The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon Yellow

by Crosspeice

Part 58: Side Notes #13: (USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)


The Pokemon anime is sometimes a strange beast. Nothing ever happens, nothing ever changes and sometimes, nothing gets aired. The first season of the anime had a lot of strange episodes about it that really was a product of its time. So of course, some episodes were just a bit too much for the entity of 4Kids and they may never air again. Let's have a look.

Beauty and the Beach (EP018)

Oh we're starting with the big one, eh? You know why this was banned. It's a pretty dumb episode and exists because Pokemon can't really have hot springs episodes (they've had a few, but not THOSE kind), so best thing to do is just show all these women in bikinis and make fun of Misty's small tits. Sure, perfect for kids aged 4-12. The old man even comments on how much better the repair work would be if Misty was just eight years older. Like, seriously, there's juvenile comedy and exaggerating for humor and then there's just being a creepy middle aged Japanese animator who desperately wants to draw ten year old girls in revealing outfits. And the whole inflatable boobs for James is very silly, but also a biting commentary on how easy fooled men are that they'll go for such an obvious ploy, but it's funny because James has a penis. And don't worry girls, you may have small breasts now, but give it a few years and then you'll have men drooling over you easily, especially with bazongas like Jessie's.

Ugh, let's finish this up. Unsurprisingly this episode was delayed for three years before a heavily edited version aired in June 2000. It removed any hint of James's big, bouncing boobies, aired again in August and is now never mentioned again, completely struck from continuity. And honestly, good riddance. What a stupid episode.

Tentacool and Tentacruel (EP019)

While not banned now, after the 9/11 attacks, this episode was skipped in rotation as it contains a fair amount of building destruction and machine guns. It's aired just fine now, but it's something to note and perfectly reasonable.

The Legend of Dratini (EP035)

Ash has a gun pointed at his head, catch 30 Tauros and then Kaiser is captured and is also held at gunpoint. This is a pretty extreme episode that was banned in a lot of places and while a lot of it is for comedic effect, it's a bit difficult to say as much when a man is threatening a ten year old with a gun an American kid could very easily take from his dad's sock drawer and "act out a scene". The overall episode itself is alright, with the Safari Zone mechanics adapted fairly well to the show. But due to the overuse of firearms, the episode was skipped and Ash just ended up with 30 Tauros. It's also the reason why I can't buy Dratini at the Game Corner, the bastards.

Computer Warrior Porygon/Electric Soldier Porygon (EP038)

And here's the really big one. This is the episode that caused hundreds of Japanese viewers to suffer epileptic seizures, vomiting, irritated eyes and other lovely things. In response, the episode, nor the Porygon line has been seen since and the anime took a four month hiatus. Japanese TV laws were changed forever, with the disclaimer at the beginning of every show advising people to sit away from the TV in a well lit room and new guidelines were introduced, which all Pokemon episodes were retroactively changed to fit, including other anime, such as Dragonball. This was a big deal mainly because it affected so many children and Pokemon was pulled from the schedule immediately, eventually returning four months later in April, with a Thursday slot, instead of Tuesday and remains there to this day. Because of this, a lot of episodes aired later than intended, like the episodes about Mewtwo, which ended up airing a couple months after the movie was in theaters, whereas it would've been a continuous arc that concluded with the movie.

As for the episode itself, it's a pretty good one, with an interesting setting and an interesting Pokemon. It sucks that the cause of the seizure, the damn yellow rat, wasn't punished, but Porygon was. It has never appeared in another episode since and neither has its evolutions, though Porygon-Z was planned to be part of one in the DP saga, but all we have is anime artwork. They eventually all appeared as a cameo in the 15th movie. Finally, four months later, the anime was back with a new episode, Pikachu's Goodbye, which was probably thrown together in the four month hiatus to ensure viewers that EVERYTHING IS FINE, PLEASE CONTINUE WATCHING THIS MERCHANDISING ADVERT. And for basically once a week since then (with a couple gaps here and there), the anime still airs to this day, with nary a problem, nor a plot, or purpose. Aside from money.

New Year's Eve Special 1997

As a side note, this would've aired had the Pokemon Shock Incident not occurred, but it never did and we have absolutely no idea what it would've been. I don't think we missed much, honestly.

Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out (EP039 and EP041)

So after the Pokemon Shock Incident, two episodes were not aired four months after they should have. Originally, they would have aired around Christmas and New Year, but were instead pushed back to October, as Special Episodes. Snow Way Out isn't hugely interesting other than the 2GEVA4EVA scene, but Holiday Hi-Jynx features, well, Jynx. I may talk about this Pokemon later, but the whole thing is so dumb I really can't be arsed, but this Pokemon is touted as a racist stereotype. Whether or not this is the case, I don't know, nor really care (Japanese anime can be unknowingly offensive at times), but after one Carole Boston Weatherford, an Afro-American author and critic from Alabama saw the episode, she criticized Jynx's design in a published article.

This only happened after the episode aired, so had she not seen the episode, it probably wouldn't have been such a problem, but Jynx was eventually recoloured in the localized Gen 2 games and any episodes featuring the Pokemon were never aired in America again. When this episode re-aired in 2012, on the Japenese variety show, Pokemon Smash, Jynx was recoloured to its more recent design, but otherwise hasn't appeared in the anime since 2006. Funnily enough, about 6 months after Kadabra's last appearance. Maybe Gen 1 is just full of offensive shit? This is also why EP250 was skipped in the English dub, since it heavily featured Jynx's old design.

There are a number of other banned or skipped episodes, but that's it for the American side, due to the anime being toned down a bit, so if the episode didn't air in Japan, then it won't air in America either, but that's for future discussions. Well, I mean, if I ever LP future games. Not that I will. Obviously. Anyway, enjoy your uncensored LPs, you cocksucking fuck bitch.