The Pokémon series has been subject to controversy since its creation. Various religious (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) and activist (animal rights) groups have expressed concerns over the franchise due to prominent themes found in the games. These controversies have even caused the series to be banned in some countries.
The Pokémon Jynx was highly controversial due to its resemblance to characters from The Little Black Sambo, critics insisting that the species enforced a negative stereotype against African Americans. Due to this, Nintendo later altered the design of Jynx to be purple instead of pitch black.
One episode was removed from television after it caused seizures to many children, some of which had no history of seizures. This episode is one of the prime reasons why Nintendo changed the name Pocket Monsters to Pokémon once it reached Western territories due to the widespread media coverage of the event.
In 1999, Burger King released a set of Pokémon toys in Poké Balls in kids meals. After a young child died, from suffocating on the Poké Ball, after it covered her mouth and nose. The child's parents, in response, set up a website called "Pokémon Kills". In response to the issue, Burger King recalled the Poké Balls, and exchanged them for food for a limited time.
All products related to Pokémon have been banned from Saudi Arabia due to supposedly supporting other religions, which is strictly against Muslim doctrine.
One episode, "The Legend of Dratini", was removed from television due to a heavy use of guns.
The episode "Beauty and the Beach" was removed due to the excessively large cleavage given to James and the idea of changing genders by having surgery.
A few episodes were temporarely banned due to their similarities to the September 11 attacks on the the U.S. The two episodes, "Tower of Terror" and "A Scare in the Air", were removed or edited for a while because of their names. "Tentacool and Tentacruel" was removed for a little bit due to it's content, yet the scene of Tentacruel smashing a building stayed in the intro.