Overview

Often referred to as the key part of any 90s kids’ childhood, Pokemon is the anime which took the world by storm and is still going strong to this day. The classic original story of a young boy called Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town becoming a Pokemon Trainer and travelling with his Pokemon Pikachu, meeting new friends such as Brock and Misty and dealing with the threats from Team Rocket along the way, are ingrained into millions of peoples’ minds.

Abbreviated from the Japanese name Pocket Monsters, Pokemon has been on air since 1997 and there are 22 television seasons available on an international level. In fact, as of June 2020, there is a 23rd season streaming on Netflix.

The impact of Pokemon across the globe has been so huge that it is seen as the show which put anime into the public eye and made it more popular. It is one of the most popular shows on Netflix and it has aired over 1000 episodes in 169 countries spanning the world. For some more adult animation, you can check out Family Guy or Bob’s Burgers.

Premise

The original Pokemon series tells the classic tale of Ash Ketchum dreaming of becoming a Pokemon Trainer, but oversleeping on the day he is meant to get his first Pokemon. Arriving late to Professor Oak, he is not able to get one of the usual three main starter Pokemon of Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle. Instead, he is given a Pikachu, who refuses to get inside his Pokeball.

Key storylines people will remember from this show include Misty following Ash until he replaced the bike he stole and accidentally destroyed as a result of Pikachu’s electric attack. There is also the time Ash trades his Butterfree for a Raticate, but gets Butterfree back and releases it into the wild. Misty also keeps a new Pokemon called Togepi, which hatches from an egg in the Grand Canyon.

Cast and characters

The main cast well known by Pokemon fans across the globe include Pikachu, Ash Ketchum, Misty, Brock and Team Rocket – with Jessie, James and Meowth. Other key Pokemon who appear include Bulbasaur, Psyduck, Snorlax, Togepi, Charizard, Raichu and so on. People who appear include Officer Jenny, Professor Oak, Nurse Joy, and more.

Production

Other Pokemon spin-off series have been produced, and these include:

  • Pokemon Origins
  • Pokemon Generations
  • Pokemon: Twilight Wings
  • Pocket Monsters Encore
  • Weekly Pokemon Broadcasting Station
  • Pokemon Sunday
  • Pokemon Smash!
  • Pokemon Get TV
  • Meet Up at the Pokemon House?

Pokemon is broadcast in Japan, Canada, the UK, Ireland, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, India, South Korea and China to name but a few.

Episodes and reception

Each season of Pokemon has a different name. They are as follows (in chronological order):

  • Indigo League
  • Adventures in the Orange Islands
  • The Johto Journeys
  • Johto League Champions
  • Master Quest
  • Advanced
  • Advanced Challenge
  • Advanced Battle
  • Battle Frontier
  • Diamond and Pearl
  • Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension
  • Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles
  • Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors
  • Black & White
  • Black & White: Rival Destinies
  • Black & White: Adventures in Unova
  • Black & White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond
  • XY
  • XY: Kalos Quest
  • XYZ
  • Sun and Moon
  • Sun and Moon: Ultra Adventures
  • Sun and Moon: Ultra Legends
  • Journeys

There have been some controversies attached to Pokemon in general. For example, the episode Cyber Soldier Porygon caused 685 children to suffer from either seizures or symptoms mimicking this condition due to a repetitive flash of light which showed. This episode was removed, and Porygon has not been seen often in future episodes.

Similarly, China banned Pokemon from prime time broadcasting in 2006 – but this ban came with bans on other animated series such as The Simpsons in a bid to protect local struggling animation studios.

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