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Pokémon in the United States

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Pokémon in United States
Pokémon logo English.png
United States Flag.png
Flag of the United States
Language English
Continent North America
Original anime airdates
EP001 September 8, 1998*
AG001 March 15, 2003
November 1, 2003
DP001 April 20, 2007
June 4, 2007
BW001 February 12, 2011
XY001 October 19, 2013
January 18, 2014

The Pokémon franchise first reached the United States of America in 1998 with the release of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions and the airing of the anime. Most English translations of Pokémon media are based in the United States and then further distributed in other English-speaking countries of the world.

Pokémon video games

Most Pokémon video games released in Japan are translated into English for the United States, although there are exceptions such as the WiiWare Mystery Dungeon games. All English-language games are exported to Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries (including those that do not have their own translation of the games, such as Latin America and Brazil). Event Pokémon are regularly released in the United States as well.

Pokémon anime

The Pokémon anime debuted in the United States on September 7, 1998 with the sneak preview debut of Battle Aboard the St. Anne, helping to launch Pokémon into a nationwide phenomenon that lasted until the early 2000s. All English-language dubs of the Pokémon anime were produced in the United States, first by 4Kids Entertainment and later by The Pokémon Company International*.

While the Pokémon movies are regularly released theatrically in Japan, only the first five movies and the Zekrom variant of the 14th movie have seen theatrical releases in the US; all other movies have premiered on television (usually on Cartoon Network) and released straight to video or DVD.

Kids' WB!

Kids' WB! logo used from 1997-2001

Kids' WB! (Warner Brothers' Studios) is a former programming block that was broadcast on The WB Television Network and later, as a result of a merge between WB and UPN, on The CW Television Network. The initial run of the block was from 1995-2008, and it aired (at various stages) both before and after school, and also on Saturday mornings. Kids' WB, in its original form, shut down on May 17, 2008. Prior to its closure, it was relaunched as an online video on demand service.

Kids' WB aired episodes from the original 4Kids Entertainment dub of the Pokémon anime from 1999 until 2006. The first episode aired was The Problem with Paras, on February 13. The network aired the remainder of the first season, and every other non-banned episode through season eight. Warner Bros. also used the Kids' WB! name in their promotions of the first three Pokémon movies.

On January 22, 2005, Kids' WB! was the first to air the English version of the seventh movie, Destiny Deoxys. It was also first to air the 10th anniversary Pokémon special, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, on April 29, 2006, even before it aired in Japan. This special was the first to be dubbed by The Pokémon Company International (then known as Pokémon USA), as well as being the only time Kids' WB! aired the new dub by Pokémon USA. Along with the special, a promotional sweepstakes was run by Kids' WB! to win tenth anniversary related merchandise.

In 2006, before any more Pokémon USA episodes could be aired, the network announced that all non-Warner Brothers shows would be dropped from the lineup. This meant that Pokémon, among other shows, would no longer be aired on Kids' WB!. The series would eventually move to Cartoon Network, which is owned by TimeWarner via its' Turner Broadcasting division, managed by Ted Turner, on September 8th.

On October 2, 2007, it was announced that the Kids' WB block would end in September the following year. Management stated that this was because of the effects of children's advertising limits and competition from cable TV channels. In an ironic twist, the block was sold to 4Kids, who had also bought the old Fox Kids block, renaming it the "Fox Box" and then "4Kids TV". Fox Broadcasting Company ended their relationship with 4Kids in December 2008, and as of 2010, used the old slot to allow affiliates to use for news or E/I programming, save for two hours called "Fox Marketplace", in essence a block of Infomercials.

The last time Kids' WB! aired was, contrary to earlier reports, May 17, 2008. After this date, the block was renamed as The CW4Kids. Kids' WB! was revamped into an online video on demand service, which was launched on April 28, 2008. Pokémon is not included on the list of available titles; however, episodes are available on demand via the USA Pokémon.com web portal.

Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network's logo since May 29, 2010

Cartoon Network is a cable network owned by Time Warner that carries the Pokémon anime meta series. The channel was launched on October 1, 1992 after Turner purchased the animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1991. They started with Pokémon: Battle Frontier on September 8th, 2006. They picked up the series after corporate sibling Kids' WB! dropped the series in its efforts to focus more on series produced in-house, which has since been taken over by 4Kids Entertainment, the former producer of the anime series.

Previously, they had aired reruns of episodes from the anime's earlier seasons, such as Master Quest. As of April 2010, almost every season has aired on Cartoon Network. They have also aired all Pokémon Chronicles episodes during the summer of 2006. Currently, the series does not air on the network.

New dubbed episodes of Pokémon Black & White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond can be seen on Saturday mornings at 8:30 AM ET/PT (7:00 AM CT). As of March 2011, it repeated Pokémon: Black & White. They both aired weekdays at 8:00 AM ET/PT. On February 18, 2012, Cartoon Network started airing Pokémon Black & White: Rival Destinies. Currently, their sibling network Boomerang airs the original series.

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Cartoon Network tends to marginalize end credits-- replacing the original ending with their own generic credits while running a promo. This is not a very big loss for anime episodes, which have rather unremarkable ending sequences in the dub, unless the credits break away from the current format, such as in Borrowing on Bad Faith!. However, by extension, this means that the credits of Pokémon movies aired on the channel, which contain an epilogue, are missed, to the chagrin of viewers. Occasionally, the credits are simply sped up. Also, when the thirteenth movie first aired on the channel, several scenes were omitted, which TPCi did not appreciate.

On their website, Cartoon Network features several online games featuring Pokémon characters.

Toonami

Toonami's logo from 2007-2008

Toonami is an extension of Cartoon Network. It formerly aired Pokémon Chronicles and, after Kids' WB! stopped airing new episodes of the anime, Battle Frontier.

From July 2001 until June 2002, Kids' WB!'s weekday afternoon editions, which included Pokémon, were branded Toonami on Kids' WB, making this period the first instance of Pokémon on Toonami.

The Toonami block aired for the final time on September 20, 2008. Although the Toonami block itself ended, the block's streaming-video service Toonami Jetstream, which showed episodes from various arcs of Pokémon anime, continued operations until January 30, 2009. After nearly four years of being off the year in the US, Toonami later returned on the air on May 26, 2012, but now on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late-night programming block. This was done by popular demand after an April Fools stunt.

Toonami Jetstream

Toonami Jetstream's logo

Toonami Jetstream was a streaming video service run by Cartoon Network and VIZ Media to provide anime and action cartoons 24 hours a day. The service launched on July 17, 2006. The service remained online even after its parent programming block, Toonami, ended on September 20, 2008. On January 20, 2009, Toonami Jetstream switched all available offerings with "top 10" lists from most of their at-the-time current shows. Toonami Jetstream shut down on January 30, 2009. Cartoon Network Video, Toonami Jetstream's former sister service, became Cartoon Network's lone streaming video service at the time Jetstream shut down. The Pokémon anime did not initially migrate over to Cartoon Network Video, but would do so a few months after Jetstream's shutdown.

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The third season of the Pokémon anime debuted on the service on October 9, 2006 under the Johto Journeys banner. The first episode offered on the service was The Pokémon Water War. The last episode under this classification, The Fortune Hunters, debuted on Jetstream on October 1, 2007.

Pokémon Chronicles also debuted on Toonami Jetstream on October 9, 2006. The first episode of the side series offered on the service was part 1 of The Legend of Thunder!. The final episode, Pikachu's Winter Vacation: Christmas Night/Kanga Games, debuted on the service on March 5, 2007.

The fourth season debuted on Toonami Jetstream on May 29, 2007 under the Johto League Champions banner. A Goldenrod Opportunity was the first episode offered under that classification. The last episode under this classification, Machoke, Machoke Man!, debuted on Jetstream on May 27, 2008.

The first season debuted on Toonami Jetstream on January 14, 2008 under the Pokémon banner as part of a special offering involving Pokémon Snap. Pokémon Paparazzi was the first episode offered under that classification. This classification never saw a regular progression.

