Pokemon vs. Digimon: Which came first?

I remember that in Pokemon’s early days, there was another monster battling franchise that came along and grabbed the attentions of gamers everywhere. That franchise was Digimon.

The two franchises were similar enough that it was very difficult to avoid comparing the two. Many did, many claimed that their favorite game was the better of the two, and many heated playground fights and nerd battles broke out. And heated they were.

Many introduced to Digimon after the popularity of Pokemon really took off have guessed that, because the two were so similar, Digimon had to be some Pokemon rip-off. Then some started saying that, because the Digimon Tamagotchi Pets came to America first, Pokemon had to have been a rip-off of Digimon.

If such a statement were true, it would have been outrageous! It would have meant that Pokemon, for how imaginative it seemed and for how popular it was, would have owed inspiration to some other franchise! How scandalous that would have been!

Many have accepted that to have been true, without looking much into it. Even so, Digimon faded into obscurity while Pokemon had a bit of a decline, though Pokemon would later explode into popularity again.

Does Pokemon owe it’s inspiration to Digimon, or was Digimon attempting to copy Pokemon’s popularity? Considering Digimon’s relative obscurity, one might not give it much thought. However, even today, Digimon fans continue to passionately defend it. Because of this, I decided to do some research to find an answer, and with it perhaps a resolution to so many playground battles.

Many who insist that Digimon came first point to Digimon’s earlier arrival in the United States. For many people, their introduction to Digimon was to the Digimon anime, Digimon Adventure, which aired in the States beginning August 1999, nearly a year after the debut of the Pokemon anime the previous year.

However, the first Digimon product that would see it’s debut in America was the Digimon Virtual Pet. This made it’s debut on June 26, 1997 in Japan. The exact date of it’s American debut is unknown, but it is known for sure that it arrived on American shores in the year 1997. This was the year before the Pokemon anime made it’s debut on American television, with English versions of Pokemon Red and Blue coming shortly afterward.

digimon virtual pet 1997The Tamagotchi Digimon Virtual Pet, the first Digimon product

So, a Digimon product arrived in America before Pokemon made it’s debut here. Does that mean that Digimon came first?

Not so fast. Just because a product arrived first on American shores does not mean that it “came first” in terms of originality. The question as to which franchise came first cannot be sufficiently answered unless one were to consider their global debuts. To answer the question as to which franchise truly came first, one should know which one was first to debut in any form anywhere in the world.

Both Pokemon and Digimon made their debuts in Japan. The first Digimon product was the Digimon Virtual Pet, and as mentioned above, it made it’s debut in Japan on June 26, 1997.

The first Pokemon product to be released was Pokemon Red and Green for the Game Boy on February 27, 1996. This was about 16 months before Digimon’s debut as a Tamagotchi virtual pet. In the time between the debut of the first Pokemon games and the arrival of the Digimon Tamagotchi, the Pokemon Trading Card Game made it’s debut with the Base Set and starter deck, as well as the Jungle and Fossil expansions, and thirteen episodes of the Pokemon anime were broadcast on Japanese TV.

Green_JP_boxartPokemon Green version. This came way before the Tamagotchi Digimon Virtual Pet.

So that’s it. Pokemon came first. In fact, the Pokemon Anime and Trading Card Game, two well-known facets of the Pokemon franchise, debuted before there would be a Digimon product of any sort. This matter is resolved, right?

There are some stray arguments related to this that I would like to answer, so let’s examine them.

Sometimes, a Digimon fan may claim that because Digimon was a Tamagotchi, Digimon had to have come first. That really doesn’t work, because even though Digimon was originally a Tamagotchi product, Digimon was distinct from Tamagotchi in several ways. It doesn’t work to say a product came first because it’s predecessor came before it. Besides, the Tamagotchi made it’s first debut in Japan on November 23, 1996, nearly nine months after the debut of Pokemon Red and Green. Thus, Pokemon came before Tamagotchi.

Sometimes, someone in a discussion involving Pokemon and Digimon will point out that Godzilla involved monsters fighting. Apparently, the idea in bringing this up is an attempt to defuse the argument by suggesting that they both had to have taken inspiration from something else. However, this is like comparing sea sponges to nitrous oxide. Pokemon and Digimon involve young characters making monsters battle while commanding them to use certain attacks. The Godzilla series involved giant monsters fighting each other, caring little about how many young characters they step on or blow up in the process. Pokemon and Digimon made their debut about 16 months apart, with one of them (namely Digimon) making obvious changes to emulate the success of the other.

Sometimes, I also hear that Pokemon wasn’t originally called “Pokemon”, but changed it’s name from “Pocket Monsters” in some attempt to copy Digimon. You probably see in the picture above that Pokemon Green was originally called “Pocket Monsters Green”. It’s true that Pokemon was originally called Pocket Monsters, however, it’s name wasn’t changed in an attempt to emulate Digimon in any way. Pokemon was originally a fan name for the Pocket Monsters franchise. The Japanese love nicknames and shortening names, and Pokemon was another example of how the Japanese did this. This fan name became so popular, that when Pocket Monsters made it’s American debut, Nintendo decided to call it what the Japanese called it. Pokemon wasn’t officially accepted as the name for Pocket Monsters in Japan until the debut of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, and by then, Digimon had already declined as a franchise. Besides, why would GameFreak want to change the name of their franchise to emulate a less-popular one?

EDIT: There is another argument that’s been coming up recently, that Pokemon is somehow copying Digimon with the recent addition of the mega evolution mechanic to the sixth generation games. A similarity mentioned is the temporary nature of mega evolution, which seems similar to how digimon typically revert to a previous form after a battle in which they digivolve. It seems the main reason people make this assumption is due to the use of the word “mega”. In the original Japanese version of Digimon, the mega stage was actually called “ultimate”. Later, when Digimon was released in America, the “perfect” stage was instead called “ultimate”, so when the ultimate stage was revealed, it was called “mega” instead. It would seem that the only similarity is that mega pokemon revert after a battle is over, but even then, mega pokemon weren’t the first to do this. Cherrim and Castform have been doing it for a while. It would seem that similarities between mega pokemon and mega (actually “ultimate”) digimon is coincidental. But at this point, it hardly seems relevant, considering that Digimon has very little media presence anymore, and less popular franchises are scarcely chosen for emulation. (This topic is explored further in this article.)

So, that’s it. Pokemon came first. That seemed obvious to me for a long time, but the question kept coming up on message boards, so perhaps someone could benefit from seeing it explained here.

116 thoughts on “Pokemon vs. Digimon: Which came first?

