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The main character, Satoshi (Ash), and his rival, Shigeru (Gary), both have names that match Satoshi Tajiri's (The creator of Pokemon), and Shigeru Miyamoto's (The creator of Super Mario Bros.) names.
Episode 79 (A Scare in the Air) was retitled "Spirits in the Sky" following the September 11th Terrorist Attacks
Japan hosted a rating conference of 1000 critics from different countries showing at least 100 different anime series. Pokémon was placed second, gaining approval of nearly 480 of the 1000 critics.
Episode #36 ("Electric Soldier Porygon") was responsible on December 1997 for about 700 cases of epileptic-like seizures in Japan. As a result of this, the anime was pulled off the air until it was restored in early 1998. Because of this episode's notoriety, it was never released on home video, undubbed in English, and omitted in comic adaptations. However, it was shown in re-runs without the the effects that caused the seizure-like cases.
The villains Musashi and Kojiro (Jessie and James in the English dub respectively) were named after two famous samurai.
At the end of the series, Satoshi/Ash has a total of 20 Gym Badges.
As of the end of Johto, Satoshi/Ash has captured the following Pokémon: Pikachu, Caterpie/Metapod/Buttefree, Pidgeotto/Pidgeot, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard, Krabby/Kingler, Primeape, Muk, Tauros, Lapras, Snorlax, Heracross, Chikorita/Bayleef, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Noctowl, and Phanpy.
As of the end of Johto, Takeshi/Brock has captured the following Pokémon: Onix, Geodude, Zubat/Golbat/Crobat, Vulpix, and Pineco/Forretress. Technically, he also captured some Tauros in the Safari Zone along with Satoshi/Ash, but we never see them again.
As of the end of Johto, Kasumi/Misty has captured the following Pokémon: Staryu, Starmie, Goldeen, Horsea, Psyduck, Togepi/Togetic, Poliwag/Poliwhirl/Politoed), and Corsola. She also captures a Gyarados later on before she arrives in Hoenn.
As of the end of Johto, Musashi/Jessie has captured the following Pokémon: Ekans/Arbok, Lickitung, Shellder, and Wobuffet.
As of the end of Johto, Kojiro/James has captured the following Pokémon: Koffing/Weezing, Magikarp/Gyarados, Growlithe, Weepinbell/Victreebel), and another Weepinbell/Victreebel.
In the english dub of Indigo League episode 12, when Misty is yelling at Meowth about having her hair dyed purple, Ash tries to calm her down and calls her "Mandy."
The animation director Masāki Iwane once stated that the series was originally slated for a 1½-year run, which corresponds approximately to the length of the Kanto region saga (had it not been delayed due to the Porygon incident). Due to its popularity during the run, however, the show was extended and continues to be one of the longest running video game based anime.
The episode "Pikachu's Goodbye" (episode 39 in Japan, episode 36 in the US) was not originally apart of the main schedule but was created after "Electric Soldier Porygon" (episode 38)
Nidorino and Gengar are the first Pokémon to appear on screen in this series.
In episode 1, the opening of a Nidorino and a Gengar fighting against each other is based off of the opening of Pokémon Red/Blue version.
In episode 1, Ho-Oh is the first Pokémon from the Gold/Silver games to appear in the anime before it was given a name.
In episode 1, the shadowed trainer who sends out Nidorino and Onix to battle greatly resembles Bruno of the Indigo League Elite Four. It has never been officially confirmed whether this trainer actually is Bruno or not.
In episode 1, was the only time where Ash's Pikachu was seen inside his Poké Ball.
Despite the plot in episode 1 being centered on receiving a starter Pokémon, neither Bulbasaur, Charmander, nor Squirtle actually appeared in the flesh.
In episode 1, was one of the few episodes in which Rachael Lillis provides the voice of Pikachu in a few scenes of the English dub. This happened when another Japanese voice actor spoke over Ikue Ohtani's Pikachu voice and the audio could not be used.
In episode 1 marks the only time in this series to not feature or mention Team Rocket.
In episode 1, it had the most Pokémon debuts within a single episode, with a total of 16 making their own debut.
