The Pokémon Company continues to commemorate the brand’s 20th anniversary by asking those that had a hand in bringing it to life what their fondest memories are.
“Back in 1996 when Pokémon was first released in Japan, I was working at Nintendo, and I had to go on a business trip to Nintendo of America,” Tanaka begins. “I remember asking the local team members, ‘Do you think this game could be popular?’ and almost all of them would respond by saying something like, ‘I don’t think so… I’m not sure if these characters would be well received in America.’ But I also remember my daughter responding much more positively by saying, ‘You never know!’
“I first got involved with Pokémon in a professional capacity when the animated series was being created in Japan and I had the opportunity to compose some music for it, such as the opening theme and the ending songs.
“One particularly fond memory I have from those days was from around the time the show began airing in Japan. I was on my way to work one day and I walked past some kids who were singing a song from the Pokémon animation at the top of their lungs while walking to school!
“I will continue to work hard on the Pokémon Trading Card Game and endeavour to come up with completely new Pokémon game experiences for everyone to enjoy and get excited about! Over the past 20 years, each time a new Pokémon game has been released, I always get just as excited as all of you, thinking about which Pokémon I’ll choose, which ones I’ll focus on levelling up and what kind of party I want to adventure with in the games.
“I’m 57 years old now, but I still get really excited for each game, and I always enjoy playing them. I hope you all will continue to support Pokémon!”
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon will release exclusively for Nintendo 3DS in North America, Australia and New Zealand on November 18th, and in Europe on November 23rd.