Fan Response:
April 1998 Issue

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Pokémon Shock


How did anime fans respond to Pocket Monsters being taken off the air after "Cyber Soldier Porygon" sent hundreds of kids to the hospital? The April 1998 issue of Animedia may help provide us with clues.

The April 1998 issue of Animedia has a cover date of April 1st, 1998.

Letters to the Editor

The letters page in this issue contains a single letter from a woman who works in an office in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Something I learned from the Pokémon Incident
I'm just your average office lady. I wasn't feeling well on the morning of December 16th so I called in sick and went back to sleep. Even though I spent the morning resting I am an anime fangirl through and through. I had the idea to stay in bed and watch some anime videos and so I spent my afternoon watching my VHS tapes, one after the other. I don't know if that helped me get better or what, but that evening I started to feel a lot better and so I started to clean my room while Pokémon played in the background. It was Episode 38, the one that caused all those problems... Maybe it's thanks to the fact that I was multitasking that the episode didn't make me feel sick. But then later that night, when I saw the news "Victims of 'Pokémon' Appear, One After the Other!"...well, I was shocked. I stayed up all night glued to the news, completely unaware of what was waiting for me the next day...

And then the next day came. As soon as I got to work I went over to my co-workers to say "Hey, sorry for taking the day off yesterday." But when I did that, my co-worker replied "Heyy! You're not in the hospital?" "Huh? What!?" "Well, with what's going on with Pokémon and all..." What!? Why did they think that!? Sure, I've talked a little about anime here and there at work before but...I never told anyone how much of an anime fan I really am! A tingle went through my body as I went over to my seat when my neighbor asked "Hey, are you feeling alright?" And just as I was saying "Yes, thank you. It was just a cold..." this junior staff replied "No, not that. I'm talking about 'Pokémon.'" "Huh!?" No way, even this junior is thinking the same thing! I'm sweating profusely at this point when my manager arrives at work. I rushed over to say "Ah, I apologize for taking the day off yesterday" when he said "Oh, I didn't expect to see you here! Didn't you faint or something?" "Excuse me!?" "They were talking about it on the news. Some 27-year-old was watching 'Pokémon' when she passed out. And so I thought for sure you'd also..." Now wait just a minute! Don't be stupid!! Don't you see how lively I am right now!? I didn't know what to say and so I just stood there in a daze.

So because of this "Pokémon" Incident, I came to understand just how the people at work see me. I was trying the play the part of a happy, ordinary office worker but…oh woe is me! They all see my face and think to talk about "Pokémon"…. Do they really think I watch a show aimed at elementary school kids like Pokémon!? Well, I do, but still! (laughs) Well, since it's come to this, I might as well open up and declare, with zero room for misinterpretation, that I am in fact an anime fan!

Fukuoka Prefecture / Ms. I have no money!

Response from Animedia:
-- It seems like you don't quite get it yet. Even if you don't declare such a thing everyone's already figured it out already! (laughs)

Art Gallery

The issue, just like the last one, also featured fan art from those eager for the show to come back.

Pocket Monsters
I can't wait to see the movie this summer! I'll continue being a fan until then and beyond.
We'll always be together!
Yup, this duo right here is number one ♡
Pikachu ♡

Tokyo / Takuroh

Pocket Monsters
The news from December 16th was really shocking. "Children watching Pokémon are falling ill, one after the other"…I couldn't believe it when I saw this on TV. My hometown's broadcasts are a bit behind and so they hadn't gotten around to airing Episode 38 yet, and now the show's being taken off the air... I'm praying that the children who watched Pokémon all recover as soon as possible and that Satoshi and his friends will hurry up and come back to us soon.
- Arai

Okinawa Prefecture / Arai Guma

Hurry up and bring back Pokémon!!
Here in Niigata (prefecture) the show's three weeks behind so not only have we not been able to watch Episode 38 yet, but we haven't seen Episodes 35, 36, or 37 either. And now the show's on break. I'm really looking forward to the day when the show comes back. I can't wait to hear Satoshi say "I Got a Pokémon!" again.

- Misaki Umino

Text above Pikachu
Get It!

Bottom Right
I've bought too much Pokémon merchandise and now I've used up all my New Year's money.

Niigata Prefecture / Misaki Umino

What's gonna happen to Pokémon!?
I want to see them on TV again! There's no way the show'll just end like this, right? In the meantime, I'll look forward to the movie 💦

This is all for Ryutaro Mori-sama!

I'm a huge fan!

January 1998 Ryu Inoue

(Note from Dogasu: Sorry, I tried looking it up but I have no idea what the "Ryutaro Mori-sama" part is all about)

Niigata Prefecture / Ryu Inoue

It can't be~!
Pokémon's been taken off the air!?
Even though we're two weeks behind here the show's still being pulled from the air~. We haven't been able to watch the show in about a month! I really wanna see it (cries)

Satoshi's word balloon
"I guess we're gonna be apart for a while, Pikachu"

Text below Kojirou
January 1998 Riku Kobayakawa

I watch the show two times a week for Pikachu and Kojirou…Please please please come back soon…

Okinawa Prefecture / Riku Kobayakawa

"Goodnight, my Pikachu."

Aichi Prefecture / 夕御猫

Request for Pokémon to return to the air
It's already been a month since Pokémon's been taken off the air (at least as of this writing). I really want to hear these guys say "ya na kanji~" again soon. January 1998 Usagi

(If the show comes back before this gets printed (?) that'd be great too…)

Aichi Prefecture / Usagi

Hang in there! We'll be waiting for you!
Pocket Monsters has been temporarily taken off the air. For someone like me, who's been following the journeys of Satoshi and his friends on TV, this is a major letdown. But I wonder if sales of Pokémon related merchandise have been going up since then…? We all know how much Pokémon is loved by its viewers, right? So I think they'll definitely be back someday and then we'll be able to go on adventures again. I hope we can use this time off to recharge from all our journeys so far. And I believe that someday they'll set out on their journey again with smiles on their faces because I want to grow up with together with them. I'll be waiting ♡
January 1998 Rui Nakatani

Saitama Prefecture / Rui Nakatani

Come back Pokémon
Pikachu, Satoshi, Kasumi and Takeshi, and even the Rocket-Dan…to think I can't see this wonderful cast of characters right now. Ahh! I wanna see them again!
by Mukana♥

Tokyo / Mukana Yukizawa





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