Welcome to the Pokémon Anime Discussion forum! Within the general discussion or its appropriate sub-forums, you can discuss all matters related to the Pokémon anime, including but not limited to past and upcoming episodes, movies, characters, Pokémon teams, gym battles, contests, leagues, animation, music, and anything else that has to do with the Pokémon anime (as long as it’s not listed among the assorted banned topics).
In addition to the standard forum rules being applied here, the anime forums do have some specific rules you need to be aware of, so make sure to read them before posting! Many thanks go out to Chelc & S.Suikun for creating the previous rules, of which many ideas here have been adopted.
IMPORTANT TOPICS – ANNOUNCEMENTS, SUB-FORUMS, & STICKIED THREADS
Announcements. → MAKE SURE TO CHECK THEM REGULARLY. This is vital to ensure the enjoyment of all members, and must be stressed. Sometimes a new announcement will be posted reminding people of certain rules (if they’re broken frequently) or addressing other issues.
Sub-Forums & Their Purpose
Anime Spoilers → Discuss everything happening in Japan here! Discuss and speculate the newest episodes, upcoming movies, future character events and battles, the latest captures and evolutions, and anything else that has yet to air in the dub! ***If you’re not certain if what you’re about to post is a spoiler, look here. Anime Polls → Have something on your mind and want to see what other people think as well? Post your anime (general polls about Pokémon themselves or the franchise as a whole belong in Pokepolls) polls here! Remember to read the rules and FAQ thread stickied at the top of the forum before posting a poll! Also remember to add a spoiler warning in the thread title if it contains spoilers. Episode Discussions → Feel like discussing a certain episode, movie, special, or season? This is the forum for you. Each episode/movie/special has its own discussion thread, and all are open for discussion any time. This is one of the only forums where you will not be infracted for bumping threads, but please keep discussion thoughtful and free of any illegal content.
Pokémon Anime Discussion – Important Sticky Threads
Pokémon Animé FAQ (below) → Please read this thoroughly before posting. Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the show are posted here. List of Banned Topics → Again, please read this thread before posting. It provides a handy list of topics compiled by randomspot555, as well as other members, that are not allowed to be discussed anywhere in this forum for specified reasons. Anime Questions V2 → If you have a simple, factual question about the anime that is not already answered in the FAQ, please look/post here instead of making a new thread. Created by OBSESSED WITH PKNM, this thread provides an efficient method of getting standard questions answered by helpful forum members. Japanese/English Reference Thread → This thread is a useful translation guide for Japanese characters, Pokémon, towns, attacks, items, and much more. If you see Japanese names posted and you are perplexed as to their translation, check here! New Dub Titles → Titles for the latest dub episodes will be posted here. You are also free to discuss your opinions on the titles, as well as their meanings.
Anime Spoilers – Important Sticky Threads
Next Pokémon Thread → Speculate on what Pokémon various characters will catch/evolve/release in the future, in addition to finalized teams at the end of the saga. This thread also includes Team Rocket’s Pokémon. PLEASE READ THE FIRST POST BEFORE POSTING! The Big Anime Move Catalog → For a useful encyclopedia of every move that every character’s Pokémon has learned over the years, check here! Many thanks to Dreamcoat for aiding with this catalog. What is a spoiler? What is speculation? → Confused about what constitutes a spoiler? Need help deciphering speculation from fan-fiction? Go here for all the answers and clarification. A highly necessary read for all who post in Anime Spoilers. New Movie Speculation Thread → The current speculation topic for the fifteenth movie. Discuss its plot, events, and characters here.
Anime Polls – Important Sticky Threads
Anime Polls – Rules & FAQ → Information about what makes a poll and what doesn’t. In addition, the rules for the Anime Polls sub-forum can be found here. The “What Attacks Should They Learn?” Thread → Ever feel that a certain Pokémon in the anime should be capable of knowing a certain attack? Wish and speculate about attacks here! Remember to include reasons as to why you believe the writers should give a certain Pokémon a certain attack, rather than creating shallow wish-lists! If You Were in Charge of the Anime → Rather than ranting, this thread is your imaginative toolbox to create your ideal vision of the anime. Describe everything you ever wanted from this anime, as long as it adheres to the rules (restrain the character bashing and such). Favorite Character Thread → Have a favorite character or two in the anime? Feel free to express your love here! Again, all standard rules apply, and that includes avoiding character bashing and respecting other users’ choices.
RULES – READ AND UNDERSTAND BEFORE POSTING!
1. All general Serebii Forums Rules apply in this forum unless stated otherwise. It is recommended that you read them before posting anywhere on the forum. If you have not already done so, please read them after finishing this.
2. Read the following topics before posting and/or creating a new thread – Anime FAQs (see below), Banned Topics, and Anime Questions. Your thread will be locked if it’s a banned topic/already covered by one of the other threads mentioned above. Repeated offenses may result in infractions as well.
3. This forum is for discussion of the Pokémon anime only. Do not discuss the video games, manga, other anime, or any general topic having to do with the franchise as a whole. Keep it specific to the anime. This includes shipping (potentially romantic relationships), which has its own forum, the Shippers Community.
4. Do NOT ask for places where you can watch or download full or partial episodes, or listen to music pieces. Also, do NOT provide links to such locations! This includes torrents, direct downloads, sites that provide streaming content (INCLUDING YOUTUBE), and anywhere else that provides access to such material.
5. Post spoilers in the spoiler forum only! This cannot be stressed enough. If you wish to discuss events that have not occurred outside Japan, use spoiler tags for your information or keep it to Anime Spoilers.
***There are two types of spoiler tags:
1) [spoil*]Ash catches ________ in an episode called _______![*/spoil]
Remove the asterisks (*) and it will look like this:
Ash catches ________ in an episode called _______!
2) [*spoiler=Warning, spoiler ahead!] Ash catches ________ in an episode called _______! [*/spoiler]
Spoiler:- Warning, spoiler ahead!:
Ash catches ________ in an episode called _______!
Use whichever you prefer. Just remember to always use them as soon as you mention something (outside of Anime Spoilers) that viewers of the English dub would not know about yet.
6. Respect each other’s opinions! Being a discussion forum, there is a chance that another user may post something that you may not agree with. If so, you may refute them with respectful and thought-out debates. Do not flame or insult each other for conflicting opinions and keep all discussion civil and respectful!
7. Spam (Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages) is never tolerated. This is a discussion, not a chat room, meaning that your posts should be thorough and thoughtful. It’s not difficult, as at least two sentences per post will suffice. Avoid merely posting material like simply “I (dis)agree”, “Thanks”, “Sorry”, etc. that adds nothing to the discussion; if you agree with something, then explain why. Also make sure your posts are relevant to the discussion at hand and don’t stray off-topic.
8. Character bashing is forbidden. There is a distinct difference between constructive criticism of a character (which is perfectly acceptable and discussion-worthy) and outright bashing (which is never allowed). For instance, saying “Dawn’s Piplup suffers from overuse and her other Pokémon are neglected as a result” is fine, but posting “OMG I HATE PIPLUP IT MUST DIE” is unacceptable and rude. Not only may it offend fans of a particular character, but it is void of any reasonable discussion. Debates about certain characters are okay as long as discussion is civil (unless it falls under the List of Banned Topics).
9. Do not bump threads outside the Episode Discussion forum, unless they are labeled as “Sticky”! Bumping means responding to a thread that has not been posted in for 30 days or longer. Other than in Episode Discussions, if a thread is older than 30 days, please do not post in it.
10. When posting new information (such as new titles), remember to cite your sources! If you have no source to back up your information, how are we supposed to confirm it as factual? A thread announcing a new title without including a source will be locked instantly. Simple links to reliable websites or pictures will do. Remember, Wikipedia and fellow Wiki sites are not reliable sources!
10a. Do not post rumors! If you do not have a valid source for your news information, please avoid posting it! For instance, do not go around posting “Misty will return in Episode __!” or “Ash will catch _____ in this episode!” based upon murky rumors or your own dreams for the series.
10b. Speculate future events based on known information. There is a difference between your predictions and your fantasies for the series. This is not a forum for fan-fiction or creating your own stories. Make sure all speculation is on-topic and that it does not belong in an already-existing topic as the Next Pokémon Thread.