The fifth season debuted on Toonami Jetstream on June 16, 2008 under the Master Quest banner. Around the Whirlpool was the first episode offered under that classification. The last episode under this classification, Some Like It Hot, debuted on Jetstream on January 13, 2009. This classification was the only one featured in the Top 10 format prior to the service's shutdown.

The ninth season debuted on Toonami Jetstream on November 17, 2008 under the Battle Frontier banner. Fear Factor Phony was the first episode offered under that classification. The last episode under this classification, Reversing the Charges, debuted on Jetstream on January 13, 2009.

Toonami Jetstream released episodes new to the service every Monday, unless a particular Monday is a United States holiday, in most cases the debut was on a different day (such as the following Tuesday or the preceding Friday). Like other shows on Toonami Jetstream, new Pokémon episodes in currently-running seasons debuted every week and remained available on Toonami Jetstream for six weeks after they debuted on the service.

Toonami Jetstream also offered short previews of Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, Two Degrees of Separation!, and The Rise of Darkrai prior to their television debuts.

To celebrate the release of Pokémon Snap on the Virtual Console, Pokémon.com have announced that episodes featuring Todd Snap will be offered for one week later in December. That method was scrapped in favor of traditional weekly progression; his three Johto appearances appeared as part of the normal Johto League Champions progression, with his Kanto appearances appearing on January 14, 2008, January 22, 2008, and January 28, 2008.

The Todd version of Todd Snap's Kanto episodes are the ones used on Toonami Jetstream. This appears to go with the retcon of making Snap his surname when Pokémon Snap was announced for the Virtual Console.

Cartoon Network Video

Cartoon Network Video's former logo

Cartoon Network Video is a streaming video service run by Cartoon Network to provide animated programs 24 hours a day. The service launched on September 22, 2006. Originally a sister service to Toonami Jetstream, which had long offered the Pokémon anime, Cartoon Network Video became Cartoon Network's lone streaming video service after Toonami Jetstream shut down on January 30, 2009. The Pokémon anime debuted on the service on May 15, 2009.

The first classification used for the Pokémon anime on Cartoon Network Video is DP: Galactic Battles, not appearing to follow any specific season unlike when the Pokémon anime ran on Toonami Jetstream. The first episode offered on the service was Get Your Rotom Running! The final episode uploaded with the banner displaying Galactic Battles was Gotta Get a Gible!, uploaded on May 17, 2010.

On December 14, 2009, 97 episodes from the first two seasons including the entirety of season two, listed under the names of the first two arcs Indigo League and Adventures in the Orange Islands, were made available on the service, arranged as subclassifications under the show's banner (which still lists Galactic Battles). Unlike Galactic Battles, the episodes from the first two episodes are divided by season, but under the name of one of the arcs, meaning season two episodes from the Indigo League arc are classified under the Adventures in the Orange Islands classification. This is similar to how the last 11 episodes of the second arc, which are also the first 11 episodes of the third season, were available on Toonami Jetstream under the third arc's name.

On February 1, 2010, a fourth subclassification under the show's banner was added to house season three, listed under the name "The Johto Journeys"; only one episode was made available that day, The Pokémon Water War. However, this addition may have been in error, as both the classification and the episode were removed a few days later. The classification was later re-added two months later with the entire third season included; however, the episodes in the classification were not working for many users, and the classification was once again taken down the following month.

On June 5, 2010, the banner depiction for Pokémon on Cartoon Network Video was switched to the new classification of DP: Sinnoh League Victors, carrying over all content that had been classified under the previous arc's name.

Initially, Cartoon Network Video released episodes new to the service every Monday, unless a particular Monday was a United States holiday, in most cases the debut was on a different day (such as the following Tuesday). The newest episodes were currently made available the Monday following their original dub airdates and remain on the service for two weeks. More recently, however, episodes have been uploaded later than previously and remain available for only one week.

After a site revamp in October 2009, Cartoon Network Video uses a dedicated 16:9 widescreen video player. A lot of content originally produced in 16:9 widescreen, including all Pokémon episodes starting with Classroom Training, are shown properly on this video player regardless of the aspect ratio an episode showed in on Cartoon Network's standard-definition television feed; however, content originally produced in 4:3 fullscreen, such as Pokémon episodes from earlier seasons, are stretched to fill the 16:9 frame in a process similar to Stretch-o-Vision.

