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Pokemon,[a][1][2][3] also known as Pocket Monsters[b] in Japan, is a Japanese media franchise managed by The Pokemon Company, a company founded by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995,[4] and is centered on fictional creatures called "Pokemon", which humans, known as Pokemon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. Games, shows and other works within the franchise are set in the Pokemon universe. The English slogan for the franchise is "Gotta Catch 'Em All".[5][6]

International Pokémon logo.svg
Logo of Pokemon for its international releases; Pokemon is short for the original Japanese title of Pocket Monsters
Created bySatoshi Tajiri
Ken Sugimori
Junichi Masuda
Original workPocket Monsters Red and Green (1996)
Owned byNintendo
Game Freak
The Pokemon Company
Print publications
Short storiesPokemon Junior
ComicsSee list of Pokemon manga
Films and television
Film(s)See list of Pokemon films
Short film(s)Various Pikachu shorts
Animated seriesPokemon (anime) (1997–present)
Pokemon Chronicles (2006)
Television special(s)Mewtwo Returns (2000)
The Legend of Thunder (2001)
The Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon (2006)
Television film(s)Pokemon Origins (2013)
Theatrical presentations
Musical(s)Pokemon Live! (2000)
TraditionalPokemon Trading Card Game
Pokemon Trading Figure Game
Video game(s)Pokemon video game series
Super Smash Bros.
Soundtrack(s)Pokemon 2.B.A. Master (1999)
See also list of Pokemon theme songs
Theme parkPokepark
Official website

The franchise began as Pocket Monsters: Red and Green (later released outside of Japan as Pokemon Red and Blue), a pair of video games for the original Game Boy handheld system that were developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo in February 1996. It soon became a media mix franchise adapted into various different media.[7]Pokemon has since become the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. The original video game series is the second-best-selling video game franchise (behind Nintendo's Mario franchise)[8] with more than 368 million copies sold[9] and one billion mobile downloads,[10] and it spawned a hit anime television series that has become the most successful video game adaptation[11] with over 20 seasons and 1000 episodes in 169 countries.[9] In addition, the Pokemon franchise includes the world's top-selling toy brand,[12] the top-selling trading card game[13] with over 30.4 billion cards sold,[9] an anime film series, a live-action film, books, manga comics, music, merchandise, and a theme park. The franchise is also represented in other Nintendo media, such as the Super Smash Bros. series, where various Pokemon characters are playable.

In November 2005, 4 Kelvinids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing of Pokemon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokemon representation agreement. The Pokemon Company International oversees all Pokemon licensing outside Asia.[14] In 2006, the franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary.[15] In 2016, the Pokemon Company celebrated Pokemon's 20th anniversary by airing an ad during Super Bowl 50 in January and re-releasing the first Pokemon video games 1996 Game Boy games Pokemon Red, Green (only in Japan), and Blue, and the 1998 Game Boy Color game Pokemon Yellow for the Nintendo 3DS on February 26, 2016.[16][17] The mobile augmented reality game Pokemon Go was released in July 2016.[18] The first live-action film in the franchise, Pokemon Detective Pikachu, based on the 2018 Nintendo 3DS spin-off game Detective Pikachu, was released in 2019.[19] The most recently released core series games, Pokemon Sword and Shield, were released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019.

In celebration of its 20-5th anniversary in 2021, the upcoming core series games, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be released in late 2021, and Pokemon Legends: Arceus in early 2022, both for the Nintendo Switch.[20] They are remakes and a premake[21] of the 2006 Nintendo DS games Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, respectively.


The name Pokemon is a syllabic abbreviation of the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters.[22] The term "Pokemon", in addition to referring to the Pokemon franchise itself, also collectively refers to the 898 fictional species that have made appearances in Pokemon media as of the release of the eighth generation titles Pokemon Sword and Shield. "Pokemon" is identical in the singular and plural, as is each individual species name; it is grammatically correct to say "one Pokemon" and "many Pokemon", as well as "one Pikachu" and "many Pikachu".[23]


Gameplay of Pokemon

Gameplay of a Pokemon battle between an Ivysaur and Pikachu in Pokemon Red and Blue

Pokemon executive director Satoshi Tajiri first thought of Pokemon, albeit with a different concept and name, around 1989, when the Game Boy was released. The concept of the Pokemon universe, in both the video games and the general fictional world of Pokemon, stems from the hobby of insect collecting, a popular pastime which Tajiri enjoyed as a child.[24] Players are designated as Pokemon Trainers and have three general goals: to complete the regional Pokedex by collecting all of the available Pokemon species found in the fictional region where a game takes place, to complete the national Pokedex by transferring Pokemon from other regions, and to train a team of powerful Pokemon from those they have caught to compete against teams owned by other Trainers so they may eventually win the Pokemon League and become the regional Champion. These themes of collecting, training, and battling are present in almost every version of the Pokemon franchise, including the video games, the anime and manga series, and the Pokemon Trading Card Game.