11. Use the Report Button to report problematic posts! See that triangular button with the exclamation mark in the upper-right corner of each post? If you come across a rule-breaking message, click it to send a message to the staff so that we can get to it as soon as we can! Do not reply to rule-breaking messages, threads that would be classified as a banned topic, or that are covered by the Anime FAQs.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding either the rules or the FAQ, please contact any of the Pokémon Animé moderators and we’ll gladly answer your questions! Know these guidelines well and have fun!
↓ FAQs Below ↓
Last edited by Sushi; 6th February 2012 at 4:56 PM.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Pokémon Anime
Welcome to the… 4th(?) version of the Anime Discussion FAQs!
If you have any basic, factual questions about the Pokémon Anime, please make sure to look here first before posting to see if your question has not already been answered! I know there’s a lot of text and reading everything is a chore, but you should at least skim through it and get a general idea of what questions/answers are listed here before making a new thread. It saves us a lot of hassle and should hopefully prove to be a convenient reference guide for you!
Thank you very much to the members who worked on the FAQs: Version 1: Chris Version 2: Satoshi Version 3: S.Suikun, Sonic Boom & Ludi-Cola Version 4: the1stpkmnfan, hawkmbl, streetlightdsb, KibaLG8, Seiryu, Dreamcoat & King World
Of course, there are still many, many Q/As left that were made by former contributors and have only been updated a little.
If you have a short and simple question that is not answered here, please make sure to check out the thread for Single Anime Questions, and a helpful member can assist you.
TERMS/ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS FAQ
OS: Original series, a fan-made term for the first 277 episodes (“Pokémon - I Choose You!” up to “Hoenn Alone!”). For example, OS078 would translate to “the 78th episode of the Original Series”. AG: Advanced Generation series (“Get the Show on the Road!” up to “Home is Where the Start is!”). DP: Diamond & Pearl series (“Following a Maiden’s Voyage!” up to “Memories are Made of Bliss!”) BW: Black & White / Best Wishes series (“In the Shadow of Zekrom!” up to *on-going*) TPCi: The Pokémon Company International, currently holding the license for the English dub of the Pokémon anime and therefore successor of 4Kids Entertainment. TV Tokyo: The main Japanese TV channel broadcasting the newest episodes in Japan.
1. GENERAL FICTION-RELATED QUESTIONS
Q: What's a spoiler?
A. randomspot555 made a great thread which should answer all questions you have about this term.
Q: What is a filler episode?
A. Generally, an episode which is filler is one in which no character development or plot progression has occurred. Essentially, a filler episode “fills" the gap between episodes relevant to the plot – you could skip them without consequence.
However, people on the forums will all tell you different definitions and ‘qualifications’ on what is filler. So, there’s no concrete answer on what defines a filler; it’s up to personal opinion on what is important to the plot and what isn’t.
Q: What does “canon” mean? Likewise, what’s “fanon”?
A. Canon is a term that you’ll see pretty often in any fandom, not just Pokémon. Basically, information is referred to as canon if it is officially confirmed within the universe a work of fiction is set in. So in the case of the Pokémon anime, bits of info revealed by episode dialogues, official magazines and interviews with staff members, for example, are considered canon by the vast majority of the fandom.
For instance, it’s canon that Gary, in the anime, is not a badge-collecting Trainer any more but has become a researcher. This is a fact that nobody can deny or deem as a mere assumption, because Gary has said so himself in the show. Note that information drawn from the games cannot be used as proof for the anime, seeing how much the two deviate from each other at times.
Fanon is not exactly the opposite of canon, but it does refer to non-official, unconfirmed theories that fans have come up with. For example, many people assume that Iris, like Ash, is ten years old. However, no official sources have revealed Iris’ exact age so far and until they do, “Iris = 10”, however likely and widely-accepted it is, remains a fanon theory.
Q: And what’s “deus ex machina”?
A. Wikipedia can explain better, but essentially, it’s a plot device used to abruptly solve a seemingly hopeless emergency situation. What that means for this show is arguable. Some say that spontaneous evolutions or a Pokémon learning a powerful new move during important battles always fulfills the criteria. However, these people disregard the fact that for a DEM, a sudden, unforeseeable solution needs to come out of nowhere to get rid of a desolate problem. A fairly weak Pokémon winning a battle is not necessarily a deus ex machina.
In other words: The battle between May’s (then) Combusken and Brianna’s Vibrava can be considered DEM-driven because Combusken was rendered immobile (hopeless situation) by Vibrava’s Sand Tomb and could only escape because it freed itself with its unexpectedly-learned (abrupt) Mega Kick (solution), leading to its victory.
However, Ash’s Krabby’s victory against Mandi’s Exeggutor contained no dei ex machina. It was absurd and nonsensical that an untrained Pokémon that had built no connection to its Trainer whatsoever could defeat an opponent like that, but it was not a deus ex machina. Please remember: Badly-written battles and dei ex machina usually go hand in hand, but they’re NOT THE SAME THING.
2. FANDOM TERMS
Q: I’ve seen several people mentioning the quote, “Aim for the Horn!” Where does it come from and what does it mean?
A. “Aim for the horn” is a falsely-remembered quote from Episode 058 of the original series, “Riddle Me This”, in which Ash battled Gym Leader Blaine’s Rhydon with his Pikachu. Even though its Electric attacks didn’t seem to be working at first, Ash noticed that Rhydon’s horn might be more vulnerable than its other body parts and ordered another Thunderbolt, focusing on the horn this time. The attack was effective, fainting Rhydon. People love to use this instance as an example of the above-mentioned deus ex machina or use it as an argument when pointing out how stupid Ash is. Three things:
1) The correct quote is, “Pikachu, the horn!” in the English dub. In the Japanese version, Ash just told Pikachu to hang in there without commanding anything specific, so it was actually Pikachu's idea that aiming at Rhydon's horn might be effective.
2) It’s within the anime writers’ rights to take creative liberties and to not follow game mechanics too strictly. Making a Rhydon immune to Electric attacks without exceptions is fine for simplicity reasons, but the anime portrays Pokémon more like living beings and not a bunch of data like the games do. Giving Pokémon a weak spot, regardless of type advantages, is perfectly legitimate.
3) The strategy worked. It’s one thing not to accept the fact that the anime tries to be more realistic than the games, but calling a character stupid for using a tactic that actually worked and got the job done makes absolutely no sense.
Q: What about “Thunder Armor”?
A. Appeared in Episode 100 of the Advanced Generation series, the Gym Battle against Tate and Liza. Pikachu and Swellow were struggling against Lunatone and Solrock when Ash told Pikachu to fire a Thunder attack upwards into the sky. A powerful lightning bolt returned, hitting both Pikachu and Swellow. When the bolt faded, the two Pokémon were engulfed in a golden armor, repelling their opponents’ attacks and enabling them to launch their own moves. It’s more-or-less undisputed that this is actually a true deus ex machina, but quite frankly, the people who constantly mention this example tend to be more annoying than the DEM itself.
3. HOW CAN I WATCH…?
Q: Where can I watch the preview for the upcoming Japanese episode?
A. PLEASE DON’T CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK IF YOU WATCH THE DUB VERSION OF THE ANIME AND DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT RECENT EVENTS IN THE JAPANESE VERSION IN ADVANCE.
TV Tokyo, the main channel broadcasting Pokémon in Japan, has begun uploading the previews onto their own YouTube account here. The previews usually show up a few minutes after they have aired on TV, which means almost every Thursday at about 7:30 PM JST. Once the according episode has aired (in other words, after one week approximately), the preview video will become private, so you won’t be able to watch older previews there.
Q: Where can I watch episodes dubbed in English online?
A. Pokémon.com as well as Cartoon Network have started uploading full episodes onto their websites. Not all of them are included and CN only allows people residing in the United States to watch their eps, but this is currently the only legal way to watch dub episodes online. As an adamant follower of the rules, you obviously know that you may not ask for and/or provide YouTube links or any other illegal means to watch episodes ;]
4. GENERAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ANIME & GAMES
Q: Do levels exist in the anime?
A. No. Numerical levels are not implemented into the anime. In spite of the fact that the anime is based on the games, it is a non-game adaptation, and featuring numerical statistics that equate to battle experience would simply be unrealistic. There is some discrepancy in regards to what a “level” means in the anime, as it is occasionally brought up in dialogue. Generally, this refers to levels of power or experience, not a digital number that somehow exists in the confines of a more realistic setting. But Pokémon do not evolve or learn new moves based on a literal numeric level. Not to mention, the series features various inconsistencies in regards to a Pokémon's power.
