This April will mark the 10th anniversary of the appearance of the first Pokemon anime series on Japanese television. Celebrations in Japan include a one hour special airing on TV Tokyo today followed by a two-hour special next week and the release of the 10th Pokemon film later in the year. While Pokemon is not as hot as it was during the height of the property's boom years, it remains a very potent property especially in the mass market. For example, although its sales numbers were far from those of its all-time best-selling anime video predecessors, the 8th Pokemon film was the number one anime film in North America in December according to the Neilson VideoScan service. Viz Media will release the ninth Pokemon film, Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (MSRP $19.98) on April 13th, and the mammoth (750 minutes) Pokemon All Stars Box Set (MSRP $39.98) on May 22nd.
Likewise the Pokemon Trading Card Game is no longer the cultural phenomenon it was at the turn of the century, but several industry insiders have told ICv2 that mass market sales of the Pokemon TCG are growing and have nearly pulled even with those of Yu-Gi-Oh!. Pokemon video games remain popular and two new ones Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl are due out in April followed a month later by the release of the Pokemon Diamond & Pearl TCG Expansion (see 'Pokemon Diamond & Pearl Expansion').