Difference between revisions of "Pokémon "Computer Warrior Porygon" (lost unaired English dub of anime episode; existence unconfirmed; 1998)"

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{{InfoboxLost
 
{{InfoboxLost
|title=<center>Dennō Senshi Porygon (English Version)</center>
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|title=<center>Dennō Senshi Porygon (English dub)</center>
|image=300px-DennoSenshiPorygon.jpg
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|image=DennoSenshiPorygon-InfoboxScreenshot.jpg
 
|imagecaption=Screenshot from one of the seizure inducing scenes.
 
|imagecaption=Screenshot from one of the seizure inducing scenes.
|status=<span style="color:red;">'''Lost'''</span>
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|status=<span style="color:grey;">'''Existence Unconfirmed'''</span>
 
}}
 
}}
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On December 16th, 1997, "Dennō Senshi Porygon" (translated in English as "Computer Warrior Porygon", but more well known as "Electric Soldier Porygon"), the 38th episode of season one of the ''Pokémon'' anime, aired in Japan.
  
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.
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==Plot and Controversy==
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The episode centered around Ash (known as Satoshi in the Japanese dub) and his friends literally going inside an out-of-order Poké Ball transmitting device at a local Pokémon Center to determine the cause of its malfunctioning. They find out Team Rocket is behind the "malfunction" and are using the machine to steal other trainers' Pokémon, including one of Professor Akihabara's Porygons.
  
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 hospitalised after suffering epileptic seizures, two of whom remained hospitalised 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.
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The episode is infamous for a particular scene about halfway through the episode: As the group is combating Team Rocket, an anti-virus program is sent into the device by Nurse Joy to combat what she believed to be a computer virus. When Pikachu attacks the program with Thunderbolt, it causes a huge explosion that takes up most of the screen and flashes red and blue very quickly.
  
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.<ref>[http://pokemonepisode.org/episode-38-electric-soldier-porygon/#video 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.</ref>
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The scene caused over 10,000 viewers to experience blurred vision, nausea, headaches, and dizziness in minor cases, and convulsions, loss of consciousness, blindness, and seizures in more severe cases. Japan's Fire Defense Agency reported that 685 children ended up being sent to the hospital by ambulances due to their seizures. While most of these children recovered during the trip, more than 150 of them had to stay in the hospitals, with two having to stay for over two weeks.<ref>[http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/pokemon.html Washington.edu article on the incident.] Retrieved 22 Jun '17</ref>
  
In an online Q&A<ref>[http://qawithmaddieblaustein.blogspot.com/ 2008 Q&A with the late Maddie Blaustein (Meowth's English voice actor).] Retrieved 29 May '13.</ref> 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). Veronica Taylor (Ash's English voice actor), on the other hand, claims they never dubbed the episode.
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After the episode's premiere, the show went on a four-month hiatus, and "Dennō Senshi Porygon" was banned from re-airing anywhere. The incident also prompted the creators to edit any previous episodes that featured flashing lights and tone down the flash frequency, despite no reports of seizures or similar conditions for those episodes. Porygon and its evolutions also never appeared in any other episode except for minor cameos.
 +
 
 +
==Existence and Availability of English Dub==
 +
While the original Japanese dub of the episode has been unofficially released online, '''an English dub of the episode has not surfaced at all'''. The existence of the dub has long been questioned, with no consolidated proof of it ever existing, and even actors who worked on the dub itself share conflicting information.
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Veronica Taylor (Ash's English voice actor) claimed in a 2004 interview that they had never dubbed the episode, and that it never will be dubbed in future.<ref>[http://pokedream.com/pokemon/infocenter/taylor.php Pokedream 2004 interview with Veronica Taylor.] Retrieved 22 Jun '17</ref> But in an online Q&A with the late voice actress Maddie Blaustein (who voiced Meowth in the English dub), she claimed that 4Kids had in fact produced and completed a dub of the episode (with the seizure-inducing flashes likely edited out), but, due to the previously imposed ban on the episode, it was still not allowed to go to air. As such, it has never been heard/seen by the public.<ref>[http://qawithmaddieblaustein.blogspot.com/ 2008 Q&A with the late Maddie Blaustein.] Retrieved 29 May '13</ref> Eric Stuart (Brock and James' English voice actor) would later corroborate her claims in an interview at Ramecon 2016, stating that it was dubbed and that he had seen it.<ref>[https://www.facebook.com/drew.s.hemmerich/videos/vb.100000054400177/1272482669430201/?type=3&theater Ramecon 2016 interview of Eric Stuart.] Retrieved 05 May '17</ref> How Eric and Maddie could have seen and dubbed the episode but not Veronica is unknown, as the episode was pulled from broadcast long before 4Kids officially received the anime's dubbing rights in April 1998. As such, it's unlikely that they would've even received footage of the episode in the first place. It is also possible that the staff may have confused this episode with other episodes and official material featuring Porygon, such as its appearance in the "Who's That Pokémon?" eyecatch segment of the episode titled "A Way Off Day Off".
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==See Also==
 +
*[[Pokémon "The Legend of Dratini" (non-existent unaired English dub of anime episode; 1997)]]
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*[[Pokémon "Battle Aboard the St. Anne" (found first American broadcast version of anime episode; 1998)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon "Battle of the Quaking Island! Barboach VS Whiscash!!" (partially found unaired episode of anime; 2004)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon "Cream of the Croagunk Crop" (found original "Hiroki version" of anime episode; 2008)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon "Rocket-dan VS Plasma-dan!" (partially found unaired two-part episode of anime; 2011)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon 3: The Movie (lost first draft of script of anime film; late 1990s)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon 3D Adventure: Mew o Sagase! (lost 3D short of anime; 2005)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon 4D: Pikachu's Ocean Adventure (partially found 4D short of anime; 2006)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon! I Choose You! (found original Japanese airing of anime series pilot; 1997)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon "It's New Year's Eve! Pocket Monsters Encore" (lost unaired special of anime series; 1997)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon "Pocket Monsters, Fall Special!" (found "clip show" episode of anime series; 1997)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon "Pocket Monsters, Winter Special!" (lost unaired "clip show" episode of anime series; 1998)]]
 +
*[[Pokémon Live! (partially found professional recording footage of musical; 2000-2001)]]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
<references />
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{{reflist}}
  
