The Pokémon anime series began airing on television on April 1, 1997 in Japan, and on September 7, 1998 in the United States. It was based on Nintendo's popular RPG video game series of the same name. Over 1000 episodes have aired. When 4Kids was in charge of dubbing the first episodes, some of them were modified. This includes removing violence, sexuality, perceived racism (due to Jynx), and occasionally skipping some episodes (e.g. refusing to dub them).

One episode was banned internationally due to the seizures that caused from watching the episode.


International censorship[]


Before and after Pokemon Shock incident comparison- Episode 1

  • "Dennō Senshi Porygon" (Episode 38): Aired only once in Japan on December 16, 1997. Commonly referred to as the "seizure episode" due to a scene of rapidly flashing lights, it was banned internationally after hundreds of viewers suffered from seizures, nausea, vomiting, and other related symptoms. The anime went on hiatus for four months. Porygon and its evolutions have not shown up in the anime since then. It is the only Pokémon episode to have aired and then banned worldwide.
    • When this episode was banned around the world, Nintendo decided to edit every rapid flashing scene from earlier episodes of the TV series to remove them, and make them darker or slower, to reduce the risk of seizure for epileptic audiences. This was also applied to future episodes.
  • Unaired Advanced Generation episode (Shaking Island Battle! Dojoach VS Namazun!!): Was originally intended to be broadcast on November 4, 2004. However, it was skipped in Japan because of large earthquakes on October 23. The move Earthquake and similar moves have not been seen in the anime since then.
  • Unaired Best Wishes episodes (Rocket-dan VS Plasma-dan!): Originally intended to be episodes as a two-part story (on March 17 and 24, 2011). The episodes were skipped in Japan because of a great earthquake and tsunami off the eastern coast of Japan on March 11. These episodes' events were removed from the official continuity as of 2013.

United States censorship[]


  • All scenes relating to Japanese culture were modified by 4Kids. Onigiri (Japanese rice ball) was referred to as a variety of names, from donuts to popcorn balls. But as 4Kids is no longer in charge of distributing the anime, Japanese culture is retained then.
  • Most scenes of violence between people were cut.
  • Souls coming out from a character's body or returning to the character's body was censored or cut to avoid references of death.
  • Alcoholic references/similarities is also removed/modified.

Skipped in the English dub[]

James cross-dress

The infamous scene of James cross-dressing for a beauty contest. It was cut from the English dub.

The following episodes were skipped in the dub:

  • "Beauty and The Beach" (Episode 18): The episode was skipped in the dub due to scenes of cross-dressed James wearing inflatable breasts. These scenes were cut from the dub and finally aired in the U.S. on June 24, 2000. Aired for a second time on August 18 that year, then never shown again since. It is omitted from home video and VOD services, including Netflix.
  • "Miniryu no Densetsu" (Episode 35): The episode was skipped in the English dub due to a scene where a man points his revolver at Ash, which created a plothole about how Ash managed to catch 30 Tauros in the Safari Zone.
  • "Holiday Hi-Jynx" (unnumbered): Episode was pulled from rotation due to Jynx's perceived racist imagery.
  • "The Ice Cave!" (Episode 250): As Jynx appears in its original design in the episode, it in its entirety was skipped from the dub.
  • "Satoshi and Nagetukesaru! Touchdown of Friendship!!" (Episode 1003): The episode was skipped in the dub due to Ash wearing dark face paint resembling blackface (as he is disguised as a Passimian).

Censored in the English dub[]

The following episodes aired in the dub with the scenes cut or modified:

  • "Pokémon - I Choose You!" (Episode 1): The scene where Misty slaps Ash across his face was cut, probably to avoid human different-sex physical violence.
  • "Ash Catches a Pokémon" (Episode 3): The scene where Misty slaps Ash was cut, with the same reason as above.
  • "The School of Hard Knocks" (Episode 9): The scene where Misty smashes Brock with a log was cut, same as above.
    • Brock saying "She can violate my rights if—" was cut out of the Kids' WB! airing.
  • "Got Miltank?" (Episode 207): About 45 seconds of this episode were removed from the English dub. The scene where Meowth talks to Miltank about how Pokémon come to the oasis for healing was heavily cut. In the original Japanese version, Meowth speaks to Miltank about the aforementioned details. Then, Meowth and Ash's Cyndaquil start to suck on Miltank's udder for nourishment. All references and shots of Meowth and Cyndaquil sucking on Miltank's udder were cut from the English dub, although when Ash enters the cave, Brock refers to the use of Milk Drink, and a teat can be seen in Cyndaquil's mouth for about a second.
  • "All Things Bright and Beautifly!" (Episode 287): All scenes of Jynx (as it was portrayed with black skin) were cut.
  • In ''The Professors' New Adventure" (Episode 994), Professor Kukui and Burnet's wine glasses was changed to normal mugs, the juice was also changed to orange to prevent similarities to alcohol.
  • In "Aiming for the Top Floor!' (Episode 1057): Dangerous and sharp things are modified:
    • The shurikens was changed into pink surrounded by rings and suction cups.
      • The scene which the shuriken swoops over Kiawe's hair and thus cutting his hair was also modified, in the dub version it was changed to his hair did not cut as the shuriken swoops over his head. and no one is hurt by the Shurikens.
      • Shurikens' sound effects are also altered.
    • The swinging ball is also changed into pink.
  • In "Settling the Scorbunny!" (Episode 1089), The man at the train station's mustaches is removed to avoid similarities to Hitler.
  • In "Raid Battle in the Ruins!" (Episode 1099), The scene that shows a man's body dropping into an open Cofagrigus was replaced with a scene where Cofagrigus squats, but the sound effect of the man dropping into Cofagrigus is retained.

Japanese censorship[]

  • After the Dennō Senshi Porygon incident, the anime was restarted with the effects of flashing lights reduced or eliminated. The 39th episode of the anime aired on April 16, 1998 with the flashing lights removed (and all future episodes).
  • The seventh Pikachu short, titled Pikachu & Pichu, is not available on home video or VOD in Japan as the Japanese narrator of the short, Noriko Sakai, was arrested for drug possession.

Banned in other countries[]

  • In South Korea, many episodes prior to the Advanced Generation series of episodes were banned due to overt references to Japanese culture. This is due to a strong anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea, with South Korean organizations boycotting goods imported from Japan.
  • "The Bicker the Better" (Episode 346): The episode did not air in some countries because it was believed to unintentionally have a "battle of the sexes format", possibly promoting sexism.

Other censorship[]

  • "Stage Fight!" (Episode 90) and "The Mandarin Island Miss Match" (Episode 99): These episodes are not available on Netflix and do not appear on Pokemon.com or Pokémon TV. These are due to scenes of Jynx in its original design.
  • In the Indonesian version of "The Sun, the Scare, the Secret Lair!" (Episode 951), Jessie's midriff was blurred out.
  • "An Undersea Place to Call Home!": This episode was originally set to broadcast on April 24, 2014. However, the sinking of MV Sewol led to the episode being pulled from its timeslot with plans for a later broadcast which Japan did eventually see officially on November 20, 2014.
  • In the Greek dub, Poochyena is pronounced Patchyena since the pooch suffix is a slang for penis.
  • In the UK, "The Pendant That Starts It All: Part One" the scene where Liko and Sprigatito jumping from the roof was cut.

Where to find it uncensored[]

The original Japanese version is completely uncensored. Episode 38 is difficult to find due to the episode being banned internationally. Fansubs are completely uncensored since they use the raw version of the anime.

The DVD home videos are the least censored version that is legally available.

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