Overview: Pokémon (or Pocket Monsters) helped anime, games, Trading Cards, and Nintendo. Even if a lot of people won't admit it.
History (before the release): Satoshi Tajiri was the creator of the original Pokemon games. Living just outside of Japan (as a child) in the mid-60's he loved to collect insects; in the rice fields he became very skilled at collecting the little bugs ('Mr. Bug' as called by childhood friends). In the late 70's the rice fields became shopping centres and arcades (etc). In those days Tajiri was an otaku, he was a game addict. He played in Arcades which used to be the old Rice Fields; he felt it was a sin.
"Tajiri preserved the world of his childhood in Pokemon" (Time Mag. Nov22, 1999). Then in 1982, Satoshi, Ken Sugimori and a few other mates created the magazine GameFreak (to offer tips and game cheats).
After two years of working on it, Satoshi came across Nintendo's Link Cable. "I imagined an insect moving back and forth across the cable. That's what inspired me." Tajiri. It was just an idea, but as soon as he could he signed up with Nintendo.
GameFreak almost died because of such money problems, Satoshi didn't even pay himself. After six years, Pokemon hit Japan. But how would it compare to the technology of CD-ROMs?
History (after the release): Nintendo didn't expect much from Pokemon. The Gameboy wasn't doing so well, with all the company's moving on from the technology. But there was one group that didn't give up on the Gameboy, Japanese boys. Since they could not afford all the new things. Through word of month Nintendo's sales in Pokemon climbed slowly and steadily (unlike games like Final Fantasy, they were big hits then died down). Then came the comic, which had the first Trading Cards.
What really got it going was the fact that you could unlock a secret 151st monster, which Nintendo didn't even know about (cough Satoshi).
History (the craze): As soon as Nintendo realised what power they had, they created the cartoon. The animated series, in the form of Anime. In late 1997 the cartoon caused seizures to 700 children. This did not help, for this was the first impression the Western world received. On top of that, Role Play games were not big in the Western world like they were in Japan.
But unlike when they first started our, Nintendo had a whole line up to support it's game. Nintendo had all the right cards to play, and now we move on to the different sections of the craze.
Cartoon: This being released in America before the game. Nintendo made sure all 'adultish' Japanese humour was removed, be it from violence, religion, or sexual discrimination. Nintendo tried to make Pokemon look as non-Japanese as possible. This took a few months to become a major craze, but it was hardly anything compared with how long it took in Japan. The cartoon worked, children (and even others) bought the game and more. In 1999 (when the craze was at its highest) the First Pokemon Movie was released in the US (and before in Japan). With it came a new range of toys, and even a CD of the movie with all the latest pop stars. Come to the movie, and you got 'rare' promo cards.
The cartoon and movies (now 7 in the US and soon to be 8 in Japan), are still going strong. Many cartoons and card games try to copy the success of Pokemon, but some enough they are not even remembered.
Pokemon is what bought anime to the western world. You could say, it broke the barrier of confusion that the western world and eastern world had.
Game: The games were first released in Japan as Green and Red. Then there was Blue, which renewed the sprites (images). Pokemon was first released in the US as Red and Blue with the Japanese Blue's sprites. Pokemon Yellow was released in Japan and then the US. It is known as the fastest selling game in history. Gold and Silver was then released with another one hundred Monsters. Followed after was Crystal, the sequal to Gold and Silver.
The games then moved to Gameboy Advance, and they deserved to. Since if it was for them there would be no Gameboy Advance. Now there was a whooper of Pokemon to collect, a big 386. But because of the move, you couldn't trade with the old Gameboy. But Nintendo still went a head with the creation of Ruby and Sapphire which had a limit of 200 monsters (135 of them being new). FireRed and LeafGreen then came out late 2004, helping you collect the old Pokemon in a new GBA environment (with added extras of course). But there was more Pokemon to the Advance saga. That's where Emerald comes in, like Japanese Blue, Yellow, and Crystal before it, it was a sequel. This game introduced many new things the average PokeManic will want for his battling skills.
That's where the Advance generation ends, and the Duel (for Nintendo DS, meaning Duel Screen) generation comes in. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are the new games. There is a very high possibility that you can trade with Advance.
There are many Pokemon games not on this list, but it should be easy enough to find a list of them. Pokemon made RPGs in the US famous, and helped games generally by bring a generation into games. Pokemon games still sell in their millions.
Trading Card Game: Owned by Wizards of the Coast. Abused by Wizards to move young Pokemon players to Magic (Wizards also abused Harry Potter TCG and more recently the Neopets TCG and Duel Masters). Late 2002-Early 2003 the TCG became Nintendo's, Nintendo has been continuing it and been putting it to good use since then.
There are three type of people in this world.
1. People that play Pokemon.
2. People that hate Pokemon (mostly FF players who don't even know that Pokemon actually helped Anime and RPGs).
3. People who don't really care. The "non-gamers" (which is what I am when I'm away from my PC screen).
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