Officials have confirmed that production for the weekly anime is suspended until it’s safe for crews to meet up again.

The Pokémon anime has a been a staple on Japanese television for 23 years, broadcasting new episodes just about every week since it started. Unfortunately for fans, however, the weekly supply of new animated adventures is being hit by the coronavirus, as it was confirmed by the official Twitter account on April 19 that the show will be halting production for the time being.

The tweet says:

“<Notice from the show>
Due to the state of emergency declared because of the spread of novel coronavirus, after careful consideration about how to produce the show safely, we have decided to temporarily suspend production activities.
Because of this, starting next week we will be showing reruns of the Pokémon anime.”

This announcement confirms what many speculated after voice actress Rika Matsumoto, who voices Ash Ketchum (or Satoshi) in the Japanese version, tweeted that she had no upcoming jobs and would be taking an extended vacation. With the virus threatening lives across Japan, it was a reasonable course of action, and fans online have been very understanding. In fact, they actually seemed kind of excited about the prospect of getting to rewatch old episodes:

“You can’t help closing down, safety first! Everybody, let’s overcome the danger together!”
“Can’t be helped, but if you’re going to do reruns, broadcast the best episodes from the past!”
“Ahh, of course. But don’t stick to just one series, please show us many! That way the kids and the adults will be happy.”
“I’d like to see episodes from old series that were taken off the air. That or episodes that feature Torchic, etc”
“I want them to broadcast a ‘best selection’ from the first series all the way through to Sun and Moon!”
“If I had to pick one, I want to see XY!”
“I don’t mind if you do reruns, but I’d rather see a selection of the best episodes instead of a whole series. Or all of the league challenges up till now!”

▼ Sadly, many Pokémon Centers and Megastores are also closed (but you can still order your custom Pokémon shirts online!).

The series that had been airing up until now started in November, and the latest episode, “Goodbye Raboot!”, which was the twenty-second of the series, aired on the 19. TV Tokyo or the officials behind the anime haven’t announced which series or episodes will be aired as reruns starting this Sunday, but hopefully they’ll listen to the fans and show some of everyone’s favorite episodes throughout the anime’s history.

Luckily, if you aren’t satisfied with the chosen episodes, you can pick and choose some of your favorites by watching six years worth of Pokémon online for free in Japan. For overseas fans, the official U.S. Pokémon website also appears to have every episode from the first series all the way up to Sun and Moon here, plus many of the movies, available for free. So don’t worry; as we all stay home and try to keep each other safe, we can still get our Pokémon fix!

Source: Twitter/@anipoke_PR via livedoor news via My Game News Flash
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