In episode 1, the Japanese version of the scene with Satoshi/Ash talking with Pikachu on Route 1 contains an untranslatable pun for English viewers. When Satoshi/Ash asks Pikachu to talk (話) to him, Pikachu misunderstands this as him saying he has "no teeth" (歯なし), thus opening his mouth to show Ash that he indeed does have teeth. In the English dub, Ash asks Pikachu to open his mouth and tell him what's wrong, to which Pikachu responds to by literally opening his mouth wide open.
In episode 2, the stone tablets that are hanging at the Pokémon Center are engravings of an Arcanine, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. Ash/Satoshi misidentified the engraving of Articuno for Ho-Oh whom he saw in the previous episode.
In episode 3, it was the only episode of this series to have the lowest number of human characters appearing, featuring only Ash, Misty, Jessie, and James.
In episode 3 marks the first time in which Pokémon type advantages are mentioned. In this case Misty informs Ash that flying type Pokémon have more effective attacks towards bug type Pokémon.
In episode 3, marks the first episode in which an evolution is shown. It’s also the first time a main character catches a Pokémon that would later evolve in the same episode.
In episode 3 marks the first episode in which a main character catches more than one Pokémon of a different species.
In episode 4, the episode was banned in South Korea due to the character Samurai wearing samurai armor.
Goof: In episode 5, Flint tells Ash that Brock's mom past away after trying to raise the family on her own. In the Japanese version she left the family to Brock's care. This created a big plot hole when Brock's mom, Lola did appear in the first side story episode of Pokémon Chronicles alive and well.
The plot in episode 8 was the first "filler" episode in this series as it features the main characters visiting a location(AJ’s Gym) that didn’t originate from the video game series.
In episode 8, marks the first time that there was no Pokémon debuts.
In episode 8 marks the final time in which Ted Lewis voices James for the English dub. This was also Eric Stuart's first episode voicing James. He takes over the role when James summons Koffing in battle. The reason Lewis had stepped down from the role was for in order to focus on theater acting roles. He would eventually return as the voice of Giovanni and Tracey.
In episode 8, marks the first time that a one-hit knockout move was displayed during a Pokémon battle.
In episode 8, the visual of Satoshi/Ash's nose extending in length is a reference to the Japanese saying "Tengu ni naru"(Becoming a Tengu). Which is used to describe a person getting a swelled head.
In episode 8, the sign over the AJ’s Gym was heavily edited for the English dub. Other than the text being translated into English, the other changes to the sign include: the background board was originally plain white and is now colored gray that fades into white. The numbers were presented as 7-segment LED format, in the English dub they were made into a dot-matrix format. While the number of losses (0) was added.
In episode 8, the sign inside the tent of AJ’s Gym reads "Fight! Work Harder!". In the English dub it was changed to a picture of a Poké Ball being hit with a whip.
In episode 8, the scene where Pikachu is holding a pillow is different between the Japanese & English versions, due to the scene originally incorporating an untranslatable pun and pop culture reference. The original version had Satoshi/Ash telling A.J. that Sandshrew (known as Sand in the Japanese version) is not a sandbag (the Japanese word for punching bag); Pikachu then pulls out a zabuton (a type of pillow) as a reference to the Japanese comedy program “Shōten”, where participants are awarded with zabuton for giving humorous responses. Satoshi/Ash then shouts at Pikachu for not taking him seriously. In the English dubbed version, however, it was rewritten to have Ash mishear A.J. thinking he said pacing, not passing, and Pikachu's pillow further stammers him into saying padding.
In episode 9, Rachael Lillis provided the voice of Ash’s Pikachu for all but one of his lines.
In episode 9, marks the first time in which Eric Stuart voices James for the entirety of an episode instead of partly.
In episode 9, marks the first time in the series to break the fourth wall. At the beginning of the episode, Brock breaks up an argument between Ash and Misty by commenting that they're running late and have to start the show.
In episode 13, An image of Mewtwo was seen on the front door to the lighthouse. Yet at this point in the series, Mewtwo's existence was presumably only known by Giovanni, most of the members of Team Rocket and the scientists who created the Pokémon from the DNA of Mew. It's likely that the plot for Mewtwo's introduction hasn't been thought up at this point.
