Let me preface this by saying that I love both, really, I do. But, Digimon has a place in my heart that Pokémon cannot replace. I grew up playing all the installments of the Pokémon games, which are incredible, and I even played most of the Digimon games, in which some of them were sub-par to say the least. There’s no question that Pokémon’s popularity far outweighs Digimon’s. The Pokémon games are the flagship installments for basically all of Nintendo’s handheld systems. Countless Pokémon references get featured in other Nintendo games, like Super Smash Bros. or Super Mario Galaxy, and even in pop culture.
But when it comes to the anime, well, there’s no real debate there. Digimon’s anime is far greater than Pokémon’s, despite the latter’s 20-year run. This statement does not come out of bias, but out of objective fact. Yes, you read that right. In this article, we’ll run through 30 hilarious memes that prove why Digimon is better than Pokémon. You might be coming in here as a huge Pokémon fan, because let’s be honest, who isn’t? But, I’m guaranteeing you that some of these memes, as bizarre as they may be, could actually change your mind. Let’s get into it.
30 Design Flaw After Design Flaw
Digimon continue to look cool, whereas pokémon are starting to look worse, almost as if they’re running out of ideas. The worst part is that the pokémon on the right, named Trubbish, evolves into Garbodor, an even more ridiculous looking piece of trash (pun intended). I mean, look at Voltorb and Electrode, and tell me there isn’t something wrong with the design. It appears somewhat lazy; take a poké ball, put a frown and some eyes on it and call it a pokémon? While some might declare that Digimon is just a copy of Pokémon, there’s some speculation that Pokémon has actually ripped off a few of Digimon’s designs. I dare you to tell me that this little dude is not remotely inspired by this guy? I mean sure, it could be a coincidence, but let me just say that Digimon did some things first.
29 You’re Way Past The Prime
Since the year 2000, Digimon has had the Mega form on lock. A lot of Pokémon fans might say that Digimon’s mega form has nothing to do with Pokemon’s, but one can’t help but draw parallels. Pokémon’s mega evolution is a temporary power-up used in battle to make the creature stronger. Digimon’s mega form is a temporary power-up used in battle to make the creature stronger. A few of Pokémon’s mega evolutions are correlated with the bond they have with their partner. Most of Digimon’s mega forms are correlated with the bond they have with their partner. Look, they’re both unique in their own sense, and they both add an extra element to their respective franchise. But, if Pokémon fans can’t say that “mega evolution” is not somewhat inspired by Digimon, I’d say they should do some more research.
28 Ash Can’t Even Compete
It’s hard to mock the Pokémon plotline because it’s a show designated for kids. The plot lines are designed to be simple and predictable. Does Ash always win? No, he has to lose sometimes, because then there would be no drama and the series would have to end. Ash’s dreams are kind of like a child’s: Unrealistic, somewhat hopeless, and practically unattainable. Ash wants to be a Pokémon master and catch all the pokémon in existence, and yet he has done neither in the 20 years he has existed. Given this context, it’s easy to see why Ash is sort of living a tragedy, because he isn’t self-aware enough to recognize that he will never win. Say what you will about Digimon, but at least their seasons ended on some note of closure and had some semblance of adventure and risk.
27 Rivals Since Birth
The fight between these two fandoms has been one of the longest and more well-known feuds. The question of “Is Pokémon better than Digimon?” might become subject to some philosophical inquiry in few hundred years, and it seems like we are plagued to choose one or the other. We aren’t allowed to love both, because then you’d be betraying the fandom. Not really, but there’s some sort of boundary between the two as if they’re mortal enemies, which we know isn’t true. As per this meme, even Pokémon aren’t allowed to be Digimon. Try to imagine a world where poké balls didn’t exist and pokémon still had to be tamed. I’m sure that world would be incredibly violent, and not safe at all for 10-year olds like Ash Ketchum.
