The Pokemon phenomenon never dies — and it doesn’t fade away, either. Just a few years after the Pokemon craze came and supposedly went, it’s still going strong. National Today has the info you need for National Pokemon Day this February 27. What info do you need? Well, let’s see … You probably need to know the origins of the pocket monsters’ fame, which started way back in 1996. You might also want to know how to celebrate this fun and entertaining observance. Let’s take a deep dive into National Pokemon Day. Are you ready? Let’s do this little thing!
When is National Pokemon Day 2023?
‘Gotta Catch Em’ All’ on National Pokemon Day, celebrated annually on February 27. This is the day when Pokemon was introduced in 1996, taking the world by storm!
History of National Pokemon Day
“Pokémon” comes from the Japanese term “Poketto Monsuta” or “Pocket Monsters.” Looking at the franchise’s success today, it is unbelievable that, at one point, there was a different title that almost steered the developer Game Freak to bankruptcy. Thankfully, this didn’t happen and “Pokémon” went on to become a cultural phenomenon.
“Pokémon” was created by Satoshi Tajiri, who was born and raised in Tokyo in 1965. From a very young age, he was fascinated by insects and collected them. Tajiri aspired to become an entomologist but this was overridden by his passion for video gaming. Mesmerized by the arcade game “Space Invaders,” his teenage years were spent gaming and learning about the medium. In 1991, Tajiri collaborated with Nintendo on the puzzle game “Yoshi,” and he was already brainstorming a new idea for a game. This game would eventually become “Pokemon.”
“Pokémon” was first titled “Capsule Monsters,” but this was changed due to a copyright infringement. It was first renamed to “CapuMon,” and then “Pocket Monsters.” Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto was intrigued by the designs for “Pokémon,” and it didn’t take long for the idea to be greenlit. Generation I Pokémon Red and Green officially launched the whole franchise.
In 1997, “Pokémon” was animated into a T.V. series in Japan. The story follows a boy named Satoshi, who sets out to become the greatest Pokemon master, along with his companion Pikachu.
In 1998, Pokémon cards were released, creating one of the biggest fads of the 1990s. Fans obsessively collected these cards and traded them to complete their collection.
As part of the franchise’s 20th-anniversary celebrations, the virtual game “Pokémon Go” was released, once again captivating the masses.
National Pokemon Day timeline
The man who would launch a worldwide phenomenon, Satoshi Tajiri, the inventor of Pokemon, is born in Machida, Tokyo.
The first Pokemon media, Pokemon Red and Green, a pair of video games for the original Game Boy, are released.
Pokemon celebrates its 20th birthday with an advertisement aired during Super Bowl 50.
The first live-action film of the beloved Pokemon character, Pikachu, began production. It was released in May 2019.
Pokemon Sword and Shield for the Switch were both released bringing the total number of Pokemon to over 875.
National Pokemon Day - Survey Results
Traditions of the day
From the beautiful animations of the tv shows, films, and video games, the incredible world of ‘Pocket Monsters’ is celebrated by fans all over the world. This franchise is a sensation like no other and its sustained fanbase goes all out on this day with their costumes, themed get-togethers, watch parties, and Pokemon conferences.
The Pokemon online community is extremely active on this day. They host discussions and cosplays, and show off their Pokemon caught on Pokemon Go as well as screenshots of their online battles. Pokemon movie marathons are also held, and the press usually releases exciting updates on the future of the franchise.
By the Numbers
$432,142,736 – the worldwide box-office earnings of the movie “Detective Pikachu.”
800 – the number of Pokemon species today, and counting.
2nd – best-selling franchise of all time.
4 billion – the number of variants to the pattern on the face of a Spinda.
25 – the Pokedex number standing of Pikachu.
$55,000 – the value of the first-edition holographic Charizard card.
942 – the number of episodes it took Misty’s Psyduck to use Water Gun properly.
99% – the percentage of Tentacool’s body that is water.
150 mph – the top speed at which Rapidash runs.
3 – the number of Pokemon with a Dark-Ground dual type.
National Pokemon Day FAQs
Why is February 27 National Pokémon Day?
National Pokémon Day is on February 27 to commemorate the launch of the first “Pokémon” games, released in 1996 in Japan.
How old is Pikachu from “Pokémon”?
As of 2022, Pikachu is 26 years old.
What gender is Ash's Pikachu?
Pikachu is officially male!
National Pokemon Day Activities
Play some Pokemon!
The best way to celebrate National Pokemon Day is to play! There's tons of ways to engage, too; trading cards, video games, a TV and film series, books, manga, comics and more!
Host a Pokemon birthday party
The reason for National Pokemon Day on February 27 is to celebrate the popular franchise's birthday, which began on that date in 1996 with Pokemon Red and Green. Happy birthday, Pokemon!
Share the Pokemon love
Show your love for all things Pokemon by sharing what you know about the phenomenon on social media. Don't forget those tags — for example, #PokemonDay!
5 Amazing Facts About Pokemon
What's in a name?
The name Pokemon is a contraction of the Japanese brand "Poketto Monsuta" — or Pocket Monsters.
There's a whole lot where that came from
There are currently more than 800 species of the fictional, collectible Pokemon monsters.
Thankful for the Macy's parade
Pokemon are so beloved that they've even appeared as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Pokemon has a creepy-crawly inspiration
Creator Satoshi Tajiri hunted bugs as a kid and traded them with friends — a clear inspiration for Pokemon.
The first Pokémon
Rhydon is the first Pokémon ever to be created.
Why We Love National Pokemon Day
First and foremost: It's super fun
Created by Japanese video game creator Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, Pokemon has become a worldwide phenomenon. Why? Because it's fun!
You "Gotta Catch 'Em All"
Pokemons are fictional creatures (or are they?) which we humans need to catch. Once they're caught, we must train them to battle each other for sport. Let's do it!
It's a shareable experience
One of the best parts of playing with these little pocket monsters, is that you get to share your adventures with others. From trading cards to anime series, these little guys are worldwide!
National Pokemon Day dates