How did you become interested in Pokémon?

Hey everyone,

I opened this thread because I felt like it would be interesting for there to be a thread were people can tell their stories of discovering the pokemon franchise.

Spill your story.(If it is too long, split it into several posts)
I was just at that age in the right generation, I think. I was like in kindergarten or preschool when I first found out about it, and Pokemon was the big fad among kids for most of my elementary school days. It was pretty hard to avoid, really.
How I became interested

Hey everyone,

I opened this thread because I felt like it would be interesting for there to be a thread were people can tell their stories of discovering the pokemon franchise.

Spill your story.(If it is too long, split it into several posts)
When I was 3, the inaugural season of the pokemon TV show had begun(Back when it was good). One day, I was sick, and I had to stay home. Pokémon started and I watched it. It was so weird, yet appealing at the same time.

I remembered all the times when pokemon would be played and watched the episodes. My parents found out, and so did my relatives. It had just happened that my {then} 11-year old cousin had stopped playing with cards{He died when he was 17:(}. I got his card set. It was almost all of them. I became interested and started buying pokemon cards as collector's items.

It wasn't until I was 5 until I got into the video game series. We were moving, so my parents got my a GameBoy Advance and Pokemon Ruby. I found the idea of getting to choose my character appealing. However, when I began, I found it appalling how different it was from the TV show. There were 30+ towns in the TV show, but only 10 or so in Ruby. You were forced to choose between 3 pokemon as your starter (dreams of Pikachu still danced in my head).

I didn't start enjoying the video games until my brother bought Sapphire one month later. We could trade, communicate, pokeblock, and battle each other.
Part II

This idea of "I get one/ you get the other" worked great for a while. I then found as I moved through diamond that I was so much more careful than my brother when playing. I had 10x as many pokemon in my pokedex and all my pokemon were 10 levels higher AVERAGE. That is what drew me into completing the national dex.

The GTS was the most important thing in order to achieve that goal. I also saw I could battle over WIFI. I tried a bit and got destroyed. I looked up how to make a pokemon stronger on the internet and came across the nit-picky stuff: Nature, EV, IV, Egg moves...; I looked up what the best sets were for each pokemon and came across Smogon...

Here I am
First I thought Pokemon was stupid (OMG, what was I stupid)
But once when I was bored at 6 years of age, I saw the show.
I loved it (It was the one when Ash is in Kanto Indigo League I think, just like in the intro he jumps then over those stones)
But I never saw the part again :(
That is how I became too love Pokemon
I got my first game (Diamond) on my seventh birthday
oh gosh

uhm well i always watched the show on vhs as a kid, but my first real interest came from when i saw my friend brendan on his red gameboy advance sp in the playground, playing ruby version, his torchic against a wild poochyena.

i figured that the game looked really cool, and i wondered what it was (torchic and such pokes were not familiar to me because i only watched the original series)

i asked him, he said pokemon. eventually, i asked dad for a pokemon game, and pointed at the picture of emerald in the pamphlet, and very clearly told him (he tended to mess these things up)-

"like this, daddy. it has to look like this. or... maybe with a different thing on the front, but it has to say pokemon!"

i actually wanted ruby version, to match my friend, but i ended up getting emerald. i have no problem with that, though - it is the "complete" version, after all.

oh. and he got me a pink gameboy advance sp. just to spite me.

still, that was after the hype of pokemon died down (this was around may of 2005 - i was 8), and i never really knew what it was like to have all of your buddies playing red in the park, or discussing the show's latest episode (or being beaten up for your charizard card!), so i guess my experience wasn't really "legit". can't help that my mum had sex too late, though. :c

that said, we did play sinnoh in the park. i remember that it took me ages after i got my ds to get diamond, and i was so excited to tell my friends about it when i finally did (i was criticized that my pokes were only in the low twenties - i'd just gotten it yesterday, goddammit!). we played trainer, too, and pretended to have real pokemon, or be pokemon (or be pokemon and capture people)

ahhhh man i would still be up for doing that if people were willing to play with me c':
I found out about Pokemon during 1st gen when I was little at the time when it was huge and everyone talked about it. During 2nd gen, pokemon died in my country (France), I don't know if it's the same everywhere but everyone forgot about it.

