10 Anime To Watch If You Love Pokémon

10 Anime To Watch If You Love Pokémon

Pokémon is a huge franchise. Similar anime might not have reached the same heights as Pokémon, but some got pretty popular and others became hidden gems in the anime world. There is no denying that Pokémon really popularized certain anime to market toys and video games.

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Pokémon fans are in luck. There are a ton of shows that were inspired by Pokémon. These titles feature children battling each other with fantasy creatures, just like Pokémon. From Yu-Gi-Oh! to Digimon, there are many monster battle anime to explore. Fans should definitely check out these anime.

Updated by Lauren Turner on January 19, 2023: Pokémon is a huge franchise that dips into anime, card games, video games, and more. The Pokémon anime is wildly nostalgic for many, and fans will definitely be interested in more anime like their favorite pocket monster show. As such, we’ve revamped this list with even more information.

10 Yo-Kai Watch

214 episodes

Yo-Kai Watch is a more recent anime, and it has gotten pretty popular. Like Pokémon, it is a mixed-media franchise. In other words, it has toys, video games, manga, and tons of other merchandise that go along with the anime. However, it lost some ground once the Pokémon Company really hyped up Pokémon Go and their Sun and Moon games for the 3DS.

Yo-Kai Watch focuses on befriending traditional Japanese yokai. Once the characters befriend one, they can capture it and summon it whenever they want to help them through battles and everyday tasks. So, in every way, it is a lot like Pokémon.

9 Digimon Adventure

54 episodes

There was a time when Digimon was often seen as Pokémon’s greatest rival. Though times have changed, Digimon was still really big in the late ’90s and early 2000s. It has gotten video games, card games, films, manga, toys, and more.

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Digimon were first inspired by Tamagotchi toys, which makes sense since they are virtual pets. Like Pokémon, Digimon could also evolve. Since Digimon come from a digital world, the plot of the anime focuses on a group of kids who are chosen to save the digital world.

8 Yu-Gi-Oh!

224 episodes

Yu-Gi-Oh! got a little meta when it came to its merchandising. Instead of kids befriending or capturing creatures, the characters of Yu-Gi-Oh! battle with cards like players would in real life — sort of.

Characters can get sent to a place called the “Shadow Realm” if they lose, and the card games have very high stakes involved. Also, the cards actually physically summon the beings that are pictured on them. The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game is still played by fans and the show is still beloved.

7 Beyblade

357 episodes

Beyblade was made to promote sales of spinning tops called “Beyblades.” The anime was actually adapted from a manga that was also made for toy promotion. The plot is pretty simple and focuses on tournaments between kids. The anime is good, and the Beyblade toys are pretty popular in Japan.

It was popular enough that it got two sequel series, Beyblade V-Force and Beyblade G-Revolution. Beyblade Burst is a sequel anime that was released in 2016; it’s based on a manga of the same name.

6 Monster Rancher

73 episodes

Before Monster Rancher (known as Monster Farm in Japan) had an anime, it was a series of RPG games. That is one of the many reasons it is similar to Pokémon. The Pokémon franchise has a lot of games, too. The Monster Rancher anime had a decent run, with 73 episodes that ran from 1999 to 2001.

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Unlike Pokémon, though, the main character is actually teleported to another world. So, he is an ordinary boy who falls into a world with monsters. Fans of both Pokémon and isekai anime should definitely check out Monster Rancher.

5 Medabots

91 episodes

Also known in Japan as Medarot, Medabots started as an RPG for the Gameboy in 1997. The anime came out in 1999 and got 91 episodes. Like Pokémon, the show features kids who fight with fantastical creatures — except, this time, these creatures are robots.

Also, Medabots is apparently set in the future of what could be the real world in the year 2122. The main character and his robot, Metabee, start out with a rocky relationship, sort of like how Ash and Pikachu did in Pokémon.

4 Zatch Bell

150 episodes

Zatch Bell ran for 150 episodes from 2003 to 2006. It is set in modern-day Japan, except there are supernatural creatures called “mamodo” that are from a parallel world. Every 1,000 years, 100 of them come to the real world to fight and see who will be the next king of their world.

However, the mamodo need human companions because all their powers are locked in spell books that a human needs to read. Interestingly, instead of fantasy creatures like in Pokémon, it looks like small supernatural children are being commanded to battle in Zatch Bell.

3 Dragon Drive

38 episodes

Adapted from a manga, Dragon Drive ran from 2002 to 2003 with 38 episodes. The story follows a lazy student who is introduced to a virtual reality video game where people have dragon partners that fight each other. Since he is lazy, he gets a small and lazy dragon that he names “Chibi.”

However, it is later revealed that Chibi has great powers and is one of the rarest dragons in the game. Unlike many other monster battle anime, the Dragon Drive video games were created after the anime rather than before.

2 Dinosaur King

79 episodes

Originally, Dinosaur King was a card-based arcade game that was made by Sega. They later got a trading card game and then an anime adaptation that ran from 2007 to 2008 with 79 episodes.

The plot is about a kid who comes across some magical stone slabs with cards that summon dinosaurs. They have adult forms and adorable hatchling forms. The dinosaurs are being hunted down by an evil organization that wants to take over the world by using the dinosaurs. So, the main character and his friends travel around the world collecting these dinosaurs and defeating the evil organization.

1 Battle Doll Angelic Layer

26 episodes

Unlike Pokémon and most other monster battle anime, Battle Doll Angelic Layer actually has a female protagonist. She lives in a world where kids can mentally control dolls and make them fight. She eventually gets her own doll and begins participating in tournaments.

Battle Doll Angelic Layer was adapted from a manga and ran in 2001 with 26 episodes. The series was released by CLAMP, so it also has a lot of connections to their other manga, such as Chobits and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.

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