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Lost episodes of Pokémon anime translated by fans for first time

Team Plasma arc cut short by Japanese earthquake.

A pair of Pokémon anime episodes which never made it on-air have had their scripts translated and shared with fans, 12 years later.

Team Rocket vs Team Plasma (Part 1 & 2) were set to mark a significant moment in the long-running series' Black and White saga, where the two mobs faced off in a final showdown for control of the Unova region.

But despite being ready for broadcast, the episodes were never made public.

Watch on YouTube
A trailer for Team Rocket vs Team Plasma (Part 1 & 2) shows the only footage from the episodes to be made public.

Why were they skipped? The episodes feature a city-destroying incident, and were due to air right after the real-life devastating Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan which resulted in the deaths of nearly 20,000 people.

Despite assurances by The Pokémon Company that the episodes would be shown at a later date, they were never returned to - and were never shown anywhere outside of Japan, either.

Now, the episodes' scripts are available to read for yourself - translated from the original Japanese by Bulbagarden user ObjectionMan - and publicly accessible via the tweet below.

The story of how these scripts came to light is also interesting - as fans had initially clubbed together to buy the scripts from an unnamed seller who suddenly withdrew their offer after $4000 was raised.

Fan concerns that the whole thing had been a scam were alleviated when the seller simply donated the scripts free of charge, with all donations to buy the documents returned.

"I finally finished reading over it, and I genuinely can't thank you enough for all the hard work everyone put into resurfacing this. I never ever thought it'd see the light of day," one fan wrote.

The Pokémon anime currently comprises more than 1230 episodes, of which a handful have gained notoriety for being banned or unaired. Most infamous was the early episode Electric Soldier Porygon, that caused seizures upon its original airing in 1997 and has never been shown anywhere since.

Another episode was also skipped over after featuring an earthquake - this time in the series' Ruby and Sapphire saga - and since then, the anime has skipped all mention of the Pokémon moves Earthquake and Fissure to avoid further problems.

Several other episodes which have aired in Japan never made it overseas. These include the infamous episode where Team Rocket's James wears inflatable breasts to enter a swimsuit competition, and an episode in the Safari Zone where Ash is threatened at gunpoint.

The Pokémon anime recently left Ash and Pikachu behind after more than two decades, and now features an all-new team of heroes and villains, plus a fresh mascot in the form of Captain Pikachu.

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