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Frequently Asked Questions
This is the Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQ, section of the site. If you have a question about the Pokemon TV series, chances are you'll find the answer here. Questions about the site are answered here.

What's this show about?
Pokemon is a Japanese "anime" (animation) series that airs on Kids WB! weekdays (check local listings) It is based on the hit Gameboy games and follows the adventures of a young Pokemon trainer named Ash Ketchum and his trusty Pokemon Pikachu as he goes out into the world to become a Pokemon Master. With his friends Misty and Brock, Ash gets into lots of trouble as he captures more and more Pokemon and tangles with troublemakers Team Rocket.

What's a Pokemon?
In Ash's world, there are amazing creatures with amazing powers. These creatures are called Pokemon, short for "Pocket Monster". Pokemon are naturally kind creatures, and many people take them in as pets. Other people, called "Trainers", capture Pokemon and train them to use their powers in Pokemon Battles with other trainers and Pokemon, which usually have set rules and limits. The Pokemon are never killed in battles, only worn down until they are too tired to go on or they faint. Trainers not only have to make their Pokemon more powerful, but they also have to care and show they love their Pokemon. Most trained Pokemon are kept inside Pokeballs, special devices which transform the Pokemon into energy and store them in an ideal environment (it's never really explained in the show), though there are many exceptions of Pokemon who refuse to go inside them. Pokemon are generally very friendly with other Pokemon and trainers.

Who is Ash? Why is he on this journey?
In the land where Ash lives, each child, when he or she becomes ten years old, can go on a journey to become a Pokémon Trainer by capturing and taming many Pokémon and competing in Pokémon battles. Ash is on the journey to become the Greatest Pokémon Master of all time.

Why do Brock and Misty follow Ash around?
They follow Ash for their own reasons. Misty is following Ash because he destroyed her bike in the first episode, and she is following him around until he gets her a new one. Of course, she's almost completely forgotten about it, so she's not sure why she's following him anyway. Brock is following Ash because it was his first time to travel after caring for his ten brothers and sisters for so long. His father came back to take care of the family while Brock went along with Ash. Brock is out to become a great Pokemon breeder.

Do Brock and Misty have last names?
Officially, no. However, many websites and some on-line Pokemon movie cast lists have given Brock and Misty last names. Misty's been thought to have the last name of either Williams or Flowers, while Brock's last name is said to be Harrison.

How old are the characters?
An educated guess of the characters' ages are listed on their Profile Pages, but it's never been officially declared (aside from Ash saying he was ten in the first episode). In the Japanese version though, Ash and company are teenagers, while Team Rocket's probably in their late teens, early twenties.

Do Misty and Ash secretly love each other?
According to a producer of the Japanese version of the show, Ash and Misty have more of a brother-sister relationship rather than a romantic relationship. Still, many suspect Ash and Misty have a mild crush on each other, but are still too young to understand the feelings they have. Don't count on a romantic relationship anytime soon.

How come Ash lets so many of his Pokemon go? Is he an idiot?
You have to understand that Ash cares deeply for his Pokemon, and doesn't want to force them to stay with him if he knows they would be happier elsewhere. Sometimes though, the Pokemon will return to help Ash out. To date he has let go:
Butterfree: Released to start a family with another Butterfree (Bye, Bye, Butterfree)
Haunter: Stayed behind with Sabrina in Saffron City (Haunter Vs. Kadabra)
Primeape: Left to train at the Fighting Spirit Pokemon Training Gym (The Punchy Pokemon)
Pidgeot: Left to guard a flock of Pidgey and Pidgeotto from a Spearow flock. (Pallet Party Panic)
Lapras: Let go after Ash finds its mother. (Viva Las Lapras)
Charizard: Released to train with other Charizard in the Char Valley. (Charizard's Burning Ambition) Charizard returned briefly to help out Ash in the third Pokemon movie and during a couple of Johto battles.
Squirtle: Reunited with his old Squirtle Squad gang. (The Fire-Ring Squad)
Bulbasaur: Stayed at Prof. Oak's lab to keep the peace between arguing grass types. (Bulbasaur... the Ambassador!)

