'Lost' Pokemon anime script recovered by fans
It's not just MissingNo that is AWOL in the wide world of Pokemon, as a lost relic of the franchise's past has been dug up like a Kabutops. As the Pokemon anime enters a new chapter with Liko and Roy replacing Ash Ketchum, it turns out we could've had another outing with a red-hatted hero.
Ash held up the Pokemon anime from 1997 to 2023, and while we're told he'll return someday, it's over to two new upstarts and Captain Pikachu to steer the ship. Even though Ash is gone for now, we've found one last adventure with him - coming from an unlikely place.
What are the lost Pokemon episodes
According to Bulbagarden forum user ObjectionMan, "Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma (Part 1 & 2)" was going to see the villainous (but misunderstood) Team Rocket clash with the crime syndicate of Team Plasma. The two-part special was due to air as part of the Black & White season in 2011 but was delayed due to a Tsunami striking Japan.
The episodes reportedly featured earthquakes, and due to the parallels with the real-life natural disaster, were delayed to a later date over fears of insensitivity. 12 years later, that obviously didn't happen, but the scripts have been unearthed.
Apparently, the scripts were bought via an online auction back in 2013 and had only been shared with a friend who ObjectionMan had been in touch with. Although ObjectionMan discussed buying the scripts and holding a fundraiser to get the money, the anonymous buyer agreed to release them for free.
What happens in the 'lost' Pokemon episodes
All that exists of the lost episodes is a brief teaser released for Japanese television. The scripts were also in Japanese, but were quickly translated into English, which you can read here. The action-packed episodes include Team Rocket's Giovanni overseeing an excavation site for Meteonite.
The usual crowd of Ash, Cilan, and Iris are joined by Professor Juniper and Castelia's Gym Leader Burgh., with Team Plasma trying to muscle in on Team Rocket's dig. Things culminate with Pikachu destroying the Meteonite during a dramatic showdown between all sides.
Sadly, this is about as close as we're likely to get to ever seeing "Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma (Part 1 & 2)." Black & White was many seasons ago, and it makes no sense to release the episodes now because the story has moved far beyond it. At least we can read the scripts and imagine our own lost Pokemon episodes.