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Fun facts we bet you didn´t know about Pokémon!

27. 02. 2020

Satoshi Tajiri is a Japanese designer of  video game Pokémon and the father of all Pokémon. As a boy he lived in the outskirts of Tokyo, where besides playing video games and watching Star Trek, he fell in love with an unusual hobby – collecting beetles. From this innocent collection he gradually invented Pokémon. The whole original name is Poketto Monsutá, which means Pocket Monsters. He then offered his idea to Nintendo, which realized it in the form of two games: Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green. The first beta versions of the games on the Game Boy came out February 27th  in 1995, the official versions came on the market a year later. These games were a huge success in Japan, later translated into other languages, and worldwide success was coming.

Shortly after the first game, Pokémon got his own animated series. He debuted in Japan in 1997.
The anime follows the quest of the main character, Ash Ketchum (known as Satoshi in Japan), a Pokémon Master in training, as he and a small group of friends travel around the world of Pokémon along with their Pokémon partners. Pikachu is the first Pokémon that Ash gains, and a friendly bond is formed very quickly between the couple. On the way to his dream, Ash also finds inseparable friends, Brock and Misty.

Today, there are 6 generations of Pokémon video games featuring 23 games. Also, there are 17 films, 22 anime seasons  with over 1,000 episodes. Pokémon Trading Card Game has also become very popular. Players exchange cards and then play with these mixed decks. The most expensive card is Pikachu Illustrator, which last auctioned for $ 224,250. This card was intended only for the winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest, which took place in January 1998 and produced only 39 pieces.

A huge Renaissance and perhaps even obsession were experienced by Pokémon with the release of Pokemon Go! Mobile Phone game developed by Niantic. It connects the gaming environment to the real world through the app, using GPS and a phone camera.

Last year we saw the first live action movie – Detective Pikachu. Chatty Ryan Reynolds dubbed Pikachu himself. The film was quite successful and is already working to a sequel.

Pokémon has attracted a huge number of fans of different ages, nationalities and sex throughout its lifetime. Although the games are originally intended for children, they are played by more adolescents aged 12-18 and quite a large number of adults, while children only watch anime. They are a huge phenomenon and have managed to influence the whole pop culture. They opened specialized stores in Japan and America that sell only Pokémon-themed products. Japan generally takes Pokémon as its national treasure – Japanese airlines have Pokémon planes, and Shinkansens are also covered by Pokémon. Pokémons have even established themselves in science,newly discovered animal species Stentorceps weedlei (Weedle) and Chilicola Charizard Monckton (Charizard) are named after some. There is also one protein named after Pikachu, which is called Pikachurin.

Pokémon, as it happens with popular things, is accompanied by a wave of criticism. They were criticized by some fundamentalist Christians for occult and violent themes and by the concept of “Pokemon evolution” which, in their view, is contrary to the biblical creation in Genesis. In 1999, Nintendo discontinued the production of the Japanese version of the “Koga’s Ninja Trick” because it depicted the manji (swastika), a traditional Buddhist symbol. In Western culture, this symbol is associated with Nazism.

However, the best known is the association of pokémons with epilepsy – on December 16th, 1997, more than 635 Japanese children were taken to hospitals with epileptic seizures. On that day, Japan premiered the episode of Dennó Senši Porigon, in which epileptic seizure scenes appeared. In this particular episode, there were clear explosions with rapidly changing blue and red color patterns. Subsequent research found that these strobing light effects caused some individuals to have epileptic seizures, even if the person had no previous history of epilepsy. In the rest of the world, part of it was banned. As a result,  Japan banned Pokémon for 4 months until the animation of the show was modified to prevent it from happening again.

Whether you play Nintendo, collect cards, go out with Pokémon go! Or just watch the anime , one thing is for sure –
Gotta catch ’em all!


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