Original series

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If you were looking for the series of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, see Pokémon Trading Card Game → Original Series.
A poster for the series, featuring Ash, Misty, Brock and some of their Pokémon

Pokémon the Series: The Beginning and Pokémon the Series: Gold and Silver, collectively referred to as Pokémon (Japanese: ポケットモンスター Pocket Monsters) and referred to by fans as the original series (Japanese: 無印編 unnamed saga), are the first series of the Pokémon anime and are based on the events of the core series Generation I and II Pokémon games, respectively. They were succeeded by Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire. They ran from April 1, 1997 to November 14, 2002 in Japan and from September 7, 1998 to October 25, 2003 in the United States. They were not given English names until after the release of Pokémon the Series: XY.

During the original series, rookie Trainer Ash Ketchum begins his journey in the Kanto region, leaving his home of Pallet Town with the only starter Pokémon that Professor Oak had left to give: a reluctant and moody Pikachu. Ash's quest begins in earnest to defeat all of the Gym Leaders and get to the Pokémon League as soon as he has gained Pikachu's trust, and he is joined by two mentors, Misty and Brock.

After competing in the Indigo Plateau Conference and not performing as well as he had hoped, Ash journeys to the Orange Archipelago to receive the GS Ball from Professor Ivy, as it cannot be transported to Professor Oak by PC. During his time there, Ash competes in another Pokémon League, the Orange League, and meets a new friend named Tracey Sketchit. When Oak cannot figure out how to open the GS Ball on Ash's return to Pallet, the Professor sends Ash to Johto to give the special Poké Ball to Kurt. While there, Ash again competes in a Pokémon League, the Silver Conference.

Episodes in the original series are numbered with the prefix EP on Bulbapedia. For a complete episode listing, see the list of original series episodes.


It’s Ash Ketchum’s tenth birthday, and he’s ready to do what many 10-year-olds in the Kanto region set out to do—become a Pokémon Trainer! Things don’t go exactly the way he planned when he ends up with a Pikachu instead of a standard first Pokémon, and winning Gym Badges turns out to be much tougher than he thought. Luckily, he’s got former Gym Leaders Brock and Misty at his side, along with a bevy of new Pokémon friends, including Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander.


The original series is officially divided into three chapters:

  • Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター) (EP001 - EP080)
  • Pocket Monsters: Episode Orange Islands (ポケットモンスター オレンジ諸島編) (EP081 - EP116)
  • Pocket Monsters: Episode Gold & Silver (ポケットモンスター 金銀編) (EP117 - EP274)

Dub seasons

When the anime was dubbed into English and other languages, the series was divided between five seasons:

On televised airings and Region 4 home video releases, the last 12 episodes of Master Quest are counted as part of Pokémon: Advanced.

Pokémon TV and Prime Video additionally divide it instead into two distinct series:

  • Pokémon the Series: The Beginning, consisting of the Kanto and Orange Archipelago episodes.
  • Pokémon the Series: Gold and Silver, consisting of the Johto episodes.


Main article: Pokémon movie → Original series

Home video releases

North American home video releases

Australian home video releases

Japanese home video releases


For more images, please see artwork from the original anime series on the Bulbagarden Archives.




  • Originally, this series was meant to last for a year and a half, approximately as long as the Kanto saga would have lasted, had the EP038 incident not happened.
  • This is the only series in which:
    • The journey is based on two different generations of the core series Pokémon games, being based on both Generations I and II.
    • Ash doesn't have the same group of regular traveling companions for the entire series, with Brock briefly being swapped out for Tracey Sketchit during the Orange League.
    • All of its dub seasons are dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment.
    • Ash places in the Top 16 of a Pokémon League Conference, his lowest placing to date.
    • Most episodes except for the last ones are animated traditionally or by using cels.
    • No CG animation is used outside of movies.
    • No Mythical Pokémon appear outside of movies, although there were later-scrapped plans for a Celebi to appear during the Johto saga.
    • At least one movie does not feature any Mythical Pokémon at all.
  • At 274 episodes, this is the anime's longest series.
    • This series also has the most dub seasons, with five.
    • This series also contains the most movies of any series, with five.
    • This series also has the most banned episodes, with a total of seven.
  • The first 40 episodes were originally aired in syndication in the United States in 1998 before moving to Kids' WB! in 1999 for the remaining 12 episodes of Pokémon: Indigo League.
  • Throughout the English dub versions of the Johto saga, the narrator refers to the group as being "On the road to Johto". Though it would be more correct to say "On the road through Johto", he could have just been referring to the Johto League.
  • Out of all anime series, this one features the most Pokémon from an upcoming generation.

In other languages

Pokémon the Series: The Beginning

Pokémon the Series: Gold and Silver

External links

Original series (list) Indigo LeagueAdventures in the Orange Islands
The Johto JourneysJohto League ChampionsMaster Quest
Ruby and Sapphire (list) AdvancedAdvanced ChallengeAdvanced BattleBattle Frontier
Diamond and Pearl (list) Diamond and PearlBattle DimensionGalactic BattlesSinnoh League Victors
Black & White (list) Black & WhiteRival DestiniesAdventures in Unova and Beyond
XY (list) XYKalos QuestXYZ (Mega Evolution Specials)
Sun & Moon (list) Sun & MoonUltra Adventures‎Ultra Legends
Journeys (list) JourneysMaster JourneysUltimate Journeys (The Arceus Chronicles)
Specials (list) Pikachu's Winter VacationSide StoriesPokémon Chronicles
Planetarium specialsPikachu shorts
Mewtwo ReturnsThe Legend of Thunder!Pichu Bros. in Party Panic
The Mastermind of Mirage PokémonPokémon Ranger: Guardian SignsA Ripple in Time
Complete listMoviesOther anime series
Project Anime logo.png This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.