From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Pokémon franchise first reached Vietnam in the early 2000s. Currently, the license to the Pokémon franchise has been held by GoGo Entertainment Co. since 2013.
Due to the high popularity of PC gaming, dedicated game consoles are not very popular in Vietnam. Possibly as a result of this, there are currently no companies that are authorized to officially sell or distribute Nintendo products and/or Pokémon games in Vietnam. However, there are some specialty shops that import games and consoles into Vietnam to sell, usually North American versions.
The original series of the Pokémon anime aired on VTV3, an official national free-to-watch TV channel in Vietnam, with the name "Pokémon". This version of the anime was a voice-over translation rather than being dubbed into Vietnamese.
Additionally, another voice-over translation was available of the original series and the Advanced Generation series, released on VCD by Phương Nam Film. The Japanese version was used for these releases, with character and location names pronounced the same as in Japanese. A variety of sources were used for Pokémon names, including names wholly or partially based on the Japanese names and names translated from the official Chinese Pokémon names. In this version, the word "Pokémon" itself was translated into "Bửu Bối Thần Kỳ", directly from Chinese.
In winter 2013, HTV3, a cable channel focused on children and families, created a poll on their website for everyone to vote for programs they would like to see aired on HTV3. HTV3 is well-known for dubbing all of the programs they air on their channel. Pokémon was one of the choices, and within a few weeks, it was announced that HTV3 would air the Pokémon anime for the first time on January 25, 2014. The series began on HTV3 with the Best Wishes series, which currently airs on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9:30am, with the same episode repeating again at 5:30pm on the same day.
The Vietnamese dub on HTV3 is based directly on the Japanese version. Pokémon and characters are referred by their Japanese names, while move, ability and item names are translated into Vietnamese. Unlike HTV3's other shows, the original Japanese themes are used, rather than themes dubbed in Vietnamese. The song Best Wishes! and Fanfare of the Heart are used as the opening and ending themes for the whole series, even after the points which they would have been switched in the Japanese version. Beginning from BW070, a subtitled Vietnamese translation of the lyrics to Fanfare of the Heart began airing with the ending theme.
A controversy arose with fans due to HTV3 re-dubbing many of the Pokémon cries (except for Ash's Pikachu), despite that the Pokémon names are the same as in the Japanese version.
Cast and crew
- Note: All names are shown in Eastern order.
The voice director for the Vietnamese dub of the Pokémon anime is Anh Tuấn. The dialogue editing is done by TVM CORP. The visual technical managers for the series are Thanh Mai, Duy Quang, Nhựt Minh, Huy Tú, Tấn Trạng and Quang Minh. The audio technical managers for the series are Minh Khương, Tào Tịch, Kim Long, Quốc Tuân and Phong Nguyên.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
Like the video games, there is not currently an official distributor for the Pokémon Trading Card Game in Vietnam. Despite this, some specialty stores import cards from overseas, usually English language cards from the United States.
The Pokémon Adventures manga is known as Pokémon Đặc Biệt in Vietnam. In the Vietnamese translation, the trademarked romanizations of Japanese names are used for characters, Pokémon and locations; whereas moves are translated into Vietnamese.
In 2003, Pokémon Adventures was licensed by Kim Đồng Publishing House, one of the largest manga publishers in Vietnam. They published translated versions of Volume 1 through Volume 12, until the series was discontinued due to Kim Đồng's Japanese partner cancelling their contract. These volumes were published in a left-to-right format with reversed artwork.
In late 2014, Kim Đồng regained the publishing rights to Pokémon Adventures. The first volume was originally projected for a January 2015 release, but was delayed due to changes requested by Shogakukan and by GoGo Entertainment Co., the company that holds the license to the Pokémon franchise in Vietnam. The new volumes are presented in the original right-to-left reading format. Volume 1 was released on April 6, 2015. Volume 2 is scheduled for an April 20 release date, but may be delayed due to complaints from readers on vocabulary choices in the translation from the Japanese names to Vietnamese language. Subsequent volumes are expected to be released every two weeks on Mondays.
Additionally, in the early years of the Pokémon franchise in Vietnam, the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga was translated and published illegally by Kim Đồng with the name "Pokémon". This translation was published in a left-to-right reading format and used transliterations of Japanese proper names for Pokémon, characters and locations. The series was dropped after Volume 13. Kim Đồng and GoGo Entertainment are attempting to license the series for an official re-release in Vietnam, but have not yet had any success.
A backpack licensed by GoGo Entertainment, featuring Tepig, Pikachu and Snivy
In Vietnam, there are two official Pokémon shops in the country - one in Aeon Mall Bình Dương Canary, which held its opening ceremony on November 1, 2014; and one in Aeon Mall Tân Phú Celadon, which had its opening ceremony on January 11, 2015. The shops are operated in collaboration with GoGo Entertainment (which produces licensed items such as t-shirts and school bags), Kid's Kingdom Trading Co. and AEON Vietnam.
In the early years of Pokémon in Vietnam, most of the merchandise available was counterfeit, although some official items were released in the country. Many books were available in Vietnamese, including the Pokémon anime novelization series, quiz books, colouring and activity books, sticker books, and the like. In recent years, some specialty shops have begun importing official merchandise by Takara Tomy, such as toys and figures.
In December 2014, to promote the upcoming re-release of the Pokémon Adventures manga, Kim Đồng Publishing House released a 2015 calendar featuring images from the Best Wishes series of the Pokémon anime.
Poke-mega.org, namely Pokémon & Mega Man FC Việt Nam, is one of the first and biggest Pokémon fan sites and forums in Vietnam. They also host content and forums related to the Mega Man series.
To promote the upcoming re-release of the Pokémon Adventures manga, Kim Đồng Publishing House held a contest called POKÉMON - TỚ CHỌN CẬU from December 25, 2014 through January 21, 2015. Participants wishing to enter had to email a favourite picture from the Pokémon Adventures series, as well as writing about their favourite characters and memories of the manga. 20 winners will be selected — 10 participants whose photos had the most likes/shares on Kim Đồng's Facebook page and 10 winners chosen by the contest organizers. A list of winners has not yet been announced. The 20 winners will receive a tour of the factory in Hanoi where the manga is printed. Winners were also to receive a Pokémon figure by Takara Tomy, however, upon the closing of the contest, it was decided that all participants would receive a figure.
Kim Đồng Publishing House hosted an event called Selfie cùng Pikachu, which was held in Ho Chi Minh City on April 5, 2015, the day before Volume 1 was released. Attendees could purchase the volume early and have their photo taken with a Pikachu mascot. Attendees arriving between 8 am and 11 am had the chance to pick up special gift items including Pikachu balloons, paper hats and stamps. Attendees who emailed their photos with the Pikachu mascot were entered into a special contest on Kim Đồng Publishing House's Facebook page; five winners will receive a Pokémon figure and a free copy of Volume 2. The photos must be submitted on April 5—submissions after this date will not be accepted.