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  • Adored by the Network:
    • The Watch Disney XD app (later replaced with Disney Now) and website may have more episodes of the show than their original shows, although no show Disney XD has ever run comes close to Pokemon's episode count. The app has almost every dubbed episode up to the present (except for the banned and undubbed episodes, still an impressive 1,023 episodes as of February 2019), as well as many of the movies.
      • The impressive part of this is that fellow anime acquisition, Beyblade, doesn't get this kind of treatment with seasons just appearing and vanishing, and that original shows with far fewer episodes do often show up on the apps in their entireties with much fanfare, but usually vanish after a few months. When Pokemon was acquired, they started with Season 1, then continued adding seasons and the entire series has been online for over six months as of this writing, and there is no sign of it being removed anytime soon.
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    • The anime was this for Kids' WB! back in the day, with frequent marathons and back-to-back episodes.
  • Anime First:
    • Okay, Video Games First, but the anime did come before the manga it bears the most similarity to; not always the case in the other manga continuities, however.
    • Played straight in the US. The anime started 23 days before Red and Blue were released in the US. And 22 days for Black and White.
    • Played straight in the UK as well - the anime debuted on March 29th, 1999, whilst the games weren't released until October 5th of that year.
  • Author Existence Failure: Unshou Ishizuka, the voice actor for Professor Oak and the Narrator since the anime's debut in 1997, passed away in August 2018. In September 2018, it has since been announced that Professor Oak (along with Samson Oak) will be recast with Kenyuu Horiuchi taking over the role. When Sophocles’s Charjabug, voiced by Ishizuka, evolved, Yuji Ueda took on the character, and Risa Shimizu took on Tapu Bulu.
  • Bad Export for You:
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    • For the longest time, the first eight movies were released on home video in North America with cropped aspect ratios and the occasional change in color and brightness. As of now, the eighth movie has yet to see a widescreen physical home video release Stateside, though it was recently released on digital platforms in HD. The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh films were released on DVD and Blu-ray by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment (with the DVDs later reissued by Lionsgate) with widescreen versions on the Blu-ray releases and some of the DVDsnote , and, after six years of being in licensing limbo the first three movies were rereleased on DVD and Blu-ray in February 2016.
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    • The American home video releases of Heroes have a distracting bluish tint throughout that wasn't present in the theatrical version. This was eventually fixed.
    • International versions of the TCG are often accused of having lower-quality cards than the Japanese. This has gotten quite obvious with the XY era sets; the Japanese regular holos have a glossy finish and retain their shiny borders, while their English counterparts still have their matte finish and yellow borders.
  • Banned Episode:
    • "Tentacool and Tentacruel" features an enraged Tentacruel wreaking havoc on a large city in an act of revenge against construction crews destroying the Tentacool pod's reef, including destroying skyscrapers. This episode had been pulled from most television markets due to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. The ban has since been lifted.
    • "The Tower of Terror" was also temporarily banned following 9/11, but in this case it was due to the title. It has since been lifted.
    • "The Legend of Dratini" was banned in the U.S. for it's use of firearms throughout the episode. Unlike other examples, the unairing of this episode ended up causing a major Dub-Induced Plot Hole since this was the episode where Ash caught his 30 Tauros from the Safari Zone.
    • "Electric Soldier Porygon" is the most well known one. It only aired once in Japan, but sequences involving continually strobing blue and red lights caused several Japanese viewers - both kids and adults - to experience terrible seizures, with more following after news programs showed clips of the exact scene that had caused the seizures. While it was removed from Japanese reruns for a period of time, the episode has never seen the light of day in American markets, nor anywhere else in the world, and likewise, has never seen any official commercial home video releases. Porygon and it's evolutions in turn were banned from ever appearing due to being associated with the seizures simply for being the featured Pokemon of the episode. The incident caused the anime to go on hiatus for four months, and ultimately cancelled an episode that was intended to have been aired on New Year's Eve of 1997. To this day, TV Tokyo and the Pokémon Company International are legally barred from ever airing the episode or distributing the episode worldwide. 4Kids wasn't even allowed to air their dub of the episode, even though they edited the infamous seizure-inducing scene to make it safe.
