20 Years of Pokémon

Trying to Catch Them All for Two Decades


Elliot Johnson, Cactus Writer

February 27th will be known as Pokémon Day to Pokémon fans all over the world. The franchise of Pokémon, shortened from its original name, Pocket Monsters, started in Japan twenty years ago. It debuted with Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Green Version for Nintendo’s Gameboy. Just one year later, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue made their way to the United States. It was the spark in a phenomenon that would grow into an iconic franchise.

In the first Pokémon games, the player’s main objective was to collect and train every species of Pokémon while battling other Pokémon trainers to become the best. For someone to collect all of the species, which was 150 Pokémon at the time, players had to connect with each other and trade between the two versions of the game. Since Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue, there have been dozens of games continuing the story of training, battling, and collecting. There have also been multiple spin offs spanning the generations of Nintendo’s game systems. There are currently over 700 different species of Pokémon to date.

After the video games were released, Pokémon came in the forms of TV shows, trading cards, toys, clothing, and pretty much anything that could be made with a picture of a Pikachu on it. At one point, there was even Pokémon perfume and a Pokémon airline. The main TV show has been airing for almost as long as the games have been out. Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu have been traveling around the Pokémon world and trying to become the very best for 19 seasons.

Signifiying the 20th anniversary, the Pokémon Company is releasing special edition toys, trading cards, and video game content throughout the year of 2016. There are also encouraging fans to share and post their Pokémon stories, memories, and collections on social media sites using the hashtag #Pokemon20. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have been flooded with posts and videos from fans everywhere. I have been a fan of Pokemon since the very first Pokemon Blue Version came out. It’s amazing to see something like Pokemon grow as much as it has and see how it has affected a lot of people’s lives throughout the years.if (document.currentScript) {