Pokémon vs. Digimon: Battle of the Monsters

Speed on the Beat here with a slightly different post for the site.

Over the past twenty years or so, one pocket monster-driven franchise has reigned supreme. Powered by a yellow electric mouse and good-to-amazing games, Pokémon has sold millions upon millions upon millions of copies. Now, I am not sure if it's because Pikachu is a "cute badass" to some, or because fanboys get a hardon for Charizard and Mewtwo. But, Pokémon has destroyed practically every monster-driven franchise. 

Remember Monster Rancher, the series where you spawned new creations by using random CDs and mutating the data? If not, that's okay, because Pokémon killed mostly killed it (in America, at least) because many fans were under the impression that MR was a cheap ripoff with a gimmicky premise (they even had a "cute badass" character, Mocchi, who became one of the unofficial mascots of the series).

Yep, that's right. Just about everything that wasn't Pokémon, but tried to be in some way? It failed and hard. Just about every franchise except for one. However, it made its mark more on the strength of how anti-PKMN it was.

Digimon, the "for boys'" Digivolution (I had to) of Tamigotchi, came onto the scene as an alternative to the Adventures of Ash Ketchum. Instead of mice and baby turtles, there were dinosaurs, demons, and angels. Yeah. We had a kid's product and subsequent TV show which talked about angels and demons and death. 

Right off the bat, it offered something Pikachu and friends couldn't. It was mature, therefore it was instantly cooler. On top of that, the evolution and actual monster breeding/raising/catching aspect was a pretty intricate as well, since most of it depended on data. If you had corrupted data, you furry little Calumon could become Devimon and destroy shit to high unholy heaven. However, even with this great set-up, the games that derived from the franchise were never that great.

So, you had one series with an amazing anime and shit games. Inversely, you have another series with great games and an anime which reduced a terrorist organization to Yosemite Sam-esque foils (let us not forget: Team Rocket was created by Giovanni to take over the world through the continued use and exploitation of Pokémon). Who truly wins in this Pocket Monster Fight to the Death?


I kid, I kid, even though the Japanese versions of Yu-Gi-Oh are pretty dark. Thank you, 4Kids, for making PG-13 anime into G-rated debacles. Heck, even Pokémon is a lot more mature than the dub makes it out to be. Remember the time Ash had a gun pulled on him? If you've only seen the dub, you probably don't. But, I digress.

Overall, both series have their flaws and their triumphs. However, I have to say Pokémon edges out Digimon ever so slightly. Why? Well, even though the anime were kiddy as hell, the games actually play great even as a guy in his mid-to-late 20s. Yeah, the story is similar. But, so are most Final Fantasy games. If we're talking solely the anime, then Digimon by a mile. But the entire franchise head to head? Pokémon wins.


Popular Posts