Takeshi Shudo's
Blog Entry
No. 157






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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | Pokémon Shock

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Pocket Monsters The Animation and Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni, the two projects Mr. Shudo was working on right before the airing of "Cyber Soldier Porygon."

Below is an English translation of How to Craft a Story: Takeshi Shudo, How Anyone Can Become a Screenplay Writer (シナリオえーだば創作術 だれでもできる脚本家 首藤剛志), a blog written by former Pocket Monsters series organizer and head writer Mr. Takeshi Shudo. The following are excerpts taken from Blog Post No. 157 "The Unexpected Pokémon Incident: A Few Months Before," a blog entry related to the Pokémon Shock incident.


Notes about the translation below
I have two notes about the translations you're about to read.

One, the Japanese version of the blog is written the way a lot of Japanese blogs are written in that the author only types out (roughly) one sentence per one line. To a native English speaker like me this makes the blogs seem weird and choppy but that's just the way a lot of Japanese blogs are written, for some reason. For simplicity's sake I've replicated this one-sentence-per-line writing style in my English translation.


Two, the following translation is a truncated version of a much, much longer blog entry. Mr. Shudo is an absolute treasure trove of behind-the-scenes information you can't get anywhere else but his blogs are, as far as your average Pokémon fan is concerned, about 80% filler. The writer had a tendency to trail off into some very off-topic tangents in his blog and so what I've decided to do is to pick out the parts that actually discuss the Pokémon Shock incident and present that to you on the page below. I hope you will find this abridged presentation a bit easier to read that it would have been otherwise. If you're someone who would prefer to read an unabridged translation, however, I've also got you covered; you can check those out here.



Blog Post No. 157 "The Unexpected Pokémon Incident: A Few Months Before"

Posted August 20th, 2008
Original Text (Japanese)
Unabridged Translation

Mr. Shudo's 157th blog entry starts off with a very general overview of the Pokémon Shock incident.

Children who watched a certain episode of Pokémon started falling ill, one after the other, for reasons unknown.

This happened in the middle of December 1997, meaning it's now been over ten years since then.

A whole decade…that's a long time. These days it might even be one of those "Ah, now that you mention it yeah, I guess something like that did happen" type things, a memory buried deep down. And the elementary school aged kids who make up Pokémon's target audience today probably don't even know anything even happened.

There are a lot of people who were involved with Pokémon back then who don't want to drudge up old memories of that time.

The Pokémon who was the featured star of the episode became the symbol of the incident and hasn't reappeared in the show ever since. Even now it's essentially been erased from the history of Pokémon altogether.

Some strong reminders of the incident, some that still remain to this day, are those disclaimers that show up on the screen whenever you watch cartoons on TV or DVDs that say something like "Make sure not to watch this in a poorly-lit room." The use of aggressive lighting effects has also been reduced significantly.

These are clearly steps taken after the Pokémon incident to get viewers to be careful, and I think the reduction of those aggressive lighting effects is also a good thing.

In the end, that incident was of course a big deal for the victims first and foremost, and then also for TV (and, well, Internet videos as well). The problems it posed made this a very important incident, even today.

Having said that, the Pokémon animated series took the blame and was the recipient of a lot of backlash for a while. But personally I don't understand it.

Because I think it was an accident that caught the staff of the TV series off guard, one that nobody saw coming.

And that includes me.

And so I'm going to write about what was said when that episode of Pokémon that caused the incident aired, and then the events that took place after that as well.

I wrote Episode 31 of the Pokémon animated series, "Look at All the Digda!," and the incident happened with Episode 38. So there wasn't that much time between the two.


Mr. Shudo then spends pretty much the rest of the entry talking about how, before the incident, he was busy working on two things; the first Pocket Monsters novelization and the lyrics to the song Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni. At the very end, however, he returns to talking about the incident again:

Commercial
TV commercial for the Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni CD

The first novel was published before that incident.

Right after finishing the novel I started working on the lyrics to the Rocket-Dan's theme song.

The commercial for that theme song, "Rocket-Dan yo Eien ni," would have first aired during the broadcast of Episode 38, the one where that incident happened.





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