The most common rebuttal to the argument of nonexistent levels is EP009 of the OS, “The School of Hard Knocks”. In the episode, numeric Pokémon levels were repeatedly mentioned. Mind you, this episode was very early in the series, and over a decade has passed without a mere mention of such. In comic book terms, the concept was “ret-conned”, in which continuity is retroactively changed. This is not uncommon in a continuing series, especially when you consider how back in the show’s earliest episodes, the writers were still working out the kinks in the story and deciding what worked and what didn’t.
Q: Why did *insert attack name* affect *insert Pokémon name* when it’s not supposed to?
A. There are admittedly some inconsistencies in the anime regarding certain attack types affecting certain Pokémon in comparison to the games, even though it uses its same type chart. Some of these instances have no explanation behind them, such as Ambipom’s Double Hit knocking out a Haunter, even though Normal and Fighting-type attacks have proven ineffective against Ghost types in the past (see Charizard’s Seismic Toss missing Brandon’s Dusclops).
However, sometimes the anime has its own creative explanations and loopholes. Perhaps the two most notable examples are Onix being harmed by the sprinklers in Pewter Gym or the afore-mentioned battle between Pikachu and Blaine’s Rhydon. By exposing elemental weaknesses and physical properties, the writers find unique ways to make certain attacks work.
Again, there are inconsistencies, as an Onix obviously is not going to die if it takes a drink from a lake.
Q: Are there more than one of each legendary Pokémon?
A: Depends on the legend, and keep in mind that the following can be subject to change: So far, most legendary Pokémon have had multiple appearances; it’s also hinted that it’s a different Pokémon each time. The hints vary from different voice actors, to the (lack of) telepathic communication, to the lack of recognition from both the Pokémon’s as well as the main characters’ sides.
Mew appeared in the 1st movie, “Mewtwo Strikes Back” and in the 3rd AG movie, “Lucario and the Mystery of Mew”. All evidence suggests that the two are NOT identical.
Certain legends have been said to breed, such as Articuno in OS191, “Freeze Frame”. The same goes for Lugia as seen in OS222-224, “The Mystery is History”-“A Promise is a Promise”, where a Lugia and its child are seen. Zapdos and Moltres also made appearances in the regular anime (OS244, “As Clear as Crystal” and OS076, “All Fired Up!” respectively). Just like the aforementioned Articuno, they had no connection to the trio seen in Movie 2, “The Power of One”.
There is also more than one of each Regi, including Regigigas. All of them had roles in movies where they were portrayed as special guardians (Regice, Registeel and Regirock in the 3rd AG movie, “Lucario and the Mystery of Mew” and Regigigas in the 2nd DP movie, “Giratina and the Sky Warrior”). Meanwhile, Brandon has the Hoenn Regi trio under his belt and is currently watching over a Regigigas which had been reawakened from a sphere at Snowpoint Temple. None of the Pokémon that Brandon has encountered seems related to their movie counterparts.
Celebi was featured in both Movie 4 of the OS and Movie 4 of DP, as well as AG158, “Green Guardian”. It didn’t seem to recognize Ash and Brock in any of the more recent appearances.
Deoxys has appeared three times so far (AG Movie 02, “Destiny Deoxys”; AG171-172, “Pokémon Ranger! Deoxys Crisis!!” & DP112, “Cheers on Castaways Isle”). It seemed to be a different one every time.
Also, in the 2nd DP movie, multiple Shaymin were seen in the ending. And while you can debate Phione’s status as a legend until the cows come home, numerous Phione were seen in DP113, “Hold the Phione”. Suicune, Entei and Raikou have appeared as Shiny Pokémon in the 4th DP movie, “Zoroark – Master of Illusions” whereas in all their previous appearances, they had their regular colors.
An iffier issue would be Rayquaza, which was also shown multiple times, but apart from its main appearance in the 2nd AG movie, its cameos were so short (opening sequence of the 4th AG movie, “Manaphy and the Temple of the Sea”; DP142, “Where no Togepi has Gone Before”) that it’s hard to judge whether they were identical or not. The same goes for Kyogre (AG097-098, “Gaining Groudon”-“The Scuffle of Legends”; 4th AG movie), Darkrai (1st DP movie, "The Rise of Darkrai" and DP104, "Sleepless in Pre-Battle"), Dialga and Palkia (they were the same Pokémon in each of the 3 DP movies - "The Rise of Darkrai", "Giratina and the Sky Warrior" & "Arceus and the Jewel of Life", but whether that also counts for DP152, "The Battle Final of Legend!", is not known).
The only Pokémon so far that definitely only exists once is Mewtwo, since it was the result of a genetic experiment and not created by nature.
Q: How come certain Pokémon evolve differently than in the games?
A: Evolution is a weird thing.
There's Slowpoke, who in the anime, evolves according to its in-game Pokédex entries rather than getting stronger or through "trade" (the latter would make no sense in the anime). Then we have Magnemite and Diglett. Rather than evolving according to their dex entries (3 Magnemite = 1 Magneton, and so on), they evolve through a similar process as they actually do in the games. Go figure.
The anime tries to be more realistic than the games. Sometimes it is indeed will power that causes Pokémon to evolve on their own. A certain episode from the Johto region taught us that the winds can carry tiny shards of stones used to evolve certain Pokémon. It's a possibility that such a thing could happen if a wind picks up.
Q. Do TM's/HM's exist in the anime?
A. No. One of the purposes of Hidden Machines in the games is to enable easier traveling and open up new areas in each region. Travel is not an issue for anime characters; Flying types like Ash's Charizard or Winona's Skarmory can carry human passengers, and with the exception of Misty's Psyduck and James' Magikarp, all Water Pokémon are naturally able to ferry people across water and do not need to be taught a move.
Since early Hoenn, episodes and small arcs have been devoted to special training sessions concentrating on teaching a Pokémon a single move. Examples include Ash teaching Pikachu Iron Tail from AG013-AG016 (All Things Bright And Beautifly through The Winner By a Nosepass), Ash's Turtwig learning Energy Ball from DP060-DP064 (Journey To The Unown! through Riding The Winds Of Change) and James trying to teach Cacnea Drain Punch in DP054 (Once There Were Greenfields). However, no TMs or HMs were used, but rather physical exercise and mental training which would enable the Pokémon to focus its energy in a certain part of its body.
A. Give them time, most Pokémon need experience to evolve. In addition, sometimes special requirements, such as an item, must be obtained first.
Two main Pokémon have started an evolutionary process and resisted: Ash's Bulbasaur in EP051 (Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden) and Dawn’s Piplup in in DP122 (Stopped in the Name of Love).
Ash's Pikachu has twice been offered the Thunderstone it needs to evolve in EP014 (Electric Shock Showdown) and again in DP074 (Pika and Goliath!) but refused the item both times. After the second refusal Team Rocket successfully stole the Thunderstone, making a potential Raichu evolution a non-issue. Team Rocket’s Meowth has never started to evolve but given his distaste of Persian in general, and Giovanni's in particular, it is HIGHLY unlikely he would ever do so. James' Mime Jr. knows Mimic, a move required to evolve into Mr. Mime, but as it seldom participates in or wins battles it is unclear whether it lacks the experience OR the desire to evolve.
As you can see, most of the time an evolution is entirely up to the Pokémon in question. Even if it has enough experience to evolve - if it doesn’t want to, it WILL resist. Since none of our main characters are heartless people who only care about their own benefits, even item-induced evolutions (the only kind of evolution the Trainer can control) aren’t performed without the permission of the Pokémon.
Q: Do Pokémon forget attacks in the anime?
A. This is another issue that divides the fanbase.
On the one hand, there are occasions where Pokémon stop using an attack around the time they learn a new one: e.g. Pikachu stopped using Thunder when it learnt Volt Tackle, Buizel stopped using Water Pulse when it learnt Ice Punch, etc. In the Japanese version of DP185, “Working on a Right Move”, Brock explicitly stated that Infernape forgot Flame Wheel in favor of Flare Blitz.
