The "Pokémon Shock"

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Pokémon Shock

On December 16th, 1997, the 38th episode of Pocket Monsters, "Cyber Soldier Porygon," aired on TV-Tokyo. About 20 minutes into the episode children started to fall ill, suffering from maladies such as seizures and convulsions, resulting in the show being put on hiatus while investigations into the root cause of the incident took place.

This section aims to take a more in-depth look into the incident than what you'll find in most other places. A lot of what you'll see below includes brand new translations of material that had previously only ever been made available in Japanese and so you're sure to come across information you've never seen before.

Click on a link below to find out more.

Accounts from the people who lived through it

What was it like for the people who actually lived through the incident in Japan? Click on the links below to find out.

Pokémon Story Satoshi Tajiri Interview
Pokémon Story
"Pokémon Story" is a 543 page book released more than 20 years ago that tells the story of how Pocket Monsters went from a simple idea to global phenomenon. The book dedicates three whole chapters to the Pokémon Shock incident and so I went ahead and translated them into English. Click on the link above to be taken to a page with that translation.

Satoshi Tajiri Interview
The book "Pokémon Story" ends with a 33-page
interview with the creator of Pokémon himself, Satoshi Tajiri. Part five of the eight part interview, "The TV Incident," is dedicated entirely to the Pokémon Shock incident. Click on the link above to be taken to a page with my translation of that part of the interview.
Japanese TV News Reports
Takeshi Shudo Blogs
Japanese TV News Reports
What did the people in Japan see when they turned on the TV news shows during that first week of the Pokémon Shock incident? To find out, click on the link above to be taken to a page with links to fansubbed versions of all the news reports I've been able to find online.
Takeshi Shudo Blogs
The series organizer for the Pocket Monsters animated series, Takeshi Shudo, ran a blog back in the early 2000s in which he talked about his life as a screenplay writer. In the latter part of 2008, he focused a few of his entries on the Pokémon Shock incident. Click on the link above to read translations of all ten blog entries in which he talks about what it was like to be on the staff of Pocket Monsters during the latter half of December 1997.

Fan Response
Fan Response
How did anime fans in Japan react to the incident and the way the show was pulled from the air so abruptly? Click on the link below to read translations of letters fans wrote in to the Japanese magazine Animedia in late 1997 / early 1998.

Coming in 2023

Pocket Monsters: 1997 vs. 1998
After the Pokémon Shock incident, OLM went back and re-edited the first 37 episodes to greatly reduce the amount of flashing and bright lights that had been used up until then.

See a sneak peek here
Effects to the show's schedule
How was the rest of the show's schedule affected by the four- month hiatus it unexpectedly took? Let's find out!

Coming in 2023!
Rumors English Dub
Rumor Guide
Did a "second wave" of seizures occur because the news carelessly replayed portions of the episode on the air? Did the government really destroy all copies of the episode? Did anyone die because of this? Let's take a look at some of the more popular rumors about the incident.

Coming in 2023!
Does an English dub exist?
Some people involved with the show say the episode has been dubbed into English while others say that no, it has not. So who do we believe?

Coming October 27th, 2023!



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