In episode 13, Brock explains to Ash that Trainers can switch the Pokémon in their party by pressing a button inside their Pokédex, suggesting that additional Pokémon are kept in computer storage similar to the Pokémon game. However, this rule was immediately dropped and in future episodes Ash would have to call Professor Oak in order to switch the Pokémon in his party and have the requested Pokémon sent over.
In episode 13, Bill was depicted as having green hair. This is the only time this is the case as he has brown hair in all other Pokémon related media.
The speaker conversation between Brock and Bill in episode 13 is different between the Japanese version & English dub. In the Japanese version, Brock asks if he can use Bill’s kitchen so he can make delicious tamago chaahan and nabe. Bill asks if he can also make yakisoba as well, which Brock responds that he can make that as well as katayaki, chow mein, sauce yakisoba, or anything else Bill might like, to which Bill responds he'd like katayaki, and lets them in. In the English dub, Brock asks him if he can use his kitchen to make bacon double cheeseburgers for his group. Bill asks if he can make anything without tofu, to which Brock responds he can. Bill gladly agrees to let them in since he hadn't eaten anything but tofu since his cook left for vacation.
The plot in episode 18 titled: “Holiday in Aopulco/Beauty & the Beach” was originally banned in the English dub due to the scene where James wears a pair of inflatable breasts upon his disguise as a bikini contestant. The episode did eventually air in America with all of the scenes of James wearing his fake breasts omitted.
In episode 18, despite that it was eventually dubbed into English. The episode was only shown on reruns once on August 18, 2000 on Kids WB and then it was never shown on U.S. TV networks again. Even when the anime was released on home video and various streaming services, this episode was omitted like the other banned episodes. The reason for why episode 18 was never included is entirely unknown despite that the English dub did remove the controversial scenes of James wearing fake breasts.
In episode 18, its English dub has had the longest time between its original Japanese airing and its first airing in the U.S. at nearly three years.
In episode 18, when it was dubbed into English, it didn’t feature Nathan Price as the voice of Meowth. This was because he step down from voicing the character after episode 31 and this episode didn’t get dubbed until when the Orange Island episodes were being dubbed. It instead featured his successor Maddie Blaustein doing the voice of the character. Which makes episode 18 chronologically the first episode in which Maddie Blaustein voices Meowth.
The plot in episode 19 titled “Tentacool & Tentacruel” for the English dub was originally banned from reruns after 9/11 occurred due to scenes of Tentacruel destroying the Porta Vista. However some time later, the episode was no longer branded as a "banned" episode.
In episode 22, the building where Ash and his friends were temporarily trapped by Team Rocket is the Silph Co. Head Office building due to the usage of the warp tiles. The building in question was never referred to by that name.
In episode 22, marks the only episode to feature the warp tiles for the entirety of this series.
In episode 31 marks Nathan Price’s last time voicing Meowth.
The episode title used in episode 33, is the first time in which the word Pokémon wasn’t shown in its logo form but instead is spelled out in the same style font as the rest of episode title.
In episode 33, despite Ponyta's height in the games being 3'03" (probably measured like regular horses are, at the shoulder). The one featured in this episode appears much taller. This was likely done to make it appear large enough to be ridden by a person.
The plot in episode 35 titled “The Legend of Dratini” was banned from the English dub due to Kaiser being a gun owner who kept pointing the gun at Satoshi/Ash in a few scenes. The episode's absence in the English dub lead to a big plot hole as this was the episode where Satoshi/Ash captured the herd of Tauros. While the later episodes did mention Satoshi/Ash did capture the Tauros from the Safari Zone, this lead the fans from English speaking countries confused on why Ash all the sudden had a collection of Tauros.
In episode 43, Exeggcute evolves into an Exeggcutor without a Leaf Stone.
In episode 47, the transitional image that appears multiple times in this episode contains numerous Pokémon. Porygon is one of them, making this the first episode where Porygon is seen in the anime outside of Japan.
In episode 47, during the operating room scene, Chansey retrieves various items for a crying Meowth to replace his missing charm (小判, Koban). In the English dub, the gag is that Chansey is seemingly placing random items that rhyme with some words at the end of his sentences. In the original version, she mishears the word koban and instead gives him objects with names that rhyme with the word. The following items that Chansey gave Meowth are: A bowl of steamed rice (ご飯 gohan), A "Go" Board (碁盤 goban), a Police Substation (交番 kōban), & a Venonat (コンパン Kongpang).