On the other hand, there are instances where this doesn’t seem to add up. The most recent example is Paul’s Electivire, which, in DP184 “Casting a Paul on Barry”, used Thunder, ThunderPunch, Protect and Giga Impact, but used Thunder, ThunderPunch, Protect and Brick Break in DP188, “Battling a Thaw in Relations”. One might think that, in the short time period between these episodes, Electivire forgot Giga Impact and learned Brick Break, but the latter was a move it was already shown to have way back in DP003, “When Pokémon Worlds Collide”, so that wouldn’t make much sense.
What most people agree on is that nowadays in the anime, a Pokémon will never use more than four moves in the same battle. As mentioned above, yes, Pokémon can forget attacks, but it hasn’t been confirmed that they have to do so & keep a limit of four moves.
Q: What’s the best training method in the anime?
A. Unlike in the games, where picking a Pokémon with a beneficial nature and EV-training it in the stats it exceeds in will always bring the best results, the Anime has not defined an “ideal” way to raise a Pokémon.
Instead, it takes a more realistic approach by encouraging many different ways of training, depending on the Trainer’s personality as well as that of his Pokémon.
Many people suggest that Paul’s training is obviously the best as he seems very successful with it so far, but the example of Chimchar stresses how it can’t be applied universally. Chimchar couldn’t handle Paul’s harsh training methods and would have likely taken permanent physical and emotional damage if it had stayed on his team. His other Pokémon, on the other hand, seem to be doing fine as their personalities allow them to adapt to his methods.
In other words, in the Anime, there are no Pokémon who’re forever doomed to be weaker than others. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to the Trainer to boost their strengths and to make up for their weaknesses.
Last edited by Sushi; 6th February 2012 at 5:06 PM.
A. Ash is still ten. Misty is still ten. May is still ten. Dawn is still ten. If we are to believe the character profiles featured in a Japanese magazine many years ago, Brock is 15. The ages of other main characters have not been revealed.
Also, the characters in this series are immune to aging. Some people will try to create their own fictional timeline of the series, often using such throwaway lines as Misty commenting on one year passing since they first arrived in Viridian City, or Ash throwing an anniversary party of first meeting Pikachu. These are throwaway details, not actually meant to have any weight behind them regarding the passage of time in the anime. Misty’s line was to convey nostalgia (plus, note that her comment was only in the dub dialogue), for instance. Others try to calculate the number of episodes as equivalent to a day or week passing, which is also false.
As a standard formula, memorize: “Time passes, but no one ages”. It’s weird, but it’s not like this is the only anime who uses it.
Q: Are the characters Japanese?
A. Most likely, they do not belong to any nationality that is known to us in the real world.
We do know that the regions created for the games are loosely based off certain parts of Japan (and, as of Black & White, the USA). Opposed to that, we have the fact that the regions and cities have fictional names. Hollywood apparently exists in the anime world (Episode 072, “Go West, Young Meowth”), which makes things even more complicated, but one could say the place was meant to be more of a parodic nod to the real-life Hollywood.
Most of the main characters have common Japanese names in the original version, as do many of the side characters. Some, however, have English names or names originating from entirely different countries. That doesn’t have to imply that they’re of a certain nationality, though.
Q: Are there real animals in the anime world?
A. During the early days of the anime, real animals were shown occasionally, like in Episode 007, “The Water Flowers of Cerulean City” where you can see real fish swimming in the pool inside the Gym, or Episode 020, “The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak”, where a Ghastly transforms into a mongoose.
However, as it has been a very long time since animals appeared, the writers might have revised their stance – like in the case of numerical levels - and decided that there should be no living beings beside plants, Pokémon and humans. Currently, the only hints towards the existence of animals are the PokéDex entries, which often compare Pokémon to the animals they are based on (e.g. “The Mouse Pokémon”).
Q: Do humans eat Pokémon?
A. As the existence of animals is more than questionable at the moment, but people are sometimes seen eating meat and "fish", it can be assumed that they do.
However, it’s likely that the writers shy away from this subject, as humans and Pokémon are portrayed to be living alongside each other as equals and friends.
It should also be noted that, more often than not, the main characters are only seen eating bread, vegetables and fruit - especially in recent years.
Q: What is the difference between Contests and Gym Battles?
A. Contests are divided into two stages: Appeals (where Coordinators are rated based on the Pokémon's elegance and style, with only the top scores passing) and Battles (where the Coordinators who have passed the Appeal Round face off in a tournament system).
During the battles, neither party is allowed to substitute their Pokémon. Most Contests only have one-on-one battles, but there are special “double performance” Contests which dictate that you have to use two Pokémon at once in both the Appeal Round as well as the Battle Rounds. The battles have a time limit of 5 minutes; during this limit, the Contest jury (Contesta, Sukizo and the local Nurse Joy) deducts points from the Coordinator’s point bar if his Pokémon is hit by an attack or if it misses its own. The Coordinator’s goal is to cause the opponent to lose all points or to knock his Pokémon out. Both options lead to victory. If a tie occurs (the same amount of points when the time runs out), a limitless extra battle will be held, which continues until one party’s Pokémon is knocked out or loses all points.
Additionally, Sinnoh introduced a new tradition, in that most Coordinators dressed up during performances and Seals were placed on Poké Balls to make a flashier display at the start of Appeals. Neither of these apply to Trainers or Gyms.
Finally, it takes 5 ribbons to enter the regional Grand Festival, the biggest tournament for Coordinators. Those who win a Grand Festival are automatically declared Top Coordinators, the highest known rank a Coordinator can achieve.
Gym Battles, on the other hand, emphasize power, skill & strategy. The challenger battles the Gym Leader in his own local Gym with the goal to knock out all his Pokémon. The rules may differ slightly from Gym to Gym, but most of the time, the Leader’s ‘home advantage’ is balanced out by the fact that only the challenger is allowed to substitute his Pokémon. There is no time limit. In the case of a tie, the Gym Leader may decide whether the challenger battled well enough to be worthy of a badge or not.
The Orange Island Gyms had very special rules. Most of them required no battles, but unique, sports-like competitions. The writers had a lot of freedom during this saga because there was no template for it from the games.
Gym Trainers require 8 badges to participate in the Pokémon League. Once they win the championship, they are allowed to enter the Champion League, in which they face the local Elite Four and its Champion Master.
6. ASH / ASH'S POKÉMON
Q: Who is Ash's father?
A. No one truly knows, really.
He was mentioned, along with Ash's grandfather (Japanese version only) in OS002. That was the first and last time he's mentioned in the show. There's absolutely no solid evidence to back up all the crazy crack theories and until the writers decide to reveal the identity of this mystery man - or mystery men, rather - we'll never know who they REALLY are. We know that he's a Pokémon Trainer, that's for certain.
Novelizations of the anime by Takeshi Shudou, one of the writers for the original series, say that Ash's father left Delia shortly before Ash’s birth, stating that he “wants to become a Pokémon Trainer” (although, whether or not the novel should be considered "canon" is debated among fans). In a recent interview with Masamitsu Hidaka, a storyboard artist for the anime, the above is confirmed and is very much true - Ash's father and grandfather are trainers.
Q: Why does Ash always release his Pokémon?
A. Saying he “always” releases them is a somewhat inaccurate exaggeration, as with the exception of Gliscor, Ash has left all his Pokémon at Oak’s laboratory at the end of each saga since Johto. These Pokémon may be called upon for assistance at any time. The two exceptions are Squirtle and Charizard, who were both left with special camps for training. Regardless, both Squirtle and Charizard may also be called upon at any time, as evidenced by events such as the Johto League or Battle Frontier. The Sinnoh League episodes have also proved that Gliscor was available for Ash whenever he needed it.
For the record, Larvitar was never truly Ash’s and was always destined to return to its Tyranitar mother since it hatched. Lapras was in a similar situation, in that Ash had made it clear that he would only hold on to it until they found its family.
As for why Ash released a few Pokémon back in Kanto, remember that this was back when the writers had a very loose idea of exactly what they wished to do with Ash’s team, as they were fixing kinks in the process while establishing a solid main team for Ash. Many of these Pokémon – like Butterfree and Primeape – were not used as long-term partners.
