Lost Pokémon anime episodes found after 12 years

Jessie, Meowth, and random Team Rocket members are shocked by a glowing object.

In the spring of 2011, Japanese broadcasters decided not to air two episodes from the Pokémon anime due to a catastrophic earthquake that hit the east coast of Japan, resulting in widespread devastation and loss of life. The natural disaster caused two episodes of the Black & White anime to be postponed, but that postponement turned into a cancellation, leaving Pokémon fans wondering how the arc concluded for over a decade.

The Pokémon anime had been building up a dramatic arc that involved Team Rocket attempting to use meteorite technology to take over the Unova region. However, the earthquake and tsunami prevented the two-part episode, “Team Rocket Vs. Team Plasma Part 1” and “Team Rocket Vs. Team Plasma Part 2,” from ever airing. Fans have long suspected that perhaps the episodes contained imagery that was too similar to the destruction caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and this was why they never aired.

Recently, a fan found someone who owned copies of the episode scripts, and they were willing to sell them for $4,000. The Pokémon community raised the full amount, but then the owner decided to donate the scripts free of charge. The organizers refunded the contributors and even translated the scripts from Japanese, so fans can finally see what happened in the lost episodes.

If you skim the contents of the scripts, you’ll see why Japanese broadcasters felt the need to take it off the air. Team Rocket’s leader, Giovanni, secured a mysterious and powerful rock called a Meteonite, and he intended to use its power to take over the Unova region. Team Plasma stole the Meteonite, but they quickly lost control of it. The space rock started reacting with a meteorite from a nearby museum, and the resulting heat waves started destroying entire buildings. An association with a real-life tragedy wouldn’t have been a good look for the comedic villains.

Some fans have expressed their disappointment at how Pokémon history was changed because of the earthquake. They believe that Team Plasma would have played a bigger role in the Black & White anime if the episode had aired. While we may never be able to see the episodes, it’s still interesting to learn what Pokémon anime history could have been.

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