Post by Yona: Old Media Enthusiast on Dec 16, 2017 1:04:43 GMT -5
One of the most infamous incidents in television history went down on December 16th, 1997 when the Pokemon episode "Electric Soldier Porygon" aired on Japanese television. During one scene, a flashing strobe effect of blue and red was shown on screen. This would result in over 600 children suffering from headaches, dizziness, convulsions, and at worst, seizures. An incident later dubbed "Pokemon Shock". The footage of the offending clip is out there, but I won't post it for obvious reasons. Instead I'll use this image here.
An episode of the Pokémon anime broadcast in December 1997 on Japanese television induced photosensitive epileptic seizures in a substantial number of Japanese viewers, many of which required medical assistance. As a result, the episode was not broadcast overseas and never shown in Japan again, and the incident caused the anime to go into a temporary hiatus. Every Pokémon episode that aired up until this episode, including the opening, was edited by lighting certain scenes, removing or changing fast-flashing scenes and more. The original version of the episodes have never been shown again, except by mistake on Hulu Japan.
A very interesting incident. Unfortunate, too, outside of for the obvious reasons, because if I recall, it also led to Porygon not appearing in the anime again after that. I'd love an episode with it now, if only because Porygon has one of the oddest storylines that seems to be continuous in the games. That is, since it doesn't need to eat or breathe, scientists want to use it to explore space, but they have technical difficulties or issues like Porygon being unable to remember its mission details.
I'll never remotely understand banning Porygon from the anime outside of stray cameos. Put it on ice for a bit, whatever, but I really doubt anyone would ever freak out just from having the thing in a completely unrelated plot of the day.
Then again no one ever accused the Pokemon anime of making smart decisions.