In AG and DP, the writers have avoided having Ash capture over his 6-Pokémon limit in order to prevent having to release so many Pokémon. Yes, theoretically, there could always be a backlog of Pokémon caught and sent to Oak like Krabby, Tauros, and Muk, but those aforementioned Pokémon tend to suffer from a severe lack of exposure.
Since the beginning of BW, Ash has started capturing more than 5 Pokémon again, which could indicate that the writers feel more confident about having Ash regularly rotate his team members than before.
Q: What happened to Gliscor after the Sinnoh League?
A. We don’t know whether it flew back to train with the Air Battle Master McCann or whether it was sent to Professor Oak’s laboratory. Both theories seem equally possible, but the dialogue didn’t give anything away. Either way, Gliscor can be called whenever needed, so it doesn’t really matter anyway.
Q: Will Ash ever see his released Pokémon like Pidgeot, Butterfree and Primeape again?
A. It has been well over a decade since Pidgeot’s departure. While many will say, “Maybe someday, nobody knows,” or wildly speculate there will be some huge reunion whenever the series ends, the likelihood of any true return outside cameos or flashbacks is slim to none. In the case of Pidgeot, for example, if Ash never retrieved it the past gazillion times he returned to Pallet Town, what makes you think he will retrieve it upon future visits?
Quite frankly, many of the show’s newer viewers can’t even recall that Ash ever owned a Pidgeot, a Butterfree, etc. Remember that the Pokémon anime’s primary demographic is the preteen crowd, and even though its fans grow up, its core viewership tends to remain around the same age.
These past Pokémon are occasionally referenced, such as through flashbacks we’ve seen of Butterfree or Pidgeot. Perhaps the greatest showcase of past Pokémon came in the form of the Japanese opening “Spurt!”, which was shown in the latter half of Battle Frontier. This is enough proof against the claims that the writers supposedly “forgot” about them (many of the Kanto writers are still writers for the show today), but opening sequences have no historical impact on the series itself in regards to past character appearances.
Q: Did Ash’s Butterfree die in the Japanese version?
A. No. There are a lot of false rumors regarding dub changes, but this may be the most persistent. There was no such line in Japanese about Butterfree dying after mating. Some consider it a mistranslation, which according to Dogasu, could occur if you confuse the word shison ("offspring") for the word shisou ("injuries and death"). Regardless, it is a false rumor.
Q: Does Ash ever kiss Misty/Brock/May/*insert any other character*?
A. No. Never has. Never will. Pokémon is not a series about romance, nor has any canon romance been involved between Ash and any of his companions. Ash is ten years old. He has shown minimal interest for girls (aside from Giselle in OS009, which again, was very early in the series) and merely thinks of his female traveling partners as friends. If you come across a picture or avatar of Ash about to kiss one of the lead females (or any other character for that matter), it is edited with Photoshop. You may also see a rumor about a kiss occurring in the “last episode”. There is no last episode, as the series is still running in Japan with no signs of stopping.
Q: Pikachu sucks! How can he go from tying with a Latios to losing to a Snivy!? He must be level 100 by now!
A. First off, check above for levels in the anime.
The simple answer is that it just wouldn’t make for an interesting watch if Ash were to sweep through all the gyms with his super-powerful Pikachu, and you can rest assured that Ash will be bringing Pikachu to every region. So the best way to deal with this issue is to “reset” Pikachu at the beginning of every saga.
The new series of the anime is intended for a new generation of children who haven’t watched before; they would have no knowledge of any of Pikachu’s previous battles, so “resetting” Pikachu is the best way to produce an enjoyable anime for the new generation of children. It allows Pikachu to lose a few battles every now and then in a believable way, while also giving Ash’s new Pokémon a chance to shine.
Take into account that the writers try to be creative and “handicap” Pikachu in various ways sometimes. At the beginning of AG, Pikachu was suffering from being overloaded with electricity due to Team Rocket’s attack in the previous episode (OS277, “Hoenn Alone!”), while in BW, Zekrom’s lightning bolt temporarily blocked Pikachu’s Electric type moves.
Q: Why won’t Ash evolve Pikachu? What kind of idiot would keep it un-evolved?
A: Because it doesn’t want to.
In OS014, “Electric Shock Showdown”, Pikachu was offered a Thunder Stone after losing to a Raichu, but refused since it wanted to prove itself and its own strength without needing to evolve. It was Pikachu’s choice, not Ash’s, and it likewise stayed as is. A decade later, in DP074, “Pika and Goliath”, a very similar situation panned out in which Pikachu was offered to evolve. Once again, Pikachu refused for the same reasons, and was likely done to refresh viewers’ minds and also teach newer viewers.
Now for the real reason – MONEY. Pikachu is Pokémon’s mascot, and likely will continue to be. It is the most widely recognized Pokémon of them all, sells more merchandise than any other, and if they were to write Pikachu off the show, it would be a ratings suicide. Without Pikachu, the franchise familiarity is gone, and likewise, viewership plummets. Raichu would not magically become the new mascot.
Q: And why does he never evolve his other Pokémon?
A. Because that Johto disc is still jammed in your DVD player. Yes, there was a point where very few of Ash’s Pokémon would evolve (and even then, it’s not up to Ash himself whether they evolve). There were just a handful of evolutions in Kanto, though Johto featured a measly one evolution in the form of Chikorita. After Johto, this was a legitimate complaint, as Ash’s team had failed to develop both strength and character-wise.
But right now? In all honesty, he does! Excluding the Pokémon he never technically owned and used- Raticate/Haunter/Larvitar etc., Ash has caught:
Caterpie, Pidgeotto, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Krabby, Primeape, Muk, Tauros, Snorlax, Lapras, Heracross, Noctowl, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Phanpy
Of those, there is a total of 46 potential evolutions. Ash has managed 22 evolutions; and now consider that 12 of the not(-yet-)accomplished ones are Unova Pokémon, which haven’t had enough time to develop yet.
In Advanced Generation, Taillow, Treecko, Grovyle, Snorunt, and Phanpy all evolved and this is not even including all of May’s and Brock’s Pokémon that had also evolved. Diamond & Pearl exceeded this number, with Ash having a whopping eight evolutions. As mentioned prior, we have established that Pikachu will never evolve under any circumstances.
So saying he doesn’t evolve his Pokémon is certainly inaccurate. Ash isn’t going to force his Pokémon to evolve either- they’re his friends, and the Ash we all know and love isn’t the sort of guy to mistreat his friends. Another reason is marketability. Sometimes the writers of the anime may want to keep Ash’s Pokémon small and cute to promote plushies and other merchandise.
Q: Why doesn’t Ash capture every Pokémon he sees? He’ll never “catch ‘em all”!
A. First of all, the catch phrase “Gotta catch ‘em all!” was pretty much dropped after Pokémon’s fad stage in the 90’s. Second, the slogan was only used in Western advertising and was never a part of any of the franchise’s initial Japanese marketing. As for why Ash does not capture every Pokémon anyways, there are a number of reasons. First, the Pokémon anime is repetitive as it is, and having every episode feature one or more captures would be extremely tiring.
Second and probably more important is the issue of team balance. We would seriously never see the hundreds of Pokémon stored away at Oak’s laboratory if he just caught a bazillion and stuffed them away forever. Having just a handful of captures per region helps the overall team and character development.
Q: Will Ash ever be a Pokémon Master?
A. This is actually a vague question to answer, considering how, if you think about it, the anime never actually defined the term “Pokémon Master”. No other form of Pokémon media has defined the term, either, nor is there anything that implies it means capturing every Pokémon.
While we know from episode dialogues that you’ll be a Top Coordinator as soon as you win one Grand Festival, the same can’t be said for ‘regular’ Pokémon Trainers, apparently.
People like Tyson and Tobias, who have both won regional League tournaments, have never been called Pokémon Masters – and not even Lance or Cynthia, who’re of an even higher rank, have been referred to as such.
Q: ASH IS A MORON! WHY WON’T HE CAPTURE ANY LEGENDARY POKÉMON?
A. A number of reasons, one of which being that watching Ash cruise through a region with an overpowered legend on his side would be cheaply boring. A mirror image of many game players, yes, but boring as a television series. But like many other elements of Ash’s team, the anime has its own explanations for matters:
Many legendary Pokémon are not meant to be captured in the anime. A lot of them are directly tied to the balance of nature, and removing them could disrupt the eco-system. For example, the Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres living near Shamouti Island are territorial and if one vanishes, the other’s would fight over their former territory. The shiny Entei, Raikou and Suicune we saw in the 4th DP movie were the guardians of Crown City and supposed to protect its citizens. Other Pokémon, such as Groudon, Kyogre, Dialga, Palkia and Giratina are simply not meant to be under the ownership of humans because their powers can be abused in destructive ways, thus putting the lives of countless humans and Pokémon at stake.
