It's video games, cards, and a TV show... the TV show was geared towards kids and was really lame. THe cards were geared towards kids, but they were such a complicated game that no one knew how the hell to play so they would just steal them from each other. The games are really good and was the second-highest selling video game in america after mario.
POkemon made some major adjustments in the second generation of games to make them less violent and enslaving-- like the concept of pokemon evolving when they really like you (you have to spoil them.) And pokemon hatching from eggs rather than being caught. Also in the 3rd generation you had the option to not battle at all and just enter little contests with your pokemon.
It's true though, they're scraping the bottom of the barrel now that they have like 385 pokemon.
People accuse the creator of pokemon (i forget his name) of attempting world domination, and say things like "it's such a stupid idea" about the series. Well, whatever, but obviously he had WAY better ideas than any of them because THEY aren't the creators of multi-million dollar franchises.
People like to use pokemon to be racist against japanese people. See below.
Those japs are like, "OOO ping pang pong!!! We take ovah world with pokeyman! We bomb pearl harbor!!!" That bastard rich businessman deserves to DIE!!! anyone who likes to play pokemon has committed a sin worthy of DEATH!!!!!