  1. dude bro

    your igorance astounds me sorry to burst your bubble faggot but mega latios copied sparrowmon so that is proof pokemon is copying digmon do your research before you start talking out of your ass

    Reply
    1. Raizen Post author

      Have you heard of Latios (non-mega)? It was introduced in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire in the year 2002, about 8 years before Sparrowmon was introduced in Digimon Xros.

      Reply
      1. dude bro

        oh and by the way there is also proof that pokemon has been copying digmon for years monmon and pansage rufflet and hawkmon tyrannomon and groudon galacticmon and arceus swanmon and swanna

        Reply
        1. Tad Cooper

          im sorry dudebro but Pokemon came first and Digimon came second, but just look it up, also the ratings are a lot higher than Digimon, though its fine if YOU like Digimon and MORE people like Pokemon, infact something thats unfair about Pokemon vs Digimon is that pokemon is in the DICTIONARY, and Digimon is not, I, at least believe this is rude , anyways, i like pokemon more, but i wont judge, infact even though pokemon came first, i watch digimon and, to be honest, its very good!

          Reply
      2. dude bro

        also digmon didn’t decline as a franchise retard there was digmon tamers and frontier which were made in 2002 2003 so go fuck yourselve your what i call a pokefaggot a loser who defends pokemon when it copies so fuck you and also digmon was inspired by godzilla i mean godzilla was popular digmon was competeing with another franchise it could have been godzilla megami tensei was made before pokemon so pokemon copied fuck you and go fuck yourselve

        Reply
        1. Raizen Post author

          It’s been a week, and your location is still coming up in my logs, so I thought I’d leave another comment. That’s what you were checking for, right?

          I went about a week without answering. You might be thinking that because I haven’t answered that I must be “pwned” and therefore wouldn’t have an answer for you. But the reason I haven’t been answering your messages is pretty simple:

          I really don’t have to.

          In debates, one side usually won’t change the other side’s mind. Because of this, the objective of debates is typically to better present one’s own case, or demonstrate that the other side doesn’t know what he’s talking about. If one side is logically making their case with simple, concise, logical statements, and the other side is throwing insults and demonstrating irrationality, it’s clear which side has won and which side has lost.

          You probably see this as some decisive battle to get people to notice your game and thus restore it to it’s former cultural significance. And you probably think you’ve won because I’ve gone days without answering. Again, the reason I haven’t been answering:

          I really don’t have to.

          I don’t have to make some eloquent and well-constructed argument to make yours seem inferior. I don’t have to poke holes in your statements to make you look irrational. You’re doing it to yourself.

          Much of the challenge of your statements is decoding what you’re saying through your improper grammar and sentence structure. In each of the messages you’ve left here so far, you haven’t used a single capital letter or sentence terminating punctuation. This makes each of your posts look like one long sentence. You used an apostrophe in the word “didn’t”, so I know you can use punctuation if you wanted to. Doesn’t your keyboard have two “shift” keys or a “caps lock” key? If they’re not working, it’s probably time to get a new keyboard.

          I know that you can find slight similarities in designs of characters in two different JRPGs in the same genre that have both taken inspiration in their designs from Japanese folklore (or you’ve at least used a website that’s done the comparisons for you), so I know that you’re not stupid. You’ve found two green monkeys that look somewhat similar. Big deal. The Pokemon game that introduced the green monkey also introduced a blue one and a red one. If Pokemon had a monkey for each color, you’d probably have used any of those to make your comparison. And look, two games with hundreds of characters with designs based on animals, and they both just happen to have swans in them. Nice find. Also, Galacticmon and Arceus don’t look anything alike. Anyone with Google image search can quickly determine this.

          Again, I don’t think you’re stupid. Either you’re as immature as your comments indicate, so you’re some troll who is out to have some fun. In that case, it’s probably about time you come out and say something like “You played right into my hands. See how clever I am?”

          You’ll probably look back on your posts years from now and regret making them. When that day comes, look on the bright side: there are people out there that make the kind of posts that you’ve made here and attach their real names to them. Really.

          Reply
          1. dude bro

            sigh sorry but really pokemon copied mega evolution wanna see snatchmon and mega mewtwo y if i swapped mega mewtwo then search megamewtwo x

            Reply
          2. Tad Cooper

            Also guys, i know that pokemon fans are MUCH more than Digimon fans and, oh boy, these days, you mess with a pokemon fan by even SAYING digimon, oh you will have a B A D T I M E (unneeded Undertale reference) but guys really pokemon came first, oh yeah, if you mess with me on Pokémon, Pika,Pika,Pika CHU little B-itch!

            Reply
            1. Digifan20201

              Just because pokemon came first shouldn’t mean anything to an actual fan of digimon because it doesn’t matter what other people think if you like it and they don’t. (Sorry for no punctuation marks and stuff like that bad at grammar)

              Reply
        2. Tad Cooper

          Also not to be rude but please stop saying to go fuck ourselves, its offensive, but don’t get mad over just a anime/card/manga vs a anime/(sorry but do digimon have cards? im not sure, sorry if this sounds offensive, if so im not)/manga(i think, like i said im not TOO familiar with digimon, i have only seen 5 episodes) Anyways, i hope someday Pokemons high ratings will get boring for some people, and they will start to watch digimon! ^-^

          Reply
    2. Isabelll

      Well, it Pokemon came first and plus, who would you rather have as a pet? A cute pikachu, or an ugly, hideous dragon with guns. Digimon is obviously the copy cat. Oh and also sparrowmon looks like a cheap airplane toy while mega latios looks epic. Will some ppl really not realize that Pokemon is soooooo much better than that stupid Digimon crap?

      Reply
      1. Gatomon

        Oh shut your snap trap digimon are way more creative for crying out loud that show is my childhood so back off besides there is animal abuse in Pokémon. You fore I get em to battle until one cloapses and ten year olds can go into the world alone and harness the power of dangerously powerful Pokémon which has massive destructive power. Yet In Digimon the digimon look after the kids and together they defeat the evil forces time and time again so shut up about Pokémon and face the fact that digimon is better okay.

        Reply
    3. Trainer Red

      Your grammar, punctuation, bias toward digimon, and failure to do a simple Google search and put 2 and 2 together all astound me. You are such a retard.

      Reply
      1. Gatomon

        Shut the heck up do you even care about how some Pokémon look so bad even a rock looks better such as voltorb HE IS LITERALLY A FREAKING POKEBALL

        Reply
        1. MegaKabuterimon

          Oof, shots fired… But I’m more of a neutral guy to this huge debate. I like pokemon and digimon equally, though most of the time I lean towards Digimon because in the anime, unlike Pokemon, the monsters can talk and do their actions for themselves, not having to be told like some slave. Pokemon are kept in pokeballs, prisons for instance, and Digimon freely roam by your side. But, I’m not saying Digimon is better, I watched Pokemon way before Digimon and play the games till this day, they are fun and turn based, even if they are slightly rage inducing. But, I got the new Digimon game recently and it was better graphics than the threeD pokemon games, and a lot more thought was put into the game. One digimon can digivolve into a total of five different Digimon, and by one, I mean all digimon. So I rest my case, I believe Digimon is better, and can agree that some pokemon are rip offs of Digimon.