    • Episodes featuring Jynx were known for being banned due to Blackface, until the anime finally changed its face to purple in the Advanced Generation episode "Mean With Envy", due to the important plot.
    • AG101 was never aired due to a terrible earthquake striking Japan before the intended airdate. The episode featured Pokemon using the move Earthquake, which was also banned from the anime due to likely being too sensitive towards earthquake victims.
    • The Best Wishes Team Rocket vs Team Plasma two-parter was left unaired following the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear breakdown. One scene depicted Castelia City getting destroyed, which would have been in bad taste to victims of the disaster. The episodes have been Exiled from Continuity.
    • SM064 was banned from airing in the US because Ash, at one point, dresses like a Passimian, a monkey Pokémon, which causes it to look like he’s wearing blackface.
  • Banned in China:
    • Briefly banned in Sweden, under a law that banned television advertisements targeted at children.
    • For similar reasons, the Finnish dub stopped including the Pokérap and "Who's That Pokémon?" segments beginning with Abra and the Psychic Showdown. Some parents were less than happy with the Merchandise-Driven nature of the show and accused it of surreptitious advertising, with the Pokérap and its "gotta catch 'em all" message in particular being seen as blatantly telling children to collect all the toy versions of the monsters in the show. After the matter went so far as to warrant an inspection from the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, the network stopped showing the Pokérap and "Who's That Pokémon?" to be on the safe side.
    • On a lesser note, a number of overtly Japanese culture-focused episodes were removed from the South Korean dub, which created plotholes since several included Ash getting Gym Badges; the earliest featured his Metapod evolving into Butterfree. It's worth noting that this occurred before the government eased its restrictions on Japanese imports, though.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • It's widely misremembered that Erika banned Ash from her gym because he didn't like her perfume line. In truth, she only banned him from her store; it was her assistants who kept Ash from entering the gym out of petty revenge. Once Ash managed to sneak in, Erika was fine with battling him, even pointing out how Gym Leaders must accept challenges from trainers.
    • One of the biggest misconceptions about the show is that the writers feel that Ash winning a Pokemon League means the series has to end. In actuality, Storyboarder Masamitsu Hidaka stated in his 2008 interview that Ash becoming a Pokemon Master would be where the series ends.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: While the games are a juggernaut hit, the anime is just as, if not more, popular when it comes to merchandise.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: In the Japanese version, Meowth/Nyarth is voiced by theater actress Inuko Inuyama.
  • Channel Hop: For the dubs in various countries:
    • In the U.S, it Started off in syndication on UPN affiliated channels (and affiliates of other networks in markets with no UPN affiliate), then it was picked up by Kids WB for it's second season and beyond until the latter half of the "Advanced Generation" era when the block was discontinued. Cartoon Network aired the remaining era, into Black and White and X and Y. In 2016, the show moved to Disney XD with the U.S. debut of the nineteenth movie and the Sun and Moon series, previewing before the X and Y series even finished on Cartoon Network.
    • In Canada, the series continually aired on YTV from the first episode (1998) all the way to the first quarter of X and Y (2014), where it was moved to Teletoon and continues to air there.
    • In Australia, from the original series up to XYZ, the show was aired on Ten (the show moved to sister channel Eleven in 2012) as part of its Toasted TV (formerly Cheez TV) block. In 2017, the series' free-to-air rights were picked up by Nine, airing on its youth-focused sister channel 9Go!, which has aired both Sun & Moon as well as XY reruns. 9Go! also reran both the Indigo League and Orange Islands seasons.