 
[[Category:Lost animation]]
 
[[Category:Lost animation]]
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[[Category:Lost audio]]
 
[[Category:Lost TV]]
 
[[Category:Lost TV]]
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[[Category:Existence unconfirmed]]
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[[Category:Completely lost media]]

Latest revision as of 14:13, 7 May 2020

DennoSenshiPorygon-InfoboxScreenshot.jpg

Screenshot from one of the seizure inducing scenes.

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

On December 16th, 1997, "Dennō Senshi Porygon" (translated in English as "Computer Warrior Porygon", but more well known as "Electric Soldier Porygon"), the 38th episode of season one of the Pokémon anime, aired in Japan.

Plot and Controversy

The episode centered around Ash (known as Satoshi in the Japanese dub) and his friends literally going inside an out-of-order Poké Ball transmitting device at a local Pokémon Center to determine the cause of its malfunctioning. They find out Team Rocket is behind the "malfunction" and are using the machine to steal other trainers' Pokémon, including one of Professor Akihabara's Porygons.

The episode is infamous for a particular scene about halfway through the episode: As the group is combating Team Rocket, an anti-virus program is sent into the device by Nurse Joy to combat what she believed to be a computer virus. When Pikachu attacks the program with Thunderbolt, it causes a huge explosion that takes up most of the screen and flashes red and blue very quickly.

The scene caused over 10,000 viewers to experience blurred vision, nausea, headaches, and dizziness in minor cases, and convulsions, loss of consciousness, blindness, and seizures in more severe cases. Japan's Fire Defense Agency reported that 685 children ended up being sent to the hospital by ambulances due to their seizures. While most of these children recovered during the trip, more than 150 of them had to stay in the hospitals, with two having to stay for over two weeks.[1]

After the episode's premiere, the show went on a four-month hiatus, and "Dennō Senshi Porygon" was banned from re-airing anywhere. The incident also prompted the creators to edit any previous episodes that featured flashing lights and tone down the flash frequency, despite no reports of seizures or similar conditions for those episodes. Porygon and its evolutions also never appeared in any other episode except for minor cameos.

Existence and Availability of English Dub

While the original Japanese dub of the episode has been unofficially released online, an English dub of the episode has not surfaced at all. The existence of the dub has long been questioned, with no consolidated proof of it ever existing, and even actors who worked on the dub itself share conflicting information.

Veronica Taylor (Ash's English voice actor) claimed in a 2004 interview that they had never dubbed the episode, and that it never will be dubbed in future.[2] But in an online Q&A with the late voice actress Maddie Blaustein (who voiced Meowth in the English dub), she claimed that 4Kids had in fact produced and completed a dub of the episode (with the seizure-inducing flashes likely edited out), but, due to the previously imposed ban on the episode, it was still not allowed to go to air. As such, it has never been heard/seen by the public.[3] Eric Stuart (Brock and James' English voice actor) would later corroborate her claims in an interview at Ramecon 2016, stating that it was dubbed and that he had seen it.[4] How Eric and Maddie could have seen and dubbed the episode but not Veronica is unknown, as the episode was pulled from broadcast long before 4Kids officially received the anime's dubbing rights in April 1998. As such, it's unlikely that they would've even received footage of the episode in the first place. It is also possible that the staff may have confused this episode with other episodes and official material featuring Porygon, such as its appearance in the "Who's That Pokémon?" eyecatch segment of the episode titled "A Way Off Day Off".

See Also

References