I bought a copy of Nintendo Official Magazine, a publication that used to be sold in the UK and Ireland, back in about 1998/1999. It had a poster of the first 150 Pokémon, and you could tick each creature off when you caught them or spotted them in the anime. I hadn't heard much about the games or show prior to that, but I thought the designs and names of each creature were fascinating. Very soon after that, the TV show started to air.
I first became introduced to Pokemon around 1997/1998 when the games, cards, and anime were first being released in America. I remember seeing the cards and how shiny they were and needing them more than anything in my young life lol.
A then-friend of mine from a rich family had got an imported copy of Red from the US -the game that was sweeping through the country!- before the translations and pokemania in general came to Europe. We were also like 7 so we had no understanding of English. Therefore, we didn't understand a single word Coffee Man, or Oak, or the pokémart guy said so we couldn't progress past Viridian. So we spent half an hour just burning some Pidgeys alive in route 1 until we decided it was boring and went back to some other game.
It took me like a year when the anime started to blow up to catch my interest back. Then I got my mom to buy me a copy of the Nintendo Official Magazine about the games and I eventually lobbied her to buy me the games. Turned out they weren't so boring after all.
I didn't have any clue about the games, but I remember watching the preview episode of the Pokemon anime when it first aired, and that was back at the beginning of September 1998. I must've heard about it somewhere before that if I was already tuning in to the first episode, but that seems like a million years ago now, so I honestly don't remember.
I first know about Pokemon at anime back in 2001, but didn't even know that the series a franchise and it originated from video games when i first started using the internet. That's are the only thing that i discovered about all Pokemon and didn't even know it is really popular around the world (i know Serbia, which is my country i live, is not very popular there due to lack of interests and ignorace of its franchise popularity worldwide).
I kinda grew up with Pokémon, since I was born in December of 1998. I grew up watching the anime on TV. Sometime in 2009 I asked my dad to get a DSi so I could play the games (my first game was Platinum) and I've been playing the games ever since.
I still have my DSi too, still works just fine.
The first time I learnt about it, iirc, was when I was a young kid, reading about it on a certain local kids magazine. Still, I haven't fully introduced to it yet until when the anime's everywhere on the home video. Afterwards, one of my cousins introduced me to the Pokémon games in his Gameboy Color.
It was in October 1999, I was on a lunch break in class and I saw some classmates reading a Pokémon comic. I asked them about it and they told me what it was about. It was right before the anime first aired in the UK.
Before the original Red and Blue came out. I had a subscription to Nintendo Power back then and they started having monthly inserts dedicated to Pokémon. It had game information, walkthroughs, explained the concept and idea about Pokémon and even had a comic based on the anime. Was sold ever since then.
I saved up my money and bought my very own copy of Red shortly after release.
It was the end of the 90s and I was witnessing the age of the giga pet, nano and tomagotchi. I was but a little girl in California ready to start elementary school, and saw this colorful commercial on TV for a virtual pet that was different from the others. It was a yellow, playful critter I had never seen before. My child toes tapped to a catchy beat, and my ears perked up as I heard these two funny, strange words for the first time "Pokemon" and "Pikachu." All of the kids in the commercial looked so happy with this pokemon pikachu fellow. The ad is below.
I had just moved in with my sister and we were at a flea market when I found a GB and a copy of Pokemon Gold. I'd not even seen the TV show before then so I thought I'd just found some little niche abandoned game and even 8 year old me had an inner hipster that kicked in.
Quite honestly, I don't remember. I spent the summer of 1999 saving up for a Game Boy Color and got Pokemon Blue for my birthday that year (I remember this because I got gifted several games for it that fall), but I had to have heard of Pokemon through some other means before that to be interested in Pokemon in the first place, but I could not tell you how I first heard of it. Maybe 2nd Grade via Time for Kids???
I believe it was during school in grade, uhh... I don't remember, like 3 or 4, but a friend of mine at the time played the games and he showed me Leaf Green, so I wanted to try it out for myself (with Fire Red). ^^
I probably saw it around randomly before then, but that was the first time Pokémon actually registered in my mind as a thing.
Missed a few episodes but it had to be 1999 when in just aired here in Belgium. There was a big buzz about it and it was even in the newspapers. My mom told me and my nieces.
Soon everyone had trading cards in school, except for me. I actually got my Machop card from a girl from my grade. First ever card was Machop and first ever virtual Pokémon was well, Squirtle.
Oooh, the nostalgia..