          Reply
  2. Pingback: Mega Evolution: Did Pokemon Steal from Digimon? Let’s Settle This. | Magnetricity

  3. E

    Pokemon (1996) wasn’t the first monster collection/fighter game. “The first” definitive game of that genre (Megami Tensei, 1987) predates it by almost 10 years.

    Doesn’t rule out other companies copying Pokemon due to it’s popularity, but it did not invent the genre.

    Reply
    1. Raizen Post author

      @ E: Pokemon and Megami Tensei are different from another in so many ways. Any comparison between the two would likely come down to a similarity in a certain game mechanic. Between Pokemon and Digimon, there are many more similarities, so many wonder whether one directly inspired the other, and if so, which one came before. The question still comes up, which is why I made this entry.

      @ Dudebro: It seems to me that you’re no longer sorry for offending. Or willing to let this matter go. Ordinary trolls don’t have this kind of persistence.

      Reply
      1. dudebro

        let’s see megami tensei and pokemon:both have monsters that you recruit,monster fighting,mascots pokemon and digmon:the only similarity is they’re both monsters that you train,both have this same name digmon came with name first, that’s about it also have you forgot about snatchmon and megamewtwo y why aren’t you talking about those two they look the same

        Reply
        1. Raizen Post author

          Yeah, they both have monsters that you recruit, but you’re also forgetting that they are very similar in artistic style, both have a growth mechanic which happens to have “evolution” in their names, and that many of the old Digimon designs bear a very striking similarity to Pokemon designs that preceded them. And there’s more. Much more. That Digimon ripped off Pokemon is obvious, it shouldn’t be a question anymore. Attempting to say that new Pokemon designs bear a resemblance to old Digimon designs is grasping at straws, and this is because people have moved on. While Digimon still has it’s hardcore fans, it’s not culturally relevant anymore. Some might have seen there as having been a battle between Pokemon and Digimon, but that battle is over. It has been for a long time.

          Reply
        2. Zac

          Listen faggot. Pokemon came first and that’s that. You can bitch and complain while shoving your “the new Pokemon are copying old digimon” shit down out throats, but the truth of the matter is, it’s simply not true. “Oh! A&W made a hamburger! Guess they’re copying McDonald’s!” No! Tyrannomon is not a copy of groudon, and groudon isn’t a copy of tyrannomon either. They are both a copy of a tyrannosaurus-Rex. And who created that? Mother Nature bitch! Digimon made a t-Rex mon? Must be copying the whole fucking evolution line of dinosaurs! Am I fucking right?!!? Because it seems to me, that you think that fucking tyrannomon, and fucking hawkmon, and god damn sparrowmon, have all been came first, before the mother fucking creatures they were based on, came into existence!!! God, it’s like you have no education!! Oh, wait. That’s right. You don’t. Your just a 12 year old sitting at his moms computer, using cuss words that he learned from South Park to try and prove an in-true point about how your little digishits are better than pokemon!!! Suck on that dude bro.

          Reply
      2. E

        There are differences between the MegaTen and Pokemon, sure. But your post does imply that the core of the Pokemon, gathering monsters and fighting with them against other monsters were invented by it.

        “It would have meant that Pokemon, for how imaginative it seemed and for how popular it was, would have owed inspiration to some other franchise!”

        and

        “Just because a product arrived first on American shores does not mean that it “came first” in terms of originality.”

        MegaTen involves just that. Single-player RPG where you go around recruiting monsters, gods and demons to fight with your hero character in turn-based combat.

        Reply
        1. Raizen Post author

          MegaTen and Pokemon are different enough that I find it easy to accept that they were developed independently of one another’s influence. I might even look more into it to find more ways in which they may be similar or differ. But I’m not really concerned about it. Right now, there isn’t a huge nerd war between Pokemon and MegaTen fans about which is the more original idea. Digimon, however, has many obvious similarities with Pokemon. I probably wouldn’t care so much about this if it weren’t for there being many Digimon fans that insist that their IP came first and say that Pokemon stole it’s basic concept, which is demonstrably false.

          Pokemon and MegaTen may have some similarities in terms of gameplay mechanics, but they are more than different enough that there’s no need to cry foul over one supposedly taking inspiration from the other.

          Reply
          1. E

            I reiterate: I’m not saying “Pokemon just copied MegaTen!”, which it might or might’ve not done. I’m trying to point out that your text seems to imply that Pokemon invented the monster collection genre, and was thus the “imaginative” and the “original” one, when the genre had already existed for almost 10 years.

            (Still, both of the series have the main hero usually exploring the world and creating a battle party consisting of monsters that were fought against and then recruited by some means. All this in a Turn Based JRPG wrapper where elemental strengths and weaknesses play a major part in battles. MegaTen and Pokemon do have quite a lot in common, though Pokemon did introduce the social aspect (trading/competitive battling) to the gameplay).

            Reply
    1. Gatomon

      Well cats eye hypnotism to you to b*** so fuck off the digimon or you’ll get f****** deleted by Agmons pepper breath b***

      Reply
  4. shamankid91692

    the whole what came first all boils down to the local comic cons of japan mostly. what i am about to say you wont find on the web primarily because i close friend of mine who lives over seas told me this and who better to ask than someone who has the resources especially if your working on a info show. what makes or breaks this like is said is the local comic cons. from what i was told digimon and pokemon creators had an idea pretty much at the same time and back in the early years of games you couldnt just walk into a place and say make my game you had to have at least some kind of money and at least some kind of popularity behind it other wise its just a big turd in the toilet of forgotten idea’s. its true that pokemon made a name for itself and so of course any official word would place this as being first. one was already a fan fave and the other was nothing more than a fan fic. digimon at the time of its early years had no name by that i mean the writer would change its name so it wouldn’t be confused with something else. the writer of pokemon got his base idea from digimons comic con years. the two actually talked and shot some idea’s around to get both their babies of the ground because back then and even now comic book and comic book related jobs are looked down upon as one of the least acceptable and high paying careers out there. by the time digimon was in mid comic shelf life is when pokemon began its popularity and started making money and at that time digimon was approached to become a tama and any who knows anything if a dude walks up to you and offers you a solid paycheck you jump on that instantly considering living off of comic con money doesnt pay the bills. by the time digimon had a working tama it was to late to be number 1 because during the process of making a decent digimon tama. the writer of pokemon was approached by nintendo to turn pokemon into a hand held and a very depressing one at that. the original pokemon game concept was to have a party of 6 go off and kill other pokemon and pray that yours didnt get killed in the process otherwise you would have to start over and raise a new pikachu or you could save up your cash and by a stone that would revive your dead pokemon. but that idea was scrapped and put into a vault that no one will touch and if you ask the either pokemons head or digimons about the true undocumented origins of how the digimon and pokemon were brought into this would they will stutter and change the topic. so when it comes down to it they in the idea process were a tie much like twins in the same womb but when it comes to pen and paper i would have to say digimon based on the time and info my pal spent to send me this info. but that is if you are considering pen and paper to be the true starting point. you can call me a lying sack of crap or a hater and my reply in advance is i dont care im relying on a third party who has the ability to give me info that is not common knowledge and sometime even that can get lost in translation. look at digimons horrible english dub over the years.