In most incarnations of the Pokemon universe, a Trainer who encounters a wild Pokemon is able to capture that Pokemon by throwing a specially designed, mass-producible spherical tool called a Poke Ball at it. If the Pokemon is unable to escape the confines of the Poke Ball, it is considered to be under the ownership of that Trainer. Afterwards, it will obey whatever commands it receives from its new Trainer, unless the Trainer demonstrates such a lack of experience that the Pokemon would rather act on its own accord. Trainers can send out any of their Pokemon to wage non-lethal battles against other Pokemon; if the opposing Pokemon is wild, the Trainer can capture that Pokemon with a Poke Ball, increasing their collection of creatures. In Pokemon Go, and in Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, wild Pokemon encountered by players can be caught in Poke Balls, but generally cannot be battled. Pokemon already owned by other Trainers cannot be captured, except under special circumstances in certain side games. If a Pokemon fully defeats an opponent in battle so that the opponent is knocked out ("faints"), the winning Pokemon gains experience points and may level up. Beginning with Pokemon X and Y, experience points are also gained from catching Pokemon in Poke Balls. When leveling up, the Pokemon's battling aptitude statistics ("stats", such as "Attack" and "Speed") increase. At certain levels, the Pokemon may also learn new moves, which are techniques used in battle. In addition, many species of Pokemon can undergo a form of metamorphosis and transform into a similar but stronger species of Pokemon, a process called evolution; this process occurs spontaneously under differing circumstances, and is itself a central theme of the series. Some species of Pokemon may undergo a maximum of two evolutionary transformations, while others may undergo only one, and others may not evolve at all. For example, the Pokemon Pichu may evolve into Pikachu, which in turn may evolve into Raichu, following which no further evolutions may occur. Pokemon X and Y introduced the concept of "Mega Evolution," by which certain fully evolved Pokemon may temporarily undergo an additional evolution into a stronger form for the purpose of battling; this evolution is considered a special case, and unlike other evolutionary stages, is reversible.

In the main series, each game's single-player mode requires the Trainer to raise a team of Pokemon to defeat many non-player character (NPC) Trainers and their Pokemon. Each game lays out a somewhat linear path through a specific region of the Pokemon world for the Trainer to journey through, completing events and battling opponents along the way (including foiling the plans of an 'evil' team of Pokemon Trainers who serve as antagonists to the player). Excluding Pokemon Sun and Moon and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the games feature eight powerful Trainers, referred to as Gym Leaders, that the Trainer must defeat in order to progress. As a reward, the Trainer receives a Gym Badge, and once all eight badges are collected, the Trainer is eligible to challenge the region's Pokemon League, where four talented trainers (referred to collectively as the "Elite Four") challenge the Trainer to four Pokemon battles in succession. If the trainer can overcome this gauntlet, they must challenge the Regional Champion, the master Trainer who had previously defeated the Elite Four. Any Trainer who wins this last battle becomes the new champion.

Pokemon universe

Pokemon is set in the fictional Pokemon universe. There are numerous regions that have appeared in the various media of the Pokemon franchise. There are 8 main series regions set in the main series games: Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, Alola, and Galar. Each of the eight generations of the main series releases focuses on a new region. Every region consists of several cities and towns that the player must explore in order to overcome many waiting challenges, such as Gyms, Contests and villainous teams. At different locations within each region, the player can find different types of Pokemon, as well as helpful items and characters. Different regions are not accessible from one another at all within a single game, only with the exception of Kanto and Johto being linked together in Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold and SoulSilver versions. There are also regions set in spinoff games and two islands in the Pokemon anime (Orange Islands and Decolore Islands), all still set within the same fictional universe.

Each main series region in the Pokemon universe is based on a real world location. The first 4 introduced regions (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh) are based on parts of Japan, with later regions being based on parts of the United States (Unova and Alola), France (Kalos) and the United Kingdom (Galar).[25]

Pokemon world in relation to the real world
Pokemon region Real world location basis
  • Sevii Islands
Kantō, Japan
Johto Kansai, Japan
Hoenn Kyushu, Japan
  • Battle Zone
Hokkaido, Japan
Unova New York City, United States
Kalos France
Alola Hawaii, United States
  • Isle of Armor
  • Crown Tundra
United Kingdom

Video games


Core series release timeline
1996Red and Green
Red and Blue
1999Gold and Silver
2002Ruby and Sapphire
2004FireRed and LeafGreen
2006Diamond and Pearl
2009HeartGold and SoulSilver
2010Black and White
2012Black 2 and White 2
2013X and Y
2014Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
2016Sun and Moon
2017Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
2018Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
2019Sword and Shield
2021Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
2022Legends: Arceus
A rival battle between a Bulbasaur and a Charmander in Pokemon Red and Blue.[26]

