"Dennō Senshi Porygon" (Japanese: でんのうせんしポリゴン Hepburn: Dennō Senshi Porigon, translated as "Cyber Soldier Porygon", although more commonly "Electric Soldier Porygon") is the thirty-eighth episode of the Pokémon anime's first season. Its only broadcast was in Japan on December 16, 1997. In the episode, Ash and his friends find at the local Pokémon Center that there is something wrong with the Poké Ball transmitting device. To find out what is wrong, they must go inside the machine.
The episode contained repetitive visual effects that induced photosensitive epileptic seizures in a substantial number of Japanese viewers, an incident referred to as the "Pokémon Shock" (ポケモンショック Pokémon Shokku) by the Japanese press. As a result of the seizures 685 viewers were taken to hospitals; two remained hospitalized for more than two weeks. Due to this, the episode has not been rebroadcast worldwide. After the incident, the Pokémon anime went into a four-month hiatus, and it returned on TV Tokyo on April 16, 1998. Since then, the episode has been parodied and referenced in cultural media, including The Simpsons and South Park.
|"Dennō Senshi Porygon"|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Kiyotaka Isako|
|Written by||Junki Takegami|
|Original air date||December 16, 1997|
Ash, Misty, Brock and Pikachu discover that the system used to transfer Pokémon from one Pokémon Center to the other is malfunctioning. On Nurse Joy's request, they go to Professor Akihabara, the one who created the Poké Ball transfer system. He tells them that Team Rocket stole his prototype Porygon, a digital Pokémon that can exist in cyberspace, and is using it to steal trainers' Pokémon from inside the computer system.
Akihabara sends Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu and his second Porygon into the system to stop Team Rocket, whom they learn have set up a blockade that stops Pokéballs from traveling the network. Porygon is able to defeat Team Rocket's Porygon, but Nurse Joy, monitoring the situation and unaware that Ash and the others are inside, has sent an anti-virus program into the system to combat the computer virus Team Rocket set up. Pikachu uses a Thunderbolt attack on the program, which manifests as "vaccine missiles", which causes an explosion. The group and Team Rocket successfully escape the computer, and with Team Rocket's blockade removed, the system returns to normal.
"Dennō Senshi Porygon" aired in Japan on December 16, 1997 at 6:30 PM Japan Standard Time (09:30 UTC). It was broadcast over 37 TV stations that Tuesday night. It held the highest ratings for its time slot and was watched by approximately 4.6 million households.
Twenty minutes into the episode, Pikachu stops "vaccine" missiles with its Thunderbolt attack, resulting in an explosion that flashes red and blue lights. Although there were similar parts in the episode with red and blue flashes, two anime techniques, "paka paka"[a] and "flash"[b] made the scene particularly intense. These flashes were bright strobe lights, with blinks at a rate of about 12 Hz for approximately six seconds.
At this point, some viewers experienced blurred vision, headaches, dizziness and nausea. Some suffered seizures, blindness, convulsions and loss of consciousness. Japan's Fire Defense Agency reported that 685 viewers – 310 boys and 375 girls – were taken to hospitals by ambulances. Although many victims recovered during the ambulance trip, more than 150 were admitted to hospitals. Two were hospitalized for more than two weeks. Some had seizures when parts of the scene were rebroadcast during news reports on the seizures. Only a small fraction of the 685 children treated were diagnosed with photosensitive epilepsy. The incident was referred to as "Pokémon Shock" (ポケモンショック Pokémon Shokku) by the Japanese press.
Later studies showed that 5–10% of the viewers had mild symptoms that did not need hospital treatment. Twelve thousand children who were not sent to hospital reported mild symptoms of illness; however, their symptoms more closely resembled mass hysteria than a grand mal seizure. A study following 103 patients over three years after the event found that most had no further seizures. Scientists believe that the flashing lights triggered photosensitive seizures in which visual stimuli such as flashing lights can cause altered consciousness. Although approximately 1 in 4,000 people are susceptible to these types of seizures, the number of people affected by the Pokémon episode was unprecedented.
