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Pokémon(JP), also known as Pocket Monsters(JP) in Japan, is a media franchise jointly owned by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc. through The Pokémon Company. The franchise started from a set of RPG video games created by Satoshi Tajiri. The original Game Boy video games have since been merchandised into anime, movies, manga, trading cards, toys, books and other media. The game’s catchphrase and slogan, in the English language versions of the franchise, used to be "Gotta catch ’em all!", although it is now no longer officially used (except by Hasbro and in the title sequence to Pokémon Chronicles).

Pokémon is also the collective name for all of the fictional species within the Pokémon universe. To date, the franchise has a grand total of over 1,000 Pokémon that lie at the heart of the series, a figure which has grown substantially from the 151 monsters in the original Pokémon Red and Blue games. The word Pokémon remains unchanged whether referring to the singular or plural (as is the case with deer or sheep), and the same applies to each species name.

Pokémon games and media[]

The video games[]

Most Pokémon games are JRPG, Monster Tamer, and Role-Playing Games with an emphasis on capturing and taming enemy monsters to make up the player's party. Main series games have always been released in pairs, along with a third game typically released later. All the games between each main pair are considered part of the same generation. Currently, there are 9 generations each having several new Pokémon released each new generation. Each of the paired games takes place in the same country/region, with the same cast and the same overall story; but generally, differ with the Pokémon available and minor storyline changes such as the main Legendary, boss Pokémon. Some games make larger changes such as Ruby and Sapphire with the different villainous teams and X and Y with exclusive Mega Stones. Starting with Sun and Moon, old Pokémon had regional forms. Usually in the year following the game's release, an expanded version is released that alters the storyline, changes the available Pokémon, and adds many quality-of-life features like move tutors. Starting with Black and White, the third version became split into pairs. Sword and Shield are the first games to have an expansion pass or DLC. Since Platinum, the regional Pokédex also expands. Since Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, new species of Pokémon were added in the middle of the generation. Additionally, there are remakes that release every so often starting with FireRed and LeafGreen. The games are updated to the most recent generation's standards though the initial available Pokémon remains the same as the original games. Two Legends games are made: Legends: Arceus is a prequel to Diamond, Pearl, Platinum and their remakes, set in Hisui (Sinnoh's former name). Legends: Z-A will be set in Lumiose City during a period of redevelopment into a city where humans and Pokémon can live in harmony.

On top of the main games, there are mainly spinoff series to the Pokémon franchise. Before the series' 3D debut, they had the Pokémon Stadium series that was released on consoles which were mainly battle simulators where the player could use their own Pokémon or use rental Pokémon to battle each other in 3D environments and a high-quality animation. The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series is a Rogue-like spinoff where the player becomes a Pokémon and has to navigate dungeons in a world with only Pokémon. They mostly release between mainline entries. The Pokémon Trozei series is a match puzzle series where the pieces are various Pokémon. Each type has its own abilities and affects the other pieces. The Pokémon Rumble series is a light action series using chibi Pokémon toys as their characters and has them beat a horde of enemy Pokémon toys. The Pokken Tournament series are Pokémon fighting games. The Detective Pikachu games features a talking Pikachu who teams up with a young boy to solve crimes.

Pokémon has also expanded to mobile with the marquee title being Pokémon Go. There have been smaller titles like Pokémon Duel, Pokémon Unite and Pokémon Masters EX which are spins on the traditional turn-based combat as well as expansions of the smaller Pokémon series like Pokémon Shuffle.

The series is also represented in Nintendo's crossover platformer-fighter, series, Super Smash Bros., with mascot Pikachu and first (and remake) game's protagonists Red and Leaf under the name Pokémon Trainer playable alongside Pokémon like Jigglypuff, Pichu, Mewtwo, Lucario, Squirtle, Ivysaur, Charizard, Greninja and Incineroar. Additionally, allied Pokémon can be summoned by fighters using the Poké Ball item. Pokémon also appeared as background characters, stage hazards, trophies and Spirits. Rayquaza appears as a boss in Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary.

