3Pokemon Gets Seizure-riffic
Unless you have been in a coma for the last decade or, likewise, incapacitated (we do know a lot of folks in the early 90s were into heroin), you know about Pokemon, Nintendo's lovable series about owning little animals and making them beat the tar out each other in kid-friendly cockfights.
Oh, and it's a fucking merchandising empire.
Life seems very good in the world of Pokemon as it continues to make enough money to support Nintendo for the next 50 years, but it almost died in Japan even before it hit the states in 1998 when just four seconds of the episode "Electric Soldier Porygon" made kids black out and go into convulsions (warning: Below is the actual seizure-inducing clip. Watch with caution):
What The Fuck?
We don't recommend watching that multiple times in a row unless you want to feel like someone drove a pickaxe through your fucking skull. It's like your eyes are being raped by a cartoon animal.
The episode sent 685 Japanese children to the hospital for everything from headaches and nausea to seizures, which were dubbed "Pokemon Shock" by the Japanese media. It was immediately followed by outrage and protests from parents, which we hope involved Samurais.
Are stereotypes still wrong when they're awesome?
The show was soon put on a four-month long hiatus and after it came back, "Electric Solider Porygon" was not only banned from air in Japan but was also never broadcasted or distributed in any other country. Somehow they made due with the other 500-plus fucking episodes they've produced.
2Fred Flintstone: Cancer Merchant
The Flintstones was Hanna-Barbera's animated attempt to see how badly they could rip off The Honeymooners before anyone would notice, and find out just how many rock-related puns they could shove down America's throat in the process.
Despite that, it became one of the most influential cartoons ever produced. It had a solid 6-year run from 1960-1966 and was the first show, let alone cartoon, on ABC shown in color. It also was the first cartoon on TV meant to appeal to the whole family instead of just children, even being aired in ABC's prime time slots. Without them we wouldn't have things like The Simpsons, Family Guy or cartoon women that give us boners.
You know you want to hit that.
The other thing that The Flintstones gave us was this classic ad for Winston Cigarettes that right smack in the middle of each episode, blowing smoke in your face much like that douche standing in front of an office building trying to cure his nicotine fix:
What the Fuck?
It's awesome how much political incorrectness they were able to jam into these spots. First the men were being total lazy pricks while they let the women do all the work, and when guilt hit them over that fact, instead of offering them help they just moved somewhere less depressing for a smoke break. All of that before Fred comes right out and basically says, "Smoke these kids, they are fucking awesome, and make sure they are Winston, or else you suck and nobody will love you anymore."
After the first two seasons of The Flintstones, Winston Cigarettes was moved out of their sponsorship and replaced with the more family friendly and less cancerous Welch's grape juice, and the show continued having its merry success and became a household name in animation. As for the tobacco folks, they kept plugging products on prime time television until 1971 when tobacco ads were banned from television. As for using cartoon character to advertise cigarettes, of course they kept right on doing it.