As the most popular and commercially successful anime franchise of all time, Pokémon is a beloved series that has captured the hearts of fans across multiple media. It’s a show that began in the ’90s and is still going strong today, along with a plethora of video games that have a dedicated following. When a show lasts for as long as Pokémon and has garnered similar popularity, there will always be mistakes and criticisms that can’t be avoided.
There were instances of controversies in the anime that were instantaneous, like the infamous Porygon episode that led to hundreds of children being hospitalized with seizures from flashing lights during the episode. There are also, however, themes and episodes that have gained more criticism as time goes on.
10 Ash Ketchum Hasn’t Aged At All
Of all the things that haven’t aged well (or at all), Ash fits this perfectly. He was 10 years old when Pokémon began and he’s still thought to be 10 years old now, decades later.
The creators decided to keep him ageless, despite other adventure shonen anime like Digimonwhich is constantly compared to Pokémon, choosing to maintain the realism of time. Probably an effort to retain younger viewers, the creators relied on the dedication of older fans to continue watching despite the youth of the characters.
nine Breaking Their Own Rules When It’s Convenient
There have been many strange decisions by the writers to include instances of battles that make absolutely no sense. In some ridiculous deus ex machina moments where they need Ash and his team to get a win, they decided to break their own rules.
The most notable instance of this is in Episode 58 when Pikachu is struggling in a battle against Rhydon, a Ground-type Pokémon, and Ash tells him to aim for Rhydon’s horn. Somehow, Rhydon’s horn works as a lightning rod and ends up defeating Rhydon easily.
8 Team Rocket Stalking Children
The notion of having a group of teenagers stalk a child all over the world to try and steal his Pikachu is pretty unbelievable, especially when Pikachu isn’t even a rare Pokémon to capture.
If Team Rocket had dedicated even half the time they spend thinking up extravagant plots to instead find and capture their own Pikachu, they’d probably have an army of them.
7 Wrong Moves & Fake Moves
When the show revolves around a cohesive structure of types, weaknesses, resistances, and move-sets, it’s strange to see the anime taking liberties with these well-thought-out guidelines. There have been ample times where a trainer calls the wrong move, or worse, the Pokémon uses a move it should never be able to learn.
One moment that really stands out is when the dub decided to get Ash’s Bulbasaur to use Whirlwind — a Flying-type move Bulbasaur can’t even learn. It isn’t just a dub issue though, as the original also has made many move mistakes.
6 Jynx’s Original Color Scheme
Jynx’s unedited color scheme is another instance when the original series got some backlash, but definitely not enough at the time. During the first appearance of Jynx, the Pokémon was given a color scheme that was considered racist and stereotypical. The distributors even had to edit it before they aired it outside of Japan.
Since then, the franchise has improved and included actual characters of different races that don’t devolve into distasteful stereotypes.
five Eating Pokémon Was A Weird Thing To Point Out
An age-old question that has arisen since Pokémon‘s inception has been what the humans eat in a universe surrounded by only Pokémon, and seemingly no normal farm animals.
Unfortunately it has been confirmed multiple times throughout the original series that Pokemon are, in fact, consumed by humans. For example, in Episode 46, Farfetch’d’s Pokédex entry even says it makes a delicious meal, especially when cooked with leek.
4 4Kids Hilariously Bad Westernization
4Kids was a distribution and production company in the ’90s that was in charge of dubbing and circulating most popular anime at the time. This included favorites like Yu Gi Oh!, one pieceand Pokémon.
Unfortunately, they considered some aspects of the show culturally unfit for international viewers and decided to make ridiculous dubbing choices that, in retrospect, are nothing but insensitive.
3 The First Movie’s Dub
Anyone who watched Pokémon: The First Movie during its original dubbed release would assume that Mew was the good guy in the film. Shockingly to some, this actually wasn’t the case in the original storyline.
Mew says that the original Pokemon are the only real creatures and the clones are nothing but inferior. Furthermore, Mew can’t forgive the existence of copies made by humans. Not only this, but 4Kids and Warner also changed the script, the score, and the entire storyline.
2 Team Rocket’s Disguises
While sometimes ingenious and ahead of its time in terms of tackling assumed gender norms, the original reasons for Team Rocket’s outlandish disguises were just a comedic way to poke fun at the situation.
Even overlooking the fact that Ash and the gang always seem to fall for the trick despite decades of doing so, there have been many instances of the costume plot going too far. Most notable is Episode 18, when James seemingly grew breasts to enter a swimsuit competition.
one Brock’s Numerous Infatuations
Probably the most cringe-worthy aspect of the original series is how Brock — an intelligent Pokémon Breeder and incredible chef — turned into a blubbering buffoon whenever he came across a woman.
Every time, without fail, he would proclaim his undying love for a woman he’d only just met and needed to be tamed by Misty or one of his own Pokémon. In an age where people are more openly critical of unwanted advances, this is an aspect of Brock that’s best left forgotten, even if it was only meant to be a joke.
NEXT: Pokémon: 10 Times The Anime Completely Ignores The Movies
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