All of the licensed Pokemon properties overseen by the Pokemon Company International are divided roughly by generation. These generations are roughly chronological divisions by release; every several years, when a sequel to the 1996 role-playing video games Pokemon Red and Green is released that features new Pokemon, characters, and gameplay concepts, that sequel is considered the start of a new generation of the franchise. The main Pokemon video games and their spin-offs, the anime, manga, and trading card game are all updated with the new Pokemon properties each time a new generation begins.[27] Some Pokemon from the newer games appear in anime episodes or films months, or even years, before the game they were programmed for came out. The first generation began in Japan with Pokemon Red and Green on the Game Boy. As of 2020, there are eight generations of main series video games. The most recent games in the main series, Pokemon Sword and Shield, began the eighth and latest generation and were released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019.[28][29][30]

List of Pokemon main series video games

Generation Title Release date System
Generation I

Kanto region

Pocket Monsters: Red and Green February 27, 1996JP Game Boy
Pocket Monsters: Blue October 15, 1996JP
Pokemon Red and Blue September 28, 1998NA
October 23, 1998AUS
October 5, 1999EU
Pokemon Yellow September 12, 1998JP
October 19, 1999NA
September 3, 1999AUS
June 16, 2000EU
Generation II

Johto region

Kanto region

Pokemon Gold and Silver November 21, 1999JP
October 13, 2000AUS
October 14, 2000NA
April 6, 2001EU
April 23, 2002KO
Game Boy Color
Pokemon Crystal December 14, 2000JP
July 29, 2001NA
September 30, 2001AUS
November 2, 2001EU
Generation III

Hoenn region

Kanto region

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire November 21, 2002JP
March 18, 2003NA
April 3, 2003AUS
July 25, 2003EU
Game Boy Advance
Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen January 29, 2004JP
September 7, 2004NA
September 23, 2004AUS
October 1, 2004EU
Pokemon Emerald September 16, 2004JP
April 30, 2005NA
June 9, 2005AUS
October 21, 2005EU
Generation IV

Sinnoh region

Johto region

Kanto region

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl September 28, 2006JP
April 22, 2007NA
June 21, 2007AUS
July 27, 2007EU
February 14, 2008KO
Nintendo DS
Pokemon Platinum September 13, 2008JP
March 22, 2009NA
May 14, 2009AUS
May 22, 2009EU
July 2, 2009KO
Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver September 12, 2009JP
February 4, 2010KO
March 14, 2010NA
March 25, 2010AUS
March 26, 2010EU
Generation V

Unova region

Pokemon Black and White September 18, 2010JP
March 4, 2011EU
March 6, 2011NA
March 10, 2011AUS
April 21, 2011KO
Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 June 23, 2012JP
October 7, 2012NA
October 11, 2012AUS
October 12, 2012EU
Generation VI

Kalos region

Hoenn region

Pokemon X and Y October 12, 2013WW Nintendo 3DS
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire November 21, 2014JP, NA, AUS
November 28, 2014EU
Generation VII

Alola region

Kanto region

Pokemon Sun and Moon November 18, 2016JP, NA, AUS
November 23, 2016EU
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon November 17, 2017WW
Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! November 16, 2018WW Nintendo Switch
Generation VIII

Galar region

Sinnoh region

Pokemon Sword and Shield November 15, 2019WW[31][32]
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Late 2021
Pokemon Legends: Arceus Early 2022

