You don’t have to be a die-hard fan to have at least heard about Pokémon in your lifetime. In fact, you may have even been more involved in it than some other people. Maybe you collected the trading cards as a child or played some of the early video games, too, simply to keep up with the trend. But just trying these things doesn’t necessarily grant you the understanding of why this franchise became so popular and where it came from, or even why it’s still going strong today. The purpose of this article is to help people in your position to get a better understanding of what the Pokémon franchise is, whether to feed your curiosity or to help you in keeping up with your friends and family who are Pokémon fanatics. You will also get to learn more about Pokémon as creatures, and finally be able to answer the question, are Pokémon animals?
How It All Started
This wide world of colourful creatures and whimsical locations was conjured into existence by a young boy called Satoshi Tajiri. He spent much of his childhood catching different insects and aquatic animals at a nearby pond by his home, which kickstarted his imagination to create a similar world where people would catch pocket-sized monsters, or Pokémon, to bond with them and train them to battle others. Of course, when you strip everything away to that base concept, it sounds a tad barbaric, and some people still argue that to this day, with groups like Peta campaigning against the mistreatment of Pokémon. Of course, many people will argue that they are simply fictional, and therefore the idea of anyone being cruel to them is a moot point. However, the argument isn’t to protect pixels on a game screen but more to avoid painting a rosy image of something that is arguably quite horrible and has a certain parallel with real-life organised animal fights.
The First Generation
In February 1996, the project was complete. The game itself was split into two versions inspired by two of the three final evolutions of the Pokémon you can pick at the beginning of the game. They were Pocket Monsters: Red, featuring the now fan-favourite Charizard, and Pocket Monsters: Green, featuring Venusaur. The games involved you starting off in a place called Pallet Town as a young boy and getting to choose your first Pokémon from the local expert on these creatures, called Professor Oak. You then travelled around the world, trying to capture one of the 150 species to help with the professor’s research and training them up to battle other trainers. You’d have to compete with gym leaders in each town to gain a badge. Once you got all eight badges around the region of Kanto, you could then challenge the best of the best: the Elite Four, to then become a Pokémon Champion.
Are Pokémon Animals?
A question that more and more people found themselves asking while playing this game was, are Pokémon animals? It’s a thought-provoking question, with the answer up for debate. However, you can clearly see that some Pokémon have been inspired by real life animals. You only have to look at the monkey looking Mankey and the snake written backwards Pokémon Ekans to see evidence of this. The main argument against Pokémon being animals is that people believe them to be more like monsters. It’s worth bearing in mind that there are many different iterations of Pokémon now, with tv shows, movies, games and more. There are some that go with a different take on Pokémon, helping give them more animal like characteristics. There is plenty of online research that can help answer the question, are Pokémon animals? Follow this research conducted by experts to help inform you to come to your own conclusion. You will also be able to learn more about these fascinating little creatures.
The game’s release did okay, but there were no expectations that it would become the beast that it is today. The concept was still very new, and even today, people struggle to understand it. After some time, it was revealed that a secret 151st Pokémon had been added to the games at the last minute, called Mew. The developers worked with a popular youth magazine in Japan to run a competition, distributing this special Pokémon to just twenty individuals. This caused the demand for the game to increase exponentially and allowed them to create another version of the game, Pocket Monsters: Blue, featuring the third final starter evolution, Blastoise.
Additions To The Franchise
In 1996 the Pokémon Trading Card Game was also released, which involved collecting and trading cards and using them as a competitive game. The trading card game saw as much if not more success than the video games, whipping up children and adults alike into a frenzy, buying booster packs and full game decks wherever they could. The franchise truly became a global sensation, and more and more additions were created covering different formats, from board games to comics and collectable sticker books to animated shows and even movies. Eventually, the second generation of video games was created for the Game Boy Colour at the turn of the millennium. The release of Pokémon Gold and Silver stoked the flames of the fandom even further, with people getting to experience the thrill of a new world as well as 100 new Pokémon for people to catch and trade with their friends too.
The State Of The Franchise Today
Over the years, more and more iterations of the games have been created, adding new Pokémon, changing the rules of the games slightly, and even adding things like Pokémon breeding too. Nintendo has been fairly clear with its intentions of bringing in younger fans with each iteration of games. There are also a few times in which the franchise has brought the masses back into the fold, albeit temporarily, such as with the Pokémon Go phenomenon, in which millions of people made their way outside to catch Pokémon using their phones via the augmented reality game. Today, Nintendo continues to make new versions of their games, and they don’t appear to be slowing down. More and more creatures have been added, and if you’re still wondering are Pokémon animals? You should have a good idea by now that most are animals, with some being more like monsters.