Difference between revisions of "Pokémon in South Korea"

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m (I hope this was romanised correctly. Added the Hangul because Pokémon in Greater China has the hanzi.)
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|XY001=March 10, 2014
|XY001=March 10, 2014
The [[Pokémon]] franchise first reached '''{{wp|South Korea}}''' in 1999, with the first airing of ''[[EP001|Pikachu, I Choose You!]]'' on the {{wp|Seoul Broadcasting System}}. None of the [[Generation I|first generation]] Pokémon games were released in South Korea, so it was not until the release of {{game|Gold and Silver|s}} in 2002 that Pokémon games were released in South Korean stores.
The [[Pokémon]] ('''{{tt|포켓몬스터|Pokesmonseuteo}}''') franchise first reached '''{{wp|South Korea}}''' in 1999, with the first airing of ''[[EP001|Pikachu, I Choose You!]]'' on the {{wp|Seoul Broadcasting System}}. None of the [[Generation I|first generation]] Pokémon games were released in South Korea, so it was not until the release of {{game|Gold and Silver|s}} in 2002 that Pokémon games were released in South Korean stores.

Revision as of 16:54, 21 March 2014

Pokémon in South Korea
South Korea Flag.png
Flag of South Korea
Languages Korean
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 July 14, 1999
AG001 July 21, 2003
DP001 September 10, 2007
BW001 May 16, 2011
XY001 March 10, 2014

The Pokémon (포켓몬스터) franchise first reached South Korea in 1999, with the first airing of Pikachu, I Choose You! on the Seoul Broadcasting System. None of the first generation Pokémon games were released in South Korea, so it was not until the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver in 2002 that Pokémon games were released in South Korean stores.


Due to the rocky history between Japan and (South) Korea, Japanese cultural imports—such as manga, anime, video games, music and movies—were banned by the South Korean government after Korean Independence at the end of World War II. This ban would be in effect throughout most of the 80s and 90s, particularly when video game consoles began to grow in popularity in Japan and the West. Many Korean companies would find ways around the ban, such as licensing American versions of Japanese consoles; Hyundai, for example, licensed the American Nintendo Entertainment System (instead of the Japanese Famicom) and released it as the 현대 컴보이 Hyundai Comboy. For other things, however, there was no way around the ban, and Pokémon was of no exception; almost all Pokémon-related media of its time would never officially make its way into South Korea. This included all of the first generation games; if anything Pokémon-related appeared in Korea, it was either a bootleg, a rip-off or a pirated version.

Cover of Pocket Monsters Gum·Eun
Eventually, South Korean and Japanese relations had warmed up to the point where the South Korean government's ban on Japanese cultural imports was partially lifted in October 1998[1]. This in turn finally allowed for the release of some Pokémon titles into South Korea. In particular, the Pokémon anime first appeared on Korean television on July 1999, while the Pokémon manga series, Pokémon Adventures (포켓몬스터 스페셜 Pocket Monsters Special), would hit bookshelves on August 1999. The first Korean-language main series game, however, would be Pokémon Gold and Silver (포켓몬스터 금·은 Pocket Monsters Gum·Eun), which saw a release in April 2002; its delay may have been due to the difficulty of including the Korean language writing system in it. On the other hand, neither Pokémon Crystal nor the third generation games would see a release in South Korea, most likely for the same difficulties involved in a Korean translation. There may have also been uncertainty on how to play those games, as Hyundai would not license a version of either the Game Boy Color or Game Boy Advance for release in Korea.

Finally in January 2004, the South Korean government completely lifted its ban on Japanese cultural imports[2]. This allowed Nintendo to officially operate in South Korea as 한국닌텐도(주) Nintendo of Korea, Inc. starting on July 2006[3], with 포켓몬코리아 Pokémon Korea, Inc. beginning its operations a month later[4]. The Nintendo DS Lite would end up being the first console officially released by the new Nintendo of Korea in January 2007, and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl (포켓몬스터 DP 디아루가·펄기아 Pocket Monsters DP Dialga·Palkia) would be released in February 2008. However, it would not be until the release of Pokémon Black and White (포켓몬스터 블랙·화이트 Pocket Monsters Black·White) in 2010 that Korean games would be completely compatible with other region carts (as Generation IV games from other regions lack Korean characters).

