The history of Pokemon is a modern-day chicken or the egg question. Many people think that the cartoon started before the video games. But that isn’t true. Much like there were eggs before the chicken, there were Pokemon games, before the pokemon cartoon. But the genesis of Pokemon is within the hard of a Japanese man, who wanted every kid world wide to know the thrill that he felt when he was a child, catching insects in the suburbs and rural areas around Tokyo. The name of that man is Satoshi Tajiri, and he is known as the father of Pokemon.
As with many other huge successes, Tajiri fused his love for insects with this favorite tv show growing up, Ultraman. Ultraman can also be considered the key in the Power Rangers genesis. The protagonist of the show used the ball like items, where he stored all kinds of insect-like monsters. The monsters were used to fight evil and bring forth justice in the world.
Satoshi Tajiri and some friends set up to create a video game where you would catch all kinds of monsters with capsules. They wanted to name the game Capsule Monsters, but due to some copyright issues, they had to change it to Pocket Monsters. Luckily, some might add. Capmon, which is really similar to Capcom, wouldn’t have the same ring as Pokemon does. But, as with many great ideas, it didn’t catch on right away. They had multiple meetings with Nintendo during the six years that it was in development. Tajiri and his friends never lost hope, much like the protagonist of the now iconic and classic Pokemon cartoon Ash Ketchum, who still strives to be the best, even if all his previous attempts were massive failures. It was a grueling six years of production. The company Game Freak, which Tajiri founded with his friends, nearly went bankrupt, and many of the workers had to quit because they were in dire financial situations. Even Tajiri himself worked many hours without receiving a single yen.
But in February of 1996, it finally hit the market. Again, it wasn’t a huge boom as soon as it hit the market. Only a few months later, once a few players discovered the hidden super pokemon mew, did the huge spike in sales come. From that point on, there wasn’t anything that could stop the global rise of the Pokemon phenomenon. Soon after, with the sales of pokemon red and green increasing, they came out with a new version Pokemon Blue, which had much better graphics and sound, with a few fixed glitches as well.
Finally, in April of 1997, the anime or cartoon came out. There are many things synonymous with Pokemon because of the anime. One of the first things people think about is the logo of the anime created in that unique and exciting pokemon font. The other is the theme song. Its catchy, fun, and you simply can’t get it out of your mind once it starts to play inside your mind. The name of the protagonist of the cartoon was Satoshi, named after the founder and main idea man of the franchise. The English dub changed his name to Ash Ketchum, because they really love puns back in the 90s, apparently.
With the success of the show, Game Freak also gave license for the production of multiple manga, or comic books. One of the most popular ones was the prequel to how Pikachu met Ash. One of the best things that the creators of the anime did was the selection of Pikachu for Ash’s starter pokemon. In the games, the players had a choice between three different Pokemon, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. But, in the cartoon, they switched it up and gave Ash a cute electric mouse, that has significantly slimmed down during the years. Soon after, Pikachu became the Pokemon, with billions of toys and similar products produced with his likeness. His popularity is so high that people have dubbed him the Mickey Mouse of the East.
With new games coming out every few years, and the incredible success of Pokemon Go, the franchise is set to be a mainstay in both children and adults entertained for year and years to come. Go and catch them all!