The Todd versions of the episodes Todd Snap appears in are the ones used on Cartoon Network Video; the same was true when shown on Toonami Jetstream. Additionally, any episode that involves the Orange Archipelago in any way, shape, or form uses the theme presented from televised airings, meaning Pokémon World is first used with The Lost Lapras on Cartoon Network Video with Pokémon Theme used for the three episodes prior.

Boomerang

Boomerang's current logo

Boomerang is a cable network owned by Time Warner, operating as a sister station to Cartoon Network. Boomerang is well-known for airing many cartoons that came from the 20th century such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Popeye the Sailor Man, and The Yogi Bear Show, as well as older episodes of currently-running series, Pokémon among them. A full list is on Wikipedia. Boomerang was made shortly after the introduction of Cartoon Network in 1992. However, it was only a block on the network, and was not spun off into a channel until 2000. During its time as a block, it lasted for only a couple of hours at a time.

Boomerang first started airing episodes of the popular Pokémon series when it first aired the original series in 2006, and after that in March of 2010. Currently, as of October 2012, the channel airs episodes from EP001 to DP191. Episodes are currently airing at 4 and 4:30 PM ET/PT on weekdays.

Boomerang airs Holiday Hi-Jynx, an anime episode that had previously been banned.

Toon Disney

Toon Disney's logo from 2005-2009

Toon Disney was an American cable television channel which began broadcasting on April 18, 1998 (the date was chosen to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the launch of its parent channel, Disney Channel). It was owned by The Walt Disney Company, who also owns the Miramax Films film studio. Its programming was aimed at 2-11 year olds.

Toon Disney had shown the Pokémon motion pictures distributed in the United States by sister company Miramax Films: Celebi: Voice of the Forest, Pokémon Heroes, Jirachi: Wish Maker, and Destiny Deoxys. On February 13th, 2009, Toon Disney was succeeded by Disney XD, a channel geared towards boys ages 6-14.

Other video streaming

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The Pokémon anime is available on Hulu, a video streaming site available in the United States.

Additionally, it was announced by Netflix that the Pokémon anime would be available through their paid on-demand service beginning from March 1, 2014. Currently, the first and fourteenth seasons, along with the fourteenth movie, are available for streaming.

Pokémon manga

VIZ Media, based out of San Francisco, California, has licensed and translated several Pokémon manga titles in the United States, including Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, movie manga adaptations, and the popular Pokémon Adventures series.

Pokémon Trading Card Game

An English-language translation of the Pokémon Trading Card Game has been sold in the United States since the release of Base Set in 1999, and continues to this day. Most English sets do not correspond exactly to the Japanese sets they are translated from; they often incorporate additional cards from Japanese promotions and theme decks. English-language cards are the most widely distributed worldwide; as with the games, they are exported to other English-speaking countries, but are also often sold alongside localized translations and in countries where no local translation exists. Currently, only English-language cards are tournament legal in the United States.

Pokémon merchandise

Pokémon merchandising has been handled by various distributors in the United States. When the franchise debuted, merchandising was handled by Hasbro. Originally, toys and merchandise were simply imported from Japan, but later Hasbro created their own toys and games for distribution in the US. In 2004, rights passed to Jakks Pacific, which produced their own merchandise as well. As of January 2013, merchandise will be handled by Tomy, which will import Japanese merchandise once again.

The United States is home to the only North American Pokémon Center stores, with one store operating in in New York City, New York (now a Nintendo World store) and two mall kiosks in Washington state. The Pokémon Center online store also currently only ships to the United States.

Events

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Several promotional events have been held in the United States for Pokémon video games and other media. Many of these events included playable game demos, distribution of event Pokémon, and other incentives such as promotional cards from the Trading Card Game.

Promotional tours include the Pokémon 2000 Stadium Tour, Pokémon Rocks America, Pokémon 10th Anniversary Journey Across America, and the Pokémon Black and White Sampling Tour.


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.