Pokemon is one of the biggest franchises in the world. Its dominance is truly undeniable, and it’s clear that since the series started in 1996, it has truly never lost steam.
Even today, the franchise still draws massive profits, and has, in fact, gone on to earn the honor of being the most profitable franchise of all time.
The franchise has branched out into all kinds of multimedia properties, including video games, card games, manga, and even feature films.
But one question that often permeates through the mind of fans or even casual observers of the franchise is whether Pokemon is anime!
So what actually is anime? Where does Pokemon fit into the category? And is Pokemon actually an anime?
If you want answers to these burning questions, then you have come to the right place, because we are going to dive right in and find out whether Pokemon is anime!
What Is Anime?
Before we can find out definitively if Pokemon is an anime, we’ll need to take a look and find out exactly what anime is!
Defining anime can sometimes be a little bit difficult, as the definition can actually change slightly depending on whether you are discussing it from a Japanese perspective or from a Western perspective.
The most commonly accepted definition for anime is that it is a form of animation, either hand-drawn or computer generated, that originates from Japan!
Anime is often denoted by some of its most distinctive elements, like exaggerated character designs, facial expressions, and flashy animation.
Within Japan, the word ‘anime’ is a word that is derived from the shortened form of the word ‘animation’.
Within Japan, the word ‘Anime’ is used to describe all animated work, regardless of where the work originated, or the animation style it takes on.
So, now that we’ve taken a look at what anime is, and what things can be considered anime, let’s find out whether Pokemon is anime!
Is Pokemon Anime?
It can often be difficult to easily categorize Pokemon as a franchise, thanks to how many different multimedia avenues the series has branched into.
One way we could look at it is to take a look at which type of media Pokemon originated as.
Pokemon first entered the market as a video game, via Pokemon Red And Green, both of which were released on the Game Boy in 1996.
This would suggest that, no, Pokemon is not an anime, and that it is a video game franchise first and foremost.
However, the difficulty with answering this question derives from the fact that the Pokemon anime series, which first aired on television in 1997, has become immensely popular in its own right.
The anime series has seen frequent syndication on television ever since its first episode, and the series still continues to this very day.
Because of the prominence of the Pokemon anime series, there are actually many people that see Pokemon as an anime series first and foremost, with the video games being spin-offs of that content.
The anime series has become so prominent that it has even spawned more than twenty animated feature films.
Thus, it would be possible to identify Pokemon as an anime, as the anime series has been airing for so long that it has managed to take on a distinct identity of its own that does not entirely depend on the video games.
However, of course, because the series began as a video game first, this does cause some difficulty with defining the franchise, which is why you are reading this right now!
If you were to describe Pokemon as an anime, you would find that you would be met with very little resistance, as it meets so many of the criteria, including the Japanese origin of the animation, and the style of animation.
But you may occasionally meet a few pedantic people that argue it cannot be categorized as such!
Is Pokemon A Cartoon?
You may face some resistance if you were to describe Pokemon as a cartoon, simply because of the fact that it originated in Japan.
The term ‘cartoon’ suggests to many people the image of an animated product that was animated in the West, which Pokemon was not.
There is an ongoing debate regarding whether anime itself is the same thing as a cartoon, and it is unlikely that such a debate will end any time soon.
Many people like to differentiate anime from cartoons as a way of suggesting that anime is inherently more mature, as Western cartoons are most commonly targeted at younger audiences.
Thus, if you were to describe Pokemon as a cartoon, you would definitely face some resistance, because the animation did not originate from the West.
To Wrap Up
So, there we have it. Finding an official definition for Pokemon can often be difficult thanks to how truly massive the franchise is.
As the most profitable franchise of all time, Pokemon has branched out into all kinds of media, so this makes it difficult to pin it down as one distinct form of media.
However, most would either describe Pokemon as a video game, thanks to its origins as such, or as an anime, thanks to how prevalent the television series is, where it is produced, and how popular it is.
Thus, yes, it would be possible to say that Pokemon is indeed an anime!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is SpongeBob Considered Anime?
Within Japan, it would be possible to describe SpongeBob as an anime, because of the fact that in Japan ‘anime’ refers to all forms of animation.
So, technically, SpongeBob could be considered anime!
Do Japanese Call Anime Anime?
Yes. In Japan, ‘Anime’ is an umbrella term used to describe all forms of animation!
Who Is The God Of Anime?
The man often credited as the ‘God of Anime’ is Osamu Tezuka, who created the Astro Boy franchise, which is incredibly popular.