    • The UK broadcast has also bounced around a fair bit - the show originally launched on Sky One in 1999, and it aired all seasons up to Advanced Challenge. Cartoon Network then took over, airing Advanced Battle through to Diamond & Pearl, as well as repeating the older seasons on its sister channel Toonami (Later Cartoon Network TOO). The show then hopped once again to Jetix, which started with Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension, and it continued to air when the channel was rebranded as Disney XD, but it was pushed into a graveyard/early morning slot by the time that the XY season started airing, eventually vanishing from the lineup. Pop MAX (A Sony-owned kids TV channel formally known as Kix! that shows cartoons that used to air on other networks alongside newer seasons of Power Rangers) started showing episodes from Black & White onwards since the start of 2018. On the terrestrial side of it all, it used to air on ITV's CITV kids block, but in its original run several episodes were awkwardly cut into two ten-minute segments. It aired on and off, originally only showing the first couple seasons and a small handful of Pokémon Advanced episodes. Around 2009/10, it started airing on the dedicated CITV free-to-air channel, where new episodes aired long in advance to those on satellite networks, with some episodes airing weeks ahead of their US broadcast. Whilst it focuses on showing the current season, they air older seasons from time to time, with Advanced getting a proper run back in 2015.
  • Creative Differences: Takeshi Shudō's vision of the series as one that could be enjoyed by both children and adults led to a lot of disagreements with the anime staff. He eventually got fed up with how the show became overly kid-focused. This and his own failing health were the reasons why he ultimately left during the Johto League. The show did eventually began trying to draw in more older viewers starting late into Advanced Generation, to varying degrees of success.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Takeshi Shudo (the original head writer) disliked how the series became Strictly Formula, which is why he left the show during the Johto League.
    • The Japanese voice actors for the Team Rocket trio were quite vocal in how they disliked their characters' change in personality during Best Wishes.
    • Eric Stuart, the dub voice of Brock, was initially accepting of his role; but grew tired of how people would seldom acknowledge his other work and only talk to him about voicing Brock. This was seen as a significant factor in his decision to retire from anime voice acting to focus on his music career. To a lesser extent, Veronica Taylor (Ash) and Rachael Lillis (Misty) were also weary of how fans would bring up voicing Ash and Misty when they both had many other anime roles; they, however, at least seem pleased that people enjoy watching Pokémon.
  • Creator's Favorite: Takeshi Shudo stated Musashi/Jessie and Kojiro/James to be his favorite of the characters he created, which made him all the more irritated when Executive Meddling resulted in them becoming Harmless Villains.
  • Crossdressing Voices:
    • One of the most famous examples in modern anime, with male character Ash voiced by women in Japanese, English, European Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, and Russian. Averted in Spanish, French, Italian, Danish, Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Hungarian, Czech, Turkish and Hebrew.
    • Originally played straight in German with Caroline Comrinck (Seasons 1-3, 12-19) and the late Veronika Neugebauer (Seasons 4-11). Averted as of Sun & Moon, where Ash is voiced by Felix Mayer.
    • Meowth is voiced by Inuko Inuyama in Japan but averted elsewhere though it's a subversion in the English dub during the Turn of the Millennium as the character was voiced by Maddie Blaustein, who was transgender but his original and later voice actors are male.
  • The Danza: Yuko Sanpei voices Sanpei.
  • Dawson Casting: In the Swedish dub, eternally 10-year old Ash is voiced by Dick Eriksson, who is 59 years old as of April 30, 2019.
  • Defictionalization: Y'know what infamous Jelly Doughnut line from the dub meant to sub in for mentioning Rice Balls or Onigiri? At least two recipes have been released to make Jelly Doughnuts that actually look like Onigiri (three if you don't mind the not!seaweed looking lighter than it should).
  • Doing It for the Art: Applies to the anime. Yes, you read that right. Specifically, Takeshi Shudo's work on the early seasons in Japanese. While most of the anime's seasons and movies show that Pokémon can make oodles of cash with very little effort, Shudo saw fit to flesh out the world of Pokémon through his work on the show and to make a show that families could enjoy together. In both the show and supplementary material written by him, a lot of corners of the anime's universe are explored, which is especially apparent with the Japanese version of Pokémon: The First Movie and its radio drama prequel.
  • Dueling Works: Over the years, many anime have tried to emulate Pokémon's success, most notably, Digimon, Monster Rancher, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yo-Kai Watch. The results varies, but all of them faded from the mainstream's consciousness to various degress, while Pokémon manages to endure.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • It was toned down a bit for content after episodes like "Holiday at Acopaulo/Beauty and the Beach" and "The Legend of Dratini" were banned outside Japan and caused a few Dub Induced Plot Holes.
