An episode of the Pokémon anime was at the heart of a big controversy, responsible for the hospitalization of hundreds of children.
Pokémon, a timeless anime
Pokémon is clearly one of the most popular anime of all time. Longer ones too, even though it doesn’t have the longest anime title in Japanimation history. But like any work this long, Pokémon has also had some controversy.
We will not talk about the censorships concerning the character of Ondine, already known to a majority of Pokémon fans. But from an episode of the series that sent hundreds of Japanese children to the hospital. Explanations.
Pokémon season 1 episode 38 sends 700 children to hospital
We are on December 16, 1997, the Japanese public is quietly waiting for the broadcast of the day’s Pokémon episode on TV Tokyo. Unfortunately, things will not go as planned. ” The Porygon Virtual Soldier, 38th episode of season 1 of Pokémon has a passage with many light flashes. Pikachu launches an electric attack that destroys the Vaccine Missiles heading towards him. The succession of blue and red lights reminds us that the fight that leads takes place in a computer network.
A few seconds are enough to trigger epileptic seizures in many children, between 7000 and 12000 according to a study. Nearly 700 of them will be hospitalized following nausea, headaches or after fainting. Fortunately, no child has any after-effects. The “Pokemon Shock”, name that will be given to the incident, strongly tarnishes the image of the Pokémon anime. The series stops its television broadcast for 4 months before making its return. Time will do its work for the series to regain the confidence of the public.