How Digimon’s 2022 Animated Series Avoids a Pokémon Trap

Digimon’s new anime series, Digimon Ghost Game, cleverly avoids comparisons to Pokémon by tapping into a genre that Pokémon has yet to explore.

Digimon ghost game, Digimonthe latest anime series, cleverly avoided a Pokemon trap. Since the establishment of the two franchises in the late 90s, parallels have been drawn between the two, highlighting the similarities of their premises. Over the years, however, although Pokemon is always the more common IP address of the two, Digimon was able to distinguish itself as a separate entity with its unique brand of storytelling and mechanics in the world. Digimonnewest anime, Digimon ghost gameis perhaps the clearest example of this differentiation to date.

Although the concept of little monsters becoming partners with their human counterparts seems analogous, the distinction between Pokemon and Digimon already start there. Where Pokemon‘s”pocket monsters“, like Pikachu, are creatures of flesh and blood, which replace real-world animals in the Pokemon universe, Digimon‘s”digital monsterslike Agumon, come from a parallel digital reality. And, while the relationships between Pokémon and their trainers and Digimon and their partners might also seem familiar, Digimon are able to talk, allowing for a different kind of bond between a Digimon and their partner than between a Pokémon and their trainer.

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The way each franchise approaches their respective anime also sets them apart from each other. Whereas Pokemon has been following the adventures of Ash Ketchum since 1997, across various regions and with a rotating cast of supporting characters such as former Pokémon gym leader Brock, Digimon took a different approach. Rather than following the adventures of a boy and his friends forever, the Digimon anime sometimes completely changes its cast of characters and overall plot, essentially starting over with only Digimon‘s lore as the foundation. These and many other differences led to the creation of Digimon Ghost Gamewhich again cleverly avoids being compared to Pokemon using its approach to anime and jumping into a genre that Pokemon has never really used before: namely horror.


Which Digimon Ghost Game Does Better Than Pokemon


screenshot from episode 1 of the digimon ghost game

What Digimon smartly done in ghost game is to use its lore and world-building to create suspense. The ghosts referenced in the title, like the Sewn-Lip Man from its first episode, are actually creatures from the parallel digital reality that Digimon is also from. However, most of the characters in Digimon ghost game are not yet aware of this reality, and as such the terrifying things that happen in anime are paranormal related. In addition, Digimon Ghost Game cleverly uses its setting, which is a not-too-distant future where advanced holograms are now part of everyday life, leading people who see weird things to discount the possibility of something terrifying as an intelligent hologram. As a result, the Sewn-Lip Man can steal people’s time and age them at a frighteningly rapid rate, or mummies can kidnap people at night. The anime doesn’t shy away from showing the creepiness of these events, and that’s good for it, combining sci-fi and light horror to create something new.


Pokemon‘the sand DigimonThe similarities of have been debated endlessly, but creating its own formula, Digimon has been able to distinguish itself from its popular rival and succeed in creating a lasting legacy. Digimon Ghost Game examines these differences. He draws from a genre that Pokemon never really explored before, once again parting ways and giving audiences a new take on Digimon In the process.

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