    • After the Pokémon Shock, the animators were forced to make a new episode, "Pikachu's Goodbye". Fortunately, it ended up being one of the most memorable episodes in the series.
    • One of the saddest examples. For the original Japanese dub, Takeshi Shudo wanted to create a quality show that parents and children would enjoy together. Despite this, he was forced to implement elements such as the Strictly Formula problem/character/villain-of-the-week format that would eventually become a defining aspect of the series much more than anything that Shudo wanted to implement.
    • Executive Meddling also removed most Japanese culture elements and text from the show so 4Kids Entertainment wouldn't have to edit them out themselves (they ended up removing the made-up text they replaced it with as well). Some of the anime's staff did not appreciate this. This "culturally neutral" rule is still mostly present today, even though 4Kids have long lost their rights to the series.
    • After the announcement of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the Unova arc was forced to be revamped to promote the new games. This is especially evident when looking at Ash's badge case from the earliest episodes, the final slot is clearly for the Legend Badge, meaning Ash would have fought Iris or (more likely) Drayden for his last badge. But in BW055, Scraggy and the Demanding Gothita!, which was aired in Japan November 10, 2011, around the time the anime staff would be notified in advance of the sequels, the badge slots were suddenly Retconned into generic circles, and right before the games' release, Roxie was indeed shoehorned in for the last badge instead of Iris/Drayden, among other things.
  • Face of the Band: Most people who don't play Pokémon still know what a Pikachu is. Likewise, most parents automatically equate Pokémon to Ash and Pikachu.
  • Fan Nickname:
  • Franchise Zombie: The animé was intended to only last one season, with head writer Takeshi Shudo even planning a Grand Finale episode in which Ash would beat Lance and achieve his dream of being a Pokemon master, but the series was extended past that and continues to this very day, although it has had many ups and downs.
  • He Also Did: In 1983, Kunihiko Yuyama, director of the Pokémon anime, directed Plawres Sanshiro, an anime TV adaptation of a manga by Jiro Gyu. The series also has a theme of proxy battles, albeit using handmade model robots instead of animal-like creatures. In addition, the protagonist of the series, Sanshiro, resembles Ash Ketchum both in terms of looks and personality, and has a love-hate relationship with the series female lead, Kyoko, similar to Ash's with Misty (and Kyoko, like Misty, is a ponytailed Tsundere, though also a Ms. Fanservice as she is quite a bit older than Misty is). Unlike Pokémon, Sanshiro had limited distribution outside Japan, though it was very popular in Greece and the Arab world.
  • I Am Not Spock: Veronica Taylor seems to have encountered this sort of problem herself as the original voice of Ash Ketchum. Yet, she did enjoy her time as Ash, anyway, so...
  • I Knew It!:
    • During Diamond & Pearl, the hints were pretty obvious that Ash and Dawn were eventually going to trade their respective Aipom and Buizel. It was always really questionable why Dawn was the one that captured Buizel when she already had Piplup as her team's Water-type, and Buizel being battle-hungry while Aipom enjoyed Contests just seemed like a better fit if their trainers were swapped.
    • Kukui's 6th Pokemon being Tapu Koko was something many fans called, even before the episode titles were released, due to it watching the battle between Ash and Kukui.
  • Jossed: Many fans thought Sun & Moon was a Continuity Reboot, between how drastically it departed from the series formula and an art director's comments that Sun & Moon "is not a continuation of XY". The Continuity Porn of "Alola, Kanto!" put this theory to rest.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: "Electric Soldier Porygon" was permanently removed from the air and never given any sort of legal release due to the seizure incident it caused. Stories vary as to whether an English dub of this episode was ever made, but either way, it's gone for good. Also see Banned Episode.
  • No Dub for You: Inverted, as the series has never been officially released with Japanese audio and English subs. Most likely due to the fact that the licencor believes the Target Audience wouldn't be interested in watching it in a language they don't understand, and likely not helped by Japanese home video releases being very incomplete, with a whopping four episodes of the Advanced Generation series getting a DVD release.