    Reply
    1. shamankid91692

      forgot to add of there are grammatical errors pardon them. my computer is dying and i cant afford a repair bill from a IT.

      Reply
    2. Raizen Post author

      Hi Shamankid91692,

      In most cases, when someone makes a claim, that person’s claim is much more likely to be considered when they present it with some sort of evidence backing it up. In debates, the burden of proof is usually on the person who is making the claim.

      The reason why I am skeptical of your claims is because, prior to making your claim, you say that you heard about it from a “close friend” of yours, and said that anyone who cared to search won’t find it on the web. Whether or not you have an anonymous source who is “in the know” that has access to some hidden information that most people don’t have access to, it still comes off as an attempt to insulate your statements from criticism. It’s effectively the same as saying, “Don’t look into it. I heard it from a friend, whose name I’m not telling you. Just take my word for it.” Anyone could pull this tactic, even a child. In fact, children do this all the time.

      If I don’t know who your friend is, or why he would have access to this information, I don’t have any reason to expect either him or yourself to have some special knowledge of Pokemon or Digimon’s obscure days of early development.

      If one were to claim to have access to such secret knowledge, one could come off as more believable if they were to claim to know a few things about Pokemon’s early development choices, which you say you do. You say that, early in Pokemon’s development, it was possible for Pokemon to be killed, but it was also possible to revive them with money. The reason why this concept is not so shocking is because it’s similar to a system that’s been employed by many RPGs, and is still employed by many of them today. In fact, Pokemon still has something similar to this. Pokemon that are fainted can be revived by a purchasable item called a “Revive”. What would this have to do with whether Pokemon or Digimon came first as a concept? Nothing, really.

      Evidence, man. In this article, I pointed out the dates in which Pokemon and Digimon released their debut products, right down to months and days. It’s pretty well known that Pokemon Red and Green have been in development since the year 1990. However, that’s a claim that’s made by “official sources”, and if someone wanted to appeal to a sense of distrust, they’d make an attempt to call official sources into doubt, which you in your message did.

      If there were any evidence that Digimon has been an idea since before Pokemon has been, the makers of Digimon would have presented it. In fact, they’d have been very eager about it, considering how many passionate fans they have that strongly want to present Digimon as a more original idea. In fact, they would have done it a long time ago, when Digimon was at the height of it’s popularity. Why would they wait until long after the IP was no longer culturally significant to trust this important information to some guy who apparently doesn’t care enough about it to at least put it on his own personal web space so it can be indexed by a search engine and found by someone who would have cared to find it?

      But, even if you do know someone, it’s a fact that some people just say that they know something to try to get other people to respect them. Even if it means that they make something up. And in the business of anime, manga, and Japanese culture in general, this happens a lot. A LOT.

      Again, evidence. Adding an element of truthiness to your claims only takes them so far. People notice things like copyright dates and development times, but they have little reason to accept the notion that two very, very similar ideas just happened to simultaneously spring up in the same general area independent of either one influencing another. In fact, it’s just about impossible. If one claims that one directly influenced the other, it helps to provide evidence. If you do have a source and they do have some well-documented and verifiable evidence, your case would be stronger if you linked to it.

      Reply
  5. meoff, jack

    Who cares honestly, you all sound like a bunch of nerds who need to get a fucking life. Also, pokemon and digimon are both shit, neither one was the first, that’s like saying well because mortal combat was one of the first purely round fighting games, then all the other ones are copies of it.

    Reply
  6. wyrvik

    I have a question, have you ever played a digimon game? they are no where similar at all, so you can’t say that either is a rip off by game, as pokemon is capturing new species and having them fight as the digimon games are consoled tamagotchi that i believe one can also capture digimon in. The whole similarity though is capturing and battling, which can be seen in games older than this. one thing to notice is that pokemon aka and midori both were release in japan in 1996 where Digital Monster Ver. S: Digimon Tamers came out in 1998 in japan. as you have said, things started out as an idea, if it took pokemon 6 to 7 years to to be a physical game (3 for excluding the idea refusal). this game was on the game boy. so it was a 2d rpg, a game like this back then would take 3 years on a game boy. the first digimon games was on a sega satern which was a 94 release. the digimon game would take longer as they had to work with 3d planes. one can take a few years off of each of them since they were both a finished idea but look at file size, pokemon was 372 KB and digimon was 131 MB. A single MB is a 1000 KB meaning that it doesn’t matter what came first as they were both introduced at the same time.

    Before anyone states the anime, both the pokemon and digimon animes were non-canon and each character in digimon had only a single digimon unlike pokemon and digimon was more mature as it had death and mortality.

    Reply
    1. Raizen Post author

      Hi wyrvik,

      You say that the games are nowhere similar at all. This is something that could actually be said when comparing one Digimon game to another. The last Digimon game I’ve played was Digimon World Dawn for Nintendo DS. One of the strengths of the Pokemon games is that they’ve remained consistent. The Digimon games tend to have radically different gameplay mechanics from one installment to another, which risks alienating gamers that may be introduced to it with one particular game.

      But it’s not really a comparison between gameplay mechanics that’s at the heart of this issue. If it weren’t for so many fans making Digimon out to be this revolutionary secret idea that Pokemon stole from, I wouldn’t have much reason to care about this, today. But they do, which is why it shouldn’t be surprising to see someone look into it for evidence and successfully defend Pokemon from its critics, as I’ve done above.

      In your reply you make some assumptions about the development of video games, perhaps assuming that I’d be ignorant of the process. A game’s file size is not an indication of how long it’s been in development. Think about the limitations of a Game Boy game pak. Of course the game would be smaller than most Sega Saturn games. It would pretty much have to be.

