Pokemon episodes have been banned in countries all around the world, including America and Japan. After all, the show that has been around for a long time. Episodes have been coming out like clockwork since the '90s with no signs of stopping. Translating from one culture to another is a complex process, one that doesn't always go smoothly. Sometimes, controversial Pokemon episodes aren't translated at all.
Different nations have different cultural standards about what is right to show to children and sometimes what Japan thinks is acceptable may freak American parents out. Because of this, some episodes of Pokemon were edited before being shown to American audiences.Others proved so offensive to American standards that they never made it to the air in the U.S. Of course, some Pokemon adventures were off-limits in other markets around the world. Still other episodes were unfortunate enough to never be broadcast in Japan, the home of all things Pokemon. From the infamous ''seizure episode" to multiple stories rendered insensitive by natural disasters, these are all banned Pokemon episodes.
This is the big one. Anybody who was paying attention to Pokemon in the '90s will remember the controversy surrounding the so-called "Seizure Episode." This Pokemon adventure features flashing lights that gave Japanese children traumatic seizures. Naturally, this episode was promptly banned from ever airing again in Japan and nixed in every other country on the planet as well.
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Beauty and the Beach
If you're wondering why this episode was banned, look at James's chest in that picture. This beach vacation episode was considered fine for Japanese children but a bit too racy for American kids. Apparently TV stations in the US were convinced James's cross-dressing would be too much for impressionable young minds to handle.
The Legend of Dratini
When you think about Pokemon, one of the last things to pop into your head are firearms, yet, here we are. "The Legend of Dratini" features an excessive amount of gunplay, at least by Pokemon standards. Team Rocket gets shot at and Ash - a mere child - has a gun pointed at his head by a grown man. This episode was banned in the US due to mass shootings that prompted much parental concern and hand-wringing over the songs, television shows, and music their children were consuming.
Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma
This two-part episode features a dramatic showdown between classic bad guys Team Rocket and the newer, shinier Team Plasma. In their battle, the two teams inflict massive property damage to a city and cause artificial earthquakes. Unfortunately for this episode, its slated release date ended up being very close to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that inflicted massive damage to the Sendai region of Japan. Showrunners felt it would be in bad taste to show similar imagery while the country was still recovering from the disaster.