Pokémon the Series: Black & White

(Redirected from Best Wishes series)
Best Wishes! redirects here. For the similarly named first Japanese opening theme of Pokémon the Series: Black & White, see Best Wishes! (song).
Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 redirects here. For the similarly named CD, see Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 (CD).

Pokémon the Series: Black & White (Japanese: ポケットモンスターベストウイッシュ Pocket Monsters Best Wishes!) is the fourth series of the Pokémon anime and is based on the events of the Generation V core series Pokémon games. It follows Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl and was succeeded by Pokémon the Series: XY. It ran from September 23, 2010 to October 3, 2013 (with a special episode on March 27, 2014) in Japan and from February 12, 2011 to December 7, 2013 in the United States. It was not given an English name until after the release of Pokémon the Series: XY.

English logo
Japanese logo

As with both Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire and Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl before it, Pokémon the Series: Black & White begins with only Ash Ketchum, who sets out to travel through the Unova region and challenge the Unova League with his Pikachu, accompanied by a girl by the name of Iris and with one of the first Unova Gym Leaders, Cilan, who is also a Pokémon Connoisseur. As before, Ash receives a change of clothes. For the first time in the entire show, the Team Rocket trio also receives a change of clothes, but they later change back to their original outfits. Black & White is also notable for Jessie, James, and Meowth not being present in all episodes outside of the clip show episode AG120 and the first episode, a trend that continued into subsequent series. For a majority of the series, they play a significantly more antagonistic role than in any other series, displaying very little humor. This changes close to the end of the series, when they follow Ash and his friends during their journey through the Decolore Islands and gradually regain their more humorous tone from the previous series.

Additionally, a new art style was introduced in this series. To match Ken Sugimori's most recent character art, all characters are now drawn with the new eye style previously introduced in Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl. This style includes rounder eyes with larger irises and visible pupils. Ash's new design now clearly depicts his brown eyes. Jessie and James have also been redesigned similarly, while also being given a straighter hairstyle. Additionally, the Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny in Unova are designed differently than those of the regions visited by Ash before, a trend that would continue in later series.

With the beginning of this series, many attacks also have had their visual appearances changed. Fire-type moves and Stone Edge are now rendered in CGI, while physical Steel-type moves make the corresponding body part steel-colored rather than white (although this was reverted in Pokémon the Series: XY). Hyper Beam has also been changed considerably, to match how it looks in the games. Starting from this series, the camera pans faster and more often than in previous series. Its zooms have also become faster.

The series also saw the return of Who's That Pokémon? in the English dub of the first episode, and the return of Dare da? in BW061 after an absence of 444 episodes.

Episodes in Pokémon the Series: Black & White are numbered with the prefix BW on Bulbapedia. For a complete episode listing, see the list of Pokémon the Series: Black & White episodes.


When Ash and his mother accompany Professor Oak to the distant Unova region, Ash discovers Pokémon that he’s never seen before… and that he can’t wait to catch! He may have Pikachu at his side together with new friends Iris and Cilan, but he’ll still need plenty of new Pokémon on his team if he wants to challenge Unova’s expert Gym Leaders. His quest to become a Pokémon Master just got even tougher!

Japanese seasons

Pokémon the Series: Black & White has been divided into multiple arcs in the Japanese release, similar to the "chapters" of the original series.

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! (BW001-BW084)

Best Wishes! logo

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウィッシュ) includes Ash's arrival in Unova, his meeting Iris and Cilan, and collecting the Gym Badges of the region. Several times throughout the arc, Ash and his friends come into major conflicts with Team Rocket.

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 (BW085-BW108)

Best Wishes! Season 2 logo

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ シーズン2) mainly consists of Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup and Vertress Conference tournaments. Cynthia and Dawn return, and the group meets Meloetta. Giovanni returns as a major character to lead Team Rocket in Operation Tempest, a mission to capture Meloetta and the Forces of Nature.