In episode 52, it was originally scheduled to air in Japan during “Girls' Day” itself, which was March 3, 1998. However it was rescheduled to July 9th due to the aftermath of episode 38.
In episode 52, the episode's title card is written in all caps for reasons unclear. Unlike most of the other title cards used for the majority of this series.
In episode 52, for the English dub it was the only episode where Brock's Vulpix retains its Japanese voice.
In episode 52, the Pokémon princess doll set features a Jynx doll which uses Jynx's old design.
In episode 52, for the Japanese version, the Princess Festival was actually called Hinamatsuri (literally "doll festival"). Which is an actual holiday celebrated in Japan. In addition, the Japanese version specifically lists the date as being March 3, while the English dub omits the date at various points.
In episode 52, according to the Japanese version the name of the town where the episode takes place is called O-Hina Town. While the English dub makes no mentioning of the town’s name.
In episode 52, the English dub implies that during “Girl’s Day” only men have to pay while women can get their items for free. In the Japanese version, however, it was made clear that the girls simply get a discount, while the men are implied to pay the full price.
In episode 52, the scene of Jessie's being angry at the announcer for being addressed as "san" instead of "chan" was changed in the English dub of her just giving outbursts towards the announcer.
In episode 63, it was the first of the three episodes (the other two being It's Mr. Mime Time and Showdown at the Po-ké Corral) to feature Mewtwo in scenes that are preluded to the first movie. This is despite the seizures caused by episode 38, had caused the show to go on a four-month hiatus. Which in turn led to the aforementioned three episodes to be aired after the movie's premiere on July 18, 1998.
In episode 63, it was the first time Giovanni's face was entirely seen, as it was hidden in the shadows in the previous episodes. This was also the first English dub episode to have Giovanni speaking normally and not through a voice filter.
In episode 63, when Jesse, James, & Meowth visit Giovanni, a picture of Mewtwo can be seen hanging in his office. The picture shows Mewtwo in the same pose as its game sprite from the Red and Blue version games.
In episode 63, of the ten Gym Badges that Gary has earned the only ones that are from the same Gyms that Ash battled at are a Boulder Badge, a Cascade Badge, and a Rainbow Badge. This indicates that Gary did not battle, or at least did not defeat, Lt. Surge, Sabrina, or Koga. It was already known that he did not battle Blaine due to Gary believing that the Cinnabar Gym closed down long beforehand.
In episode 63, marks the first time where a character other than Ash is seen using a Pokédex as well as the first time a different Pokémon trainer was seen challenging a Gym Leader to a Gym battle.
In episode 63, Gary's greeting to Ash was depicted as being passive-aggressive in the Japanese version. While in the English dub Gary’s greeting toward Ash was depicted as more gloated.
In episode 65, the doll Jessie own as a kid was called a Acha Ningyou. Which is a parody of Bruce Lee.
In episode 65, the episode was pulled from rotation shortly after it was aired in the USA due to accusations of the Pokémon Jynx being a racial stereotype of African-Americans by Carole Boston Weatherford. The episode can still be obtained on VHS and in the Indigo League Volume 3 DVD Pack Set and has been made available on Cartoon Network Video. However, the episode has not re-aired in syndication, likely due to Jynx's appearance. Moreover, despite appearing on Cartoon Network Video, this episode was skipped on Pokémon.com's "Pokémon TV" video service, (and as of April 2013, removed from Pokémon.com entirely) nor has it been made available on Netflix. When the Indigo League Volume 3 DVD was reissued, the episode was removed. It is also not included in the Indigo League Complete Collection.
In episode 65, marks the first time a Pokémon is depicted with the ability to speak telepathically in the series.
In episode 65, for the Japanese version, Santa’s boot had his name written in katakana. For the English dub the katakana was replaced with a photo of Santa surrounded by a snowflake border.
In episode 65, when the Jynx all use Psywave, they continuously say "Psycho" (the move's Japanese name is Psychowave). This may highlight how a Jynx can speak a language similar to human speech. For the English dub, they only chant their names over and over.