I don't remember Ash ever catching a Tauros.
Ash and company visited the Safari Zone, where Ash caught a whole herd of Tauros, in The Legend of Dratini, which was never aired in outside of Japan, though there is a solid rumor that the episode has been dubbed into English anyway. The reason the episode never aired in America is because the Safari Warden was a gun nut. You can check out what happened in the episode in the Lost Episode Guide.

Who is Ash's father?
No one knows for sure. He was mentioned in Episode 102 (Pokemon Emergency!), by Delia ("Your father will be so proud!"), but he is never mentioned again, or ever seen on the show. It is possible that he could have passed away when Ash was young, or he could simply be one of those characters you never see (like Niles's ex-wife on Fraiser). Several rumors on the internet suggested that his father was Giovanni (Leader of Team Rocket; Delia dated him when they were young) or Drake (the Orange Crew Supreme Champion), but they turned out to be false. Another possibility could be Prof. Hale (Pokemon: Spell of the Unown), since he and Delia knew each other around the time Ash was born.
Japanese producers of the show have mentioned that Ash's father would be revealed in Season Five, but with Season Six underway, no solution has been offered. We may never know Ash's father's true identity.

Is Ash's Pikachu a boy or a girl?
In the show, Ash occasionally refers to Pikachu as "he", so it's assumed Pikachu is a male. If you still have your doubts, the Pikachu Ash owns in the Pokemon Gold and Silver games is male too.

How come some episodes on tape or DVD differ a bit from when they aired on TV?
Sometimes the reasons are obvious, and sometimes they're not. For instance, in "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon", when Meowth lit a match, the scene was cropped so all you could see was Meowth's head. This was obviously done so little kids who were watching wouldn't play with matches. The scene was set back to normal when the episode was released on tape. Another example is the photographer who traveled with Ash and company near the end of the first season. When aired on television, his name was Todd, but when the episodes were released on tape, his name was changed to Snap! To make things even more confusing, when he showed up again in the fourth season, his name was Todd again!

Are there any special features on the DVDs? Should I just get VHS?
The DVDs of the movies have special features, like audio commentary and extra footage. For the TV show, there are no extra features provided. The picture quality on the DVDs are a bit better than VHS, but unless you have a DVD fetish, or know where you can get them used or dirt cheap, it's a lot cheaper just to buy them on VHS. There is some hope of Pioneer releasing the series in season box sets similar to other shows such as The Simpsons, preferably with restored cut scenes, but probably not for a long time.

Gwah-hey? Why are the fourth and fifth movies distrubuted by Miramax and not Warner Bros?
Miramax offered more money for the films and also promised better and smarter promotion, something Warner Bros. never did very well. Miramax didn't do much better, with little to no promotion and a limited release in theaters for both films. The upcoming sixth movie does not have a US distributor yet, but it will most likely be a direct to video title here in the states.

When is that Pokemon Crystal Special coming out in America?
No release date has been set for a US release.

What's the difference between the Japanese and English versions of the show?
Storywise, not much changes. Many fans complain that the producers of the American show completely re-write the stories, but they actually follow the original story very closely. What they do change is the script, as well as insert some American pop humor into the show. And trust me, from reading some of the Japanese scripts, we're a lot better off. What works for one culture doesn't necessarily work for another. Also, in the Japanese version, the characters swear occasionally, but no worse than "hell" or "damn". Other things that might be different are scenes that are edited out for content (Jessie and James's infamous 'inflatable body suits' in "Beauty and the Beach") and violence (Misty and Brock occasionally hit each other), but it happens only rarely.
For episode specific changes, I recommend checking out Dogasu's Japanese To English Pokemon Site which has the changes for many of the episodes and movies.

I'm hard of hearing. Do any of the episodes have Closed Captioning?
The episodes aired on Kids WB! now usually feature Closed Captions. The first run of tapes of the first season (the red boxed tapes) do not have CC, but the second season (yellow box) and the Johto episodes on tape do.

Where can I catch episodes on TV?
Pokemon usually airs every weekday afternoon on Kids WB!, and new episodes are shown on Saturday mornings. Reruns of the Indio League air weeknights on Cartoon Network. Check your newspaper or TV Guide for times and channels.

What's the Orange League? I don't remember that League in any of the games.
Simply put, the Orange League was created for the anime because the new Pokemon games were not finished yet. So instead of waiting for the games to be finished, the show's producers decided to create a new League for Ash to compete in until the new games were finished. In the Orange League there are only four Gyms, and badges are won in tests of skill instead of battles.