In other media

Anime series

Release timeline
1997Indigo League
1999Adventures in the Orange Islands
The Johto Journeys
2000Johto League Champions
2001Master Quest
2003Advanced Challenge
2004Advanced Battle
2005Battle Frontier
2006Diamond and Pearl
2007Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension
2008Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles
2010Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors
Black & White
2011Black & White: Rival Destinies
2012Black & White: Adventures in Unova
2013Black & White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond
2014XY: Kalos Quest
2016Sun and Moon
2017Sun & Moon: Ultra Adventures
2018Sun & Moon: Ultra Legends
SeasonTitleEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1Indigo League82April 1, 1997 (1997-04-01)January 21, 1999 (1999-01-21)
2Adventures in the Orange Islands36January 28, 1999 (1999-01-28)October 7, 1999 (1999-10-07)
3The Johto Journeys41October 14, 1999 (1999-10-14)July 27, 2000 (2000-07-27)
4Johto League Champions52August 3, 2000 (2000-08-03)August 2, 2001 (2001-08-02)
5Master Quest65August 9, 2001 (2001-08-09)November 14, 2002 (2002-11-14)
6Advanced40November 21, 2002 (2002-11-21)August 28, 2003 (2003-08-28)
7Advanced Challenge52September 4, 2003 (2003-09-04)September 2, 2004 (2004-09-02)
8Advanced Battle54September 9, 2004 (2004-09-09)September 29, 2005 (2005-09-29)
9Battle Frontier47October 6, 2005 (2005-10-06)September 14, 2006 (2006-09-14)
10Diamond and Pearl52September 28, 2006 (2006-09-28)October 25, 2007 (2007-10-25)
11Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension52November 8, 2007 (2007-11-08)December 4, 2008 (2008-12-04)
12Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles53December 4, 2008 (2008-12-04)December 24, 2009 (2009-12-24)
13Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors34January 7, 2010 (2010-01-07)September 9, 2010 (2010-09-09)
14Black & White50September 23, 2010 (2010-09-23)September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15)
15Black & White: Rival Destinies49September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22)October 4, 2012 (2012-10-04)
16Black & White: Adventures in Unova4525October 11, 2012 (2012-10-11)April 18, 2013 (2013-04-18)
Black & White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond20April 25, 2013 (2013-04-25)September 26, 2013 (2013-09-26)
17XY48October 17, 2013 (2013-10-17)October 30, 2014 (2014-10-30)
18XY: Kalos Quest45November 13, 2014 (2014-11-13)October 22, 2015 (2015-10-22)
19XYZ47October 29, 2015 (2015-10-29)October 27, 2016 (2016-10-27)
20Sun & Moon43November 17, 2016 (2016-11-17)September 21, 2017 (2017-09-21)
21Sun & Moon: Ultra Adventures49October 5, 2017 (2017-10-05)October 14, 2018 (2018-10-14)
22Sun & Moon: Ultra Legends54October 21, 2018 (2018-10-21)November 3, 2019 (2019-11-03)
23Journeys61November 17, 2019 (2019-11-17)TBA

Pokemon, also known as Pokemon the Series to Western audiences since 2013, is an anime television series based on the Pokemon video game series. It was originally broadcast on TV Tokyo in 1997. More than 1000 episodes of the anime has been produced and aired, divided into 7 series in Japan and 22 seasons internationally. It is one of the longest currently running anime series.[33]

The anime follows the quest of the main character, Ash Ketchum (known as Satoshi in Japan), a Pokemon Master in training, as he and a small group of friends travel around the world of Pokemon along with their Pokemon partners.[34]

Various children's books, collectively known as Pokemon Junior, are also based on the anime.[35]

A new seven part anime series called Pokemon: Twilight Wings began airing on YouTube in 2020.[36] The series was animated by Studio Colorido.[37]


Release timeline
1998Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back
1999Pokemon: The Movie 2000 - The Power of One
2000Pokemon 3: The Movie - Spell of the Unown
2001Pokemon 4Ever: Celebi - Voice of the Forest
2002Pokemon Heroes: Latios and Latias
2003Jirachi—Wish Maker
2004Destiny Deoxys
2005Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
2006Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
2007The Rise of Darkrai
2008Giratina and the Sky Warrior
2009Arceus and the Jewel of Life
2010Zoroark—Master of Illusions
2011White—Victini and Zekrom
Black—Victini and Reshiram
2012Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice
2013Genesect and the Legend Awakened
2014Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction
2015Hoopa and the Clash of Ages
2016Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel
2017I Choose You!
2018The Power of Us
2019Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution
2020Secrets of the Jungle
Release timeline
2019Pokemon Detective Pikachu
TBAuntitled Detective Pikachu sequel

There have been 23 animated theatrical Pokemon films (latest film to be released on December 25, 2020[38]), which have been directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Tetsuo Yajima, and distributed in Japan by Toho since 1998. The pair of films, Pokemon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram and White—Victini and Zekrom are considered together as one film. Collectibles, such as promotional trading cards, have been available with some of the films. Since the 20th film, the films have been set in an alternate continuity separate from the anime series.

List of Pokemon animated theatrical films

Pokemon: Original Series

# English title Japanese title Japanese release date North American release date
1 Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back Mewtwo Strikes Back[39] (ミュウツーの逆襲, Myūtsū no Gyakushū) July 18, 1998 November 10, 1999
2 Pokemon: The Movie 2000 - The Power of One Mirage Pokemon: Lugia's Explosive Birth (幻のポケモン ルギア爆誕, Maboroshi no Pokemon Rugia Bakutan) July 17, 1999 July 21, 2000
3 Pokemon 3: The Movie - Spell of the Unown Emperor of The Crystal Tower: ENTEI (結晶塔の帝王 ENTEI, Kesshōtō no Teiō ENTEI) July 8, 2000 April 6, 2001
4 Pokemon 4Ever: Celebi - Voice of the Forest Celebi: The Meeting that Traversed Time (セレビィ 時を超えた遭遇(であい), Serebyi Toki o Koeta Deai) July 7, 2001 October 11, 2002
5 Pokemon Heroes: Latios and Latias Guardian Gods of the Capital of Water: Latias and Latios (水の都の護神 ラティアスとラティオス, Mizu no Miyako no Mamorigami Ratiasu to Ratiosu) July 13, 2002 May 16, 2003