      And no, “A single MB is a 1000 KB” does not mean that “they were both introduced at the same time”. This is a statement that you yourself contradict in your own post. You mentioned that the first Digimon game was released on the Sega Saturn in 94. I’m assuming that you meant “98”, because this would be the same game as Digital Monster Ver. S: Digimon Tamers, which was released in September 1998, over 2 years and 6 months after the debut of Pokemon Red and Green. Game development doesn’t always take years. Sometimes, it takes only a few months, especially when the game in question is not substantial in quality. Most Final Fantasy games probably took at least 3 years to develop. On the other hand, we see plenty of rushed-to-market movie-based games that spend just a few months in development because people will want to buy the game after having seen the movie. Many games that owe inspiration to what happens to be popular at the time will be rushed to market, hoping to cash in before interest in the IP dies out.

      Knowing this, it’s telling that this is how Digimon made it’s debut to the video game world: https://youtu.be/VrmVjV0_K2c

      A low-res tamagotchi sim for your TV with a Windows interface. The battle mechanics were button mashing. Also, what’s this you’re saying about “3D planes”? The Digimon game for Sega Saturn looks 2D to me.

      As for your statement about the Digimon anime being non-canon, what does that have to do with whether Digimon or Pokemon came first? The reason why there are so many comparisons between Pokemon and Digimon is because they are thematically almost identical. Kids on adventures ordering colorful monsters (such as reptiles, bugs and plants) of various sizes to use attacks (some fire, electric, or air-based etc.) with the monsters transforming representing stages of growth? Of course comparisons are going to be made. Giving one of them more mature themes than the other isn’t going to divert attention from the obvious similarities.

      In summary, pointing to the first Digimon game, which came two-and-a-half years after the first Pokemon games, does not make Digimon any more of an original concept.

      Reply
    2. MegaKabuterimon

      I agree here… they are vastly different games, even if they are both turn-based. With this one it tells you which Digimon attacks next, and you can even see what happens with different attacks in the 3D newer games such as Cybersleuth Hacker’s Memory

      Reply
  7. Grav (@Gravimetrictv)

    Just to add my look on this crazy thing going on, Pokemon came first yes. Digimon had to take some inspiration from pokemon being it so popular… just because one took inspiration from another, does not make that other one less of a great show…with pokemon being more popular I still like digimon more, simply because the story actually progresses and changes with each season where as pokemon swaps out the non main characters and looks like nobody ages. it’s almost like watching the same show from 10 years ago with new side characters. Another thing worth adding is that every pokemon episode practically has the same template. team rocket is going to always come out and then lose and then show over….tune in next time to see the same thing again. I grew up watching both but there is a reason why i can still watch digimon to this day and i cant stand pokemon anymore. so people who read this please understand just because Pokemon came first does not mean digimon sucks….that’s for you to decide personally.

    BTW
    (Digimon Adventure tri is out so go watch it, and the newest digimon game is getting localized soon so i guess that makes it “relevant “)

    Reply
      1. JustSomeTraveler

        @guesst: Well actually Digimon tri was released in america on crunchyroll if you feel like paying or you could just look for it on a random website.

        @Raizen: Game development does take years depending the resources you have and how much/long of a game you are making. Yes it could take a few months but that depends on a lot of things.
        Now I get that Pokemon was released first but it really doesn’t matter. The creators both could have had ideas involving monsters around the same time, that really wouldn’t have been uncommon so saying that it would be impossible is just not true.
        The only real similarity in Digimon and Pokemon that I can find is the name but that could be because they didn’t want it to be Digital Creatures or who knows what other ideas there could have been. I like both Pokemon and Digimon but I like Digimon’s story since they don’t seem to do repetitive things like “Oh look another region with even more Pokemon to catch because there is apparently infinite regions in our world with more Team whatever names to fight and I still gotta catch them all since I don’t seem to ever age!” or “Time to battle every gym leader so that I can get all the gym badges!”(That is the only way I see Pokemon’s story being right now, anime or game.) You could say Digimon does repetitive things like the enemies being usually being Digimon of course but they all have different reasons of being evil or ways of trying to destroy/conquer the human world or digital world. They have new main characters and a new digital world for each season rather than having the same main character with new companions being in different regions of the same world.
        I could go into a lot about how Digimon and Pokemon are very different from each other and how neither are ripping each other off, I mean yes they could have similar “monsters” but that would be because they are based off the same thing from real life not from each other.

        Reply
        1. Raizen Post author

          Hello JustSomeTraveler,

          I’ve heard several times that the ideas for Pokemon and Digimon were had by their creators at the same time, but no one has been able to show me evidence that this was the case.

          On the one hand, the creators of Pokemon have produced concept sketches of their original idea, first called Capsule Monsters, which was pitched to Nintendo as early as 1990.

          On the other hand, the creators of Digimon are yet to produce anything as extant.

          Attempts to defend Digimon usually come in the form of ignoring obvious similarities between the two franchises, but there aren’t very many apologists out there that say that the names are the only similarity they see, ignoring that both IPs are about children exploring wilderness areas for monsters that they could make fight. Or that the monsters can instantaneously achieve different stages of growth through a process which one calls “evolution” and the other calls “digivolution”. Or that both are modern in setting and both have nature and technology themes.

          All the evidence points to Digimon being a “me-too” IP, and it didn’t do much of anything to attempt to hide it.

          As for what you said about game development times: thank you for not arguing with me? It’s a common misconception that game development must always take years. Sometimes, it only takes a few months, which depends on what went into it. The original Digimon game for Sega Saturn was a simple Tomagotchi sim with a Windows interface and practically no 3D graphics. Something like that could easily have passed for an abandoned fan project. After something as deep and addictive as Pokemon Red and Green, Digital Monster Ver. S was like bringing Kool Aid to a wine-tasting party.

          When game companies make me-too IPs, it’s because they want to make a quick buck, and the safest way to do that is with concepts that they understand to be popular at the time. Digimon was the most blatant attempt to do this.

          Reply
          1. JustSomeTraveler

            @Raizen: I guess I was a little blind with seeing children exploring wilderness as a similarity (even though I have no clue how old Ash is) but still the stories are different from my perspective as in Pokemon’s Gotta catch them all while Digimon is more about caring for virtual pets/monsters and being friends with them.
            If you want you can read about Digimon’s production over at http://www.digimonworld.org/2015/10/the-original-monster-makers-history-of.html it may or may not provide evidence you are looking but it explains the reasons behind Tamagotchi if you even care about that.

            Reply
            1. Raizen Post author

              I’ve read the article (it is a little lengthy), and it confirms a lot of what I’ve already said about Digimon, even going as far as admitting that Digimon’s original gameplay mechanics were “brutally simple”.