Now, there are exceptions of course. Brandon has captured the Regi trio, while Tobias owns both a Darkrai and a Latios. There seems to have been no disrupting to the balance of nature from their capture, yet their sheer power means that they can only be controlled by elite trainers. Note that while Noland was in command of Articuno in AG136, “The Symbol Life”, he never actually captured it.
While Ash would certainly be capable of controlling certain legendary Pokémon, the writers have chosen not to let him have one - maybe to avoid controversy (“The frequent screentime compared to other legendaries makes it lose its specialness!”, “He should use it whenever his other Pokémon aren’t strong enough to win against a certain opponent!”, “How dare he dump it at Oak’s laboratory!”).
Q: Why did Ash leave his old team at Oak’s before heading to Hoenn, Sinnoh and Unova?
A. Again, there is an in-anime reason and an outside reason. The anime’s explanation was that in Hoenn, Ash wanted a “fresh start” to his journey with only Pikachu by his side at the beginning. Likewise, the older Pokémon were left behind to make room for the newer generation.
Before heading to Sinnoh, this was not actually explained in the show, although the same thing was essentially implied (except for Aipom tagging along).
In the case of Unova, the situation was a little different. Ash had originally intended to go on vacation there with his mother and had likely only left his Pokémon in Tracey’s care for the duration of the holidays. It’s obvious that he would have decided to let them stay at the lab after his return anyway, but the fact remains that this time, Ash didn’t consciously think about starting anew because he hadn’t expected that his trip to Unova would end up being his new journey.
The outside reason is obvious advertisement. The writers have to show off the newest and greatest Pokémon, correct? Regardless of what past and present Pokémon may constitute the “strongest” team for Ash, it’s the latest generation that needs to be advertised to rake in the dough. In Aipom’s case, it tagged along to Sinnoh because it had a new evolution that could be promoted. The same applies to Unova and most likely every following region.
Most of Ash's currently owned Pokémon are at Oak’s Lab can still be called upon at any time, but these instances are scattered. Likewise, you can expect this same thing to happen for future generations.
Q: So why doesn’t he use his older Pokémon more often, then? He lost to quite a few Gym Leaders post-Kanto; if I were him, I’d have called Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charizard to plough through them in the rematch!!
A. Ash isn’t like those gamers who trade their Lv. 70 Giratina from Platinum onto their new Black/White cartridge so they can breeze through Trainer battles and whatnot. In DP017, “Wild in the Streets”, after he lost his first match against Roark, he explains that he didn’t want to call upon his older, more experienced Pokémon because his new ones deserved a chance.
He may love getting his hands on a shiny new badge, but the most important thing to him is the new journey with its new challenges. His goal isn’t to win matches as quickly and as easily as possible. He takes pride in raising young Pokémon from scratch, little by little, and being able to turn them into powerful fighters eventually. It requires patience, and yes, it means that you risk losing a few matches here and there. Ash isn’t one who lacks so much faith in his new Pokémon that he keeps relying on his powerhouses whenever things don’t go as well as hoped.
Q. Why didn't Ash's Charizard obey him once he earned his 8th badge?
A. Anime =/= Games. In the games, Pokémon may disobey the player if he/she lacks a specific badge. This mechanic was put in place to prevent people from transferring Level 100 Pokémon from a completed game to a second cartridge and plowing through every battle/encounter.
In the anime, badges are only used as proof of victory and collecting 8 kinds will allow trainers to enter each region's Pokémon League. While Ash always gets the same 8 badges found in games as a nod to the other main Pokémon franchise, there are MORE than 8 Gyms in each region and most of his League Rivals collect at least 1 anime-exclusive badge. Also, there is no specific order in which the Gyms are to be challenged in the anime, so it wouldn’t make sense to hinge the obedience of a Pokémon on the obtainment of a certain badge. They have no influence on how a Pokémon behaves towards its Trainer.
As stated in EP044 (The Problem With Paras), Charmander simply stopped listening to Ash when he evolved because he thought he thought his trainer was weak/not worthy of being obeyed. This was in contrast to its earlier behavior, but as Ash was cautioned back in EP014 (Electric Shock Showdown), some Pokémon don’t only change their appearance upon evolution; their attitude changes as well.
Eventually, Charizard learned to be obedient and loyal, not because Ash obtained a shiny trinket but in response to the kindness and passion Ash showed in EP105 (Charizard Chills).
Q: Is Ash the same character as Red (games and manga)?
A. No. His design is indeed loosely based off Red, but he is not meant to be the same character. The anime takes place in a different universe of canon as the games and manga, and likewise, they do not coexist. Nor does that mean Ash’s Pikachu is Level 81 (see the levels question above for further detail). Red did indeed make a cameo in the Hoenn episode “Lights, Camerupt, Action!” as part of a film, but was not shown in any physical form.
7. OTHER CHARACTERS
Q: Will *insert former main character here* ever come back?
A. Depends what you mean by “come back”. If you mean to ask if they will make brief appearances from time to time, then most likely. After all, Misty had multiple-episode appearances in mid-Hoenn and after the Hoenn League, May had an 4-episode arc in DP, and Dawn and Brock received a special in Japan.
If you mean whether they will re-join the main group, the answer is probably no. Their on-screen adventures are likely concluded. Future generations had new characters to promote and new features for those characters to demonstrate.
Misty was shown through the Chronicles spin-off series to have a heap of responsibility on her hands since she took the reigns of the Cerulean Gym from her sisters; meanwhile, May broke away from Ash specifically so that she could improve her skills and said during her last appearance that she was traveling in Johto; Dawn has decided to travel through Hoenn by herself and Brock’s new goal requires him to stop traveling and stay in one place for a while.
Q: Why does Ash/May/etc check their Pokédex all the time? They must be really stupid if they can't recognize *insert Pokémon name* by now.
A. Checking a Pokédex reveals more than just its name, it reveals data about the species in general as well as information about the individual being scanned. Paul compares 3 different Starly in DP003 (When Pokémon Worlds Combine) to see which ones know Aerial Ace and Ash learns what attacks a rental Raichu can use in DP088 (Camping It Up) .
The Pokédex is an important tool to the professors as well, who use them to check the progress of young trainers. In OS065 (Showdown at the Poke Corral), Prof Oak examines the Pokédexes of both Gary and Ash, noting that Gary had seen 60 different kinds at that point while Ash had seen over 100. This contrast was a reflection of their styles, Gary wanted to capture/raise as many kinds as he could while Ash concentrated more on building a strong relation with a handful of his favorites.
Also, the descriptions a Pokédex gives on a certain Pokémon changes from time to time, just like the entries in Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, etc. differ.
Q: Why are Brock’s eyes always closed? / What ethnicity is Brock?
A. Brock eyes are not “closed”. They are drawn as slits, along with his father and children. It’s for the sake of diversity between characters. Brock cannot be traced to any specific known ethnicity, however.
Q: Iris is so annoying! She keeps calling Ash a ‘kid’ although she is one herself! What a hypocrite!
A. You’re taking Iris’ quirk way too seriously. First off, she isn’t a malicious person; quite the contrary. She may have been truly annoyed the first few times Ash didn’t know certain facts about Pokémon, but recently, a lot of her comments have a teasing or even fond undertone. She clearly considers Ash as her friend and therefore has no intention to hurt his feelings.
Secondly, the moments she calls Ash a kid are mostly restricted to instances where he really does act a little childish. Ash may have an incredible amount of experience, having faced many Trainers and Pokémon, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is ten years old, rash, impatient and very excitable, often to the point where he forgets facts that he actually should know about from his previous journeys. That’s just how he is, but there is no harm in calling him out on it every now and then.
Finally, the fact that Iris is a child (and displays childish behavior) too is the whole point of the joke. You may not like it, but it’s meant to be an endearing trait of Iris that she doesn’t realize how far she is from being an adult herself.
