5 Pokemon Episodes BANNED From America
There are hundreds of episodes of the Pokemon cartoon, and although almost all of the episodes have made their way onto American televisions, a tiny few have been banned. These are the episodes that have been pulled from circulation, or that never even aired…
The Legend of Dratini
There’s no official reason why 4Kids Entertainment, the American distributor of Pokemon, banned this episode, but it probably has to do with several scenes where guns are pointed in people’s faces.
For a show about a 10-year-old who travels around the wilderness fighting dragons, psychic poultry, and monsters with swords for arms, guns are just TOO VIOLENT. Also, there’s an interrogation scene where Meowth puts on a Hitler mustache. That can’t help anything.
In this holiday episode about Team Rocket trying to get revenge on Santa Claus (seriously), Ash and friends encounter Jynx, a lost Pokemon that belongs to Santa. Besides the weird fact that Santa owns Pokemon, this episode was criticized because Jynx looks like one of the old racist cartoons from the 30’s.
"Holiday Hi-Jynx" aired only once, and the controversy caused Nintendo to change Jynx’s skin color to purple.
Much less racist.
Battle of the Quaking Island! Barboach VS Whiscash!!
Ash and friends are traveling to Jojo island, but they are caught in an earthquake caused by Whiscash. Doesn’t sound too controversial, right? Well, the episode was supposed to be broadcast in November of 2004 in Japan, but less than two weeks before its scheduled airtime, Japan was rocked by an earthquake. The episode was deemed too similar to the tragedy, and was pulled from rotation, never to return.
Beauty and the Beach
In this episode, all the female characters enter a beauty contest. James also puts on some kind body suit with inflatable breasts, and enters as well, because that’s a stupid plan and that’s what Team Rocket does. James then taunts Misty with the line, “Maybe when you're older, you'll have a chest like this!” It’s seriously creepy.
I guess a grown man in a boob-suit taunting a young girl about her cup size is totally cool in Japan, but they thought it may be bit much for American audiences. A version of this episode aired twice in the US, but James in a bikini was removed. Good call.
The Ice Cave!
4Kids Entertainment decided to skip this episode, probably because of Jynx still looked racist. Although the early Jynx controversy led Nintendo to change Jynx’s color in the games, that memo had not yet been passed onto the people working on the cartoon (they later started drawing Jynx purple). Supposedly, Brock coming down with symptoms similar to SARS was also a reason to ban the episode, but I blame Jynx.
Electric Soldier Porygon
While the other banned Pokémon episodes may offend you, this one could actually send you to the hospital. When “Computer Soldier Porygon” first aired in Japan it contained a sequence where Pikachu fends off some missiles with his Thunderbolt attack. An electric rodent fighting missiles just wasn’t cool enough for the animators, so they added an intense strobe effect to liven things up. I’m sure the audience appreciated it, as long as weren’t having epileptic seizures.
That’s right, the strobe sequence was so intense, it hurt people’s brains. Hundreds of Japanese children were rushed to hospitals, and thousands more reported feeling dizziness and headaches. Some people even had temporary blindness. A later study determined 5-10% of people watching that episode felt sick. The episode was pulled forever, Pokemon was off the air for months, and the story made headlines around the world. The incident was later referenced on both Southpark episode "Chinpokomon" and The Simpsons episode "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo."
The world’s most dangerous TV show was Pokemon. Who knew?
Do you think these episodes should be released? Let us know in the comments!