Pokémon (often simplified to Pokemon when typing the accent is inconvenient) is one of the most successful and popular Japanese media franchises in the world, featuring cute (or sometimes ugly) creatures beating the crap out of each other to the point of being knocked unconscious. It started in 1996 with the first set of video games, developed by Game Freak and published (and later translated) by Nintendo for the latter's Game Boy portable gaming console (though the games didn't get an English-language release until 1998). This popular media franchise includes many games, manga, movies, and an anime series which has been running for fifteen years and counting. One equally long-lived manga series, Pokémon Adventures, includes multiple volumes based on every non-spinoff video game in the series. (There are other manga series, but they tend to feature plots focused on specific video games — such as Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure!'s case — rather than on all of them as with Adventures.)
One anime episode caused several hundred children's brains being fried. Sadly, it took until Pokémon #638 until the designers finally recognized the error of their previous ways and based one of the glorious creatures on a goat — Cobalion.
 "Pokémon Shock"
There is one episode of the Pokémon anime series that can seriously be hazardous to your health. This episode featured explosions in which the entire screen alternated very quickly between red and blue. On December 16, 1997, when it was aired on Japanese television, it induced epileptic seizures in a large number of viewers and sent 685 people to the hospital. This was dubbed "Pokémon Shock" and caused a media firestorm, resulting in some guidelines being put in place for the use of flickering images in animated cartoons.
Despite the popularity targeted to young children, some Christian fundamentalists had stirred up a Satanic panic claiming the series promote witchcraft, occultry, and claims of blasphemy. In particular, they've latched onto the fact that the franchise features Pokémon "evolution," concluding that the series promotes the theory of evolution despite the fact that the concept of "evolution" in Pokémon is completely different from the actual theory and more closely resembles stages the normal growth of an organism — most notably insect metamorphosis (the creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, had a fondness of insects when he was a kid and collected them as a hobby; the aspect of catching wild Pokémon in the games was intended to allow people in more urbanized areas to have what is essentially a virtual version of his hobby). Despite such moral panics, the Vatican find Pokémon to be highly acceptable.
It happens that in 2001, Saudi Arabia banned the Pokémon franchise completely, claiming that the series
defames the name of Muhammad promotes Zionism. Some fundamentalist Muslims also claimed Pokémon means "I am Jewish," showing complete ignorance of the fact that the series originated from Japan (and that Pokemon is a contraction of "Pocket Monsters" — Poketto Monsutā — when written in Japanese).
The Pokemon Jynx's design and appearance has been heavily criticized by cultural critic Carole Boston Weatherford, who described Jynx as representing blackface after seeing the character's depiction in the anime. Due to complaints, Gamefreak modified her appearance, though criticisms from 1UP.com and similar sources have persisted. And, for some reason, PETA
has had no issue over a game where wild creatures are captured and forced to battle. They then released a "parody" game on the day of release of Black 2 and White 2, proving again that they don't do any research.
In 2011, Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain killed his chances by quoting the theme song from the second Pokémon movie in a speech. Some analysts have noted that the decision might not have been as bold as many people thought; by then he had already lost most of his support, it was in fact his concession speech, and much like poor Kadabra he had been already been accused of wearing the Number of the Beast.
- We heard you liek mudkips.
- Bulbapedia: A wiki dream come true of all you Pokémon fanatics!
- Official website
- A very hilarious spinoff in Uncyclopedia of the Satanic panic claims
- ↑ Yet there have been a plethora of sheep Pokémon over the years: Mareep, Flaaffy and Whimsicott.
- ↑ Arceus, however, was goat-like. And also God
- ↑ Oh noes! It's Pikachu, Causing children to
- ↑ http://www.dragonflycave.com/religion.aspx
- ↑ http://www.christiananswers.net/spotlight/pokemon.html
- ↑ http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/pokemon.htm
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 http://www.carm.org/more-stuff/features/pokemon-what-it
- ↑ http://www.bible.com/bibleanswers_result.php?id=221
- ↑ It happens that if you backmask the Pokemon rap, you'll get "I love Satan!" Coincidence? I think not! (The rap haven't even been used in the anime for over ten years.)
- ↑ The concept of Pokemon "evolution" fully explained
- ↑ That's right, the Vatican said it: There is no Satanic brainwashing in Pokémon
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Uri Geller sues Pokemon, claiming it defames his name!
- ↑ See here, keep in note that the swastika (or manji as the Japanese call it) have a completely different meaning and it's not always associated to Nazism.
- ↑ http://www.popmatters.com/film/reviews/p/pokemon-the-movie-2000.shtml
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20001022030204/http://www.nypost.com/news/14579.htm
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Banned in Saudi Arabia, now I wonder if anyone have the guts to bring in Pokemon Platinum into the kingdom now.
- ↑ Note that although the "gambling" (which actually involved game tokens and not the in-game character's money) was removed in the non-Japanese versions of HeartGold and SoulSilver, it was for the purpose of making it easier to release the games in Europe — for some reason the video game-rating system there is extremely strict when it comes to gambling references. (In case you were wondering, it was replaced with a card game that resembles a cross between Minesweeper and Picross, which the guy that wrote this can't stop playing.)
- ↑ Question of the Month (September 2009): Racism and Pokemon, David Pilgrim, The Jim Crow Museum, Ferris State University
- ↑ If you really want to see it...
- ↑ We have to link to this again.
- ↑ 999 is awfully close to...