An article in USA Today reassured parents that American children were unlikely to suffer seizures provoked by cartoons as US networks did not air anime, with its "fast-paced style of animation", though anime has become more prevalent on American television since. The incident was included in the 2004 edition and the 2008 Gamer's Edition of the Guinness World Records book, holding the record for "Most Photosensitive Epileptic Seizures Caused by a Television Show".
News of the incident spread quickly through Japan. The following day the television station that had originated the lone broadcast of that episode, TV Tokyo, issued an apology to the Japanese public, suspended the program, and said it would investigate the cause of the seizures. Officers from Atago Police stations were ordered by Japan's National Police Agency to question the anime's producers about the show's contents and production process. An emergency meeting was held by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, in which the case was discussed with experts and information collected from hospitals. Video retailers all over Japan removed the Pokémon anime from their rental shelves.
Reaction was swift on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and Nintendo's shares fell by 400 yen (almost 5%) the following morning to 12,200 yen. Nintendo produces the game upon which the Pokémon anime series is based. Then-president of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, said at a press conference the day after the episode had aired that the video game company was not responsible since the original Pokémon game for its Game Boy product was presented in black and white.
After the airing of "Dennō Senshi Porygon", the Pokémon anime went into a four-month hiatus until it returned on April 16, 1998 with airing of "Forest of Pikachu" ("Pikachu's Goodbye") and "The Four Eievui Brothers" ("The Battling Eevee Brothers"). After the hiatus, the time slot changed from Tuesday to Thursday. The opening theme was also redone, and black screens showing various Pokémon in spotlights were broken up into four images per screen. Before the seizure incident, the opening was originally one Pokémon image per screen. Before the resumption of broadcast, "Problem Inspection Report on Pocket Monster Animated Series" (アニメ ポケットモンスター問題検証報告 Anime Poketto Monsutā Mondai Kenshō Hōkoku) was shown. Broadcast in Japan on April 16, 1998, host Miyuki Yadama went over the circumstances of the program format and the on-screen advisories at the beginning of animated programs, as well as showing letters and fan drawings sent in by viewers, most of whom were concerned that the incident would lead to the anime being cancelled. Many Japanese television broadcasters and medical officials came together to find ways to make sure the incident was not repeated. They established a series of guidelines for future animated programs, including:
This episode kept the episodes "Rougela's Christmas" ("Holiday Hi-Jynx") and "Iwark as a Bivouac" ("Snow Way Out!") off their original broadcast date in Japan following the incident. Those two episodes were about to air after "Dennō Senshi Porygon" on December 23, 1997 and January 6, 1998 respectively. They were eventually only aired on October 5, 1998 as an hour-long special. Airing out of order caused confusion to viewers because Ash still had a Charmander instead of Charizard, and Misty did not have Togepi yet, but Starmie and Horsea. Also, a New Year special was about to air between these episodes on December 30, 1997, but it was cancelled after TV Tokyo pulled any mention of Pokémon from their channel following the incident.
To prevent any similar incidents from occurring, Nintendo quickly ordered the episode pulled, and it has not aired since in any country. After the Pokémon incident, TV broadcasters voluntarily added on-screen warnings to shows targeted at young children encouraging viewers to watch anime in a well-lit room and to sit far away from the television set. In an effort to put the event out of public concern and prevent victims from reliving the traumatizing event, the anime has not featured Porygon in any subsequent episodes.
The "Pokémon Shock" incident has been parodied many times in popular culture, including an episode of The Simpsons, "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo". In the episode, the Simpson family travels to Japan. When they arrive at their hotel in Tokyo, Bart is seen watching an anime entitled Battling Seizure Robots featuring robots with flashing eye lasers, and asks: "Isn't this that cartoon that causes seizures?", and the flashing eyes cause him to have a seizure. Marge and Lisa are also affected and Homer walks in seeing them all convulsing on the floor and joins in. The same scene is seen again in the episode's end credits, this time covering the entire screen.