Pokemon: Advanced Generation

# English title Japanese title Japanese release date North American release date
6 Jirachi—Wish Maker Wishing Star of the Seven Nights: Jirachi (七夜の願い星 ジラーチ, Nanayo no Negaiboshi Jirāchi) July 19, 2003 June 1, 2004
7 Destiny Deoxys Visitor from the Sky-Splitting: Deoxys (裂空の訪問者 デオキシス, Rekkū no Hōmonsha Deokishisu) July 17, 2004 January 22, 2005
8 Lucario and the Mystery of Mew Mew and the Aura Hero: Lucario (ミュウと波導(はどう)の勇者 ルカリオ, Myū to Hadō no Yūsha Rukario) July 16, 2005 September 19, 2006
9 Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea The Pokemon Ranger and the Prince of the Sea: Manaphy (ポケモンレンジャーと蒼海(うみ)の王子 マナフィ, Pokemon Renjā to Umi no Ōji Manafi) July 15, 2006 March 23, 2007

Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl

# English title Japanese title Japanese release date North American release date
10 The Rise of Darkrai Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai (ディアルガVSパルキアVSダークライ, Diaruga Tai Parukia Tai Dākurai) July 14, 2007 February 24, 2008
11 Giratina and the Sky Warrior Giratina and the Bouquet of the Frozen Sky: Shaymin (ギラティナと氷空(そら)の花束 シェイミ, Giratina to Sora no Hanataba Sheimi) July 19, 2008 February 13, 2009
12 Arceus and the Jewel of Life Arceus: To Conquering Space-Time (アルセウス 超克の時空へ, Aruseusu Chōkoku no Jikū e) July 18, 2009 November 20, 2009
13 Zoroark—Master of Illusions Phantom Ruler: Zoroark (幻影の覇者 ゾロアーク, Gen'ei no Hasha Zoroāku) July 10, 2010 February 5, 2011

Pokemon: Black & White

# English title Japanese title Japanese release date North American release date
14A White—Victini and Zekrom Victini and the Black Hero: Zekrom (ビクティニと黒き英雄ゼクロム, Bikutini to Kuroki Eiyū Zekuromu) July 16, 2011 December 10, 2011
14B Black—Victini and Reshiram Victini and the White Hero: Reshiram (ビクティニと白き英雄 レシラム, Bikutini to Shiroki Eiyū Reshiramu) July 16, 2011 December 10, 2011
15 Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo (キュレムVS聖剣士 ケルディオ, Kyuremu tai Seikenshi Kerudio) July 14, 2012 December 8, 2012
16 Genesect and the Legend Awakened ExtremeSpeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens (神速のゲノセクト ミュウツー覚醒, Shinsoku no Genosekuto Myūtsū Kakusei) July 13, 2013 October 19, 2013

Pokemon: XY

# English title Japanese title Japanese release date North American release date
17 Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (破壊の繭とディアンシー, Hakai no Mayu to Dianshī) July 19, 2014 November 8, 2014
18 Hoopa and the Clash of Ages The Archdjinni of the Rings: Hoopa (光輪の超魔神 フーパ, Ring no chōmajin Fūpa) July 18, 2015 December 19, 2015
19 Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel Volcanion and the Exquisite Magearna (ボルケニオンと機巧のマギアナ, Borukenion to karakuri no Magiana) July 16, 2016 December 5, 2016

Pokemon: Sun & Moon (Alternate continuity)

A reboot to the film franchise began with the release of the 20th movie, Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You!, in Japan on July 15, 2017. It was followed by a continuation, Pokemon the Movie: The Power of Us, which was released in Japan on July 13, 2018.

# English title Japanese title Japanese release date North American release date
20 I Choose You! I Choose You! (キミにきめた!, Kimi ni kimeta!) July 15, 2017 November 5, 2017
21 The Power of Us[40] Everyone's Story (みんなの物語, Minna no Monogatari) July 13, 2018 November 24, 2018
22 Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution Mewtwo Strikes Back:Evolution[41] (ミュウツーの逆襲 EVOLUTION, Myūtsū no Gyakushū EVOLUTION) July 12, 2019 February 27, 2020

Pokemon: Journeys (Alternate continuity)

# English title Japanese title Japanese release date North American release date
23 Secrets of the Jungle Pocket Monsters the Movie: Coco (劇場版ポケットモンスター ココ, Gekijō-ban Pokettomonsutā Koko) December 25, 2020[42] 2021[43]

Live-action film

A live-action Pokemon film directed by Rob Letterman, produced by Legendary Entertainment,[44] and distributed in Japan by Toho and internationally by Warner Bros.[45] began filming in January 2018.[46] On August 24, the film's official title was announced as Pokemon Detective Pikachu.[47] It was released on May 10, 2019.[19] The film is based on the 2018 Nintendo 3DS spin-off video game Detective Pikachu. Development of a sequel was announced in January 2019, before the release of the first film.[48]


Pokemon CDs have been released in North America, some of them in conjunction with the theatrical releases of the first three and the 20th Pokemon films. These releases were commonplace until late 2001. On March 27, 2007, a tenth anniversary CD was released containing 18 tracks from the English dub; this was the first English-language release in over five years. Soundtracks of the Pokemon feature films have been released in Japan each year in conjunction with the theatrical releases. In 2017, a soundtrack album featuring music from the North American versions of the seventeenth through 20th movies was released.