I find out like 2 days ago on Youtube by chance. I was very surprised that :

1) Pokemon was still alive (I genuinely thought that it died many years before as I never heard about it since 2nd gen)
2) There was 5 gens and 649 pokemon, I was impressed by how much it grew and was improved. (Curiously enough, I'm probably the only person who discovered Pokemon with 1st gen and prefer the latest generations)
3) I was impressed by the big community and the in-depth strategies people use in competitive battling.

I'm a big fan of the game mechanics and the huge potential in term of strategy so it naturally lead me to Smogon :).
I think it was the cards that first got me introduced into Pokemon. I remember walking through Guildford with my aunt and spotting one of those tcg packets. There was talk at school about them, so I decided to give it a go and buy one. I remember my aunt going "Are you sure?". I was then tempted to ignore the cards, but hey, I bought them, best decision of my life. I can't remember the contents of my first packet, except 1 card. I then proceeded to buy 10 more packs before calling it a day.

The trading bonanza at school occurred, and I loved every second of it. I think my love of Pokemon really kicked off though when I found my first Pokemon ex; I was giddy with joy. I joined Pokemon Crater, which was awesome. My time at Pokemon Crater came to an end when a "friend" of mine at school decided that it would be a good idea to go onto my account (me being young, my password was my name), and steal my beloved Blaziken and trustworthy Wailord, giving it to her. I was distraught; not just because she had taken my Pokemon but also because she had denied it :(

Anyway, I then bought Pokemon Pearl Perle, a French version. Despite me not understanding what the characters were saying, I absolutely loved it.


Junichi Masuda likes this!!
Wow, it was like the most popular thing back then.
They aired the Cantonese version and it became so popular, the same company purchased an English version (USA) for its English channel.

I was staying in my friend's house for the summer, and he was trying to understand the English version (which was on air at the time)
As I translated, I became really really interested because it simply was GREAT.

Also, after the show, we get to pretend to be Pokemon and battle each other (in a friendly manner)
(Though my choices were limited because there weren't many decidely "female" Pokemon back then. I guess my fate would completely change if Gardevoir existed at the time *laughs*)

Pokemon was just so different from the other shows where you could only discuss what would happen next-- not much to imagine.

Then like most people, we bought books and games.
We get to collect Generation 1 books in English, Japanese and Cantonese.
(Unless the manga wasn't translated into English)
It was like paradise back then.

Too bad that the bilingual broadcasting caused conflict between two franchisers.
(They bought the English version from USA, instead of Japan)
Hong Kong was then banned from airing Pokemon for 3 years.
Then they decided to group us together with the Taiwanese franchiser which caused major conflicts about the translation.

But still, we are into the games and we translate our own version, paying almost no attention to the official translation.
I was in 5th grade, way back in 1998 (wow, I feel so old). My older brother and I used to have a subscription to the Nintendo Power magazine. Inside one of those magazines, there was a special insert:

I read through the magazine (including the comic at the end), and was totally enthralled. I could hardly wait for the next issue to come out. Over the next 6 months, I read those magazines a ridiculous amount of times (there was a total of 6 issues). My mom saw me reading the magazines and thought I was going crazy, until she finally gave in (after I begged and pleaded to her) and bought me Pokemon Blue.
For me it started with the cards. I was way more into the cards and anime then the games (I don't think I realized the games existed for a while XP). My very first card (or at least the one I remember being first) was Jungle's Weepinbell, and needless to say, the line has been one of my faves ever since.

Then in like 2003 I got a GBA and my first ever non-computer game, Pokemon Gold (I remember it being 2003 because they were advertising Ruby and Sapphire). I played Gold for the longest time (which, incidentally, cemented the Typhlosion and Victreebel lines as some of my faves), and then I got Ruby later that year (I think). I was initially confused about the new Pokemon (I was pretty much dependent on guidebooks at the time, and I didn't recognize any of the new Pokemon), but I eventually got the hang of it, and the rest is history.
I got a gameboy color and Pokemon Blue version when I was six or seven. I actually remember opening it, or at least I think I do (for all I know it's a completely made up memory but it's there). Together, the game with Saturday morning cartoons and getting the trading card booster packs made the series my absolute favorite. I got silver version soon after, and loved it even more.

