First things first, I’m not going to argue about which franchise is better and let’s be honest - we all know that Pokémon franchise is more successful and famous than the Digimon one. Instead I’ll simply give my opinion about which anime series I prefer today as I'm older.
In this blog I decided to concentrate more on the first seasons of both shows as I haven't seen all episodes in either of them.
So which anime series are better in my opinion now that I’m older? Easily - Digimon Adventures. I’ve decided to (eventually) re-watch all my childhood anime out of nostalgia. That being said I could only force myself to watch about 30 episodes of Pokemon. I simply could not bear it longer than that…
With Digimon Adventures I had no problem. Granted, I watched the Japanese version of DA and now I begin to wonder if I’d enjoyed Pokemon more if I had watched Japanese version as well, instead of the dumbed-down 4kids version. However, I doubt it. Keep in mind both anime are targeted at kids and both have that stupid ‘friendship overcomes everything’ crap and both anime suffer from overusing deus ex machine trick just to deliver good ending to the audience. For this sort of anime, it’s best to let your brain rest and simply go with the flow. But there are two issues about Pokemon anime I just couldn’t ignore.
Repetitiveness and constantly re-use of Rocket team gag. 90% of the episodes re-use the same formula over and over again. Ash and his friends arrive somewhere, meet a new character, encounter a stupid ass problem that’s blow out of proportions, Rocket team arrives, talk/sing their stupid introduction, steal a pokemon, Ash & Co. defeat the clown gang, Pickachu use thundershock, they fly in the air and there’s a shining star as they disappear from sight, Ash says goodbye to the new-met character and repeat the cycle in the next episode. After seeing 30 or so episodes with this crap, I had enough. I understand the anime is targeted at kids but did the creators think that kids are idiots? Even a kid would notice that they re-use the same event over and over again. And we’re talking about anime that has over 700 episodes and God knows how many movies.
I already mentioned in my Digimon Adventures review how much I actually enjoyed the emphasis made on character development and cooperation. The stakes actually seemed higher and villains were more threatening than Pokemon’s. Although, I appreciate Pokemon franchise for what it is (more from game standpoint), there’s just no doubt that Digimon anime has more quality to it. The first season of Digimon had an actual message, chemistry between characters, story development and fascinating villains, while Pokemon just seems to have a lot of jokes. There’s not much about characters, villains are a joke and the worst thing is how redundant the anime get just after few episodes.
I’ve decided to give Pokemon another chance and I’ll try to hunt down the Japanese version but with 700+ episodes, I know that I have no chance of finishing the entire franchise. Knowing how predictable it is I’ll be lucky to finish the first season.