Year Title
June 29, 1999[49] Pokemon 2.B.A. Master
November 9, 1999[50] Pokemon: The First Movie
February 8, 2000 Pokemon World
May 9, 2000 Pokemon: The First Movie Original Motion Picture Score
July 18, 2000 Pokemon: The Movie 2000
Unknown1 Pokemon: The Movie 2000 Original Motion Picture Score
January 23, 2001 Totally Pokemon
April 3, 2001 Pokemon 3: The Ultimate Soundtrack
October 9, 2001 Pokemon Christmas Bash
March 27, 2007 Pokemon X: Ten Years of Pokemon
November 12, 2013 Pokemon X & Pokemon Y: Super Music Collection
December 10, 2013 Pokemon FireRed & Pokemon LeafGreen: Super Music Collection
January 14, 2014 Pokemon HeartGold & Pokemon SoulSilver: Super Music Collection
February 11, 2014 Pokemon Ruby & Pokemon Sapphire: Super Music Collection
March 11, 2014 Pokemon Diamond & Pokemon Pearl: Super Music Collection
April 8, 2014 Pokemon Black & Pokemon White: Super Music Collection
May 13, 2014 Pokemon Black 2 & Pokemon White 2: Super Music Collection
December 21, 2014 Pokemon Omega Ruby & Pokemon Alpha Sapphire: Super Music Collection
April 27, 2016 Pokemon Red and Green Super Music Collection
November 30, 2016 Pokemon Sun & Pokemon Moon: Super Music Collection
December 23, 2017 Pokemon Movie Music Collection2

Pokemon Trading Card Game

Palkia, the Spatial Pokemon's Trading Card Game card from the Pokemon TCG Diamond and Pearl expansion.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) is a collectible card game with a goal similar to a Pokemon battle in the video game series. Players use Pokemon cards, with individual strengths and weaknesses, in an attempt to defeat their opponent by "knocking out" their Pokemon cards.[51] The game was published in North America by Wizards of the Coast in 1999.[52] With the release of the Game Boy Advance video games Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, the Pokemon Company took back the card game from Wizards of the Coast and started publishing the cards themselves.[52] The Expedition expansion introduced the Pokemon-e Trading Card Game, where the cards (for the most part) were compatible with the Nintendo e-Reader. Nintendo discontinued its production of e-Reader compatible cards with the release of FireRed and LeafGreen. In 1998, Nintendo released a Game Boy Color version of the trading card game in Japan; Pokemon Trading Card Game was subsequently released to the US and Europe in 2000. The game included digital versions cards from the original set of cards and the first two expansions (Jungle and Fossil), as well as several cards exclusive to the game. A sequel was released in Japan in 2001.[53]


There are various Pokemon manga series, four of which were released in English by Viz Media, and seven of them released in English by Chuang Yi. The manga series vary from game-based series to being based on the anime and the Trading Card Game. Original stories have also been published. As there are several series created by different authors, most Pokemon manga series differ greatly from each other and other media, such as the anime.[example needed]Pokemon Pocket Monsters and Pokemon Adventures are the two manga in production since the first generation.

Manga released in English
Manga not released in English
  • Pokemon Pocket Monsters by Kosaku Anakubo, the first Pokemon manga. Chiefly a gag manga, it stars a Pokemon Trainer named Red, his rude Clefairy, and Pikachu.
  • Pokemon Card ni Natta Wake (How I Became a Pokemon Card) by Kagemaru Himeno, an artist for the Trading Card Game. There are six volumes and each includes a special promotional card. The stories tell the tales of the art behind some of Himeno's cards.
  • Pokemon Get aa ze! by Miho Asada
  • Pocket Monsters Chamo-Chamo ★ Pretty ♪ by Yumi Tsukirino, who also made Magical Pokemon Journey.
  • Pokemon Card Master
  • Pocket Monsters Emerald Chōsen!! Battle Frontier by Ihara Shigekatsu
  • Pocket Monsters Zensho by Satomi Nakamura
  • This list was truncated from 7 items.


