Pokémon "Pokémon! I Choose You!" (found original Japanese airing of anime series pilot; 1997)
Screenshot of the original 1997 airing.
Date found: 02 May 2015
Found by: Pokémon Peru
When Pokémon finally went back on air in April 1998, four months after the infamous "Electric Soldier Porygon" incident, OLM edited the previous 37 episodes, slowed down the flashing lights, and never aired the original versions again despite no previous reports of the episodes causing seizures for anyone.
On August 1st 2012, "Pocket Monsters" was available on Hulu Japan through an exclusive streaming deal, along with a few of the other main Pokémon series. The versions of the episodes given to Hulu were the original broadcast versions that originally aired in 1997, prior to the "Electric Solider Porygon" incident. These were first made publicly available by the now-defunct group "#Pokemon-Originals" or "[P-O]", originally as an April Fools joke on April 1st, 2013. Episodes 2-37 were all available in their original broadcast format, even including the original NEP (Next Episode Preview) for 038 (which has omitted from future re-broadcasts since the incident). Hulu's copy of Episode 1, however, remained the edited version that has been seen on DVD's and other streaming platforms, both in and outside of Japan since 2004.
Despite popular belief, Episode 1's original broadcast was never lost or missing, and has been available commercially to the public since 1997. On November 27th, 1997, Shogakukan released "Pocket Monsters Volume 1" and "Pocket Monsters Volume 2" as the first in the rental-only VHS line. These tapes were available to rent for just under a month before the "Electric Soldier Porygon" incident took place, and thus, contains the original broadcasted versions of the first 6 episodes. As these rental-only VHS tapes are widely forgotten or not known about, this likely caused the spread of misinformation that the original broadcast versions only existed on Hulu outside of there original airings and that Episode 1 had been lost to time. While later replaced with updated tapes to include the newly edited video, copies of these original tapes can still be found as ex-rentals on sites like Yahoo! Auctions Japan, albeit rather hard to find. Currently, there are no known identifying factors to indicate whether or not Volume 1 or Volume 2 are the original tapes or updated tapes as they all use the same catalogue numbers.
The most commonly shared copy of Episode 1's "original broadcast" was created by the "Pokémon Peru" Facebook group. This version of the episode splices together a mix of footage from the released Hulu rips and splices in the edited scenes taken from a real recording of the original broadcast. It's not known why the group chose to do this and not release the actual original recording in full, despite doing it with the "Fall Special". In January 2019, the group released a high bitrate VHS rip of the unedited version of the episode on MEGA, linked in a post on their Facebook page. The same rip had made its way onto Nyaa in 2018.
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- PokemonPE upload of the 1997 airing of "Pokémon! I Choose You!" (part 1/2).
- PokemonPE upload of the 1997 airing of "Pokémon! I Choose You!" (part 2/2).
- PokemonPE post with the MEGA download link for the raw VHS rip of "Pokémon! I Choose You!".
- The raw VHS rip of "Pokémon! I Choose You!" on Nyaa.
- ↑ Ranker article on the "Electric Soldier Porygon" incident. Retrieved 16 Feb '20