Currently, the publishing of the mainline titles is being handled by The Pokémon Company, while distribution is handled by Nintendo in Japan. Publishing and distribution of mainline titles outside of Japan are handled solely by Nintendo.

Anime and films[]

The Pokémon anime series, currently titled as Pokémon the Series, is a Japanese anime television series, that began broadcasting in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 1, 1997, and in North America on September 7, 1998. The anime initially featured Ash Ketchum and Pikachu for the first seven series and later, Liko and Roy in the eighth. The anime was initially dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment for the first eight seasons and movies and later, TPCi since the ninth season and movie.

The anime is largely credited for allowing anime to become more popular and familiar around the world, especially in the United States, where many Pokémon films are among the highest-grossing anime films. It is also the most successful video game adaptation of all time, airing for over 25 years (27 seasons with more than 1,200 episodes, 23 anime movies, one live-action movie, several TV movies/specials, several web miniseries, videos, shorts, various variety shows, a musical stage show, a live-action drama series, and some radio programs).

The Trading Card Game[]

Pokemon Charizard Card

Charizard TCG

The Pokémon Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on the Pokémon video game series. It made its debut in Japan on October 20, 1996. Cards were initially distributed by Media Factory in Japan and Wizards of the Coast in North America. Distribution is currently being handled globally by The Pokémon Company.

Manga[]

A variety of Pokémon manga series has been published, primarily by ShoPro. The best known Pokémon manga series is the Pokémon Adventures series, which is being. With more than 40 volumes following the Dexholders on their journeys around the Pokémon world. The main characters are named after the main games (e.g. Red, Gold, Sapphire, Black) The stories are set around all of the main series regions and areas. Each of the generations has its own separate manga series as well. There are also manga based on the anime and movies, such as Electric Tale of Pikachu.

Pokémon media[]

Games[]

Animated TV series[]

Other animated productions[]

Animated short series[]

Variety shows[]

Movies[]

Main[]

Others[]

Short films[]

Fan movies[]

Live action[]

Stage[]

Radio drama[]

Drama series[]

Miscellaneous[]

Controversies[]

The Pokémon series has been subject to controversy since its creation. Various religious (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) and activist (animal rights) groups have expressed concerns over the franchise due to prominent themes found in the games. These controversies have even caused the series to be banned in some countries.

  • The Pokémon Jynx was highly controversial due to its resemblance to characters from The Little Black Sambo. Critics insisted that the species enforced a negative stereotype against African Americans due to its pitch-black skin. Because of this, Jynx's skin was changed to purple.
  • One episode, Electric Soldier Porygon, was removed from television after it caused seizures to many children. After the incident, Japanese TV broadcasters voluntarily added on-screen warnings to shows targeted at young children encouraging viewers to watch them in a well-lit room and to sit far away from the television set. Another episode was postponed before Electric Soldier Porygon, and twoepisodes were never released to the public. The Porygon line would later appear in minor cameos in later episodes and several films.
  • All products related to Pokémon have been banned from Saudi Arabia due to supposedly supporting other religions, which is strictly against Muslim doctrine.[1]
  • On December 11, 1999, 13-month-old Kira Murphy from California suffocated to death when half of the toy became stuck over her mouth and nose, causing her to suffocate, and was later found deceased in her playpen. 12 days later, a second child in Kansas survived a similar incident. These incidents led to a website titled "Pokémon Kills". On December 28, 1999, Burger King issued a recall of the toys. Adults were urged to discard or return both pieces of the toy. Customers returning the toy were given a small order of french fries in return. Nearly a month after the recall, another child suffocated from the toy. The dead children's families settled their lawsuits on undisclosed terms.[2]
  • Kadabra had a slight controversy in that his Japanese name as well as some of his features referenced Uri Geller which caused Uri Geller to sue Nintendo. The case never got anywhere but, The Pokémon Company has never featured Kadabra in the anime or official merchandise until Pokémon Evolutions in 2021. However, on November 28, 2020, Geller released an apology on Twitter, announcing that he would allow Nintendo to print cards featuring Kadabra again. The first Kadabra card released since Uri Geller's dismissal of his lawsuit is included in the Pokémon Card 151 subset, released on June 16, 2023.
  • The Japanese narrator of this Pikachu short Pikachu & Pichu, Noriko Sakai, was arrested in 2009 and later convicted of possession and abuse of drugs. As a result, the short was banned in Japan, and it hasn't seen a rerun or a release on home video or VOD in Japan since then. As such, it is the only theatrical Pikachu short to be excluded from the Pikachu The Movie Premium Box: 1998-2010 DVD set.

