Blogpost 11: The Popularity of the Animated Series Pokemon
The Japanese sensation that took over the United States and all over the world in the mid 1990’s known as Pokémon definitely took the United States by storm. Children ranging from kindergarten to high school all liked Pokémon. Pokémon became famous with its original concept and plot base. Pokémon’s original concept of Pocket Monsters, thus the name Pokémon became widely popular. The concept of the Pokémon animated series and card game was a bit simple, player are designated as Pokémon Trainers, and the two general goals (in most Pokémon games) for such Trainers are: to complete the Pokédex by collecting all of the available Pokémon species found in the fictional region where that game takes place; and to train a team of powerful Pokémon from those they have caught to compete against teams owned by other Trainers, and eventually become the strongest Trainer: the Pokémon Master. 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. Pokémon’s popularity was due to its concept; which was the animators maximized in the animated series, video games, clothing apparel and countless other items. In this sense Pokémon became a worldwide sensation by the way it was marketed to the youth in so many different ways.
One of the most appealing aspects of Pokémon was that the trainer could become a Pokémon Master, the animators of the series incorporated this into the theme song of the show which became extremely popular. It became so popular that I personally still know the lyrics to the song.
The second appealing aspect of Pokémon which added to its popularity was diverse variety of Pokémon that could be caught. The main character Ash Ketchum (catch them) traveled with Pikachu, an electric mouse type of animal. The majority of Pokémon, or at least the original 150 (later the animated series expanded and up to 450 different kinds of Pokémon could be caught) reflected real live animals and evolutions (Caterpie= Caterpillar, Metapod=Metamorphosis , Buterfree= Butterfly). The television episodes also included various topics and constantly kept the audience engaged. The episodes continued where they left off, and thus kept the audience engaged and ready for the next new episode.
Lastly, what made the Pokémon animated series so popular besides its amazing plot, unique characters, and great theme song was that Pokémon the franchise expanded to far beyond the animated series. There was the Pokémon trading card game, video games for Nintendo, movies, clothing, toys, anything imaginable was created by Pokémon. This is what was marketed to the young children in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and its what has made Pokémon an iconic name for its popularity.