              While it is true that Digimon originated as Tamagotchi pets, Tamagotchi pets are distinct from Digimon. Tamagotchi largely served as the platform on which Digimon made its debut. The first Tamagotchi was released on November 23, 1996, nearly 9 months after the release of Pokemon Red and Green. Because the Tamagotchi were released after the debut of Pokemon, pointing to Tamagotchi to make the case that Digimon came first doesn’t really work. If this sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve made the same point in the article above.

              You say that Digimon is more about friendship, but that’s actually another of the themes that the two shows have in common. While Pokemon’s official slogan (in the U.S.) is “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”, the main character of the anime (Ash) doesn’t have anywhere close to all of the hundreds of pokemon currently known. I don’t watch much of the Pokemon anime anymore, but a lot of the interest in the show comes from watching how the different characters with their different personalities (human and pokemon) interact with each other. One of the most noticeable differences between seasons is in the cast of characters. It’s another of the ways that the two shows are alike.

              Reply
  8. Kek

    Fucking oath Pokemon copied mega evolutions from mega digivolutions.

    But the general consensus is that
    Pokemon games > Digimon games
    Digimon anime > Pokemon anime

    Had Digimon expanded on the formula it had when the first Digimon World game came out instead of switching to JRPG turn-based it would’ve smashed Pokemon. Problem with the first DW is that there were a few glitches and bugs with it, such as Giromon’s Jukebox and the Digitamamon glitch. Then Namco decided to completely change the gameplay in the second DW game and they’ve been following that formula ever since.

    But Digimon wins in the anime department. At least Digimon has a plot besides “ash has gym battle/helps this person/team rocket blasts off again”

    Reply
      1. Kek

        That’s not interesting at all. When you got to the bit saying that there’s no such thing as mega digimon it was obvious you were just grasping at straws.

        Reply
  9. Jason

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    Reply
  10. Pingback: Pokemon vs. Digimon: Why Pokemon wins | Magnetricity

  11. Pingback: Pokemon vs. Digimon: more proof that Pokemon came first | Magnetricity

      1. Raizen Post author

        I stand corrected. Still, I welcome Digimon fans to present evidence that Digimon was in development prior to 1990, if such evidence is available.

        Reply
    1. Raizen Post author

      To answer your first question, no.
      As for your second question, I don’t know, I didn’t see it. I do know that there are those who disagree with its outcome. I doubt that it was meant to be taken seriously.

      Reply
      1. Pokedigifan

        Everything in Death Battle is supposed to be fun not something you have to take too seriously.Although they do research we shouldn’t take Death Battle seriously they could have miscalculated.

        Reply
    1. Pokedigifan

      How Kyurem’s fusion works:Kyurem shoots lasers and absorbs the stone of Zekrom/Reshiram.
      How DNA digivolution works:Two Digimon literally fuse with the power of their partners.

      Reply
  12. Doglover

    I accept that pokemon came first, but Digimon never faded. They’re about to finish the series off with Digimon Tri. So I’m a big digimon fan too and I thought that pokemon was really boring . Really I tried watching the first episode and I practically fell asleep. I think that pokemon is better as a game, even thought I’ve never played it, and Digimon as a tv series. I mean you have to give it to Digimon, they did all sorts of awesome stuff with x’s and digivolutions. How they did the human digimon, the x-fusions, and human x-fusions, that was pretty cool. Not only did they do all this, but had the courage, friendship, knowledge, serenity, love, reliability, hope and light for Digimon adventure and Digimon 02. So I’m not a hater of pokemon, I not as impressed with it as Digimon. By the way, I’m kind of glad Digimon is ending, as painful as it is, at least it won’t keep going until there’s nothing to create anymore and end up being some crappy show with no story line or adventure.

    Reply
  13. Dylan

    I think it’s an unfair assumption to say that Digimon has little media presence. You mentioned the importance of examining the franchises on international levels and Digimon has always been quite popular in Asia, namely Japan. There have been several television series and movies as well as cards and a bunch of video games. I don’t think an obscure and unsuccessful franchise would put out so much product. I also think it’s unfair to say either franchise copied the other. Digimon started out as a virtual pet; something cute. Pokemon has always been about fighting. There are ideas between the two that are similar, sure, but that shouldn’t take away from the validity of two successful companies making great products. It’s like the DC vs Marvel argument. Both make quality stuff (except DC’s movies, haha), and both copied ideas from each other. There’s no question about it. I think it’s fair to say, with Pokemon vs Digimon, that neither copied or both copied. It’d make sense the they would copy each other being so similar and both based in Japan. The Pokemon executives see how popular Digimon is in Japan, so they don’t see it as a failed franchise like many Americans do. Anyway, I’m a fan of both and will continue to defend the merit of both series.

    Reply
  14. Digigod_Hyro

    Shit got really heated here, BTW neither copied each other, they just using shit thats commonly found within its own genre and culture in Japan.

    Reply
  15. Crescent_Spirit

    Well it’s quite fun reading the arguments based on who ripped whom. Well to be frank no one ripped anyone. Both are original concepts where one happen in real world while other in a digital world. So it’s quite bad saying foul words to each other about a simple concept. Well we can hope one thing that one day maybe a movie or a series releases which feature both Poke’mon as well as Digimon. There is a fan made Poke’mon game where this concept has been brought in practice. Comparing them is like comparing Anime With Marvel or DC. Well both have different genres one being supernatural other being sci-fi. So lets respect both the anime.

    Reply
    1. Raizen Post author

      Is it really so hard to believe that two very similar ideas showed up within a couple years of each other, in the same part of the world, are aesthetically almost identical, and target the same demographic? Apparently, it is.

      I don’t have a problem with someone taking inspiration from an existing work. If we couldn’t do that, there wouldn’t be very much art or entertainment today. What grinds my gears is when someone not only denies that they took inspiration, but claims that the original stole from them. In the case of Digimon, this is more a problem with the fans than it is with the IP itself.

      That is why I wanted to write this article. It’s surprising that it’s gotten the attention that it has, but the dialog had to have taken place if it meant that credit would be given where it was due. This could not have been accomplished by attributing coincidental similarity. Such an explanation would not even be satisfactory, and it would not stand in a world where there are people willing to dig deep to find the truth of matters.

      Reply
      1. anonymous

        so let me get this straight you’re telling me that pokemon came first because it came to the U.S. first?

        ….. where is your logic behind this? pika pika bitch….
        You need to do more research and if you really want to know which came first, why not talk to the original creators. That is the only way to really figure out which came first.

        Reply
        1. Raizen Post author

          If you want to kick things up to make the conversation more interesting, that’s your business. However, most trolls aren’t so obvious about it.

          Reply
          1. anonymous

            This is not a troll and you should reread it to understand the statement. If you really want to find a closing to this argument the only way would be to actually talk to the original creators. If you are not able to understand this small concept then that is your problem and not mine.