  • No Export for You:
    • The UK has never got DVD releases of ANY of the main series. Movies eight and nine have never been released there either. However it DID get Pokémon Chronicles.
    • In the USA, Pokémon Chronicles still hasn't been released on DVD yet.
    • Subverted now that VIZ Media has re-released all three of the Johto seasons in full season box sets. It took until the mid-2010s, when VIZ re-release their earlier "Indigo League" and "Orange Island" sets (albeit with the three episodes featuring Jynx in its original design removed) that they began to release more Complete Collections. With this, two previously-unavailable "Johto Journeys" episodes finally hit disc.
    • The UK, for the longest time, saw little in the way of official releases. Pokémon Chronicles had a complete release, as did the first six movies (Warner Bros. released the first three movies, Miramax handled 4Ever and Heroes, and Paramount released Jirachi Wishmaker. Miramax eventually released Destiny Deoxys in 2012). This wasn't helped by the fact that the distribution license kept jumping about between companies - Network (A company that specializes in re-releasing shows from the BBC and ITV libraries) released The Rise of Darkrai on DVD, and had plans to release other movies and seasons (The website itself had a short-lived Pokémon section), but nothing came to pass. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment UK started distributing the movies years later, with Zoroark: Master of Illusions being the first release, and their last release was Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice, after which there were no other releases from them. Eventually Manga Entertainment started releasing the films on DVD and Blu-Ray, starting from Hoopa & The Clash of Ages, also having re-released the first three movies and everything from Diamond and Pearl onwards, leaving Lucario & The Mystery of Mew and Pokémon Ranger & The Temple of The Sea as the only movies to not have a physical release (As well as being unable to issue rereleases of 4Ever through Destiny Deoxys as Miramax still hold the rights)). The Indigo League season was released on DVD and Blu-Ray as well, but no other seasons have been announced so far.
    • Australia never received releases for the sixth or seventh movies, even though all others have been or are still available. This was finally averted in November of 2016 with the Region 4 release of the aforementioned movies, over 10 years after their releases in other western counties.
    • Malaysia never got the Advance Generation anime. Any anime after that were hit or miss and were prone to getting Screwed by the Network after several episodes have aired.
  • The Other Darrin: Giovanni's original Japanese voice actor, Hirotaka Suzuoki, passed away towards the end of Advanced Generation, requiring him to be recast as Kenta Miyake. Reversed in a less tragic way for the English dub. After the switch in studios, Craig Blair replaced Ted Lewis. Blair quit shortly afterwards, by which time Lewis had returned to the show and reclaimed the role.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi as Khoury. Though she was already a promoted fangirl by the time she made her mark, Cristina Valenzuela as Layla also counts.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • In Brazilian Portuguese, May and Max were voiced by sister and brother (Tatiane and Thiago Keplmair).
    • In Hebrew, Daniel Magon replaced his older brother Jonathan as the voice of Ash.
    • In Czech, Jan Skvor (the voice of Tracey), replaced his younger brother Radek as the voice of Ash during XY.
  • Recycled Script: For a long-running series like this one, certain storylines usually end up getting used over again over the years:
    • One notable example is that all four main casts have gone through an episode where the majority of the cast and/or their Pokémon get paralyzed with Stun Spore, and the unaffected cast must search for the only plant that can cure the ailment. This usually also leads to the focused Pokémon (always a Water-type) of that episode either joining the cast or learning a new skill and overcoming its own problem.note 
    • Another famous example is repeating a Villain Episode dedicated to Team Rocket breaking up, but then suddenly realizing by the end of the episode that they need each other to accomplish their plans.
    • Episodes where Pikachu temporary leaves Ash for some reason (attempted release, brainwashing, amnesia, etc.), only for Ash to reignite their bond to continue traveling together, is also quite prominent.
    • How some Pokemon captures went down in later seasons usually gets this reaction. Turtwig's capture for example, was seen as an exact copy of how the Bulbasaur capture went about where both grass-starters were trying to protect Pokemon from humans. Not to mention the fire-Pokemon Ash has captured over the seasons all having rough backgrounds.
