There’ve been over a thousand episodes of the Pokémon anime since its premiere in 1997. In that time, several episodes (eight, according to Wikipedia) have been pulled for various reasons, like giving children seizures or a frequent use of firearms. Other times, an episode has been pulled for having events be similar to contemporary disasters like Hurricane Katrina or 9/11.
Following 2011's earthquake and tsunami in the Tōhoku region of Japan, the anime’s “Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma!” two-parter (from the Pokémon Black & White season) was pulled from rotation. At first, the episodes had been postponed due to the large-scale event, then it was postponed entirely because the city of Castelia would’ve been destroyed during the short arc. But recently, a member of the Bulbagarden community learned someone purchased the scripts to those episodes in 2013. After the Pokémon community raised $,4000 to buy the scripts, the owner elected to just share the scripts for free, which has since been compiled into a single Google Drive folder for all to see.
“The history has been made today,” wrote Bulbagarden member Akilvers on Twitter. “Huge thank you to everyone who believed in it and supported it! It came closer to reality thanks to everyone’s support and the noise that was made together. This contribution to the history of the Pokémon anime is truly invaluable.”
In the Drive folder housing scripts for the “Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma” arc, around 100 total photos were taken of the Japanese script. (Episode 23 comes to 48 pages, while episode 24 reaches 51.) The episodes were then translated to English in a single 37-page document that’s heavy on dialogue and contains some minimal descriptions of what’s going on in the scene. There’s not much to be gleaned from it otherwise, as scenes from this arc were later repurposed for two separate episodes in late 2012. But their existence is a win for historians of Pokémon and video games, and another interesting footnote in Nintendo’s long-running series.
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