Q. Who owns Team Rocket's Meowth?
A. No one, at least not in the sense that someone has actually captured him with a Poké Ball. As seen in BW048/045, Meowth considers himself as an independent Pokémon who doesn't want to be under anyone's ownership.
Q. Why does everyone fall for Team Rocket's disguises? They're so obvious.
A. The disguises serve to let Jessie & James participate in activities outside of TR such as menial jobs or Jessie's contests as of AG013 (“All Things Bright And Beautifly”), provide comedy like when they used their expertise to help Ash cross-dress when he was banned from Erika's Gym in EP026 (“Pokémon Scent-sation!”), or most often to set up a "plan to capture Pikachu".
The fact that they are seldom recognized until they begin their motto is an example of a Running Gag. Much like the omnipresent Nurse Joys/Officer Jennys/Don Georges, they are staples of the show. They don't always make sense but after being used for several seasons most of these aren't going away any time soon.
Q: What happened to Team Rocket? They’re so serious now!
A. They received a mission, simple as that. Their seriousness can easily be explained as them simply not wanting to screw up now that Giovanni has put his trust in them directly. At the same time, their increase in competence can also be explained by the above as well as a boost in confidence and better equipment.
However, don’t take that to mean that they’re now utterly incapable of providing comedy; they aren’t. This is probably best shown by the events of BW004 (“The Battle Club and Tepig’s Choice”), in which Jessie and James painted Meowth like an Umbreon in order to distract Don George and the twerps. Just don’t expect them to be full-on comic relief characters anymore.
Last edited by Sushi; 26th January 2012 at 11:28 PM.
Q: What happened to the GS Ball?
A. The GS Ball was merely a plot device used to give Ash and friends an excuse to travel to both the Orange Islands and the Johto region. It truly had little intention or purpose outside of that. The abbreviation GS clearly stands for “Gold/Silver”, indicating advertisement purposes. Once reaching Johto, the GS Ball had little purpose left in the show, and was thus dropped off with Kurt in Azalea Town as a handy way of writing it off the show. It will likely never be seen from again.
Supposedly, storyboard artist Masamitsu Hidaka has said that the GS ball was originally intended to contain Celebi. Presumably, the ball would have made an appearance later on in the saga for a plot centered around the time-traveling Pokémon. However, between Shudo being booted from his position and the fourth movie containing Celebi as its primary feature, the ball was rendered totally obsolete, and the writers simply never mentioned it again in the hopes that the fanbase would eventually forget about it.
Q. What happened to Jigglypuff? Why did it suddenly stop following Ash & friends?
A. Jigglypuff first debuted in OS045 (The Song Of Jigglypuff) and made numerous guest appearances in Kanto, Orange Islands, and Johto.
As translated by Meowth in OS149 (Tunnel Vision) Jigglypuff dreamed of performing its song and having the audience stay awake for the entire concert. Jigglypuff's final anime appearance occured early in the Hoenn region, in AG039 (A Pokeblock Party), where it met a lost Whismur who listened to the entire song thanks to its Soundproof ability, which renders the Sleep-effect of Sing useless. Having finally found the perfect audience, it is speculated (but not confirmed) that Jigglypuff chose to remain near Whismur even after Whismur was reunited with its trainer, Alana.
This may be odd, considering that Jigglypuff didn’t seem all that pleased with Whismur’s behavior after its performance either, but the fact that it has not had a true appearance in over 200+ episodes makes the odds of it returning slim-to-none.
Q: What happened between Professor Ivy and Brock?
A. As Misty remarked in OS118 (A Tent Situation), “She dumped him.” This implies some sort of break-up between Brock and Ivy but does not go into any deep details about what had occurred. All-in-all, it was the anime’s simple way of writing Brock back into the show without making a huge deal out of things.
9. BANNED/SKIPPED EPISODES
Q: Why did Charizard suddenly become a Charmander in the episodes ‘Holiday Hi-Jynx’ and ‘Snow Way Out’?
A. These episodes were aired out-of-order. Being “Christmas-themed” specials, they were held off to air around the holidays in the dub, well after Charmander had evolved in the run of the series. In proper order, these episodes were meant to air after “Electric Soldier Porygon”, but were rescheduled in Japan thanks to the incident involving the aforementioned episode (see “Banned Episodes” question below). The dub followed this rescheduled order.
Q: Why have certain episodes featuring Jynx been banned/delayed?
A. Ah, the infamous Ms. Weatherford controversy. Go look it up if you have the time; it’s quite outrageous. A Johto episode featuring the Ice Cave was banned for featuring Jynx. According to some, the episode was banned because Brock was supposedly given a SARS-like disease, but this is simply untrue.
Note that Jynx has since had its skin color changed to purple in all forms of Pokémon media, and likewise, future episodes featuring Jynx have been dubbed without problem. Kids WB did delay the airings of the Pacifidlog Contest (which featured Jynx) for a possibly related reason, but they were eventually aired without issue.
Q: Will there be any uncut DVDs including the banned episodes?
A. Banned episodes such as the "Electric Soldier Porygon" can't be done due to legal complications.
4Kids once claimed they'd be putting all of their anime on uncut DVD. This was highly believed to be a lie on their part, seeing as how Al Kahn even stated in the same interview that he does not want the DVDs to be released at the same time of the cut/censored DVDs due to them possibly "competing against each other." However, seeing as they lost the license to Pokémon and died off from the anime industry all together some time ago, that promise will never be kept.
PUSA has released older episodes on boxsets. Because of their minimal visual edits, it was believed they'd cater to what the fans have wanted for a long time: Uncut DVDs. However, these boxsets ARE NOT uncut and DO NOT contain Japanese audio, despite what Amazon.com listings say.
Besides, if they started putting uncut episodes they have to end up grabbing the original Japanese episodes from episode 1 and up and would have to either dub or sub it. Considering right now with them having released boxsets of older episodes, and are almost done putting all the Kanto Battle Frontier on DVD and have started on Sinnoh, they won't be going back to the first episode to put the whole series uncut and unedited after having finished released all of it mostly in its originally TV aired form. That's just not a good move looking at things from a marketing point-of-view.
Q: I hear some eps of the Black & White series have been skipped too. Is that true?
A. Yes, that’s true. We currently know of three skipped episodes: BW023-24, “Team Rocket VS Team Plasma (Part 1&2)” [dub titles not available] and BW026, “A Fishing Connoisseur in a Fishy Competition!”. Currently, there's a thread (caution: It's located in the Spoilers section and thus contains tons of information dub viewers don't know about yet) explaining why there are probably more skipped episodes we don't know of yet.
On March 11, 2011, the day after BW022, “A Venipede Stampede”, aired in Japan, there was a magnitude 9.0 earthquake near the Tohoku region, resulting in a tsunami, which again caused multiple nuclear accidents.
It’s the most powerful earthquake Japan has ever had to endure, and the country is still suffering from the consequences. It goes without saying that TV Tokyo didn’t want to air the Team Rocket/Plasma showdown a mere week after the incident, especially since the episodes included scenes depicting the destruction of buildings, quakes, energy radiation, etc.
Instead, they decided to air BW025, “Battling for the Love of Bug types!”, but included a note at the beginning of the episode telling us that they intend to air the skipped episodes later.
While the two episodes have yet to be aired, BW026, the fishing episode, was broadcast on June 23, approximately 3 months after its planned airdate. It was originally supposed to take place in Castelia City and reintroduce Bianca, who would go on to travel with Ash & Co. for the following two episodes as well (as you might have noticed, Bianca made a rather sudden ‘appearance’ in BW027, “Emolga the Irresistible!”. That’s because she had already joined the group in the previous episode.)
However, the episode underwent several changes to fit in with the episodes it aired between: The setting was no longer Castelia City, but a random town on the way to Nimbasa City. Furthermore, the ending scene was changed so that Bianca parted from the heroes instead of joining them for a while, since the following episode (“Movie Time! Zorua in 'The Legend of the Pokémon Knight'!”) no longer featured her. In short, BW026 has become BW037.
If the episodes featuring the introduction of Team Plasma are ever aired, they will most likely be edited to fit in with the current timeline as well, which means that they will no longer take place between the Venipede episode and the Castelia Gym Battle.
10. BEHIND THE SCENES
Q: What is the difference between a season and a series?