    • The cancelled Celebi and GS Ball arc from Johto was reused for the Meloetta arc in Unova, which resulted in Ash battling Giovanni for the first time over a decade after the series' debut. In this case, Tropes Are Not Bad.
    • Though many, many episodes (notably the Johto episodes) can be boiled down to "Ash and company meet a new friend who has a new Pokémon that they haven't met yet, Team Rocket tries to steal the Pokémon; Ash and Pikachu defeat Team Rocket".
    • Not to mention, that several episodes had Ursaring threatening the main characters (both the heroes and Team Rocket), or other pokemon, one even had the Ursaring start out as a Teddiursa.
    • A Diamond and Pearl episode involved Jessie coming down with a fever before a Contest and James having to crossdress as her to replace her (it was the first time he had crossdressed in years as well). A few years later, a X and Y episode had Ash coming down with a fever when a trainer challenges him. Serena ends up crossdressing as Ash in order to battle and make the trainer go away.
    • The plot of Ash's first gym battle episode in Kanto is redone 2 times each, with Brock in a different role in the rehashes. In addition the plot of Ash's second gym battle is also rehashed two more time, Ash even mentions the original episode the third time the plot is used. Also the plot of Ash's gym battles against both Lt. Surgenote  (itself being one of two rehashes of Ash's very first gym battle against Brock) and the Striaton trionote  are combined and rehashed in the gym battle against Roxie in season 15.
    • Ash has encountered a lost and injured Lapras twice. The first time was early into the Orange Islands arc and the Lapras ended up being Ash and company's primary transportation that season. The second encounter occurred years later during the XY season though that episode ended with the Lapras getting led back to its herd.
  • Refitted for Sequel: The footage from the cancelled "Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma" two-parter - where the Relic Castle's mechanism is activated, revealing the Meteonite - was reused for the scene in Best Wishes Season 2, when the Abyssal Ruins are activated to uncover the Reveal Glass.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: Surprisingly, there have been a lot of examples of Japanese voice actors from My Hero Academia that have also voiced characters in Pokémon, including Tsuyu as Iris, Shouto as Clemont, Tenya as Kiawe, and Kyouka as Lillie. And you know it’s both amusingly and ironically hilarious when you find out that two of the school’s heroes, All Might and Thirteen are voiced by the same seiyuus who voiced Giovanni and Meowth.
  • Release Date Change: "An Undersea Place to Call Home!" was suppose to air after "Coming Back into the Cold!", but was pushed due to the MV Sewol incident.
  • Role Reprisal:
    • English Dub:
      • Jimmy Zoppi (credited as Billy Beach) continued to voice Gary even after TCPi took over production of the dub from 4Kids.
      • Andrew Paull, who voiced Steven in his one-shot Advanced Generation appearance, was brought back to reprise the role in XY, making him one of the very few English voice actors who debuted under the 4Kids dub to make the jump to the TCPI dub.
    • For the Latin American dub, Alfredo Gabriel Basurto retook his role as Steven too, but only for one episode.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • According to Bill Rogers, side story episodes post-Chronicles are "passed over" by the dub, possibly for not focusing on Ash.
    • When the popularity of the franchise began to decline, Cartoon Network began to stop promoting the anime, airing it on the early Saturday morning hours with little advance notice, and no rebroadcasts until early Sunday mornings. With the ratings continuing to fall, Cartoon Network opted to drop the series entirely at the end of 2016, and Disney XD quickly scooped up the rights when they got the chance, treating it much better by giving it better timeslots.note 
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Veronica Taylor, Eric Stuart and Rachael Lillis, the original voice actors for Ash, Brock, and Misty also voice Delia Ketchum (Ash's mom) and May, James, and Jessie respectively.
    • When TPCi took over the English dub, the voices of James and Meowth were taken over by Jimmy Zoppi (under different pseudonyms; Meowth is credited to Carter Cathcart), who originally voiced Gary Oak (and continued to do so).
  • Throw It In!: According to the first of the Takeshi Shudō-authored novelizations, Team Rocket's line said every time they're defeated, 「やな感じ」 "ya na kanji," lit. "bad feeling," was ad-libbed by their Japanese voice actors.
