When & Where Does ‘Pokémon’ Anime Take Place?

Pokemon Cover

The world ‘Pokémon‘ creators created looks a lot like Earth, but hey, the Earth most people are familiar with actually does not have Pokémon. So, where and when does the Pokémon series take place?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Pokémon takes place in the fictional world called the Pokémon World. This is an alternate world where both humans and Pokémon inhabit.
  • The Pokémon World seems to mimic the time of the real world. It is a parallel universe of the Earth, and several regions are explored in the anime. 

Is the Pokémon world based on the real world?

Many things in the ‘Pokémon’ anime are based on the actual Earth. For example, the demographics of some of the major regions match real-world locations. According to Bulbapedia, the Wikia page for ‘Pokémon,’ the creators have officially stated that the first four regions, including Hisui, are based on a few regions in Japan.

Other regions like Unova and Alola share similarities with the United States. Kalos is stated to be patterned to look like France, while Galar is roughly based on the United Kingdom. There are a couple of hints viewers can get in the anime, such as the type of ‘Pokémon’ viewers can find, strikingly similar landscapes, and even the clothing of the characters that sort of give away what part of the world Ash is in.

The similarities are made more obvious in the games than in the anime. However, the ‘Pokémon’ anime is known to bring Ash to whatever region the next game takes place. So far, it is only Galar that Ash was unable to explore due to how ‘Pokémon Journeys’ was set up.


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Is the anime set in the future?

The world seems to mimic the time of the real world, with a few advanced technologies only made possible in the ‘Pokémon’ World. There have been a couple of theories made in the past that the anime is set in the future due to the creation of the Pokeballs and other technological advancements.

However, that theory can be debunked with examples from the Pokémon Arceus Chronicles Special in ‘Pokémon Journeys.’ Ash and his gang learn that Pokéballs existed before the Pokédex or electricity was discovered or used. 

Another example can be found in the movie ‘Pokémon 4Ever: Celebi – The Voice of the Forest’. Ash meets a young professor, Oak, who does not have or know of many gadgets except for his Pokéballs.

Are there normal animals in Pokémon World?

While it’s rarely seen or mentioned, back in earlier episodes of the ‘Pokémon’ series, there were normal animals seen around in Kanto. Fewer and fewer animals were seen as more Pokémon were introduced, but there are still some animals mentioned in Pokédex entries and on other occasions.

In season one, regular worms are seen being eaten by bird-type Pokémon. Fish can even be seen in tanks or swimming alongside Pokémon. Later Pokémon seasons just show the existence of real-life animals, such as in food or shells. Sometimes real animals are mentioned by the characters.

Pokemon Eating Meat

Do people eat Pokémon in the anime?

Since normal animals exist in anime, one might assume that people of that world do not eat Pokémon. However, in anime and games, it has been hinted that eating Pokémon or certain parts of a Pokémon is possible.

In the episode “So Near, Yet So Farfetch’d,” Ash’s Pokédex stated that the Pokémon Farfetch’d actually make a delicious meal, especially when cooked with the leek it holds. In other episodes, while never shown, characters have even mentioned or imagined eating some Pokémon. However, in recent anime seasons, it has become less.

Meanwhile, while it was never shown in the anime, the games sell Slowpoke Tails, a common ingredient for stews in the Alola region and a curry ingredient in Galar. It is suggested that the tails are harvested in a non-harmful way due to Slowpoke being able to regrow their tails.

Does an alternate reality exist in the ‘Pokémon’ Anime?

There’s an Alternate Timeline introduced in recent ‘Pokémon’ movies. In the movie ‘I Choose You!’ Ash begins his journey similar to how the anime started. However, instead of journeying with Misty and Brock, Ash is seen traveling with Verity and Sorrel instead.

In addition, this timeline also introduces an alternate dimension where Pokémon do not exist. Ash finds himself in this world when he disappears from his world due to suffering from several attacks made by Pokémon. However, he is brought back to his own reality.

At the end of the movie, Ash separates from his traveling companions and continues on his journey. The recent movies follow the adventures of Ash and Pikachu, who belong to this alternate reality, instead of Ash and Pikachu from the anime series.

Does time run differently in the ‘Pokémon’ anime?

People are pretty sure more than one year has passed since the first episode aired in ‘Pokémon.’ Not only that, there are more episodes than there are days in a year. Yet, none of the characters aged, and all of Ash’s adventures through the various regions are considered canon due to several characters reappearing in the series. Ash is still introduced as a ten-year-old trainer on a quest to become a Pokémon master season after season.


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This is because ‘Pokémon’ anime uses a literary device called a floating timeline or what some would call a sliding timescale. This allows the anime to stay in the present real-world timeline while retaining the youth of the characters. Other cartoons like ‘The Simpsons’ and even comic strips like ‘Archie’ use this device to allow the characters to use updated real-world devices.

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