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After seeing some Youtube videos about censorship in Pokemon, it seems to me that the motives for it are based mainly on1:

  • Sexual content/innuendoes
  • Violence (gore, mutilations, etc.)
  • Religion references
  • And others (offensive language, stereotypes, political matters, etc.)

I'm interested in knowing if there are censored or discarded Pokemon creatures, and if so, what are the motives behind it. Has Satoshi Tajiri published information about it?2


1 My knowledge about this topic mainly comes from creepypasta and other not too serious references (and also, those are in Spanish, so, I'm not sure if they would be accepted).

2 With the last statement I mean if Satoshi Tajiri approved or rejected the idea/fact of censoring his creations, or if he worked in the censored version, etc.

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    I'm a little bit puzzled by this persistent belief on the Internet that Japanese Pokemon is full of violence, gore, and sex. It gets censored sometimes in other countries because other countries have different ideas of what's suitable for kids than Japan, but it is still a kids' show; they didn't cut out a bunch of tentacle rape when they released Pokemon in the West. – Torisuda Feb 8 '16 at 0:53
  • @Torisuda I know, right? Back in the early 2000s, there was this website - "Pokemopolis", I think? - that really pushed the narrative that Japan's version of Pokemon (or maybe only the secret limited-edition black-market VHS tapes, or whatever) was full of sex and violence. I totally believed it at the time, given that I was young, stupid, and incapable of actually watching Japanese Pokemon myself. I have to wonder if that site is the ultimate root cause of this belief. – senshin Feb 9 '16 at 19:39
  • @senshin I had the same experience, in like 1998-1999 when I was first getting into anime. I think people assumed it was true because of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, which actually did have some violence and sexual content cut out. After I read about the "frothy mugs of water" in Dragon Ball Z, or how Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were girlfriends instead of cousins in Japan, it was easier to believe that similar stuff was getting cut out of Pokemon. I'm kind of confused why some people still believe it, though. – Torisuda Feb 9 '16 at 19:48
  • I think it is worth mentionning that the initial goal of Tajiri was to give to kids the same passion he had when he was a kid : collecting bugs. Therefore, the Pocket Monsters were oriented on this aspect, which may not lead to much censorship – Ikaros Feb 11 '16 at 10:23
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+50

Censored creatures:

Likely little. As @Torisuda has mentioned, there's no incentive for them to create pokemon that toe the line - it's a show for kids, they will want innocent monsters.

  • Sexual content/innuendoes

A definite no go area for a kids show

  • Violence (gore, mutilations, etc.)

Considering pokemon only 'faint' and there is purposefully no death in the series, this isn't an issue in character design.

The only complaints have been at the presence of fighting creatures from animal and religious groups. But even this is unwarranted - in 2000, Pope John Paul II gave his blessing to Pokémon and said it did not have "any harmful moral side effects"

  • Religion references

You could draw parallels with pokemon and Shinto, but the show is pretty much ignoring religious references, and quite rightly.

  • And others (offensive language, stereotypes, political matters, etc.)

There is one instance I can think of this, In Western editions, Jynx is purple-skinned rather than black, as it is similar to blackface:

enter image description here

Most censoring is done before a show hits the market, so if there are more instances, they're probably known only by the production crew - and kept secret.

Discarded Creatures:

There are definitely discarded creatures, but mostly because they were removed for quality reasons. Some of these made their way into later versions of the series (like Ho-oH) and some were simply redesigned.

At a fan convention in 2010, Shigeki Morimoto (the lead programmer of the first Pokemon games) confirmed that there were originally 190 Pokemon intended to be included in the release of the First Generation of Pokemon games. This is backed up by the fact that for the first 190 of the 255 slots in the hex grid of Pokemon, all slots possess either a valid Pokemon, or the same form of Missingno. All 191 slots and later contain garbage data that produce different glitch Pokemon in each slot.

Reference.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    +1 nice answer. Honestly, your answer and this one are the most elaborate answers I had received in non-TI Stack Exchange sites. I'll wait until someone else share his research. – Mauricio Arias Olave Feb 8 '16 at 21:36
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    You're right they're not likely to toe the line with innuendo, given it's a kids' show, but the line is different in Japan and most of the West. Witness James in a bikini, which didn't make it over here. – Clockwork-Muse Feb 10 '16 at 7:00

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