However, after I got Ruby and Leaf Green, I stopped for the longest time. Like most of my other friends, I had outgrown it and didn't want to keep playing what I saw as a 'kids' game. I didn't ever even get a DS. However, after a few years I heard that they remade silver version, and feeling particularly nostalgic I decided to cave in and try it. It was so good.

So I thought I'd try Diamond version too, and it exceeded all of my expectations. It turned out I wasn't the only one who had converted back to Pokemon, and I met a bunch of others in my high school who also started playing the newer games. We all eagerly awaited the fifth generation, and when it came out we raced each other to collect badges and battled each other. White was the first game I bought the day it came out, and White 2 was the first third version/sequel I got. And I'm considering making X and Y the first games I get both versions for. And if I hadn't given Pokemon a second try, none of it would have happened.
Typical story. I got some cards from a friend, and I remember the first one being a Totodile, though I hadn't really gotten into Pokemon much. Then in third grade, all my friends were big into Pokemon and I figured, why not? So I then got my second card from another friend, a Bagon, which I still have. I bought some packs, and in the first ever pack I got I scored a Charizard ex, and after it making me nearly the coolest kid in the neighborhood, I was hooked on the series. I didn't get one of the games for a long time, my first being FireRed. And here I am today, still engrossed with it.
I was in 5th grade, way back in 1998 (wow, I feel so old). My older brother and I used to have a subscription to the Nintendo Power magazine. Inside one of those magazines, there was a special insert:

I read through the magazine (including the comic at the end), and was totally enthralled. I could hardly wait for the next issue to come out. Over the next 6 months, I read those magazines a ridiculous amount of times (there was a total of 6 issues). My mom saw me reading the magazines and thought I was going crazy, until she finally gave in (after I begged and pleaded to her) and bought me Pokemon Blue.
I was in 7th grade at that time, so I know how you feel (old as f**k). My sister introduced me to the anime one morning while we waited for the school bus (it was the episode with the giant Tentcruel; Tentacool vs. Tentacruel I believe was its title). I didn't even know there was a video game at the time. Anywho, shortly after that I was in class talking about Charmander and another kid overheard me and claimed that he was the worst to start with. I had no idea what he meant so he explained to me that there was a gameboy Pokemon game. That Christmas I got Red Version, and my little brother got Blue Version. Incidentally the same person who told me about the games used the pictured magazine (not sure if it was that specific issue) to help me get through Team Rocket's headquarters in Celadon City (damn warp tiles). Up to that point I had only really played platformer games (Mario, Donkey Kong Country, etc.) so the whole RPG thing was confusing to me.

Pokemon definitely gave me a renewed interest in videogames, although I stopped playing after Gold/Silver. I bought Ruby when it came out, as well as Fire Red when it was released, but both sat in a drawer, shrink-wrapped, for years before I played them. Then one night I was bored so I opened Fire Red because I remembered really liking the Pallet Town theme and wanted to hear the remix. I kept playing for a few days and became curious as to whether Mew was catchable so I searched Google and came across While on that site I stumbled onto the "game mechanics" section and learned about EV's and IV's for the first time. This blew my mind as I never expected that there was so much going on behind the scenes, so to speak. The game I was playing previous to starting Fire Red was Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and I loved how in that game you could manipulate the stats of your characters by having them level-up in certain job classes. Needless to say, that I could manipulate the stats of Pokemon had me very excited. That began my resurgent interest in Pokemon. I had never really battled them outside the game before and was purely interested in the collecting aspect up to that point. But researching the game mechanics eventually led me to Smogon and the competitive battling scene. Now Pokemon is really the only game I play.
I had never played a Pokémon game until 2 years ago, max. Being 15, I was extremely young when Pokémon was at its most popular, I may not have even been old enough to understand it. I knew nothing about it except for the bare minimum; Pikachu, Charizard, Ash Ketchum, etc. Well, when I was 8 (in like, 2006? God damn, I'm young...) my once best friend Kyle moved in next to me, and with him were the Pokémon strategy dex books from Gen IV. From there I learned about all sorts of Pokémon, but never played a game. Well, Kyle had moved when I was 13, and upon him moving I had remembered that I had borrowed plenty of stuff from him over the time I knew him. This included, you guessed it, the Gen IV strategy dex book. I read thru it again, and became exceedingly interested. I was also at a new school at the time, my first year there, and was making friends who were still into Pokémon in the 7th grade (which I had still found odd at the time.). Well, push comes to shove and I see my friend playing a copy of Pokémon Emerald on his DS one day when I visited his house. Previously, I had begun watching videos from YouTuber TheKillerNacho, who did silly things like Triple Jigglypuff all Metronome battles, Magikarp sweeps, and also did LPs and Wifi battles. This man got me to play Emerald on my computer (Emulators LOL), and I absolutely fell in love with it. From then on I played all of the main series games, beating all the gym leaders, every member of the Elite 4, all of the Pokémon League champions, in preparation for Black 2 and White 2 to release. From there, I joined Pokémon Showdown, and eventually Smogon, to begin my journey as a competitive battler.