26 Get PETA On The Phone
Uh-oh, it looks like Pokémon might have a lawsuit on their hands. At least Digimon can run around freely without worrying about being tamed by an evil human, right? Actually, it doesn’t matter, because both series are entirely fictional. I mean sure, every episode of Pokémon contains some sort of battle sequence where humans tell animals to fight, or how evil humans are capturing pokémon to use them for their own personal gain. But, is there supposed to be a parallel between what happens in Pokémon and what happens in real life? I doubt it, but PETA seems to think so. Both the Pokémon and Digimon world are ruthless. They’re like animals; they’re all just trying to survive. But both series stress the invaluable partnership between the ‘trainer’ and their little critter. They’re allies, and most of all, friends, and that’s something to cherish.
25 She Got An Alibi
This meme is sort of relatable. I mean, if you’re a green flower with vines for fingers, and you grow up to become a sensuous humanoid rose flower, then this is so totally you. While this meme might not be inherently reflective of how Digimon is better than Pokémon, it does call out a bigger narrative. Pokémon fans love to make fun of some of Digimon’s designs, and yet here we have this meme that showcases what happens when a Digimon changes forms. They become something amazing, beautiful, and marvelous. The same can be said about Pokémon, but they should watch what they say, or should I perhaps bring up some of their designs as well? Imagine you’re looking for your house keys, and suddenly, an idea for a new pokémon flashed into your head. This is the result.
24 Higher Level Memes
Yes, stories about partnerships with monsters, or even animals, and humans have existed since the dawn of time. There are some people out there that still believe animals are just beasts, but it’s proven that we’ve had unlikely friendships blossom with our furry companions. The main highlight of this meme is how Digimon is a rip off of Pokémon, but we know that isn’t true. In fact, this meme speaks to levels beyond just Pokémon and Digimon, but of ideas and culture itself. Stories about monsters befriending humans have existed since forever, and who are we to say that one thing is a rip off of another when original ideas no longer really exist? Everything nowadays is inspired by other smaller ideas from everywhere else, so to say that one thing is an explicit rip off of another is somewhat unsound.
23 One Big Family Tree
This is the one massive thing that irks me when it comes to the Pokémon franchise. Some pokémon do not have an evolution. Sure, you can call it a unique trait that exists within certain species, but at the same time, it’s unfortunate because you get a case of “what you see is what you get”, and there’s no more to it. Of course, we can say that the study of pokémon isn’t complete, and that the franchise can still experiment with older generations, it’s still quite daunting nonetheless. Every Digimon comes from a certain source, and their “family tree” branches out further and further into the sphere of growth, which I think is incredibly cool. If you’ve played some of the more recent games, such as Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, then you’ll notice how one branch is pretty much the entire forest.
22 The Digital World Is A Military Zone
If there’s one thing that Digimon has over Pokémon, it’s their “edginess” and permission of certain types of violence. A lot of the Digimon have missiles, swords, guns, and distinct types of weaponry. I mean, look at what happens when a Digimon goes to their mega form. They essentially become either a 50-foot tall machine equipped with weapons and destructive power, or they remain small but still contain that same lethal power.
The reason why a Digimon goes mega is to fight
But, this post is somewhat inaccurate, because even in the Pokémon world, there were multiple instances of villains and civilians boasting some serious firepower. Let’s not count the amount of times Team Rocket tried to kidnap Pikachu using some sort of destructive mechanism.
21 Everybody Wants To Be A Cat
Team Rocket’s Meowth is a creature unlike any other Pokémon. Not only can he speak English, but he walks upright and has many human characteristics, like reason and a sharp tongue. According to Bulbapedia, Meowth met a female Meowth named Meowzie. She caught Meowth’s eyes the moment they met, but she rejected him, saying that she preferred humans. So, Meowth attempted to make himself more human by learning how to speak and walk upright. It’s a strange explanation, but it’s canon so it’s hard to argue with it. I guess it’s also just a unique trait that only Meowth and legendary Pokémon possess. It’s a sad story, but this begs the question: If Meowth learned how to speak, why can’t the others? I suppose it’s just the storyline we have to live with.
20 Bet Pikachu Wishes He Could Evolve Now
When you first played the Pokémon games like Red or Blue, did you ever wonder how big some of these pokémon were? That is, without looking at the pokédex of course. I mean, you’d see a Charmander and think that it’s just a tiny salamander with a flame at the end of its tail, no biggie. Then you’d see Onix and think that maybe you should have stayed home that day.