  • Too Soon:
    • After the April 2011 earthquake in Japan, the Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma episodes were shelved, presumably due to scenes where there are earth tremors and a scene where a lot of Castelia City is destroyed by a fiery energy blast (the earthquake had also caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant).
    • A similar earthquake caused a filler episode of AG to be completely cancelled. According to Bulbapedia, the move Earthquake was never used after the Earthquake corresponding to the AG episode; the more recent disaster not helping matters.
    • A DVD release of the first three movies took place in the United States in Spring 2009—just after Noriko Sakai note  was convicted of drug possession. Needless to say, the set, which included Pikachu and Pichu (which was taken out of circulation in Japan on Sakai's account), was soon pulled, and the international distributor ultimately lost the rights for good in part as a result of the set's failed release.
  • Torch the Franchise and Run: Considering one of the planned endings for the anime originally, Pikachu leading a revolt against the humans with Meowth as his ambassador, Misty becoming a Faux Action Girl and playing up Pokemon as fantasy dog fighting, it seemed like Takeshi Shudo was planning to do this once the original anime is up. Probably best for the games that Game Freak understandably stepped in upon hearing this.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Takeshi Shudo had story plans for Johto including Celebi being inside the GS Ball and finding out more about Ash's father. He also had plans on ending the anime with the Pokemon revolting against humans with Pikachu as the leader and Meowth as an ambassador, Misty being an invocation of Faux Action Girl, and a general implication that Pokemon training is as much Fantastic Cockfighting as Moral Guardians feared. All these ideas were scrapped and we ended up with the show we have now because of it, for better or worse.
    • The early Pokémon previews from Nintendo Power provided different English names for the titles and organizations we come to know of, as well as unused concept art from the anime. For starters, the shortened name Pokémon was originally "Poke-Mon", with a hyphen in the middle and no é. Pokémon Trainers were also going to be called Pokémon hunters as well, while Team Rocket was originally going to be called the Rocket Society. Jessie and James were originally wearing the black Rocket uniform with white gloves and boots, being more closer to the Rocket Grunt designs instead of their classic white uniform and black gloves and boots (with the exception of early BW).
    • Ash's original partner was supposed to be a Clefairy instead of a Pikachu. Isamu from Pocket Monsters (which is the second adaptation of the series, predating the anime) has both a Clefairy and a Pikachu as a reference to Clefairy being the original series mascot. Think about it: if successful as a franchise icon as Pikachu has been, Super Smash Bros. players could have been able to play as a Clefairy that could Metronome other fighters' Final Smashes for its own Final Smash... Another choice for Ash's original partner was also a Jigglypuff, but one who couldn't sing.
    • The anime was originally just supposed to last through Kanto, with an assumed ending of Ash defeating Gary and winning the Pokémon League. Here's one to consider in light of that 18-month report: Pokémon Gold and Silver was originally scheduled for release in Late 1997, but was delayed to be adapted for the Game Boy Color. The first episode of the Anime aired on April 1, 1997, and because of the delay to Gold and Silver, the Orange Island filler arc was created.
    • The very first trailer for the movie Mewtwo Strikes Back! in Japan, it is completely made out of scenes that didn't make it to the final product; the grown-up Misty segment, in particular, is a huge source of speculation and discussion withing the fandom, specially by taking account the movie would be the Grand Finale for the anime.
    • Media Blaster wanted to release uncut DVDs in America at one point, but of course Viz got the rights and they were unable to do this.
    • There was originally going to be an episode (probably just a Clip Show based on its title, "It's New Year's Eve! Pocket Monsters Encore") that celebrated the Japanese New Year during the Kanto run. This episode was intended to air soon after the infamous Porygon "seizure" episode, so production was halted, and after a while simply cancelled.
    • The GS Ball was originally going to contain a Celebi that was to star in a large portion of the Johto arc. After Pokemon 4Ever came out, it was decided that having a Celebi in the anime right after a movie featuring Celebi would be redundant, so the idea was shelved.