Long winded and rather boring, but that's that for you.
I was five or six, and I saw some friends at daycare playing a new game on their gameboys, talking about Pikachus and Caterpies. I was like, "what?" The following Friday, we were talking about what to watch that day for our group's hour of tv, and the general consensus was Pokemon. I asked, "Pokemon?" I didn't pay much attention to that particular episode, but I think it was the one where Ash cught his Caterpie. I saw the trading cards and merchandise in the supermarkets over the next couple of weeks, and after connecting the dots I thought, "this stuff is pretty popular, huh?" I watched an episode all the way through shortly after that, and I went, "what a world" Since I was at the right age when Pokemon was selling out and taking the playground by storm, I've been a raging fan shortly after the beginning of it's introduction to America.
It was the Christmas of 2005, my aunt just came over for the Holidays, I woke up early on Christmas morning and saw a big box with my name on it, a woke up my parents and asked them if I could open the big box. They said yes and. inside was a blue Gameboy Advance SP and a copy of Pokemon FireRed. I loved it from the start. (Picked squirtle first but personal favorite is Charmander.) Then I found out there was an Anime and I watched it everyday. Next I bought Sapphire then then you know what happens. It wasn't until 2012 I got an Dsi and bought White.


Pokémon Peddler
is a Smogon Social Media Contributor
/me gets my old man storytelling voice on.

Back in 98, Pokémon was everywhere back in the playgrounds of my school. As a kindergartner, I didn't really get what Pokémon really was, besides something that all of my classmates and older kids were in to. I didn't really care enough to figure out what Pokémon was until that fateful day...

With a good friend of mine preparing to move away, his parents decided to throw a big birthday party before his move. After spending what would be our last day together, he gave me a little tape measurer designed after Poliwhirl (which I still have to this day). Finally seeing what a Pokémon really was, I was intrigued enough to beg my parents for Pokémon Red for my own birthday. Despite barely being able to read the text of the game, I instantly fell in love with the series and spent many a year trading/battling with friends and strangers, which continues even today (of course).

To sum it all up: "Best. Friend. Ever."

Dark Fallen Angel

At first, I hated Pokémon because I watched some episodes from the anime and thougth it to be bad. At this time, I didn't knew that there were Pokémon games. I actually stopped hating, though I didn't care about Pokémon until I discovered the games. This was a long time ago (and I do not remember when): My neighbor was having a birthday party when I got to his house, looked at his computer, and discovered that he had many games; including Pokémon Sapphire, Pokémon FireRed, and Pokémon Emerald. Then I asked him to put those games on a CD so I could play them at my own PC. Then, I started playing the games and have not stopped since. I discovered that there were other, older and newer games, and I discovered there were Pokémon communities; however, I have not yet discovered there were competitive Pokémon. I've become a big Pokémon fan, though there were a few people to which I could talk about Pokémon.

