A Pokémon Episode Has been Seemingly Banned Outside Japan

Episode 64 of the Sun and Moon anime will be skipped over in other territories.

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 07/11/2018 12:50 Comment on this     ShareThis

Before the Pokémon franchise even arrived in North America, it had a reputation that preceded it. It was, after all, the cartoon series that had accidentally induced seizures in children with the episode of the series Electric Soldier Porygon. That episode nearly stopped the phenomenon dead in its tracks and, as a result, has never been aired again, even without the special effects that caused the incidents. A handful of episodes since have been deemed unfit to leave Japan, though the number is on the smaller side. That number, however, has apparently grown by one.

The 64th episode of the Pokémon Sun and Moon anime will apparently not air outside of the country, according to a programming schedule released by Disney XD. While The Pokémon Company has given no official reason for the omission, the suspected reason behind the decision is because Ash dresses up as the Pokémon Passimian in the episode, painting his face black as part of his disguise. While the choice on the part of the animation team was likely an innocent one, blackface has long been a controversial topic in North America, and the choice was likely made to avoid offending viewers. In the past, episodes involving the Pokémon Jynx have been similarly banned over concerns regarding the character’s appearance.

As Pokémon has grown into a global brand, it’s become increasingly important for The Pokémon Company to recognize cultural differences and adapt accordingly. While some fans have been quick to label the move as “censorship,” the decision seems to have been made in good faith, in order to not alienate members of the show’s viewing audience. This is even more important considering that the show’s audience tends to skew on the younger side. It’s hard to hold that against anyone involved.

Source: Kotaku

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