History[]

Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri first came up with the concept of what would become Pokémon around the time of the Game Boy's release. The concept stemmed from bug collecting, a hobby Tajiri enjoyed as a child.[3] Tajiri thought the Game Boy was perfect for his idea especially because of the link cable; he envisioned that it would allow players to trade Pokémon with each other. The concept of trading information was new to the video gaming industry because connection cables were only being used for competition at that time.[4]

Originally called Capsule Monsters, the franchise's title went through several transitions due to trademark issues, becoming CapuMon and KapuMon before eventually settling upon Pocket Monsters.[5] The first Pocket Monsters trademark was filed on September 11, 1995[6] and development of the first two games finished the following October.

Pocket Monsters Red and Pocket Monsters Green were released in Japan on February 27, 1996. Nintendo's idea of producing two versions of the same game instead of a single title prompted consumers to buy both, which led to higher sales. Blue was released in October that same year as a mail-order-only special title.

U.S. launch[]

The localization for the first two games was done by a team led by Hiro Nakamura. When altering the games' text from Japanese to English ended up being impossible; the games had to be entirely reprogrammed from scratch due to the fragile state of their source code. The games ended up being based on the mail-order-only Blue; modeling its programming and artwork, but keeping the same distribution of Pokémon found in the Japanese Red and Green cartridges, respectively.

As the finished Red and Blue versions were being prepared for release in the U.S., Nintendo allegedly spent over 50 million dollars to promote the games, fearing the series would not be appealing to American children.[7] The localization team warned that the "cute monsters" may not be accepted by American audiences, and recommended they be redesigned and "beefed-up". Then-president of Nintendo Hiroshi Yamauchi refused and instead viewed the games' possible reception in America as a challenge to face.[8] In addition to this, the Pocket Monsters name could not be used in the U.S. due to trademark issues. Despite the setbacks, the reprogrammed Red and Blue versions with their original creature designs were eventually released in North America in 1998. The games ended up being a success in North America.

Pokémon's first stop in the U.S. was Topeka, Kansas. The city changed the name of the city to ToPikachu in celebration of the Pokémon species. In March of 2010, Topeka, Kansas mayor Bill Bunten proclaimed that they city's name would be changed to Google, Kansas for that month in hopes that Google would experiment their fiber optics experiment there. Local TV station WIBW Jim Ogle stated that "if Topeka could change its name for a small doll that sounds like I sneezed, it could certainly do the same for Google."

Pokémon-Related Articles[]

Trivia[]

  • Pokémon is the only Nintendo franchise to have added at least one new fighter in every Smash game.
  • The first Pokémon designed and created was Rhydon.
  • Counting the Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon separately, Pokémon has the most fighters in a single Smash game and in the whole series, with 10 as of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Not counting the sub-Mario series fighters).
    • If the Donkey Kong, Wario and Yoshi series counted with the Mario fighters, Pokémon had the second most number of fighters.
    • Otherwise, if the trainer as a character, Pokémon is tied with Fire Emblem with 8 fighters, and being surpassed by Mario by one fighter.

References[]

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