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(Japanese: ポケモン Hepburn: Pokemon, Japanese: [pokemoɴ]; English: /ˈpoʊkɪˌmɒn, -ki-, -keɪ-/)
is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese consortium

between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures.[4] The franchise copyright is shared by all three
companies, but Nintendo is the sole owner of the trademark.[5] The franchise was created by Satoshi
Tajiri in 1995,[6] and is centered on fictional creatures called "Pokémon", which humans, known as
Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. The English slogan for the franchise
is "Gotta Catch 'Em All".[7][8]
The franchise began as a pair of video games for the original Game Boy that were developed by
Game Freak and published by Nintendo. It now spans a video game series, a trading card game,
an anime television series, a film series, books, manga comics, music, toys, and
merchandise. Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time,[9][10] with over ¥6
trillion[11] ($59.1 billion) in total revenue.[10][12] It includes the world's top-selling toy brand,[13] the top-
selling trading card game[14] with over 25.7 billion cards sold,[11] the second best-selling video game
franchise (behind only Nintendo's Mario franchise)[15] with more than 300 million copies sold,[11] and
the most successful television show based on a video game.[16] The franchise is also represented in
other Nintendo media, such as the Super Smash Bros. series.
In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing
of Pokémon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement.
The Pokémon Company International (formerly Pokémon USA Inc.), a subsidiary of Japan's
Pokémon Co., oversees all Pokémon licensing outside Asia.[17] The franchise celebrated its tenth
anniversary in 2006.[18] 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the original games, with the
company celebrating by airing an ad during Super Bowl 50, issuing re-releases of Pokémon
Red, Blue, and Yellow, and completely redesigning the way the newest games are played. [19][20] The
mobile augmented reality game Pokémon Go was released in July 2016.[21] The first seventh-
generation games Pokémon Sun and Moon were released worldwide on November 18, 2016.
A live-action film adaptation based on Detective Pikachu began production in January 2018,[23] and
is set to release in 2019.[9]
The name Pokémon is the romanized contraction of the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters (ポケッ
トモンスター Poketto Monsutā).[24] The term Pokémon, in addition to referring to the Pokémon
franchise itself, also collectively refers to the 807 fictional species that have made appearances in
Pokémon media as of the release of the seventh generation titles Pokémon Sun and Moon.
"Pokémon" is identical in both the singular and plural, as is each individual species name; it is
grammatically correct to say "one Pokémon" and "many Pokémon", as well as "one Pikachu" and
"many Pikachu".[25]


An animated history of how Satoshi Tajiri came to conceive Pokémon.

Tajiri first thought of Pokémon, albeit with a different concept and name, around 1989, when
the Game Boy was first released. The concept of the Pokémon universe, in both the video games
and the general fictional world of Pokémon, stems from the hobby of insect collecting, a popular
pastime which Pokémon executive director Satoshi Tajiri enjoyed as a child. [26] Players are
designated as Pokémon Trainers and have three general goals: to complete the
regional Pokédex by collecting all of the available Pokémon species found in the fictional region
where a game takes place, to complete the national Pokédex by transferring Pokémon from other
regions, and to train a team of powerful Pokémon from those they have caught to compete against
teams owned by other Trainers so they may eventually win the Pokémon League and become the
regional Champion. These themes of collecting, training, and battling are present in almost every
version of the Pokémon franchise, including the video games, the anime and manga series, and
the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
In most incarnations of the Pokémon universe, a Trainer who encounters a wild Pokémon is able to
capture that Pokémon by throwing a specially designed, mass-producible spherical tool called
a Poké Ball at it. If the Pokémon is unable to escape the confines of the Poké Ball, it is officially
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
Pokémon would rather act on its own accord. Trainers can send out any of their Pokémon to wage
non-lethal battles against other Pokémon; if the opposing Pokémon is wild, the Trainer can capture
that Pokémon with a Poké Ball, increasing his or her collection of creatures. Pokémon already
owned by other Trainers cannot be captured, except under special circumstances in certain side
games. If a Pokémon fully defeats an opponent in battle so that the opponent is knocked out
("faints"), the winning Pokémon gains experience points and may level up. When leveling up, the
Pokémon's battling aptitude statistics ("stats, such as Attack and Speed") increase. At certain levels,
the Pokémon may also learn new moves, which are techniques used in battle. In addition, many
species of Pokémon can undergo a form of metamorphosis and transform into a similar but stronger
species of Pokémon, a process called evolution.
In the main series, each game's single-player mode requires the Trainer to raise a team of Pokémon
to defeat many non-player character (NPC) Trainers and their Pokémon. Each game lays out a
somewhat linear path through a specific region of the Pokémon world for the Trainer to journey
through, completing events and battling opponents along the way (including foiling the plans of an
'evil' team of Pokémon Trainers who serve as antagonists to the player). Each game (excluding Sun
and Moon) features eight especially 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, that Trainer is eligible to challenge the region's Pokémon League, where four
immensely talented trainers (referred to collectively as the "Elite Four") challenge the Trainer to four
Pokémon battles in succession. If the trainer can overcome this gauntlet, he or she must then
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.
In Sun and Moon, however, the Gym Leaders are not present, and are instead replaced with "Trial
Captains", a NPC who gives the Trainer a challenge to complete so as to earn a special item. Once
the player completes all of these on an island, the Trainer must take on the Island Kahuna, the
strongest Trainer on the island. Once the player beats all the Kahunas, he must travel to the recently
built Pokémon League, where he must re-defeat two of the Kahunas and two strong Trainers, who
now form the Elite Four, and then defend his newly received title against challengers.
It is implied by Takeshi Shudo, the initial writer for the anime, that the creators of Pokémon had not
anticipated the franchise would become so popular, and there were plans to end the series by
the Gold and Silver era. In his blog, Shudo reveals he even had an ending drafted for the anime, in
which the last episode reveals an elderly Ash Ketchum hallucinated the entire events of the show.
This is supported in an interview with president of The Pokémon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara,
who predicted the anime would end by 1998. He also stated he initially did not intend on making
"any more Pokémon titles" after Gold and Silver and would have moved on to other projects.
However the games' success following their release prompted Ishinhara to continue work on the

Video games