Why is Pokémon called like that? The origin of the name of one of the most successful franchises in history

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Pokémon is one of the largest media franchises in entertainment history. What was born as a video game pair, Pokémon Green and Red for the Game Boy in February 1996, is now a license capable of producing canonical video games, derivatives, series, movies, merchandising, card games, and much more. However, Do you know where its name comes from and what was it going to be called initially?

The origin and meaning of the word Pokémon

Let’s briefly review who is responsible for this phenomenon: Satoshi Tajiri, a young Japanese man born in 1965 who grew up in Machida, Tokyo, in a very rural environment, surrounded by bugs and with the passion to get hold of them all; then he compiled them with their characteristics and peculiarities in an encyclopedia.

His great friend Ken Sugimori (artistic director of the saga in almost all of its installments) and he created a magazine called Game Freak, a fanzine that began to circulate in the streets of his city in 1982 with the aim of transmitting to others everything they had in mind . There were vignettes and references to those monsters collaborating in the day-to-day life of human beings. It was a success. So much so that he published two books: ‘CAP Land‘ Y Catch ‘em all CAP Land’.

That passion for collecting and insects led him to want to be an entomologist, but finally his other great passion, the video game, took him on the professional track. In the mid-eighties, Game Freak became a video game studio and, after a long history of adventures and misadventures, attempts to convince Nintendo to develop a Game Boy video game based on collecting, trading and fighting with creatures in a huge region, they managed to make the Pocket Monsters (Poketto Monsutā in Japanese), pocket Monsters, Pokémon.

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Initially they were to be called Capsule Monsters, as explained in the book Pikachu’s Global Adventure, since this is how Mr. Tajiri referred to the creatures in his childhood and adolescence, when he created the Game Freak fanzine.

We already know the past, with eight complete generations of video games; The future, however, now passes through the remake of Pokémon Pearl and Diamond in November and Pokémon Legends Arceus in January 2022, a new playable approach as an Action RPG in an open world based on the Sinnoh of many years ago. We will know the origin of the Pokédex.

References | Bulbapedia (2); TIME; Crunk Games


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