A Pokemon-styled Monopoly board game was released in August 2014.[62]

Criticism and controversy

Morality and religious beliefs

Pokemon has been criticized by some fundamentalist Christians over perceived occult and violent themes and the concept of "Pokemon evolution", which they feel goes against the Biblical creation account in Genesis.[63]Sat2000, a satellite television station based in Vatican City, has countered that the Pokemon Trading Card Game and video games are "full of inventive imagination" and have no "harmful moral side effects".[64][65] In the United Kingdom, the "Christian Power Cards" game was introduced in 1999 by David Tate who stated, "Some people aren't happy with Pokemon and want an alternative, others just want Christian games." The game was similar to the Pokemon Trading Card Game but used Biblical figures.[66]

In 1999, Nintendo stopped manufacturing the Japanese version of the "Koga's Ninja Trick" trading card because it depicted a manji, a traditionally Buddhist symbol with no negative connotations. The Jewish civil rights group Anti-Defamation League complained because the symbol is the reverse of a swastika, a Nazi symbol. The cards were intended for sale in Japan only, but the popularity of Pokemon led to import into the United States with approval from Nintendo. The Anti-Defamation League understood that the portrayed symbol was not intended to offend and acknowledged the sensitivity that Nintendo showed by removing the product.[67][68]

In 1999, two nine-year-old boys from Merrick, New York, sued Nintendo because they claimed the Pokemon Trading Card Game caused their problematic gambling.[69]

In 2001, Saudi Arabia banned Pokemon games and the trading cards, alleging that the franchise promoted Zionism by displaying the Star of David in the trading cards (a six-pointed star is featured in the card game)[clarify] as well as other religious symbols such as crosses they associated with Christianity and triangles they associated with Freemasonry; the games also involved gambling, which is in violation of Muslim doctrine.[70][71]

Pokemon has also been accused of promoting materialism.[72]

Animal cruelty

In 2012, PETA criticized the concept of Pokemon as supporting cruelty to animals. PETA compared the game's concept, of capturing animals and forcing them to fight, to cockfights, dog fighting rings and circuses, events frequently criticized for cruelty to animals. PETA released a game spoofing Pokemon where the Pokemon battle their trainers to win their freedom.[73] PETA reaffirmed their objections in 2016 with the release of Pokemon Go, promoting the hashtag #GottaFreeThemAll.[74]


On December 16, 1997, more than 635 Japanese children were admitted to hospitals with epileptic seizures.[75] It was determined the seizures were caused by watching an episode of Pokemon "Dennō Senshi Porygon", (most commonly translated "Electric Soldier Porygon", season 1, episode 38); as a result, this episode has not been aired since. In this particular episode, there were bright explosions with rapidly alternating blue and red color patterns.[76] It was determined in subsequent research that these strobing light effects cause some individuals to have epileptic seizures, even if the person had no previous history of epilepsy.[77] This incident is a common focus of Pokemon-related parodies in other media, and was lampooned by The Simpsons episode "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo"[78] and the South Park episode "Chinpokomon",[79] among others.

Monster in My Pocket

In March 2000, Morrison Entertainment Group, a toy developer based at Manhattan Beach, California, sued Nintendo over claims that Pokemon infringed on its own Monster in My Pocket characters. A judge ruled there was no infringement and Morrison appealed the ruling. On February 4, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision by the District Court to dismiss the suit.[80]

Pokemon Go

Within its first two days of release, Pokemon Go raised safety concerns among players. Multiple people also suffered minor injuries from falling while playing the game due to being distracted.[81]

Multiple police departments in various countries have issued warnings, some tongue-in-cheek, regarding inattentive driving, trespassing, and being targeted by criminals due to being unaware of one's surroundings.[82][83] People have suffered various injuries from accidents related to the game,[84][85][86][87] and Bosnian players have been warned to stay out of minefields left over from the 1990s Bosnian War.[88] On July 20, 2016, it was reported that an 18-year-old boy in Chiquimula, Guatemala, was shot and killed while playing the game in the late evening hours. This was the first reported death in connection with the app. The boy's 17-year-old cousin, who was accompanying the victim, was shot in the foot. Police speculated that the shooters used the game's GPS capability to find the two.[89]

Cultural influence

All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-400 in Pokemon livery, dubbed a Pokemon Jet.

Pokemon, being a globally popular franchise, has left a significant mark on today's popular culture. The various species of Pokemon have become pop culture icons; examples include two different Pikachu balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Pokemon-themed airplanes operated by All Nippon Airways, merchandise items, and a traveling theme park that was in Nagoya, Japan in 2005 and in Taipei in 2006. Pokemon also appeared on the cover of the U.S. magazine Time in 1999.[90] The Comedy Central show Drawn Together has a character named Ling-Ling who is a parody of Pikachu.[91] Several other shows such as The Simpsons,[92]South Park[93] and Robot Chicken[94] have made references and spoofs of Pokemon, among other series. Pokemon was featured on VH1's I Love the '90s: Part Deux. A live action show based on the anime called Pokemon Live! toured the United States in late 2000.[95]Jim Butcher cites Pokemon as one of the inspirations for the Codex Alera series of novels.[96]

Pokemon has even made its mark in the realm of science. This includes animals named after Pokemon, such as Stentorceps weedlei (named after the Pokemon Weedle for its resemblance) and Chilicola Charizard Monckton (named after the Pokemon Charizard).[97] There is also a protein named after Pikachu, called Pikachurin.