Cover of Pokémon Giratina Pt version
In this time, Pokémon has enjoyed considerable success in South Korea. Releases in Korea have been able to keep pace with Japan and the rest of the world; Pokémon Adventures volume 42 was released in Korea before North America, new TCG sets are released on a regular basis, and the Korean release of Pokémon X and Y (포켓몬스터 X・Y Pocket Monsters X·Y) was part of the "Worldwide Release", with Korean being a playable option in all regions.

Pokémon in South Korea is also a mix of what is released in Japan, the West and that which is uniquely Korean, though between Japan and the West, it tends to be closer to Japan. For example, sometimes Korean Pokémon names are based off or are transliterations of their Japanese names in ways that the Western names don't; in particular, the Sylveon's Korean name 님피아 Nimpia is based the Japanese ニンフィア Nymphia versus its Western name. On the other hand, certain things, like the card design for the Pokémon TCG in Korea, are based more on their Western than their Japanese counterparts. However, most of the times Pokémon in South Korea is given a uniquely Korean look and feel. For instance, almost all of the characters in the Pokémon franchise are given specifically Korean names: Ash Ketchum is 한지우 Han Ji-u, Jessie and James are 로사 Rosa and 로이 Roy, respectively, and Champion Lance is 목호 Mokho.

Pokémon video games

Cover of Pocket Monsters X·Y
Due to the South Korean government's ban on Japanese cultural items, none of the first generation games saw an official release in Korea. Once the ban was slightly lifted in 1998, a Korean-language version of Pokémon Gold and Silver (포켓몬스터 금·은 Pocket Monsters Gum·Eun) would be released in 2002. Unlike previous localizations of Pokémon Gold and Silver, these versions are not playable on the original Game Boy at all, and display an incompatibility message if inserted into an original Game Boy, like Pokémon Crystal. [5] For unknown reasons, Pokémon Crystal was never released in the Korean language, although it may be of note that the Game Boy Color's lifespan overseas was almost finished. Likewise, none of the third generation would see a South Korean release either.

Since February 2008, all of the fourth generation main series games have been released in South Korea. Several of the spin-off Pokémon games have been released in South Korea as well. The fifth generation games would see a release in 2011, and Pokémon X and Y were released in Korea at the same time as the rest of the world.

With some exceptions such as Pikachu and the legendary Pokémon, most of the Pokémon species names are completely localized into the Korean language. These names often skew closer to the original Japanese names than translated names in other languages, especially in later generations. For more information on these translated names, see list of Korean Pokémon names.


Korean Pokémon Global Link
Local events have been occurring often in South Korea since the release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The events are usually announced on the Korean Pokémon website. With the release of Pokémon Black and White, there has been both an official Korean version of the Pokémon Global Link as well as various Wi-Fi competitions, both International and Local (Korean).

Unlike other translations of the games, Korean events tend to be based directly on their Japanese counterparts rather than on North American and European events.

Pokémon anime

Cartoon Network logo

The Korean dub of the Pokémon anime was first aired in July 1999, and is mainly based on the original Japanese version. Most characters are renamed in the dub; for example, Ash Ketchum is 한지우 Han Ji-u, Misty is 최이슬 Chwai I-seul and Brock is 웅 Ung.

Tooniverse logo

In South Korea, the Pokémon anime had aired on Seoul Broadcasting System since the series' debut. Currently, episodes of the anime are aired on Tooniverse, CHAMP TV, Animax, Cartoon Network, ANIONE, and Jei TV.

Special episodes, such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters out of the Gate and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Darkness, have been dubbed as well.

