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Episode 38 – Electric Soldier Porygon

Episode Summary

Ash, Misty, and Brock have arrived in Matcha City along with Pikachu – who is looking more than a little exhausted. Ash decides to take Pikachu to the Matcha City Pokémon Center for some rest and relaxation. Upon arriving at the Pokémon Center, our friends observe a stressed Nurse Joy answering multiple phone calls concerning pokémon who should have been transferred but who never made it to their destinations. We then meet Dr. Akihabara who has built a Pokémon Transport System which automatically teleports pokémon from one location to another. However, it does not currently seem to be accurately transporting the pokémon to their intended locations. Brock suggests that the issue may be a computer virus and suggests using a vaccine program. Dr. Akihabara states that his system uses advanced circuits and that a virus could not affect them before he seems to come to a realization. He quickly leaves the Pokémon Center without an explanation. Our friends go to Dr. Akihabara’s laboratory, where they meet a hologram of Dr. Akihabara’s head. The hologram leads them to the Pokémon Master-ball Transporter and locks them inside. Porygon appears inside the Pokemon Transporter with our heroes. Dr. Akihabara introduces the virtual pokémon as his creation. He explains that some thieves (Team Rocket) have stolen another prototype of Porygon and are inside the system blocking the pokémon from reaching their correct locations. Dr. Akihabara has found a way to transport humans! Dr. Akihabara states that he cannot send a vaccine into the system while humans are inside without harming the humans. His solution is to send the friends into the system to confront the trouble – something the friends are not very happy about. Our friends are being sent inside the Transporter System, something never before done…will they ever be able to get back out?

Reason Episode 38 – Electric Soldier Porygon is a banned Pokémon episode:
In this episode, Team Rocket fires missiles at the friends which Pikachu destroys with a thunderbolt. The resulting quickly flashing strobe-light animation of the destruction reportedly sent over 700 children in Japan into seizures. As a result, the anime was placed on a 4 month suspension pending a review of what happened. This episode has not been aired on television in any country since as a precaution and the creators of Pokémon removed the strobe-light effect from the animation of Pikachu’s attacks. This episode was never aired on English television.

Please Note: People often will either watch this episode to see if it gives them seizures or will not watch it for fear of seizures. This episode will not give you seizures unless you have an already existing risk for seizure – just like a strobe-light will not give everyone seizures. The vast majority of people watch it without issue.