            Reply
              1. anonymous

                It was meant to be too obvious. I am not trying to hide a valid point to my argument that make it useless and unvalid. But it seems like you enjoy to argue with other people, which is fine. People like to win that is nature, but like I said if you are not able to understand that concept that is your problem, not mine.

                Oh by the way good try on trying to avoid the statement I made. Talk to the original creators to close this argument.

                Reply
              2. h.264

                By reading your first post it is easy to tell that you are Pokemon biased which doesn’t seem to help your case. If you really wanted to answer this post it is best to remain unbiased and to truly remain unbiased towards your forum topic you must not know either before creating an article that is not only comparing both but also is controversial among the fans. Just by going to your page there are plenty of Pokemon articles you have created which in turn is one is one way to see your bias on this topic. I personally would believe a person that is unbiased than a person that is biased from the start. Also the evidence you claim to have is all easily obtainable from wikipedia that anyone can find and is no where near facts you would need to determine the answer to your topic. Anyone can look up these facts for themselves but you have to also realize that when a game is released to the public is not the start of that game. Games have many stages of development and for both Pokemon and Digimon they both had to start off as an idea. The idea that eventually was turned into paper and also sketches which would later go on to become a game and much more than that. You can’t just say Pokemon came out first just by public facts when you don’t have all of the evidence. I’m not on either side in the case of the subject but I can tell this topic hurts Digimon fans because of the popularity that Pokemon has while they did’t receive said popularity. Now if said evidence does come to light of early ideas on paper and early sketches that date when the Pokemon and Digimon were started that would then determine the true answer to this long argument. but to just flat out say Pokemon wins without all evidence is the equivalent to convicting a criminal to years in jail without placing that person at the scene of the crime. I do say you did a good job of providing facts for this forum on both subjects, just try not to be biased about it and also it would better to say that the true answer cannot be determined at this time till all the evidence comes forward in the future.

                Reply
              3. hr23

                OK so what you are implying is that his argument was too obvious but for what other consideration? I think you are just trying to ignore his point that he has made because you don’t want to admit that he’s right! It seems to me that you’re been reduced to making false accusations.

                Reply
      2. Sora King of Lucis

        I don’t find it hard to believe that one series could have taken inspiration from the other, but I also don’t find it hard to believe that similarities between two series are coincidental. As far as I’m aware, there’s been no official word from anyone involved in Digimon’s creation that would confirm or deny that Digimon took inspiration from Pokémon, so both positions are equally valid until proven otherwise.

        Reply
  16. Digifan20201

    Just because pokemon came first shouldn’t mean anything to an actual fan of digimon because it doesn’t matter what other people think if you like it and they don’t. (Sorry for no punctuation marks and stuff like that bad at grammar)

    Reply
    1. hyro1

      They just feel like saying pokemon came first actual proves something, and when you tell them it doesnt. watch the bullets fly, just reading a few messages above show that.

      Reply
  17. Superman9703

    Guys, its okay. Its really not that crazy to think that Digimon didn’t draw inspiration from a few aspects of Pokemon and its not too crazy to say that Digimon wasn’t the only one. Raizen is right and its true that if writers and artists didn’t draw inspiration from the things they’ve seen throughout their lifetime there would be very few options of entertainment. Just look at the sonic series for example. The series creator Yuji Naka admitted that he loves mario and that he drew inspiration from the games to create sonic. He would always try to make it to the end of the levels as fast as he could. Now Sonic is a character and icon known throughout the world and has two games coming out very soon(Sonic Mania and Sonic forces). Granted even you guys have to admit that even Sonic seems more culturally significant today than Digimon.

    Reply
    1. hyro1

      Because i didnt, literally any similarities between the two can be found it others of the same genre, there is no inspiration, you can say it all you but its not there, even in digimon modern prodecy, despite it culturally significant or popularity, is still doing what digimon has always done, just to a dark tone

      Reply
    2. Superman9703

      Also why does it matter to people so much who came first. I think the evidence is strong enough to suggest that the idea of pokemon(originally called capsule monsters) with concept art as early as 1990(note this is 7 years before anything Digimon or Digimon related was in existence) came first. It’s really isn’t that big of an issue. This does not make Digimon any less of a franchise. It just means that it came first. Also why is it so crazy that some aspects of Digimon come from Pokemon. Pokemon has always been a popular series, even way back then. The idea that a person or people would come up with a franchise with similar name “Digimon” and a form of evolution known as “Digievolution” that would come to fruition roughly two years later is not surprising. But you know none of this information has affected my like of both franchises. Pokemon is great and Digimon is great. Digimon took whatever aspects it borrowed from Pokemon and became its own thing. That’s fine. This is nothing to angry over.

      Reply
      1. hyro1

        Because if u actually did any research instead of being “Hur Dur Pokemon cam first. pokemon is popular, therefore anything similar has pokemon inspirations”. Digimon would’ve came to be with or without pokemon, because guess what, its inspirations, the reason the damn thing was even made is the Tamagotchi, so tell me how the fuck does it go from being a male Tamagotchi to being a Pokemon ripoff, 1 word, Poketards.

        Reply
  18. Vrepmon

    Well this has been interesting and I’m just gonna say there not comparable at all I’ve played both all my life and there both awesome at what they do one is about capturing monsters and fighting an evil team then elite four the other is different almost every time but none of them require capturing and I mean that you either create a new one or have one your digimon digivolve into that monster I mean this in a nice way there great games but entirely different they both took inspiration from each other but made it unique just cause they look a little a like dosn t mean they are and if you think pokemon and digimon are similar that’s just ignorant I’ve played almost every game of each one and neither have similarities beside having humans monsters and fighting (which is every rpg ever) you really can’t compare them because that would be like comparing pokemon to yu gi oh or digimon to beyblade I don’t mean this in a mean way but it’s true and the anime are also nothing alikethey deal in different premise style and worlds sorry for my bad grammr

    Reply
  19. MegaKabuterimon

    Okay, I know I’ve commented on old posts. But this is just because I like both games equally. Though they range to different audiences. For those who are into e for everyone games, Pokemon is for you, it may be a kids game but it is addictive. And if you prefer games that have some cursing and actually have the voices of characters, the newer Digimon games are for you. So what if seome Digimon look like pokemon from the past, the universes and appearances are vastly different. To me, Digimon’s design is better than Pokemons, that’s because they do more than just making an animal a different coloration and giving it elemental powers. In Digimon the monsters are literally decked out with be it clothing, different appearances, guns, anything you can think of! And Pokemon has gyms where you can level up Pokemon more easily. So in my view, Both of them should be considered as equals.