There’s been a long-standing battle about whether Digimon can beat Pokémon and vice versa. I mean, most Digimon have at least six forms, and they only get stronger and stronger. I get the whole type advantage thing and STAB effect, but that won’t come into play when a giant mechanoid dragon warrior comes flying at you with the strength of a thousand suns.
19 First Is The Worst, Second Is The Best
This one gets to me. Fans of the Pokémon franchise will always use this as an excuse, even though it isn’t true. There are a couple of reasons why Pokémon is more popular than Digimon. Firstly, their video games are better. Game Freak has done an amazing job with the Pokémon franchise, and Digimon games are really no competition. They’re good, but they aren’t great. Secondly, it came out first. It was easy to pass Digimon off as a copy of Pokémon because of how similar they are, even in name. But the thing about the Pokémon anime is that it’s more accessible. You can jump in on any episode and pretty much figure out what’s going on and have an enjoyable time. Digimon is more story-driven and requires you to start from the beginning, and learn about the development of the characters, more so than Pokémon at least.
18 Ash Is A Time Lord
I think this is one that even Pokémon fans can agree with. I mean, there is a timeline in the Pokémon universe, right? Because the sun comes up and goes down every day in the anime, so what is it that makes it seem like Ash is ageless? Even the other characters age a bit, but not Ash? It doesn’t make sense to me. I get that it’s probably a stylistic choice from the creators. The main audience is children, so they keep the protagonist the same age throughout their 20-year run. Even Misty has gotten a bit older, and even looks more mature in her new outfits. One creepy fan theory was that Ash is actually in a coma, and that everything happening in the series is a figment of Ash’s dream state.
17 They’re Blasting Off Again
The villains in the Digimon anime were far more violent and cruel than in Pokémon. How exactly does the classic Team Rocket trio compare to Myotismon? I mean, Jessie, James, and Meowth just played tricks on the kids to kidnap one single pokémon, and they’ve attempted this hundreds of times with very little success. Myotismon at least had some semblance of true evil. I mean, in season 2, his body was made from the despair of children. Myotismon represents real fear and anxiety. Before him, there was Devimon and Etemon, where the former was hardly present until his defeat, and the other was sort of a farce. At least they played a better role in terms of “bad guy”, much more than the goofiness that Team Rocket presented.
16 The Real Mega Evolution
I’ve always found it cool how Digimon explored more facets of evolution. I guess that is one of the advantages of being computer data. You can modify, augment, reduce, or splice your form when necessary. It a lot more scientific and nuanced than Pokémon, which seems more akin to growth.
But everything changed when the mega evolution came out
The theory is that certain pokémon have the ability to mega evolve if they achieve a strong bond with their trainer. While this is neat and all, Digimon had that theory on lock way before, and I’m not talking about their mega forms. I’m talking about the concept of biomerge digivolution, where the Digimon's partner fuses with them to rocket to the mega form. That’s a serious bond if I’ve ever seen one.
15 Like Samsung and iPhone
The premise of the Pokémon anime was for Ash to become a Pokémon master by catching all of the Pokémon, and by beating the Elite Four. He hasn’t done either yet, but I’m sure at some point he will. Anytime Ash and the group see a Pokémon they haven’t encountered yet, Ash pulls out his pokédex to identify the status and details of that pokémon. Do we ever need to see the pokédex outside of that context? No, because that’s all it is good for. The digivice is essential to the plot. It enabled the digidestined to digivolve their partners; it created a connection between the real world and the digital world. It acted as more of a plot device than it did a mechanical one.
14 Pikachu Doesn’t Want To Grow Up
While it made sense to me in terms of popularity and branding, I never liked the decision. I get that they decided to leave him the way he is because he is the mascot of the series, and that he simply never wanted to evolve, but it seems like a bit of a cop-out to simply say “Pikachu won’t evolve because he doesn’t want to.” Sometimes, things are too simple to accept. It’s a gripe with kids’ shows that I cannot get over, because even though the audience is younger, and it’s just easier to explain, it’s still a weak plot device. Luckily, in Digimon, the little critters can temporarily increase their strength and grow into gigantic beasts. Then, they can revert back into their regular state as if it never happened.