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N (BW109-BW122)

Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N logo

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 - Episode N (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ シーズン2 エピソードN) focuses on N and Team Plasma. Ash, Iris and Cilan learn of the White Ruins and decide to visit Cedric Juniper's expedition there. On their way, they meet N and become involved in Ghetsis's plot to have Team Plasma take control of the world using Colress's Pokémon control device and the Legendary Pokémon Reshiram.

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2: Decolora Adventure! (BW123-BW142, BWS01-BWS02)

Best Wishes! Season 2: Decolora Adventure logo

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2 - Decolora Adventure! (Japanese: ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ シーズン2 デコロラアドベンチャー!) comprises Ash and his friends touring the Decolore Islands on their way back to Kanto. On their way, they meet Alexa, a Pokémon photographer from the Kalos region.

Dub seasons

When Pokémon the Series: Black & White came to be dubbed into English and other languages, it was divided into three seasons:


Main article: Pokémon movie → Pokémon the Series: Black & White

Home video releases

North American DVD releases

Australian DVD releases

Japanese DVD releases


For more images, please see artwork from Pokémon the Series: Black & White on the Bulbagarden Archives.





Main characters


Supporting characters



The Best Wishes title was likely selected using words beginning with B and W as an allusion to its counterpart games, Black and White. Additionally, the katakana transcription of the English word "Wishes" (ウイッシュ Uisshu) contains the Japanese name of Unova (イッシュ Isshu), the region the games and anime series take place in.

"Best wishes" is exclaimed at various points in the series, usually when Ash and his friends are saying goodbye to a recurring character or a character of the day. This carries over even to the dub.


