Ash Ketchum dreams of being the world’s best Pokémon master and after he is given his very first Pokémon, the electric mouse Pikachu, his adventure begins. Joined by ex-gym leaders Brock and Misty and forever pursued by Jessie and James of Team Rocket; Ash makes his way across the lands, making new friends and rivals, as he battles the gym leaders, enters tournaments and shrives to catch ‘em all.
Language: English dub / Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Alternate Title: Pokétto monsutaa (Japan)
|Rica Matsumoto||... Satoshi|
|Ikue Ootani||... Pikachű, Tosakinto|
|Mayumi Iizuka||... Kasumi, Pippi|
|Yűko Kobayashi||... Shigeru Orchid|
|Yuji Ueda||... Takeshi|
|Megumi Hayashibara||... Musashi, Fushigidane, Pigeon|
|Shinichirô Miki||... Kojirô, Hitodeman, Lizardon, Pokemon Guide|
|Inuko Inuyama||... Nyâth|
|Unshô Ishizuka||... Prof. Orchid, Matadogâsu, Narrator|
|Veronica Taylor||... Ash Ketchum, May|
|Rachael Lillis||... Misty, Jessie|
|Eric Stuart||... Brock, James|
|Ted Lewis||... Tracey Sketchit, Giovanni, James (episodes 1-12)|
|Madeleine Blaustein||... Meowth|
|Amy Birnbaum||... Max, Caterpie, Butterfree|
|Megan Hollingshead||... Nurse Joy, Officer Jenny|
|Stan Hart||... Professor Samuel Oak|
|Matt Mitler||... Gary Oak, Todd|
|Phillip Bartlett||... Narrator (1998-2004)|
|Mike Pollock||... Narrator (2004-)|
The game and its characters were created by Satoshi Tajiri and released in Japan – as Pokétto monsutaa* — for the Nintendo Gameboy in 1996. In Japan, Ash is named after his creator in both the series and games, while his main rival – known in the west as Gary Oak (or Green in the game)– is named after Shigeru Miyamoto, creator – and these days producer – of such game series as Super Mario, Star Fox and The Legend of Zelda.
The games and series have been hugely successful for Nintendo over the last decade and show no sign of abating; with the latest versions being Diamond and Pearl for the DS (released this year). A special edition of the original game was released with tighter ties to the series – Pokémon Yellow. In that version, Pikachu would be your default Pokémon, trailing as you traversed the game map.
The series caused controversy when an episode aired in December of 1997 on Japanese television caused epileptic-like seizures in hundreds of its viewers (episode 38: Electric Soldier Porygon). The offending episode has since been cut from syndication - everywhere.
In the US, the series was able to debut at the same time as the games, in the September of 1998.
*literally Pocket monsters, the name Pokémon being a nickname given to the games, etc by Japanese school children and then adopted for western release. Though the name change may also have had something to do with the ‘Monster in my Pocket’ range of toys and the subsequent difficulty in trade marking.