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Unaired Pokémon: Black and White Anime Episode Scripts Go Public

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Episodes introducing Team Plasma were indefinitely postponed after 2011 earthquake

After 12 years, Pokémon anime fans are now finally receiving closure on one of the series' most infamous loose ends. The unaired 23rd and 24th episodes of Pokémon: Black and White anime were supposed to kick off a new plotline introducing Team Plasma, but after the events of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the episodes were postponed indefinitely from their scheduled air date of March 17, 2011. But the scripts from those episodes have finally gone public, thanks to fan archival efforts.

According to a Nintendo Russia employee, a member of the Bulbapedia fan community purchased the scripts from a person who owned copies. This person originally charged US$4,000, an amount which the fan community managed to raise in donations, although the owner later provided the scripts for free.

A public Google Drive folder contains scans of every page, plus an English translation. Bulbapedia also has detailed plot summaries for both episodes. Hints about what was planned to happen have always existed through the Japanese version of the 22nd episode, which contains 90 seconds of preview footage from the 23rd episode, but the script goes into much more detail about the plot. Notably, the documents reveal that the episodes would have featured scenes of destruction set in a city, which might have rung too close to home after the 2011 earthquake.

According to Bulbapedia, TV Tokyo announced in 2011 that the episodes would air eventually, but the broadcaster never updated or clarified this statement. The statement was removed in late 2018. In the anime itself, Team Plasma was eventually introduced again in the 112th episode in a rather different context. Rather than clashing against Team Rocket, the team is shown executing a sinister plan to brainwash Pokémon. In both continuities, the International Police officer Looker reencounters Ash and his friends and explains that he is on the trail of Team Plasma.

Pokémon: Black and White English dub director Tom Wayland commented in 2013 that he has seen the unaired episodes, but The Pokémon Company International chose not to dub them.

[Via Kotaku]

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