What happened to Brock? Who's Tracey?
It's an interesting story. When the series was being translated into English, the Japanese company was beginning to produce the Orange League episodes. American producers were worried that American viewers would not accept Brock because of the way he looked (i.e. his eyes), so they convinced the animation company to replace him with Tracey. Of course they didn't count on American viewers to become so attached to Brock! When the Johto series began, they brought Brock back. As for Tracey, he is a Pokémon Watcher, a person who observes Pokémon in their natural habitat. He traveled with Ash and Misty in hopes of meeting his hero, Professor Oak. He did at the end of the Orange League series and stayed behind in Pallet Town to study with Prof. Oak as Brock rejoined the group.

Will the Orange Island Adventures series ever be released on DVD?
The first of three DVDs, "Adventures in the Orange Islands", has been released on November 2002. Others will follow in 2003.

What is this I hear about Misty leaving?
At the end of the Johto series, Misty and Brock both part ways with Ash, going back to their families in their hometowns. While Brock eventually returns to help Ash in Advanced Generation, Misty does not. The reason for her leaving is not clear (something about her sisters needing her to run the gym), and it is not known if she will reappear in the series.

What is with these losers Team Rocket?
In the first few episodes, Jessie and James were much more serious and seemed more competent. As the series progressed, Jessie and James devolved into the lovable losers they are today. They aren't necessarily evil, they're just trying to impress their boss so they can get somewhere in the world. But sometimes their mandatory appearance in each episode can get old and tiresome. Still, some people consider Jessie, James and Meowth to be the most popular characters on the show!

How come Team Rocket's Meowth can talk?
As it was revealed in one episode (Go West, Young Meowth), Meowth taught himself to talk and walk like a human in order to impress a female Meowth. However, when she dumped him, he ran away to join Team Rocket.

Why is Team Rocket trying to steal Pikachu? Can't they find one somewhere else?
In the second episode, Pikachu thwarted Team Rocket's plans to rob a Pokémon Center. Because Pikachu was much more powerful than any other Pikachu they have seen, they became convinced that Pikachu was something special. If you can say one thing about Team Rocket, it's that they never give up trying to capture it, even though they fail again, and again, and....

Is Team Rocket just Jessie, James and Meowth?
Actually, no. Ash and crew refer to the three as Team Rocket, but the fact is that they are only a small part of a huge international crime ring known as Team Rocket, made up of thousands of members world-wide, intent on using Pokemon for evil purposes. Most members of Team Rocket are dangerous and cunning, unlike our favorite losers.

Hey, in Pokemon Silver, where can I get the Silver Wing to summon Lugia so I can--
Let me stop you right there. I know in the past I've had several different game help sites, but I just don't have time to write massive game guides, a full Pokedex and answer gameplay questions anymore. This site focuses specifically on the TV series. There are lots of other great Pokemon sites out there with better game advice than I could give :)

When the heck does this stoopid site update?
Generally about once a month, as I upload new episode guides in clusters. When the show is on break and showing reruns, updates are even less frequent. The News and Updates section is updated as needed, whenever news about Pokemon breaks.

Hey, I caught a mistake you didn't mention in your episode guide!
Really? Cool! Send it in to us, and we'll add it to the guide and give you credit!

Can I take your text and use it on my own site?
No way. Do that and we'll have to send the hounds after you.

How about the screen captures? Can I use those?
Sure, help yourself. But if you're making money off them, we will have to hurt you. And you'll have to tell us just how you're making money with them.

Do YOU make money off this site?
Heck no. It's a labor of love... or just something for my portfolio... you decide.

Where did you get the name for this site?
It's a play on the title of the episode guide for Mystery Science Theater 3000 entitled: "The Amazing Colossal MST3K Episode Guide". If you have never heard of Mystery Science Theater, for shame.

What is with "Weird Al" Yankovic and the number 27?
It's just his thing. I thought these were supposed to be questions about the show or site?

I don't believe you! I have my own idea of what the show is about!
Calm down, and repeat to yourself "It's just a show, I should really just relax."

This site is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Nintendo, Game Freak or 4Kids Entertainment

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