13 Money Rules The Story
It seems like there are a couple of reasons why most of Ash’s pokémon aren’t fully evolved. Firstly, it’s a marketing ploy. It’s easier to market these cuter pokémon since their primary audience is comprised of kids. Secondly, plot points. Ash would never have to try so hard if he had all these overpowered pokémon on his side. If he wins a league, there’s no reason for him to keep travelling, and if he stops travelling, then the show doesn’t become as fun.
Fortunately, Digimon doesn’t have this issue, as the stronger the Digimon get, the more interesting the plot becomes as they face greater and more powerful foes. If anything, their surge in strength and power is the plot device that drives the story forward.
12 From Ash To Ash
In the countless seasons of Pokémon, the main cast has usually comprised of Ash and his Pikachu, Misty, and Brock. It’s the same trio over and over again, along with the occasional short story arc concerning an additional character. That works just fine; think of The Simpsons or Family Guy or other sitcoms where the core characters drive the narrative the entire way through.
The thing is, Pokémon isn’t a sitcom
It’s an adventure anime that is chronicled through the eyes of Ash, and the plot should be more driven, but it isn’t. It runs the same streamlined formula through every season, and things aren’t changing that much. At least in the Digimon anime, they tried new things with new casts each season. They developed their characters and stories much better than the Pokémon anime ever did.
11 Digicrests > Pokémon Badges
The crests, like the digivices, are important accessories to the plot of the Digimon anime. See, the thing about shorter series is that things tend to get less convoluted, unlike Pokémon where there are about twenty seasons and things haven’t really gotten anywhere. We see the digidestined use their crests to enhance their digivolution powers. Moreover, they had some real value in terms of character development.
Each crest is a trait that represented a character
Such traits included friendship, destiny, reliability, knowledge, etc. They acted as conduits for driving the development of the characters forward. Do you know what the badges in Pokémon did? They let you enter the Elite Four, and that’s it. Sure, in the games they helped you out with developing your Pokémon, but in the anime? They served as nothing but an aesthetic purpose.
10 How Long Must This Go On?
Currently, there are 802 pokémon in total, without counting Mega Evolutions and the more recent Alola Forms, which are just variants of existing pokémon. There are less Digimon than that if you don’t count certain variants, because then there would be over a thousand. Throughout all the installments of Pokémon, you have to admit that some of the designs were pretty lazy. Even the first generation contained a few basic pokémon who were modeled after mundane, real life objects, but with legs or arms added. Take Oddish or Geodude as an example. Digimon gets a lot of flack for taking animals and strapping guns, swords, or armor to them, but if you fail to see the same thing in Pokémon, then perhaps you should do some more research.
9 The Same Formula Again and Again
I cannot stress enough how much I dislike the storyline of the Pokémon anime. It’s carried on far too long, because the same baloney occurs through and through. Ash wants to become a Pokémon Master, and beat the Elite Four. Sounds good, but here’s the thing. He won’t ever become a Pokémon Master because that would end the series, and he won’t ever beat the Elite Four because that would also end the series. But hey, I’m not allowed complaining about this because it’s a kid’s show, so I’m really just wasting my time. However, if you’re still going to tell me that the Pokémon anime is better than the Digimon anime, then I would suggest you take some time out of your life – perhaps drop out of school for a semester because you’ll need quite a bit of time – to watch both series.
8 The Mons: Civil War
It really has come down to this, hasn’t it? I mean, the fandoms are quite huge, albeit one is most likely bigger than the other, but to ask for a discussion of which franchise is better is practically asking for a war. Both series are great in their own ways, but the hostility surrounding the environments about which one is better has gotten to a whole other level. Give the context of this meme, Tony Stark is on the side of Digimon, and if that’s the case, then I’m a Stark man all the way. But I really don’t think this is a debate that can be settled in a civilized manner, in fact, I think both parties should form their own countries and leave each other alone.
