What Is Pokemon?


Quick Answer

Pokemon is a media franchise that grew out of a set of Nintendo games released in the late 1990s, particularly for Nintendo Game Boy and Game Freak. As of 2015, the franchise has expanded into diverse media and retail domains, including comic books, toys, television shows and movies. The name Pokemon is a contraction of the Japanese words for "pocket" and "monsters."

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Full Answer

The original concept for Pokemon was developed by Satoshi Tajiri and was an outgrowth of his childhood love for collecting insects. The main plot device of Pokemon features human beings capturing fictional creatures called Pokemon and training them to fight each other. The original games feature trainers and their respective Pokemon journeying through a fictional land while completing staged events and battles.

The popular Nintendo platform gave birth to an extensive list of films, 18 of which were produced between 1998 and 2015. The first comic run of Pokemon began in 1997 with "Pokemon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu." It was crafted in the traditional and highly popular manga style. As of 2015, all but six of these comic runs had been released in English. The initial trading card game emerged in 1996, published by Media Factory in Japan, and involves Pokemon warriors with different strengths battling one another to victory.

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