Imagine an app that could stream every piece of non-interactive Pokemon media for free. The Pokemon TV App never actually achieved that dream, but its imminent end, announced yesterday, will make it a bit harder to view the anime’s history.
Pokemon TV was introduced in 2013…it is a free app that lets anyone view selected episodes and seasons of the series, plus certain movies. The key word here is selected: just a fraction of the over-1000 episodes were available and the library changed at random as seasons were added and taken out. However, Pokemon TV would often host episodes that were currently impossible to see any other way.
It’s hard to think of a long-running anime, let alone TV series in general, that has its library in such a tangle. Several competing streaming services each have their own slice of the show, but none of them carry the full thing. In fact, some seasons are only available for purchase, not to stream. Netflix carries the very beginning (Indigo League, the first eighty episodes) and the very end (to date). Amazon has Gold and Silver, Hulu has XY, The Roku Channel has Sun and Moon, Tubi has Black and White, Freevee has Ruby and Sapphire, and Hoopla has Diamond and Pearl. Pokemon TV had several exclusives like Orange Islands. Good luck catching them all.
If you’re just hearing about this app now and are rushing to the eShop to download it while you still can….it’s too late. In a frustrating move, The Pokemon Company announced the end of Pokemon TV on the same day they removed it from all participating devices. Those who have the app already can enjoy it until the end of March, after which point it will no longer function.
Pokemon TV is, or WAS available through the App Store, Google Play, Roku Channel Store, Amazon App Store, Nintendo eShop and Pokemon.com. Some have noted, though, it’s date of shutdown is awfully close to Pokemon Day 2024, at which point something new could be announced.