Things seem to be getting harder and harder for the global anime industry. As concerns over COVID-19 force people across the globe to quarantine indoors, several industries have slowed or halted entirely. The anime industry has been hit especially hard the last few weeks, with highly anticipated anime series like Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- and Sword Art Online: Alicization War of Underworld delayed indefinitely as a result of the spread of the coronavirus. Now, another major anime franchise has been hit with unavoidable delays, as the currently airing Pokémon anime, Pocket Monsters, has had its new episodes delayed for the foreseeable future.
Announced via the official Twitter account of the Pokémon anime franchise, the staff of the currently airing Pocket Monsters series will be putting a temporary suspension on parts of their production pipeline for the anime due to the current COVID-19 situation and the state of emergency currently declared in Japan. New episodes of the series are delayed as a result, and a return date for the anime has yet to be established. In the meantime, channels will be re-airing old episodes of the series starting next week.
The new Pokémon anime series, simply titled Pocket Monsters, premiered on TV Tokyo on November 17th of 2019, just a couple of days after the worldwide launch of the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games. The anime series currently airs on Sundays at 6:00 p.m., the same timeslot as the previous Pokémon anime, Pokémon Sun & Moon.
The anime is being produced at studio OLM, with Daiki Tomiyasu serving as the chief director for the series. He was previously the director of Pokémon Sun & Moon. He’s joined by Maki Odaira, director for the series and previous episode director on Pokémon Sun & Moon. Kunihiko Yuyama is the creative supervisor on Pocket Monsters, while Shoji Yonemura is in charge of series construction and Shuhei Yasuda is working as character designer. Music for the anime is being composed by Yuki Hayashi, while Masafumi Mima serves as sound director. The series has a huge amount of scriptwriters, with some of them being Reiko Yoshida, Shoji Yonemura, Deko Akao, Jun’ichi Fujisaku, Michihiro Tsuchiya, Touko Machida, Yuka Miyata, Aya Matsui, Atsuhiro Tomioka, and Akemi Omode.