Pokémon Anime

Alongside the launch of Sword and Shield recently was the release of the new anime series (once again) starring Ash and Pikachu as they explore the world of Pokémon.

When the first episode premiered earlier this month, The Pokémon Company also released it on the official YouTube channel in Japan. Surprisingly, fans outside of this region were able to watch this opening episode instead of having to wait months on end for it to be aired here in the west.

It seemed too good to be true at the time, and sure enough, it was – as these full episodes have now been region locked. Here's the full explanation from Comicbook.com:

It turns out TV Tokyo and TPC accidentally shared the premiere to users outside of Japan. The companies have since region-locked the episode and will reportedly do so for all future episodes.

The first episode racked up more than two million views before it was region locked.

Despite the level of interest in the new series over here in the west, we're still waiting for the localised version of the Sun and Moon series to wrap up – meaning it could be some time before we see the new series featuring the Galar region.

Did you manage to catch the first episode on the Japanese Pokémon YouTube channel while it was available? Tell us below.

[via comicbook.com, twitter.com]