Pokémon in South Asia

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Pokémon in South Asia
Pokémon logo English.png
South Asia Flags.png
Flags of Bhutan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.
Language Hindi
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 May 12, 2003[1]
May 19, 2014
August 7, 2016
AG001 May 9, 2006
September 16, 2015
DP001 November 9, 2009
November 16, 2009
BW001 June 17, 2013
July 2, 2014
November 3, 2014
XY001 May 9, 2015

The Pokémon franchise (Hindi: पोकेमोन, Tamil: போகிமொன், Telegu: పోకీమాన్, Urdu: پوکيمون) made its debut in the Indian subcontinent in 2003, with the broadcast of the first anime episode in both English and Hindi on Cartoon Network India. In Pakistan, the anime aired on Cartoon Network Pakistan.

Pokémon games

While Nintendo has no official market presence in the Indian subcontinent, the Pokémon games and some Pokémon merchandise, as well as other Nintendo products such as consoles and games, are available on online retail stores.

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were available in India just a week after the US release.[2]

Pokémon anime

The Pokémon anime is available in the following South Asian territories: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

In India, the English dub of select episodes from the first and third seasons were made available on Voot, a streaming service by Viacom 18, making it the first time the anime has been available through a streaming service in India.

Country Channels
Cartoon Network Pakistan
Sri Lanka
Cartoon Network India
Pogo TV
Hungama TV
Disney XD India

TV series

Debut Season
May 12, 2003*[1]
May 19, 2014*
August 7, 2016*
Pokémon: Indigo League
Late 2003*
September 11, 2014*
December 19, 2016*
Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands
October 30, 2014*
April 4, 2017*
Pokémon: The Johto Journeys
January 2, 2015*
Pokémon: Johto League Champions
May 18, 2005*[3]
March 31, 2015*
Pokémon: Master Quest
May 9, 2006*
August 31, 2015*
Pokémon: Advanced
November 6, 2006*[4]
February 15, 2016*
Pokémon: Advanced Challenge
2008 Pokémon: Advanced Battle
November 2008 Pokémon: Battle Frontier
November 9, 2009*
November 16, 2009*
Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl
2010 Pokémon DP: Battle Dimension
Early 2011
August 1, 2011*
Pokémon DP: Galactic Battles
October 3, 2011*
February 1, 2012*
Pokémon DP: Sinnoh League Victors
June 17, 2013*
July 2, 2014*
November 3, 2014*
Pokémon: Black & White
May 9, 2015 Pokémon the Series: XY

Cartoon Network and Pogo

Cartoon Network India and Pakistan logo

Pokémon: Indigo League premiered on Cartoon Network India on May 12, 2003 as a part of its Toonami block, airing in both Hindi and English. Immediately after the first season, Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands made its Indian debut in late 2003 and ended its run in mid-2004. In the same year, Pokémon: The Johto Journeys premiered on Cartoon Network. A separate Cartoon Network feed affiliated with Cartoon Network India was launched for the Pakistani audience in 2004, and was also later made available in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Due to this affiliation, both channels broadcast the anime simultaneously. With Pokémon: Master Quest, Cartoon Network India introduced two additional dubs for Indian viewers, Tamil and Telugu. The original series concluded its first complete run in mid-2005.

Pokémon: Advanced made its South Asian debut on May 9, 2006 and concluded in July. The season premiere for Pokémon: Advanced Challenge was simulcast on November 6, 2006, and its first run on ended January 4, 2007. In 2008, Pokémon: Advanced Battle and Pokémon: Battle Frontier aired for the first time on the respective channels. However, the ninth season aired on Cartoon Network Pakistan two weeks after its Indian debut. Furthermore, Cartoon Network introduced a one-hour block, Dastaan-e-Pokémon, that aired reruns from the first seven seasons.

Unprecedentedly, the first season of the Diamond & Pearl series premiered in Pakistan on November 9, 2009, making it the first season to air on the network before its debut in India, which was set to air a week later. Cartoon Network Pakistan skipped 23 episodes, from O'er the Rampardos We Watched! to A Stand-Up Sit-Down!, due to unknown reasons and wrapped up the season in mere five weeks. However, the episodes were aired in their correct order during reruns. In early 2011, after an eight-year run on Cartoon Network India, the channel dropped Pokémon anime after Pokémon DP: Battle Dimension finished its first run.

Pogo TV logo

The anime was then picked up by its sister channel Pogo, staring with Pokémon DP: Galactic Battles's season premiere for the Indian audience, which later aired in Pakistan on August 1. On October 3 of the same year, Pokémon DP: Sinnoh League Victors premiered on Pogo. However, The Fleeing Tower Of Sunyshore! and Teaching the Student Teacher! were skipped and aired later during reruns. The series finale, Memories are Made of Bliss!, aired on October 25 of the same year. The thirteenth season completed its first run on Cartoon Network Pakistan from February 1 to March 19, 2012.