An episode of South Park that first aired in November 1999, "Chinpokomon", revolves around a Pokémon-like phenomenon, called Chinpokomon, with which the children of South Park become obsessed. Chinpokomon toys and video games are sold to American children in South Park by a Japanese company. The company's president, Mr. Hirohito, uses the toys to brainwash the American children, making them into his own army to topple the "evil" American "empire". These toys included a video game in which the player attempts to bomb Pearl Harbor. While playing this game, Kenny has an epileptic seizure and later dies, in reference to the Pokémon seizure incident.
In the pilot episode of Drawn Together, Ling-Ling, who is a parody of Pikachu, states that his goal in the Drawn Together house is to "destroy all, and give children seizures". There follows a scene with flashing lights.
In So Yesterday, a novel by Scott Westerfeld, this episode is mentioned and shown to one of the characters. The flashing red light that caused the seizure is also used in the story telling elements.
Events in the year 1997 in Japan.Creepypasta
Creepypastas are horror-related legends or images that have been copied and pasted around the Internet. These Internet entries are often brief, user-generated, paranormal stories intended to scare readers. They include gruesome tales of murder, suicide, and otherworldly occurrences. According to Time magazine, the genre had its peak audience in 2010 when it was covered by The New York Times.In the mainstream media, creepypastas relating to the fictitious Slender Man character came to public attention after the 2014 "Slender Man stabbing", in which a 12-year-old girl from Waukesha, Wisconsin, was stabbed by two of her friends; the perpetrators claimed they "wanted to prove the Slender Man skeptics" wrong. After the murder attempt, some creepypasta website administrators made statements reminding readers of the "line between fiction and reality".Other notable creepypasta stories include "Jeff the Killer" and "Ted the Caver". In May 2015, Machinima Inc. announced plans for a live action web series curated by Clive Barker, titled Clive Barker's Creepy Pasta.Editing of anime in distribution
The content of Japanese animation (anime) is frequently edited by distributors, both for its release in Japan or during subsequent localizations. This happens for a variety for reasons, including translation, censorship, and remastering.Jason Paige
Jason Paige (born January 6, 1969) is an American singer, writer, record producer, stage, film, and television actor. Paige is best known for singing the first theme song for the English version of the Pokémon television series.Lavender Town
Lavender Town (Japanese: シオンタウン, Hepburn: Shion Taun, Shion Town) is a fictional village in the Pokémon Red and Blue video games. Stylized as a haunted location, Lavender Town is home to a large Japanese-style graveyard. The background music of Lavender Town is renowned for adding to the town's creepy atmosphere, and gave rise to the Lavender Town Syndrome creepypasta, which suggests that over a hundred Japanese children committed suicide after listening to the track.
The Japanese name is likely a katakana spelling of Aster tataricus (紫菀), a lavender-colored flower, signifying "I won't forget you."List of Pokémon episodes (seasons 1–13)
Pokémon, known in Japan as Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター, Poketto Monsutā), is a Japanese anime television series produced by animation studio OLM for TV Tokyo. It is adapted from the Pokémon video game series published by Nintendo. The series follows the Pokémon trainer and aspiring Pokémon master Ash Ketchum and his adventures with his electric mouse partner Pikachu (voiced by Ikue Ōtani), and a varying group of friends.
The division between seasons of Pokémon is based on the English version openings of each episode and may not reflect the actual production season. The English episode numbers are based on their first airing either in syndication, on the WB Television Network, Cartoon Network, or on Disney XD. Subsequent episodes of the English version follow the original Japanese order, except where banned episodes are shown.Mimikyu
Mimikyu (), known in Japan as Mimikkyu (ミミッキュ, Mimikkyu), is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. It was first introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. It is referred to as the "Disguise Pokémon", as it disguises itself to look like Pikachu to make friends.Photosensitive epilepsy
Photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights; bold, regular patterns; or regular moving patterns.