A. Perfectly legitimate question, and a confusing one since both the Japanese series and the dub categorize their episodes differently.
Japan has no such thing as “seasons” for Pokémon.
Rather, the Pocket Monsters anime is divided into four “series” – 1) Pocket Monsters (Kanto, Orange Islands, Johto), 2) Pocket Monsters: Advance Generation (Hoenn, Battle Frontier), Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl (Sinnoh) and Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes! (Black & White). Each series has its own episode numbering system (different to the universal system seen on Serebii.Net) and logo.
Seasons, on the other hand, are only present in the dub. Each year, 4Kids/PUSA has ordered a batch of approximately 52 episodes in order to be dubbed. Each of these packages constitutes a “season”. Note that this does not include movies or specials like Chronicles or Mystery Dungeon. Also, some seasons, especially later ones, seem to consist of less episodes. Though theories exist as to why this occurred, we have no definitive answer.
Q: Why is the anime so repetitive? Every plot is the same!
A. A bit of an exaggeration, but not completely false. Being an “episodic” anime, Pokémon has generally followed a fixed formula throughout every saga, partially in thanks to the games themselves repeating the same formula. On one hand, you cannot fault it for sticking to its initial game inspiration. On the other hand, individual episode formulas repeating is sometimes apparent (such as a “character of the day” having a problem with a Pokémon, leading Ash and friends to assist), but you also have to remember that this is a kids’ series first and foremost. They wish to see their favorite monsters brawling and showing off their abilities over intriguing plot, which nobody will deny could be deeper in this series. But given its primary viewership, a lack of plot variety is no surprise, especially after over 700 episodes, in which any series is bound to repeat ideas.
Also know that the anime is, first and foremost, an advertisement for the current generation of Pokémon games. The writers do not need to make a unique, extravagant plot for every single new Pokémon that appears, as long as that new Pokémon has enough screen-time within the episode to be easily noticeable and remembered.
Q: Will the gang ever travel to Orre, Sevii Islands, Almia, etc.?
A. If the gang were headed to those areas, they would have done so years ago when those regions’ respective games were new on the market. Regions traveled in the anime tend to coincide with games being currently promoted. Likewise, the characters from those regions are not likely to appear in the future. A few characters from these games do sometimes appear, such as Snap or the Ranger leads, but their appearances also tend to coincide with their respective game releases.
Q: Why don’t the writers make the show more interesting by adding mature themes?
A. One should always remind himself that we, the slightly (or even considerably) older fans, are not the target audience of this show. We are pretty much the last ones who have a say in what should be featured in the anime and what not.
It would be better not to be so egoistical and start seeing things from the perspective of a child. Kids would likely be irritated by an overdose of romantic and/or sexual themes and they certainly don’t need to see blood shedding during Pokémon Battles.
The writers have decided that this show would not mature along with its original audience from 1997, instead keeping the same age group as its target audience in every series.
Children are the norm, we are the exceptions. Not the other way around.
11. THE DUB
Q: I haven't watched the dub in years! How come Ash and the other characters sound different?
A. After Season 8 of the dub (Advanced Battle), 4Kids chose not to renew the license to the show and it was sold to Pokémon USA. Likewise, the main voice cast was replaced. Some of these actors were new to the series, while others (like Jimmy Zoppi) had voiced minor characters in the past. Certain deals have occurred that have enabled older voice actors to voice newer characters (such as Rachel Lillis voicing Maylene or Lisa Ortiz voicing Mars), but they are restricted from reprising their original roles. It’s a complicated fiasco.
There’s lots of argument and assorted hoopla over the matter (much of which is vile and ridiculous), and futile efforts have been made by some to change matters. A while ago, Bill Rogers (voice of Brock) visited the forum and answered various questions about the performances. Long story short, regardless of your opinion of how the voice replacements have fared, they are here to stay.
Q: The anime said that Arbok evolved into Seviper! THE WRITERS ARE SO STUPID! THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT POKÉMON!
A. Ah, the infamous “Trainer’s Choice” segment that aired shortly before the commercial break during AG077, “A Fan With a Plan”. First of all, this was a mistake by 4Kids, who are the previous dubbers. NOT the writers. Second, it was not their only instance of goofing up the Trainer’s Choice segments (such as claiming false type advantages) or dialogue in the anime in general. To be honest, many of the people who work on the dub probably do not play the games themselves, and thus, may not be as informed about the franchise as the writers.
Not to mention that dub mistakes are common fare. Both 4Kids and TPCi have their share of goofs. Pokémon names have been confused with one another (Growlithe being referred to as Arcanine, Poliwhirl saying “Poliwrath”, Ekans being commanded as “Arbok”, etc.), attack names being misnamed, and various bits of dialogue that have taken on an entirely different meaning once translated. These mistakes are unfortunate, but they do happen.
Q: Is the *insert Pokémon name* from *insert episode name* a Shiny Pokémon?
A. As a general rule, Shiny Pokémon are featured in prominent roles and aren’t just standing in the background where you have to look really closely to even find them.
- The pink Butterfree in Episode 021 of the OS, “Bye Bye Butterfree”
…is not shiny. It isn't colored the same way a Shiny Butterfree would be colored in the games. Just because it's an abnormal color doesn’t mean it's a Shiny Pokémon. That would mean that the alternately colored Pokémon in the Orange Islands, being the way they are because of the climate and environment, are shiny Pokémon. Which they're not.
- The Breloom in Episode 151 of the AG series, “Weekend Warrior”
A. As a background Pokémon that was only seen for a few seconds, no. It was a mere animation error that resulted in a mis-coloring.
- Saturn’s Toxicroak in the Diamond & Pearl series
A. No. The reason this question is brought up is because the anime’s coloring of Toxicroak is apparently similar to that of the in-game shiny version. However, official anime art depicts the standard Toxicroak as being the same color as Saturn’s. In addition, a different Toxicroak was seen in Episode 086 of the DP series, “Arriving in Style”, which featured the exact same colors.
Q. What is the gender of *insert character's Pokémon here*?
A. In many cases we don't know. Gender plays a minor role in the anime, usually revealed only in episodes with romance plots. While the costumes a Pokémon has worn and the visual gender differences shown in Sinnoh are sometimes used as "evidence" of a Pokémon’s gender, it is not the same thing as being confirmed on the show.
Here is the list of Pokémon belonging to (current/former) main characters whose gender is confirmed (not counting species which can only have one gender according to the games):
Note that the list only contains Pokémon whose gender was 1) explicitly stated in the dialogue, or 2) made obvious because it was hit by Attract used by a Pokémon whose gender was confirmed.
There are other Pokémon that, either because of the simplistic nature of the anime when portraying gender-stereotypes or because of gender differences from the games being implemented, can be assumed to be MALE:
Ash's... Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charizard, Totodile, Corphish, Swellow, Sceptile, Staraptor, Buizel, Gible
Brock's... Marshtomp, Ludicolo
May's... Skitty, Venusaur
Q: Will Contests ever appear again?
A. Most likely not, unless future games include them again and the writers want to equip another character besides Ash with a “token-collecting” quest.
Q: I’ve been hearing the new Black & White series is a “reboot” of the anime. Is this true?
A. In a way, it is. Currently, the writers are trying to reflect the feeling of novelty of the Black&White games, which means showing as few “old” Pokémon as possible. Add that to the fact that both of Ash’s rivals have only just started their journey and that Ash himself has regained some of his youthful behavior, and you’ll be reminded a lot of how the series began. There’s also the fact that his traveling companions are brand-new and Gym Leaders in the games.
On the other hand, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Team Rocket is treated entirely differently than in the OS and while we can see some tiny resemblances between Cilan and Brock/Iris and Misty, there are more distinguishing points than common ones. Also, a large part of the OS dealt with Ash’s character development, like working on his complete ignorance about battling and his behavior towards other people and Pokémon. Like mentioned above, Ash may show his childish side more often again, but he’s not nearly as rude and immature as he was when the anime just started.
It also depends on your definition of “reboot”. Most people consider reboots to be clean slates, which would mean that Ash would start his journey as a beginner again or that the show would focus on an entirely new main character, which is clearly not the case here.
In short, see for yourself!
I hope this FAQ answers any basic questions about the anime. Once again, many thanks go out to all who contributed to this FAQ!
Last edited by Sushi; 6th February 2012 at 5:05 PM.