    Reply
  20. payton richards

    this guy clearly googled when their release dates were then started going on some random rant
    if you want the truth pokemon came out before digimon did , BUT digimon was already in the making and they had to push back the release date several times

    Reply
  21. Pingback: Pokemon vs. Digimon: Why does it matter? | Magnetricity

  22. 砂原K

    ok let me settle this argument once and for all. growing up in Japan and then moving to Canada this question came up a lot, finally moving back to Japan as an adult and working at both Bandai and Nintendo i think i can call myself a subject-matter expert. luckily some people here have parts of the story correct.

    as people have said the original source was Megami Tensei/Digital Devil Story (1987), and the Executive Director of the first Pokémon games Satoshi Tajiri has referenced this as a game which he played and used to help build the structure for “team building” after significant failures during the production progress to create a working game-structure. obviously this had to be adjusted for the intended audience (children), and he stated the idea of “bug-collecting” as the original source for the pocket monsters designs. The capsule balls are not an original idea because they are taken form a turn-style coin vending machines also known as “gasha” in Japan which are popular for distributing toys and small figures which he has also stated during production (you have to keep your bugs somewhere or they will run away from you)..

    1) neither is entirely an original production
    2) -pokemon was in “development” first, but it was not a product first. the pocket monster “brand” was not registered until 1995, when a conceptual production model had been finally structured (concept, not working product). the first release of the product “pocket monsters” was officially published and released in Japan in Feb 1996, the final versions were rushed (for reasons i wont explain here but is why there was a blue version but no green in other countries..)
    -Bandai (via WiZ) apparently had working production models (ie. actual working products) of “gochi-devices” (tamagochi) as early as 1994. Aki Maita the woman who conceptualized the idea “the mother” worked at Bandai and presented the concept to Akihiro Yokoi “the father” who was a toy designer who worked for Wiz. an estimated 200 devices at various stages were distributed here in Japan to girls in junior high-schools for product./market testing to fix issues and make improvements before its official production and finally public release in Nov 1996.
    3) the “digimon” brand was “publicly” introduced after pokemon in June 1997, originally been released to “market” gochi devices to boys as the idea of “killing your (virtual) pets”. original character models and designs existed as early as November 1995, but production focus was on a single model of tamagochi at the time alongside ensuing primary school-related issues had occurred which delayed production and release until 1997 when interest in the first generation of tamagochi started to decline. similar to the market tests with girls, public tests of the battle system of the first digimon devices were performed in high schools with boys as early as march

    so the which one was conceptually made first or finalized as it was in the released form, is impossible to determine. which one was copyrighted first in Japan / in North America / World first has no real merit in determining intellectual property in terms of conceptualization, even without accommodating copyrights, translations, trademarks, physical production, etc.

    Therefore, in conclusion, if your real argument is in determining which one hit the market first:

    (honorable mention: godzilla / ultraman aliens, followed by:)

    ①Megami Tensei, ② Tamagochi, ③Pokemon, ④Digimon ⑤Monster Farmer/Rancher (just in case)

    Reply
    1. Raizen Post author

      Thank you for the very thoughtful and well-written comment. In the creative world, people take inspiration from other sources all the time, but it’s not as much of a problem when an author credits the source of their inspiration.

      Having said that, I take issue with the assertion that dates of copyrights have no merit when it comes to determining what came first. Copyright is how one legally proves that an idea is one’s own, making securing a copyright one of the most important things that one can do to ensure that someone else doesn’t abscond with and profit off their idea. It’s important to secure a copyright before releasing your game, if that’s the product you’re releasing. But hey, you worked at Bandai and Nintendo, so you already knew that.

      However, you did mention conceptualization as something that can predate copyright. Fair enough. When it comes to settling the argument of which came first, concrete evidence like the concept sketches of Capsule Monsters weighs a lot more than some nebulous notion of “maybe they were in development for a long time at the same time”. After all, evidence can exist for conceptualization. If anyone has evidence of concepts for Digimon floating around that predate Pokemon, that would be welcome here as it would be highly relevant to the discussion. Because as of now, GameFreak’s Capsule Monster concept sketches from 1990 predate anything Digimon.

      I’m not being unreasonable here. Just asking for evidence.

      At the very least, someone could maybe find a quote from the developers of Digimon stating that they took inspiration from Pokemon, as you say that Satoshi Tajiri did with Megami Tensei. There wouldn’t be as much reason to care if credit is given where it’s due.

      EDIT: I realize that the post says that it would have been “outrageous” to have taken inspiration from somewhere else. One thing is, the post was written several years ago, when my perspective of the matter was less developed than it is today. What’s more, there was a hyperbolic element to it that was designed to hold a reader’s attention. When it comes to whether taking inspiration is outrageous or not depends from one case to the next on things like proportion and acknowledgement. I bring this up because I know that someone might be thinking of bringing up a contradiction in the post with this comment, but the fact is, viewpoints can change based on things like changing perspective. I do like to think of myself as a reasonable person. Also, pointing it out myself denies someone else the fun of doing it first.

      Reply
  23. Harry

    I was 6-7 when Pokémon anime released internationally, I loved those cute animal-like creatures that they have elements of nature or whatever and fight with them. I enjoyed it but Digimon was a different story. The idea of digital monsters existing in a pararel universe completely created by deleted files of our computers sounds crazy. I love how they took the American hero concept and culture and add some heavy metal designs. They had a specific concept that went beautifully on video games and anime. If you ask me I love both and they came just the right time in my life. Monsters and evolutions was way before those franchises so it doesn’t matter which one came first.

    Reply
  24. Pingback: LOLWAT: Star Wars is about Nazis, now. | Magnetricity

  25. Pingback: Theft of the Wild | Magnetricity

  26. Robert Lyndall

    Okay, I’m going to say this because this argument is stupid. Neither pokemon nor digimon is ripping the other off, even if you did boil it down to the fact that both involve monster taming. There were games on the NES as early as 1988 that involved monster taming from Shin Megami Tensei so, if you’re going to argue that, since they both involve taming monsters, digimon ripped off pokemon, then pokemon ripped off Shin Megami Tensei. It comes down to more than one mechanic of a game or series. In pokemon, you’re a part of the world with the monsters and your goal is to befriend all of them to build a team. In digimon, you’re transported to a strange world with these creatures and you have a limited number of digimon (usually 1-3 depending on the iteration). Pokemon focuses more on battle strategy and and short-term goals. Digimon is about developing character and depth through long-term issues. Comparing pokemon to digimon is the same as comparing pokemon to Shin Megami Tensei. For those who have never played a Shin Megami Tensei game, they usually focus on you capturing demons, ghosts, mythological creatures to stop the apocalypse. They’re dark, gritty and often overly-sexualized with lots of adult content but, they have just as much in common with Pokemon as Digimon does cause they’re monster taming games.

    Reply

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