I got to a Pokémon brazilian forum. At this time, the gen IV was still starting. I was there when they revealed the first details of the "new" Pokémon: the starters, Weavile, Mime Jr. and many others. However I had problems at this brazilian community, and the situations have made me get discouraged of playing Pokémon. This was at 2009. Since then, I stopped again to care about Pokémon. This changed again at 2011, when I met a friend (unfortunately this guy no longer is my friend, but this is a personal matter that I shouldn't discuss there) on a comedy site. This friend was a big Pokémon fan and made me like Pokémon again. Thogether, I wrote many funny and humorous articles about Pokémon so that he could give me a score for each of those articles.

During the time that I was his friend, I discovered Smogon. Then, my friend unfortunately disappeared. However, during the time he disappeared, I have read many Smogon articles about Pokémon analysis and strategies, and started to understand them and learn about competitive battling. Then, I created the account that now you see.

Since then, I have made many friends on the Pokémon universe, and I am very happy for that (in fact, almost all my friends like Pokémon). Sometimes I think that Pokémon had a real and impactful influence on my life. Because of this I think that I will never stop playing again, unless Game Freak stops the franchise and the game starts to become boring.

I also learned to battle competitively and I even tried to write my own analysis on Smogon. However, at this moment only Thundurus-T and Tentacruel are my creation. I have tried to write analysis for Heatran, Keldeo, Gliscor, and Starmie, but due to internet problems, these analysis were handed over to other people, and now it's too late to take them back. I am now going to wait until the 6th generation metagame comes to write new analysis, because I do not want to risk this happening again, and I want to write fresh new analysis should OU pokémon become unviable and lower tier Pokémon become viable.

The funny thing is that despite all this, I still didn't watched a single episode of the anime since my childhood and all that I know about Pokémon I learned through the games.
I got of my birthday 4 years ago Pokémon: Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time.
I didn`t care much about it, until I inserted the card into the DS.
Later, the Pokémon game was gone and I wanted to get new Pokémon.
Until I got to the derpartment store and I asked for my mother to get HeartGold. I played that game sooooo much.
Eventually I buyed White 2.
Meh. Pokémon got introduced by a hardly known person for me.
Proud to say I have been around for all of Pokemon.

I was 8 years old in 98 when it hit. My best friend had Pokemon Blue Version, right when it was becoming the behemoth that it is in schools. (My school actually had to ban pokemon it became so much of a problem, but of course, we still snuck them around like we had illegal contraband.) I was a huge Saturday morning cartoon guy, (Jackie Chan Adventures, wats up!) and I had seen the anime before, and was just like, hey, this is a cool show, but that's all it was.

Soon after the game came out, my friend just gave me a copy of his Blue Version. Don't know if he had another one or if he was just that nice, but he gave it to me on a Friday afternoon at school, I went home, got my original gameboy, and didn't put it down until bedtime Sunday night. I ended up having so much fun I didn't run from a single pokemon the entire game.

He soon after gave me three pokemon cards. A Fossil Slowbro, a Machoke, and a Fossil Magmar. I ended up with several hundred cards without ever buying a single pack.

Its amazing, I sit here typing while GameFreak sits waiting with a sack full of pokemon that will likely take us into the 800's and I can remember one battered (oh yes, it and Silver, which got way more playing time than Blue, still to this day work) pokemon game and three crappy pokemon cards like my best friend was handing them to me right now.

When old timers express displeasure with new pokemon designs, don't hate them, call them nostalgiafags, or dismiss them. Truth is, we've been with pokemon since the beginning, and have seen it explode from just another Japanese fad into one of the most recognizable franchises in the world. We're just feeling a little sad that 1) we are getting older, and 2) those sweet original 151, despite some of the less creative designs, were what captivated us and brought us into pokemon, every one of them, even Seel.
As a kid i loved the show. I used to watch Pokemon 2000 on VHS over and over. I didn't play the games until I think 2004 or 5. I found Pokemon Emerald at the shops for like $5 because the case was missing, so I just bought it.

Now I'm bloody obsessed but I'm okay with that
Was in grade 3, my friend bought this booklet which turns out to be the one inside the game. It showed some of these monsters and a pokedex section which was arranged like a calendar and was mostly blank. Only a few pokemon were in there and they were interesting enough for me and my curiosity, they included the starters (really liked Squirtle's design most), Exeggcute and Gastly.

Then a year later pokemon cards started appearing in school and looking at each other's was the rage during recess breaks

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