Image: @Junichi_Masuda

Today is a pretty big day for Pokémon fans. Not only are we mere hours away from a Pokémon Direct at the time of writing, which looks set to reveal the next generation of games in the series, but today also marks the 23rd anniversary of the franchise.

Yes, on this very day 23 years ago, Pokémon Red and Green were released in Japan. We can't imagine that anyone thought the series would become quite the phenomenon it still is even today, but we're sure most people reading this are pretty glad that it came into being. Game Freak director, Junichi Masuda, has taken to Twitter today to thank fans for their continued support over the years.

Twitter user and Source Gaming translator, Nick Mosier, has provided a translation:

Are you expecting big things from today's Pokémon Direct? Have you been a fan of the series since the very beginning, or did you first discover it in more recent years? Share your thoughts with us below and make sure to join us for the Direct later today!

[source, via]