With last months release of the HeartGold and SoulSilver remakes, the announcement of the fifth gen Pokemon series, Pokemon Black and White (which will probably go through a name change of Shadow and Light), and the announcement of Ash and Pikachu not appearing in Pokemon Black and White anime, you gotta say Pokemon is still going strong for 14 years.
Pokemon is well known and it has long already set its place in nerd culture for its games, cards, anime, and countless of merchandise. Like anything popular, it deals with problems which lead to controversies. Some of these you may know and some of these may be news to you. So, after the jump, check out what Pokemon had to deal with in the last 14 years.
Have you ever watched the anime and wonder, “hmmn, why didn’t Ash and the others visit the Safari Zone?” or ever wondered how Ash caught all those Tauros? Well, folks, there was an episode that had to do with the Safari Zone and the picture above shows why it wasn’t aired. The episode is titled “The Legend of Dratini,” and the Clint Eastwood look-a-like is the warden of the Safari Zone. The warden here, carries a gun because he is protecting Dratini, and because of the gun, the episode never aired in the U.S. Apparently, America hates guns. Who would have thunk? Thanks to YouTube, you can check out the episode in two parts, subtitled.
Like any anime, we get boobs and Team Rocket’s Jessie always provided that for us. However, it one episode, it was James that caused an episode to be banned. There was a bikini contest held in the episode, and James, cross dressing like always, had fake boobs… boobs that he could inflate and make bigger. Can’t lie though, if ya had no idea what show it was, or who James is, he looks good (no homo). The episode later aired as a “lost episode” but took out the whole bikini contest. Another “boob” controversy was a Pokemon card titled “Misty’s Tears.” The Japanese image of the card showed a naked Misty holding her Staryu. We get a little side boob and the parents goes nuts. The U.S. version of the card changed the image and parents were happy.
As seen above, the manji symbol that has connections with Buddhism, has been always seen as an swastika in the sates (even though the manji is a mirror image and was established WAY before the swastika) and it upset some parents. The image of the card was fixed later for the U.S. release where it now looks like a symbol that can be seen on most Chinese food bowl. Another instance was the sprite art of Registeel for Pokemon Diamond/Pearl, in which it looks like he is doing the hand salute. The European version of the game has changed to something “appropriate.”
POKEMON IS SATANIC! If you like to listen to the guy above who compares Pokemon with Russian Roulette, then there’s a lot out there like him preaching how Pokemon, like Dungeons and Dragon, is all demonic. Apparently Pokemon introduce children to evolution, witchcraft, psychic powers from Satan, magic, and paranormal powers. There was also the whole listen to the PokeRap backwards during the “Gotta Catch em’ all” part and you can hear it clearly say “I love Satan.” There was even a Muslim communty who believed that this is all a plot to promote Jewish beliefs and that the word Pokemon means “I am Jewish.”
You heard that right. A promotion for Burger King had it where kids could get a Pokemon inside a PokeBall (shown above) with their kids meal. Unfortunately, a young infant suffocated as one half of the PokeBall was stuck covering her nose and mouth. Burger King initially did not want to do a recall on the item since there was no real proof that the infant died because of the PokeBall. Some time later, another infant almost met the same fate but was save by her father. Once that happen, one of the most largest and expensive recalls happened. At least the kids were able to keep the Pokemon figures.
A lady complained how Jynx looked after the initial episode that introduced the Psychic/Ice Pokemon. She compared how Jynx looks similair to Black Samba characters. This led to Jynx’s later appearance to be edited out and also an entire episode to be skipped. Nintendo later gave Jynx a more purple skin tone and also alter other parts of her appearance, in which, she was able to appear in later episodes with no problems. Most fans tries to defend the initial Jynx design by saying that it was influenced by the Japanese ganguro fashion style.
Electric Soldier Porygon/ Seizure
The Pokemon episode that got the Guinness World Record for “Most Seizures Caused by an Animated Television Program” title. How many seizures you asked, well, try 685 children having seizures. Although it didn’t lead to any deaths, it did cause a shake up to the anime and other TV programs overall in Japan. All anime has the warning (telling kids to not sit close to the TV and watch in a brightly lit room) at the beginning now because of this episode. What happened, is that at a scene, when Pikachu does a Thunder shock/Thunderbolt to a missile, that was shot a by a X-Wing/Needle hybrid looking jet, it led to a series of fast paced red to blue colors in the background. The color effects was on throughout the episode and it cause the Pokemon anime to go on a hiatus and a world-wide ban on the episode was made by the Japanese government. The episode is available on YouTube, view if you want to but VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Well, there you have it folks, hope ya enjoy reading some of these controversies that this kid game franchise had to go through and here looking for more in the next 14 years.