In November 2001, Nintendo opened a store called the Pokemon Center in New York, in Rockefeller Center,[98] modeled after the two other Pokemon Center stores in Tokyo and Osaka and named after a staple of the video game series. Pokemon Centers are fictional buildings where Trainers take their injured Pokemon to be healed after combat.[99] The store sold Pokemon merchandise on a total of two floors, with items ranging from collectible shirts to stuffed Pokemon plushies.[100] The store also featured a Pokemon Distributing Machine in which players would place their game to receive an egg of a Pokemon that was being given out at that time. The store also had tables that were open for players of the Pokemon Trading Card Game to duel each other or an employee. The store was closed and replaced by the Nintendo World Store on May 14, 2005.[101] Four Pokemon Center kiosks were put in malls in the Seattle area.[102] The Pokemon Center online store was relaunched on August 6, 2014.[103]

Meitetsu 2200 series train Giratina & Shaymin.

Professor of Education Joseph Tobin theorizes that the success of the franchise was due to the long list of names that could be learned by children and repeated in their peer groups. Its rich fictional universe provides opportunities for discussion and demonstration of knowledge in front of their peers. The names of the creatures were linked to its characteristics, which converged with the children's belief that names have symbolic power. Children can pick their favourite Pokemon and affirm their individuality while at the same time affirming their conformance to the values of the group, and they can distinguish themselves from others by asserting what they liked and what they did not like from every chapter. Pokemon gained popularity because it provides a sense of identity to a wide variety of children, and lost it quickly when many of those children found that the identity groups were too big and searched for identities that would distinguish them into smaller groups.[104][page needed]

Shinkansen E3 Series train in Pokemon livery.

Pokemon's history has been marked at times by rivalry with the Digimon media franchise that debuted at a similar time. Described as "the other 'mon'" by IGN's Juan Castro, Digimon has not enjoyed Pokemon's level of international popularity or success, but has maintained a dedicated fanbase.[105] IGN's Lucas M. Thomas stated that Pokemon is Digimon's "constant competition and comparison", attributing the former's relative success to the simplicity of its evolution mechanic as opposed to Digivolution.[106] The two have been noted for conceptual and stylistic similarities by sources such as GameZone.[107] A debate among fans exists over which of the two franchises came first.[108] In actuality, the first Pokemon media, Pokemon Red and Green, were released initially on February 27, 1996;[109] whereas the Digimon virtual pet was released on June 26, 1997.

Fan community

While Pokemon's target demographic is children, early purchasers of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were in their 20s.[110] Many fans are adults who originally played the games as children and had later returned to the series.[110]

Numerous fan sites exist for the Pokemon franchise, including Bulbapedia, a wiki-based encyclopedia,[111][112][113] and Serebii,[114] a news and reference website.[115] Other large fan communities exist on other platforms, such as the r/pokemon subreddit with over 2.2 million subscribers.[116]

A significant community around the Pokemon video games' metagame has existed for a long time, analyzing the best ways to use each Pokemon to their full potential in competitive battles. The most prolific competitive community is Smogon University, which has created a widely accepted tier-based battle system.[117] Smogon is affiliated with an online Pokemon game called Pokemon Showdown, in which players create a team and battle against other players around the world using the competitive tiers created by Smogon.[118]

In early 2014, an anonymous video streamer on Twitch launched Twitch Plays Pokemon, an experiment trying to crowdsource playing subsequent Pokemon games, starting with Pokemon Red.[119][120]

A challenge called the Nuzlocke Challenge allows players to only capture the first Pokemon encountered in each area. If they do not succeed in capturing that Pokemon, there are no second chances. When a Pokemon faints, it is considered "dead" and must be released or stored in the PC permanently.[121] If the player faints, the game is considered over, and the player must restart.[122] The original idea consisted of 2 to 3 rules that the community has built upon. There are many fan made Pokemon games that contain a game mode similar to the Nuzlocke Challenge, such as Pokemon Uranium.[123]

A study at Stanford Neurosciences published in Nature performed magnetic resonance imaging scans of 11 Pokemon experts and 11 controls, finding that seeing Pokemon stimulated activity in the visual cortex, in a different place than is triggered by recognizing faces, places or words, demonstrating the brain's ability to create such specialized areas.[124]


  1. ^ Japanese: ポケモン, Hepburn: Pokemon, [pokemoɴ], English: /ˈpkɪˌmɒn, -ki-, -k-/
  2. ^ Japanese: ポケットモンスター, Hepburn: Poketto Monsutā, [poketto moɰ̃sɯ̥taː]


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External links