  • Prior to the series' debut, for several weeks, previews explicitly excluded Ash, and he did not appear on one of the pre-release posters. His absence was specifically commented on by the hosts of Pokémon Sunday.
  • This is the only series in which:
    • Every main character was a Trainer prior to the series.
    • Every protagonist has at least one rival.
    • No first partner Pokémon belonging to a main character fully evolves.
    • No Pokémon are released by a main character (excluding Cilan's temporary Basculin).
    • No doppelgängers or multiverse counterparts of main characters appear.
  • This is the only series with Ash as the protagonist in which:
  • Pokémon the Series: Black & White shares a number of similarities to the original series, especially in its first few episodes, including:
    • Both of Ash's traveling companions are based on Gym Leaders.
    • Ash meets his female traveling companion first.
    • Ash sees a Legendary Pokémon in the first episode.
    • Ash's main rival is introduced and receives his first partner Pokémon in the first episode.
    • Ash meets his male traveling companion in the fifth episode, who leaves behind his Gym Leader duties to travel with Ash.
      • Both male companions are the first Gym Leaders that Ash battles and obtains Badges from in that region.
    • The sixth episode of each series features a Pokémon that evolves via Moon Stone.
    • Ash catches the Unova first partner Pokémon in the same circumstances as he caught the Kanto first partner Pokémon: the Water-type Pokémon follows him, the Fire-type Pokémon is abandoned by its original Trainer, and the Grass-type Pokémon is found in the wild.
      • The Fire type's Original Trainer tries to get their former Pokémon back after witnessing their powers, but fails.
      • The Grass type initially distrusted humans, but Ash gained its respect and it allowed him to battle and catch it.
      • Of the three, only the Fire type evolved.
    • Much like the Johto first partner Pokémon, none of his Unova first partner Pokémon evolve into their final forms.
    • Ash caught more than six Pokémon.
    • None of Ash's traveling companions owns or catches a first partner Pokémon.
    • Ash caught a Bug-type Pokémon with a three-stage evolutionary line who evolved into its final form.
    • Ash's Charizard returns near the end of the series.
    • After ending his journey across a region, Ash spends a number of episodes traveling through an anime-exclusive group of islands.
    • Ash's traveling companions leave in the penultimate episode of the series.
    • This series and the original series are the only series in which Ash wears his attire for the following series in the final episode.
    • The main heroine from Pokémon the Series: Black & White, Iris, also shares some similarities to the main heroine from the original series, Misty. Both of them:
      • Try to avoid returning to a specific Gym.
      • Debut in the first episode of the series, but are not introduced in full until the second episode.
      • Are aiming to master a specific Pokémon type.
      • Are afraid of a specific Pokémon type (Misty is scared of Bug types, while Iris is scared of Ice types).
      • Traveled with a Pokémon which they kept outside the Poké Ball (Misty with Togepi and Iris with Axew).
      • Caught a Pokémon in a special episode after parting ways with Ash (Misty caught Gyarados in the side story Cerulean Blues and Iris caught Gible in the special episode BWS02).
    • The Vertress Conference shares some similarities to the Indigo Plateau Conference, the first Pokémon League Conference from the original series. In both of them:
      • Ash battles a fully-evolved Grass-type Pokémon as his first opponent.
      • Ash wins his first round battle using only one Pokémon.
      • Ash's main rival is eliminated in the preliminary rounds.
      • Ash is eliminated without having had a full 6-on-6 battle.
      • Ash does not battle the winner of the tournament.
      • The tournament ends on a scene of Ash standing in the stadium, reminiscing about his journey as the sun rises and the current theme song plays.
    • The plot of a movie featuring a Mewtwo is foreshadowed before the movie itself.
  • This is the first series in which:
    • Ash actively cycles his Pokémon between those in his party and in storage, though only with the Pokémon he caught in Unova.
    • James does not have any walking Pokémon since the original series.
    • The first episode of the series did not premiere the same day its respective games were released since the original series.
    • All episodes that were originally aired in Japan were dubbed. Previously, the original series had four banned episodes (EP018, EP035, EP038, EP250) and Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire and Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl dubs each skipped recap episodes (AG120, DP048, DP120). There were two unaired episodes in Pokémon the Series: Black & White (intended to be BW023 and BW024), but they were also unaired in Japan.
    • Cassidy, Butch, or Charles Goodshow don't appear at all.
    • Brock, Tracey, or Gary don't appear in person.
      • Brock does appear in the special episode BWS01, but not in the series proper.
    • Brock is not a traveling companion to Ash.
    • None of Ash's traveling companions are people he has traveled with in previous series.
    • Misty's special lure is not featured.
    • The dubbing wasn't handled by TAJ Productions, and the first series to be dubbed by DuArt Film & Video from start to finish.
    • No background music produced by 4Kids Entertainment is featured in the dub.
    • All episodes are widescreen, or 16:9 aspect ratio.
    • Ash's female traveling companion's age is not mentioned.
  • Unova's Survival Crisis!, the last appearance of Meloetta, aired in Japan during the same week that Meloetta's debut, An Epic Defense Force!, aired in the United States.
  • The first Japanese opening theme of the series, Best Wishes!, is currently the longest-running opening theme which hasn't been re-mixed.
  • This series has Ash conduct the fewest Gym battle rematches of any series with Gyms, with just one at the Nacrene Gym.
  • This is the first anime series to not receive a manga, not counting movie adaptations.
  • This is the last series to date in the dub where the final episode ends with the message "Next Time... A New Beginning!".

In other languages

Pokémon the Series: Black & White

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N

Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! Season 2: Decolora Adventure!

External links

Original series (list) Indigo LeagueAdventures in the Orange Islands
The Johto JourneysJohto League ChampionsMaster Quest
Ruby and Sapphire (list) AdvancedAdvanced ChallengeAdvanced BattleBattle Frontier
Diamond and Pearl (list) Diamond and PearlBattle DimensionGalactic BattlesSinnoh League Victors
Black & White (list) Black & WhiteRival DestiniesAdventures in Unova and Beyond
XY (list) XYKalos QuestXYZ (Mega Evolution Specials)
Sun & Moon (list) Sun & MoonUltra Adventures‎Ultra Legends
Journeys (list) JourneysMaster JourneysUltimate Journeys (The Arceus Chronicles)
Horizons (list) Horizons
Specials (list) Pikachu's Winter VacationSide StoriesPokémon Chronicles
Planetarium specialsPikachu shorts
Mewtwo ReturnsThe Legend of Thunder!Pichu Bros. in Party Panic
The Mastermind of Mirage PokémonPokémon Ranger: Guardian SignsA Ripple in Time
Complete listMoviesOther anime series
  This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.