ByTom Cox, writer at Creators.co
Staff writer for Moviepilot. Tweet me @thomascox500
Tom Cox

Like most forms of media, Pokémon too have come under the magnifying glass of the censor, with the red stamp of Europe, America and Japan slashing plenty of original content.

Sometimes the changes are absurd, revealing more about the paranoia of the censors than anything else. But sometimes they catch, and rightfully kill any potentially questionable content.

4. Making Game Boy Decent

The Game Boy games weren't exactly hiding a pack of drug-addled gun-toting prostitutes down a secret route in Celadon City, but the censor still took a dislike to some of the fleshier figures, or those with marginally risqué attitudes.

Raunchy thigh in 50 pixels
Raunchy thigh in 50 pixels

Justagamingblog points to changes across Blue, Red, Yellow, Gold and Silver between the original Japanese and the European versions. In the above picture some graphic woman thigh has the censors tutting their way to a longer skirt.

Wink wink nudge nudge
Wink wink nudge nudge

Hubba hubba: this babe had the most minor change of them all - a deleted wink. Was that really necessary? NO WINKING IN THE WEST.

Heil?
Heil?

The raised left arm on Registeel like Team Rocket's was too similar to the salute given to a certain Nazi leader for the American censors.

Gone fishin'
Gone fishin'

Got a smoke? Not anymore! This fisherman's cigarette vanishes into thin air. This edit is less ridiculous however, as children definitely shouldn't receive subliminal messages that makes smoking acceptable.

Don't mind my baguette
Don't mind my baguette

In X and Y according to Legends of Localization, the original Japanese text translates to: "I was a Karate King just half a year ago; the power of medical science is awesome, wouldn’t you say?!"

So this is basically the first transgender person to ever appear in the Pokémon games. Baguette woman is still of altered sex in the US version, but her change is the less clear "Black Belt."

3. Card Crimes

Cheeky Grimer
Cheeky Grimer

The Japanese-US differences don't stop there. See if you can spot the difference in the above pictures of Grimer.

Grimer's big blobby eyes have been fronted so he couldn't be interpreted as looking up the girl's skirt.

Wtf
Wtf

This card has had a complete makeover, with Misty's Tears no longer an inexplicably nude Misty mysteriously clutching a massive Starmie in the centre of a random vortex - but a cute Squirtle poke instead.

The more elusive skill: milking Pokémon
The more elusive skill: milking Pokémon

Perhaps the weirdest change was Moo-Moo Milk turning from a creepy cow torso and udders/nipples to good old-fashioned dairy barrels.

2. Jynx The Racist

Jynx
Jynx

The Pokémon who actually desperately needed to be altered was first-gen Jynx. She shares the dark face, wide eyes and oversized lips of the horrific minstrel stereotype.

Minstrels were unforgivably racist entertainers, usually white, who blacked their faces to perform for paying American audiences in the 19th century. They were known for mimicking the songs and dances of black culture.

Source: Kennedy Center
Source: Kennedy Center

An article from 2000 by Carole B. Weatherford began the racist Pokémon debate. Nintendo's response was to paint Jynx purple. In general, Jynx's presence was minimized across all media. Is this enough of a change to distance her from a particularly ugly part of European history?

Source: Dorkly
Source: Dorkly

1. Episodes Cut

There's a humungous total of over 850 Pokémon episodes, but a small number have been altered, cut from re-runs or banned.

'Cyber Soldier Porygon'

Pikaaaa
Pikaaaa

When Pikachu goes ballistic in one of these scenes, the intensity of the six-second anime strobe hospitalized a massive 685 people in Japan. Some viewers had seizures or lost consciousness or suffered blurred vision. This episode was wiped from the system.

'Battle of the Quaking Island' and 'Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma'

Shaking Island Battle
Shaking Island Battle

The events in these two episodes were deemed too similar to earthquakes in Japan from 2004 and 2011, Chuetsu and Tohuku, which claimed thousands of lives. Both were discontinued.

'Tentacool and Tentacruel' and 'The Tower of Terror'

'The Tower of Terror'
'The Tower of Terror'

Both these episodes were temporarily withdrawn in America because of their similarities to 9/11. The former because censors recognised similarities between the September 11 events and Tentacruel attacking the city. The latter because of its title.

Do you know any examples of Pokémon censorship?

Source: Dorkly

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