Pokemon facts - 30 little known pieces of trivia from the classic franchise

Brock for some reason thinks rice balls are donuts

Though Pokmon and its anime are fairly universal, its Japanese roots occasionally pop up, particularly in an early running joke in the cartoon. Brock continually makes onigiri (aka simple, compacted balls of rice) to serve the group, but most Americans, particularly children, probably have no clue what those are. So instead onigiri are continually referred to a donuts, a silly change and one that implies Brock isnt as good a nutritionist as he claims to be.

A republican politician unintentionally quoted Pokemon

Herman Cain got his start as a pizza restaurant owner, but eventually transitioned into politics, ultimately vying for the republican presidential nomination in 2011. In one speech he had an anonymous quote saying, Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. Its never easy when theres so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference. Theres a mission just for you and me. Soon enough someone identified those as the lyrics to Power of One from the film Pokemon 2000. When Cain eventually suspended his campaign, he gave proper credit to the quotes origins, perhaps marking the first time ever that a presidential candidate said Pokemon in a speech.

The Kanto region is based on a region in Japan with the same name

Until Gold/Silver, American Pokmon fans didnt know the name of the region in Red/Blue, and onceit was revealed, players familiar with Japanese geography were in for a surprise. The region was named Kanto, which is the name of the area in major section of Japan that houses cities like Tokyo and Yokohama. Additionally, Pokmons Kanto recreated famous areas of Japan within the game, such as Mount Silver doubling for Mount Fuji. Later generations have taken inspiration from other regions of Japan as well when building their maps.

The first legendary birds each have a pun you might have missed

Many Pokmons English language names have cute puns, and while these might have been obvious to some, but we missed this for years. The original legendary bird trio include the Spanish words for one, two, and three. That would be Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres.

Pokemon game for the Sega Pico

It was a pretty big deal when Sega left the console market and started to publish games on Nintendo hardware, but Pokemon crossed an even bigger barrier: putting a Nintendo game on a Sega console. The Pico was a flop in the US, but kids in Japan were still enjoying the edutainment system in the early 2000s, so Pokemon appeared in a series of games for the system. The most well known one used the Pico touchpad to teach kids how to draw the Japanese alphabets of hiragana and katakana, and it was released alongside a Pikachu branded version of the Pico. Perhaps it shouldve been called a Pico-chu (thank you, thank you).

The Swords of Justice legendaries in Black/White are based on the Three Musketeers

Each Pokmon has its own unique origins, though you may not realize that some of the most recent ones have a decidedly French background. Nicknamed The Swords of Justice, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion correspond to Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, respectively, while the recently released Keldeo is a match for the youngest, inexperienced Musketeer, d'Artagnan. The inspiration becomes much more clear in the most recent film, Kyurem vs The Sword of Justice.

Ash sees Ho-Oh in the first episode of the anime, years before it appears in Gold/Silver

In the first episode of the Pokmon anime, Ash is having a tough time on his way to becoming a trainer, such as constantly being shocked by a disobedient Pikachu. What gives him inspiration to keep going? Spotting a then-unidentified legendary Pokmon that wouldnt be introduced into the series officially for a couple more years. Though kept vague at the time, in later episodes it was revealed the bird was the Generation II Legendary, Ho-Oh.

Game Freak got its start as a magazine

We know the developer that created Pokmon, Game Freak, put out several games before taking over the world with its monsters, but it actually existed before its major employees even knew how to make games. Game Freak began in the early 1980s as a small game enthusiast magazine worked on by several men that would go on to create Pokmon. Eventually they quit writing about games to start making them, but they decided to keep the name.

Victini is the only Pokmon with the Pokdex number 000

Every new game introduces a new Pokdex to house descriptions of all the new and old monsters, but no matter the region the game was set in, the Pokdex always started at one. Black/White finally broke that rule when introducing the cute Fire/Psychic type Victini. In the Unova Pokdex he takes the 000 spot, though in the National Pokdex he sits at 494.

Brock has opened his eyes on three different occasions in the anime

On the Pokmon anime Ash has had many interesting travel companions, but none can replace Brock and Misty, his original friends, in our hearts. Fans of earliest episodes probably noticed that Brocks eyes always appeared closed, though he did open them on three brief occasions, all in service of a joke. And based on how creepy his eyes appeared in the moment pictured above, we hope he never opens them again.

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.