Pokémon (or Poketto Monsuta / Pocket Monsters in Japan) was released on Nintendo's hand held GameBoy system in Japan in 1996 and in America in 1998. It began as an RPG game, but quickly took the hearts of countless fans around the world and is now a multi-billion dollar franchise and largely popular as an anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books and other forms of media.
In the world of Pokémon, a trainer catches, collects and raises different creatures, known collectively as Pokémon. The Pokémon can be used in battles against one another to build their strength and further the trainer's chances in becoming a Pokémon master. The Pokémon would gain experience this way and eventually evolve into a more powerful Pokémon and learn new and stronger techniques. To date, there are over 400 different species of Pokémon.