Just out of curiosity, do you guys think that the Anime plays a big part in how popular some Pokemon are?
Like for example, were Pokemon like Piplup, Greninja, Incineroar, Wobbufett, etc popular even before their had their anime roles?
In the case of Greninja, Nintendo and the Pokémon Company did expect him to become popular I think. (Maybe because they also knew it would be a big part of the anime.)
When it made it's debut in Super Smash a lot of people thought it was Mewtwo when they saw the hands. There was some rage by some when it was confirmed as Greninja. However, it was a good call from Nintendo. And by that moment, Greninja wasn't the powerhouse it is today in popularity.
But yes, the anime does help some Pokémon to become more popular. A good, memorable representative can do wonders for a species in a whole. Also other media. Mr Mime did gain some traction after the Detective Pikachu movie I think.