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Pokémon is a multi-billion dollar media franchise controlled by video game giant Nintendo, and created by Satoshi Tajiri at least by 1995 (it celebrated its tenth anniversary on February 27, 2006, although the franchise was copyrighted in the USA as Pokémon by 1995). The original Game Boy video games have since been merchandised into anime, 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 720 Pokémon that lie at the heart of the series, a figure which has grown substantially from the 150 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.
The Video Games
The Pokémon games have always been released in pairs, along with a third game released later. Each Pair released as well as its third game (fourth including Yellow Version) are considered on Generation. Currently there are 6 generations each having approximately 100-150 new pokemon released each new generation. The main series paired games generally differ with Pokemon Available and minor storyline changes such as Legendary Focus, Villians, etc. Third Versions have changed the storyline slightly to give the game a new feel. Since Platinum the no. of pokemon in the regional dex has expanded. Since Emerald major changes to the storyline have occured.
Side Series Pokemon games generally come under three categories, Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Pokemon Ranger. There are other Side Series pokemon games such as Pokemon Pinball, Pokemon Dash, Pokepark and Pokemon Mini. Pokemon Stadium had 3 games released with them mirroring Generations I, II and IV. The games were titled Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Stadium 2 and Pokemon Battle Revolution with the main focus being around battling with little to no storyline. The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games were exploration games where the player must explore dungeons to find treasure, pokemon in need of rescue and villians. Generally the Player of Pokemon Mystery dungeon was previously a human turned into a Pokemon for unknown reasons to be discovered at the end of the game. Thirdly is Pokemon Range which is a game based around The Capture Style instead of the Pokeball. It uses the Touch Screen to befriend pokemon as well as use powers of pokemon. So far three generations of games have been released two centered around Generation IV. Other series singles such as Pokemon Snap! and Pokemon Hey You Pikachu have been released to expand on the genres it covers.
The Trading Card Game
The Pokémon Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on the Pokémon video game series, first introduced in Japan, then North America in 1999. It was published by Wizards of the Coast, the company which publishes Magic: The Gathering. Sets continue to be published, although not by Wizards of the Coast.
The Pokémon anime was created in 1998 for both the United States and Japan. It originally aired on Kids WB but now it airs on Cartoon Network. The main anime series follows Pokémon Trainer Ash Ketchum, on his quest to become a Pokémon Master. He has traveled through the Kanto Region, Orange Islands, Johto Region, Hoenn Region, Kanto Region (Battle Frontier), Sinnoh Region, Unova Region, Decolore Islands and at the moment the Kalos Region. Ash has had lots of traveling companions over the seasons. In order of Appearance they are: Misty, Brock, Tracey, May, Max, Dawn, Iris, Cilan, Clemont, Bonnie and Serena. There has also been many spin of episodes, a Series about Ashes friends and a Series called Pokémon Origins which is a group of episodes following Red on his journey in Kanto like the original games.
Pokémon has lots of different manga book series in Japan, not all of them get released in other parts of the world. The best known Pokémon manga is the Pokémon Adventures books. 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.
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 insisting that the species enforced a negative stereotype against African Americans. Due to this, Nintendo later altered the design of Jynx to be purple instead of pitch black.
- One episode was removed from television after it caused seizures to many children, some of which had no history of seizures. This episode is one of the prime reasons why Nintendo changed the name Pocket Monsters to Pokémon once it reached Western territories due to the widespread media coverage of the event. Another episode was aired once and then removed because it showed a character pointing a pistol at Ash Ketchum. There are also other unaired Pokemon anime episodes thoguh most of them after the first season were never shown anywhere in the world.
- All products related to Pokémon have been banned from Saudi Arabia due to supposedly supporting other religions, which is strictly against Muslim doctrine.
- 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 since never featured Kadabra in the anime or official merchandise since the mid 2000s.
Pokémon was introduced in Japan in 1996. Two years later, Nintendo of America brought the series over to America. Pokémon's first stop in the country was Topeka, Kansas. The city changed the name of the city to ToPikachu in celebration of the popular species of Pokémon. 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."
- The first Pokémon designed and created was Rhydon.
- ↑ BBC News, (March 26, 2001) "Saudi Arabia bans Pokemon"
Published by: BBC News