Pokémon the Series: Black and White (ポケットモンスター ベストウイッシュ！, Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!) is the 4th series of the Pokémon anime. It premiered from September 23, 2010 to September 26, 2013 in Japan, and from February 12, 2011 to December 7, 2013 in the United States. TV Tokyo announced that the season covers the main protagonist Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu's adventures in the new region Unova. As always, the past female companion of Ash, Dawn, has left the series, and is replaced by a girl named Iris. Iris is revealed to have a Axew. Ash also has a male friend in this series known as Cilan, who is also a Gym Leader. Team Rocket are still in the series, and new antagonists will appear in the form of crime syndicate Team Plasma. Team Plasma is after the Legendary Duo Reshiram and Zekrom, similar to how other villainous teams went after the Legendary Pokémon in their respective regions. Ash also has a new set of clothing based on Pokémon Black and White's male player character's design.
Every non-Asian localization of this series titles their dub seasons under the term "Black & White", or any translation of it, just like what the games are named. Like every region, this region also has its own main legendary Pokémon duo Reshiram and Zekrom and an additional legendary Pokémon Victini is also introduced. Ash Ketchum starts off his journey (complete with a new outfit) to this new region along with his faithful companion Pikachu, leaving behind Brock and Dawn on their respective quests, and also the other Pokémon which he caught in the Sinnoh region back at Professor Oak's Lab. This time Ash is going to compete in the Unova League by gaining the eight badges of that region capturing and befriending new Pokémon along the way.
- Pokémon: Black & White (Season 14)
- Pokémon: BW Rival Destinies (Season 15)
- Pokémon: BW Adventures in Unova (Season 16)
- Team Rocket
- Team Plasma
- Ash's Pikachu
- Ash's Charizard
- Ash's Unfezant
- Ash's Oshawott
- Ash's Pignite
- Ash's Snivy
- Ash's Scraggy
- Ash's Leavanny
- Ash's Palpitoad
- Ash's Boldore
- Ash's Krookodile
- Trip's Serperior
- Trip's Frillish
- Trip's Tranquill
- Trip's Lampent
- Trip's Conkeldurr
- Trip's Vanillite
- Iris' Axew
- Iris' Excadrill
- Iris' Emolga
- Iris' Dragonite
- Cilan's Pansage
- Cilan's Crustle
- Cilan's Stunfisk
- Team Rocket's Meowth
- Jessie's Woobat
- Jessie's Frillish
- James' Yamask
- James' Amoonguss
- Georgia's Beartic
- Georgia's Bisharp
- Georgia's Vanilluxe
- Stephan's Liepard
- Stephan's Sawk
- Stephan's Zebstrika
- Bianca's Emboar
- Bianca's Escavalier
- Bianca's Minccino
- Bianca's Shelmet (traded away)
- Burgundy's Darmanitan
- Burgundy's Dewott
- Burgundy's Sawsbuck
- Burgundy's Stoutland
- Cameron's Ferrothorn
- Cameron's Hydreigon
- Cameron's Lucario
- Cameron's Samurott
- Cameron's Swanna
- Cameron's Watchog
- Virgil's Eevee
- Virgil's Espeon
- Virgil's Flareon
- Virgil's Glaceon
- Virgil's Jolteon
- Virgil's Leafeon
- Virgil's Umbreon
- Virgil's Vaporeon
- Gym Leaders - The gym leaders of Unova will appear in some episodes, most likely battling Ash.
- Elite Four
- Professor Juniper - She is first seen in the first two episodes of Best Wishes.
- Professor Oak - He will most likely be shown sometimes in the series, mostly video chatting with Ash about his journey.
- Delia Ketchum - the mother of Ash Ketchum, will most likely will appear talking to Ash on the video chat, making sure that he is doing well and that has everything he needs for his quest.
- Don George
- Freddy O'Martian
- Subway Boss Ingo
- Subway Boss Emmet
- Anthea and Concordia
Retired/Returning Running Gags
- Brock's crush and flirtatious tone over attractive girls has passed, with Cilan replacing him. Unlike Brock, Cilan does not flirt with girls. In Brock's special episode, he is still shown to be flirting with girls.
- Ash's Pikachu doesn't destroy Iris' bike since she does not have one. This is because Iris prefers to use tree vines instead.
- Team Rocket doesn't blast off, so far they managed to safely escape without being electrocuted in Season 1. However, they finally blast off again in a long time in Season 2.
- Team Rocket shifts from their foolish and dramatic personalities to their smarter and more mature personalities in the anime. However, they changed back later in the series.
- Because of this, their Boss Fantasies are no longer being imagined.
New Running Gags
- Bianca occasionally accidentally knocks Ash and Pikachu into a body of water due to her clumsiness. Some fans have speculated, though, that she does it on purpose to see Ash shirtless due to an unrevealed crush.
- Stephan gets upset when people mispronounce his name, similar to how Butch's name was mispronounced by most of the characters in the series.