7 Cute Or Edgy?
Sometimes, the debate between these two franchises isn’t about plot holes, storylines, popularity, etc., but rather, about the simple question: Which one has the cuter creatures? I mean, both have their own flagship characters that are supposedly incredibly adorable, but something about basing a franchise off its ‘cuteness’ seems out of place for me. It’s also a subjective opinion. Yellow is one of my least favorite colors, so Pikachu is really not that cute to me. Pokemon has a lot of cute critters, sure. Digimon lives up to its name more, as it is short for “Digital Monsters.” Their creatures look a lot more like monsters than furry animals. So, I guess if ‘furry animals’ are one of your qualifiers for a great series, then hey, go over to that Pokémon side and enjoy yourself.
6 What About Other Series?
There are many worse series out there than Pokémon and Digimon. I mean, we could either settle our differences and combine our fandoms together to bash on the smaller ones, or we can continue our endless debate that seems to go nowhere. Personally, I’d go with the former, because let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be fair to oppress the smaller fandoms.
In terms of this meme, however, Yu-Gi-Oh! does stand out from the rest. It came began airing in North America a year after Digimon, and a few years after Pokémon. While they boast different storylines and plot points, they do have a few elements in common, such as trading cards, monsters, and competition. However, it’s hard to ignore the animal companions that the other series possess. They can create bonds that pieces of cardboard simply cannot.
5 A Philosophical Inquiry
Ah, the fabled question that no Pokémon fan can answer objectively: Which generation is the best generation? I mean sure, you can chalk it down to timing, design flaws, or simply your own personal taste, and actually, that’s what it comes down to. Maybe you like the fact that most of the pokémon from Gen V contained a bunch of inanimate objects with facial features, or maybe you’re an OG and you can’t help but say that the first generation is the best generation. I suppose nostalgia also plays a factor with the latter as well. However, I know a lot of Pokémon fans (who doesn’t?) and I have to say, when it comes to down to the discussion portion, things often get quite heated. You can even look at discussion boards and see how riddled they are with toxicity and hostility.
4 Every Single Time
If you’re a big fan of either franchise, you know that it hurts the deepest pits of your soul whenever someone confuses the two. These are two similar franchises, but of course with very different premises. Whenever I watched this as a kid, and my mother walked into the room, she would automatically say “Oh, Pokémon!” not knowing whether it’s one or the other. It didn’t matter if it actually was Pokémon or Digimon, heck even Monster Rancher got some of that treatment. I mean, I don’t get how moms can remember something I did when I was 5 years old and use it in an argument to justify her point but can’t remember the names of two different shows! Maybe she was doing it just to spite me.
3 Poké Ball Party!
Anytime a pokémon goes inside their poké ball, what exactly happens? According to Junichi Masuda, producer of Pokémon Sun and Moon, said that “it’s like a high-end suite.” I always thought that they all go to a pokébar and have a few pokédrinks. I’m just kidding, but imagine how cool that would be? I am certain there are plenty of fan theories on what happens to pokémon in their pokéballs.
This is a solid advantage for pokémon, but at least digimon are never contained, or ‘imprisoned’ as some would suggest, inside a trainer’s pockets, so they have the freedom to roam like any other animal. I suppose the same can be said about Pokémon before they are caught, but therein lies the error. They can be caught, whereas digimon cannot.
2 No! I Am Not A Pokémon!!
So, let’s say you’re at a convention like Comic-Con or Otakuthon. You’re cosplaying as your favorite anime character, which happens to be Agumon. You’re making your way through the convention until someone walks up to you and says “Cool costume. Which pokémon is that?”
How would you react?
Would you: A. Politely correct them; B. Walk away out of sheer frustration; or C. Start a fight. My bet is that you’d actually go with option D and laugh it off while you both talk about your favorite anime series. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and option C is the most likely choice given the tension between the two fandoms. It’s one thing for mom at home to mix up the two, but when you’re on the job? Come on, have some respect for the fans.
1 In The End, We Love Both
Okay, fine. Let’s end it the right way and settle our differences. Both series are great for their own reasons. Pokémon has amazing games, and I’m guilty of having played all of the installments. Digimon’s game library is lacking, and don’t quite live up to the standard set by their counterpart. However, the storyline that the Digimon anime has given us is a unique one, and I find that it far outweighs what Pokémon has brought to the table. But, both franchises have achieved global success, and it is not reasonable to have to compare the two when they both achieve different goals. I think they can co-exist in the same spheres of entertainment and could prosper without taking each other down.