Digimon… An Underrated Franchise

Digimon is a Japanese entertainment franchise that was created in the 1990’s and reached the height of its popularity in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s along with the popular competitor Pokemon. While Digimon attained some success, it never was able to increase it and maintain it like the super successful and immensely popular Pokemon franchise. Both franchises feature playing cards, TV shows, films, toys, video games and countless other merchandise. Pokemon gained it’s initial success with its hugely popular playing cards, TV shows and addicting video games while Digimon did not focus too much on playing cards but, rather on its great TV show and good video games. The video games in my opinion were decent but, because I’m such a huge Digimon fan even at age 20 they felt a lot better than decent.

Looking back at Digimon I have to say its TV show overall was much better than the Pokemon TV show and had something special and creative about it, at least for the first two seasons. Following those two seasons in the U.S. newer seasons began to air less and sporadically on multiple channels with no real schedule probably due to the drop in popularity in the West because of that I lost  my grip on the TV show’s newer seasons. I know Digimon had some flaws like every creature’s name ended with “mon” but, they looked cooler, could talk and were useful unlike Pokemon who could not talk and were more like cute pets that could fight. The colorful characters and use of the real world and its concepts was more entertaining and dare I say more educational than the Pokemon counterpart. Both TV shows had their moral teachings thrust upon the audience like honesty, friendship and responsibility but, if you can get past that you might still be able to enjoy the first few seasons of Digimon. While Pokemon continued it success with its TV show through the 2000s with multiple hit blockbuster movies and it’s popular games and cards, Digimon started to lose it popularity outside Japan after season 2 and one hit movie in 2000.

Digimon’s video games were nowhere near as popular as the insanely successful Pokemon video games but, they had some good ones that satisfied its die hard fans and were creative. While the Pokemon games generally stayed the same with it’s solid good rpg formula and expanding on it every new iteration and focusing on Nintendo’s handheld systems Digimon games were usually always changing but, not necessarily improving. The games for the most part were critically bad but, fans probably did enjoy at least the first two Digimon World games like I did. After many versions released on the original Playstation, the Playstation 2, Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube it seemed to have reached some success on the Nintendo DS by copying the perfect Pokemon formula. At one point I wanted to buy a Nintendo DS just to play those games.

Digimon has always been the less successful but, creative competitor to Pokemon with some cool things to offer. I recommend readers looking for some nostalgia from their Pokemon, Digimon and Playstation infested childhoods to at least check out the early seasons of Digimon and the well recieved DS video games. I’m still wishing for some type of relaunch outside Japan for Digimon like a new great TV show and a great game.

One Comment:

  1. I like this review. No bias, completely even though you’ve portrayed yourself as a fan of Digimon.

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