After almost twenty months, Pogo premiered the fourteenth season on June 17, 2013. Many changes were introduced, including new voice actors for the narrator and Delia Ketchum, a new time slot for the show, and several of the move's English names were kept unchanged. Pogo skipped the episodes The Dragon Master's Path! and Cilan Versus Trip, Ash Versus Georgia!, but they were later broadcast during reruns. The channel completed its run of the season with the season finale, Battle for the Underground, on September 5, 2013.

On June 27, 2014, Cartoon Network India announced through its official Facebook page that Pokémon would be returning to Cartoon Network. The channel began airing Pokémon: Black & White until Mewoth's Scrafty Tactics, from July 2 to August 6, 2014. It later finished the season's first run by airing it at a late-night time slot. The Best Wishes series premiered on Cartoon Network Pakistan on November 3, 2014.

Hungama TV and Disney XD India

Hungama TV logo
Disney XD logo

Around the beginning of 2014, Disney bought the rights to Pokémon. However, Disney did not acquire the rights for the anime's previous Hindi dub, so the anime was re-dubbed.

With Pokémon, I Choose You!, Hungama TV began airing the original series on May 19, 2014. Starting with the second season, the channel began to include the Who's That Pokémon? segment in episodes. As with the Cartoon Network airings, several episodes were skipped or aired out of order. During the third season, the channel also started using a red logo for Pokémon, instead of the yellow one used internationally. Some episodes of the third season were aired with additional Tamil and Telegu dubs, but not all episodes were dubbed in those languages until Johto League Champions. From Two Hits and a Miss onward, Hungama TV began skipping parts of the episode before the title card, including the theme song.

The remaining original series episodes would later be aired as part of the sixth season starting on August 31, 2015. While the Hoenn portion of Pokémon: Advanced aired on Hungama TV from September 16, 2015 to November 18, 2015. From February 15, 2016 to April 28, 2016, episodes from Pokémon: Advanced Challenge premiered on Hungama TV. In addition, throughout the anime's run on Hungama, a number of new blocks were introduced that were dedicated exclusively to the series, including PokéThon, PokéVaar, and PakdoThon.

On May 24, 2017, Prasad Barve announced that he will reprise his role as Ash starting with the Diamond & Pearl series.[5] Hungama TV has yet to air the last two seasons of the Advanced Generation series.

Pokémon XY logo used in India

The first two episodes of Pokémon the Series: XY, Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin and Lumoise City Pursuit, debuted on Hungama TV on May 9, 2015 without a prior announcement. The network announced more new episodes from XY series, which later aired alongside the channel's first run of the earlier seasons. Similar to previous instances, the episode title cards were skipped and a new logo was used for the series. After a month-long hiatus, Hungama TV resumed airing new episodes on August 1, 2015 with A PokéVision of Things to Come!. It completed the initial run of the season on November 14, 2015.

Disney XD India currently airs reruns of the original series that previously aired on Hungama TV, starting with the first 10 episodes of Pokémon: Indigo League on August 7, 2016.

Pokémon movies and specials

On November 14, 2006, Cartoon Network India aired Mewtwo Returns as a part of its Children's Day programming.[6]

Cartoon Network began airing Pokémon Chronicles on June 11, 2009. That year, the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew also premiered on both Cartoon Network India and Pakistan. The movie Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea premiered on Cartoon Network Pakistan in 2009, but would not debut on Cartoon Network India until the following year. Cartoon Network India has aired several Pikachu shorts; however, they were not aired alongside their accompanying movies. The Pikachu shorts Christmas Night and Kanga Games were aired together as Pikachu's Winter Vacations. The shorts Winter Games and Pikachu & Pichu were also aired together.

In 2011, Cartoon Network and Pogo TV aired The Rise of Darkrai. Starting in 2014, the movie aired on Tata Sky's CN+ service. That year, Cartoon Network Pakistan also aired the movies Giratina and the Sky Warrior and Arceus and the Jewel of Life, as well as Zoroark - Master of Illusions in 2012. However, these three movies have yet to air in India.

Hungama TV has so far aired the first seven movies. Many scenes, including the opening and ending themes, are often skipped. Despite the fact that Hungama TV airs material provided by TPCi for the anime episodes, the Hindi dub for the movies uses footage from the Japanese version. On April 19, 2017, Disney XD India aired the first seven movies as part of a marathon.

Mega Evolution Special I aired on November 21, 2015.

