10/12/pokemon_stats/

External links

On Bulbagarden forums

Project Anime logo.png This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.