PSE affects approximately one in 4,000 people (5% of those with epilepsy).Pokémon
Pokémon (English: ), also known as Pocket Monsters in Japan, is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. The franchise copyright is shared by all three companies, but Nintendo is the sole owner of the trademark. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, and is centered on fictional creatures called "Pokémon", which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. The English slogan for the franchise is "Gotta Catch 'Em All". Works within the franchise are set in the Pokémon universe.
The franchise began as Pokémon Red and Green (later released outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue), a pair of video games for the original Game Boy that were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo in February 1996. Pokémon has since gone on to become the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, with $90 billion in total franchise revenue. The original video game series is the second best-selling video game franchise (behind Nintendo's Mario franchise) with more than 300 million copies sold and 1 billion mobile downloads, and it spawned a hit anime television series that has become the most successful video game adaptation with over 20 seasons and 1,000 episodes in 124 countries. In addition, the Pokémon franchise includes the world's top-selling toy brand, the top-selling trading card game with over 25.7 billion cards sold, an anime film series, a live-action film, books, manga comics, music, and merchandise. The franchise is also represented in other Nintendo media, such as the Super Smash Bros. series.
In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing of Pokémon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement. The Pokémon Company International oversees all Pokémon licensing outside Asia. The franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006. In 2016, The Pokémon Company celebrated Pokémon's 20th anniversary by airing an ad during Super Bowl 50 in January, issuing re-releases of Pokémon Red and Blue and the 1998 Game Boy game Pokémon Yellow as downloads for the Nintendo 3DS in February, and redesigning the way the games are played. The mobile augmented reality game Pokémon Go was released in July. The most recently released games in the main series, Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, were released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch on November 16, 2018. The first live-action film in the franchise, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, based on Detective Pikachu, began production in January 2018 and is set to release in 2019. The upcoming and latest games in the main series, Pokémon Sword and Shield, are scheduled to be released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch in late 2019.Pokémon, I Choose You!
"Pokémon - I Choose You!" (ポケモン！きみにきめた！, Pokemon! Kimi ni Kimeta!) is the pilot episode of the Pokémon anime series. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 1, 1997 and was first broadcast in the United States on September 8, 1998.
In the episode, Ash Ketchum gets his Pokémon journey off to a rough start when he receives his first Pokémon, a reluctant Pikachu. After many failed attempts at capturing some Pokémon, Ash throws a rock at a Spearow, which gets angry and starts attacking him and Pikachu. Soon, an entire flock of Spearow start chasing them, and Pikachu is the only one able to step in and stop the flock.
Nintendo, which publishes the Pokémon video games, asked for changes to be made to the English adaptation of the episode. Some graphic sequences involving punching were taken out, including one where Misty slaps Ash on the cheek. The script was translated by Paul Taylor. Veronica Taylor, who provided the English voice of Ash in this episode, said she enjoyed the script and recording Ash's lines.
Since airing, the episode has received positive reviews from television critics. Andrew Wood of The Plain Dealer praised the episode for staying true to the games, but thought it focused too much on the character Ash. A children's book adaptation of "Pokémon - I Choose You!" was released in July 1999, and the episode was released on Game Boy Advance Video in 2004. In 2017, a movie based on this episode, entitled Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! was released.Pokémon (anime)
Pokémon (ポケモン, Pokemon), abbreviated from the Japanese title of Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター, Poketto Monsutā) and currently advertised in English as Pokémon the Series, is an ongoing Japanese anime television series, which premiered in Japan on April 1, 1997 on TV Tokyo. It is part of the Pokémon media franchise, based on The Pokémon Company’s Pokémon video game series.
The Pokémon animated series is split up into six chronologically sequential series in Japan, split up by the version of the video game series the anime takes inspiration from: the Original series, the Advanced Generation series, the Diamond & Pearl series, the Best Wishes! series, the XY series, and the newest, the Sun & Moon series. In the international broadcasts, these six series are split into 22 separate seasons.
