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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.

Cartoons Wallpaper: Pokemon World

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.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Blogpost 11: The Popularity of the Animated Series Pokemon

  1. I entirely agree that Pokemon took America by a tornado honestly, when it came out, everyone was training, catching and watching Pokemon. I was obsessed with it as a kid but now that it seems to never end I stopped watching it but I’m still shocked by how popular it still is today and keeps being. The Pokemon series and number of Pokemon just never ends and therefore neither does its franchise. Besides, I agree, the show and concept being unique and incredible I really think the reason for its popularity was its flexible ability for anyone to become a Pokemon trainer/master. I have seen so many people not only dress up as their own Pokemon trainer but even create their own characters with fanart and create their own storyline with fan comics. At conventions I still see Pokemon and Pokemon trainers everywhere! It is one of the few shows/series that has lasted so long and is still going with no signs of slowing down. Its really amazing how popular Pokemon was when it came to America but more amazing that it is still lasting in its popularity.

    • I think that the way Pokemon came into the scene in America and instantly took off, set an example not just other upcoming cartoons, but for the entire genre of 12 + under shows on how to market a brand. The way they took cartoon marketing from just cheap plastic Mcdonalds happy meal toys to multi million dollar video games, and card collectibles that people were paying 1,000’s of dollars for is almost unfathomable.

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  3. Bryan Clark - HIST 389 on said:

    How could I not comment on a Pokemon post. This series was my whole elementary school years. I played the cards, played the games, and watched the shows (when I had TV time). Going with your comments, I completely agree that Pokemon was a hit not only because of its cute pokemon and characters that kids could relate to but also the simplicity of them. As you mentioned, every kid wanted to be Ash Ketchum and have an amazing arsenal of pokemon at his or her dispense. You did state that it was a phenomena of the 2000’s but in Japan, Pokemon is still going as strong as ever. With each new edition that comes out, they sell millions of copies of the games (now going to 3DS from DSi) and continue to make a large profit. In the United States, the Pokemon fever has died down but there is still interest among the dedicated as well as young children who are being introduced to it for the first time. This said, I was at Katsucon (Japanese Anime Convention) in February and there was 0 people at the “Learn how to be a better Pokemon Master” live-game panel. Only the 30+ year old panelist dressed up as a Pokemon doctor…….felt bad for him.

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  6. I think that Pokemon’s greatest feat is that it is still going on today. Many of these franchises are simply fads that wear out in a short amount of time. But Pokemon is STILL on tv with new episodes and kids STILL collect these cards. The franchise has grown incredibly from its manga and video game roots into something that still lasts today.

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