In episode 66, Jessie's unseen caretaker during the flashback scene was referred to as her mother in the English dub.
In episode 66, the igloo scene was heavily edited for the English dub. There is a scene cut of Meowth lighting candles with a match while Jessie explains how good the snow-rolls were, and all the shots of Meowth and Jessie holding matches in the igloo scene were painted out and replaced with candles. Altogether, 24 seconds were cut from this scene.
Goof: In episode 67, Gary was shown being surprised to see that Team Rocket's Meowth is able to talk despite that he has seen Meowth talk the last two encounters he had with Team Rocket.
In episode 83, the meal order and the spices involved were largely retained in the English dub, although there are a few alterations. Ash orders for three super-size orders of "everything (the vendors) got", while originally, he simply ordered for three sets yakisoba and takoyaki (Octopus balls). In addition the reference to the Tako was replaced with James mentioning his mustard-plastered meatballs shortly after reciting their motto.
In episode 84, for English dub the title “A Scare in the Air” was renamed "Spirits in the Sky" following the September 11 attacks. However, this may have only been temporary, as Cartoon Network reruns did kept the original English dub title. It also remains unchanged on the official Pokémon website, both on the title card in the episode and the title on the website. The episode's renamed English dub title was a reference to the Norman Greenbaum song "Spirit in the Sky".
In episode 84, in one scene Meowth was reciting part of the Giovanni's phone number (3745) and obscuring the rest of it. For the English dub this was changed to having him sing a song that is the tune of "On Top of Old Smoky".
In episode 84, the lottery stand's "Fukubiki" sign was erased for the English dub.
In episode 84, the lottery prize was an Awakening medicine in the Japanese version. While in the English dub it was a set of beautiful refrigerator magnets.
In episode 84, Team Rocket mention that the soup was cooked by a chef who has a cat's tongue (referring to someone who doesn't like hot foods). While in the English dub, they mention that the soup is an old eskimo recipe.
In episode 87, the word “Natsukan” which is the Mikan Gym's Japanese name, can be seen printed on the Gym even in the English dub.
In episode 87, marks the first time Team Rocket is seen inside their Magikarp submarine, which they would go on to use throughout the entire Orange Islands arc. The submarine functions similarly to their old Gyarados submarine.
In episode 87, while Cissy's brother’s name is Senta. For the the English dub, his name was never revealed.
In episode 92, the first lines of the poem that Kay recites are from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
In episode 92, marks the first and only time a Jynx's feet was ever seen on screen throughout this series.
In episode 101, Lorelei's name was changed to Prima for the English dub. This change was made for her name to be a syllable shorter for the spoken dialogue.
In episode 101, This was the last English dubbed episode to feature Jynx in its original design. All shots featuring Jynx were edited out in the English dubs of episodes following this one.
In episode 101, all references of Prima's status as a member of the Elite Four were removed from the English dub.
In episode 111, for the Japanese version Tracey had never heard of prior to meeting him Dr. Quackenpoker. For the English dub, Tracey has heard of him and regards Quackenpoker as a world renowned Pokémon watcher.
In episode 111, Dr. Quackenpoker bears a resemblance to the late comedic actor Groucho Marx. For that reason in the English dub, Quackenpoker told a small story to the main trio that goes “When I was a boy, I woke up one morning and saw a Magikarp in my pajamas, how a Magikarp got in my pajamas I'll never know.” This quote was based on the paraprosdokian quote of Groucho’s character Captain Spaulding from the film “Animal Crackers” (1930). The quote goes "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I don't know."
In episode 158, when the series went on a two month hiatus on Kids' WB! in 2001, this episode was promoted as a "lost episode" when it didn’t get aired as originally scheduled. Even though it was classified as a lost episode, it was rerun four more times after its premiere. The episode aired April 20, 2001 in Italy. Because of the "lost episode" incident, this was the longest distance between a European airdate and the correspondent American one with the European coming first: 113 days.
The English dub title used in episode 183, was initially going to be titled “The Tower Inferno” prior to its English release. However, following the September 11 attacks, it was renamed as “A Ghost of a Chance”. Despite this, several sources still refer to this episode as “The Tower Inferno”. Even Pokémon.com formerly referred to this episode by that title.
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