Unlike the other dubs, the Korean dub has banned 20 episodes so far, including the ones banned in Japan. These banned episodes usually included overt references to Japan and Japanese culture, such as Challenge of the Samurai and The Ninja Poké-Showdown. However, most of these episodes were from the original series, with the last unaired episodes (not counting clip shows like AG120 and DP120 or episodes banned in Japan) being from Advanced Generation: AG055 and AG056. However, that may have been an oversight, though many of the unaired episodes were released on DVD.


Cover artwork for the CD Pocket Monsters AG (New & Best)
050Diglett.png This section is incomplete.
Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: Lacking more information in reference to the music.
Main article: List of Korean opening themes
Main article: List of Korean ending themes

Much like the English dub, the Korean dub of the Pokémon anime features different openings and endings from that in Japanese. However, the songs are directly based on their respective Japanese counterparts, using similar lyrics, style and beat along with sharing the same running time (1 minute and 30 seconds) and debuting episodes.

A music CD was released in South Korea titled Pocket Monsters AG (New & Best). This CD was released in 2003.

Cast and Crew

Many voice actors and actresses have contributed to the production of the Korean dub of the Pokémon anime.

지우 Ji-u (Ash Ketchum) has been voiced by:

이슬 I-seul (Misty) was voiced by 지미애 Chi Mi-ae.

Ung (Brock) was voiced by:

관철 Gwancheol (Tracey Sketchit) was voiced by 이영주 Lee Yeong-ju.

봄이 Bom'i (May) was voiced by:

  • 서혜정 Seo Hye-jeong for the Advanced Generation,
  • 지미애 Chi Mi-ae for the movies except for M07,
  • 김현지 Kim Hyeon-ji for M07

Pokémon Trading Card Game

Korean pack of Pokémon ADV
The Pokémon Trading Card Game (포켓몬 카드 게임 Pokémon Card Game) was initially released in South Korea in 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, starting with Base Set. A Korean Pikachu was included in two separate Pikachu World Collection promo sets. When Nintendo took over the game in 2003, they continued to release new sets until EX Power Keepers. With the release of the Diamond and Pearl sets, the Korean-language cards were released again, starting with 모험의 시작 Start of an Adventure; however Korean sets at this time were a unique combination of existing cards, with none of the sets themselves corresponding to existing sets. It wouldn't be until the release of the Black and White sets in Japan that Korean sets would follow Japan's set format; the latest sets released in Korea as of July 2013 were 스파이럴포스 Spiral Force and 볼트너클 Bolt Knuckle, which correspond to Japan's Spiral Force and Thunder Knuckle sets, respectively, released on May 23rd, 2013.

Currently, the distributor is Pokémon Korea, Inc. Unlike the North American sets, the booster packs are called Extension Packs, the Theme Decks are called Random Decks, and the promotional pack is called a Special Set. However, unlike the Japanese sets, the card borders, colors, layout and backs are the based on the current English cards.

A complete list in English of the Korean cards during the Diamond & Pearl sets, with reference to the original cards, is available at the Korean Pokémon Card Database in English. A searchable database of all cards released since the Diamond & Pearl sets can be found on the official Korean language Pokémon Card Game site here.

Pokémon manga

Cover of volume 1 Pokémon Adventures

Pokémon Adventures (포켓몬스터 스페셜 Pocket Monsters Special) has been published in South Korea by 대원씨아이 Daewon C.I. since August 1999. Since then, every volume that has been released in Japan has been released in Korean, the most recent being Volume 42, which was released on April 30, 2013. No major changes have been made between the original Japanese story and the Korean version.

Magical Pokémon Journey has been translated into Korean as well.

External links


The Pokémon franchise around the world
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Asia: Greater ChinaIndonesiaMalaysiaPhilippinesSingaporeSouth AsiaSouth KoreaThailandVietnam
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Middle East: Arab worldIsraelTurkey
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.