    • Pokémon 3 was originally set to address the question of "What happened to real-world animals in the Pokemon universe" and instead of Entei and the Unown (Gold and Silver had been delayed at this point of development and they were unsure about doing another movie debut Pokemon) the focal point would be the reanimated fossils of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
    • According to ADR director Tom Wayland, in Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life Arceus was originally going to be voiced by actor Vincent D'Onofrio of Full Metal Jacket and Men in Black fame. However, before his recording session, there were difficulties with D'Onofrio's agent and he was unable to record for the movie. After re-auditioning, Tom Wayland himself was chosen to voice Arceus instead.
    • Team Plasma was supposed to make their debut appearances in Castelia City during Best Wishes, but their episodes were indefinitely postponed after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, as the episodes featured Castelia City being destroyed. This plus the Black 2 / White 2 games utilizing a different incarnation of Team Plasma led to the originally intended arc for Team Plasma being scrapped altogether.
      • A related episode about a fishing competition in Castelia City was also postponed, but was broadcast without any references to the original setting of Castelia City.
    • When the Advanced Generation was in pre-production, there was a discussion on who would get Put on a Bus, Misty or Team Rocket. Misty leaving the show was controversial enough, but one wonders how much the fandom would have flipped their lids if Team Rocket left.
      • Team Rocket was also going to be Put on a Bus in Best Wishes, but their fans in the production staff vetoed the decision. Ironically, their intended write-off was still advertised as their Grand Finale, just to test the waters with fans as to how the idea of them leaving would pan out. The answer was "not well".
    • Takeshi Shudo had story plans for finding out more about Ash's father. This idea was scrapped and we ended up with the show we have now because of it.
    • Early previews for Spell of the Unown refer to it as Tower of the Unown.
    • Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea was supposedly going to focused on Jackie Walker as the protagonist, along with Manaphy as his sidekick, but this shifted around as May became a more interesting viewpoint for the story and they realized how May and Manaphy's Mother/"Son" dynamic might appear to be recycling Misty and Togepi.
    • Latias from Pokémon Heroes was originally meant to join Ash for at least the remainder of the Johto season, but that plan was scrapped possibly due to the staff not willing to work with a serious Pokemon/Human relationship on a kid's show (then again Bayleaf did like Ash too, so it's also possible that they didn't want to risk having it seem redundant).
    • The podcast bumper for the original Japanese airing of "Unova's Survival Crisis" gave the audience a telephone poll over which Pokemon they wanted to return to Team Rocket; Wobbuffet, Mime. Jr or Dustox. While we know who won the poll, one has to wonder how XY would have played if Mime. Jr or even Dustox inexplicably rejoined
    • Another bit of Shudo-related early days trivia came to light in 2016: aside from the possible ending shown in the earliest Mewtwo Strikes Back! trailer, he also had an idea for an ending that involved an old Satoshi reminiscing about his childhood, and remembering the series; yet it was clear that it had mostly been the fantasy of one young boy and it had faded as he had aged. It would end, then, with Satoshi closing his eyes, hearing his mother's voice... and a young Satoshi running off to another adventure, raising the question of whether being a dream even mattered. That would have been quite a tone shift for the anime series and taken successor series in a much different direction.
    • Ash's original dub name was "Casey". This was shown in an early trailer and later re-confirmed by Veronica Taylor. The name was later given to a recurring female character in the Johto seasons, who is, quite fittingly, a baseball fan.
    • Several pieces of promotional art for the Diamond and Pearl series featured Paul alongside Ash and Dawn, with near to zero mention of Brock. Whether this meant he was intended to be a traveling companion rather than rival is unknown, however, although Paul does seem to be significantly less sour looking in those pictures when compared to his usual default expression in the anime proper.
    • Seeing as the majority of the show is now available on Disney's streaming apps, there is the possibility that, had Turner Broadcasting not lost the rights, the show would have ended up on their Boomerang streaming service.
  • Write Who You Know: According to an interview with The Pokémon Company's president Tsunekazu Ishihara, Max's design is based on Satoru Iwata's son, with his glasses being the same model that Satoru Iwata wore then.
  • Word of God: Storyboarder Masamitsu Hidaka said that Ash's father is on his own Pokémon journey, and his character would be explored if it is necessary to further Ash's Character Development.
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