"Pokémon Story"
Translations: America

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Dogasu's Backpack | Features | "Pokémon Story" Translations: America

Pokémon Story

In December 2000, Japanese publisher Nikkei BP released the book Pokémon Story (ポケモンストーリー) in Japan. This hefty 543 page beast of a book goes through the early history of the franchise, from the formation of Game Freak through Pocket Monsters Red & Green's development, the franchise becoming a national sensation, and Pokémon's break into a worldwide phenomenon. Pokémon Story was put together from interviews with various people related to the franchise conducted by author Kenji Hatakeyama, with an early portion of the book stating that just the interview transcripts alone come in at over 800 pages. Masakazu Kubo, one of the producers of the animated series, also contributes.

Pokémon Story dedicates around 40 pages to Pokémon's journey to the United States while also weaving in reports of a lecture tour a number of the franchise's big wigs went on. The "America" chapter's first part, "San Francisco," sets the stage for that lecture tour. Next is "Nintendo of America's Gamble," a lengthy section that goes over NoA's trepidation at bringing Pokémon over to the U.S. and the various hurdles they had to overcome in order to realize NoA's release strategy. After a brief reprieve in "The Pokémon Lectures," which covers the group's first lecture in San Francisco, we get the "Kids' WB!" section that talks in great detail about selling the Pokémon animated series to syndication and how 4Kids got involved in the first place. Finally, "The New York Lecture Wrap Up Parties" goes over the last two lectures of the tours and brings this portion of the book to a close.

There is such a huge amount of information in those 40 pages that I thought trying to consolidate it all into a single website page wouldn't quite be enough. So I decided it'd be easier to just translate the whole thing directly.

And so that's exactly what I did! Click on the link below to open a PDF file with English translations of all the chapters of Pokémon Story related to bring Pokémon to the U.S. This book contains the most comprehensive history of the franchise's move to America I have ever come across and so I am confident you'll come away from this knowing way more about these early days than ever before.

About the Book

Pokémon Story

Written by:  Kenji Hatakeyama and Masakazu Kubo
Published by:  Nikkei BP-sha (日経BP社)
Language:  Japanese
Page Count:  543
First Printing:  December 10th, 2000
MSRP:  1,400 yen (not including tax)
ISBN-10:  4822241998
ISBN-13: 978-4822241995

How was Pocket Monsters brought into this world? How was it able to evolve from the games into the world of comics, animation, and the movies? And why was it able to succeed in capturing the hearts of children all over the world? In this, the first business story book of its kind, one of the producers himself tells us by talking directly to the people who were there! Also includes an original interview with the creator of Pokémon himself, Mr. Satoshi Tajiri.

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