Pokémon "Computer Warrior Porygon" (unaired English dub of anime episode; 1998)


(Redirected from Pokémon "Computer Warrior Porygon" (Unaired English Dub of Anime Episode; 1998))

Dennō Senshi Porygon (English dub)
Screenshot from one of the seizure inducing scenes.
Screenshot from one of the seizure inducing scenes.
Status Lost

On December 16, 1997 in Japan, what can now be said as perhaps the most infamous anime episode of all time aired. The season 1 Pokémon episode, "Dennō Senshi Porygon" (translated to "Computer Warrior Porygon", but more commonly known as "Electric Soldier Porygon") involved Ash (or Satoshi, as he is known in the Japanese dub) and the gang going (digitally) inside an out-of-order Poké Ball transmitting device to determine the cause of its malfunctioning.

A little more than halfway through the episode, there are several scenes in which "vaccine missiles" are set upon the group, resulting in several explosions depicted by quick, bright, alternating flashes of red and blue in the background (and sometimes foreground). This flashing caused an estimated 685 Japanese children to be hospitalized after suffering epileptic seizures, two of whom remained hospitalized for upwards of two weeks. The event caused a huge amount of controversy, and received worldwide media coverage, sending Pokémon into a four-month hiatus. The episode was immediately banned from reairing worldwide.

The Japanese dub of the episode, that only aired once, was captured by several home viewers, and has subsequently found its way to the internet.[1]

In an online Q&A[2] with the late voice actress Maddie Blaustein (who voiced Meowth in the English dub), said that 4Kids had produced and completed an English dubbed version of the episode (with the seizure-inducing flashes assumingly edited out), however, due to the previously imposed ban on the episode, it was still not allowed to go to air (and as such has never been heard/seen by the public). Eric Stuart (Brock and James's English voice actor) later confirmed in an interview at Ramecon 2016 that it was dubbed and he had seen it[3]. Veronica Taylor (Ash's English voice actor), on the other hand, claims they never dubbed the episode.

References

  1. A streaming copy of the infamous episode. BE WARNED; THIS FOOTAGE CAUSED A MASS SEIZURE EPIDEMIC. DEFINITELY DO NOT WATCH IT IF YOU ARE EPILEPTIC. Retrieved 29 May '13.
  2. 2008 Q&A with the late Maddie Blaustein (Meowth's English voice actor). Retrieved 29 May '13.
  3. Ramecon 2016 interview of Eric Stuart (Brock and James's English voice actor). Retrieved 05 May '17.

Comments


avatar

TeridaxXD001

6 months ago
Score 2++
I'm not holding my breath for this to be leaked, but I will say this: Porygon has been treated very unfairly for something it didn't even do.
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JonM313

6 months ago
Score 0++
I do hope an English Dub of this episode is leaked
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Anonymous user #1

5 months ago
Score 0++
Seriously! It was pikachu's fault! :(
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Anonymous user #3

3 months ago
Score 2++
you are (i'm assuming) an adult expressing sympathy for a fictional monster from a franchise aimed at children. yeesh.
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TeridaxXD001

3 months ago
Score 0++
You've never felt any sympathy for a fictional character before?
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Davidporkchop

6 months ago
Score 0++
This and all the other lost media associated with Pokemon fascinates me. I would say release the dub with the bad bit edited to make it safe, as a lost episode, for a ratings grab. This is assuming the dub existed. But great article!
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Anonymous user #5

1 months ago
Score 0++
That would be a great idea, I mean it would get LOADS of ratings! Also it would fill the hole in every 90's kids heart.
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Anonymous user #2

4 months ago
Score 1++

If the dub exists, it was probably never intended to be released anyway. The ban would've happened when they were still producing episodes aired long before the Porygon one. Likely they dubbed and edited it for completion's sake, on the off-chance that Nintendo would allow the episode to at least be put on DVD, and to avoid in-house confusion.

I asked Mike Pollock about it (he voiced the narrator) but he said he had no clue. In all honesty, his answer is more believable than Veronica Taylor's. It's just hard to believe she remembers doing a specific episode since she did every one of them.
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TeridaxXD001

3 months ago
Score 0++
685 children were not hospitalized. That's a common misconception. 685 children reported uncomfortable symptoms, anywhere from headaches and slight nausea to vomiting and seizures, and a few were hospitalized.
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TeridaxXD001

3 months ago
Score 0++
At least, that's what I've heard before, but even Wikipedia claims it's true.
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Anonymous user #4

1 months ago
Score 0++
I can't find the link to the video right at this second, but last year there was a Q&A with Eric Stuart in which he explicitly stated that they dubbed this episode (describing it in enough detail that it was very unlikely he was thinking of another episode) and even said that he watched the finished product.
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TeridaxXD001

23 days ago
Score 0++
avatar

DigitalDiamalra

1 months ago
Score 0++
Poor Porygon, if they didn't made the missile explosions flashy Porygon would've been okay. But I know it was Pikachu who caused the explosions but I wouldn't blame it that hard.
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