- Main article: Episode Guide
- BW, an abbreviation that is used in season 15 and 16 of non-Asian localizations of the anime, is an abbreviation that is applicable to both Best Wishes and Black & White.
- The first Japanese opening of this series is all CGI-animated with only Pikachu and the Generation V Pokémon and no humans. The first English-dub opening has only the scenes from the first Japanese opening.
- The Pokémon appearing in the anime and in the Unova region are different from the previous anime, just like in the video games.
- The Pokémon in Unova and appearing in the anime are only Generation V Pokémon, just like the video games.
- There are no previous Pokémon from Generations I-IV appearing in the wild or used by trainers in the Unova region. However, many of the Pokemon from the previous seasons appear starting from the 35th episode of Rival Destinies up to the Adventures in Unova and Beyond season.
- The only previous Pokémon from Generations I-IV appearing in the anime are the three Generation I Pokémon, Pikachu (belonging to Ash), Meowth (belonging to Jessie and James of Team Rocket) and Persian (belonging to Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket). They're the only ones to appear so far.
- When Team Rocket is in Unova, their attitude is different in this series from the previous series.
- Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, wears a new gray outfit.
- Jessie and James of Team Rocket have changed clothes due to a promotion, they will be wearing black uniforms instead of their old white uniforms. However, they later revert to their original uniforms later in the series while still retaining their serious attitude.
- The reason Jessie and James left all their Pokémon at Team Rocket headquarters, is because they are not native to Unova and may look less suspicious. Meowth is technically a member and a Pokémon, so it was sent with Jessie and James.
- As with other series, Ash's previous friends (Misty, May, Max, Dawn, Brock or Tracey) may not appear in this series, although Dawn has been referenced in the opening theme and first episode. However, Dawn returns in the Rival Destinies season where she reunites with Ash and compete with him in the Junior Cup tournament.
- The characters living in Unova are different from those in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh.
- Ash meets Iris and Cilan in a similar fashion to when he first met Misty and Brock but Iris never had a bike like Misty, May and Dawn had.
- In the narration for the first episode of Best Wishes, Ash is said to be still ten, which is ironic since Pokémon has been airing for thirteen years.
- This series would be considered a reboot of the Pokémon: Original Series, as it uses many dynamics from the first series.
- Ash turns his hat around when catching a Pokémon like he did in the original series.
- Ash tries to catch every Pokémon when he first arrives in the Unova region.
- Ash captures the three starters, the region's first bird, and a worm bug type Pokémon. This is the same as his first 6 Pokémon, just caught in a different order.
- The series reuses music from the original series.
- This series has a different running gag from Advanced Generation and Diamond and Pearl.
- Ash is the only competitive Pokémon trainer. Instead of a female competitive Pokémon trainer, there is Iris, who has a goal that does not revolve around competitions.
- Ash is again the only one in his group to participate in League Battles.
- Iris and Cilan don't seem likely to enter a Pokémon Contest. This may be because the Pokémon Contests are replaced with Pokémon Musicals.
- Ash captures a Sewaddle, which is the first time Ash captured a worm-based Pokémon since Caterpie. This also marks Ash catching his sixth Pokémon in his journey at a new region, since his Johto journey though he kept some of his original Pokémon and didn't choose to make a fresh start yet.
- Besides Ash usually catches a lot of Pokémon but so far he only usually keeps 5 from each region, not counting ones that can be called upon. Currently only his Johto and Unova journey, does Ash capture and keep 6 Pokémon from the region. He even catches more than 6 Pokémon on his Unova journey which was the first time he has ever done that since the Original Series.
- Dawn and Brock both got their own special episodes. Forrest owns a Rhyperior and has taken over the role as the Pewter City Gym Leader and Dawn's Cyndaquil evolved and she traveled to Hoenn along with her current party to partake in Pokémon Contests.
- This series is different from the Original Series, Advanced Generation and Diamond and Pearl.
- When Pokémon come out of a Poké Ball, they appear as a silver ball with blue sparkles instead of white light.
- When Pokémon are seen on the Pokédex, they appear as rotating images instead of still pictures.
- Pokémon now evolve with a blue light around it instead of a white light.
- The attacks that Pokémon use, like Hyper Beam, are CGI-animated, instead of normal animated.
- The "To Be Continued" logo at the end of every episode is a different font instead of yellow with an arrow pointing it.
- Unlike when Ash captured Krabby, when Ash caught his seventh Pokémon Sewaddle, the Poké Ball simply shrank with the button glowing red and remained inactive instead of automatically transferring to the professor. Also, Ash had to arrive at a Pokémon Center and manually transfer one Pokémon he has on hand. All of this is due that he sends his Pokémon to Professor Juniper.
- The Gym Leaders of Unova all make an appearance at least once in the series, even those from Black 2 and White 2:
- This is the first time this anime does not follow the badge order from the games.
- The Legend Badge was the only badge from the Generation V games, never to be seen.