These anime series are accompanied by spin-off programming, consisting of Pokémon Chronicles, a series of side stories featuring characters in the anime that are not its current cast of main characters, and the live action variety and Pokémon-related news shows of Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station, Pokémon Sunday, Pokémon Smash!, and Pokémon Get TV, premiering in late 2013.
The Pokémon anime series was largely credited for allowing anime to become more popular and familiar around the world, especially in the United States, where the two highest-grossing anime films are both Pokémon films. It was also considered to be one of the first anime series on television to reach this level of mainstream success with Western audiences, as well as being credited with allowing the game series to reach such a degree of popularity, and vice versa. It has been adapted for the international television markets, concurrently airing in 124 countries worldwide. The anime series is also regarded as the most successful video game adaptation of all time, with over 1,000 episodes. Pokémon is also globally one of the most widely watched shows on Netflix, as of 2016.In a 2018 interview, the creators of Detective Pikachu, which features a talking Pikachu, revealed that the original intention for the anime was to have the Pokémon talk, but OLM, Inc. was unable to come up with a concept that Game Freak were accepting of.Pokémon anime in India
Pokémon is a Japanese anime series. It came to Indian television in 2003, first airing on Cartoon Network. Later, it was also shown on Pogo. From 2014, Pokémon was shown on Hungama TV and then shifted to Disney XD India which later was rebranded into Marvel HQ. The Pokémon anime is dubbed in three languages: Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. In 2014, the Pokémon anime had an Indian audience of 96.9 million viewers on Hungama TV.Pokémon episodes removed from rotation
The Pokémon anime debuted in Japan on April 1, 1997, with over 1000 episodes as of 2018. However, for various reasons, some have been taken out of rotation of reruns in certain countries, while others were altered or completely banned.Senshi
Senshi (戦士) is Japanese for "soldier", "warrior", "guardian", or "fighter". It may also refer to:
Senshi (wrestler), professional wrestler Brandon Silvestry, who now goes by Low Ki.
Sailor Senshi, a fictional group of heroines from the Sailor Moon franchise.
A skilled gun user, as used in the Japanese anime/manga Grenadier - The Senshi of SmilesStrobe light
A strobe light or stroboscopic lamp, commonly called a strobe, is a device used to produce regular flashes of light. It is one of a number of devices that can be used as a stroboscope. The word originated from the Greek strobos (Greek: στρόβος), meaning "act of whirling."
A typical commercial strobe light has a flash energy in the region of 10 to 150 joules, and discharge times as short as a few milliseconds, often resulting in a flash power of several kilowatts. Larger strobe lights can be used in “continuous” mode, producing extremely intense illumination.
The light source is commonly a xenon flash lamp, or flashtube, which has a complex spectrum and a color temperature of approximately 5,600 kelvins. To obtain colored light, colored gels may be used.Thirty Minutes over Tokyo
"Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" is the twenty-third episode and season finale of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 16, 1999. In the episode, after being robbed by Snake Jailbird, the Simpsons visit a money-saving seminar, where they learn ways to limit their expenses. Soon, the family can afford a cheap last-minute flight to another country, the only disadvantage being that they do not know where their plane tickets will bring them, which leads them to spend their vacation in Japan.
The episode was written by Donick Cary and Dan Greaney, while Jim Reardon served as director. It was one of the last episodes written in its production line, and its title is a reference to the war film 30 Seconds Over Tokyo. Several guest-stars appeared in the episode, including George Takei as the host for The Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show. This episode mocks aspects of the Japanese, including the cruelty of Japanese game shows.
The episode was seen by approximately 8 million viewers in its original broadcast. In 2005, the episode was first released on home video, and in 2007, it was released as part of the tenth season DVD box set. Following the tenth season's home video release, "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" received mixed reviews from critics. Because of a scene in which the Emperor of Japan is thrown into a trunk filled with sumo thongs, the episode has never aired in Japan, as the scene was considered disrespectful.
|Original series (episodes)|
|Advanced Generation series (episodes)|
|Diamond and Pearl series (episodes)|
|Best Wishes series (episodes)|
|XY series (episodes)|
|Sun and Moon series|