Debut Movie/special
April 18, 2015 Mewtwo Strikes Back
August 22, 2015 The Power of One
April 16, 2016 Spell of the Unown: Entei
May 28, 2016 Celebi: Voice of the Forest
July 31, 2016 Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias
November 6, 2016 Jirachi: Wish Maker
January 22, 2017 Destiny Deoxys
July 9, 2017*
Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
2011 The Rise of Darkrai
2011* Giratina and the Sky Warrior
2011* Arceus and the Jewel of Life
2012* Zoroark: Master of Illusions
November 14, 2006* Mewtwo Returns[6]
2009 Pokémon Chronicles
November 21, 2015 Mega Evolution Special I

Cast and crew

Hindi dub

Character Voice actor
Ash Prasad Barve (Cartoon Network and Hungama TV dub)
Nachiket Dighe (Hungama TV dub - S01 to present)
Misty Neshma Chemburkar (Cartoon Network dub - S01 to S02)
Rucha Dighe (Hungama TV dub)
Brock Uplaksh Kochhar (Hungama TV dub)
Tracey Nachiket Dighe (Cartoon Network dub)
Anshul Chandra (Hungama TV dub)
May Neshma Chemburkar (Hungama TV dub)
Max Amit Diyondi (Hungama TV dub)
Serena Sayuri Haralkar (Hungama TV dub)
Clemont Viral Shah (Hungama TV dub)
Bonnie Nilufer Middey Khan (Hungama TV dub)
Jessie Nandini Sharma (Cartoon Network dub)
Shagufta Baig (Hungama TV dub)
James Kishore Bhatt[7] (Cartoon Nework dub)
Rajesh Shukla (Hungama TV dub)
Meowth Damandeep Singh Baggan (Cartoon Network dub, S01 - S02)
Sandeep Karnik (Cartoon Network dub, S03 - S14)
Saumya Daan (Hungama TV dub)

Tamil dub

Character / Role Voice actor
Opening theme singer * Karthik[8] (CN dub)


Main article: List of Hindi Pokémon themes
Main article: List of Tamil Pokémon themes
Main article: List of Telugu Pokémon themes

Like most dubs based on the English dub, the Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu dubs under both Cartoon Network and Hungama TV generally dub the original English openings into the respective language. Songs used in episodes have also been dubbed.

From the middle of the second run of the season, Cartoon Network replaced the opening Black and White with an original Hindi song.

Hungama TV has made a Pokérap as an ending theme for the anime series and the movies. They also made Pokéraps for the Orange Islands, Johto, and Hoenn arcs to promote upcoming seasons of Pokémon.

Although Hungama TV normally skips the Japanese opening and endings of movies, an instrumental version of バトルフロンティア (映画バージョン) Battle Frontier (Movie Version) was used as the opening theme for its dub of the eighth movie.

Pokémon manga

English-translated Pokémon manga was distributed in India by Chuang Yi. It is also available on online stores such as Amazon.

Pokémon merchandise

  • Pokémon was an instant hit in India and was one of the number one kids shows on TV. Due to its huge popularity, many pirated Pokémon products are sold in India.[9]
  • Pokémon Rakhis were available in India, with Pikachu and the starter Pokémon of Unova region.
  • Pokémon collectibles were available for free in Cheetos snack packs.[10]
  • On the Toonami block, Cartoon Network hosted a contest titled "Toonami-Game On Video Game Championship" in 2006, with Pokémon merchandise given out as prizes[4].
  • Pokémon Toys were available as toy gifts of McDonald's Happy Meals. These toys were spoons featuring Pikachu and other starters. However no advertisements were made by McDonald's.[11]
  • Pokémon Black and White merchandise is available in India from Reliance Home video and games.
  • Pokémon XY merchandise is launched in India by Dreamtheatre, available in physical stores and online sites such as Flipkart and Snapdeal.
  • Pokémon merchandise like books, toys, etc are available on on-ground shops as well as online sites.
  • Holi Pichkaris (Water Guns) were available during 2014 and 2015[12].
  • Pokémon Kites were available for sale[13].
  • A Pokémon contest was held by Hungama TV in 2015, which gave out Pokémon merchandise as prizes.[14]
  • Pokémon XY Products/toys with the original logo are distributed by Funskool India.[15]
  • Pokémon Evolution Cards and 3D figurines of Pikachu, the Kanto starter Pokémon, and Jigglypuff were distributed with the breakfast cereal Chocos.

External links


The Pokémon franchise around the world
The Americas: BrazilCanadaLatin AmericaUnited States
Asia: Greater ChinaIndonesiaMalaysiaPhilippinesSingaporeSouth AsiaSouth KoreaThailandVietnam
Europe: AlbaniaBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceIcelandIrelandItaly
LithuaniaNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaSpainSwedenUnited Kingdom
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.