Although many people automatically think that globalization implies a core-periphery relationship involving movement from the Western core to the Non-Western periphery, many worldwide cultural phenomena prove this to be false. Japanese commodities other than food have made an everlasting impact on the American culture. Pokémon, a product based on 151 fictional creatures, proved wildly successful in Japan and then slowly entered the U.S. through travel and the black market. The trading cards could also be found in Chinatowns. The Japanese trading cards and television show appealed to kids in the U.S. even before they had been translated into English.
Pokémon’s introduction into the American market in 1998 required intense planning; the company had to translate every name except for the staple character, Pikachu, to sound more English, and the television series had to be translated carefully to avoid misinterpretation and appeal to the new audience. The Japanese name for Pokémon translated to “Pocket Monsters,” which might have put off consumers in the U.S., resulting in the name “Pokémon.” In order to adapt the show and product to the American audience, content, music, editing, packaging, and Japanese references all underwent changes. One of the key reasons that Pokémon penetrated the American market so thoroughly was due to the multimedia nature of the product — trading cards, television show, movies, video games, stuffed animals, etc.